This post is a little overdue but it’s all about celebrating the fact that I have dragged yet another child through the first year of its life.
There are no award ceremonies for us Mums – no opportunity to thank our mothers or God for giving us the strength to make it through, in fact mothering is one of the most thankless jobs on offer and best not get started on how overworked and underpaid we all are.
This coming week on the blog there will be a real expectant mum focus and though we aim to write for mums with children of ALL ages I’m writing this article again with expectant and newish mums in mind and am listing some equipment that I really couldn’t have been without this year.
It will hopefully be no surprise to those of you who are expecting that you will be spending a lot of time feeding your tiny baby in those early weeks and months. Some of you will have your heart set on beautiful wooden cribs or intricate Moses baskets but if you can bear to put your image of the perfect nursery aside and focus on practicality and which sleep arrangement will buy you the most extra zzzzzs look no further than the Chicco Next 2 Me side sleeping crib. It’s not co-sleeping and it’s not getting out from under your cosy warm duvet to trek across to the aforementioned Moses basket – it’s the perfect compromise. It could admittedly be prettier but leaky boobs and poonamis ain’t pretty Maman so just trust me on this one.
Anything that means you don’t have to get out of bed is worth at least having a think about a remortgage (priorities) and this one isn’t cheap but it is worth it. Remember that there are no prizes for most committed parents so cut corners wherever you can afford to and if you are bottle feeding this little contraption from Tommee Tippee is your new best friend. The Perfect Prep machine makes the bottles up for you and at the prefect temperature at the press of a button – a godsend at 3am. It was even recommended by Father of Daughters in our interview with him last year – that’s almost a celebrity endorsement no?
I’m also very excited to have only recently discovered the first sippy cup I have EVER found that doesn’t spill out water (or even worse milk) all over my carpets and sofa! I can’t rave about this enough – it’s amazing and the Bébé has just started to have almost all of her drinks in it (sneaky bottle still makes an appearance in times of need.) It’s only £4.49 and I promise that it’s a game changer.
With the boys I would place them in their Moses Baskets next to the washing machine to get them to relax in those early newborn days. Turns out that’s so last decade and of course technology has caught up and white noise is now provided in the form of a battery stuffed fluffy sheep named Ewan. Of course you will have heard about Ewan – the point is have you bought Ewan yet? Yes he is extortionately overpriced but as these retailers well know – us Mums would probably sell our partners in exchange for an extra hour of sleep. (Oh and the great news is that Ewan the Dream sheep now comes in grey which is much less upsetting on the eye than the original purple – who the hell ever saw a purple sheep anyway?) Also note Ewan is a fantastic baby shower gift for an expectant Mum.
In those early days a great rattle is really all you need. More recently we’ve invested in a Wheelybug which is perfect on our tiled kitchen floor (watch out skirting boards.) The great thing about this toy is that it will see them through for years and isn’t too ugly to have knocking about the house. Great first birthday present.
So highchairs are a minefield. We ended up forking out a fortune for a chair that the Bébé could sit in from a really young age (it tilts back to support them from four months) so that she could sit comfortably and watch me cook – this one from Chicco was a lifesaver.
BUT as soon as they can sit properly and hold their heads up it becomes very hard to clean and it’s massive and you just can’t beat one of those plain old £13 Ikea jobs. If you can do both and get rid of your Chicco second hand on eBay before it gets too trashed – do it Maman.
These bamboo bowls with suction pads that mean they stay stuck to the table are also a godsend if you try baby led weaning – less mess as baby can’t pick up the bowl and put it on their head. Less mess equals happier Maman.
6. FOR YOU
You did it Maman! You kept a human being alive for a whole year! You can’t pour from an empty cup so don’t forget yourself and here are a few treats to celebrate that fact!
- Every now and then give yourself a break. The BEST gift you can give a new Mum or buy your wife or girlfriend to say ‘you’re amazing’ are some COOK vouchers. Great quality, mostly very healthy food that you just chuck in the oven. They have a stand alone store in Cheltenham on the Bath Road but you can also get it delivered. Their chicken pie is massive and is a perfect Sunday lunch for six. Put it on a pretty plate and you could get away with it being homemade. Even more special for a new Mum is a Don’t Buy Her Flowers care package – many of which you can add COOK vouchers to! . (Steph the founder is presenting at a future MumBoss event so do support her!)
- How about a really special treat that you will remember forever to celebrate this most special achievement. Something like this Pandora bracelet you can add to each year to celebrate one more milestone on the journey of parenthood.
The choices out there are endless and if you are anything like me you’ll hit the shops when pregnant and come home with yet another pack of nappies and some brightly coloured muslins (why do the patterned muslins cost four times as much as the white ones?) so hopefully this little list will at least give you some food for thought and focus!
Happy Shopping Mamans.