I have collected some thoughts and tips from my own experiences after having two children as well as from fellow mothers
Having a child is expensive and if you have a Boots Advantage Card, here is something good which will give you more points that you will hopefully use to treat yourself (because mothers tend to forget about themselves…): Boots Parenting Club!
For your hospital bag
I have found this to be a fantastic nipple cream. I used to whack it on all the time. The beauty of this cream is that you don’t have to remove it before nursing.
I would use disposable breast pads as well as disposable maternity briefs. I bought washable breast pads after having my first child and after a few washes, they were pretty yucky. I threw them away and used these pads. You will bleed and you will need these maternity pads that are more absorbant that your usual pads.
Disposable change mats are also good for the changing bag (sometimes you don’t want to use your changing mat when out and about if the changing facilities are dirty or if the baby has done a poo). As you don’t know how much you will bleed, it is quite comforting to use these disposable change mats not just for your baby, but also to sit and sleep on so you don’t have to worry about staining anything.
I used a tens machine for both labours and hired mine from Boots.
If you don’t have time to get everything organised yourself, Karen of My Hospital Bag, can do it for you! A mother of three, she has been through it all and has these gorgeous bags all ready for you. I can highly recommend them!
Nursing clothes for you
For nursing, this nursing cover is amazing! I wouldn’t buy very expensive nursing bras until you know what your size will be (it often takes up to two weeks till your breasts have settled in terms of size) once the milk has come in properly. I wouldn’t buy anything expensive, because I don’t think it’s worth it; at least not to start off with. You use these things for a relatively short time and you don’t know how long you will nurse for. I would also go for comfort in terms of nursing bras. I also found that once my daughter had been born, I favoured one type of nursing bra because I found it easier and better to use which is also why I wouldn’t stock up on loads beforehand.
The H&M nursing tops are great and wash very well. Mine were used for my two children, and were lent to two friends in between my two. They were still in good condition when they were returned for me to be used for my second.
Oh, and straws to drink with for labour. And snacks for you and your partner. Don’t forget to pour warm water over your belly when going to the bathroom after labour. It helps take away some of the stinging when weeing or doing other things…
These are amazing and very good for first timer mothers who feel anxious about putting clothes on, pulling head through the top, feel anxious about supporting their baby’s head and neck whilst dressing them etc (that was ME big time!). Also great because they are SO much easier to dress your child in as you lay him/her on top of it and fasten everything with poppers at the front. Super practical and the quality of these are great. We had a whole stack for both children!
For the first month, you usually need 0-1 month, and then 1-2 etc. Size 0-3 months is usually way too big when they are first born.
These are also lovely because of the comfort and also because of the no feet. You can get longer wear of them too, because you roll up the top bit of the waist so you can use them for longer.
These kind of pjs are great – again because of the poppers and no feet.
In general, you want to avoid clothes with too many buttons (unless they are poppers). Too much hassle and when your baby is screaming, buttons feel like they take forever and you can get very stressed very easily (especially if you are a first time parent). And, as one mother reminded me of when I was writing this: when you have a very poopy nappy, you want to pull down and not go over the head if you can avoid it. So true!
It is often a waste of money to get hats unless you can actually tie them underneath/on the side of the chin, because they will fall off all the time when your baby moves her/his head. The newborn hats look cute, but they are not great and in any case, you will get more than you bargained for as presents.
I grew up wearing the clothes of Polarn O Pyret (POP) and the quality is amazing!
Polarn O Pyret hats are some of the best, because they actually stay on!
These are great for winter – they are thermal and keep your baby’s feet warm and snug!
More body suits from POP.
Overalls for winter from POP… This I would spend money on even for newborns!
Oh, and I wouldn’t buy more than one, or max two blankets; you tend to receive many as gifts!