Which Wipe Is Right For You?

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When I had my second baby I decided to review my choice of wipes.  I mainly used Bambure and then Ecoriginals with my first baby and I wanted to review that decision. 

Without going into tremendous detail, my base requirement is that they contain no nasties. With that in mind, these are the wipes I bought to try out.  I though having them all at once would give me a better perspective on each one.

Overall, I found that there is not much difference between them.  They all held up well, were strong enough for big jobs, soft, good size.  As you can see from the comparison there is not much difference in size, Wot Not is slightly larger.    

Below are the key characteristics and the cost per sheet (current).

What is excluded from the below, is the recent Thank You Wipes launch and the TOMS Tushies.  I am really impressed with their wipes, they are a good thickness and wetness. I really like that the Thank You Wipes do a lot more than just wipe a bum! It feels good to help others.  For me, now, I alternate between Thank You and Ecoriginals.

Remember to check out bulk buy deals for these.  You use a lot of wipes, there is no point paying more than you have to for them!

Bambure

  • 100% biodegradable
  • Made from bamboo
  • Not as moist as some of the other brands
  • $6.95 for 80Wipes ($0.09 per wipe)

Ecoriginals

  • 100% biodegradable
  • Thick wipes, really durable
  • Just the right amount moisture in each wipe
  • $6.75 for 70Wipes ($0.10 per wipe)

 

Water Wipes

  • People with baby’s with sensitive skin rave about them
  • 99.9% water
  • For me they are too wet.
  • $7.50 for 80Wipes ($0.13 per wipe)

 

Wot Not

  • 100% biodegradable
  • Larger size than other wipes  (Thank You Wipes are also this size)
  • Just the right amount moisture in each wipe
  • $7.95 for 80Wipes ($0.10 per wipe)

Swaddles Galore, But Which One Is Best?

 Image courtesy of ErgoPouch

Image courtesy of ErgoPouch

When second bubs came along I thought it was a good opportunity to test out a few different sleeping wraps on her. Yep, I put my baby to work as soon as she came out of the womb!

Since doing this review, Ergo Pouch have changed their sizing options, so just keep that in mind when reading.

I checked out 5 different wraps, newborn sizes. I was interested to see them side by side and compare roominess and perceived comfort.

Plum Pod

  • Nice fabric to touch
  • Bamboo
  • Snug top, keeping arms in while legs were in more roomier bottom half section which allowed for plenty of leg movement.
  • I liked that the top part had some give so baby could move arms underneath
  • BUT, the fabric came apart after 1 wash, it split at the seam and the fabric started to unweave.  Yikes.  Would not recommend based on this

 

Wombie organic swaddler

  • Lovely fabric, and organic
  • Snug fit, very much like a cocoon
  • I liked it for a newborn as it would be as comforting as traditional swaddling
  • Once baby starts growing and moving around I do prefer something which allows for more movement

 

The Gro Company Grobag

  • Fabric was nice but not as nice as some of the other bags
  • I loved the design of it - the rounded bottom half allowing for lots of leg movement
  • Really convenient to change – especially the night changes
  • Snug top part but flexible enough for some arm movement
  • Comes with clips on the arms if you want to let them lose, which for me at a newborn stage was not so important but late on it is a good feature to have

Ergo Pouch Cocoon - bamboo + organic cotton

  • This is one of the longer pouches that I tried (and now with new sizing, it will be even roomier)
  • I love the fabric that Ergo Pouch have – they are soft to the touch, plus they age well even after so much washing
  • Snug top part but flexible enough for some arm movement
  • Bottom has more than enough room for leg movement
  • Comes with clips on the arms if you want to let them lose, which for me at a newborn stage was not so important but later on it is a good feature to have
  • This was one of my favourites, and I used them again in the larger sizes

Love To Dream

  • I mainly used Love To Dream with my first, I loved their fabrics and the arm design
  • The butterfly arms are my favourite feature particular for smaller babies that still have their arms inside.  I like that they can suck on their little hands which is something they like to do.
  • Bottom has more than enough room for leg movement
  • Overall the swaddle has a snug fit but the fabric has a lot of stretch in it
  • My only gripe with the dream baby is that it didn’t wash well -  I found that it looked quite tired very quickly. But it’s for sleeping in, so it’s hardly a major issue.  There was never any issue with seams or anything coming apart – and I have had a lot of these swaddles.
  • This is one of my favourites

Please note the gallery below is sorted in order of the text above. First image - all, 2.baby wearing Plum; 3. Wombie; 4 & 5. Grobag; 6. Ergo Puch 7. Love To Dream

The 3 best pieces of advice I got about better sleeping habits for my newborn

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Everyone has their way of working through sleep habits of a newborn.  I have tried most of them. I did slightly different things for my first than I did with my second. I think with my second baby, as I had seen the after effects of not listening to the right people I was a lot more open to trying different techniques.  All babies are different and will respond to different things. For example, my eldest loved (and still loves) tapping at bedtime. My second one doesn’t seem to be too bothered.  You have to find what works best for you and your family but I found the below really made a difference to me with my second baby.

But a quick note before I start.  I absolutely believe in a bedtime routine, i.e. the same things every night/day as they are going to bed.  And I try to keep to a time schedule as much as possible. It’s not as easy with two but I do what I can, when I can.  And for me that works, for now.  Even the little things, like keeping the same night time buddies, (her Kitty Kippin and Fabelab cushion bunny) in her cot with her always; and her shusher is always switched on as soon as she goes in the cot. I was using the badger sleep balm but I have now stopped as I don’t think she needs it.

 

1.       Give it 2 minutes

At about 2 or 3 months I started to be a bit more committed to establishing good sleep patterns for my little Anni.  We were very lucky because she was a great night sleeper.  But I was struggling in the day time and what I was doing was not working.   The maternal health nurse booked a sleep consultant for a home visit.    Most things I had been doing in line with what her approach was.  But there was 1 difference.  I was running in as soon as she would start crying. So, I would put her to sleep, give her a tap and leave the room.  As she got older she would wait a bit and then start crying. I would come running. Now, just to be very clear about this, she was not crying hysterically, just grizzling and low intensity cry. The sleep consultant recommended that I wait for 2 minutes (or around 2 minutes) to give Anni a chance to settle herself. But if she doesn’t or if the crying intensifies, go in give her a tap or rub, make sure she is comfy and walk out.  For 2 or 3 days I did this (during the day, no issues at night) never letting her crying get intense, and it did the trick.

At the same time as I had this advice, I also was given advise number 2 which I did in conjunction with the above. And it made a world of difference doing these two things together.  She went to sleep quickly once in the cot and she is now 1 yr old and sleeps like a trouper!!!

 

2.       Be consistent

A friend of mine went to Masada sleep school with her second, who are absolutely amazing.  And for anyone really struggling, a sleep program like this one can make a massive, positive change in your life. But the key piece of advice which she imparted to me, was be consistent when going in to the baby. When you are settling the baby, it is as important to be consistent as in the earlier routine you implement. I was being consistent at the start but not when I was coming back in to resettle. Sometimes I would shush, sometimes I would tap for a bit, rub a bit. So, I found a number of taps (80 slow taps) that seemed to work. At first it was 50 but it wasn’t enough time with her, so I increased it to 80.  I would be quiet, no shushing, I would walk in, check her (ie smell her bum), tap her and then walk out.  If she didn’t settle, I would wait the 2 minutes or more (or less) and then go back in and do exactly the same thing.

Worked!! Loved it. I love consistency. But more important - babies love consistency!

 

3.       Give her milk 30mins before lunchtime nap

So, getting to sleep was working well. Morning nap, lunch time nap. Getting to sleep was great.  But, I was really struggling with the lunch sleep timing - Anni would not sleep for two hours.   She was getting to sleep ok, because the getting to sleep methods had worked well. But she was waking up after one sleep cycle.  This concerned me because resettling is a really important tool for babies, and if they don’t get enough sleep because they can’t fall back to sleep – it’s not good for anyone!  A friend of mine had tried the Little Ones sleep techniques which had worked really well for her bubs and she suggested I try feeding Anni 40min-1hr before I put her to bed - a top up feed. 

BINGO!!  That did it. It was the final piece of the puzzle for me with Anni.  Once I started to do that she started to have her full 2-2.5hr day sleep. 

As I said, you have to find what works best for you. All I can do is share what worked for my family. And as you can see, it wasnt just one method or one piece of advise. Don’t be shy to talk to different people and find out what worked for them as you might just find a little hint will make a world of difference.

Nursery Inspiration

The next installment of the Nook Look, nursery inspiration is below. If you need any help setting up your nursery, please give us a buzz!

Safe Sleeping

baby safe sleeping

Safe sleeping practices for babies are a favourite subject.  It’s been a while since I’ve given any updates, so I thought it would be worthwhile doing a round-up. I have included not only safe sleeping tips but also general tips on better baby sleep.

1.       Let’s start with SIDS & Kids and their recommendations:

a.       Mattress firmness reduces SIDS deaths fivefold – make sure the mattress yu choose has passed the voluntary standard for firmness (AS/NZS Voluntary Standard: Methods of testing infant products – Sleep surfaces – Test for firmness)

b.       The mattress should be snug to the sides of the cot – ideally no gaps between the mattress and cot sides; and absolutely flat

c.       Maximum breathability in and around cot – eg no bumpers, breathable mattress

d.       A baby should sleep on their back, ideally in a safe cot or bassinet next to adult care givers’ bed that meets current Australian Standards

e.       The baby’s feet should be at the bottom of the cot or bassinet

f.        Keep baby 'smoke free' before and after birth, ie away from cigarette smoke

g.       Avoid keeping a baby in the parents bed or on couch – for long or short sleeps

h.       Keep head and face uncovered

i.         Bedding should be kept to a minimum - no: pillow, cot bumper, loose lamb’s wool, soft toy e.g: teddy, doona

j.         If using a blanket, then ensure it is firmly tucked into the sides of the cot or bassinet.

k.       If using a baby sleeping bag, swaddle or wrap ensure that it is the right one for your baby’s age and current weather conditions – e.g. babies who are rolling should not have their arms constrained; use only a singlet/light romper and nappy in warm weather or light grow suit in cooler weather

l.         Baby sleep bags or wraps should be made of muslin or light cotton.  Do not use bunny rugs and blankets as they may cause over-heating; no hoods

m.     A baby sleep bag or wrap needs to be firm but not too tight to allow for natural hip and chest wall expansion. Wrapping legs tight, straight and together may increase the risk of abnormal hip development. Loose wraps are hazardous as they can cover baby’s head and face

2.       No strings: Keep any type of string or rope away from the cot or bassinet – i.e. Position the cot away from curtain cords; do not put dummy ties or teething necklaces of any sort into the cot with a sleeping baby; decorative garlands should be at a safe distance; no toys with strings

3.       No head cover: Don’t put hoods, hats or bibs on the baby while sleeping; and if baby has fallen asleep in the pram make sure they are not covered in any way and are supervised.

4.      Temperature control: make sure that the baby and the room are at a comfortable temperature.  An overheated baby is dangerous; a baby that is uncomfortable won’t be sleeping peacefully.  Ensure that you have a non-synthetic breathable mattress and the baby is dressed appropriately for the weather and room temperature and is, ideally, dressed night attire that is made from organic or natural materials.

5.       Wrapping:  Studies have shown that wrapping can have a calming, sleep-promoting effect, increasing sustained sleep and reduce the frequency of spontaneous awakenings. There are different wraps for different age groups and temperatures and to get the maximum benefit from wrapping and keep it safe, you must use the appropriate type of wrap.  Keep in mind, also, that every baby is different and you may not get the right wrap the first time. You may have to change the style you use until you find one that baby feels comfortable in. And don’t be frustrated if your baby just doesn’t like being wrapped. It happens.  The below is a quick guide

a.       Muslin or cotton unstructured wraps are great for newborns but harder to use for growing babies as they are very loose and come undone quite easily. You can keep using an unstructured wrap for as long as it works for baby, by not wrapping the arms once baby has started to show signs of rolling.

b.       Structured wraps for newborns restrain the arms so that baby can sleep and not wake due to startle reflex. It should not be too tight, natural movement of chest and legs should be maintained.  A wrap with restricted arm movement should not be used once baby is rolling. 

c.       Structured wraps for rolling babies – you can buy wraps that have gradual introduction of arms for transitioning i.e. one arm at a time.  You would start using this at around 4 months and transition to a bag or wrap that has complete arm movement.

d.       TOG ratings help you choose the right bag for the weather and room temperature.  The smaller the number the less warm the sleeping bag is.  Eg ergoPouch – 0.2 rated is for warm weather, summer conditions; 2.5 tog for colder, winter temperatures.

6.       No distractions – babies need mobiles to play not to sleep.  Keep distraction in or around the cot to an absolute minimum. The cot must be a restful place.

7.       Burp well – An uncomfortable baby is a wide-awake baby. Make sure that you spend a good amount of time burping the baby during and after the feed.  

8.       Additional peace of mind can be bought – you can buy under mattress monitors or pads that react if baby stops breathing. The simpler, more common monitors are the video monitors that either connect to your mobile or to a compatible monitoring device.

source: http://www.sidsandkids.org/safe-sleeping;  kidssafe.com.au

Skincare during pregnancy

pregnancy skin care

I first became “aware” or concerned about the chemicals I was exposing myself to via ‘skin care’ when I was pregnant with my first baby.  I didn’t act broadly I just changed some things. But it did set me in a direction that I am constantly expanding and have been for almost 4 years.  I’m still not perfect but I am better and it’s a constant state of change as I make new discoveries.

So I am pregnant again and again it has prompted another clean out of the ‘skin care’ cupboard.  I thought I would share what I am using in my every day. Some stuff is new; some I have already written about. 

 Firstly, the thing I noticed more than anything was that the less I used, the less I needed and the better everything became. Simple was so much better for me.  Granted, I am lucky that I don’t have any major conditions.  But the things, like dandruff and face breakouts, that I did suffer from, are no longer an issue and I am spending less on both hair and face than I used to.  If you do have conditions or have any rashes or breakouts that don’t look right, always see your doctor.

I buy everything from Nourished Life.  My wonderful partner and baby bought me a voucher for Mother’s Day so I am getting ready to do a big shop!!!

So from top to bottom, here it is. 

Hair

Acure Brazilian Keratin Straightening Shampoo – not sure it’s doing much straightening but it has been a great shampoo – no dandruff which is the first time in like 20years. I was using the shampoo and conditioner but I switched the conditioner to 100% Pure Healthy Scalp Conditioner and I will probably try 100% Pure shampoo next. I find my hair is especially softer now after switching to the 100% Pure conditioner.

hair care during pregnancy

   

 

Acure Moroccon Argan Oil – so I was using this on my hair and face which was great.  I managed to break the bottle when I was half way through and haven’t done a re-order yet – but I will. Apparently it can be used as a facial serum, body massage oil, hair serum, cuticle repair oil and treatment for dry elbows and heels. 

Hair brush – I got sick of all the plastic so I changed my hair brush to the 100% Pure Wooden Gentle Bristle Brush.

I have not dyed my hair since I have been pregnant, so as you can imagine I am looking fabulous with my long grey roots! But I want to try the HairPrint Grey Hair Remover for Women as soon as I have had the baby. With my level of grey I will probably need 2 packets of this for the first time use. Mixed review but worth a shot.  The description says – “This is a toxic free option to covering greys, but rather than dyeing your hair a different colour, it restores it to its natural shade..”

hair dye during pregnancy

 

Face

I don’t use cleanser, I just wash my face with hot water and cloth.  I don’t wear a lot of makeup and I no longer have the blackhead and break out issues I used to have when I did the cleanse, tone routine, so for now, I am happy.

I use very sporadically (i.e. once per month, if that) the Sukin Face Scrub that I have had for ages – bought on holidays last year.  But I want to get the 100% Pure Brightening Scrub & Mask.  Not sure if you are sensing a pattern here – 100% Pure is quickly becoming my go to for everything.  They have great products and I have been really happy with the stuff I have bought.

Makeup  - I have been using MAC – I love the Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation. But I want to try Andalou Age-Defying Beauty Balm Natural Tint with SPF 30 which is apparently amazing.

face care during pregnancy

 

Toothpaste

One of my new changes – I swapped from traditional supermarket toothpaste to Comvita Whitening Toothpaste.  I wanted to see if it made a difference.  The only change that I can see is that my gums have stopped bleeding.  I don’t know why, or how. It just has.

I was doing the oil pulling for a while with the Coconut Revolution Organic Coconut Oil, that I love, but I have been very slack this year with it.  I should go back to it.  Coconut Oil has so many uses – it is amazing. I have written about it before and will mention it again when I talk about body care.

teeth during pregnancy

 

Body

Deodorant - I swapped to the Lavera Invisible 24 Hour Roll On Deodorant when my other natural deodorant stopped working for me. And it has been brilliant so far.  I know people swear by the Black Chicken Remedies Axilla Deodorant Paste as well – lots of great reviews, but the paste doesn’t appeal to me and I am very happy with the Lavera.

body care during pregnancy

 

I’ve been using a combo of oils since for ages, and not a lot of difference since I’ve been pregnant. The only thing I added was the LaClinica Organic For Mum Stretch Mark Belly Rub Oil which I have loved.  The smell (jasmine, I think) is amazing!!!

I also use the Coconut Revolution Organic Coconut Oil.

I have a lot of natural soaps that I have amassed at various markets and have been using one for washing in the shower.  But I recently tried a sample of the Weleda Creamy Body Wash and want to use that. It’s amazing.  I can’t decide between the Weleda Wild Rose Creamy Body Wash or Sea Buckthorn.

I don’t know if sanity comes under body but let’s just say it does.  I have been using the Badger Sleep Balm as I have had some trouble with sleep. I love it – I think it’s amazing.

Hands & nails

This was a recent change that I made – and am I happy that I did. What a difference.  I swapped my supermarket nail polish remover & nail polish.  I am now using Fresh Therapies Nail Polish Remover & the 100% Pure 10-Free Nail Polish. They both are amazing – I no longer need a gas mask to take nail polish off and the 100% Pure nail polish stays on for almost 2 weeks like the old one.

nail care during pregnancy

 Next on my list

On my radar for the big shop which will replace hand cream, foot cream and lip gloss, plus a little something something for the thighs… Egyptian Magic All Purpose Cream; Hurraw Organic Lip Balm; Weleda Birch Cellulite Oil;  100% Pure Coffee Bean Eye Cream.  All apparently amazing and top class, so I am excited about getting my hands on them.

skin care during pregnancy

  

Nursery Inspiration

The next installment of the Nook Nursery Inspiration is here.  Get loads of ideas about how to style and theme any nursery.

Product finds

We were at the Essential Baby & Toddler Show over the weekend.  There was a lot to see as always - the same big brands that we always see and also some great new brands that I have not come across before. 

Viddia – organic clothes and blankets  

So soft, so beautiful.  Of course I bought a whole bunch of stuff for my little girl and the baby in the belly.  I also fell in love with their blanket which I thought would be great for warmer, Spring weather.  All of their stuff is using GOTS certified cotton.  Their stuff is all classic and very cute.  And they cater for newborn to 6 years.   viddia.com.au

Viddia organic baby clothes and baby blankets
Viddia organic baby clothes and baby blankets

de’bee – natural balms

I wanted to try all of their range but ended up getting their Storytime balm, Breathe Easy rub and Pucker Up lip balm.  The products are organic, made from pure Australian beeswax plus other complimentary botanicals.  I used the lip balm as soon as I got it as it immediately fixed by ridiculously dry lips.  My little girl has had a cough for the last week, which of course bothers her most during the night.  I put the Breathe Easy rub on and her coughing was less (while I was awake, anyway). It has menthol, tea tree, cedarwood and eucalyptus, so it has quite the aroma. I loved it and my little girl ok with it but it was a bit much for my partner.   Yet to try the Storytime balm. I use the Badgers Sleep Balm so I am intrigued.   http://debee.com.au/

de’bee natural balms

Bambooloui – baby clothing

This stuff is so soft and cute. Little onesies and tshirts with cute prints. I liked the simplicity of the range and the fabric texture. I think it's quite ight so great for indoors over winter and the warmer temperatures.  http://bambooloui.myshopify.com/

Bambooloui baby clothing
Bambooloui baby clothing

Halcyon Nights – collection of linens and baby clothes

Halcyon Nights Baby Linen and Baby Clothes

Halcyon Nights use beautiful prints by a designer called Min Min on a collection of linen, from bassinet to single beds. They also have the cutest onsies and t-shirts. Very soft and lovely.  Look out for the range online and at markets around Melbourne.
https://www.halcyonnights.com.au/

 

 

Nursery Inspiration - Get the Nook

Looking for some nursery inspiration?  Look no further.   You can recreate the looks easily with products from Nook! Need more inspiration - check out our Pinterest page.

Home made skin care and general use products

What I have discovered is that for almost everything you need in the home there is a home made and natural option. Almost everything that I have fallen in love with revolves around coconut oil and essential oils.

Here are some oldies and new ones to try.

Organic Coconut Oil
  1. Great uses for coconut oil – it’s an amazing product great for mum, dad and baby.
  2. If you want something more than just coconut oil than this might be worth trying: body lotion 
  3. Homemade vaporub
  4. Something for me – an essential oil shower bomb
  5. Aurora Spa – shower uplifter: Put 3-5 drops of the Aurora Spa Replenish Oil in a shower, turn on the warm water and then step in.  Take in the beautiful smell.
  6. Liquid Hand Soap



Going natural in the home - homemade cleaning products

homemade cleaning products

I have been using products in my family home such as Natures Direct and Murchison & Hume for a while now – well ever since the baby was born and I realised how toxic mainstream products are.

So, I have been wondering lately about creating my own cleaning products and have been keeping an eye for some recipes.  There is a lot out there – here is a selection of what I have found.

Kitchen

All Purpose 

Bathroom and Laundry

Floor

 

Hospital Bag Checklist

We try and makes things as easy as possible for all expectant mums.  Here is a comprehensive, all you will ever need hospital bag check-list.  Leave comments for us if you think we should add anything.  We love hearing from you. This is a list for a 5 night stay.  Reduce accordingly for a shorter stay.

Hospital Bag

Buying a pram?

There is a lot of choice in the pram department.  Here are the top 10 things to look for when buying a pram.

  1. Big basket – Benefit: you can be out for extended periods of time going shopping or just in the park without having to carry anything. 
  2. 1 piece pram solution is possible from birth up – Benefit: You don’t need extra money or car boot space for a pram and bassinet.
  3. Easy close – Benefit simple, one handed closing is best; and a saviour when you have baby in one hand.
  4. Good suspension – Benefit: comfortable, stable ride for baby.
  5. Lightweight – Benefit:  easy to get in and out of the car, up stairs etc…
  6. Adjustable/extendible handle (for height) – Benefit: no one is hunched over while out for a walk – comfort.
  7. 3 point turning – Benefit:  easy to get in and out of tight spaces
  8. Accessories pack – Benefit: easy to fit to the pram rain/sun canopies, coffee holder are just useful.
  9. Ability to add second child at a later date (optional) – this one is really up to you!
  10. Reversible handles/bassinet/seat (optional) – Benefit: you can look at baby directly while you are out walking.

PS. Don’t forget to make sure it complies with all safety standards and fits in your car.

  Images courtesy of Baby Jogger and Bumbleride

Images courtesy of Baby Jogger and Bumbleride

Tips For New Mums

There are so many emotions after your baby finally makes his or her entrance into the world.  Most of the time they are positive and overwhelmingly pleasurable.  And sometimes they are just overwhelming. And confusing.  Within reason these are all fine emotions to have.  You are readjusting to a new life - for most of us quite different from the one BB (before baby).  Below are some tips to help navigate these new unchartered waters.  Some of these helped me, others I wish I had thought of when I was a new mum. I always say that you have to do what you feel is right for you – every family and person is different. Just remember that.

Tips for new mums
  1. Looking after yourself is as important as looking after your baby.  Eat well – feed your body with the nutrients it needs to feed your baby and keep you active.
  2. Find 5 minutes to mediate at least once per day – it is so easy.  Download the smiling mind app and use their guided 2-5 minute meditations to just take time out.
  3. Accept the unexpected and relinquish some of the old control.  Trying to retro fit your old life into this new one won’t work – just try and work out a new routine for the new life.
  4. Go for a walk at least once per day – 30 minutes or more.
  5. Sleep when the baby sleeps – seriously – stuff the housework.  Just sleep.  The more you sleep the better you will feel.
  6. Find little moments of pleasure - get yourself some gorgeous body care products and when you put them on feel like a million dollars e.g. the Aurora body oil is exquisite.  Amazing after a shower. Put time in the diary to go out and have a mani/pedi and your hair done. Hint to friends and family that a Spa voucher might be a great baby shower present!
  7. There is nothing wrong in finding help where you can and making life run a bit smoother.  Convenience is not a dirty word. And do not be shy about asking for help. Talk to the family and friends who offer about how they can help – e.g. if they offer to make you dinner – say yes please;  if they offer to sit one night while you go out for a quick dinner, say yes please; if they offer to mow the lawn, say yes please.  And if they ask what they can do, tell them.
  8. If you are reading a “parenting” book and it is making you feel uncomfortable or bad in some way – I implore you to put it down and find a different one.  It’s not you, it’s just that your principles don’t line up with the authors and that’s ok.  Give yourself permission to do things your way. 
  9. Have a routine.  It’s not just about sleep, it’s about having some structure to help you as well.  Having a routine around play, sleep and bathing gives you both the structure that we are all quite used to.  It means that you have free hands when you need them, together time which you both need and you both know what’s coming up.  There is good reason why schools, work and life in general works on a schedule - most of the time, we need it.
  10. Make time every day to spend together - just playing.  And make time for baby to play independently.  Both are equally important.
  11. Keep a little journal or baby moment’s journal – I like the Kikki K sentence a day journals as you don’t feel like you have to write reams of words – who has time???  Or try an online version with images and then in a year you can create a keepsake.

I always say, listen to everyone as everyone has a slightly different experience, but ultimately do what you feel is the right thing for you and your family.  The fact that everyone has conflicting information should give you the confidence to go your own way, not make you feel more uncertain. Trust your instincts.

Baby Essentials Checklist - Out & About

It sometimes feels like you need a suitcase to go out with baby -  especially on your first outings with baby.  My advice is have everything that is non perishable in your diaper bag stocked.  Don't wait until the moment you leave to stock up. Keep it simple and have a a few test runs close to home.  Soon you'll see only a few good accessories and you'll be ready to go.  

  1. Baby Jogger City Mini Pram is great - single hand fold and very versatile;

  2. Lassig Urban Nappy Bag has everything you need on the go;

  3. Skiphop Pronto! Changing Station is a small, throw in your bag or boot changing kit if you don't want the whole nappy bag solution.  It has space for everything you need - a change mat, space for wipes and nappies;

  4. Nook Organic Cotton Blanket;

  5. Manduca Baby Carrier;

  6. Maxi Cosi Euro Car Seat

Baby Essentials Checklist