Category: PREGNANCY

William’s Birth Story

William’s Birth Story

We woke up early on Friday morning and waved Sean off to work. It was grey and miserable outside and despite having had more sleep the night before than I’d had in weeks I was in a terrible terrible mood. You know one of those […]

Nesting, Nesting, 123: 14 ways to prepare your home for a new arrival | #AD Gifted

Nesting, Nesting, 123: 14 ways to prepare your home for a new arrival | #AD Gifted

With just one week until baby’s due date the notorious nesting instinct has well and truly kicked in and as well as setting up the bedside crib, washing and organising his clothes and baby proofing, I’ve been compelled to get clear and clean in ways […]

How to prepare for a baby on a budget

How to prepare for a baby on a budget

It’s no secret that things have been a bit stretched here financially over the last few months. When I fell pregnant with this little bean, we were in the best financial situation we’d ever been in, however as things sometimes do when you’re a self employed couple, things went a bit tits up! Through no fault of his own, Sean was out of work for almost four months and on top of that he’s still waiting for a big job he did before that to finally pull their fingers out and pay him! Of course that’s meant that we’ve really had to watch what we spend at every turn, including when it comes to buying anything for the new baby. Thankfully, things are finally looking up with Sean having returned to work at the beginning of the year but that doesn’t mean we are able to go on mad spending sprees and so we are still watching the pennies. I thought I’d put together a little post on some of the ways we’ve managed to prepare for a new baby on a budget in case, like us, things are a bit tight in the lead up to their new arrival. Some lovely fellow Mama’s have also shared their tips for preparing for a baby on a budget.

Enter Competitions

Until recently I always underestimated the value of entering competitions online. You see them all the time on Instagram and Facebook run by brands and bloggers and while there are normally loads of entrants you have to be in it to win it! Throughout this pregnancy alone I’ve managed to win a SnuzPod3, a light weight buggy, a Cuddledry Apron towel, a swaddle blanket and some hospital bag essentials. All things we would have needed to buy and simply entering competitions has saved us well over £800!

Use what you can from older children

This is where a tiny part of me regrets buying everything in pink! I mean, I always imagined myself as a girl Mama so when this baby was confirmed a boy I was a little surprised and a little daunted by the sheer lack of neutral clothes and other things I had. However, I have managed to dig out a bunch of newborn and 0-3m sleepsuits and vests that will be just fine for a boy and the Shnuggle bath, play mat & bottles etc are all good to go too.

“Keep clothes from your first baby (great if you went unisex) and store them in boxes in size order. That way you not only have practically everything you’ll need but you will be able to easily go to them when you are tired and full of baby brain! ” – Emma at EmmaReed.net

Sell what you can’t use

I had real trouble with selling Florence’s clothes that I knew we wouldn’t use for baby boy. It’s amazing how attached you get to pieces of fabric! However I’ve managed to sell quite a lot of things that were in good condition that I know I’ll be able to replace down the line if we ever have another girl. I sold via eBay, Facebook market place and a few more specialised secondhand Facebook pages like the JoJo Maman Bebe one where you can often get a bit more for your wares.

Have a baby shower/Sprinkle

I’ve had a baby shower for both pregnancies, and while they were never about the gifts – more about the chance to have a girly day with friends and family – the gifts are a wonderfully money saving bonus! People often ask if there;s anything you need and my advice is tell them honestly! If you need nappies over a cute babygrow, or if you’d prefer vouchers to a soft toy ask for them.

Becky at BabyBudgetting agrees; “Be really honest with people close to you about your budget and when they ask what you need supermarket vouchers for wipes/nappies etc will be easy to ask for and super useful.” 

“If friends and family start mentioning buying gifts for baby, ask for vouchers so you can put it towards essentials or suggest things to them you really need.” – Chloe at Life Unexpected

“If close family or friends are planning on buying gifts, write a more specific list of things you really need opposed to cute fancy outfits. I know you can’t ask everyone for this but we asked close family & friends to buy practical things which helped us out.” – Twinderelmo

Buy second hand

I’ve been scouting selling sites for good condition / barely used clothing and bits that would cost a lot more if bought new. I think my favourite bargain has to be a Little Bird by Jools ‘Happy’ baby grow I won on eBay! I’m not alone in taking advantage of second hand clothing when on selling sites.

Jess from Tantrums to Smiles says “My advice would be to check out local selling pages on Facebook etc. Lots of mums often sell on bundles of baby clothes that are practically new as babies grow so quickly! I brought a bundle of newborn baby clothes and half hadn’t even been worn and everything looked brand new. I got it for a fraction of the price it would have all been new too.”

And Catherine at Rock and Roll Pussy Cat recommends using facebook selling sites too “You can buy fab baby bundles for a few pound. Nursery equipment and toys are found with huge discounts on FB market place and Ebay.”

Josie champions second hand sales “Find your local nearly new sales, NCT, Mum2mum etc and shop there, loads of bargains to be had.” and I have to agree with her — these are fab for selling at too!

Shop Wisely

I recently shared my list of things I think everyone needs for their baby… and the things you really don’t need! If you’re about to have a baby or know someone who is, head over and check out my recommendations. 

Jess & Chloe both advise making a shopping list & sticking to it!

“Make a list of essentials and stick to it when buying new things! It can be so easy to get caught up in all the cute baby things that you don’t actually need!” 

“Write a spreadsheet of only the absolute essentials you’ll need, with the cost next to it so you can see what you are spending and then look for those things cheaper elsewhere (I did this. It took time but we’ve only ended up spending £500 on EVERYTHING we need for baby). “

Make sure you’re claiming everything you’re entitled to

Believe it or not, I didn’t claim the standard child benefit for Florence until November — she’s 20 months old! I can’t believe how simple the process was and how long I waited to claim, as that money could have really helped us out. Make sure you know everything you’re entitled to and that you’re claiming it as soon as you can because as the saying goes, every little helps!

“Check what benefits you may be entitled to- things like maternity grants and healthy start vouchers could be really helpful.”Miss Manypennies

On a similar note, Sophie recommends keeping an eye on your expenses.  “Check that you are on the cheapest rates for all of your utilities as that can be a huge saving that can be spent else where.”

Take advantage of Super Market Baby Events & Baby Clubs

Super markets all over are currently hosting their baby events and have some great savings on basics like nappies, wipes and multi packs of sleepsuits etc.

“Stock up on nappies and wipes especially on baby events . I think baby clubs are great too, can get some fab freebies and lots of useful coupons.” – Sadie says.

I hope these tips from myself and some other fab Mama’s help you to prepare for your baby on a budget — however small it may be!

Pregnancy #2 : 37 (Almost 38) week update

Pregnancy #2 : 37 (Almost 38) week update

I’d like to say that since my last update at around 34 Weeks, everything has been plain sailing but it’s safe to say that this little boy is set on giving us a bit of a bumpy ride in the lead up to his imminent […]

Alternative Gift Ideas for New Mama’s & Babies

Alternative Gift Ideas for New Mama’s & Babies

So you already know what was on my new baby wishlist, but today I wanted to share some alternate gift ideas that you could buy for the new Mama or baby (and Dad & older sibling too) in your life that I’ve recently discovered from […]

My Birth Preferences: Planning for a Positive Birth

My Birth Preferences: Planning for a Positive Birth

With the final countdown to baby’s arrival officially on I have finallly gotten around to writing my birth preferences. I say preferences instead of plan, mostly because as anyone who’s ever had a baby before will tell you, birth plans rarely go to plan. With help from resources and everything I have learned through my course with The Positive Birth Company.

Birth Place : The Birth Centre

We wish to have a calm and quiet waterbirth using the hypnobirthing techniques I have learned over the last few months. Language is important to me in creating a positive mindset throuhgout my labour, so please refer to contractions as surges and avoid the use of the word ‘pain’.

Monitoring : Intermittent monitoring through sonic aid

Feel free to listen in at will without needing to ask. Ideally I would like to avoid regular internal examination and ask that this only takes place if requested.

Environment : Creating and maintaining a calm and relaxing environment is very important to me

Sight: I would like lighting to be dimmed throughout and battery tealights to be lit.

Sound: I have created a relaxing playlist including hypnobirthing audio tracks to play.

Smell: The Natural Birhting Co relaxing room spray.

Taste: Ice cold water

Touch: I would like to labour and birth in the water. If this is not possible I would like to be wearing my own. comfortable clothes.

Pain Relief : Please remind me of the tools I have used through hypnobirthing to manage pain. 

While I am open to using gas and air when things get too much, I would prefer to concentrate on breathing techniques throughout surges to manage discomfort along with positive affirmations, heat packs, cold flannels and light touch massage.

Please remind me of my wish to feel in control of my body.

Positions for labour & birth : UFO & Active

I hope and intend to remain upright, forward and open throughout. Please encourage me to stay active and change position. If not in the birthing pool I would like to give birth over the birthing ball or the couch.

Second Stage: Calm, quiet & taking my body’s lead

I would like to breathe my baby down so that he is born gently and calmly. It is important to me that I feel in control of my baby’s birth and take lead from my body. I wish to be able to bring my baby to my chest immediately. If that is not possible, I would like him to be passed to Sean for Skin to skin.

Labour Ward: I aim to replicate the calm and quiet envrionment of the birth centre

Should I need to birth my baby on the labour ward, i would like the calming atmosphere of the maternity unit to be closely replicated – dimmed lights, music and room spray etc. My preference is still to to labour and birth in the water.

If ‘on land’ I would like not be laying on my back and to remain upright, forward and open.

Please speak in hushed voices and communicate through my birthing partner so that I can concentrate on my breathing and labour. Please keep the amount of people in the room to a minimum.

Assisted Delivery: I will accept assistance if there is no other option

I would rather wait longer and allow my body to birth my baby unless there are obvious urgent medical risks and baby needs to be born.

Third Stage: The Golden Hour

After baby has been passed to me, please continue to keep the environment as calm and quiet as possible. I would like to wait until all of his blood is returned to his body before the chord is cut. I would like to birth the placenta naturally.

In the event that I have a post partum hemorrhage, I accept that I will need to have the injection and possible be transferred to the labour ward.

Unplanned cesarean: Gentle / natural cesarean please!

If possible, please play my calming music playlist and keep lighting at head end to a minimum. I would like to see my baby be born if possible so please left the curtain at this stage. I would still like baby to be passed to my chest immediately after birth.

Things to note

Should my baby need to spend time in special care, I would like to be able to care for him as much as possible.

When it comes to feeding, my preference would be to bottle feed but I am happy to receive advice and guidance on beginning to breastfeed for the first few days. This is especially important to me if baby is in need of special care.

I am happy for my baby to be given the vitamin K injection.

So there it is, down on paper as it were. Now we just have to wait for baby to be ready.

Just so you know…

I have been gifted a digital hypnobirthing pack from the Positive Birthing Company in return for my honest thoughts in the form of a review. I have not been asked to mention them in this post.

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My birth centre Risk Assessment

My birth centre Risk Assessment

When I was pregnant with Florence I was adamant that I did not want to give birth anywhere that wasn’t on the labour ward at the hospital. I wanted there to be doctors on hand immediately should something go awry and I was determined that […]

My Baby Sprinkle

My Baby Sprinkle

This weekend was a busy one for baby and I. We had our risk assessment at the birthing centre and I finally finished writing my birthing plan on Saturday and then today was my ‘Baby Sprinkle’. Me and 12 of my ladies got together for […]