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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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

Currently Reading…

July 10, 2013

I wanted to share some wonderful reads with you… pregnancy reads of course!

Great with Child was recommended by A Cup of Jo and is letters from a mother to her friend who was about to become a mother… such lovely thoughts and insights and anytime it is all becoming too much, or I am scared I read a letter from here and it gets me all happy and excited for my babes arrival…

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For all the Mamas out there I high recommend it, it’s a beautiful read so far.

I am also reading Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth, slightly more specific here, I am going to try to have as natural a birth as possible (in a hospital – mix and match!) and this book is providing me with a lot of positive birth stories – the only kind you need to hear in the run up to your own in my opinion – and then further along there are techniques to help with contractions and the pain and tiredness etc. It’s a really great book and although I have no idea what lies ahead for me and my birth I am feeling so prepared already.

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Recommended by my doula and my yoga teacher and a ton of friends, everyone agrees this book is wonderful.

A book that has kept me sane from the beginning of my pregnancy is The Rough Guide – Pregnancy and Birth, leant to me by a friend it is funny and sarcastic, with little week by week diaries from a lady who makes my own pregnancy seem like a piece of cake as hers progresses and she suffers from every little thing you could think of, it made me feel better about any ‘fun’ side effects I had. It’s also very real, there is no pushing of one point of view and gives you all options.

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I also have What to Expect when you are expecting which is great to have on hand as it is very comprehensive, however it is a little patronising in places (the chapter for your partner is hilarious) but as a book to turn to if something a little strange is happening it’s great as it has ALL the information you could possibly need.

I also have the app on my friend which gives you fun updates on what size fruit or vegetable your baby is as they grow, and a little advice page every day, plus a week by week run down of your baby’s development, which is lovely to read.

If anyone has any other baby reads for later on I’d love to hear them!

Six Months on…

June 18, 2013

So I am about to hit the third trimester of my pregnancy, the first 4 months were long and slow, and tough, but the time since then has flown by.

Baby and I are still being spoiled, my beautiful god-children each picked her a present, they are so lovely.

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I am really starting to grow now, there is no hiding the bump anymore.

I am living in my Topshop maternity jeans (best buy ever) and loose tees from Gap and dresses from ASOS and Isabella Oliver, throwing in tighter things now and again when I am feeling brave!

I definitely have a couple of preferred outfits, and staying smart for work is getting difficult, more shopping needed soon to dress this growing bump.

See my Mama-style inspiration here – http://pinterest.com/youmakemeswoon/mama-style/

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Little tasks I used to take for granted are becoming slightly difficult, nothing I can’t handle yet but I do find I need a little more time to get from A to B when I am walking and once again I am having to remember to have snacks and not to over-do it. Hunger and tiredness do not a happy Mama-to-be make.

There are lots of people around me who are pregnant too which is wonderful, some ahead of me, some behind but it is great to have lots of people to talk to and ask advice.

We are still not fully prepped yet due to holidays but I returned home from Paris to find that my Husband had painted the nursery (gold star to him), and then home from work yesterday to find it all finished and furniture in (lots more brownie points to him) so it is full steam ahead from now on… lots to do to make the little ones room beautiful and cozy and lots to buy too!

This my inspiration for the nursery;

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You can see all my nursery pins here; http://pinterest.com/youmakemeswoon/nursery/

I did kind of want a dusky pink and gold room once I found out it was a girl but I do always gravitate towards bright colours, plus my Husband is happy with this look too.

All white walls with bright everything else basically. Very excited to get started.

Baby T

May 27, 2013

So I ditched the blog for a while again…

After I disappeared before and came back I intended to keep it up but everything has been so very busy.

I have a good reason though… if you follow me at all on social media you will already know the news, I have a Baby on the way…

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The first time I stopped blogging this year was completely due to heavy-duty all day long pregnancy sickness and exhaustion… then at about 17-18 weeks it finally lifted and I started to get back to normal life. The last time I blogged was the weekend we told our family.

I had a ton of work to catch up on with various freelance jobs and I hadn’t really seen much of many of my friends so life took over for a while and blogging wasn’t a priority, but I miss it…

I miss the little diary of lovely weekends and somewhere to spill my thoughts and to place reminders of things I find and love so the effort is back on to bring the blog back!

I thought I would share my news as the first blog back… we are expecting a Baby girl and she is due in September.

Dairy is big in my world right now, when I eat a yoghurt it is like quenching a thirst, and milk… has replaced wine as my drink of choice with dinner… and snacks…

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We haven’t done much preparation yet, we are only just getting started but Baby T has a few friends waiting for her arrival already…

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I did have a tough few months so keep my spirits up with lots of treats… and so did my wonderful friends who have been spoiling me rotten…

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I have had so many wonderful gifts and the support from everyone in the early days was amazing… I have lots of friends who are Mama’s already so there was sympathy and understanding there, and distraction and giggles from those without little ones too… it has once again reminded me of all the special people I have in my life.

You didn’t know I could get soppier did you?

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I am about to hit 6 months and my bump is finally showing, it’s very high, looks tiny in the AM but huge by bedtime…

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I can feel my Baby girl move and kick a lot, anytime I am relaxed and still she makes herself comfortable and I sit and hold my hand on my tummy to feel her.

I am in that giddy happy contented pregnancy phase at the moment where I walk around in a bubble day dreaming of my impending arrival and feeling huge love for everyone, it’s a pretty magical time.