When it came time to start buying baby goods I had NO idea where to start and as usual the internet was full of outdated and overseas lists. Since having gone through it I feel I am in a better position to make my own list which some of you may find helpful. My Hospital Bag Essentials post was a total hit so I am hoping this one is equally as useful.

Anybody who knows me knows that I love to shop, and I purchased a lot of unnecessary shit which I never used or needed (will save this for another post).

DISCLAIMER:
Some things are nice to have and others are a must. The items I have listed are based on my own experiences. A lot of these items come with lots of discussion and controversy (car seats, baby wearing, feeding, sleeping arrangements etc). Do your research based on your own personal wants/needs. What works for one, may not work for another. My child is almost 1 now so it’s inevitable that I’ve forgotten something. I also haven’t added in clothes. Happy to do a separate post if there is demand.

BED TIME

  • Bassinet/Mattress (we got ours from Baby City and loved the one we had. You can also purchase a stand).
  • Cot (transitioned Baxter at 12 weeks) – We went with a cot with a drawer underneath for extra storage.
  • Sheets & Mattress Protector – I sometimes used muslin cloths as a sheet and got told you can also use pillow cases.
  • Blankets – (not polar fleece, they don’t breath). Jaime Kay has some lovely Merino cot ones and they’re often on sale, I folded in half for use in the bassinet. Good to have a few as babies like to spill in those early days.
  • Baby Monitor – We didn’t use when he was in the bassinet as he was in our room but as soon as he moved into his own room we’ve used it since. We have the video Angelcare monitor. One of our best purchases (look at it as an investment).
  • Comforter – We were dead against it for a long time as we didn’t want him to grow a strong attachment to one (especially one we couldn’t potentially replace). But at about 8 months we introduced a Kippin and it’s stopped him rolling around and playing in bed before he goes to sleep. He ONLY has it in bed.
  • Swaddles/Muslin Cloths – Without swaddling Baxter in the early days we would have never slept, that kid loved to move. Once moving into his cot at 12weeks we transitioned him in a sleep sack with no issues. Cotton on has lots of cute ones and Kmart also has them.

BATH TIME

  • Bath towels/Face cloths
  • Baby Thermometer – We got a floating one from BabyCity, was super cheap and we’ve used it the past year.
  • Baby bath – You can also use your sink and or a flexi tub. To be honest we found the baby bath awkward so opted for showers and just putting him in the big bath either with one of us or well supervised.

PLAY TIME

  • Bouncer – Saved my life in the early days, he would happily watch while I cooked dinner and done housework.
  • Play gym – Same as the above, great to encourage and support tummy time. Toys/colors provide stimulation.
  • Rattles/teethers

NURSERY

  • Change table/Mat – I know lots opt for no change table. We’ve found it super handy to store essentials, however, I know he will grow out of it soon.
  • Drawers – As above, in the early days, I stored essentials on the second shelf of the change table as its where I found me spending a majority of my time. Once he shifted into his own room, the drawers are a good send as the kid has SO. MANY. CLOTHES.
  • Nappies – You’ll no doubt try a few brands before you find what works best for you and your baby. Don’t go crazy buying ALL the newborn nappies, they will grow out of them quickly. If you’re planning to use reusable nappies, you’ll need at least 15 nappies suitable for your newborn baby. You will also need a bucket, nappy liners, and some nappy steriliser. It’s also probably a good idea to have at least one packet of disposable nappies handy too, in case you get behind with the washing during the early weeks.
  • Wipes – Same as the above. There are SO many out there on the market to cater for all needs and budgets. Some people prefer Chux cloth and water.
  • Sudocream – Works on everything.
  • Thermometer – To check baby’s temp when worried about fever etc. Room temp is included on a lot of baby monitors.
  • Nail Clippers – Lots of people bite them, my GP said no way, more chance of bacteria. It was hard at first as I was scared but I tended to clip then while feeding and it was far easier. Their nails grow SO quickly.
  • Nappy bin – We started out using ours a lot and no longer use it.
  • Nasal aspirator – Super handy when baby is full of snot. The Nosefrida is amazing.
  • Vaporiser – Works a treat when they’re blocked up. Also handy to vape essentials oils for their calming/soothing effects. We use the Ultrasonic Vaporiser with some Le’Esscience blends. Please note, not all blends are safe for babies so please seek professional advice.

GETTING AROUND

  • Car seat or capsule – we had a Mountain Buggy Protect that with adapters, attaches to our pram base which made getting around so much easier. It also had a click in base for the car to ease of use. Baxter is now in a car seat and we went for the Maxi Cosi Pria 85.
  • Pram – Shop around and see what fits your needs and budgets, test and check it fits in your boot too! We opted for the Mountain Buggy nautical urban jungle.
  • Travel cot – We got the CarryCot with our pram which was super handy when our for long walks and if we were away from the house for long periods of time.
  • Front pack – I tried on the Mountain Buggy Juno down at BabyCity and fell in love. So comfortable. It comes with a newborn insert so I used it from about 4 weeks onwards, it allowed to do housework and other tasks hands-free and Baxter slept because he felt close and comfortable. There are so many out there for different body types and needs so do your homework!
  • Nappy bag – I am terrible when it comes to handbags, I knew I would be no different with Nappy Bags so I have quite a few until I found one I loved. As Baxter was coming to work with me for about 8 months, I wanted a bag that could fit my stuff while also looking not too ‘nappy bag-ish’. I ended up with the OiOi Mustard carry all. It’s perfect for what I wanted, fits everything I need and looks chic!
  • Car mirror – I was SO paranoid when driving alone so having a mirror to enable to see Baxter gave me great peace of mine.
  • Disposable change mats – Some nappy bags come with them, in the early weeks I found the disposable ones from the supermarket so handy.
  • Muslin cloth – I would drape one over the capsule when out and about, you can get some cool clips from Kmart to keep it in place. There are also lots of covers out there on the market.

FEEDING (covers breastfeeding and formula feeding)

  • Breastpump – You can hire from the hospital and some midwives. I used a double pump as it was easier doing both at one.
  • Maternity bras – I lived in these even after I stopped breastfeeding. Farmers have an awesome selection. I see Kmart is upping their maternity range also so might be worth a looksie.
  • Milk bags/Storage containers – For freezing your breastmilk.
  • Breastpads – Disposable or reusable. Leaking is not fun for anybody.
  • Nipple creamLansinoh is amazing. Some hospitals also offer Iozone (not sure on spelling) UV treatments. Others say sheilds worked a treat. Different things work for different people.
  • Bottles & teats – We tried lots of different bottles and to start with Dr Browns were the best, worked a treat for less wind and he was easily able to go between bottle and boob with no fuss. I would recommend introducing a bottle (even with breastmilk) early to avoid issues down the track. Now he is a bit old he mainly uses Tommee Tippee bottles but we’ve kept all our Dr Browns one and we use the bigger ones for his night feed. Shop around and see what works for you. It pays to get a few of the next size up teat so you have them on hand when you need them.
  • Bottle brush
  • Milton tablets – We used these in water instead of the classic sterilizer as this is what they did in the hospital and it worked best for us. Can be purchased at your local supermarket.
  • Formula – It took us a few to find the right one, we were told by lots of people that the ‘gold’ formulas blocked their wee ones up and it sure did! Baxter was super constipated so we got one a bit thinner and that more closely resembled breastmilk.
  • Formula storage container – So handy if you’re leaving the house but also equally handy to have full at home as it makes it quicker to make bottles. We discovered these awesome little formula dispensers that fitted into Tommee Tippee bottles. LIFESAVER and less fumbling around.
  • Bibs (lots and lots of bibs) – More so now he is older. Once they’re on solids they’re a MUST.
  • Muslin cloths – Great for spills.

OTHER

  • Baby Nurofen – I will never use Pamol again. Baby nurofen takes effect quicker (about 15 min) and lasts up to 8 hours.

I will no doubt add to this list as time goes by and I would have most definitely forgotten things. Feel free to add your suggestions into the comments section.

kaboompics.com_White Acer Chromebook on kid's desk.jpg

It’s so common these days that there’s a term for this negative phenomenon: mum-shaming, and I am fucking sick of it.

I am talking about mums shaming other mums. Don’t even get me started on the judgemental people who DON’T EVEN HAVE KIDS! I see it almost every day. Out in public and most commonly, online. We’ve all been guilty of it at one point or another, pre or post baby. We’ve judged another mum in the mall or the in the playground and it needs to stop.

We’re all in this together you know, this crazy roller coaster we call parenting. Nothing can make you question your abilities and decisions as a parent like a death stare in the local food court, a rude old lady coming up to you in the supermarket and telling you “that kid shouldn’t be out without a warm hat on” or “that child should be in bed”. Hey, Doris – go shove your opinions up your as$.

Get stared at for feeding your kid with a bottle (god forbid if that’s formula!)
Get stared at for getting your boob out in public.

Get judged for feeding your child packaged food.
Get judged for using non-organic ingredients.

Get judged for allowing your child to sleep with you.
Get judged for having them alone in another room.

Get judged for letting your child have a dummy.
Get judged for letting your child scream in need of comfort.

Get judged for buying your kid expensive toys.
Get judged for not stimulating your child enough.

Getting judged for choosing to front face your child after 2 years.
Get judged for still rear facing them.

Getting judged for going back to work ‘too early’.
Getting judged for choosing to be a stay at home mum.
Getting judged for enrolling your child into a daycare centre so you can provide a better future.

It many of the above cases, it’s a no-win situation.

I came across a great article which outlined why we might be doing this.

  1. You’re bored
  2. You’re angry
  3. You’re jealous
  4. You’re overwhelmed
  5. You’re exhausted
  6. You’re not sure of your own identity
  7. You’re dying to be recognised

Being a mum is fucking hard and having somebody question your decisions makes it even harder. Mum shaming is not always direct. It can be a criticism, unsolicited advice (generally with an ulterior motive), dubious facial expressions and general negativity (directly or indirectly) at another mum regarding her parenting choices or even worse, a personal dig.

I suffer from anxiety and depression and know too well how hard it is to hear that somebody thinks you’re not a good mother. Putting myself out there like this has led me to receive some truly awful comments and it really is disgusting that people think it’s OK.

If you have a few moments, watch this.

I think in order to fix a problem we need to recognise that there is one and collectively, do our bit to combat this nasty, rising habit.

MumShaming_NewMumClub

 

 

I still don’t think I have really come to terms with my new body, I’ve written about my stretch marks before and while it’s easy to adopt the attitude ‘out of sight, out of mind’ – they are definitely not out of mind. I am wanting to put Baxter into swimming lessons, my partner hates water/swimming so that leaves me. Yet I am scared to bare my skin and get in the water, I can wear a singlet and cover up as much as possible but I know the whole time my anxiety will be through the roof. I shouldn’t even be making it about me, I want Baxter to be comfortable in the water and learn to enjoy it and be safe yet I more concerned about overcoming this fear of my own.

I’ve just started using a Stretch Mark/Scar Blend from Le’Esscience which I’ve heard great things about and have seen equally great results. It will take about 7-12 weeks to see any real results as like any other blend, it has a cumulative affect so I need to make sure I stuck to it as I know if I can lighten the scaring then I’ll be well on my way to feeling more comfortable in my own skin.

It’s selfish I know, others are having issues falling pregnant and I’m moaning about my stretch marks, marks which without, I wouldn’t have my son. I am truly grateful for my child. I just wish I’d been smarter about making more of an active effort to lessen the damage done. I was lazy and figured I was lucky and wouldn’t get them as at 30+ weeks I had nothing and then boom. My belly was so big a lot of them I didn’t even notice forming under my bump. Not everybody gets them, and if you didn’t get any – consider yourself extremely lucky.

My stomach has never and will never be the same but I am really trying to accept my new body. I have never been one to show a lot of skin anyway and I’m a super self conscious person but this is just taking it to a whole new level.

My stretch marks are bad. They look like I’ve been attacked by a wild animal (maybe that’d be a better story to roll with). They’re deep and almost look like burns. I know they will fade over time but I think with the extent of them, it’s likely they’ll always be quite prominent. The tattoo is ruined, but I am not bothered as I hated it anyway (and yes, the two o’s were on purpose).

So here I am, baring it all to you. If anybody else is in the same boat you’ll now you are not alone. It’s tough, I won’t lie. I feel sad when I see people bounce back from their pregnancies. I don’t wish for a perfect body, I just wish I could be comfortable and confident in myself. It will come with time I am sure. I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight but I will never have my old body back. My entire body shape is different and I’ve come to terms with that so it’s just a case of working on the scaring and that little joey pouch.

They tell a story, a story some are not lucky enough to be experience. I am thankful everyday, don’t get me wrong. They’re a part of me now, a part I am yet to fully accept.

I’ll update you in a few weeks as to how I’ve got on with the Stretch Mark/Scar Blend.

acceptance

I thought I was totally prepared. The nursery was complete, and I was mentally ready. Oh boy was I wrong. For starters, the baby was in our room anyway so the nursery didn’t matter a bit in those early days and I finally started to understand why everybody told me to ‘sleep while you can’ when I was pregnant.

Everybody’s experiences are different so don’t take this as gospel, this post is based off my own personal experience and tips that I think would have been helpful for me to have known going into this whole parenting thing blind.

For me, the first 24 hours was a blur. Honestly, I was so scared leaving the hospital with this new little baby who was completely dependant on me. When Reuben and I got in the car at the hospital car park (away from both of our parents), I burst into tears. I was emotionally and physically drained + shit scared about what was to come. I haven’t been around a lot of babies so can honestly say, I had NO idea what I was doing.

I’ve broken this down into bite size tips and know I would have most likely forgotten key things so feel free to add tips in to the comments:

  • Accept all offers of help – this is one thing I didn’t do. I’m all Beyoncé, Independent Woman and I was absolutely fucked after a few sleepless days/nights. Accept offers of meals, breaks for you to shower etc.
  • Sleep when baby sleeps – actually, or it’s likely you’ll never sleep again. If you can’t sleep, at least lay down and rest, don’t worry about everything else you have to do (at least in those early days).
  • Have plenty of maternity pads on hand; steal the hospital ones if you can (they resemble a super king mattress). You will bleed, a lot, sometimes up to 6 weeks +, also invest in some Hypercal lotion for your lady bits if you have a natural delivery. I talked more on Hospital Bag Essentials here.
  • Don’t forget to take your pain meds if given some, I was terrible and in a tired haze I’d forget and have instant regret.
  • It’s totally normal to cry in those early days. If it wasn’t my partner, or me, it was the baby.
  • Confide in a friend/family member or midwife (if not your partner) about how your feeling and doing, make sure you know the early signs of postpartum depression and if you feel like things are getting too much – seek help. It’s normal and more common than you think. I wrote about my experience here.
  • Try shower everyday, even chuck on some BB cream, it would make me feel (and look) so much better. It is so easy to live in track pants, but not looking after yourself is a quick way to start feeling down.
  • Learn that its OK to say no to visitors in the early days – while you’re super excited to show off your new baby, they’re more prone to picking up bugs in those early days plus you’re still learning. I was still trying to find my feet with Breastfeeding and attempting to do it with an audience was the last thing I wanted.
  • Be prepared for an emotional roller coaster – more so than when preggers. I would cry for no reason, other days I was on top of the world. Hormones be cray, it’s normal.
  • Trust in your midwife – they are a hive of support and information. Don’t be afraid to ask them (or your GP) questions. It’s their job and I’m sure they’ve heard it all (and worse) before.
  • Pre-prep meals – I lived on easy things like toast/soup/pastas etc for the first few days. Accept the offer of meals and have them in the freezer ready for when you get home. It’s one less thing you need to think about.
  • Don’t feel as though you’re a burden to other people because you aren’t. I thought I could do it all myself and quickly learnt this was not the case.
  • Expect nothing – leave your expectations behind. Baby is going to do what it wants to do and no book or advice is going to change the way he/she is.
  • Drop your standards a little – this was hard for me. I tried to maintain a spotless house knowing visitors would come over while trying to find my feet as a new mum. It’s OK to not have vacuumed, nobody is judging you – plus, it’ll give your visitors something to do, haha.
  • Remember it will get better – the hard times WILL pass. While it might be super tough now, it’s going to be so rewarding soon. From weeks 6-12 you start seeing more interaction and it gets more exciting from then on.
  • Get somebody to show you how to bathe baby if you’re not sure – we had no idea and quickly realised this when it came to giving him his first bath. We’re total pros now.
  • Don’t be alarmed by weird sounds – it’s all part of it, I often felt like I had a small pig sleeping in the bassinet next to my bed.
  • Establish a routine early – this worked so well for us. For the first few days while we found our feet we just worked around baby and their cues. Once we introduced a routine, it made all of our lives easier and is still successful 10 months on.
  • Introduce a bottle – I know this one will get some disagreement. I gave Baxter some expressed breast milk in a bottle early on to get him familiar with the bottle in case we ever needed it. He was able to go between the boob and the bottle with no fuss and it made our lives easier moving forward. It also meant I could take a break every now and then and that Dad could do the night feed.
  • Dream feed – we always gave Baxter a feed late at night, which ensured he was full for longer and meant we could get that little bit more sleep.
  • Put baby in their bed when showing tired signs – this way they learn to fall asleep on their own and associate bed with sleep time. This was SO beneficial for us. Sounds easy, but it really was. Rubbing eyes, yawning? Put them in bed.
  • Be calm – I was a big ball of stress and anxiety the first few weeks and Baxter picked up on this, as soon as I learnt to chill a bit, things became a lot easier and manageable.

So there we have it, a few tips to help you maintain some sort of sanity in those first few days/weeks. For a lot of us new mums it can be a daunting time, but with a bit of support and knowledge it can be a not so difficult time.

Keep in mind, it’s been over 10 months since I had a newborn so I would have definitely left some things out. Add your tips below and I’ll edit the list!

Most importantly, try and enjoy it. The days goes surprisingly fast and they’re only small for a short period of time.

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For months I was excited at the thought that my little man would soon be mobile, I couldn’t wait for him to start crawling.

He now crawls and I wish he didn’t. Does that make me a bad mum? No, I just underestimated how hard everything would become once he was finally on the move.
Gone are the days of plonking him down (safely) and running to the toilet. Laying in bed with him and he would just lay here next to me.

My god things changed, I leave the room, he follows me. I sit down to play with him and he goes for every single thing he’s not allowed to touch or play with. I try to cuddle him and he just wriggles and wants to be put down to explore and get into mischief.

Nooooo, bring my baby backkkkk. I honestly cannot believe how quickly they change & develop. 2 weeks ago he wasn’t even crawling or trying then within a week he did it once and now nothing will stop him. He sits up from laying in his cot (so annoying) and is now using things to try to pull himself up and stand (and is often successful).

Life’s funny how you wish for something and then when it happens you wish it hadn’t. I love that he’s more mobile and is learning new skills which excite me, I just miss my wee baby who was so reliant on me.

Let them be little, you’ll miss it when they’re not.