Sunday, 25 October 2015

Grace's One Month Update

Sorry for the hugely late post! Life with a newborn is completely hectic and most days I forget to eat and drink when it's just myself and the little one!

Grace is now 7 weeks old and the difference in her since she was born is huge! Her first month of life was a huge rollercoaster so I'll try to keep it short and sweet. So once we were discharged from hospital on day 2, I couldn't wait to get home and was probably a bit too eager to get back so rushed through the checks despite being far from confident with breastfeeding.

My parents came the following day after we got home and we had dinner and then got Grace to sleep and everything was going well. Then suddenly while I was in another room, I heard my Mum shout and Ollie (my husband) also run into the room. Grace had started choking and stopped breathing for a short moment. We were petrified. What was wrong with our baby? This was the third time this had happened, the first two times we put down to one-offs as they were sporadic. 

The heartache was too much so I instantly called 111, in hindsight I should have just phoned 999 but as she was fine again after this, I felt they wouldn't be best pleased to get an ambulance down. They told me to get down to A&E, which brought back horrible memories as I was only 4 days postpartum and we had literally just left the hospital. After various heart-wrenching checks and long anxious waits, we were told that Grace needed to stay overnight at least and start a course of antibiotics in case she had an infection that they needed to fight until they got the results back. 

After 3 extra days in hospital, Grace was diagnosed with having reflux and all tests came back clear and we were free to leave. Since then we have been trying to keep her reflux under control using milk thickeners and infant gaviscon. It's been an ongoing problem which is yet to be cracked so watch this space on a post completely about reflux...

As for Grace's development, she's surpassed my expectations and in the first month alone her head control was phenomenal from even day 2. The second month has been a complete change and she's now a lot more alert and active than month one of course. She was on a pretty solid routine of a 3 hour cycle which included eating, sleeping, pooping and then repeated over and over. It's safe to say we're very much exhausted but things are getting a little easier!

Until next time, I'll soon be back with another update and reviews coming when I get chance of baby skincare products for eczema/dry skin, mummy skincare for post-partum bodies, the sleepyhead and more.

Friday, 16 October 2015

My Newborn Essentials

From getting pregnant to giving birth, I spent the entire 9 months researching every single baby product that I could buy. I'm sure all new mothers would agree that you get obsessed with all the 'things' you need. As much as I felt I did my research, it's difficult to gauge as a first time mum, what you truly need. So here's my rundown of things that you should buy and don't waste money on equivalents - you'll only cave later and buy them anyway! 

Co sleeper crib
Whether it be the Snuzpod or Chicco Next To Me sleeper, you're going to want to be very close to your baby. To the point where getting out of bed is the biggest chore of your night feeds. This takes that task away and means you can check they're breathing/haven't been sick without waking me up 

First up we bought the Babymoov Cosydream which is an insert that fits in your Moses or crib and supposedly helps with colic and reflux (I'll get onto those another time). In my experience, it's helped with neither, but as part of Grace's routine she does prefer to sleep with it now but only out of habit. It did make her feel slightly more secure as a tiny newborn as it hugs her body, but now she fills the Moses it isn't an issue. 

Ohh the grand sleepyhead. Just buy one now and save yourself the money later when you have so many sleepless nights you're willing to sell your soul in exchange for sleep! This thing has some sort of miracle built in for babies, I don't know why it works but it just does. Expensive, but buy it. Note it doesn't fit in Moses baskets so this ties in with my point about needing a crib to fit it in! 

Top L-R: Snuzpod | Babymoov Cosydream | Sleepyhead | Dr Browns Bottles
Muslin Cloths
A smaller price than the previous buys but an absolute essential. I don't go a minute without using a Muslin. Miles easier than a bib and means you're not covered in so much sick because bibs can't absorb that much. Get good quality ones. In my opinion, bamboo ones I've picked up from TK Maxx, the brand is Angrl Dear, an American company have been by far my favourite. Not easily accessible in the UK so my next recommendation is Aden & Anais. I'm sure you've heard about them, just buy them. You go through so many you want them to stay fresh like when you bought them. Cheaper brands generally don't. The bigger the better. 

For the first month or so, rule out dressing them in cute outfits. Thankfully this is one thing I didn't go mad on, newborn clothing. It's true what they say, they grow so fast it's a waste of money! Shop for 0-3 months+ and stick to sleepsuits for the first few weeks, trust me it's so much easier. My favourite shops to buy sleepsuits are Next, Sainsburys (Tu), Morrisons (Nutmeg) and The Essential One. Stick to ones built in with scratch mitts too, also much easier. They're good quality and a price tag to match. Hit the sales and you're good to go! 

This is a difficult one as you don't know how you're going to feed your baby. Not everyone can breastfeed as they thought and you may end up doing it when you planned to formula feed. Either way whatever you decide to do, here have been my favourites for both methods.

Top L-R: Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine | Tommee Tippee Breast Milk Bags | Medela Mini Electric Breast Pump | Aden & Anais Muslin Cloths
An electric breast pump. A lifesaver. Now the healthcare professionals don't recommend expressing for 6 weeks so not to over produce milk, but this has been conflicting information and I was personally told to express in the first few days when Grace didn't always take to the breast. I tried a few pumps but nothing compares to Medela. A great all round brand and I highly recommend the Swing or alternatively the Mini Electric. I found mine second hand on a Facebook selling group, you don't need to go all out and buy a brand new one. They're expensive! 

Breast pump bags
I was only informed about these very recently and wish I knew about them in my early days. Tommee Tippee Express and Go bags are already sterilised and disposable meaning you can pump straight into it from your breast pump and feed from the exact same bag. So handy. 

Formula Feeding
The best bottles I've found hands down are Dr Browns. Whether your baby has colic (which is what they're targeted at) or not, they are by far the best. Another expensive buy compared to other leading brands, but you can't put a price on your babys happiness! Second up is Mam. Self-sterilising meaning you can pop them in the microwave, great for travelling, and not as many fiddly bits like Dr Browns. 
Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine is the best purchase I've made so far, I was so sceptical that we needed it, mainly due to the price but if you're adamant you're formula feeding then get this! 

I bought soo many wipes whilst pregnant, anything that was on offer really but the one brand I'd heard nothing but amazing reviews of was Waterwipes. I've tried all the ones I bought which included Pampers, Huggies Pure, Aldi Sensitive and Boots own brand so far. Nothing compares to Waterwipes, sure they're expensive but they're well worth every penny in my opinion. 

So they're my must haves that I wish someone had given me this list in my pregnancy rather than buying countless things that didn't work for us! I hope they help someone and if you have any queries about anything I've mentioned please leave a comment and I'll be sure to try to help. 

I'll be back with Grace's 1 month update (2 weeks late but newborns are so time consuming!). I hope you're all well!