When we had our little boy Harry, I was fortunate enough to have a brilliant friend who put together a Mummy survival kit. In fact I had two brilliant friends who gave me survival kits – one for pregnancy (thank you Gem!) and one for my induction (thank you Beki!).
I know lots of people, both on Instragram and in my ‘real life’(!) who are expecting and this is for you! I hope it helps…
Pregnancy – for Ms Preggers:
- Gin Gins and ginger nuts to combat sickness.
- Starburst (or a sweet of your choice!) in every bag and coat pocket. I always used to feel sick walking back to my car after work and driving home – Starbursts were my saviour; they gave me a sugar hit and meant I was chewing, not gagging!! I dig out a handbag, I always find a rogue Starburst and it makes me cry (that’s another thing – prepare to become totally emosh).
- Maternity bra – I cannot stress enough how much I loved my maternity bras. I dreaded the thought of non-underwired bras and my boobs resembling snoopy but I was fitted in Mothercare and my maternity bras saw me through from about 12 weeks until 42 weeks when I had Harry and then was into nursing bras.
- Wheat bag – I found I got an achy back during the day at work, so forever warming my wheat bag (although annoying my colleagues with the smell of stale lavender!) worked a treat for me.
- Sleeping V pillow and wedge – My sister bought me a brilliant pillow set that really helped me sleep at night as I got more ginormous. I would definitely recommend if you are struggling sleeping.t
- Towards the end of your pregnancy, start making meals and freezing them. You can do this with your partner on the weekends even but I mainly did it in the first few weeks of my mat leave whilst the newborn washing was drying on the line. I made lasagne, curry, shepherds pie, bolognaise. Anything that’s comforting, hearty and easy to freeze – this was amazing and one of the best tips I was given.
Pregnancy – for Mr I-might-as-well-be-preggers:
I was lucky, Ben was a diamond throughout my pregnancy but for all you Daddies who feel sympathy pains, here are a few tips:
- Ear plugs – we will whine continuously about the most bizarre things. One of my colleagues ended up wearing fragranced insoles in his shoes as I complained about the smell of his feet so much (I’m not a diva, I promise – honestly it was like Stilton had been left out in the sun too long!)
- Fizzy drinks, energy boosters, non alcoholic beer etc – seriously if your pregnant partner likes their wine, don’t even think about cracking a Bud or popping a cork around us – it puts you on seriously dangerous ground (see above point about whining). I’m not a big drinker but I know people who wanted to throw their partner’s out for this one.
- Enjoy your hobbies now – this is a serious one. Life really doesn’t have to completely change for every couple, but it does change. If you have a whole list of hobbies you enjoy now, after having children, you are either too busy to keep them ALL up, or you don’t want to as you want to spend more time with your new little fam. I’m yet to meet a parent who has managed to keep every hobby they used to do before children – if that person is you, then good on you (teach me!!!!!)
- Be prepared – another serious one. Pregnancy, labour and parenthood isn’t a walk in the park. It’s the most amazing job in the world but it is hard work sometimes. Lack of sleep, change, routine or even lack of routine can take its toll. If you are prepared for this whilst you and your partner are cooking your little bean, it makes it so much easier for the time you are cleaning up projectile vomit, an explosive nappy and trying to find the dummy that has disappeared down the side of the cot at 4am and then having to present at a meeting at 9am…(this is advice for both parents actually!)
Parenthood – for Ms-I’m-a-new-Mum:
- Back to bras – If you decide to breast feed, invest in a few nursing bras and get measured. DO NOT buy your nursing bras whilst you are pregnant. Once your milk comes in, your boobs double in size pretty much and you will be a different size than you think. For instance I went from a 38D maternity bra to a 40E nursing bra…#justsaying
- If breast feeding – get some Lansinoh cream. I owe my nipples to the lady in the bed next to me in hospital. She gave me her Lansinoh cream and I will never forget it. It really helps soothe how sore they become. And I promise it does get easier with practice.
- Bottle feeding/combination feeding – get a Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine. When Harry stopped BF at 6 months, this was our absolute saviour. Saves so much time and effort as it prepares your milk to the perfect temperature. Really worth the investment – or look to buy second hand. http://www.tommeetippee.co.uk/product/perfect-prep-machine/
- Go to groups. I met so many great friends through various groups. It keeps you sane and although you will always have one person whose baby is “perfect”, in reality we are all in it together and sharing advice and ideas and generally offering each other support is so so valuable as a new parent. Even talking to fellow Mums and Dads on Instagram really helped me.
For the family:
- Ewan the Dream Sheep – this innocent looking cuddly toy will be your best friend when your baby just will not go to sleep! Never underestimate the importance of white noise. http://www.dreamsheep.co.uk/
- Pack of dummies – seriously. Even if you don’t choose to use them, have them in as an option. The dummy really helped Harry through his colic and he still has it now for naps. Ask anyone, I was totally anti-dummies, now I am thinking of investing in some shares…!
- Slings – I’ve talked about the benefit of slings before. It’s just a no brainer; you get to keep your baby close to you, they are more content and you have TWO HANDS!!!! It’s a revelation. Look up your local sling surgery/library to get advice and guidance – in fact I would do this when pregnant so you can look at options. We started with a stretchy wrap and progressed to buckles. This is the Sheffield one http://www.sheffieldslingsurgery.co.uk/
- Muslins – you can never have too many. End of. Buy the big ones.
- Timmy Tickle App – this is something that can grow with the baby/child. It’s actually a distraction App that you download alongside buying the Stylfile Nipper Clipper (http://www.johnlewis.com/stylfile-nipper-clipper/p1389202) to cut baby’s nails. The clippers themselves are ace but the App is brilliant and Harry still loves it now.
This wasn’t meant to be such a huge post (ooops) but as you can see, the list is endless. These are just a few of our hints and tips but if you want more detailed advice on your hospital bag/induction bag or anything else, please do message me, I’d be happy to help share my tips.
Thanks for reading. x