What Do I Need To Pack For Myself In My Labour Hospital Bag?

Here’s the thing, some of us pack and repack 45 times while others don’t have time to pack once.

But we firmly believe it’s good to plan ahead, plus it gives us something to do during those long ten months of pregnancy. Yes, we said ten – it may as well be…

Learnings From A Year As A First Time Mum

A Bedtime Routine Will Almost Break You (But Then It Will Set You Free)

It’ll feel like Groundhog Day for at least twelve months, but once that babe is in a bedtime routine you’ll thank yourself for sticking it out. A year of routine for a lifetime of nights to yourself? Worth it.

If They Don’t Sleep In The Day, They’ll Be Ok

You’ll think everyone else has cracked it, but if your mum mates are driving around in their 4X4’s all day, it’s probably because the baby won’t nap without it. Seriously, don’t spend an entire day trying to get them to sleep. Get them up, play with them, do what you need to do and eventually they’ll conk out. A day here and there won’t ruin your routine, and it’s really not worth the stress.

Baby TV & Toast Will Save You In Almost Every Situation

Don’t fight it.

It Will Take At Least A Year (maybe more) To Feel ‘Normal’

No, we don’t mean fitting into your size 10s again, you’ll do that quite quickly with all that walking. We mean, it’ll take at least a year until you really feel like you’ve got your shit together. And that’s ok.

Childless Friends Are The Biggest Judgers

You were there once too, talking about how having a baby will never change your life. Just let them have it; they’ll work it out one day.

Rely On Dad When You Can

Give him some basic instructions (when to feed, what to feed and where to find everything) then let him get on with it. He’ll have his own style (which will probably send you wild) but they’ll both be fine and they’ll enjoy the bonding time too. Eventually you’ll be able to switch off completely when you leave him in charge – and that’s real ‘me time’.

Think Smart With Deliveroo

We learnt this the hard way. When you fill in your order, ask your Deliveroo driver not to ring the doorbell but to call you on arrival instead. Sleeping baby and a fed mum.

Never Underestimate The Power Of A Shower

Whether it’s a restless newborn or a non-napping toddler, pop them in their cot with something to stare at for five minutes and jump into the shower. Drench yourself in hot soapy water, shake off whatever happened the night before and push the restart button. Do this every morning. You’ll feel great for it.

No Housework Needs To Happen Right Now

Really.

Get Fresh Air Every Day, Even When It’s Raining

Wrap up warm (but not too warm for you; walking with a baby works up quite a sweat) and get out, even if it’s just to the local Co-Op to pick up supplies for an afternoon in. Small goals, big wins.

Never Be Without Calpol, Nespresso Capsules, Wine Or Chocolate

Bulk buying these is your new survival skill.

Baby Wipes Will Wipe Away Most Things

You’ll miss them one day.

They Don’t Need More Toys

Buy yourself something nice and let them play with the packaging instead; it works every time.

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

Again, really.

Invest In cook

For the days when you’re not feeling terribly Nigella, load the freezer with these smart ready meals; they even do them for babies. You’ll end the day with everyone fed and watered and can can even pass them off as your own if you feel the need.

You Will Forget The Birth

Even if it nearly killed you, you will forget.

Pay For The Help You Need

It takes a village, and sometimes you have to pay for it; especially if there’s no family nearby. Cleaner, babysitter, ironer, hairdresser, cook… if you can afford it, get the help.

You Will Never Know Love Like It

Never have we loved (or been loved in return) quite like this – except by our own mums. Your heart will burst daily with unexplainable, unconditional love. Every tear, every hour of missed sleep (yours and theirs), every teething tantrum, every pregnancy ache and pain. You’ll look into their eyes and it will all melt away.

The Internet Will Save You

Netflix at 3am, WhatsApp at 4am and Instagram at 5am. This is the year the internet will help you more than you could ever imagine.

You Will Gain A Whole New Perspective

The trivial things you once worried about will vanish: your awful commute/bad tempered manager/broken coffee machine/chubby thighs (well they don’t vanish but…). You’ll start looking at the world in a much bigger picture – the things that really worry you will be the ones that impact your kids and their future, not which size pants you can squeeze yourself into. And somewhere in all of this is remembering to prioritise yourself from time to time, which is another great learning – and perhaps the most important one of all to hold onto.

You’ll Love The First Year A Lot More Looking Back At It

Disclaimer: All views are our own, but we think you might relate to some of it!

Our Round Up Of The Best Restaurant Dinner Kits

Our round up of the best restaurant dinner kits (and they deliver nationwide!)

Because we could all do with a culinary treat, or a treat of any kind…

Not much good came out of the pandemic, but one thing that did is at home dining, and at home-delivery boxes have now officially become big news! Restaurants all over the country are now offering nationwide delivery for their meals and it’s an amazing opportunity to try something new and different – all in the comfort of your own home. Make a meal of it – lay the table, get dressed up, put some music on and enjoy…

Dishpatch have been having rave reviews recently – they aim to bring the UK’s best restaurants to your home with exclusive menus delivered across the country. The meals are fully prepared with all cooking and preparation done by top chefs, food is delivered on a Friday, ready to be finished at home. Dozens of high-end restaurants are offering delivery boxes through Dishpatch – including the likes of Angela Harnett, one of our favourites!. The delivery box includes all the ingredients to make this beautiful dish. It’s worth checking the Dishpatch website regularly as restaurant and menu boxes change frequently.

Hawksmoor – Nationwide Delivery
Hawksmoor – Nationwide Delivery

March: The Fillet Box – £125.00 for two

Hawksmoor have nine restaurants in the UK (and one in New York!) – they are incredible steakhouses with a real focus on sustainably sourced ingredients. The Hawksmoor at Home delivery boxes have been very successful and frequently sell out. They offer easy-to-make meal kits such as – March: The Fillet Box which includes 2 x British Fillet steaks, Matt Brown’s ultimate oven chips, creamed spinach, peppercorn sauce, sticky toffee pudding, wine, and cocktails! Hawksmoor state that “we’ve worked hard to make our cook-at-home steak boxes as easy and stress-free as possible. Each comes with full instructions and our How to Cook the Perfect Steak guide, along with a QR code to take you to masterclass videos with our Executive Chef, Matt Brown – a former Head Chef of two restaurants with 3 Michelin stars!”

Dishoom – Nationwide Delivery
Dishoom – Nationwide Delivery

Bacon Naan Roll Kit – £16.00 for two

The eternally popular Dishoom is based on the old Irani cafes in Bombay, India. The unique and stylish décor, the scrumptious all-day dining options and fantastic ambience means Dishoom is always packed out. They are now offering one of their most popular dishes for nationwide home-delivery. The famous bacon naan is now available as an ‘at-home’ cookery kit with everything you need to recreate the dish at home. The kit includes two Naan rolls, bacon, tomato chili jam, plus an extra naan dough ball for experimentation (!) – there’s also chai spices and loose-leaf tea so you can recreate the delicious Dishoom chai for two. (A vegan option is also available.) For every kit they sell, they donate a meal to Magic Breakfast – a charity that aims to end hunger as a barrier to education in UK schools.

The Wolseley is legendary – an all day café/restaurant in the grand European tradition situated on London’s iconic Piccadilly. The atmosphere is decadent, and it’s always popular with the most fascinating crowd – politicians, media types and a sprinkling of famous faces! The Wolseley and the other restaurants owned by Corbin & King are now offering an online home-delivery service. There are a variety of starters, mains, and desserts to choose from and they also have a Mother’s Day ‘Breakfast in Bed’ box that will be available to order from Friday 26th February. This includes half a bottle of champagne, Severn & Wye smoked salmon, Cotswolds Legbar blue eggs, caviar, freshly squeezed orange juice, homemade raspberry truffles and a ‘Breakfast at The Wolseley’ book – the perfect start to your Mother’s Day! 

Simon Rogan at Home – Nationwide Delivery
Simon Rogan at Home – Nationwide Delivery

‘At Home’ 3-Course Meal – £90.00 for two

Simon Rogan is probably best known for his restaurant L’Enclume in Cartmel which currently holds two Michelin stars alongside many other prestigious awards. Rogan is known for his innovative dishes and the provenance of the ingredients – his food is quite simply sensational! Simon Rogan at Home offers a three-course ‘at home’ dining experiences as well as special seasonal celebration menus. A fantastic range of extras such as British cheese and bespoke wine pairings can be added to your order. All dining options come with easy-to-follow videos demonstrating how to prepare the dishes. 

Côte at Home – Nationwide Delivery
Côte at Home – Nationwide Delivery

Apres Ski Box – £55.00 for two

Côte Brasserie is the popular restaurant chain found nationwide – they offer relaxed all day dining inspired by the bistros and brasseries of Paris. They serve up French classics made from fantastic quality produce. Their new offering Côte at Home means that you can order the best of French bistro cuisine for your own home. The price range is competitive, and they have a huge variety of options. Delivery is free on all orders (a £40.00 minimum spend is required) and available for delivery nationwide. We are big fans of their luxury and limited editions boxes – try the Après Ski or Seafood boxes. The Apres Ski box includes cheese fondue, Toulouse sausages and lentils, tartiflette and chocolate sauce with lemon meringue for dipping! Delicious! They have also launched a new vegan range that has proved incredibly popular.

Stein’s at Home – Nationwide Delivery
Stein’s at Home – Nationwide Delivery

The Lobster Box – £100.00 for two

Rick Stein is a celebrated chef, restaurateur, cookery book author and television presenter. He is best known for his love of fresh and simple seafood – his restaurants are incredibly popular and booked months in advance. The Stein’s at Home menu boxes bring the best of fresh Cornish seafood and classic dishes to your door. Each box serves two with a starter, main and dessert. All the preparation is done – you just finish off the dishes at home. Our favourite was The Lobster Box featuring grilled scallops, lobster thermidor and chocolate pave! Amazing! Delivery is available across the UK every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Things We Wish We Had Discussed As A Couple Before Baby

You might think that the decision to have a baby is the biggest one you’ll ever make. But you’d be wrong. Starting a family sets a multiple of other critical decisions in motion, all to be made before you’ve quite grasped the impact of the last. It’s important then, to make sure you’re on the same page as your other half – but this is a conversation to be had while you’re awake, lucid and not harbouring a motherlode of resentment (ie before you’ve even made that baby). It’ll hurt, but it’s worth it…

Can We Afford One?

It reportedly costs an average £150,000 to raise a child to the age of 18, and we’d estimate about 50% of that goes on nursery fees alone. Having a kid means sacrificing all of the nice things, like four city breaks a year and your pricey Net-a-Porter habit. Statutory maternity pay wouldn’t keep most kids in Ella’s Kitchen pouches, so it’s a good idea to think about how you plan to fund your new venture.

Will You Go Back To Work?

When you first give birth it’s impossible to imagine being parted from your little bundle of joy but give it seven months and you might find you’ve developed a nervous twitch every time you hear the first three chords of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Before your partner finds you camped out on the doorstep at 5pm desperately waiting for some adult conversation, it’s good to have a rough plan for if/when you’d like to go back to work. Which leads inevitably to the next question….

Who Will Look After It?

Nursery? In-Laws? Au-Pair? Looking after a kid post-maternity leave is 10% parenting, 90% logistics. The weekly childcare schedule is like a giant game of Jenga, it just one brick to be taken out with Norovirus and the whole thing comes tumbling down. Unless you want to find yourself in a screaming match over whose afternoon meeting is more important, you’ll need a plan with more resilience than a nuclear power station.

How Will You Discipline Them?

Who’ll end up playing Bad Cop? We’ll tell you right now, it’s not the absolute charlatan who’ll let them eat ice cream for breakfast if they can watch Football Focus in peace.

Where Will They Go To School?

Someone will want them to have ‘the best possible education regardless of the cost’, someone will bring politics into the issue. It’s a conversation that could get personal so be prepared.

How Many Kids Do You Actually Want?

If someone else want a five-a-side football team, ask how many they’re planning to push out of their genitals. Start negotiations low with just one kid. Anything more than that seems like a win.

How Can You Protect Our Relationship?

It’s ironic that nothing can single-handedly destroy your relationship quite like producing a miniature version of yourselves. You’re stressed, you’re knackered, and your poor vagina has been through enough. Get a solid plan in place pre-baby and there’s a 50 percent chance you’ll keep your kid (and your relationship) alive.

Quick Beauty Fixes That’ll Make It Seem Like You Made A lot Of Effort

Once upon a time if you all you wanted from the weekend was to drink a boatload of tea in a Hush onesie, you could do it. Since then, the Life of Mum has injected other more challenging itineraries into our lives (playdates to go to, parks to see) and so we need some quick fixes in our lives that feign to the outside world that we totally have our s**t together. Take five minutes to throw some of this in the air and walk through it. Ok, not quite. But it’s almost that easy…

Wow Root Cover Up £28.50
Wow Root Cover Up £28.50

Ah Color Wow Root Cover Up; why do we love you so much more than others on the market? Firstly, this is completely mess-free, which is something you can’t say for tinted aerosol sprays. More like make-up application in fact, with a handy compact and brush you can use to touch up your roots on the go – have one in your handbag ready for the moment you notice those unwanted greys rearing their ugly heads in your car mirror (we blame natural daylight.). Secondly, the blonde shade lightens even dark hair – which is no mean feat. Thirdly, it’s water resistant so lasts until you wash it out, yet doesn’t contain any waxes and so won’t weigh your hair down or make it feel greasy. In our book, a total winner.

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Tan- Luxe Gradual Drops £35
Tan- Luxe Gradual Drops £35

Joyous as modern tanning products are (hello Tan-Luxe gradual drops!), keeping a consistent colour going takes quite some focus. For days you’ve left it just too late, this is a liquidised version of the brand’s cult powdered bronzer. It doesn’t require precise application – even less than applying your foundation, in fact. Just slap on a small amount after your moisturiser and blend it over your face and neck for an instant healthy healthy-looking glow. It’s super lightweight so no one will know you’re wearing it, and it lasts all day.

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Living Proof dry shampoo £19
Living Proof dry shampoo £19

We were particularly gutted recently to discover that one of our favourite ever quick fixes (Christophe Robin Hair Finish Lotion, which uses the cleansing power of vinegar to reboot unwashed and neglected hair) had been discontinued. We’ve managed to move on thanks to Living Proof, which makes a brilliant dry shampoo that’s more like an instant cleanse rather than a thick and drying Batiste-style spray. The silicone-free formulation absorbs oil and sweat, doesn’t leave hair with an unsightly powdery residue, and smells deliciously fresh all day due to time-release fragrance.

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Dior Addict Lip tattoo £28
Dior Addict Lip tattoo £28

In the beauty biz there is a something known as the “Lipstick Index”, which is the correlation between a negative economy and positive lipstick sales. Basically, when the going gets tough, we buy more lipstick. If you aren’t a lipstick lover already, try giving it a go – a little pop of colour really does make you feel better and can even detract from the under-eye bags. Ease yourself in with a lightweight cheek and lip colour that you can carry with you and top up throughout the day (Bobbi Brown’s are pretty and wearable), or pick a long-wearing option to cut down the upkeep.

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Personalised Jewellery Is The Best Gift For Mum

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

Sentimental? Tick. Personalised? Tick. Future family heirloom? Tick. We’re practically dripping in our children’s initials at TMC, because when names are years in the making (ok, sometimes decades) they should be celebrated, right? We’ll take initial jewellery as a push present but we’re just as happy to buy our own, so here’s an edit you can bookmark for your own use or send to your significant other right now. And if you’re still choosing the name, nothing speeds up the process quite like diamonds…

Things We Wish We’d Known About Hospital

Ready to pack your hospital bag? Maybe you’re a keen bean and did it weeks ago. Either way, when the big day approaches, you’ll have a gazillion grows at the ready.

But one subject many people skip over is how you might feel after labour and what you might want.

Yes, a medal would be nice. But we wish we’d known the following things before we gave birth.

Hospital food is BAD

In the weeks running up to birth your snack bag (aka your personal tuck shop) will have to be restocked at least three times before you make it to hospital *it’s the best thing about labour. However, it’s likely that you won’t eat much of it during the actual deed. Granted, sweets and energy bars were our saviour, but after birth, you’ll crave something more substantial. Hospital food is beyond rank and the memory of our sad shrivelled sausages and dried out mash still makes us wince. Plus, you have to wait for the allotted serving times to get your ghastly fill. Pack yourself a cool bag containing a celebratory ‘post-birth sandwich’, some savoury crispbreads and general treats that are off-limits for labour (we’re talking to you birth-partners!). Because trust us when the hunger comes, it comes quickly, and sometimes there’s no option to order in.

Take some laxatives
Take some laxatives

Whether you have a C-section or a natural birth, going for a poo post-labour is never easy. Your hospital should give you some, but you might need some extra help, so take some laxatives with you or prune juice, just in case.

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You need to ask for help

It can be daunting to know what to do with the little slugs once they arrive. Even if you’ve read all the books, you’re still a bit ahhh! And to top it off, you’re also bloody exhausted. But guess what? You’re not expected to know everything. Why would you? Midwives look after babies every day, it’s their job, and they have tons of knowledge to pass on. Hell, they’ll even take your baby for a few hours if you’re desperate for a kip. The only catch is you have to speak up. Don’t ever feel like a failure, because you’re an absolute blimmin hero. If you need help, then ask for it!

Take your own pull up pants
Take your own pull up pants

The ones the hospital give you are similar to a hairnet. They’re fiddly to pull up and you also have to negotiate putting a massive pad in them. No thank you. Take the ones that look like nappies instead. Ok, they’re not chic in any of the ways they claim, but they’re so much better. We also found them weirdly comforting, but that might just be us.

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It’s bloody hot
It’s bloody hot

Wondering what to wear after birth? Hospitals run hot, so take lots of layers to control your temperature and pack a portable fan, if you have space. Depending on your birth, you might have to wear long compression stockings after labour. Unsurprisingly they will make you feel warmer, and the idea of pairing them with fluffy slippers almost makes us shudder. Cooler flip flops could be another shoe option on your list, mainly for walks to the shower, but negotiating a sock and shoe thong combo is pretty impossible. Save yourself some time and effort and pack some sliders instead.

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Your shower will save you
Your shower will save you

It will feel like heaven and hell all at the same time, but once it’s over, you’ll feel a million times better. Our top tip! Use a baby wash as it will be more caring for your sore bits.

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See the positives of staying in

It varies how long are you in hospital after birth. Everyone wants to get home as soon as they can and being kept in is pretty rubbish tbf. But it’s not all bad, as the longer you stay in, the more help you can get on those daunting first days. Ever heard new parents say they got home and were like ‘what now?’. Well, if you stay in there are experts on-hand who can answer those questions in an instant. From breastfeeding specialists to midwives with a wealth of knowledge, you’ll return home feeling grateful but also completely clued-up.

Ask Q’s about your situation

We’re not advising you to be a pain in the arse, but medical staff can sometimes be very vague about what’s going. Even if you’re told and forget. Remember that you are allowed to ask (at any time!) what tests are being done and what they’re waiting to receive before you can be released.

They won’t give you arnica

Arnica can aid healing and is widely known to help with bruising. It is also recommended to take after surgery to speed up the recovery process. However, it is a homoeopathic remedy, meaning that the hospital won’t have any. So, if it’s something you want to use, make sure you pack your own.

Ask for the strongest painkillers you can

Adrenaline will make sure you can look after the baby, but the drugs will look after you.

They take your maternity notes

Your midwife will repeatedly tell you to pack your notes, and they’re probably rammed in a big folder with the rest of your pregnancy paperwork. Beloved baby photos in there too? Take them out now, because after birth your notes become hospital property, and you’ll be super sad if the scan photos disappear with them.

Pack what you like

Trust us. The hospitals have seen it all. You will no way be the biggest diva they’ve seen, so if you want to take something that will make you feel more comfortable, then take it. You won’t ever be annoyed about what you took and didn’t use, but you might be miffed about that the thing you left.

High Street Best Buys – Baby

We may love a designer buy and are big supporters of independent brands but you can’t beat the British high street.

Our edit of the most stylish new-born and baby buys on the high street right now… beware, this feature may make you broody.

20 Kids Looks You’ll Wish You Could Wear

Kids clothes are just the coolest.

Ever find yourself wishing you could squeeze into their tiny wardrobes? These are the little looks we’re currently loving, ideally for ourselves, but we’ll settle for dressing our offspring in them and adoring from afar…

Everything You’ll Need For Your First Baby

And tips we’ve picked up along the way.

So you’re about to have a baby and haven’t got a clue what to buy? As with pretty much everything to do with becoming a mum there’s a lot of conflicting advice out there, so we’ve put together a comprehensive list of everything we genuinely used and loved at TMC – and with five babies between us, that’s a lot of trial, error and real life advice. We’ve also included a downloadable PDF list which you can print and tick off as you shop.

Travel

  1. Car seat & ISOfix
    You can’t leave hospital without it so this is a big one. Our greatest cash saving advice is to scour the baby shows for pram/car seat bundles and do your ‘ISOFIX’ research, so the system you buy now (the second image) will also work with the next car seat up (yes, you’ll go through a few in the coming years). Good stores will fit the car seat for you and show you how to do it properly.
  2. Pushchair
    As you’ve probably seen by now we’re big fans of the BabyZen Yoyo at TMC, and wish we hadn’t spent a grand on a heavy duty first pram only to change it for this lightweight stroller six months; it has a newborn attachment we could have used from the get-go. If and when a second one comes along you can attach a toddler-friendly buggy board at the back for your toddlers, and add an extra-large bag for your shopping. Our vote for city living and any kind of travel.
  3. Baby Sling
    It’s worth pointing out that you don’t need to spend £350 on a baby sling, but they are so pretty! The resale value holds its own on these beauties, and we’d recommend a sling over a carrier to start with, so you can keep that baby close.
  4. Travel Cot
    Not everyone needs one of these but as we both love to travel, and regularly take the kids to our parents’ we used ours a lot – it really did help us get more sleep whenever we were away. If you do get one, consider an extra-long one, which don’t get outgrown quite as quickly. Also, invest in a mattress topper, Travel cots just aren’t comfortable without one.
  5. Backpack-style Changing Bag
    If we had our time again neither of us would buy a holdall – it’s just something else to…well, hold! Seriously, go straight for a backpack and choose one that looks good, as you’ll be carrying it for the next three to five years. Fortunately, the world has caught up with that fact and there are plenty of bags worth investing a little bit more in.

Sleeping

  1. Crib
    We found that the Chico Next2Me is by far the easiest crib to use. It attaches to the side of your bed, so you don’t have to go far when it’s time for a night feed. When you do want to move them a little further away, just unattached it and zip up the fourth side. Genius. It comes in a few colours too, so don’t panic Mrs Hinch – it will totally go with your decor.
  2. Comforters & Dummies
    You’ll receive so many of these at the beginning: use them all and rotate them regularly, so your baby doesn’t get attached to one single toy that you have to boil wash every time they drop it down the nearest drain. Hard when this Jellycat elephant is the softest thing ever (yes, you’ll get attached to them to) but we promise it’s worth it. As for dummies, we both used them up to the two-year mark or thereabouts. They helped our babies settle, and stopped them from using their bottles (or us!) as makeshift pacifiers. The glow in the dark kind come highly recommended by both of us – no more scrabbling around in the middle of the night!
  3. Swaddle Bag/Grow Bag
    Our tip here is to not to even try swaddling with muslins; we found it so hard to wrap our babies into tight (but not too tight) burritos especially after a midnight feed, and they always broke free in the end. So get a swaddle bag, and when they grow out of that get a grow bag with sleeves, as babies get cold at night and like to be snuggled up as much as we do.
  4. Camera Monitor & Room temperature
    On that note, a thermometer will help you wrap them up for the right conditions. A good baby monitor should have a thermometer on it but if it doesn’t this Gro egg is very handy.

Bathing

  1. Baby Bath or Seat
    We used both. The tub is much easier when they’re very little and you don’t want to do gymnastics round the bath to keep them in one place. But they both work just as well.
  2. Towel/Oilatum/Baby Grooming Kit/Thermometer

Changing

  1. Nappies & Wipes
    Hear us out: reusable nappies have come a long way. We both used them and found they saved us money in the long run and made us feel better about the impact our families were having on the environment. If disposables are more your bag, hit up Aldi right from the start; their nappies are a third of the price of most other brands and they sell in bulk. Both of these are God’s gift to nappy rash.. and if your kids are anything like ours it turns into a warzone down there the minute they start teething. Metanium is wonderstuff and Sudocrem doubles up as a great blemish-busting face mask for grown-ups!
  2. Nappy Bin
    Not essential, but when your newborn leaks liquid poo for the billionth time that day you’ll be glad you can stash those nappies (or disposable liners, if you’re on the natural nappy train) away quickly. We bought two each – one for upstairs, one for downstairs – and never regretted it.
  1. Steriliser & Bottle Kit / Perfect Prep Machine
    So easy

Clothes

  1. Short Sleeved Vests
    Next do the best ones!
  2. Long sleeved baby grows
    Again Next are great quality but if you want to spend a little extra there is nothing softer than Mori!
  3. Scratch Mits
    Especially when they are tiny
  4. All in one pram suit
    This really depends on the time of year your baby is due, but however old they are when their first winter comes around, one if these is worth a purchase. Don’t spend too much money though, they don’t wear them for very long.
  5. Muslins
    You’ll need a lot of these. A lot. And big ones too. They’re great for breast feeding (covering up and mopping up) and as blankets or sunshades. Get a few lovely ones and lots of cheap white ones which can all go in the wash at the same time.
  6. Cellular Blankets

Breastfeeding

  1. Nipple Cream
    Doubles up as lip balm. Woohoo!
  2. Nursing Pads
  3. Breast Pump
    Did you know you can rent breast pumps! Rather than shelling out the cost.
  4. Nursing pillow
    We got the BBHUGME to help us sleep during pregnancy and continued to use them as supportive feeding pillows.
  5. Nursing / Comfortable bras
    H&M do the best maternity bras. And who wants to paying a lot of money on something you’ll never want to see again after a year of wearing them!

After Birth

  1. Maternity Pants
    Tena is your best friend.
  2. Large Cotton Kickers
    M&S high waisted
  3. Painkillers
  4. Lots of comfortable PJS
    The night sweats are real.
  5. Netflix Subscription
  6. The Mum Club Membership
    For those 3am reads.

10 things you might ask about your newborn baby

You’ve got home from the hospital, you’re overjoyed with emotion, and then it suddenly hits you. What the hell do I do with this baby? And there it starts, the continual daily Google search, asking questions like; Do newborn babies need baths? And can you hold them too much? So, to save you some time in your searches, we’ve collated the top ten things parents ask after they bring their baby home. You’re welcome.

Do they know who their Mum is?

Looking after a newborn baby is hard, and some days you’re like, ‘I’m doing all this work for you, and I’m not sure you even know who I am?’ It might not seem like it, but they 100% recognise that you’re their Mum. Newborns know your smell and voice from the minute they’re born and studies show that they can also register your face after just a few days. Another concern some women wonder is if their baby can forget them. This is a completely normal question that lots of people ask. But please don’t fret, even if you have to spend some time apart, they will always remember your voice and smell, and you will be able to bond whenever the time comes.

Can you hold your newborn too much?

One of the best things about having a baby is all the lovely cuddles you get. And the good news is, you can’t do it enough. It’s actually essential to a baby’s development and helps them grow mentally and physically.

What happens if you yell at a newborn, and can they sense frustration?

Sleep deprivation paired with a baby that won’t stop crying will put anyone at the end of their tether. It’s ok to feel frustrated but getting worked up isn’t going to help anyone. Babies won’t remember you being upset, but they can pick up on your emotional state, and if they’re in your arms, they’ll feel the negativity in their bodies. So, take a breather. Ask someone else to help you and If you’re on your own, put your baby in a safe place, like their crib, and walk away so you can compose yourself. Take a few minutes, cry if you need to, and then once you’ve regrouped go back in. We have all felt like this, you are not alone, and the moment will pass. If it keeps happening and you feel overwhelmed, try and get some rest or go for a walk to get some fresh air and chat to a family member or friend about how you’re feeling, you’re not failing, you just need some help, and that’s normal.

Top tip: Got some earplugs? When trying to soothe their baby, some people put in headphones or earplugs to soften the noise, making it easier to cope.

Can I kiss my newborn?

“Of course, you can kiss your newborn!” Says antennal experts Blossom Antenatal. It is one of the biggest signs of love and affection that you can show your newborn. It also helps babies grow mentally, physically and psychologically, as it stimulates responses in the brain. Blossom Antenatal add, “Kissing should only ever be avoided if you have an active infectious disease. An example of this would be Herpes simplex, which can be dangerous for babies, so no kissing from you or any relative when you have a cold sore.”

Can you take a 1-week-old baby outside?

When you’re ready for a walk, getting some fresh air is a great idea for both you and your baby. Go steady though, the phrase ‘baby steps’ will apply to both you and your newborn for quite a lot of things over the next few months, so don’t rush it, remember you’re still healing, so head out for short walks at first and then build it up.

Should you pick up your baby every time it cries?

There’s nothing wrong with constantly picking up your baby when it’s teeny tiny, they are such precious little slugs and crying is how they tell you something’s up. And yep, it happens a LOT in the beginning, but it doesn’t last forever. As they grow and routines start to form, it gets a lot easier, and you tend to know what is up before the tears start to roll, well, most of the time.

Can I hold my newborn when it’s sleeping?

Yes, please do! It’s so lovely when they fall asleep on you, and you must enjoy those magical moments. Still, it is also important to put them down to snooze, not only so that you can have a break, but also, so they recognise that sleepy time happens in their bed and not just in Mummy or Daddy’s arms.

Can I give a newborn water?

It’s not advised to give newborns water, as it can make them feel full and decline the milk and nutrients that they need. Babies stay hydrated from milk, so if it’s hot and you’re breastfeeding they’ll either ask for more, or you can offer it. If they’re formula-fed and it’s very warm, then you can offer water as well as milk but make sure you do it after milk feeds and boil and cool the water before giving it to them.

When do I bath my newborn?

You do not need to bathe your baby in the first few days, and most parents prefer to top and tail by carefully washing their face, neck, hands and bottom. Usually, the best time to bath is when the umbilical cord comes off. Choose a time when your baby is awake and happy and make sure the room is nice and warm and lay out all the bits beforehand, so you stay nice and calm. You’ll need a bowl of warm water (or a baby bath) a nice fluffy towel, cotton wool, a nappy and some clean clothes.

When can a baby see?

Newborns can detect black, white and grey colours and focus on objects that are approximately 8-10 inches away from their face. As they get to two months old, they can see up to 18 inches away, and by three months they start to see colours and reach out for things that they see.

Autumns Most Stylish Kids Rain Boots

The most obvious of rainy-day essentials for daily walks, outdoor adventures and, err, splashing up and down in muddy puddles… sorry.

This season’s most stylish kids’ options come in pretty muted shades or classic navy, dark green or bright yellow…. and then there’s those Hunter rainbow boots. Obsessed.

How To Be School Run Ready

There’s nothing quite like that early morning dash before school. Trying to get everyone up, washed, dressed, fed and out the door on time is more often than not pretty stressful. Then add in to the mix those two minutes you have for yourself to chuck on some clothes and brush your hair, whilst you run around your room trying to find something to throw on. Well, we’re here to try and make it a little easier for you! Here’s 4 stylish looks for inspiration to help get you ready in the morning!

Keeping it comfy

The ultimate casual school run outfit. A tracksuit, because let’s face it we’ve all bought ourselves at least 10 through lockdown!

Looking like you’ve made more effort than you have

For a sleeker, slightly more polished look, adding a trench coat over a black silhouette is the way to go. Chuck on sunglasses to cover up those tired eyes from the multiple wake ups from the kids!

Ready for more than lounging

If you want to feel a bit more dressed and less in activewear then jeans with a t-shirt layered with a shirt are the perfect alternative.

Could be doing exercise, could not be..

For a more Spring transitional outfit, you can’t go wrong with a pile jacket. Add all black for a clean look and feel.

Top Educational Apps To Take The Guilt Out Of Screen Time

We know. You never thought you’d be ‘that’ parent, but reaching for a screen makes life a easier sometimes and that has to be ok. And if we told you that familiarity with an iPad is part of the official curriculum? Yup, all early years settings use electronic devices, so while we’re not saying let them at it 24/7, a reasonable window of time combined with a supervised edit of apps… well, you get to pee/drink coffee/do the washing in peace, and they’ll be coding by the age of three. Almost.

The following apps are compatible with Apple and Amazon Fire. Now go and out that kettle on, no mum guilt required.

Reading Eggs

Hands down our most used app after Citymapper, this reading program is stuffed with games, songs and other educational activities suitable for kids from two to 13. They start with basic phonics before moving on to stretching their vocab, reading comprehension and fluency in a super-fun and interactive way. It’s about the price of one and a half Starbucks lattes per month, but you can try it for free for 30 days, and then chose from various payments options, including a family subscription or one-off yearly fee.

Play Osmo

This award-winning play system isn’t cheap; you’ll need the Osmo base for your digital device and a reflector to pop over its camera (the system is all about merging the real world with the digital) before you can start buying games bundles, but it’s customisable to your child’s interests (there’s a Disney Princess bundle, for example) and they’ll have hours of fun while also acing maths, spelling, drawing and problem solving of all kinds. Starting at age three and going all the way up to 12, it’s an investment for the whole family.

DoodleMaths, DoodleEnglish and DoodleSpell

Say it louder for the parents at the back; if not free, this collection of maths and English apps for primary school-age children is pretty cheap and has you covered with times tables, spelling, punctuation etc, all targeted to your child’s ability. It sends motivational messages to help keep them driven and eager to learn (we can only hope, right?) and if that’s not enough you can track their progress in the DoodleConnect App. Then they really can’t get away with doing nothing…!

Alpha Blocks

Based on the brilliant CBeebies show, this one is entirely free – though you can inject some pennies into it if you feel like upgrading. It’s great for getting your littles to focus on sounds and blending, and a great opportunity to follow up what they’ve learnt while watching TV.

Number Blocks

Just like Alphablocks but for numbers, again based on the BBC show. This fun app helps your little ones to learn their numbers and figure their way through simple mathematical problems.

Teach Your Monster To Read

These award-winning games have a BAFTA nomination under their belt and are free to use if you log onto the website from your computer (or pay £4.99 to download the app). Kids follow a magical journey, picking up rewards and meeting various characters as they learn everything from blending sounds to reading full sentences, depending on their level. Imaginative, colourful and thoughtfully put together, it will tick all their boxes – and yours too.

Hit The Button

£2.99 and worth every penny, with a huge selection of quick-fire mathematical games and activities that are as addictive for adults as they are for kids. Basic to look at but impossible to walk away from.