The Bittersweet thing about Babies

The Bittersweet thing about babies- They grow
For a brief moment today, I sat and thought about when my first child, Violet, was a new baby. Time almost stood still when she was born, and the weeks and months that followed felt blissfully long, no matter how tiring they were. I’d sit beside her while she lay asleep in her cot, captivated by the tiny, perfect little person we had managed to create, for hours on end. I’d prop her up in her chair next to me while I’d make her home cooked puree’s and spend hours walking around the shopping centre with her quietly sleeping in her pram.

The first year of her life was like a long, warm spring morning. The kind that you want to soak in through every single pore. Time, as a concept itself, slipped away as we were consumed by our beautiful, comfortable day-to-day. And it wasn’t until her first birthday that I realised how much she had grown and how much time had passed.

Two months after her first birthday we found out that I was pregnant with our second child. We were over the moon! Only, from then on out, time seemed to only travel more quickly. Before we knew it I was 20 weeks pregnant and half way to meeting our beautiful second daughter. Big things happened, we packed, we moved and then we moved again. And suddenly Matilda was in our arms, and my beautiful Violet was a big sister.

Life honestly has felt like a big blurry dream since. The kind of dream that jumps from one moment to the next without ever really elaborating on how you got there, you just… got there. It’s undoubtably just as beautiful as those long days with Violet, only now life seems to jolt forward at a pace I can’t help but notice. The mornings flitter past in the blink of an eye, even the early, early morning starts. And it feels as though with every blink our girls get taller, and brighter and more full of life.

It is so bittersweet, to love your life so much. It is the greatest blessing you could possibly imagine, but also to watch it move at light speed aches in a way. I seem to grasp at every tiny moment I can before they slip away.

Matilda is fast approaching one now, and I feel as though the first year of her life hit us at running pace and isn’t looking like slowing any time soon. It doesn’t feel like we’ve had the slow, warm, endless spring morning like it did when Violet was a baby. Less outings, less sleep watching and far, far less home made puree. But somehow, although things seem to move so incredibly quickly, I manage to find the soft and quiet moments with both of my girls. The moments that remind me how beautiful this season of our life is right now. And I’ll always vow to cease these moments as they come, to breathe them in. They may be fleeting, but they are so, SO incredibly beautiful.

xx Em

To the ones who stayed

Thank you.

Thank you for understanding all of the messages I forget to reply to and that I’ll probably never be the first to message you or call.

Thank you for understanding when I can’t make it to your party or bail on plans for the 40th time.

Thank you for understanding why my house isn’t always spotless when you visit or when I don’t check in for months at a time.

You see, I’ve been a little busy, a lot of the time. I have two little people who need me, but I need me too, in the tiny moments of freedom of mine.

I could make empty promises, to be more reachable and present. But the reality is, I can only take each moment as it comes and hope that you’ll always be as understanding as you are now, without resentment.

This journey that I’ve been on, becoming a parent, is something you’re yet to experience. And I know it must be hard to understand exactly how I’m feeling, but your understanding all the same is such a blessing.

You still check in when you can, and you know that a few months without conversation doesn’t mean anything other than we’ve both been busy. Most importantly you still see me for me, kids, messiness and all, and gift me with little reminders that you still love who I’ve turned out to be.

I started my journey a lot earlier than most, and I’ve lost some friends along the way. But the beautiful thing I’ve come to realise, is who is truly here to stay.

Xo Emily @ Loving Little One

Balling on a Budget: Making Parenthood Work when you’re Strapped for Cash

It’s no secret, our first daughter, Violet, was unplanned. I was 18 and in the middle of an education degree and Dan was 20 and had just left his job as a landscaper. We lived with his mum, and had absolutely nothing in the way of savings.

There we were, jobless and broke, and we’d been told we were expecting a baby. I think the first word we both though of was “shit”. Despite what the world might have expected us to do in a situation where we had no income, we decided to continue with the pregnancy. We loved each other, and we had always wanted children together, and god, you know I would never forgive myself if we had decided to terminate and then had fertility issues down the track. All we’ve ever wanted was to be parents together.

Despite having next to nothing, what we did have was love and support from everyone around us, and to this day it continues. Becoming parents so young hasn’t been easy, and I’d hardly say we’re now suddenly “well off”, because we’re not. We’re still rocking this gig on a budget.

We have always managed to make things work, whether it be strategy or pure luck, I thought I would share how we’ve made it to where we are today with you.

Find a job and stick with it (even if it’s just for now). God, it sounds easy. But the reality was, for about 4 months of my pregnancy with Violet, Dan didn’t have an income, and I was part time at a burger restaurant. It wasn’t because he didn’t want a job. Big cities can be tough, and it’s certainly a case of take what you can get. Once he got it, he stuck to it, as painful as it was at times. It paid the bills, and as long as that happened we could focus on finding something better in the background. So take what you can get and remember there will always be time to work on the bigger picture once you’ve got an income.

Take all the help you can get. I get it, it’s a pride thing. But there are systems in place to help your financial situation, systems that EVERYONE here in Australia is entitled to, not just low income earners. Enquire about what you’re entitled to and don’t be ashamed to claim it. The systems are in place to help, not only your financial situation but your overall wellbeing. That also goes for accepting help from family and friends, they’re here to help and they certainly wouldn’t offer if they didn’t want to help you.

Keep track of what you’re spending. Something we certainly haven’t always been good at. You don’t have to be as crazy as keeping every receipt, but taking note of your bank statements is a step in the right direction. You’d be surprised just how much a daily coffee on your way to work adds up.

Make it yourself. Food that is. I would say clothing but you know this girl has no idea how to sew (properly anyways). Honestly though, homemade things will always save you money. Especially snacks. Feeding a toddler can be pricey when you buy pre-packaged snacks. Try batches of pizza scrolls, muffins, sausage rolls. They can be frozen and reheated and end up cheaper because you’re making batches.

Take moments over “things”. Whilst kids are little, and even as they get older toys always seem to be present. But remember they’re often tossed aside when something new comes along. Opt for experiences over gifts, especially in a sense of saving money. Beach trips, park trips, even just going for a stroll adds a bit of joy and money doesn’t have to be spent doing any of those things. Heck, even get out the hose in your backyard. The simplest things can bring joy to kids, you’ve just got to be enthusiastic and they’ll follow suit.

Don’t be trapped by loans. It is SO tempting, I know. Credit cards, car loans, short term personal loans… such a great way to get what you want, but long term… it is so much more expensive. Consider budgeting for the things you want, save for them first and then splurge. It makes all the difference week to week when you don’t have the weight of loan repayments. Though I do understand this way of doing things isn’t for everyone. And by all means, go ahead if you know it will work with you and your budget. But personally from my perspective, it’s one less financial stress for our family.

Make the big hard decisions. Sometimes it means picking up and moving, sometimes it means giving up things that take up too much of your budget. Sometimes it certainly is a bit of a sacrifice. However I’m willing to bet you wouldn’t be having children if you’re not ready to make some sacrifices.

I’ll be honest, I could go on and on here about how to make it work with little money. But truth be told, you probably already knew a lot of these points. A lot of people will put off having children for the sake of finances, which of course is a personal decision. But in my opinion there really is no “right time” to have children. You could want to buy a house first, or a new car, go on that dream vacay, get the dream job… all valid reasons to put it off, but there will always be something else to do.

We get to do all of our big dreams with our girls by our side, and although we’ve made a few sacrifices, we make it work. And I’d much rather have a couple tiny hands to hold through the tough parts of life, than to be handling it solo.

Xo Emily @ Loving Little One

Needles: What to Expect of Vaccinations in Australia

Let’s talk about needles.

And no, I don’t mean the kind of talk that starts heated discussion. I’m not here to tell you what you can and can’t do with your children. I vaccinate mine, end of.

What I want to talk about is what to expect, at least from my experiences with the girls, when you go to get your baby vaccinated from a parents perspective. Because although it’s something that happens to almost every child, there are very few posts out there about what the process is like. Which means it can be a pretty daunting experience, especially for new parents.

Babies in Australia are most often (unless parents state otherwise) put on to a vaccination schedule from birth. The schedule is different for babies of Aboriginal/South Sea Islander decent, however for the rest it is generally the same. Because my girls are not of Aboriginal/South Sea Islander decent, I’ll be speaking of my experiences with their vaccinations, and this may differ to your own children if they are.

The schedule is exactly that- a schedule. Based on your babies age, it determines what vaccinations are given at certain times. Generally speaking over 4 years your child will receive about 13 needles, and at least two oral vaccinations. The first one is given just after birth, followed by two at six weeks, two at four months, two at six months, three at 12 months, two at 18 months and a final two at four years old.

Vaccinations are usually initially discussed with your midwife, from any time beyond 32 weeks. They’ll tell you about the vaccinations given at birth and ask you whether or not you’d like for your child to have them, and from there you sign a form declaring you’re aware of the vaccination and whether or not you’d like your child to receive it. From my experiences, midwives have never been pushy over this decision, I have always been told that it is my choice and that they would leave it up to me, which I frankly am quite grateful for. There would be nothing worse than feeling like you’re being forced into it.

After your baby arrives, unless other complications arise, they generally allow at least an hour of skin to skin and the first feed (if you choose to breastfeed) before taking your baby for measurements. It’s after the measurements where they will give the first vaccine, usually into their upper thigh. This vaccine is specifically for Hepatitis B. The reason this is administered at birth is because it protects your baby from Hep B if you happen to be a carrier. “The hepatitis b vaccine is not a live vaccine and provides protection without causing disease. It is produced in yeast cells and is free of animal or human blood products. There is no mercury in the vaccine. It does not interfere with breastfeeding.” – Source

Of my own observations, the first vaccine didn’t seem to bother either of the girls at all. They didn’t get any localised swelling, and neither of them cried for very long after the actual shot. I think newborns are just so fresh they hardly even realise what is going on, let alone are bothered by the temporary pain of a needle.

The six week needles Matilda actually received today. These ones are tough, well for me mentally I think they are. You’ve spent an entire six weeks comforting, feeding and loving on your little person, so naturally to watch them be jabbed with a needle is quite daunting. Six week needles are generally done through your GP, but I think you’re also able to book through your child health nurse as well. Usually you’ll be seen by your GP first, where they’ll give Bub a once over to make sure everything is in the right place physically and that their reactions are on par with that of a 6 week old. The Dr will then either give the vaccines himself/herself or you’ll be seen by a nurse who will administer them.

Both girls were quite sleepy afterward, of course they both cried initially, but calmed very quickly once they were latched onto the breast and stayed quite calm throughout the afternoon. I did notice their temperatures rose a little, but not nearly enough to be feverish. I gave them both a little bit of Panadol as the evening approached, just to help with any soreness they may be experiencing. Matilda has been quite unsettled, though I honestly don’t remember if Violet was. It’s normal and to be expected. If you can think of yourself for instance after you receive a vaccine you’re generally a little bit tired and sore afterward.

From six weeks onward, you can really expect the same experience at each of your babies vaccine appointments. The reactions of your child may vary, some babies can be very upset, others not so much, and the physical reactions like swelling, temperatures and such will also vary. Violet never had anything other than a slightly higher temperature once after hers. Though this is different for every baby.

If you’d like to know exactly what they receive at each vaccination throughout their schedule visit this website . You can guarantee there is a reason for each one. And if you’re worried at all about any of them I would recommend booking in with your GP to talk about it. They will be the most reliable source of information, and if they don’t have all the details they will be able to provide you with peer reviewed information to help you make an informed decision.

I think it’s worth noting that almost every parent gets quite nervous at the thought of vaccines and what they entail. You’re not silly for questioning them and wanting to know more. Do your research, but do make sure that the research you do is up to date and based on factual evidence.

Again, I’m not going to tell anyone what to do with their children. Though I do vaccinate, and I believe there is good reason to. Take this information as you will, and keep in mind that as of January 2019 the information in this article is up to date, however this may change.

This is a very touchy subject, so I’ll leave it at that. But I do hope that this provides some insight for parents to be about what to expect when you take your children to be vaccinated here in Australia.

Xo Emily @ Loving Little One

(Image not owned by me, found at this URL)

The Lazy Mum’s Guide to Keeping a Tidy Home

I have never been very good at house keeping. Before I had children I was a bit of a mess, I saw housework as a chore (because we all know it is), and like everything else I don’t enjoy doing I would put it off. And everyone knows mess only gets messier the longer you leave it.

Since having the girls I’ve come to realise that life is far more stressful in a home with children if it isn’t organised (at least a little bit). So I’ve taken it upon myself the teach myself easier ways of staying on top of housework, because let’s be real, lazy people will always find a shortcut.

So, here are some simple little tricks I’ve learnt that make keeping a tidy home that little bit easier;

1. One Touch Rule

This is made up, obviously, but it has made a huge difference in the way of keeping space de-cluttered and it’s super simple (though a bit of a challenge to begin with if you’re lazy like me). Things you’ve used, whether it be an item of clothing or a book, once you’ve finished with it, don’t put it in a space it doesn’t belong, put it straight back in its designated space. Everything you touch you should only have to do so once, for example if you have a coat on, when you get home don’t take it off and put it on the couch, that will mean you have to touch it again to put it away. It’s that bit of extra initial effort, but it’ll mean you don’t spend time later on decluttering that space.

2. Empty the Damn Dishwasher

SIMPLE. The dishwasher is finished? Empty it straight away. It sounds silly, but it is one of the easiest ways to keep on top of your dishes, it avoids dish pile up in your sink, making your kitchen look 100% cleaner without even trying. I usually put my dishwasher on at night just before bed, and in the morning, unpacking it is the first thing I do after getting Violets breakfast sorted. It means I’ve got space from the get go for the dishes we use throughout the day and the sink stays clear of dishes!

3. Hang on Hangers

This is a nifty little trick I learnt from my mother in law (to be). Hang your hangables out to dry on hangers! If you’re anything like me you’re not a huge fan of washing, not really the washing or the hanging part, but the putting away. Hanging things on hangers means you can literally take it off the line and put it straight into your cupboard (following the one touch rule without even trying). Which only leaves underwear and pants to fold, halving the folding and putting away job. I also find things tend to dry a whole lot better on hangers too, win-win!

4. Clean as you Go

If working in hospitality has taught me anything, it’s a whole lot easier to keep a space tidy if you make the effort to clean as you go. Not the easiest rule to follow if you’ve got a toddler racing around and a newborn who needs your attention, BUT if you can manage it, it’ll mean that when the kids do finally have a rest you won’t have to spend that time cleaning up after a mess you’ve made cooking. Again, the one touch rule comes in handy, put things away as you use them. It’s more effort to begin with, but SO much less work in the end.

5. Keep cleaning supplies where they’ll be used

I have a great mind for putting things away, but I’ve found if that space isn’t within an easy reach I rarely bother to use it. So I’ve started keeping cleaning supplies where they’ll be used most. An example, toilet cleaner is on the windowsill above the toilet, it doesn’t look the prettiest so it’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but it really has impacted the cleanliness of things in my home. Just remember if you have children that “within reach” is within your reach, not your child’s!

6. Good Cleaning Products

Products with multiple uses and that WORK are your friend. It’s all well and good to have an entire cupboard of products, but if you’re anything like me you’ll dread using them because of the sheer amount of them. We have been using a brand called “Koh” for a couple of months now and I’ve been really impressed with it. It has a ton of multi uses and is a lot better for the environment than your usual cleaning products. You can find more info on it Here if you’re interested, I could go on about the reasons I love it but the website speaks for itself. Basically, good products have motivated me to actually use them, and that’s why it’s on this list.

7. Try Timer Cleaning

Being lazy goes hand in hand with being unmotivated. Give yourself a kick in the arse by setting a timer. I’ll often walk into a space and think “I’ll do it soon” and then it never gets cleaned. By setting myself 10 minutes to clean the space, it actually gets done! And better yet, I often feel motivated to keep cleaning other areas afterward. Be sure to actually use a timer, on your phone or something, otherwise it probably won’t work as well.

8. Baskets and Boxes

I don’t know about any other mums, but especially now after Christmas our house is filled with toys, literally from one end to the other. I can honestly say the easiest way to keep sane surrounded by children’s toys is to throw them all into a nice looking basket and chuck it into the corner of the room. Vi is old enough now to help throw them into the basket so we have a general tidy up time before every meal where we spend time together putting all of the toys into the baskets, leaving the spaces generally clutter free (for the most part).

9. Ask the kids for help

Now, obviously I’m not asking the 7 week old to help tidy things, but Violet is a very capable helper. She was able to do so from about 12 months, and she’s always been happy to help so long as I’m helping her too. We make it a bit of a game by singing a song I made up called the tidy up song. Cleaning doesn’t have to seem like a chore, and the more fun you make it for your children the more likely they are to want to help and they should always be helping! It’s called being a part of a household, no one gets out of it, unless they’re too young to do it yet. There’s nothing stopping you from making it a game either, who can pick up the most toys? Who can wipe up the most mess? There’s no limit to the fun you can have really, it’s all about what you make it.

Most importantly, above all of this, remember it’s okay if things don’t always get done. Don’t put pressure on yourself to “keep the house clean”… as soon as I stopped putting that expectation upon myself, I stopped feeling rotten when it didn’t get done, which in turn gave me a better relationship with cleaning. It wasn’t a “job” anymore, rather something I actually wanted to do.

The mess really will always follow you when you have children it’s just the reality of things. Toddlers are messy, newborns preoccupy you… but it’s not impossible, especially when you do little bits here and there to keep things manageable. Hopefully this list inspired you a little, even though your hands are probably already full. I believe in you!

Xo Emily @ Loving Little One

A Note on Postpartum Self Confidence

Our bodies go through a hell of a lot to bring our children into the world. Things get stretched, in more ways than one and our body goes through some pretty crazy hormonal sh*t. Pregnancy and childbirth changes you, whether you’re up for it or not.

I could ramble on about the details, and there are plenty. But the reality is, like I’ve stated a million times before in my previous blog posts, it’s different for everyone. Some of us get stretch marks, some get pelvic floor issues (lots of us actually hahaha), some wind up with back problems, and others bare scars on their bellies (and some in secret places too, shhhh).

And though not all of us have physical reminders of the tiny life we carried inside of us, 9 whole months of memories from pregnancy is something every mother carries with her in her heart, whether her pregnancy was easy or challenging.

I personally have had a lot of comments on my postpartum journey- not that I don’t encourage it. I share regularly on my Instagram platform about my journey with my body beyond birthing my babies, particularly in my story highlights. I feel as though it is a very important journey to share, and fortunately a lot of other influential mamas out there are doing the same these days. It helps remove the facade, that we carry these babies for 9 months and then immediately return to how we looked and felt prior to pregnancy, because that seriously isn’t the reality.

In my own way, sharing it makes me feel a lot more confident, because although none of my old clothes currently fit and I’m a bit chunkier in some places that I didn’t used to be, I have SO much love and support from the people who mean the most to me.

The reality is, postpartum self confidence, despite the name, is derived from the strong foundation of people you surround yourself with. Who lift you higher in all of your endeavours and encourage you to seek to find the love for yourself that they hold for you, not only as a new mother but as a seperate human being who deserves love a validation.

If you don’t have this support network, I beg you, go out and find it. There are groups of women all over the world who will support you and love you for who you are. Especially in your new role as a mother. And if you can’t find them, reach out to ME, there won’t be a day that passes where I won’t tell you how incredible you are.

It’s also important to remember that it’s okay not to feel perfect with your new body. It’s okay to have a goal to lose weight, or tone up, or even put weight on. Life is about growth and change, and if we aren’t striving to better ourselves then what are we striving for?

A tiny new baby in your arms does not mean you don’t have the right to miss your old body because of what it gave you. But it’s important that you know how much of a badass you are for bringing a whole new little person into the world… stretch marks, lose skin and pelvic floor issues included.

Xo Emily @ Loving Little One

The Hazy Days: Getting through the first month with a newborn

There is no doubt about it, bringing a child into the world will be one of the most incredible and most exhausting things you will ever experience in your life. I’d consider myself a bit of an old hand at it now, having done it twice, but that would mean I know what I’m doing. And let’s be honest, none of us do!

There are a few little things I’ve come across in my experiences that have at least made things a little easier. Hopefully this can help at one or two people out in their journey to parenthood, I know I wish I had read something like this before I had my girls!

Be Lenient

This is a skill you’ll soon learn very quickly. But knowing you’ll have to be before the time comes does make the pill a little easier to swallow. In childbirth, the early days, into toddlerhood and no doubt beyond. There will be times when things don’t go to plan, you’ll need to be prepared not let go of your expectations and go with the flow.

Sleep when your baby sleeps

I can’t stress this enough. Guests present or not, you need to rest. Take every moment you can to get that rest, you’ll be all the better parent for it

One word, SWADDLE

Your baby is used to being all tucked up inside your very comfy uterus. Once out, their natural startle reflex can be confusing and more often than not will startle your baby out of their sleep. In my circumstances at least anyway, I found swaddling an unsettled baby really helped calm them down and keep them asleep for longer. I highly suggest the ergo swaddles or the Love to Dream, zippers are your friend. Traditional swaddles are fine of course, but when you have a Houdini on our hands, a zip could mean all the difference in the amount of sleep you get.

Don’t be afraid to do the (safe) things you said you wouldn’t

So what, you SAID you’d never use a dummy, or you’d not co-sleep, or you wouldn’t pick your baby up too much? Whatever feels right once your baby is here, so long as it is safe, is okay to do. Don’t beat yourself up over promises your non-parent self made… you were exactly that, NOT a parent. Sometimes doing those things you’d said you’d never do, helps more than you could imagine.

Be okay with saying “no”

If you’re anything like me, “no” is hardly in your vocabulary. But for sanity sake, if you need to refuse visitors, or refuse unsolicited advice, DO IT. Your baby, your time, your body… You just had a baby! Do not feel bad for putting your needs before others. And don’t feel bad about refusing advice that doesn’t suit the way you want to parent.

Take a moment for you as often as you can

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the world of a new baby. Don’t forget to take those moments to have a shower and just breathe. Wash your hair, shave your legs, clean your face… or whatever you like to do that makes you feel human. If someone is around get them to watch the baby for that time, or even if someone isn’t, I used to drag the tummy time mat into the bathroom and put Violet on it so I could have a couple of “mummy moments” to myself. They really are so imperative. You need to look after yourself just as much as you need to look after your baby

Talk when you’re not okay

There will be tough days, plenty of them. The hormones that surge your body after having a baby are beyond crazy, and they can leave you feeling anything but yourself for a while. Remember that it’s ok to feel the negative feelings sometimes, and it doesn’t make you a bad parent. Reach out as often as you can, you’ll find that a LOT of other people have gone through what you’re going through, you’re not alone. And if you do feel as though your feelings are beyond “just hormones” PLEASE seek help, you’re entirely worthy of receiving it, and you will always be worthy of happiness.

Walk away for a minute

Babies can cry for long periods of time, at times it can make you feel a little insane. If you’re having trouble coping or feeling frustrated, pop them down somewhere safe, like their cot, and walk away for a moment to somewhere you can’t hear them, only for a few moments. Just enough to breathe and remind yourself that this won’t be forever, they won’t cry forever. There will be peace and quiet again, just breathe mama, it’ll be okay.

Take all the photos, and spam all of your socials as much as you like. Your baby is beautiful and they’re all yours! Enjoy every moment, soak in that newborn smell and take comfort in knowing that that little baby is and always will be yours.

Xo Emily @ Loving Little One

Bittersweet Babyhood

These are the days, where we long for sleep and the simplest of tasks seem to take us half the week.

Where our patience tests us (our toddlers too), we wonder if we’re ever doing enough, and surely we do?

To keep them busy,

To keep them happy,

To fill their day with fun.

Whilst we feed, and we burp and we rock to sleep the newest little person, so little, like they were once.

With so much to do, and so little time, it’s a constant fear of missing the little things that often fills our minds.

So, I sit, a little longer than I should. One on my knee and one right beside.

I read three or four books more, even when she’s sleepy eyed.

We play outside a little bit passed dinner, and bath time is often a little bit late.

But our bellies are always full and there are always more games to play.

They’re only little for such a short time. And my heart grows a little heavy when I think about how they won’t always be little and by my side.

Though, that’s the bitter sweetness of it all, some day they’ll have their own little hands to hold.

So, for now I treasure every moment, cuddles and tantrums alike. And when I’m stuck on the couch for the fiftieth time with a baby that won’t settle and a toddler with an attitude as large as mine…

I’ll remember that these moments only last a very short while and no matter how big they get, they’ll forever be my babies- just like I am to those parents of mine.

Xo Emily @ LovingLittleOne.com

Two Weeks with Two Under Two

Holy heck. If that wasn’t the fastest fortnight of my entire life then I don’t know what was.

Matilda is two weeks old today. Which wells my heart and makes me teary at the same time. Mostly because I know that time won’t be slowing down any time soon.

Both of the girls have been amazing these past couple of weeks. Violet especially is beginning to shine in her new role as “big sister”. Although she is still yet to master the art of sharing, she really is making huge progress with her adjustment to having her little sister around.

I won’t fluff it for you, the first weekend for Vi was really tough. Tough on her and us. There were definitely a few contributing factors; excitement about visitors, lack of naps (because of the excitement about visitors), out of routine, staying with her grandparents… I could list a million things really. But she didn’t handle it too well to begin with. Don’t get me wrong, she was absolutely smitten with her little sister, but that first weekend was TOUGH. Now that we’re passed it though, and she’s had time to adjust without extra people around the house, she’s doing fantastically. Though still takes Matilda’s dummy occasionally.. she thinks it’s funny, I definitely don’t.

Matilda herself has been a little joy. I forgot how much newborns SLEEP! I WISH toddlers slept the way newborns do… all day, every day hahaha! But for the most part she’s a great little sleeper, besides the odd few hours at witching hour (shivers). She is quite a little bit more windy than Vi ever was (from what I can remember). But she really is slotting so easily into our little family.

I’m tired, of course. But I’m honestly one of the happiest sleep deprived people you will ever meet. Having my girls and my man all together these past few weeks has brought me nothing but teary eyed joy.

I often find myself trying to imprint all of these moments we’re having together in my memory forever. Violet hugging her tiny sister, Dan reading to them both whilst I make dinner. It’s the simple everyday moments… I try to grasp them as tightly as I can so not to ever forget them. They aren’t big significant moments by any means, but they’re heart warming, and so special.

I often find myself wondering if it’s possible at all to be any happier then what I am right now. If it is, then we certainly have a lot to look forward to.

And as quick as this update has been, I need sleep. But I’ll try to keep this regular. These are things I want to remember.

Xo Emily @ LovingLittleOne.com

What’s in my Hospital Bag: Baby Edition

There is a huge amount of information on the internet what you should pack in a hospital bag for baby, when you should pack it, how much of what to pack and what not to pack at all. And although all helpful, I found when I was pregnant with Violet I struggled to find a decent source of information on Australian products, or at least products you could actually buy in Australia.

So, as an Australian mother about to have her second baby, here’s my list of essentials, things you’ll actually put to use and things you’ll definitely be able to buy here down under, whether it be in store or online. And if you’re not from Australia, these are all still products I’ve used and love so if you can get your hands on these things, do try!

This post could get quite long, so if you’re in a hurry, you’ll find the summary of each item in italics underneath my blabbing.

1. Nappies and Wipes

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I thought it best to begin with the obvious. I can’t remember if the hospital supplied nappies when Violet was born, but even if they did it wasn’t many so you will NEED these (obviously). Generally they suggest at least one packet, two if you want to make extra certain you’ll have enough. When it comes to the type it really is personal preference, every baby responds differently to different types of nappies. Some babies have extra sensitive bottoms, but generally they all get a little rash from having a nappy on for the first time in their existence. I have Huggies Essentails packed for the moment, I’ve tried them with Violet and find them to be quite good quality, I’ve also packed the BabyLove wipes. But as I said, it really is just a case of seeing what works for your baby, I had Aldi Newborn nappies in Vi’s hospital bag and they worked just fine and I don’t remember which wipes I used. As long as they catch the poop and don’t fall apart you’re on the right track!

Pack at LEAST one packet of newborn nappies and a packet of wipes(whatever kind you want)

2. Blankets

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Now these the hospital DOES supply, so if you’re not fussed on what blanket your little one is wrapped in then you really don’t need to pack any. Personally I like to have a couple of different colours and patterns for photo reasons, and I also love the extra softness. I have two packed, a white waffle type from Designer Bebe in Bamboo Viscose, it feels absolutely heavenly, honestly can’t get enough! And the second is a cream and white striped blanket from Bubba Blue, one side has cute pink animals on it as well. It’s a little thicker, just in case the air conditioning in the hospital is a little cool and lets be real, it’s always overly cold in hospitals.

Pack blankets you like if you want, although the hospital will supply some

3. Singlets (x4)

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These are a must in my opinion, new babies are used to the cosy warmth of inside our uterus so they do need a few extra layers to keep their body temperature normal. I’ve packed 4, I do believe they are the kmart brand, but I could be mistaken (they were a gift). Really any baby singlets will be just fine and newborn size is your best bet unless you’ve been advised otherwise, you can often purchase them in packs which is super handy for the hospital.

Pack at least 4 newborn singlets (newborn size)

4. Long Sleeved Onesies (x6)

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Long sleeved onesies are also a must, for the reason previously stated. I have a real issue with decision making, hence why I’ve packed 6, but 4 would also suffice. The terry towelling onesies are absolutely excellent, I’ve packed 3, you’ll find them at a number of different stores from kmart to Best and Less and they’ll all be about the same quality. They’re just that little extra bit warm, plus I can’t get enough of the look of a newborn in a terry onesie. I’ve also got 3 non terries, because I can’t make decisions remember? ZIPS are your friend, I didn’t realise we only have ONE newborn onesie with a zip, but the more zip ones you can find the better (the buttons are from satan when its 3am and you can’t see properly because of how tired you are).

As for sizing, I found 0000 (4 zeros) perfect on Vi who was born 6lb 13oz (about the average size of a newborn), She also fit into 00000 (5 zeros) and wore a couple in the hospital, however I wouldn’t recommend purchasing any as they outgrow them within about a week. I have some packed but that is really only because I have them so I may as well use them. It’s also best to pack one or two 000 (3 zeros) just in case you have yourself a little chunker.

So to play it safe pack at least one 000 and a few 0000 long sleeved onesies, if you can, buy the ones with ZIPS!

5. Short Sleeved Onesies (x2)

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These are definitely not 100% necessary. You’ll be wanting to keep bub as warm as you can, however on the off chance that the hospital is warmer than expected, I’ve chucked in two short sleeved onesies. It’s unlikely that bub will wear them, however she is an end of spring baby so I thought I’d better be safe. If anything she might wear one of these underneath a swaddle and a blanket, but likely not on its own.

Unlikely to be used, but two short sleeved onesies can be packed on the off chance the hospital is overly warm

6. Socks, Beanies and Mittens

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Again for warmth reasons these are great to bring along. The long sleeved onesies should cover baby’s feet anyway so socks might not be 100% necessary, but they’re good to have. Mittens are also great, not necessarily because of the temperature but because little ones tend to unintentionally scratch their lovely little faces with their new found hands. And the beanie? It’s just a photo opp too cute to pass up. I have two pairs of socks, a beanie and a pair of mittens packed.

At least one pair of socks, a pair of mittens and a beanie are great to have.

7. Swaddles

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This is definitely something I am doing differently this time around. When Vi was born, we only had the muslin swaddles, THIS time I’ll be packing three different types, one muslin, one Ergococoon and one Love to Dream. Babies wriggle, and often regular muslin swaddles have the tendency of coming undone when least convienient. We had the ergococoon when Vi was little but definitely didn’t use it as much as we could have, not because it wasn’t good, just because we had SO many muslin swaddles. Ergo has a little slit at the bottom for easy nappy changes and buttons at the top to keep their little arms in. Love to Dream swaddles are absolutely raved out here in Australia, I never purchased one when we had vi (because we had a million muslins) but they make swaddling extra easy with a ZIP! So naturally when I was gifted it (thanks Bri!) it went straight into the hospital bag pile.

You’ll want at least two swaddles if not more, and the style is totally up to you.

8. Bathtime basics

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We weren’t in hospital long enough with Vi to bathe her there, but I liked having the products I preferred with me just in case. You’ll want gentle products intended for newborns, and it doesn’t really matter if you don’t end up using them because you will need them at home anyway. I have a few face washers packed as well as the Nature’s Child organic baby wash and some moisturiser. Hospitals can be fairly drying so moisture filled products are always ideal.

The hospital may supply the basics if you have to bathe baby there, however if you have a product preference then definitely consider packing it, as well as 2 or so face washers.

9. Burp Cloths/Hand Towels

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We are lucky enough to have a super crafty nanny merele who is a whiz on the sewing machine. She whipped up these wonderful burp cloths for us before Violet was born. They’re treey toweling on one side and flannel on the other, I’m almost certain similar things can be purchased online, however a hand towel will do the exact same job. Babies can be a bit spewy, so its nice to have something covering your clothes just in case.

3 hand towels or burp cloths are super handy if you’re worried about getting spit-up on your clothes.

10. Dummies

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This is definitely a personal preference. I know some parents don’t use dummies with their little ones so you definitely don’t have to include these in your hospital bag if its not something you want for your child. We do use them, and they worked wonderfully with Vi, it could be completely different with this baby but I’ll pack them anyway. I like to stick to the natural rubber products for newborns, they give me a bit of piece of mind about what I’m putting into my babies mouth. The brands I have packed are Natural Rubber Soother and Hevea, lots of people commented on how ugly they look, but I think the big dummy tiny baby thing positively adorable.

Pack them if you want them, don’t pack them if you don’t want them, simples.

11. Butt Cream

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Sensitive little baby bums aren’t used to nappies yet, so some nappy rash cream is good to have on hand. I have the Thankyou brand Nappy Balm packed as well as some paw paw cream, both are great for relieving those little rashes. Sudocrem is also amazing, I’ll be packing our big tub of that as well when I find it in amoungst all our moving boxes. I think the hospital may have supplied some sample sized creams when Violet was born, but every hospital varies so it’s definitely good to have on hand.

At least one type of nappy rash cream, Thankyou brand, Sudocrem and Paw-Paw cream are all great

12. The BAG

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The centre of it all, the bag! You really don’t have to have anything fancy, anything big enough to fit the entirety of this list in it will work. I have friends that used duffel bags and even suitcases. My mum got me my nappy bag before Vi was born and it is just about the perfect size. It is one of the Colette by Colette Hayman baby bags, they go for about $80 but are definitely worth the investment, I’ll be continuing to use mine as it’s pretty much still in perfect condition after almost 2 years of use, plus I feel kind of chic when I use it, it is very pretty.

Anything big enough to fit everything in it works!

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So that about sums up what I pack in the hospital bag for baby. I’m more than likely forgetting things (pregnancy brain right?). But for the most part these are all things I used with Violet in the hospital when she was born. Of course every birth and baby are different and depending on the length of your stay and how big your baby is born you may change some of the sizes and number of clothing items you take.

I pack a completely seperate bag for myself, just because it wouldn’t all fit in one bag. So my next post will be the Mama’s Edition. I hope this was somewhat helpful for someone out there!

If you’ve been there and done that, what are some products you recommend? I’m always on the look out for good item to take!

 

xo Emily @ LovingLittleOne