Useless or useful?

Just when I find myself offering advice based on my one baby to a pregnant friend another survey, poll or article comes along to prove just how different every baby, and experience is. This time it’s the Which survey of over 2000 parents revealing the least useful items people purchased for their baby. I was pretty surprised to see a baby carrier (which I completely rely on) at number 5 and frankly a bit annoyed to see the door bouncer that I’d just got right up there at number 1! That said a nappy stacker (6) seems like being properly lazy (apologies to anyone who has one but really?!) and even though I got one last week I can see the Bumbo (7) retiring to the attic fairly soon.
That said while laughing at the person who buys a special baby washing bowl I have to admit there is a corner of the nursery where a pile of guilt inducing unused baby things are already building up. The beautiful wool blanket I got on holiday (in my defence pre baby) – non breathable, cold wash and too tiny for a pram blanket – nice work! The many tiny handmade cardigans and beautiful clothes with numerous buttons given to us that it feels rude to Freecycle, the tiny shoes that never stay on, the bottles of baby lotion that health visitors say you must never use and the ugliest of the stuffed toys (who knew they still made cabbage patch style cornishmen!)
On a more positive note the baby bjorn bouncy chair, baby gym, breathable airflow cot bumpers, Lamaze firefly and city mini pram have all been amazing – but then what do I know next time round I might be begging for a nappy stacker.

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My three point new Mum style – clothes, hair and the perfect bag! Sophisticated and comfortable in 10 minutes or less.

photo 21)      Stylish options for a Mum on the go (my staple wardrobe items)

The wrap dress: This is probably my favourite. It is easy to put on, easy to adjust for breastfeeding and super comfy for those days you want to look presentable with little effort. The great thing about wrap dresses is, because they pull in your waist, they are flattering on almost everyone and they provide a level of camouflage over your stomach which is personally my biggest problem area since giving birth. Wrap dresses are a great buy and you can find them almost anywhere. No need to spend a fortune on custom designed nursing tops!

The stretch trouser: Most stores sell trousers with stretch, you will find them in different styles and fabrics. Continue reading

Dear Santa

Please bring all new mums the following…

1. Ewan the dream sheep by far the best thing I have. It was recommended to me by a friend before I had the baby. I have been using it since birth – it is amazing. It now elicits a pavlovian sleep response in my child; she hears the lullaby, she closes her eyes and turns her head to sleep. She wakes up in the night, I turn on the white noise, she goes back to sleep. Magical.

2. Sangenic Nappy Bin sh*t happens, but I don’t want to encounter it any more than I absolutely have to. Unlike others, this is easy enough for any old sleep deprived moron to use. It even has a cutter to release the bag once its full.

3. Avent Microwave steriliser I feel genuine love for my microwave steriliser. Wash your bottles, teats and dummies, bung them all in here (forget the neatness on the picture, I don’t even have Avent bottles!) stick them in the microwave, done. You will sterilise about 4 times a day, you can’t be messing around with sterilising solution and plugging things that hold scalding water into sockets.

4. Graco Evo travel system I went shopping for this with my husband after a 25 hour journey home from Australia to try and simulate the levels of tiredness we might be dealing with when trying to operate one of these travel systems in “real life”. This was the only one I could walk straight up to and operate straight away. I don’t want to have to read a textbook of instructions and sit a mechanical engineering exam to collapse a bloody child transportation device! It is also light enough to lift into the boot one-handed with shopping and a baby.

5. Boots milk powder dispenser you wouldn’t think it so hard to invent a blasted dispenser for formula would you? I have 3 and 2 of them are STUPID beyond belief. Either the formula doesn’t come out unless you tap it sideways forwards backwards and stand on one leg (Avent) spilling powder all over the work surface in the process or the opening dispenses formula from other compartments meaning your child gets one super concentrated bottle, one medium one, and one crap one – unless you tip it all back and measure it out again, which, frankly defeats the bloody object of having a dispenser in the first place (Brother).

6. MAM teats & dummies I was told by so many people that these were the only teats and dummies their baby would suck properly, that I bypassed everything else and went straight for these. I bought some Dr Browns bottles as well but use the MAM teats with them.

7. Baby Gym it doesn’t have to be this particular one, this is just the one I have. I have clipped all manner of toys onto ours using extra rings (tip: buy them in Poundland). Keeps her occupied for longer than anything else I have tried.

8. Whatsapp with a group of same-stage mums. It’s 3am, you’re awake, your partner is snoring, your baby is grizzling, you have on pyjamas covered in puke, snot, spit and maybe even a little wee (quite possibly even your own), and you need a laugh, or just to know someone else is awake out there, send a message (complete with autocorrect errors and typos) to your NCT or other mum friends and get a response! It’s magical. Even in the darkest of times, someone will probably be awake, also covered in fluids and wanting a chat.

9. NUK bath thermometer I don’t know about you but I have no idea how to tell temperature with my hand or elbow or any other part of my body for that matter. I have baths that are hot enough to boil a lobster so this thermometer saves me from cooking my child every time I use it. It has handy markers for “Cold”, “Warm” and “Ideal for babies”.

10. Digital forehead thermometer I use this all the time. She rarely actually has a temperature but it makes me feel at ease knowing she doesn’t. Especially as she can sometimes be grizzly and feel hot in the night. I keep one in her cot and one in her baby bag just in case. Mine also has a fever alarm, but it’s a talking one and I seem to have got it stuck on Spanish mode and can’t (be bothered to) change it back to English but it has a digital read-out and light. I have actually come to love the way she starts with “temperrratoora” so I don’t really mind.