During my six months of maternity leave it was a pretty steep learning curve and there were many errors made and triumphs achieved along the way. I thought that if I am to ever go through this experience again (still not ready to even consider it!) I would not want to repeat the same mistakes. This is where my trusty notepad came in handy, maybe some of my notes could be of help to you –
Maternity leave – Batch cook lots and lots of lovely home cooked meals. Its going to be very hard to put decent meals together for a little while! Stock up on wet wipes, nappy bags, cotton wool, bath products, nappy cream and nappies every time you go for your weekly shop. Buy lots of kitchen towel to dry up changing table messes and plenty of hand cream for all the bottle washing!
Nappies – Aldi nappies are almost as good as Pampers but considerably cheaper. I would just buy a pack of pampers for nighttime nappies.
Nursery – I bought an Ikea Trofast storage frame, plus 3 plastic storage boxes with lids (also from Ikea) for the nursery. One box for changing materials (nappy cream, cotton wool, wet wipes etc), one box for medicines and one box for bath lotions and potions. We can always use the unit for his toys when he gets older. I also purchased a Jennylund armchair for nursing which is very reasonably priced.
Baby outfits – They are a total waste of time for the first 6 months. You have to change lots of nappies and outfits are far too flipping fiddly during nappy changes. Stick to sleep suits and body suits. Much more practical. Plus, newborn outfits last perhaps the first 3-4 weeks and perhaps not at all on big babies. Don’t buy too much.
Feeding – The holy grail of formula feeding… the Tommy Tippee Prep Machine. What would I have ever done without you? I also bought Munchkin Powdered Formula Dispenser to help with the night feeds. I would add however many scoops needed for each bottle into each of the three compartments, so I wouldn’t have to do this at silly o’clock in the morning. I would always mess it up and have to start again before I bought this! Oh and the best tip I would have is buy yourself a chalk board or white board to write down feeding times. In the early days your mind will be so foggy you will easily lose track.
Baby sleep – I used an ocean sounds white noise app from his first night at home and would recommend giving it a whirl. It helps to block out any possible noises that might disturb them and its pretty nice for Mummy and Daddy too. We also started a little bit of a routine in the early months with closing all the curtains and turning the lights off upstairs before going to bed. When had night feeds we did not talk, play or make too much eye contact to give us the best chance of getting him back off to sleep again. We also have a dimmer switch in his room that helps keep the lights low and we find this really helps.
Dummies – I was adamant that I wouldn’t use them and cried when I gave in and let him use one for the first time. Used sparingly they are ok. I bought some little carry cases to put them in when we are out and about to keep them clean.
Baby monitor – Get a video monitor for peace of mind. We moved our son into his own bedroom at 6/7 months and I felt super nervous. Our BT Video Baby Monitor 7500 Lightshow works really well and also has the added feature of sounds to soothe your baby or toddler.
Well thats it from me today, ta ta for now! xx