My postpartum survival must haves. 

So you have your hospital bag all packed and ready, the baby bag is ready, and your nursery all set up. But as a first time mum you can easily overlook preparing what you will need post baby, I know I did first time round resulting in my sister making daily trips to the supermarket.. bless her. 

Second time round I was more prepared and it’s made a massive difference so I thought I’d share my postpartum survival must haves with you all.. 

  1. Nipple cream.. I used Lanisoh. It’s pricey at around £10 a tube but so worth it. The early days of breastfeeding are extremely hard, and I don’t think anyone prepares a first time mum for how painful it really will be. This little purple tube, takes some of that pain away.
  2. Maternity Pads.. first time round I certainly wasn’t prepared for the amount of bleeding and length of time this would continue. I think I only brought a couple of packets of pads. You will need more, a whole lot more, so stock up! Boots usually have a 3 for 2 on maternity products, and I found these ultra slim ones to be the best. While your doing an online shop, you might as well pick up number 3 & 4 too..
  3. Disposable bed mats.. great for when your waters break (not saying your psychic and will know when this will happen but if your in early labour you could prepare), and for using for the first few weeks post baby,  these are great for savouring your bedsheets. 
  4. Disposable may think why?! But, you won’t have time for loads of laundry and you can keep spares on hand in the bathroom as you may get through a few a day and I just found using these easier and less faff in the first week or two while the bleeding was very heavy (nobody told me about how much I would bleed?!). Again, I got these from the boots maternity section. You can find them here
  5. Nursing tanks.. or nursing friendly pjs.. this will make nursing throughout the night so much easier. With my first I wore baggy shirts which was a faff and you end up annoying your newborn as your top waves around their face. A nursing tank or buttoned pjs make such a difference. 
  6. Spare pjs to hand! The amount of times I’ve been puked on, my milk has leaked and even poo’d on during the night is unreal. Keep some spare pjs out, especially if like me, your clothes are all kept in your spare room where your visitors are sleeping 😂. 
  7. Water! It’s crazy how thirsty you get when your up at night, especially if you are a nursing mum. I keep a big bottle of water and a glass on my bedside table so I don’t have to get up during the night. 
  8. A breast pump! This was particularly useful as a first time mum as I leaked and felt ‘full’ a lot in the early days. It hasn’t been as bad second time around, but I found a pump really helped to relieve the pain and fullness. I really do want to start pumping more his time and trying my little munchkin on a bottle so I can catch a break every so often.. it’s just finding the time to pump for this seems impossible.. sighs. 
  9. Nappy stations.. This has been vital with a toddler and a baby about. I used to do all nappy changes in the nursery with my older monkey but it’s not simply possible to leave what you are doing and head upstairs as I can’t leave my oldest downstairs alone for a second. So I’ve set up a ‘nappy station’ downstairs with both boys nappy essentials and lots of spare clothes, and two more upstairs in different rooms. This has helped a great deal when my newborn has needed a whole outfit change and I have two screaming babies to deal with. Everything is right there on hand! 
  10. Sleepyhead. When your a first time mum you can easily get carried away with paraphernalia aimed to give you the ‘perfect baby experience’. I’m not one to get carried away with this and we have barely brought anything new for baby number 2.. BUT I can’t recommend the Sleepyhead enough. It’s worked a treat with both my boys, and allowed me to put them down as soon as they are asleep. My newest monkey did still resist being put in it for the first four or five days but soon got used to it with some persistence. This would be my number one baby item if I could have only one thing in the world.. 

So that’s my top ten things for making the early weeks just a little bit easier.. what are your just have things/ hacks for the first few weeks? Would love to know..

    My new diaper bag

    When I first started to think about my ‘must have’ items for baby number 2’s arrival, top of my list was a new nappy bag. I had long given up on my Pacapod, it was hard to adjust, didn’t fit as a rucksack and was too small. I knew I would need a bigger bag with more room to carry essentials for both babies so off I went on the hunt for a new mum bag! 

    With a toddler who was reluctant to walk and a newborn, I knew that it was essential that I had my hands free, and so I was set on getting a rucksack. The other factors I considered were  practicality of organising and fitting everything in (the pods concept in the pacapod just didn’t work for me), and style as I still want to look half decent sometimes! 

    I was pretty much set on getting a Tiba + Marl. They make stylish mum bags and you’d never guess they were for storing nappies at first (or second) glance. I originally opted for the quilted Elwood but didn’t love the fabric, so I switched it for the Elwood in black. It’s pricey at £130 but I justified the purchase by reminding myself that I had barely brought any new things for baby number two! 

    I’ve only been using it for 7 weeks but I love it already. It’s super lightweight even packed full with essentials for both babies, it has various compartments and pockets to make it easy to organise, a built in shoulder bag/purse for my essentials (keys, money, phone & lippy) and it looks G R E A T! 

    I don’t fumble around trying to find what I need in a mad panic, as I have everything organised in the different sections, this is so helpful when I have two little monkeys causing chaos. It’s big enough to carry extra everything’s so I don’t have to repack my bag every time we go out. So far I love it and love the way it looks and I’m so glad I decided to treat myself. As always, il leave you with some pics.. 

    Our first outing with a newborn & toddler 

    Having spent two weeks cooped up indoors since my little munchkin arrived, I’ve been feeling increasingly sorry for my biggest boy, who is getting more and more bored at home on the days he is not at nursery. Don’t get me wrong he still gets the majority of my attention, apart from when I’m feeding my newborn (which often takes over an hour). But the poor thing must be getting super bored and is fighting for mummy’s attention while he comes to terms with the fact the ‘baba’ is here to stay.

    So yesterday I decided I would take him to a new stay and play group round the corner, and wrap the baby up warm so we could take him with us (I’m breastfeeding on demand so he goes where I go). It sounded simple in my head; get the boys dressed and ready for 10am, and off we go… it’s a five minute walk, how hard could it be…? I’m actually laughing at myself because of how wrong I was. This is how our morning turned out…

    Both boys were up around 6.30am as usual. So I changed and dressed my biggest boy whilst my baby screamed in the background. Calmed the baby down while my biggest had breakfast and then spent the next couple of hours feeding and changing then feeding and changing my baby while my toddler occupied himself and battled for my attention!

    I then made the mistake of putting my toddler’s shoes and coat on first. He was then determined to go outside and would not leave the front porch. Only I needed to get through the porch and to the car to get the base of the pushchair and set the bassinet up for the first time. So we had a little meltdown at the door for ten minutes or so, while the baby was screaming in the background! The people at Ocado decided this was the perfect time to deliver our online shopping, so I then had to bring all the shopping in and put it away without my toddler running off through the front door into the street..whilst the baby was still crying.

    So once the shopping was dealt with, I finally set up the pushchair and got the baby’s coat on. He had, thankfully, now fallen asleep despite all the commotion. So we were ready to go, finally. Although, when my biggest boy saw the baby go into the pushchair and realised he wouldn’t be going in it he had another major meltdown! Luckily, the lovely people at Bugaboo had sent us a toddler board along with the Bee 5 we are road testing, so some quick thinking and five minutes later we had the toddler board all set up and we were actually finally ready to go! One whole hour later!

    The bassinet was so lightweight and easy to push, and the toddler board was a hit although he did switch between sitting on it and walking which is still a new concept for him. My biggest boy loved the stay and play, I can’t believe we have never been before when it is literally on our doorstep! My littlest boy slept the entire time we were there, so the ordeal to get out was definitely worth it.

    I’m sure as I get more used to having two boys we will find things like this get easier.  But having not slept more than a couple of hours the night before, the morning was just a disaster and the whole day then felt the same. Today is a new day. The toddler is off having fun at nursery, and my littlest boy has just fallen asleep… time to put the kettle on 😄.

    Sleep when the baby sleeps.. 

    ‘Are you prepared for the lack of sleep’ they said. Yes, I thought I was. I could handle a few weeks of no sleep, maybe a month or two, surely after that things would settle down. I heard this a lot, but nobody told me the extent of the lack of sleep I was about to encounter, and how it lasts months and months. Why did nobody tell me this? 

    ‘Sleep when the baby sleeps’ they said. But nobody told me that this would be impossible as my newborn baby would want to nap only on me. Putting my baby down so I could perhaps even rest risked going through the whole getting baby to sleep hour long procedure again. This was naptime for the first few months at least. 

    As he got older and I could finally put him down for naps, nobody told me he would nap for exactly thirty minutes only, leaving me just enough time to do some laundry, tidy up a bit and make a cup of tea. Just as I sipped my first long awaited sip, he would wake up. I couldn’t even attempt to catch up on sleep and ‘sleep when my baby slept.’

    ‘He’s hungry’ they said. ‘Just wait until he’s on solids,’ they said. I had built false expectations of my baby sleeping through the night (or at least better), once I introduced solids. But nobody told me that food would cause my baby to actually wake up more from wind and a bad tummy. And why did nobody tell me just how hard weaning a fussy breastfed baby would be. 

    Now they ask me what I do with all my free time as I am no longer working. ‘You must watch so much TV’ they ask. I wish! I wake up at 6am and don’t sit back down until 7pm once the babies asleep. When explaining this, I often get told to just sleep when the baby sleeps.. 


    My (not so little) new baby 

    So my little munchkin has made it to three months old..He is still the cutest, most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. He’s grown a lot (12 pounds 11oz now), and he keeps changing every day.

    He still loves his playmat and can spend up to 45 minutes a time here (but he is starting to get bored of it), he tries to talk, laughs and kicks and waves ALOT. He still hates tummy time, and still has tantrums, but his uncontrollable crying has calmed down a lot. Today, at exactly three months old, he rolled over for the first time. Like a typical proud mummy, I sent pictures and videos of this to anyone and everyone.. You’ll be glad I don’t have you saved in my phone book.

    Sami still sleeps well during the night, and I am hoping this lasts. He has slept through twice, and generally only needs one short feed at night. His bedtime is 9pm and he hates being out after around 7pm. I am trying to bring his bedtime earlier but he’s not having it, any tips from other mummy’s would be much appreciated.

    In the last week or so, Sami has decided enough is enough when it comes to drinking my expressed milk from a bottle. He just doesn’t want to know and he is becoming very clingy to his mummy. It’s not that I want to be able to leave him all the time, or even regularly, but sometimes it’s a nice break, and can make things much easier when out and about if he drinks from a bottle. Particularly as he dislikes being out in the evening, mummy is going to have to start turning down events at night! 

    My life revolves solely around Sami, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But I do crave adult company that doesn’t revolve around baby talk (me and my other mummy friends are culprits of this). So the only time this would be possible is in the evenings after Sami has gone to sleep. But at this time daddy is winding down too after a hard days work and is otherwise preoccupied. So I end up going to sleep at 9pm too (I am certainly tired enough). 

    To keep me sane, I’d be keen to know how other mums and couples work around this. I have been caught talking in my ‘baby voice’ many times when talking to other adults, and often talk to myself. It’s still a wonder how quickly the day goes, and the ever growing to do list still grows daily. I think I cope well with taking care of Sami whilst juggling the cooking, grocery shopping, cleaning and laundry, but I think my husband would tell you otherwise after a long day of working and commuting. 

    As Sami still loves to be held against my shoulder a lot of the time, I am excited to try my new purchase this month, the Baby Bjorn ‘one carrier’, I am hoping this makes my life easier when doing things around the house and stepping out on quick errands. I am also on the lookout for a new play gym which promotes tummy time, any tips? 

    I am so proud of how far we have come and how well my baby is growing and developing. Also, very proud of myself for making it to three months and still exclusively breastfeeding. It’s hard work and very tiring but hopefully I am giving Sami the best start I can. I’m so excited to see what the next month brings.