- April 13th, 13:18
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I’M ON THE BLOG OF THE YEAR NOMINEE LIST!
If you like my blog I’d be very grateful for as many nominations as possible so please do log onto http://www.the-mads.com/nominate.htm where you can nominate in this and all the other categories! Bring on The MADS 2012!
So Easter this year wasn’t as gorgeously sunny as we’d have hoped but we still made the most of it and I’ve decided to stay in Norfolk for a few extra days so am prolonging the holiday a little bit too! Really and truly we needed the space in the car for Jonny to bring all our stored baby gear back to our house in London so Florence and I had to stay! But we’ve had a great weekend all together and Jonny’s got to do a few things he might not get the chance to for a while either… He went to see Norwich play and then had a night out with the lads where a little bit TOO much drinking was done so I’ve had a bit of a grumble at him! Our Easter egg and present hunts went very well and it was great catching up with some friends and children, we’re British, we don’t let little things like bad weather get in the way of fun!
Out and about on our travels we’ve been drinking Heinz fruit smoothies which you can pick up in Asda for just 89p (180ml). They’re great because not only are they 100% fruit providing your baby with 2 of their 5 a day but they don’t have to be kept in the fridge until they’ve been opened and once they are can be kept chilled for 24 hours! I’ve had one in my bag for an emergency drink and guess where it came in handy? The till in Asda believe it or not. Florence insisted on drinking it straight from the bottle but because it has a screw top lid you can easily decant half into a sippy cup and save the rest for later! They are completely natural and contain no added sugar, artificial colours or artificial flavours. Yummy! For more info on the Heinz baby range see www.asda.com.
A couple of weeks ago I was very kindly invited to watch ‘Shrek The Musical’, which is currently on in the West End at the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane, to celebrate their new family friendly showing times of 7pm. I also ran a competition, you may remember, for one of my readers to visit the show with their family and it I had the most phenomenal response which proves just how popular the show is! I took my little sister and her friend and we had just such a wonderful time! I wish I could go again and again; you would literally never get bored of seeing this show! When you see a show in London you kind of expect it to be good, standards are high and disappointment would be great if it was anything other than spectacular but with Shrek I think it even surpasses that high expectation! The performances are brilliant, choreography is superb and costumes, puppetry and props have been thought out so incredibly well it kind of took my breath away in places. I’ve said before that as a trained musical performer myself, I am often overly critical of performances but to be perfectly honest, I don’t think I could find a single fault with Shrek or any of its actors! As always I have to take my hat off to the orchestra, swing and ensemble cast; they make the show and are almost certainly the unsung heroes! It’s easy to overlook them because they are super slick and do their jobs so seemingly effortlessly but their roles are without a doubt the most exacting and they hold everything together! In particular I give a standing ovation to Alice Fearn (Sugar Plum Fairy/Gingy) and Landi Oshinowo (Dragon/Ugly Duckling). That’s not to say, however, that the ‘stars’ do not hold their own, though in some shows that can be the case I know, but here they truly are stars! It would be very easy for me to point out the vocal skills of Kimberley Walsh who plays Princess beautifully, to mention how superbly Dean Chisnall plays the title role and to say Richard Blackwood is utterly fantastic as Donkey but that would just be obvious surely? They are all wonderful in their roles and super to see but for me, the true stand out and little bit of a surprise actually, has got to be Neil McDermott in the role of Lord Farquaad! Having only ever seen him playing Ryan in EastEnders I had very wrongly pigeon holed him as another soap actor with probably not too much talent! He was simply stunning in the role and if it caused him any pain or discomfort to perform the entire role, dancing and all on his knees, you’d certainly never know! His energy was immense and the performance he gave was faultless, absolutely faultless! I literally couldn’t believe it was him when I looked in the programme but I have to say that after seeing him play the role, I couldn’t imagine anyone doing a better job! Go and see Shrek just to see Neil McDermott in action, he is a multi talented actor with many more strings to his bow than acting in soaps!
The show is quite literally one of the best I’ve seen (I’ve seen a lot) and the finale makes it worth the ticket price alone! You will, like us, be dancing in the aisles and wanting to go back for more! Children will love it, parents will feel it’s been money well spent and it will be a memory that will last forever! You’ll only be sorry if you miss it!
Come and join the cast of ‘Shrek’ for yourself and see stars such as Richard Blackwood playing Donkey and Kimberley Walsh who plays Princess Fiona do their thing! SHREK THE MUSICAL is even more fun and family-friendly in 2012, with new family pricing! A family ticket is now available for Wednesday and Thursday evening performances (excluding school holiday periods but including summer); which means that a family of four (including at least two under 16s) can see Shrek The Musical for the fairytale price of £99 for the Upper Circle or £150 for best available seats, making the adventure much more affordable.
Family tickets can be booked via the website, www.ShrekTheMusical.co.uk,in
person from the box office, or by phoning: 0844 871 8810.
Florence was very jealous when I took my sister and her friend to see Shrek but she understood that she was too little and stayed at home with Jonny and they watched a DVD together! She’s been talking about her and Daddy watching a ‘Show’ ever since. Super sweet! She’s an absolute telly addict it has to be said and she has very firm ideas about what she wants to watch! She loves CBeebies but if it isn’t the programme she wants it can be a nightmare and I’m constantly having to look on the on demand television and when the programme finishes she wants another episode so if I’m trying to get on with jobs or something it can be a real time consumer! That’s the reason I love a good DVD for her! We go out lots and lots and do a superb amount of activities so I don’t have any problems with her watching the television when we’re at home, I believe it’s all about balance and everything in moderation so if putting on a DVD allows her to relax for a while then I absolutely do it! Of course it’s nice for me to know she’s not watching a load of junk but learning something too. With CBeebies you can kind of guarantee that the programmes are enjoyable but also provide the children with some thought provoking material. The absolute top of the list for education as well as fun has got to be anything with Justin Fletcher so we were very pleased to be asked to review his new DVD, ‘Something Special’ How Are You Mr Tumble?
Justin Fletcher, aka Mr Tumble, is simply awe inspiring don’t you think? All the children adore him and it’s easy to see why. He’s just so clever, writing and coming up with most of his material and from every character he plays right down the detail in all his programmes you can see how much energy he shows and dedication he has to his job. The children see characters and a presenter whom they love and us parents we see a man with an incredible talent and empathy for ALL children, no matter what their circumstance….it’s wonderful! Mr Tumble encourages children to not discriminate, for everyone in every situation to be normal and he teaches them how to communicate in all sorts of ways, speech, sign language and much more. He teaches Makaton, a sign language which uses sings and symbols to communicate with those who struggle with communication skills. Justin Fletcher/Mr Tumble is just amazing, no wonder the man has an MBE! His latest DVD certainly doesn’t disappoint, it’s everything you would want it to be and more and worth its weight in gold! With 8 new episodes of ‘Something Special’ it provides a running time of 152 minutes (ample time to get the ironing done) and as we’ve come to expect, focuses on every day life with Mr Tumble and his friends. This, the fifth in the series of DVDs for Mr Tumble is a sure pre-school viewer hit! But then it’s Justin Fletcher, it would be wouldn’t it!
‘Something Special: How Are You Mr Tumble?’ Was released on DVD on March 23rd and is priced at £10.20. It is published by BBC Worldwide.
Last Minute Capsule Wardrobe
I’ve been struggling with what to wear as time comes to an end for this pregnancy. I obviously don’t fit into my normal clothes and know I won’t even after the baby is born for a while but my maternity clothes, on the whole, have been suited to very cold winter days. I didn’t want to buy anything that wouldn’t last me afterwards but I also didn’t want to buy anything that wasn’t really suitable so in the end I decided to get myself a little capsule wardrobe from Mamas and Papas which would take me through the rest of this pregnancy but also be suitable to wear in the summer after the baby is born. Our weather is never predictable so I think the items in my little capsule are perfect because they can be layered and worn for different temperatures! Here’s a list of what I’m wearing and why I love each item!
Jeggings in Denim – These are really flattering! I’m so not a jeans person, always preferring leggings instead so what a great middle ground! I still thought I might look a bit fat in them but even I can say looking in the mirror that they make me look quite slim (quite a feat when you’re as pregnant as me)!
Nursing Dress in black – I love this because not only does it accommodate my bump right now but will suit afterwards when I’m feeding, it has brilliantly discreet access to my boobs! The material feels really cooling on my skin so even though it’s black, on a summer’s day it will be perfect! Often I find jersey material shows up all lumps and bumps but this dress actually hangs in a really clever way and covers up what you don’t want to be seen!
Blouse – The chiffon blouse I’ve been wearing looks good as it is or over a long sleeved top teamed with a cardigan. It’s colourful and an incredibly good fit for those of us with tummies, be they with babies still in them or having just been vacated. It really detracts from arms and tummies and focuses on a really gorgeous neckline. This blouse is pretty and summery and washes and dries super quickly – always a bonus when you have children!
2 in 1 top and cardigan – Not my usual style, I’ve been surprised how much I like this combination. I thought I might be irritated that I couldn’t take the cardigan off but in actual fact not at all. It perfectly gives the illusion that you are wearing a shirt underneath without the added material which makes it a great choice for a day which is changeable weather wise! The cardigan hangs below my bottom covering it up which is a good thing and sits comfortably over my bump making me look smaller than I actually am! Goes perfectly with the jeggings as well and makes a really non maternity looking outfit!
Dress – I chose this dress because I can wear it with tights, cut off leggings or on its own so it literally could be for all seasons! It has a slip underneath which doesn’t cause static and again, hangs in a way which detracts rather than emphasises bumpage! Will be brilliant after I’ve given birth but still have a bit of a mum tum!
Print Tunic – This is just up my street! I love flowing clothes which skim over bumps and I have a belt which I will use with this tunic after I have had the baby making it very versatile indeed! It hangs well, washes brilliantly and looks great with or without a top underneath! It’s also long enough to wear as a summer dress!
Printed Dress in Purple – My favourite item from my Mamas and Papas collection and can see myself wearing this dress all summer long! I love the way it covers the tops of my arms, flows out under my bust and how the colour makes me feel super sunny! I’ve been wearing it with leggings but it comes with a slip and could easily be worn just with that or even as a cover up on the beach on its own! It’s a beautiful item which I’ve already washed loads and it comes up looking as good as new each time! Just like the blouse, because of the material it also dries really quickly and I love that! It could be dressed up and worn to a wedding or simply just walking about town!
Jeggings in denim, £40 Nursing Dress in black, £36 Blouse, £34 2 in 1 Top and Cardigan, £42
Dress, £42 Print Tunic, £38 Printed dress in purple, £45
For more information on Mamas and papas Spring/Summer ranges and all their products please see their website www.mamasandpapas.com. (I have quoted the items with their original selling prices but from time to time Mamas and Papas may make discounts to the pieces shown).
With a new baby on the way and nappies being a relatively large expense I have been trying my hardest to get Florence a bit more interested in using the toilet. She has gone through stages where she’s been really good, asked to go and mainly has wanted to sit on the big girls’ toilet during these times but despite rewards for doing it, her interest has waned recently. I wouldn’t say we were ever at the point when we could have left her without a nappy on, it was frustrating that she had lost all interest. It felt like all the work we had been putting in had gone to waste. However, in the past couple of weeks I think I’ve found the answer in the form of a new potty! She’s absolutely never ever been interested in sitting on her boring old bog standard potty and I don’t think we’ve ever successfully used one so I wasn’t sure if this would work or not but I’m happy to say the Ducky Fun 3-in1 Potty by Fisher Price has been a roaring success from literally the minute she saw it! It’s bigger than your average potty and more like an actual toilet which appeals to her I think but because she can access it all by herself (she’s very independent) and doesn’t have to ask me when she wants to go she was far more interested in using it than the actual big girls toilet! Basically it’s a potty which is disguised as a little duck. It has fun duck feet and when you open the lid the face of the duck is on the inside. When the lid is shut it can be used as a stool which means Florence can wash her hands and if she does fancy sitting on the big girl’s toilet the duck seat lifts off and fits onto a normal toilet seat to make it the right size for her! So all these gizmos alone had her hooked, she was oohing and aahing before we’d even managed to get Ducky out of the box but the absolute best bit was yet to come! Because she was super interested she immediately did a wee wee and it was at that point she discovered that when you go, he plays you a tune! Well, that was it really! I’ve had to go out and buy pull ups for the day times because she’s forever taking her nappy off and squeezing something out in order to hear the tune! I don’t even have to ask her if she wants to go, she just takes herself off and does it and when I hear the tune I know to go in and help her wash her hands afterwards! Utterly brilliant, my only complaint is that she’s on it all the time and it’s hard to get her to pull her pull ups back up and go out for the day! That’s all it took, a bit of gimmick and a tune! I wouldn’t say she’s potty trained, it’s only been a couple of weeks but we’re well on the way and I don’t even mind if she’s running round nappy-less because I know the likelihood is that she’ll go off to the toilet when she needs to! Thank you Fisher Price!
Ducky Fun 3-in-1 Potty, ages 12 – 36 months, Max weight 100lb, requires 3 x AA batteries (not included), priced at £32.99 in Argos. For more information please see www.fisher-price.com.
Ducky Fun 3-in-1 Potty
I know everything for our little ones is super expensive and all the equipment you need can be stifling but I’m really glad we have that potty and I do think it’s worth the money when you think how much of a success it’s being for us! Hopefully it’ll mean we’re out of nappies sooner rather than later and then it’ll come into it’s own for money saving! Another great way to save money when buying your little one something is to join the daily deal site Savvy Mummys. My friend recently bought Florence a present via a deal on their site; emailed me the voucher, I then sent the company the code and the item arrived the next day! It had cost her half the RRP using the Savvy Mummys deal which is utterly fantastic! Here Savvy Mummys have come up with some great money saving tips so not only do they save you money when you want to purchase something through them but they’re offering fantastic advice now too! Take a look:
Saving money whilst raising your children
Top tips from Savvy Mummys – the savvy spending experts
As much as we love our little bundles of joy, bringing them up can be very costly! £200,000 is the amount predicted by one study for bringing up baby and in these times many parents are desperately trying to make their money stretch. Savvy Mummys, the online money saving site, believes that parents should be able to enjoy the momentous journey of parenthood with as little worry as possible. Here are their top tips for saving money when you have children, ensuring you don’t break the bank providing for your little ones.
Be sale savvy: always be on the lookout for discounts, deals and offers that can help you save! There are bargains to be had on pretty much everything nowadays from clothing to food, days out to toys so become savvy and sign up to as many discount providers as possible and remember, Savvy Mummys is a daily deal site especially designed to save mummies money. Deals are sourced by mums for mums and emailed directly to your inbox so you’re sure to always be in the know.
Clothes swap: we all find ourselves bored of our clothes, on a constant raid through our own wardrobes only to find nothing we like. Why not get to together with local mums and arrange a clothes swap where you can trade your unloved clothes. What’s more, you can do the same for your children so you and mums alike can get your fashion fix and keep your children’s wardrobes up-to-date without a heavy price tag.
Free days out: there are bundles of fun-filled activities that you can do with your children at no cost what so ever! Ever considered taking your kids for an educational day out to your local museum? Or to your nearest country park to feed the ducks? Search online and in your local newspaper for places near to you and with many museums and play areas offering free admission, you are left with a great alternative to an otherwise expensive day out! Simple activities such as these provide a cheap way of keeping your children entertained during school holidays and weekends – just pack up a lunch and you’re on your way!
Book swap: why spend a fortune on new books when you can explore the wide range available in your local library for free? It’s a savvy way of finding some brilliant books to read to your children without breaking the bank. What’s more, your children will love visiting the library and picking out their favourite books – another free day out!
Try before you buy: if your kids won’t stop asking for the latest game, CD, book or DVD and you simply can’t afford to buy it or aren’t convinced its worth parting with your hard-earned cash for, check it out at your local library, games stores or ask around to borrow DVD’s. This will give you the chance to try before you buy and many games stores also offer a cash back for trading in old games so you could take in those that are never played with and swap them again and again!
Savvy Mummys is a community-based daily deal site that offers mums super-sized savings on all things mummy related. With Mum Time deals for when you have your mummy hat on and Me Time deals for when you are looking for some self indulgence; Savvy Mummys offers everything from baby clothes to childcare, toys to holidays, fitness to family activities, dining, beauty and more! To become a Savvy Mummy member, sign-up at www.savvymummys.co.uk.
MY PREGNANCY DIARY WEEK 37
Still waiting for my scan and appointment at the birthing centre, I’ve just been busy preparing really. Cleaning the house and organising things for my hospital bag in case I do end up not having my home birth. I picked up my special night dress when I was at my Mum’s over Easter as I’ve kept it there since having Florence and it’s the first thing going in the bag. I’ve said before that when I was pregnant with Florence my wonderful Grandma sadly passed away. She had a short but horrible illness and my Mum looked after her for the whole of it, I don’t know how she did it, she was wonderful. One of the things she did to make sure my Grandma was comfortable (and there were many, many things) was to make sure my Grandma had a fresh night dress to wear every day. On the day she passed away she was wearing a brand new night dress and I don’t know why but I felt that I needed to wear that night dress when I gave birth to my baby. It was my way of having my Grandma with me and I call it my circle of life dress, it saw one person I love out of this world and another into it! I want to have all my babies wearing that dress and that way my Grandma will always be a part of it. I know to lots of people it sounds odd, I know my own husband thinks it’s a little strange but to me and to my Mum it’s the most normal thing in the world. I loved my Grandma very much and miss her desperately, I have tears as I type this and wearing her dress, well, it’s what I need to do so I don’t care what anyone thinks of it really!
Talking of what I’m packing brings me to my ‘Pregnancy Product of the Week’ and this week has to be my actual hospital bags! Yes, that’s right, I did say bags plural! While I was at Nikki Khan’s pregnancy retreat she advised us that really and truly we should have different bags for all of us and not just one where only I know where everything is! Not only is it apparently terribly ‘A La Mode’ to have separate ones but logically it makes perfect sense. If I pack my bag all nice and neatly with everything everyone needs then that’s great but when I’m in the throws of labour am I going to be coherent enough to describe where everything is? Probably not! So, what are the rules of the hospital bag?
Rule Number 1: This is simple; you need a bag for you, one for the baby and one for an older child who may have to initially come in to hospital with you! (If you have one of course)!
Rule Number 2: Each bag has to be different, it’s all very well having matching luggage but how can the nurse or husband distinguish whose bag is whose if they’re not clearly different?
Rule Number 3: They have to be practical and by that they have to do their job in the hospital but they also have to be a good bag for afterwards too otherwise it’s just a simple waste of money!
So, how did I choose my bags? Why did they work for me and what did I pack in them? (There’s a list of some really great ideas for what to pack at the bottom of the post which my friends helped me compile but also a few little bits of my own with the reviews for each bag).
For my bag I chose the Fun and Funky 2012 by Caboodle:
I needed a BIG bag! When the baby is born I’m going to have to truck around with everything for a newborn and all the things Florence needs so some of my smaller baby bags just aren’t going to cut it! I’m also not sure if any of my other changing bags would have enough space for everything I will need to pack for a hospital visit so when choosing this one I really did need something with ample room! Saying that, I didn’t want something which was incredibly clumsy looking or which was going to get in the way too much hanging on the buggy handles so what I was looking for and thankfully have found is essentially the Tardis in bag form! I also wanted it to look good, classy, neutral for the sex of the baby and be easy to clean with lots of pockets! The Caboodle Fun and Funky 2012 delivers on all my points of requirements and some for it also has some pretty nifty bits I wouldn’t necessarily have thought of but actually have found to be a pretty good idea! It has two outside pockets at either end with flaps which are easy to get into and inside it has four different elasticated sections for all my bits and pieces which means I won’t just lose things at the bottom of the bag! The changing mat is large and as is the bag, its wipe clean which is perfect! At one end of the bag inside there is an insulated bottle bag which sticks to the side with Velcro and can be removed. This is a fantastic option for me as I don’t plan on using bottles and it makes the bottle bag area no longer a wasted space! The first bag I had for Florence was all about bottle storage and nothing else and I never carried a bottle so it was useless! I’m also quite impressed by the fact you can carry it like a holdall or attach the removable strap to wear over your shoulder or place on the buggy handles and the section I like the most is the removable, see through purse to store nappies and creams! I LOVE the look of this bag and my favourite design feature is the bright green zip! It’s zany and fun and going to be the perfect hospital bag and more for me!
And what essentials went inside?
For my bag I am packing snacks (for me and Jonny) and energy tablets as well as my hair bands, a bottle of water and make up. I will have a change of clothes and underwear and my maternity night dress from Melba, my Melba Maternity Pyjamas and most importantly the night dress I want to give birth in (See above for reasons). Sanitary towels, water spray, wash bag with toiletries and a selection of the list at the bottom of the post!
The Fun and Funky 2012 by Caboodle, £40, Comes in 4 different colour combinations. For more information please see www.caboodlebags.co.uk.
For the baby we opted for a Joolz Nursery bag in white:
This bag looks lovely and crisp and just right for a new born but the reason we really like it is because it’s completely neutral and a man will feel comfortable holding it. I have lots of baby bags already (I love bags) but I don’t have any that Jonny feels comfortable using so this one is perfect. He likes to carry a bag across his body and this one, he says, is particularly comfortable because it has a padded shoulder strap. We like all the pockets and compartments of which there are many; they will be especially useful as Jonny likes to know where everything is and not have to root around for it. (2 insulated pockets for bottles on either side of the outside of the bag, 1 large zipped pocket on the outside underneath the cover flap, 2 Velcro closed compartments inside zipped pocket, 2 Velcro closed with a flap pockets inside and 2 further Velcro closed compartments). It comes with a pretty large changing mat that folds very flat and there’s ample room for all the gubbins you need to take out with a new born! It is a light colour which may get grubby easily but it has a nice easy to wipe clean surface material so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. We also like the fact it has protective feet on the bottom meaning it won’t get dirty if you have to put it on the floor and the easy to shut flap with a magnet close is ideal for when you need to be quick!
And what essentials went inside?
A couple of new vests and baby grows as well as a special one for a ‘coming home’ outfit, a hat knitted by my mother in law (Florence also had one), some newborn nappies, the christening blanket knitted for me when I was born by my Great Grandmother, some sudocrem, infacol and a selection from the list at the bottom of the post!
For the Joolz Nursery Bag, Please see www.my-joolz.com where you will also find out contact details and retailers for prices.
And for Florence, a special one to make her feel grown up, excited and happy to be going off to stay with Grandparents; The Croyde B LED Flashing Kids Back Pack:
This is a truly special bag for children with flashing LED lights round the outside and reflective material on the straps so children can be seen from behind! Not only enticing for children but extremely practical! I was very drawn, as I know children will be, to the character on the bag that you can learn more about as well as playing games, competitions and puzzles on the website www.croydeb.com. There are plenty of other characters and accessories to become familiar with too which makes it all that little bit more entertaining and exciting for little ones! The bag itself is small enough to sit on a child’s back comfortably but definitely big enough to fit gear for an overnight stay. It has a big pocket on the front which can play host to some crayons and a note pad and a big flap on the front underneath where you can write the child’s name and address in case they mis-place the bag. The lights are easy to turn on and off and it’s simply just a funky bag that children will be happy to be seen carrying and which serves its purpose! It’s recommended for children aged 3+ and I know Florence is a little younger than this so I will make sure she has supervision at all times but I am very happy for her to carry this bag, as will she!
And what essentials went inside?
Florence will need a couple of changes of clothes, nappies, wipes, pyjamas, toothbrush and toothpaste, a couple of books and toys, Calpol (with instructions and a syringe), some snacks, crayons and a note pad and a surprise present. (Not the one from the baby, that will come when she meets her new baby brother or sister but just a little treat for her anyway). She’s been asking for a pillow pet and it seems the perfect present to take away with you when you will be staying away from home! (Full review of the ‘Pillow Pet’ next week)!
The Croyde B LED Flashing Kids Back Pack by The Miracle Box is ideal for children aged 3+ and is currently on offer from £24.99 to £9.99! Please see their website for more information: www.themiraclebox.co.uk.
Florence’s cool new back pack. It was very hard to show in a photograph how impressive the lights are so please just take my word for it!
And if you need any more ideas for packing a hospital bag, not just the things you already knew to pack, I recently asked my Mummy friends (The Mummies of the Stone) what their absolute top tips to pack were and here’s a list of what they, not me (although they all sound pretty expert), said were their absolute life savers!
Top, Top, Top of the list for so many was sandwiches, snacks and drinks! (For you and your partner)!
Lots of new and comfortable underwear. (No thongs)!
Disposable Underwear. (Well, you’ll see why)!
Perfume free shower gel. (Self explanatory)!
No white cotton bed clothing! (Again, easy to see why)!
Hair Straighteners to make yourself look a bit presentable quickly! (There WILL be lots of photographs like it or not)!
A little make up bag with blusher as a major essential! (if you look half human it’s a good way of convincing staff you are fit and well to go home – One friend says she barely wears make up ordinarily and actually had comments that she looked better in her post birth pictures than at most Monday morning meetings)!
Thank You cards and a pen. (For the midwives who will have helped you and you will be in love with)!
A Hair Band for before during and after! (One friend said she forgot and looked like a deranged medieval peasant in a pig pen afterwards! Another knew someone who ended up tying her hair back with her knickers – This one is my personal must have too)!
Ear Plugs because you might have to stay in. (Those wards with loads of babies crying do not help sleep)!
Warm Socks for padding around the ward afterwards. (If you stay in you’ll be thankful)!
One or maybe two if you plan on a water birth, fluffy bath towels (As the ones you get given are scratchy and small – Make sure they’re dark in colour)!
Cotton Wool Balls to wash the baby and clean up nappies. (You are not meant to use wet wipes with a newborn)!
Cleaning Wipes to wipe toilet seats etc. (It may be hospital but they aren’t always clean, not Ruth clean anyway)!
Energy Tablets. (You may not feel like eating but you will need to keep your energy levels up)!
A present for the older child to give the new baby and one that they have chosen! (May as well start off on the right foot with a new sibling)!
Massive Maternity Pads! (And lots of them)!
Washed Clothes (with non bio) for the baby. (Not straight out of the packet)!
A Camera! (Well of course)!
Entertainment! magazines, electronic media devices for entertainment, books… (You’ve no idea how long you’ll be!
New Born Nappies! (They don’t give them to you)
If you plan on bottle feeding you will need your own formula milk and bottles. (Hospitals do not provide this as it is recommended and rightly so that women breastfeed)!
Chocolate! (You may need a treat after all that hard work)!
Hopefully this list has been helpful; I know it has been for me! I can’t believe that this time next week I could have had the baby? If not I’ll be back to talk about week 38 but who knows?! Perhaps it’ll be to introduce my little one instead? Either way, I’ll be back soon!
In the meantime follow me on Twitter @rocknrollerbaby
(All opinions and words, apart from those in green, are my own. I have not been paid for this article although I did receive some products to keep after I had reviewed them.)