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Nursery Peek

I couldn’t wait to show you Seb’s nursery! I’ve had some much fun researching and designing this gorgeous room, as well and trying to add some unique touches which I hope you can spot! You can check out my inspiration on Freya’s Pinterest board here!

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Prints from Paperchase // Shoe basket from TK Maxx // Wooden Letter from eBay

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Gro Egg from John Lewis

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Mural Painting by Lucy Tidbury // Cot from moKee // Elephant from M&S (similar here) // Cushion from Asda

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Mobile from Silver Cross // Blanket from Little White Company

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We love the leafy view from Sebs room so decided to make it even greener by adding fake grass.

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Lamp Shade, Shelves and shelf unit from IKEA

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Kia Ora painting from Etsy

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Ledge shelf from IKEA filled with prints and books.

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I decided against the pricy miniature children’s wardrobes and instead installed these small clothing rails for outfits too cute to fold away!

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Seb’s nursery is by far my favourite room in the house. We love spending time playing on his play mat and talking to the animals in his mural (more on that soon!). I hope you guys love it too!

Baby Essentials

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When I was pregnant, I researched high and low to find a simple list of the things I would need when baby Seb arrived but I didn’t really have any luck, so here is my baby essential list of my favourite tried and tested products that you can use from birth.

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Nappy Changes

There’s no doubt about it, babies poo a lot. If your baby is like mine, they will happily sit in their poo for a good few hours before you realise they have done a number two! Unfortunately this results in a pretty nasty nappy rash that is extremely red and sore and sometimes even cracked and bleeding. The best cure is lots of naked time to air out their little bottoms and cotton wool and water when cleaning their nappy (no wipes, I even found the Water Wipes to be too strong).  However, there are two products I have found which really can help soothe sore bottoms and help repair the skin. The undoubtable best is Sudocrem Care and Protect. This formula is a lot thinner than the original Sudocrem and is specially formulated for newborn babies skin. Use at every nappy change and once a day, smooth all over the nappy covered area.

For days when we have needed more of a protective barrier, the Burts Bees Diaper Ointment is the one. It is thick and rich in consistency and applies like a chalk that is still visible at the next nappy change. As with all Burts Bees products, the formula is 100% natural.

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Bathtime 

We gave Seb his first bath on his 2 week birthday. The NHS advice for bath times is to just clean with water, however after about 4 weeks, I felt like I needed something a little stronger to dissolve the milk and poop build up in hard to reach places (namely chubby fat rolls!). The Weleda range in Boots was 30% off so I thought I would give the Calendula Shampoo and Body Wash a go. Seb was also suffering from a little cradle cap and I’d been told a gentle shampoo would help. This seemed to solve two problems in one and it sure does live up to it’s description. It smells nutty and delicious and is so soft and gentle on the skin. Just a pee sized amount lathered up in your hands is enough for head to toe and I immediately noticed the difference to his cradle cap.

I had also been given this Neals Yard Baby Oil as a gift before Seb was born which is specially formulated for Baby Massage. We are lucky enough to have a free baby massage class at our local children’s centre, so at our first session I thought I’d give this a go. It is not greasy in texture and absorbs into the skin leaving it soft and silky. It is definitely a favourite after bath time for us.

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Other Basics 

The Soap and Glory Hand Maid Hand Gel is the best antibacterial gel that doesn’t dry out your skin. After a million hand washes a day, your hands soon become as dry as a sponge so make sure you have a good moisturiser on hand too!

In the first month when breastfeeding is still a momentous challenge, Infacol was a saviour at helping Seb bring up his wind after a feed. Some babies will take in a lot of air when feeding, especially if they are bottle fed on using nipple shields in my case, and a few drops of this before feeds was a godsend.

As the weather changes seasons, we’ve been picking up colds left, right and centre. The 4little1’s Baby nose-clear is suitable for babies from birth and is formulated using 100% natural oils. You add a few drops to a warm bowl of water at night time and let the aromas do their work.

A few other little pointers to the products I use and love –

NappiesAldi nappies (from their Mamia range) are without a doubt the best nappies I have used (way ahead of Pampers!). They are cheap as chips (between 7-10p per nappy!) and rarely let us down. They are much softer than the paper feeling nappies and I just cannot stop raving about them!

Cotton Wool and Water – It sounds so simple but really, cotton wool and warm water is simply the best cleaner for your babies skin. I bought packs and packs of the Water Wipes and just did not think they were worth the money. They were far to cold on Seb sore bottom and often made him scream with pain. It’s worth having a pack or two on hand for those really explosive nappies and for your changing bag, but there really is nothing better than water. I use these cotton pads from Wilkinsons and have a small bowl in his nursery for warm water.

Muslins – It really is true what everyone says, you will need ALOT of muslins. I bought 30 and find I use them all within a few days. Whether its to use when feeding, protect the changing mat from explosions, mop up sick, you name it, you’ll be needing them! I absolutely love the M&S Muslins and have them in 4 different designs. I love these for boys and these for girls.

Washing – You will be filling your washing machine with baby clothes every few days so make sure you are prepared! I use the Fairy Non Bio Gel which is perfect for babies sensitive skin. Whatever you buy, just make sure it’s non bio! Something I was not prepared for is the stains of baby poo! The yellowy poo is horrendous to get out of white baby grows and muslins but there is a game changing product called Napisan. Fill a bucket with cool water and add a few tablespoons of Napisan to soak away the hard stains. It really does work and again is non-bio.

I hope this helps you prepare for the arrival of your little bundle of joy!

My Labour Story

I wasn’t sure if I was going to share this story with you, but here we are, the birth of baby Sebastian.

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The morning of the 2nd of August, 15 days overdue, I called the hospital at 7am to be told they had no room on the ward to induce me. They’d asked that I call back at 12noon and they would hopefully have a bed for me then. A little disheartened, we decided to crack on with Scott’s birthday celebrations, yep today is Scott’s birthday!

At around 10.30, mum arrived with coffee and cake, and sure enough I’d started having period like pains which grew with intensity as the morning went on, but like mum kept telling me, some women are at this early stage of labour for days, so I didn’t get my hopes up. We called the hospital at 12 and they had a room for me and asked that I come in at 2. By the time we left for the hospital, I’d had a bath, put on a face mask (you really do crazy things in labour!) and packed the last of my hospital bag. We arrived the hospital at 2.30 and my midwife Sonia arrived at 3.30 to examine me. To my relief, I was already 3cm’s dilated, no need for induction and moved into the Lotus room in the Haven Suite of Poole Hospital.

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Sonia plugged me into the Tens machine, but we soon realised we were a little too late for that! For the next hour I rode through the contractions using the positions I’d learnt at pregnancy yoga. With my head rested on my crossed arms that rested against the wall, I pictured myself on top of the hill in Branscombe, looking over the Devon coast with my baby in my arms. Breathing through the contractions and visualising one of my favourite places let the pain glide away with each contraction. With each contraction, I would sniff my cotton wool ball that had been soaked in Clary Sage oil (used in labour to strengthen contractions). As things intensified,  I got into the birthing pool. The water gave the best pain releif yet and over the next hour I tried the gas and air to ease the pain (it didn’t, it just made me feel spinny-head drunk!). Soon enough, my contractions were back to back and I got out of the pool for Sonia to examine me. The pain had really cracked up a notch and I was sure this was it.

It wasn’t, I was 4-5cm and the pain was almost unbearable. I was gutted. Next thing I was sat on the toilet screaming for pain relief and crying that I felt that I needed to push. Sonia decided to examine me again and to her complete shock I was fully dilated and she was able to break my waters. It was too late to get back into the pool so I rested on the padded sofa and after 20 minutes of pushing, Sebastian arrived!

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I held him against my skin while we waited for the cord to stop pulsing and Scott eventually cut the cord. As I sat back on the sofa, Scott took Seb for some skin-to-skin while I waited for the placenta.

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I waited an hour for the placenta, but it was all incredibly peaceful. After I had showered, the midwife came to examine Seb and do all of the after birth checks.

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She held Seb’s neck and under his legs and to our surprise, turned him upside down! Apparently this position was his final position in the womb! Incredible!

After all of our checks were completed and I had breastfed (more on that later), it was time to take our little bundle of joy home.

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We arrived at the hospital at 2.30pm on Saturday 2nd August, Seb was born at 8.18pm and we were back at home by midnight. My total “established” labour was 5 hours including the hour waiting for the placenta. My midwife Sonia was incredible through the whole experience and didn’t leave my side. My mum supported me through each and every contraction, and Scott was there to hold my hand and give me a cuddle when it all felt too much. Labour is the most painful thing you will ever experience, but you know what, it is amazingly empowering, liberating and you are given the best prize of all at the end.