Gifts for New Parents

February 5, 2014

I thought I would share some of the best gifts I received for ideas for gifts for new parents.

Excuse the length of this post, I hope it’s useful.

Gifts

Gifts for Baby
All the gifts I received were wonderful and I loved them all – if you want to buy your friend a cute outfit or a cuddly teddy then go ahead. Before the baby arrives you have no idea what you are going to need and all that cute stuff just adds to the excitement. That said this is a list of the gifts I received that I really love and have found useful.

Swaddle pods – a gift from gorgeous friends in Australia, we loved this when Jessica was brand new. Swaddle blankets are absolutely fine but if you have a wriggler then you’ll spend a lot of time re-wrapping the baby especially with the kerfuffle of night-feeds. I also received lovely sleeping bags which as soon as Jessica wasn’t up for swaddling we put her in. They too are wonderful for keeping her warm and you don’t have to fuss with blankets every time you feed.

Sleepsuits – I do love dressing Jessica in cute outfits but it’s a hassle when they are little especially if they don’t like fuss so if you want to give something seriously useful then all in ones are the way to go. My favourites are from Mama’s and Papas and John Lewis as they wash really well but we got given some seriously lovely ones from Petit Bandeau that I will keep forever – that first size is so tiny and something I want to remember.
Little tip you should get ones with feet and scratch hands on.

Pretty blankets and quilts – I am lucky to own a lot of beautiful quilts and I got given a few more, plus I treated Jessica to some little colourful ones for her nursery. I use all of them. I don’t believe you can have to many blankets or quilts. I use them to cover the bed when I am feeding, I use them to add an extra layer on Jessica at night, I use them when we got out in the pram and now for playing on the floor at home and out. They get puked on and dribbled on a lot, you need a few.
Find out if the nursery had a colour scheme and try and buy one to fit.

Huge Muslins – I got given some beautiful muslins at my baby shower, and they are huge. I always make sure I have one of these when we go out. Baby’s are sick a lot. You need to always have a muslin handy. I loved having pretty ones to take out with me and at home I have pack after pack of plain white ones.
I also have the softest bamboo muslins for wiping dribble and milk.
I love Aden and Anais.

Every baby needs a Sophie. The cutest toy and it has really come into its own recently (teething!)

Also the cutest, softest toys are Jellycats – you can buy them everywhere. Jessica has so many bunny’s and the sweetest musical star in the car.
I also adore Maileg toys, I am very naughty with these, Jessica is already growing a gorgeous collection.

If you are a Mama and have found you have used something a lot and love it pass that knowledge on, some of the best gifts I received were exactly these.

Gifts for Mama – so gratefully received!
If the Mama is on baby number two or more this is the way to go, they probably have everything they need!

Give a Mama to be a massage or mani-pedi for use before the baby comes and she will LOVE you. Those last few weeks before baby arrives are tough, you are fed up of being uncomfortable and just want to meet your little one. The best thing I did was relax and take time for me, these are amazing gifts to give and will be the last time she’ll be able to do it for a while.

I highly recommend pampering products, especially early on in the pregnancy. A few wonderful friends gave me treats and I spent a lot of time having long bubble baths and using all these lovely products people gave me. I am so glad I did enjoy them while I can because it is so rare now!
I loved the Mama Mio products, the rich body lotion felt and smelt amazing and was a pleasure to use, as were the oils.
I also like Burts Bee’s products and still do, I have some of the baby bits too and they are so lovely to use.
Also Neal’s Yard (my Mum gave me the seaweed and arnica foaming bath – which is for when you are overtired how apt!)

I think any products that are natural are great when you’re pregnant your skin can be a bit more sensitive than normal and natural products for me always tend to be worth the extra cost because they feel good to use.

I also loved the Elemis Japanese Camellia Oil which I am still using. It soaks into the skin so quickly and isn’t greasy at all and is a joy to use.

One more idea that I can pass on and it’s possibly the best is to be helpful when you visit. I could have kissed the friends that dropped in with food, my mother-in-laws came and cleaned and friends that insisted on washing up etc were life-savers.

At first when the baby is brand new and possibly Dad is off work they might have it all sorted but, unless it’s going to offend, when you visit someone with a new baby make the tea, take food – if you can take a big pie or casserole they’ll love you forever, take a look around when you visit see if there is anything you can do to help, especially if the new Mama is having a tough time, someone just cleaning up, throwing the vacuum around might just make their week a little easier.

I wish I had known this before… I was so clueless, I imagine I was the super unhelpful guest visiting friends with new babies… Sorry to all of you!

xx

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I am so excited that I and a little girl… pinterest pics like these make me so so excited!

I cannot wait to put little ballet shows on her toes…

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And sunglasses! (have actually already done this, super cute)

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She is going to have so many tutus. I will be gutted if she’s not into dressing up.

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But mostly just little sun dresses. When she can walk, this is going to be so cute!

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I also want to get some skinny jeans and a cute scarf.

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Basically dressing my daughter up is more fun than dressing up myself now!

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Oh Albatross

January 23, 2014

These soft toys are the CUTEST EVER.

I am seeking the little bunny for Jessica’s growing collection.

I cannot rest until I find it.

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SERIOUSLY. So cute.

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http://www.ohalbatross.com

Lately…

November 15, 2013

So lately… I have been so very busy… doing what feels like the easiest yet toughest job ever.

She’s a bit of handful… and the sweetest little girl ever.

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We try to do one thing every day, whether that be meeting friends for coffee and cake, or have the Grandparents visit or a baby group etc, but no more than that… we need lots of quiet time – we are treating this as a fourth trimester. The times when I haven’t given her enough contact time with me… we have both suffered for it. It is so important!

I am having tons of fun dressing her and arranging her things in her room. She has so many wonderful things already.

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Some days she even lets me grab some lunch, I am addicted to boiled eggs as they are easy and if she changes her mind then I can eat one-handed.

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Those times when she’s not so keen I kinda snack on naughty things… newly obsessed by these chocolate covered marshmallows. So good.

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She is still receiving the most awesome gifts, I cannot thanks friends and family enough for everything, she is too lucky. As am I, there have been many gifts for me also.

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Her Grandma and Nana are knitting up a storm, these two could seriously open a shop they are so good. Jumpers, blankets and the cutest sleeping bag. I am truly going to look after these and keep them forever.

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When she is asleep on me there is no moving, so I watch movies and tv or read. I have read so many books since she arrived… it feels like the biggest luxury.

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And my amazing Mr is still on cooking duty most of the time, I do when I can but it’s not often and when I do I often get interrupted so I normally make quick and simple dinners meanwhile he is making shrimp tacos and full on roast dinners.

The best guy.

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This week I am catching up with my work bits and figuring out when I can find some time to blog… I miss it here!

xx

Jessica

September 27, 2013

So our baby arrived!

Her name is Jessica and she is pretty amazing.

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You will have to excuse my absence for a little while, we are getting to know each other and she keeps me very busy!

xx

I want to recommend a birth preparation class today… for those that are pregnant!

I have been attending Relaxed Birth and Parenting since I was 25 weeks pregnant and it has definitely helped me so much in terms of feeling ready mentally as well as a couple of hours of real me-time every week.

The class runs for just under two hours every week and for the first hour it’s a time to talk. Sometimes Jessica has invited someone to speak, such as a maternity acupuncture practitioner, sometimes she will give us a topic and ask the group questions and we often spilt into little groups to walk about how we are doing, choices we are making etc.
I honestly thought I would hate it, I am no good at talking to new people especially about topics that are quite private but it has been great.
I have opened up a lot more than I thought I would, but there is no pressure to talk at all if you don’t want to, but talking to people who are at similar stages and making similar choices has been so nice, and also talking to people who are making different choices too has been really interesting.

Just having space to think about myself and the baby every week has meant that I do it a lot more than I would have otherwise and I have learnt a lot about birth too, we don’t get into detail but alongside my reading and working with my Doula I have been able to plan my birth without going to ante-natal classes which I really didn’t want to do and it’s completely not what I thought I would want (and of course might not be the one I get!)

We also hear birth stories from others in the group so as people leave to have their baby they often come back to share what happened.

I didn’t watch any birthing tv shows, or go to classes or even read any stories so until I came to this class I had shut all of that out but the best thing has been seeing that no matter what everyone that has come back has been so positive about their birth that I cannot help feeling okay about it – which is a big transformation from how I felt at the start – terrified!
It has been amazing to hear about some natural easy births and also hear new Mama’s speak about their births that didn’t go to plan so positively and know that whatever happens as long as my baby is healthy I will not care.

The second half of the class is yoga. I have done yoga classes for years and used to really push myself in class and I did really miss exercise (I did nothing for the first 4 months as I was so ill) and although it is light stretching and I don’t push myself like I used to I always feel really good after the class and the next day too. As I have been getting bigger the day after yoga is the day I always feel lightest and walking around not as much of a struggle as it is at the end of the week. It has also been a nice surprise that I can still balance!

You don’t have to push yourself too hard in the class in either part you can just be there and take that time to listen and learn and think about your baby. That is the nicest part of it.

So a bit of a rambling essay I apologise.

My class is run by Jessica in the Southville Centre every Tuesday and there are spaces available from next month so I highly recommend if you are pregnant and around 20 weeks then book in. If you are elsewhere in Bristol there is also a class at the Relaxation Centre run by Dom who a few of my friends went to and they also love and highly recommend.

The sessions are £10 a week which sounds like a lot but I promise you are worth it.

You can find out more at Relaxed Birth and Parenting, they also have a network of doulas (some of whom I have met and are all amazing) and other classes and workshops available.

Lately…

September 9, 2013

I am a little behind with these diary posts… but I’ll try to catch up this week.

I have just started my maternity leave, so am trying to relax and rest but also sort a few things out before Baby arrives and do nice things with friends and family too… which means I am actually still fairly busy. Who has time to go to work?

I have been shopping for Baby T, still trying really hard to stop but sometimes I cannot resist.

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There was a lovely lunch in the country with friends and a massive brownie the likes of which I have never seen before!

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I am still addicted to swimming, and really miss it when I can’t go… and this yogurt is the winner of the best yogurt ever. Blood orange compete and thick gloopy yogurt. So good. Go get it.

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There have been some lovely meals out and coffee dates with girlfriends at my favourite spots Thali and Poco.

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More presents too… I am in love with this Aden and Anais muslin from my ever generous friend Sarah and am taking it to hospital to swaddle Baby for her ride home… my Mama also got me some Neal’s Yard bits which I cannot wait to use…

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I am filling my tummy with cake while I can, trying to enjoy these last few weeks of a big belly…

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We also celebrated our second wedding anniversary, while we kept it low-key it was the nicest day and we took time out to reflect on these years and to get excited about someone joining our little family.

My Mr absolutely spoiled with a beautiful necklace and dinner at Bell’s Diner.

You should go if you haven’t been, super cute restaurant serving small plates, and the setting is so French you could be in Paris!

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I had to have a little glass of bubbles and they added a beautiful blackberry syrup… My favourite dishes were the salt cod fritters and the slow cooked cauliflower…

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And the Onglet steak with onion puree and mushrooms was SO good,

Special mention goes out to the Abernethy butter and the Blackberry and Apple Crumble which we are both still talking about now.

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While I was still at work I did start to struggle… working till 38 weeks was not my best plan, so I treated myself to lots of naps and rest over the weekends with a new book to help me stay put and Biggie the cat looking after me I got through it.

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The flower lady by Marks Bread is back and I have been to see her a lot… with beautiful bouquets of wild flowers and mini bunches of sweetpeas appearing all over the house.

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We also had another visit out to Wiltshire to celebrate my Gran’s 88th birthday with a roast beef lunch and mini afternoon tea treats on a gorgeous August day.

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Lots of lovely times!

x