Friday, 15 January 2016

28 Things you should invest in for month 1 of parenthood

I waited 270+ days to meet my beautiful baby boy, and I certainly wasn’t prepared...I hadn’t packed my hospital bag, hadn’t printed off my birth plans (I had 2 just in case I had to have a c-section), I hadn’t scheduled my blog posts and I certainly hadn’t slept as much as I should of.
I will talk about what was in my hospital bag later, and the first few moments of meeting my son...those posts are certainly long overdue, but for now as Chance hits 5 weeks I will focus on how to get through the first month of parenthood, or the things that helped me.






  1. YOU are what your baby needs, period; the world is new, noisy and spacious compared to the lovely confines of your tummy. Skin to skin was so important to me, for reducing stress in both myself and baby, regulating his temperature, providing some friendly bacteria and promoting breastfeeding.
  2. Aden & Anais swaddle blankets for swaddling baby in the first few days, not as beneficial as skin to skin, but can be calming, help keep baby warm and being swaddled reminds baby of the environment they were in when inside the womb.
  3. Paperless Post to announce your baby’s birth, they have wonderful designs and it’s a chic way to spread the news to your loved ones, especially as you may have already announced via text, email, The Times or social media to the rest of the world. Unless like me it took nearly a week to make an announcement as you’re obsessing over your new family member. Your birth announcement can include the date of birth, birth weight and length.
  4. Car Seat is very important unless you plan to walk home from the hospital, and I chose Cybex Cloud Q as it can be used as a carrycot when not being used as a car seat, perfect for travelling as baby isn’t meant to sit for more than 3 hours...and it looks good!
  5. John Lewis bath support has been an absolute Godsend. Once Chance had his Nigerian bath ceremony 3 days after he was born (this was the first time he had been bathed since birth) I chose to bathe him daily using this support, which helped me to wash him gently especially whilst his umbilical stump was healing and preparing to fall off completely.
  6. Smythson baby notes’ Panama notebook which I was gifted by my mother when I told her I was pregnant. Perfect for keeping track of Chance’s feeding, sleeping and toilet habits, allowing me to spot a pattern and set alarms on my iPhone accordingly...2am alarm anybody? Also this information may come in handy when speaking with your follow up midwives and health visitors.
  7. Baby bee diaper ointment linked to the above, if like Chance your baby feeds therefore pees or number 2’s between 10 to 12 times a day, then you will want to protect them from nappy rash which occurs due to frequent wet nappies.
  8. The Little White Company animal stacker was given to Chance by his Aunty Godmother a most perfect gift which rattles, crinkles and fits in with the white and grey safari theme in the nursery. Chance and I played with this at around 2 weeks old as vision is still limited, but was a great way to drive development and chatter between us. Strange having a one way conversation with my son, but the occasional smile was 100% worth it when he didn’t look so confused.
  9. Cocoonababy Nest honestly the best invention ever; Chance uses it when he’s not lying on either his father’s or my chest. Completely mobile can be used in a cot, crib or around the house, promoting sleep on baby’s back and keeping them calm. Chance is not yet sleeping by himself in his own room, where his moKee cot is; for now he sleeps either beside me in his Mothercare Hyde crib (minimalistic crib which fits in with our bedroom decor) or with me in bed post breastfeeding, whichever feels natural to me.
  10. Method Sweet Water hand wash is particularly useful with a winter baby, in the first few weeks; with colds and flus lurking everywhere, it is okay to ask visitors to wash their hands before holding baby, and if you have a cat as I do, it would also be a good idea to wash after stroking your pet and before holding baby.
  11. My Cybex Priam has been out and about with Chance and I since he was 3 days old. We ventured to grandmother’s house, on a walk in Barnes Village, to a friend’s wedding in Surrey, to Chance’s naming ceremony at Grandfather’s house in Essex, shopping trip to Bicester Village, Knightsbridge, King’s Road, Passport office and many, many more places before Chance was a month old. This system comes with a carrycot, compatible with the carseat and the wheels can be swapped for skis in the front...if you need it!
  1. My Medela freestyle double electric breast pump came in handy on about day 3 once baby had gotten his fill of the colostrum (liquid gold) and my milk came in. Between feeds, and when my breasts were looking positively pornographic and fit to burst, I reached for my pump and used the bags to store the milk until needed, or for when MrL wanted to feed. When MrL does want to feed, I am pleased we have the Medela calma teat, which doesn’t disrupt breastfeeding, as it makes the baby work for the milk, the same way they would when breastfeeding. Other times my other saviour has been...
  2. Lansinoh breast pads for my leaking breasts, which seemed to be all the time (I still use them now) as they leak when they are full, one breast leaks whilst the other is being drained by baby, leaks when baby cries...for every leak you need to grab a pad. The complimentary product to the breast pad…
  3. Lansinoh HPA Lanolin nipple cream, I needed this after a few days of breastfeeding, I believe it was more for the fact that my nipples/breast wasn’t used to seeing action every 2 hours, instead of there being a latch issue. If there is a latch issue see a breastfeeding specialist ASAP to avoid mastitis, uncomfort and not being able to adequately feed your baby.
  4. Cantaloop adjustable nursing bra which grows with you and provides the support you need before and during breastfeeding; I love the fact that it is a simple click and you’re able to feed your baby discreetly and quickly with either the bra or the Cantaloop nursing tank top


  1. Mobile alarm, I mentioned this earlier but it needs its own bullet point. I was complimented on the fact that ‘I looked good’ and ‘not so fatigued’, I think this is down to the fact that I am an obsessive freak who set an alarm for everything, so I could plan when I could eat, sleep, clean, shower, bathe baby, feed baby, change baby and more...with the alarms going off at all times it was quite easy to get confused which alert was for which point, so google sheets came in handy too! Yes I am a freak!
  2. Large acrylic 31x22 MUJI frame for your bubba’s birth certificate; I registered Chance’s birth about 11 days after his birth, which was the first appointment I got, but you have up to 6 weeks to do so. I bought 5 copies of the ‘full’ birth certificate (which you need for obtaining a passport etc) and framed the ‘short’ version which you receive free.
  3. I was gifted lots of baby toiletries which I haven’t tried and reviewed as of yet, but so far the one that I have been using (which I have a tonne of) is Baby bee shampoo and wash nothing is better than 2-in-1, and Baby Bee nourishing oil which is a great moisturiser for both hair and body, smells delicious and provides sensory stimulation for baby as a massage. I love baby massage as it has really helped when Chance is windy, great for creating a routine following bathtime and leaves baby’s skin feeling soft and smelling yummy.
  4. The Little White Company nighttime safari 2.5 tog sleeping bag is great period! Chance has a 2.5 tog one as he is a winter baby, so it keeps him cosy and temperate all night long as he cannot kick the cover off (which is also safe), keeps him restricted which is what he is used to having been in the womb for 270+ days and it looks super cute in photos.
  5. Milestone Baby Cards are a great way to document your baby’s first weeks, months, years and development. I am not a keen photographer (as you may be able to tell) and living the minimalist lifestyle, MrL and I don’t actually have any photos in our home, so without these cards I most probably would have forgotten to document some of the big moments...my mother on the other hand recorded my birth, and was and still is snap happy, which is useful, which brings me onto my next couple of points…
  6. Camera, any kind of camera will do, from your mobile phone to a DSLR to a disposable...just a way to document those moments that go by so quickly; especially if you aren’t lucky enough to have your mother living round the corner as your personal photographer.
  7. Grandmother, Aunty Godmother, Grandfather and any other relatives are very much needed during this time. MrL and I have an agreement that I cater to Chance at all times bar the hours of 7pm-midnight, which leaves little ‘me’ time. Whilst MrL does all the cooking in our household, my mother does the extra cooking of my Nigerian home comforts, ironing (something I really don’t understand), personal photographer and holding Chance whilst I go completely OCD with my cleaning. When I return to work, she will also help take care of Chance, so I am very lucky! Aunty Godmother so far has been the gift giver and grandfather has organised the traditional items that seemed to have slipped my mind...family during this time is very important.
  8. Naty eco nappies and Naty eco wipes were something we bought in bulk and added to our Ocado list prior to Chance arriving. Whilst baby’s number 2 transitions from meconium to the sweet meadow smell golden stuff (this is only if you are breastfeeding) you will need at on average 10 nappies and 25 wipes a day...which is quite a lot for the week. As you will need so many of these items it is best to invest (even if they are a little pricey) in natural and biodegradable products which are sensitive for baby and help reduce your own carbon footprint.
  1. I mentioned earlier that on occasion Chance gets quite windy, and before he was a month old, all I could do was watch him get red in the face squeezing and kicking his legs...uncomfortable to watch him in discomfort, but the fact that he wasn’t in tears, I think I was lucky. As soon as he turned 4 weeks I was ready and prepared with Woodward’s gripe water which worked more effectively (for us) than all the back rubbing and bicycle legs to relieve the gas.
  2. Boots maternity pads for at least 2 weeks and at most 6 weeks, for when your uterus is returning to pre-pregnancy size. Thank lochia!
  3. My Bobble jug moves around the house with me; on the coffee table next to Chance during the day, and at night on my dressing table, allowing me to get my 2l of filtered water from a jug that is not just highly functional but has a sleek design...I even carried this to Sweden on a trip!
  4. Throughout my pregnancy, I survived on Pregnacare Max formula, once Chance arrived, I switched to Pregnacare breastfeeding, which is formulated with the essential vitamins, calcium and omega-3 DHA that would benefit myself, getting back into tip top condition following pregnancy and my son who is growing and heavily relies on the milk supply as his only source of nutrition.
  5. If like me, you find that you are washing more times than you care to imagine weekly, then not only do you need at least 5 organic sleepsuits and bodysuits, but a strong and sensitive detergent and fabric softener. I heavily rely on Comfort pure fabric softener and Persil non bio detergent along with Dettol antibacterial laundry cleanser which helps kill bacteria when I wash Chance’s clothes on 40 degrees...so no need to wash on high temperatures, reducing your home bills and carbon footprint.


I hope this was useful?

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