Me and Si have done really well so far, we have had a lot of lovely things given to us or kindly brought for us. Trust me, we could have easily spent a fortune though! Every time we go shopping, there are so many things we could easily buy, I must say most of it is clothing as everything is so cute when it's tiny and diddy, especially for girls! We are aware that as a newborn our baby girl won't need absolutely everything though and will quickly grow out of clothes, so we've done really well in terms of not going over the top prior to her being born. I must admit, I do love it when Si comes up to me in a shop saying 'look how cute this is' and I usually can't resist getting those things because I think it's sweet. Soppy aren't I?! Ha ha.
Apart from those 'essentials', there were also some key pieces that we wanted to buy for our little one, such as her first pink teddy. We picked up the Jellycat Bashful Pink Bunny from Selfridges as we thought it was a perfect size and colour and it's just so lovely and soft. I am hoping it will be something that she will cherish and want with her all of the time and god help us if she loses it kind of thing!
Since the beginning of my pregnancy (I am now in my third and final trimester, can you believe it?!) I've had my eye on a few other things that I either wanted for myself during pregnancy or for our baby. I thought I'd share those items with you...
I love the idea of wrapping our new born up in a baby swaddle blanket and making her feeling warm and secure, re-creating the feeling of being in the womb for her. We will probably experiment a little with bedding at first, so we can get a feel for what's right based on what she likes and what is best depending on the temperature of our bedroom, but this is definitely one thing that I wanted to pick up.
I have seen a few on the high street, especially from The Gro Company as they are sold in many places, including Amazon, Boots, Tesco, Mothercare and John Lewis. I was lucky enough to be sent one of their Butterfly Gro-swaddle blankets to have ready for when our baby girl arrives, so that's one other thing I was able to tick off of our 'to buy' list! It's so lightweight and soft (and that's before I've even washed it!). The design that I have is such a gorgeous print, it's a peachy pink colour with butterflies, birds, leaves and flowers all over it. Gro-swaddle blankets are shaped to go around baby, are suitable for over or under arm swaddling and they have no Velcro, ties or poppers so prevent any discomfort or over tight swaddling. Check out their range of baby swaddles.
I have been umming and ahhing about getting a baby sleeping bag too, which is designed to be used instead of blankets and sheets and helps baby to stay at the right temperature without the problem of blankets and sheets getting kicked off and/or tangled up. As the baby swaddle is suitable from newborn to 3 months, I might just use that first whilst she is tiny and consider getting a sleeping bag a bit later on when she is moving around a bit more...we will see!
Sit Me Up Cosy
I spotted the Sit Me Up Cosy nests in Mothercare when I first got pregnant and thought they looked really good. I know if I really want to get something because there's no umming and ahhing. I often umm and ahh about buying some things, but I loved these from the moment I saw them and I knew I wanted us to get one for our baby girl. There are many variations and my mom helped me to choose between the designs because I couldn't decide between two. I was also wondering whether to go for a neutral design so it can be used for any other children we choose to have, but I've thought that about so many things so far that I just wanted to go for a cute, girly design. I ended up choosing the Butterfly Fields design as it has an absolutely gorgeous print and includes two toys.
The 3-in-1 feature is what attracted me to these in the first place. Firstly, the nest that baby can sink into as a newborn where she can lie and kick, figure out her arms and legs and discover early play. Secondly, the play mat along with toys and support for tummy time and thirdly, the supportive prop for when she gets older and learns to sit upright and play. They also enable baby to discover different textures.
I'm still waiting to sort things out a little in regards to baby's room, but I can't wait to set it up and see her in it :).
A pregnancy pillow is something I knew I'd probably have to get. Our bed isn't the comfiest at the best of times, we need to get a new one to be honest or a new mattress/topper at least, but as I was progressing into my second trimester I was getting more and more uncomfortable when it came to trying to fall to sleep. Before I was pregnant I usually fell to sleep on my front, so not being able to do that is hard and they also say that sleeping on your back after the first trimester isn't the best either (something to do with baby pressing on the vein that returns blood from the lower body to the heart which can cause us to feel faint or dizzy if we're lying on our back for a long period of time).
Dreamgenii was the pregnancy pillow that seemed to be the most raved about and it came up quite often in online search results or conversations with other parents. I was lucky enough to be sent one of these to try out. I liked the fact that it had won many awards and that it was a full body pillow, so supported the back, bump and knees. The pillow encourages you to sleep on your left side, which is meant to increase blood flow between mother and baby, but it can be used on your right side too. I have to alternate between both sides as I find being on the left all night isn't that comfortable and sometimes I do have a few minutes on my back as it feels the most comfortable, but I fall to sleep on my side and always wake up on my side. I think something like this is great to use in pregnancy as soon as you start to feel uncomfortable when trying to fall to sleep. Using the pillow from 20 weeks is meant to encourage optimal foetal positioning, which can lead to a shorter and less painful labour with less chance of intervention. I guess time will tell in regards to that one! It also comes with a removable, washable cover.
I find it hard without my pillow now. If me and Si stay elsewhere and I don't have it with me, I get really uncomfortable and feel like I'm just fidgeting all night. It's not always convenient to take it with you though, for example, if you're staying in a hotel (which happened recently) and don't have a car. We stayed at my mom's the other night, but we went to where she was having her birthday meal beforehand and already had our overnight stuff in Si's backpack as it was convenient for us at the time to go straight to the meal. We were trying to take a minimal amount of stuff and taking a huge pregnancy pillow wasn't really appropriate, so it took me a while to settle that night. The best part for me is the cushioning either side which can support the bump and the back at the same time. Those are the areas that I feel most uncomfortable in bed, so they're a huge help.
A TENS machine is something I've thought about as alternative pain relief when it comes to going into labour. I wanted to buy or hire one so I have it at home to use in early labour right up to the point of getting into the birthing pool (I want to have a water birth) at the Midwife Led Unit where I am hoping to give birth. I had a MamaTENS machine in my Amazon basket a few weeks ago, but as we've had a busy month, I thought I'd get it next pay day but for some reason it's increased from just over 25 to just over 50 quid to buy now. I'm not sure if the previous price was a mistake or something but I thought it was a bit of a step up! Anyway, previous to finding that one on Amazon, I saw that Mothercare rent out MamaTENS machines for £29.99, so that is my back up option if the Amazon one doesn't go back down in price. I've heard really good things about them, so I'm feeling positive. A lot of people (who opted to give birth in a hospital or Midwife Led Unit) have said that they've been able to stay at home for longer with one of these, meaning they are further along and more dilated when they reach the hospital or MLU. Some people have also said that they haven't needed any other pain relief when they've used one of these. Fingers crossed I have just as good results!
The MamaTENS has been specially designed for use during labour and has pre-set, clinically researched programmes for each of the 3 stages of labour, with a boost button to help with contractions. Stage 1 will trigger the release of endorphins, helping to relax you and ease any pain. Stage 2 provides a stimulation pattern which is set to block any heightened pain and stage 3 ramps up the level of intensity during final contractions. It is easy and safe to use for mother and baby. It also doesn't interfere with the body's natural responses in childbirth and works in harmony with the body. The pads that come with the kit are attached to the lower back and the controls are used to provide pulses which encourage the body to release endorphins (natural pain relieving chemicals). It also targets the pain gate which stops pain signals from reaching the brain.
I wasn't even aware of at-home changing stations until my mom's friend showed me hers. She was meant to be selling it, but that hasn't come about and I wasn't sure about the colour of it as I figured something like this would be good to get in a neutral colour/design so that we can use it for future children, should we have any. I like the look of the My Child Peachy Changing Station and it's at a not too bad price. It's the same price on the Argos website and Amazon. Some I've seen are well over £100, so I like that this is well below that and has a nice design suitable for both girls and boys. We are going to pick this up next week and I have all of the changing and bathing items that we need so I'm looking forward to setting it up and having everything for bathing and changing in one place.
I think it's quite a handy bit of kit what with the changing mat, bath and storage facilities in one. I like that it can be wheeled around too, so we can use it in whatever room we like. The bath has a plug and draining tube, so it's really easy and convenient to use and the padded wipe-clean changing mat is removable so can still be used at a later date when baby is old enough to roll and sit. It also looks like there is plenty of room to hold all of baby's toiletries, nappies, towels and bits and bobs.
The Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Perfect Prep has been highly recommended to me by a number of people. At its usual price of approx £120 I'm not sure whether I'd buy it, but it's £69.99 on Amazon and I have a lot of Amazon vouchers so it really isn't going to cost us a lot. I think we are going to be getting it at the end of this week! I have seen people on YouTube with one of these, but when people I know personally started recommending it to me I looked into it a little bit more and I definitely think that I'll get a lot of use out of it.
It is definitely a convenience item as of course you can make bottles yourself, but with this you just measuring out the formula and the machine does the rest. It dispenses the correct amount of water and makes up a bottle in less than two minutes at the perfect temperature to feed to baby straight away, which at 3am is going to be a godsend and much quicker than making a bottle with a kettle! I also like that it has a filter system to remove any impurities from the water and that it provides an initial 'hot shot' of water that kills any bacteria that may be present in the formula. Any brand of formula can be used and it has an adjustable base so bottles of any size or shape can be used.
If you're expecting, what items are on your 'wish list'?
* Images courtesy of Selfridges, The Gro Company, Dreamgenii, Mothercare, Amazon and Pramworld.