Preparations

I imagine that this is what’s known as nesting. I admit, I’ve been a bit quiet on the old blog front lately but I’ve hit the stage where, if I’m not falling asleep as soon as I get in from work then I’ve been alternately panicking and trying to sort things out. The sorting helps the panicking for the most part but I still have irrational “things aren’t ready” panics that are less soothed by sorting!

This weekend I washed, dried and packed all of the baby clothes that we’ve been gifted and have bought. This helped my thoughts a lot! I think I am worried that baby will come early, and we will not be ready for this. It’s bad enough that we don’t yet have a mattress for our crib, or any crib bedding, (can’t place an order for these until I’m on maternity leave and can be in for a delivery) but what if baby came early and had nothing to wear? Oh em gee.

Washing and sorting them sorted that one. It’s tricky with baby clothes isn’t it? Trying to second guess what size the baby will be and what size clothes to buy. I’m measuring big, bump wise, and baby feels very close to the surface, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll be a Big Baby. On the other hand though, I don’t want to waste money on newborn sizes only for baby to need to go straight into 0-3 months!

We have been given some lovely things though. The baby grows above were from my sister Rachel. I found them a few months ago on the Next website (I was looking at the long sleeved ones I think) and emailed Rachel the link. Then a few hours later she emailed back completely amazed as she’d been out shopping that same day and had bought the above baby grows completely independently without having seen my email or anything! I suppose she just knows me really well :-)

I love the ducky print ones. These were the first things I chose when I was only a few weeks pregnant, and my mother in law bought them for us. They’re in a set with some other bits that all have ducks on. :-)

Rach kindly bought us these after I told her how much I like elephants on baby clothes (I think they’re so sweet.)

I love these ones too, for three reasons. Firstly, stripes and spots are one of my FAVOURITE things. Secondly, they have ingenious little scratch mitts built into the hands, and thirdly they were chosen by my mother in law’s husband which is really lovely because I was unsure whether he was excited about the baby or not and this showed me that he is.

We’ve also been gifted lots of little vests and things which is ace, and such a help. There’s a lot of newborn vests so I wonder if my (potentially) big chubby baby will fit them!

Anyway, this weekend I washed them and packed them (panic number 32424: do you need to use different fabric softener for baby clothes? Went and bought one with a baby’s face on the bottle just to be sure) into little sealable bags like this:

Firstly to keep them clean and secondly so that I can stuff them in my hospital bag and know what I have got when I pull them out. Or I can say to Andy to fetch some 0-3 sleepsuits for our chubber baby and he will know which ones I mean. Also because organising things stops me panicking that we don’t have everything ready. Which we totally don’t, but at least baby has something to wear while we sort everything else out.

I have also started adding thing like this onto the weekly shop:

I’m researching reusable nappies but I have no idea how they work and just though, I know how disposables work, let’s learn to work a baby first before thinking about complicated nappies! Tis on my list for the future though. (I told my mum about the nappies, she said “Yeah that pack will last you about a day.” Great!)

Oh and just in case you wanted to see just how big bump is now, this was taken last night. I still have nearly 8 weeks to go. I dread to think what my final size will be.

I’m continually torn between just wanting to hold my baby NOW, and freaking out because there is still so much to do/buy/tidy/sort/clean before baby arrives. On the plus side I have finally saved enough money to buy my lovely expensive pram (it’s been a few months of frugal dinners and NO spending money for anything else), and I’m trying to save up for an armchair to have in baby’s room for feeding but seeing as I only have one pay packet left to come my way from work I think it’s unlikely and I will be sitting on the bed (that we have not yet bought!) for all of that.

Told you there was a lot to do ;-)

47 thoughts on “Preparations

  1. Helen says:

    Those rocking armchairs are amazing. I used one in hospital and really wished I had one at home for my two. Night feeds would have been so much easier, it’s very important to keep comfy when feeding especially when tired. If you can’t get one make sure you have a comfy spot with lots of cushions.
    You may not think you are organised, but wow, the washing, packing and labelling is way more than I did! Congrats on that one! Don’t worry the rest will all fall in to place. Enjoy your bump xx

  2. Helen says:

    Those rocking armchairs are amazing. I used one in hospital and really wished I had one at home for my two. Night feeds would have been so much easier, it\’s very important to keep comfy when feeding especially when tired. If you can\’t get one make sure you have a comfy spot with lots of cushions.
    You may not think you are organised, but wow, the washing, packing and labelling is way more than I did! Congrats on that one! Don\’t worry the rest will all fall in to place. Enjoy your bump xx

  3. Adele says:

    Those days preparing are so enjoyable. Have you thought of putting an advert for a chair in a local newsagent’s window or freebie paper – might jog someone to part with theirs. Babygros are invaluable – my 3 lived in them unless someone who had given us ‘special baby clothes’ was visiting!! Such an exciting time, and you know what – whether baby is early or late, you will cope………and love it.

  4. Adele says:

    Those days preparing are so enjoyable. Have you thought of putting an advert for a chair in a local newsagent\’s window or freebie paper – might jog someone to part with theirs. Babygros are invaluable – my 3 lived in them unless someone who had given us \’special baby clothes\’ was visiting!! Such an exciting time, and you know what – whether baby is early or late, you will cope………and love it.

  5. Alicia says:

    My first was born three weeks early before I started my maternity leave. We hadn’t had the crib or pram delivered but we managed to get hold of a carry cot and made do for a few days. You can always direct a shopping expedition from your hospital bed. My mum bought all my nursing bras for me that way! It’s amazing how little you really need for those first few days so my advice would be not to panic. You’re already more organised than I was- I was packing my hospital bag whilst in labour!

    Enjoy the next few weeks and nest all you like!

    Alicia

  6. Julie says:

    Is there a freecycle group near you, if so check it out, someone might just begging away a mich loved armchair or something that you can make use of with a beautiful crocheted throw to cover it.

  7. Mandy says:

    Don’t panic – you are doing great! We didn’t have a crib with our first until two weeks after she was born – she just slept in bed with us (frowned upon i know) and i laid her in the pram or on a pillow during the day. She is a perfectly beautiful 14 year old now – so no harm done from a little disorganisation :)

    Enjoy these last few weeks. xx

  8. Anne Marie says:

    I was going to suggest Freegle or Freecycle. Also some charity shops have great furniture you could just paint and cover with one of your lovely blankets.

    That’s amazing where that high bump has come from! It’s just suddenly growed!

  9. katy says:

    Hi, just wanted to say you’re planning and organising, nay definitely nesting, really takes me back to this time last year before I had my little girl. I found it so difficult to understand what babies wore and how much clothing they really needed when you know they grow so quickly. I love how you’ve organised into sealable bags! I was caught off the hoof even though my girl was only 2 weeks early and had to instruct husband to get a top and tail bowl, cue a very bewildered man standing in the middle of mothercare. The freecycle idea for a nursing chair is good. I managed on the bed with a feeding pillow. We used reusuable nappies (totsbots easyfit) from 3 months. babykind.co.uk is a good site for researching.

    Katy
    ps my friend was a very happy recipient of an elmer square blanket for her little boy. Thanks for the tutorial!

  10. Sue says:

    By the time I had fed and changed my first daughter in the night I was wide awake for ages. Daughter also took time to settle down again.

    I was wiser the second time round so I fed daughter 2, no nappy change and put her straight back in her carry cot by the side of my bed. We both went to sleep very quickly and she daughter 2 survived perfectly well without that nappy change.

    Both babies went into their own rooms once the 2am ish feed stopped.

    In my day we used proper nappies and had to learn how to fold them, triangle or kite (the latter worked best on older babies) and then use the nappy pin and not stab baby :-) I think things are much easier now.

    I am sure that things will all work out well so don’t panic. Just have your bag packed two weeks before the due date.

    I like the way you have packed the baby clothes in bags and labelled them as I did that too LOL.

    I and daughter 2 have sensitive skin so I always wash things in Fairy non bio and then use Comfort Pure fabric softener.

  11. Cate says:

    If I could give you one piece of advice that was given to me, it is to get a nappy wipe warmer. Mine was a cloth cover that went around the wipe container. I just left it plugged in all the time. If you do have to change a nappy in the middle of the night, a warm wipe won’t wake baby up as much as a cold one will.

  12. Your post made me smile! It took me back to that wonderful, scary, happy time ( my only son is now 20). You’ll get a lot of advice but I will say to try and treasure every minute, the good and the not so good. Mine came 6 1/2 weeks early and everything was just fine (after just a few days in the hospital). Just hold him and kiss him and smell that sweet baby head. I’ll be praying for you to have an easy delivery and a beautiful, healthy baby. Blessings to you and your new family.

  13. Linda J says:

    I’ll tell you a secret, Heather: no one ever thinks they’re ready for their first baby! It sounds like you’re doing fine. Those clothes are gorgeous. :-)

  14. Nobody is ever ready for their first. You seem pretty well organised though. It is difficult to judge how big your newborn will be. It’s best to have a couple of newborn bits for the first couple of weeks. Believe me when I say they out grow things very quickly. Better to have things they can grow into.

    Mine spent the first 3 months near enough in babygrows and vests. They really don’t mind what they’re dressed in. So long as their being cared for and loved it really doesn’t matter if they’re clothed in Armani or Primark.

    Enjoy your time as a mum, pretty soon they grow up. I can’t believe my first born will soon be 23!!

    Ruby x

  15. Have you tried freecycle for the chair? Or gumtree? You have to keep looking – sometimes there is just rubbish, but I’ve managed to pretty much furnish my son’s flat and my house on a shoestring between the two. Worth a look :-) Enjoy the next few weeks! xx

  16. Have you tried freecycle for the chair? Or gumtree? You have to keep looking – sometimes there is just rubbish, but I\’ve managed to pretty much furnish my son\’s flat and my house on a shoestring between the two. Worth a look :-) Enjoy the next few weeks! xx

  17. Catriona says:

    My daughter came 3 weeks early but I had been in hospital for 4 weeks before that. DH and my dear MIL went to Mothercare and bought what I thought we needed. Ialso used the massive terry nappies and disposables certainly save the hassle of washing them at least for a few weeks. We were gifted so many clothes for baby that I had to give some away hardly worn. Enjoy the nesting and keep healthy and strong.

  18. Catherine says:

    Heather, you are already WAY more organised than I was! I can tell you that modern reusable nappies are a cinch, but you probably need a tumble drier. Cost wise, they are a big outlay, but if you`re planning any more children one day, then you will be glad you did it. ( actually, now I come to think of it, I know somebody who is selling a load, never been used – email me if you want me to find out more) PS thanks for your reply re joining the Elmer squares, I thought that’s what you`d done, but the picture with a needle in threw me. I see now that you were sewing in your ends lol x

  19. Lovely baby grows. Don’t worry too much, babies don’t need that much stuff despite what all the shops imply and the shops are still open when you have the baby. I went through the same panicks as we didn’t buy much before and we managed fine.
    Catherine

  20. carrie says:

    you will have a lovely baby Heather, relax and enjoy, and you seem pretty organised to me! I bought all my baby stuff in one outing to Boots 3 weeks before the due date and all was fine. And I repeated the experience with my daughter, going on the bus to Mothercare on a tuesday, and she gave birth on the thursday x

  21. Ahh how exciting for you! You have some lovely gifts and my oh my, you are SO organised! All my babes arrived at 37 weeks, despite knowing this we had nothing ready when baby number 3 arrived or baby number 4, within 20 mins of my youngest being born, daddy made a mad dash to babies r us and returned with nappies, blankets and what not, everything carried on as normal…. this nesting thing, I never got it! I envy all you super organised mummy’s though, makes me feel a bit slack, like I should do better! Sending you lots of love and best wishes for a calm and happy birth for you and little one xx

  22. I never got a nesting instinct either for any of my 3, just a pack of baby grows and a pack of vests in 0-3 months, and a cardi or two…and then sent OH to buy more of whatever size (turned out we needed newborn too as 3 wks early first time) I never used fabric conditioner, I still don’t it makes me itch never mind a baby, and only non bio liquid.

    My eldest is nearly 23 too :o Good luck!

  23. I never got a nesting instinct either for any of my 3, just a pack of baby grows and a pack of vests in 0-3 months, and a cardi or two…and then sent OH to buy more of whatever size (turned out we needed newborn too as 3 wks early first time) I never used fabric conditioner, I still don\’t it makes me itch never mind a baby, and only non bio liquid.

    My eldest is nearly 23 too :o Good luck!

  24. You’ve certainly been getting lots of good advice! So just wanted to add I don’t think you need many newborn clothes – they dry quickly and babies grow so quickly that he/she will soon be in the 0-3 at any rate!

  25. Oh Heather, you’re looking fully in control and v organised! The baby vests in plastic bags are genius! We moved about 5wks before baby number 1 and bought everything that we needed the day after I finished maternity leave (leaving it til the last minute, moi?!) And getting some nappies for the early days is a really good idea – we used reusable nappies but gave ourselves the first couple of weeks off to just readjust (and they even advise it!). I never had an armchair but picked up an old rocking chair off ebay and with a big squishy cushion it was perfect for those middle of the night feeds! Sx

  26. You seem very organised! Our L.O. spent the first 10 weeks in his carrycot until we finally got round to buying a cot 5 weeks ago so I wouldn’t worry!
    We’ve been using the reusables for 13 weeks and we love them. No leakages either, but he always explodes out of disposables. Recommend the Nappy Lady for free advice http://www.thenappylady.co.uk/index.asp
    We don’t have any tumble drier so Little Lambs microfibre dry quickly. http://www.thenappylady.co.uk/little_lamb_microfibre.asp
    So exciting! :)

  27. Sherry says:

    All very exciting! My best baby tip is not to warm bottles, if you’re bottle feeding, because baby won’t know any different if you’ve never ever done it, and it’s so much easier when you’re out and about / or in the middle of the night. Boil your water and put it in your bottles in the morning, then leave them on the side in the kitchen (don’t put them in the fridge: the idea is to give room-temperature feeds, not chilled ones.) When baby needs a feed, tip the formula in and give it a good shake, and you’re all ready to feed immediately. It’s so easy to take baby bottles of water out in the nappy bag and make up your feed in this way, and you don’t need a complicated bottle warmer or jug of boiling water in a cafe to heat the bottle. Looking forward to your happy event!

  28. Verna in Maryland says:

    You are doing fine, Heather. My only advice (after helping take care of a newborn granddaughter) is to stockpile diapers. You won’t believe how many you go through!

  29. This is such an exciting time. Looking at those little clothes reminds me of the ones we had for our little baby girl (now 24 years old!). We actually kept a few of our favorite ones.

    For diapers, if you want to consider an alternative you might be interested in John and Sherry’s post about their cloth diapers: http://www.younghouselove.com/2010/08/the-much-requested-cloth-diaper-post/

    They were pretty thorough in describing the pros and cons and what they dealt with on a daily basis.

  30. Good to be organised – my baby was 5 weeks early and I hadn’t washed anything or sorted and someone else had to do it for me. Relax and rest for these last few weeks!!

  31. Wow just been catching up with the ladies after so long away and just found out about your itty bitty chick! Thrilled for you and feeling a tad sentimental reading about all your perparations…takes me back. It is such a lovely time and only the start of your amazing adventure xxx

  32. Claire says:

    I think you are VERY organised! As long as your baby is fed and cozy (no probs there with your lovely blankie!) it’ll all be just fine. Just thought I’d mention the chair I used was very cheap and just like a nursing chair and stool but not actually called a nursing chair, amazing how that affects the price. Also think about getting something easy to clean. My first was a very spewey baby and we had the clean up process down to a fine art! Love your blog, recently found it via attic 24. Love crochet but baby news makes it all the more exciting! Xx

  33. Twigwoman says:

    Heather: R-E-L-A-X!!!! I know that sounds silly when this is your 1st time and your life is about to change in ways you can not yet even imagine but I say this because (long ago before baby monitors and many new fangled items you have today) My husband and I were told on a Saturday that our daughter had been born and that we could bring her home on tuesday…. Yes she was adopted and while we had been offered this BLESSING in June – we did not not know she had not yet been born and so when we never heard another word about it – when she was born in August and said come on Tuesday we were TRULY not prepared!!!! No crib, mattress, diapers clothes baby detergent nor softener NOTHING NADA ZIP…… and guess what…. .I went in to a store on Monday purchased 3 vests/undershirts 3 one piece coverall softies, 3 hand clothes and bat towels and a box of diapers…… First borns receive MANY GIFTS…. family and friends are OH SO willing to lend a hand…. and some how it all comes together….. IT IS NATURAL to worry about the unknown and becoming a parent and having a LIFE to be responsible for can be daunting —- BUt Source never gives more than you can handle and as WE are mammals it will all come quite naturally to you in the moment….. Relax enjoy these moments and the many BLESSINGS being a Mom is about to fill your Life with!

  34. (Didn’t have time to read all the comments so hope you haven’t already got all this info from someone else!)

    I did a lot of research into reusable nappies when I was pregnant. They come in two basic types – all-in-ones where the absorbent layer is sewn into the outer waterproof layer (with options to add more absorbency in between) and two layer systems where the absorbent layer and the waterproof layers go on separately. Oh, and they either come in different sizes, or what they call birth-to-potty which basically means adjustable size.

    I found The Nappy Lady (http://www.thenappylady.co.uk/) really helpful. She has a questionnaire you fill out which she then uses to recommend the best nappies for your lifestyle/intentions/etc, and there’s no pressure to buy from her afterwards. You can also talk to her on the phone which sometimes works out better than trying to compose an email.

    Also, try eBay. I have got lots of nappies (second hand and new) from there – reusable nappies have what they call good resale value!

    Resuable nappies for newborns work slightly diferently. Instead of a pants-shaped garment, you generally need to fold squares of muslin to put under the waterproof pants. I couldn’t be bothered with this so Stashlet went into paper nappies for about the first month and then reusables when he was big enough. I bought one of each of a few different kinds to try out, and then once I knew what I was happy with, got some more. You’ll need about 15-20 nappies (depending on how frequently you’ll be doing the washing) and I know it sounds a lot, but it really is worth it financially. The Nappy Lady has lots of info sheets which might help you too.

  35. ps! The other thing I recommend is reusable wipes – you could even make them yourself, they’re really only just mini flannels. I find baby wipes too wet, and not solid enough for bum wiping but the flannel/wipes work really well and just get thrown into the nappy bucket with the used nappies afterwards. I think I’ve got about 40 – they’re cotton towelling on one side and fleece on the other side (for extra soft wiping) – and they last me about 2.5 days which is fine as I do a nappy wash every other day.

    One other thing about reusables – you can use them all the time (which is what I used to do) or perhaps only during the day or night (Stashlet goes into paper nappies at night now because he pees too much for the cloth ones (TMI I know, but useful nevertheless!)). To make life easier, we also use paper nappies when we go on holiday but revert to cloth nappies when we get back home.

  36. These pre-baby days are beautiful (and stressful!!) My big baby is 12 now, but I can remember clearly standing in her room, looking at everything ready and just not being able to wait to hold her : -)

  37. Shelly says:

    I don’t know much about babies etc but have a friend the swears by the reusable nappies because of a low income and the environment. Not sure if anyone has mentioned it but apparently there are some lovely ones on Ebay so be sure to look on there. They have super cute designs :) I know she bought loads from there for a reasonable price and their are liners or something to go inside. Also the local council apparently gives you a voucher for using reusables so definitely look into that :-)

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