Archive for ‘nursery’

August 10, 2011

baby essentials

A while ago I pondered what the most essential baby/nursery items were.  Now three months are up I have a better idea.

I have a feeling that plenty of mums would disagree with me on a few of these though!  Everyones situation is different, as is every baby.

The nursery – I busted a gut making sure the nursery was finished first during our renovations and now after three months Id say Lottie has spent less than an hour, total, in there. 

Same goes for feeding chair (in the nursery) – while of course feeding is an important time to bond, after 800 feeding sessions I’d rather chat to someone, flip through a mag, buy stuff from the etsy website or watch tv while doing it (maintaining frequent eye contact with bub, of course!)

Ditto cot/change table, although both are good storage places for now, and Im sure they will be used in future months once Charlotte progresses from the basinette into her own bed/room.

Speaking of bassinettes, it was hotly contested among my friends and family whether they were a necessity or not.  For me, yes.  There isnt the room in our bedroom for a decent sized cot, and having the bassinette means Lottie can sleep wherever I am.  This is especially important in a bigger house so you arent running up and down stairs to check on the baby every two minutes.

Pretty much everyone said wraps were a necessity but for us, not so much.

We tried them in the first few weeks but bub kept getting unwrapped or fidgeting to get her arms out.  Instead we used the Love Me Baby/Wrap Me Up swaddle from Love to Dream.

These are easy to put on/take off, and unlike a traditional wrap can be kept on in the car (there is a hole in the back for the seatbelt). 

The can be chucked in the wash, plus they make bub look like a cute little glo-worm.

My mother in law gave me a halo wrap which was better than a muslin sheet, or similar, but the velcro got stuck on everything. 

The main reason we didnt use that though is I had two of the Love Me Baby swaddles so could rotate (one in wash, one on) and only one halo wrap – I was too scared of getting dependent on the halo wrap and then not having a clean one to use in case of an accident!

The baby rocker has been a godsend – once Lottie passed the stage where she could be awake AND not crying at the same time she has spent hours in it, watching me clean up, cook, all the exciting things.

We have a Bumbo seat which is great for this too, but the position it makes Lottie sit in makes her chuck up if she has just been fed!  But babies look awesomely cute in a Bumbo seat.

While not much ‘playing’ has been done on her playmat, it is also a godsend – she is happy to lie on it kicking about for a fair while (that being said, she would prob be happy kicking about on the floor, without the mat).

The baby bath is another item that divides people but for us its been an essential – quick to fill up and easy to drain.  We put it in the big bath so it is a bit hard on your back bending down, but then so it would be in the regular bath.

One item I bought and didnt think was necessary, but sooo is, has been the nappy bin.  Especially since Lottie has been on formula which makes for some stinky nappies!

This bin magically seals the nappy into a plastic compartment/bag ready for disposal into the regular bin once the nappy bin has been filled up.  I would say if you have a small apartment/house this would be even more important.

For some bizarre reason, I find it quite fun to use (oh, the little joys!)

Baby Bjorn carrier was a priority on our shopping list, before Lottie was born, but after three months she’s only been in it once.

She was too little for it to begin with, so we went out and bough a sling (Mini Monkey) which has been awesome.

It took a little getting used to but has been used almost every day.  Apparently you can use it til toddler age but I think if you did that youd need a chiro on speed dial as it gets hard on your back (although I might need to re-read the instructions again for how to wear it).

Our pram (City Jogger) has also been an essential and Im pretty happy with it – same pram Miranda Kerr has after all! Excellent one-handed close function and plenty of other snazzy options (it is a bit on the light/flimsy side but you cant have everything and the good points far outweigh the bad).

I’m sure Ill need to update this post after another three months – in any case our little one will outgrow her bassinette and baby bath soon and we’ll be onto new solutions. 

I hear Charlotte stirring so better get a feed on, ciao for now.

June 20, 2011

sleeping like a baby

Whoever coined the term ‘slept like a baby’ to describe a nice, long, deep sleep was surely on crack.

While my beautiful bundle does (thankfully) have a few periods a day when she sleeps like the proverbial, it’s short lived (especially at night – poor mummy!).

And much like her birth, how and where she sleeps is the opposite of what I’d hoped and planned.

I’d envisioned an ‘unspoilt’ child that slept in her own room/cot from day dot.  I would be the loving, yet somewhat strict, mother who fed her at predetermined intervals, and getting much needed beauty rest in between (or perhaps lunching with friends – tennis anyone?)

Then I read about the link between SIDS and sleeping in a separate room to your baby, and thought it best that Lottie share a room with us.  Cue quick trip to Baby Bunting to pick up a bassinette.

But who knew babies could be so damn noisy?  Ours sounds like a gremlin on steroids.  Grunting, sneezing, snoring, mewing and occasional cries – all this before the 2-3 hourly real cries for more food.

Darling dad jams his ear plugs in (and awakes the net morning asking if she slept through the night because he didnt hear a thing) but thats not an option for me.

So to get some sleep?  Ive ended up sleeping with Lottie on my chest.

This apparently also brings with it an increased risk of SIDS, the very reason I didnt want her in her own room to begin with.

But there is now way I could put her in a cot on her own now that Ive met the little beauty (maybe she would be ok with it, but I couldnt bear it).

Theres nothing better than snuggling up with her little body next to mine on these cold nights, and we both end up getting a better, longer sleep.  Less wakefulness and grunting from her, less in and out of bed for me.

Am I worried?  Not at all.  I wake up after sleeping like this in exactly the same position, reinforcing the notion that a mothers natural instinct will prevent her from rolling over on her bub (unfortunately dads dont have the same instinct so I cant share the duty/responsibility).

Im sure many will disagree but I feel like this is the most natural way for us to sleep, and also safe considering the other precautions I take (wrapping her up separately to our bed linen, making sure she cant fall off the bed if she were to roll off me, not wearing loose clothing, not going to bed drunk – are you kidding? I dont have time to drink! etc).

My dad gave me a bit of grief (the male prespective), making some thinly veiled comments about ‘not forgetting my husband’, the marital bed, cough cough etc but I think he comes from a less inventive time – you can find other times/places to do the deed (and to be honest there isnt that much of that going on, baby in the bed or otherwise – apologies if that’s just way to much information!).

I do worry that it might one day make it harder for her to transition to sleeping on her own but for now, it works for us.

This early phase is a special time and wont last long, so I want to make the most of it.  There will be plenty of time for my baby to spend hours alone in her room when she’s a teenager!

April 30, 2011

i’m back, baby

Time to get back on the blogging bandwagon.  My oh my, what a busy couple of weeks it’s been!

Since my last post it seems like a million things have happened, way too many for one little post. 

But I have to start somewhere, right?

I thoroughly enjoyed a gorgeous baby shower, courtesy of the lovely girls I am lucky to know (thanks ladies, you know who you are!). 

This deserves a post all in itself, one which will be forthcoming soon.

As a few of my fellow bloggers have mentioned they weren’t so sure about the whole idea but it was such a lovely opportunity to catch up with everyone at one place and time it shouldn’t be missed (plus, who can say no to cake and presents?)

I’ve finally finished up work, for now anyway, and despite having already been asked to go back for a few days here and there it’s lovely to have a chance to focus on the impending arrival and get everything ready for baby.

That being said – one of the projects I was most looking forward to once maternity leave started was decorating the nursery.

However, while we have finally taken posession of our new abode, the nest feathering will have to wait, for now.

The initial plan was to put in a new kitchen, freshen up the paint and work out the rest later.

‘Later’ has turned out to be now, so we currently have a kitchen that is a shell (and by shell I mean exposed joints, no ceiling, no walls and patchy floor covering). 

Ditto for the bathroom, family room and dining room.

My earlier wishes to have the baby arrive early have not just flown out the window, they’ve packed their bags and headed overseas.

Painting didnt seem like such a major issue but because of the previous paint used, every surface has to be sandpapered – by hand (and while all the heavy labouring/reinforcement work goes on, guess who gets this job?).

I had thought that my heavily pregnant state would excuse me from a lot of this but lo and behold, a dust and fumes mask has been procured for me so I can work away (woo hoo). 

It would be tempting to leave it for someone else but with the sheer volume of work to be done, it’s all hands on deck.

Even the nest-feathering activities like selecting light fittings, tile and carpet colours and so on are leaving me a wee bit flummoxed.

I’m normally pretty good at making decisions so am putting this down to pregnancy hormones,  otherwise I have no way to explain staring blankly at a wall of tiles for over an hour the other day.  I’m surprised they didn’t ask me to leave the store.

To add to the workload we’re due to move out of the old place in a matter of days so after a long day of sanding, painting and numerous trips to the hardware (and burger shop) I come home for a couple of hours of sorting and packing (and to be honest, staring at the piles of odds and ends wondering what to do with it all).

Silver linings? 

In all my hurry to finish up with work, I forgot that I get bored FAST, so having a million things to do at once is a great way to take the mind off pre-labour jitters.

And having to move is the best opportunity for a spring clean/rubbish clear out.

I’m clutching at straws here, but doing some manual labour also means upping the ice-cream ante comes with a lot less guilt!

Today we had a much-earned break in the form of baby class (like the shower, this deserves a post of it’s own). 

Don’t think I could move a muscle even if I’d wanted to work on the new place so taking some time out to learn a few things about the upcoming big day was lovely. Highly recommended!

Time to get a bit of feet-up action before another big day tomorrow, so over and out – have a lovely weekend.

PS a big shout out to Velle who has an amazing blog which never fails to give me a giggle and/or inspiration.  You pregnant mamas should check it out:  http://updaduff.wordpress.com

March 27, 2011

The Pram – part two, aka why I love the boy

After a near meltdown last weekend, I was dreading the next shopping expedition for baby gear.

My fears were unfounded however, because while I was hosting a little brunch for a fellow mum-to-be the boy went out shopping and bought not only the pram, but also a baby bjorn and some other much-needed odds and ends (he missed the bit where watching a child being born from the business end, for a partner, was described as like “watching your favourite pub burn down” – HA).

We have ended up with the babyjogger citi mini, which from all accounts is an excellent allrounder- hard to argue with a an average score of 4.62 out of 5. 

Aside from having almost all the bells and whistles I like (best bit being a one-handed one-step folding action), its looks will inspire me to get into some fitness with bub (hopefully that wasn’t darling fiances motivation for buying it!).

Am also getting sorted on the clothing front, by proxy. 

I’d ordered some gorgeous gear from seed for the guest of honour at brunch today but lo and behold the package didn’t arrive in time.  Looks like I’ll be keeping them for myself then (nice one).

And as I didn’t want to be empty handed this morning, I went out and bought some replacement gifts yesterday – of course I had to buy duplicates of everything I liked for my baby to be, so have ended up with quite a good haul.

Folding the little tiny darling clothes was such a joy (I understand this will likely become a chore, but for now am loving it).

All in all, feeling a lot more relaxed about the ever-shortening ‘to purchase’ list – it’s looking a lot more manageable all together.

Time for some feet-up and a cuppa – thank you darling boy for getting done what I couldn’t!

March 23, 2011

The Pram – part one

I’ve been a little quiet on the blogging front lately, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been taking it easy in preparation for bub’s arrival.

Well, not all the time.

In between liaising with the designer for the renovations to the new abode, sourcing appliances and furniture, deciding on paint colours for the nursery and the house at large and getting ready for the move, my lovely partner in crime and I finally took the long-awaited babymoon.

Kewarra Beach Resort - babymoon perfection

We spent a beautiful few days at Kewarra Beach Resort near Cairns relaxing, swimming and eating (and of course leafing through renovation mags).

If you like eating – what pregnant woman doesn’t – you can’t go wrong at Kewarra, the menu was an absolute joy to work through and the meals were a perfect punctuation to our heavenly days lazing on the beach and on our beachfront balcony.

Most importantly, the beautiful boy popped the question so there will be an easy answer when bub is asked “who’s your daddy”.

It was all very lovely and romantic, and we couldn’t be happier.

It’s lucky I love planning, checklists and research because now not only do we have baby’s arrival and renovations to plan for, but a wedding on the (far) horizon as well.

Good news and renovations aside, we decided last weekend to really make a start on getting all the required baby gear sorted.

Easier said than done.

Armed with a list of must have (and nice to have) items we hit the baby megastores, ready to go.

What did we get?

A car seat.  That’s it.

And while I’m loving the car seat (too scared to do any research on it now in case I see something bad), I’m feeling totally overwhelmed by everything we need, and all the choices out there.

After doing what may have been too much research, I had a list as long as my arm of requirements for The Pram.

Bassinet or capsule attachment, reversible handle, not too wide, not too flimsy, not too small but not too big, great for walking but manoeuvrable for city shopping and coffee shops.  Also stylish, not too mumsy OR space age, and a reasonable price (I had to add the last one after I found a emmaljunga pram that ticked most of the boxes but came in at a hefty $2200).

BF (sorry, fiancé!) and I stood there like deer in headlights, staring at the rows and rows of options, before hotfooting it out of the store into the safe and comforting arms of Ikea (that should give you some indication of how bamboozled we were, when a trip to Ikea seemed like a walk in the park).

Everyone keeps saying “just get one that will fit your lifestyle”. 

Oh, OK.  If only I knew what that was going to be!

Not knowing the area we’ll be moving to it’s hard for me to judge how much time will be spent walking (outdoors, in parks, on pavements or in the mall).

And while I have fantasies of shopping, heading to the gym and enjoying a coffee with friends – all in a morning with baby – this might be far from the reality.

Think I’ll have to take the advice of one wise friend and expectant mother – “you aren’t going to get a pram with everything you need, so compromise where you can and if you end up hating it, there’s always eBay”.

Will keep this in mind when we attempt The Pram – Round 2 on the weekend.

So what am I looking at?  As of today the top contenders are the mountain buggy and baby jogger, any advice from mums out there will be warmly appreciated.

(Don’t even get me started on cots).

HOT TIP for any budding investors out there – buy shares in ACP because I am buying up magazines in previously unheard of quantities. 

Along with reno mags, pregnancy mags and my usual fashion and gossip titles, I can now add wedding issues to the mix.  If you don’t hear from me in a while I am no doubt buried under a pile of glossy pages.

March 1, 2011

it’s t-shirt time

Stuck at home today with something halfway between a cold/flu – normally Id just pop a few Codral and soldier on as they say, but seeing as I can’t take anything more effective than panadol am going to treat this thing with some r&r and check out some of the cuter baby t-shirts I could find online.

Yes, it’s t-shirt time, for those Jersey Shore viewers among us.

Not knowing the gender of my baby makes it a little bit harder (I keep looking wistfully at the cutesy girl wear) but there’s plenty of gender neutral tops to keep me going.

chimp dj from rock your baby

First cab off the rank is Rock Your Baby, a veritable treasure trove of gear for your little rock star. 

Some of them a lot of grown-ups will love, but might scare the littlies a bit (eg the chimp dj) but I guess a baby won’t know one way or the other.

There’s plenty of stripes too, but while my fancy towards the horizontal band borders on ridiculous, am not sure if I should indulge it tooooo much with baby clothes – a bit scared of ending up like those weird women who dress the same as their kids.

That being said, the little sailor girl number is pretty cute (oops, there I go looking at girl things again!  But I guess it’s a hard habit to break after 30 years).

sailor girl from Rock Your Baby

There are tons of sweet prints and graphics at Rock Your Baby, too many to mention them all – but the cherry print holds a place in my heart.

And I just realised I have basically summarised everything I love about baby gear (and home decorating come to think of it) – animals, fruit and stripes.

Staying on the fruit bandwagon, am loving the smalfolk apple delight t (you can pick this up at babysgotstyle).

Along with the apple t there are plenty of fruity/stripey/animal numbers to keep me happy, but even better I think are the shirts they have for toddlers and little kids. 

smalfolk apple t

I have a suspicion that many of them play up to parents a lot more than kids though and while that is pretty much expected, I imagine that when the little ones are old enough to have a say in what they wear, the Dora the Explorer shirt that grandma bought is going to get more of a look in than the shirt that makes dad feel cool.

Then there are the “funny” shirts of the iPood variety – some funny, some not so much.

The “I only cry when ugly people hold me” number is a good example of one which could be funny, but I dont like because I’m one of those people that makes babies cry when I hold them (hopefully this is a problem that can be rectified with practice).

I feel the same way about a lot of these comedy shirts on my baby as I do when adults wear them – Ill laugh at them occasionally (especially after a few beers) but wouldn’t wear them myself. 

But a few such as the “Congratulations, you get to sit near me” top from milkbomb (perfect for that holiday with a newborn) or the paperclip shirt from squirtshirts just might change my mind.

February 15, 2011

on the plus side

A little while ago I posted on some of the unwanted side effects of pregnancy, but I don’t want anyone to think that it’s all doom and gloom – far from it.

Apart from the obvious reasons why it’s nice to have a baby on the way (bringing a new life into the world, strengthening the bond with your partner etc) there are definitely some other perks that can bring a smile to your face.

Some of these might seem trivial but, much like getting an unexpected discount when you get to the cash register, they can make your day.

Carte blanche to eat whatever you want

OK, so that may not be the case. But I’m used to eating (almost whatever) I want, so having that last bit of restriction lifted has been a real pleasure.

Afternoon tea? Sure. Ice cream for dessert? Why not! Feeling a bit hefty from all the extra food? That’s just the baby weight!

And while I wouldn’t condone eating EVERYTHING in sight, it sure is nice not to feel guilty about having seconds.

Public transport

Getting an almost guaranteed seat on the bus is another little joy that can really make the day end on a high note when you’ve finished work late and don’t feel you have the energy to smile (this quickly changes when someone offers you their seat, though).

If only there was a big sign above your head begging for a seat in those early days of pregnancy when the fatigue seems at its worst!

That pregnancy glow

I’m not sure about the whole ‘glow’ thing, as a matter of course.

Most women I’ve spoken to, have felt decidedly un-glowy during certain times in their pregnancy.

But while there are days when you feel as sexy as a beached whale, paying better attention to my health does make me feel a lot healthier and happier, at least from the inside!

And I know my liver is probably dancing for joy. Which brings me to…

No ohmygod moments after too many vinos

Not everyone will get this one, but I love my wine (and beer, vodka etc). And I’ve been known to enjoy more than a couple on an embarrassingly large number of occasions in my pre-pregnancy life.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with anyone letting their hair down once in a while but if you’re like me you tend to shoot off at the mouth a bit (or a lot). And get a bit silly (insane/stupid/obnoxious).

So it’s great to wake up on a Sunday morning knowing I didn’t do anything to embarrass myself or offend anyone.

Shopaholics paradise So many excuses – sorry, important reasons – to shop!

Asos Maternity

Clothes for me (just discovered Asos Maternity, woo-ee), clothes for baby, clothes for me for after the baby, nursery gear…there are so many essentials to sort out that you pretty much won’t have time to even look at the real money wasters (that too tight frock for your old flatmate’s brothers party that you just know you’ll only wear once).

And to make sure I spend my hard earned dough in all the right places, I also get to indulge in extra glossies to satisfy my ridiculous obsession – Cosmo Pregnancy (what a joy!), Shop 4 Kids, Inside Out, Vogue Living (for the nursery, dahling).

There are plenty more to add to the list (a babymoon, well-deserved time off work and no heavy lifting to name just a few), but it’s time to put my feet up and have a bowl of ice cream.

February 9, 2011

Introducing… The Love Mobile! « ebdb

Introducing… The Love Mobile! « ebdb.

February 7, 2011

moving on

Old house sold – tick.  New house bought?  Hmmm.  BF and I went house hunting on the weekend, which wasn’t much fun in 35 degree heat, or sensible – the only houses we liked had pools, aircon and are probably out of our price range.

I must say I’m well and truly the feeling the nesting urge and, if it wasn’t for the more sensible brain of my partner I’d probably put a down payment on the first house I came across, just so we could start decorating the nursery.

Image by © Rick Gomez/CORBIS

While there’s no problem staying where we are for now (we’re renting while we find the perfect house for our new family), moving with a newborn (or even new-ish born) doesn’t sound like heaps of fun.

So my work day at the moment involves five minutes of work, five minutes of looking at houses, back to work, back to houses, and so on.  Not very productive.

To throw a spanner in the works, I’ve finally put two and two together – BF is a builder and I work for some of the best residential architects/interior designers around – so why not find something that needs a lot of work and capitalise on a bargain, with a lot of the labour done for free, or mates rates?

For one, any renovations we undertake might not be finished by the time the baby is born.  And one thing worse than moving with a newborn would have to be living in a construction site with a barely functional kitchen and bathroom.

Secondly, being around paint fumes and dust is no good for me or the baby (good excuse to head out and go shopping though while someone else does the work!).

Kylie Orr on Essential Baby helps to uncover a whole host of other problems with my reno ideas, but I can’t take them in at the moment – my head is too full of designer kitchen and bathroom fantasies.

The silver lining?  I always tend to overdo it with the rushing around and lifting side of things when I move or do renovation work.  This time I’m going to use my perfectly reasonable excuse to sit back and direct any helpers.

If you’re in the same boat as me, helpiammoving.com and Pregnancy Today have some practical advice for anyone else thinking of moving while pregnant.

Put it over there, boys!

January 29, 2011

lust haves…just add baby

The more I look at baby gear, the more I realise I need (well, want).

My newest lust-have is the ubabub nifty clear cot (the pod cot, also from ubabub, is pretty darn nice as well).

the nifty clear from ubabub

It combines two of my favourite things – well designed furniture and sleeping.  I just wish they made them for adults! 

Loving the clear sides so baby can look out and mum and dad can look in, rather than over & down.

The nifty clear doesn’t come cheap, but perhaps the fact that it converts to a junior bed (and is Australian made, super safe and ecologically friendly) justifies the hefty price tag? Yes, yes, yes!

Aside from winsome cots and change tables, the ububub site also has some gorgeous prints for decorating the nursery.

Next on the lust have list is the mini happle night light from the hip infant

happle light from the hip infant

My BF doesn’t understand my obsession with a) red things or b) apple shaped things (I also have a problem with stripes, but not sure a stripey red apple would look so cute). 

I say, what’s not to understand?  An apple a day…

Envisaging peaceful night time feeds is easy looking at the Nurseryworks Sleepytime Rocker (I found this on metromum). 

Another one of those items of furniture designed with the nursery in mind but one that I would happy with in pretty much any room of the house (even looks comfy enough for a night on the balcony with a cold cocktail).

sleepytime rocker by nurseryworks

The fact that’s its water and stain resistant makes it perfect for cocktails too.  I mean, feeding baby. Ahem.

I can’t leave out the owl family mobile (made from sustainably harvested bamboo), from state of green.

I’d have to keep it up high though so puss puss couldn’t decide it was his newest toy. It’s all a bit owl and the pussycat, really.

It can’t really get much cuter than that, although state of green has tons of great nursery additions (plus some extra items if you get sick of all things baby, like some jewellery treats for mum…hint hint).

So these are the items I’ll be buying next (right after I take that holiday I’ve been planning).

I’m sure there will be plenty of new additions to the list after another week of browsing.  And no, no one has asked or paid me to extol the virtues of my latest lust haves. I just love them that much.