When Rupert arrived six weeks early (birth story HERE), I was unprepared for what the fourth trimester had in store. Not one to sugar coat things, it was tough.
I am still displaying some of the tell-tale signs of being a mother of a newborn. Dark circles have appeared under my eyes; a few more grey hairs have appeared; a messy house; I’m more ditsy and forgetful than ever; a muslin thrown over a shoulder is a constant accessory; if I am talking to someone even when not holding Rupert I sway gently, and I have a little less zest for life than when I started this wonderful journey called motherhood. Yet all it takes is one smile from my little life sucker (a phrase stolen from a friend recently), who goes by the name of Master Rupert and all is well in the world once more and I am inspired to carry on.
To be clear this is not a must buy list of how many sleepsuits and vests etc you will need for your new baby; this is a list of all the items that I personally used and still use more or less on a daily basis that I feel help me carryout my new role as a mummy, and have made my life that little bit easier so far.
Ultimate Sanity Savers
As much as I love holding Rupert, there are times when I need to be hands free. To help me carry on with everyday tasks I’ve relied upon:
- A Rockit Rocker, which is permanently attached to the pram. This is a godsend at the stables as over a 30-minute cycle it gently soothes Rupert to sleep so that I can crack on with the mucking out. Prior to lockdown it gave me time to enjoy coffee and cake dates too. I’ve also just seen Rockit are due to launch a sleep aid, I expect this will be equally amazing too.
- Baby wearing is not for everyone, but I personally LOVE it. I get to keep Rupert kissably close while getting stuff done in and out of the house. I have a Caboo and literally use it every day, its comfortable and easy to wear. I would be lost without it.
- A bouncer, something I was adamant we didn’t need and would just end up getting in the way. It turns out they are quite useful things to get in the way, as it allows me the chance to get myself washed, dressed as well as completing a few domestic chores while he is entertained safely and remaining in eye/ear shot. We have this one.
Other items which help keep me of sensible mind are:
- Snuz Cloud sleep aid which has four different soothing sound settings: heartbeat, pink noise, lullaby and waterfall. Rupert’s favourite setting is the lullaby. This setting has been known to send us all off in to dream land on occasion, even the dogs.
- I never realised just how anxious I would be driving with a baby in the back of the car. So early on I ordered a BeSafe mirror and it eased my anxiety immediately. The mirror has a useful light which can be switched on at night to keep a check in the dark too.
- Reliable thermometers. I use an under arm one as they appear to give the most accurate reading for small babies, a friend who is a paramedic recommended this one to me. For the bedroom/in the bath we use this one.
- A video baby monitor, we have the BT 6000 and its been a great comfort. However, if we settle down to watch a film together, we don’t end up watching the film but cooing over the monitor watching Rupert sleep!
Although I did not go crazy on splashing out, (Chris might say otherwise), I am pleased that I treated myself to a few bits as they have been worth the money. If you can treat yourself to a few luxury’s just for you do it.
- Clothing that fits and is good for nursing. I shopped with Seraphine for a few items of clothing which were comfortable and pretty. If they are good enough for The Duchess of Cambridge they must be good, plus their clothes don’t break the bank either.
- Not exactly splashing out but as a tea/coffee replacement I really like the Motherkind Baby tea by Pukka which is specially made for breastfeeding mums.
- To cover up the dark circles I have gone back to using the cream I used on the lead up to our wedding, Bobby Brown Extra Repair.
- I absolutely adore having daily skin to skin time with Rupert. Chris bought me a lovely skin to skin top from Seraphine which I wore a lot in hospital, I feel it gave both he and I comfort in the early days.
- 2-3 well fitted nursing bras, I have been using Sugar Candy and Royce
The Perfect Pram
The biggest pre baby headache. We spent hours, weeks and months debating which pram to get, in the end we went with the Upper Baby Vista over the Bugaboo Fox, which was my first choice. I love our Vista, although it spends much of the time collecting dust these days. The vista suits country life perfectly, easy to assemble/dissemble and is a smooth mover.
Make sure you get a pram that fits your lifestyle and one that you can deal with opening and closing without needing assistance!
Finding the time to eat a healthy balanced diet can be hard with a newborn’s demands so preparation is key.
The day of Rupert’s early arrival my mother and I had planned to spend the day batch cooking. Thankfully while I was in hospital my mother and partner kindly cooked us a variety of frozen meals which was such a help during the first month or so.
I also ensured the cupboards and fridge were stocked with healthy yet yummy snacks which were easy to eat one handed.
A leakproof water bottle, is an absolute must. Mine comes everywhere with me otherwise I would forget to drink or simply not get a chance to, and as I am breastfeeding staying hydrated is even more important.
Continuing with pelvic floor exercises after birth is just as important; to help strengthen mine I use the Elvie. it works alongside an app on your phone where you play games, as odd as that sounds to test and build your strength, agility, stamina, endurance and control. I can already see the difference and only use it four times a week for around 5- 10 minutes at a time.
Aside from the above the most important thing that got me through those first few months of motherhood, came from within, a sense of humour.
I hope you are able to take something away from this list as you plan for your new arrival.
Love for now