The List: Part Two

My Sis in law, who edges ever closer to giving birth to number three, sent me ‘the list’ when I was preggers.   A lifeline and plumb line in to our future life, it became our go to reference for purchases we needed before bump became bimp.  Adapted and commented on, I give you the list: part two…

Furniture, Bedding and Baths…

Moses Basket – a what? no idea. At least not until, I googled it. Turns out, its a basket that looks like its made out of reeds, with handles (ha, Moses as in the baby in the basket, who knew? :-S ). Designed for mini bimps to about three months.  Available with stands so you don’t have to put the basket on the floor (and some of those stands rock too – as in move, not as in ‘look cool’- why is this important? At 3am, it may prevent you having to get out of bed!).  The only consideration I would add to this is one of my friends got hold of a mini cot/crib made of wood which while bigger than a moses was a bit more permanent and she used that for a lot longer than a moses.

Cot- and so beginneth the construction of “The Nursery”.  Always buy a new mattress for a new bimp (ditto for a moses mattress) as part of SIDS prevention (see Glossary).

Sheets, Blankets, Cot Bumpers- Mothercare, Mamas and Papas, JoJo Maman Bebe etc etc. But your friends will be wonderful at supplying blankets as presents too.  PS Cot Bumper was another google moment, and I still have no idea whether I’ve fitted it right – which bit of the cot needs bumpering??

Chair for the Nursery – we went for big and squishy and able to recline and be slept in by on-duty adult. Other people go for Rocking chairs which helps bimp (and you) fall gently into the world of sleep but less comfy for you.  Think about arm and back support.

Changing Unit – I bought this off ebay, stripped it down and painted it to make it an ‘original’.  Why? Because at that point the wee man was sleeping 18 hours a day and I needed a project.  With it, you’ll also need a changing mat or two – plastic, wipe clean ones or the kind you can stick in the washing machine at 40 degrees when junior redecorates it in hint of digested dinner.

Nappy Bin- Whether you’re a disposable or recycleable nappy person, you will need somewhere to store the heinous crimes against humanity that are baby poos.  Don’t think you do? Two words: Weaning Poos.  Same goes for Nappy Bags when out and about, otherwise the local populus will hate you, and smell you coming.

Plastic Bath or reclining seat thing for the bath.  Useful for when bimp is mini- but to be fair we also used the sink (Hot Tap 1, Dads hand 0)

Baby Bath Towels/Soap/Bubbles/Toys/Thermometer – for the total and amusingly wet carnage that is bath time.

Any other ideas?

Coming Soon: The List: Part Three – Feeding and Changing!

There is someone who understands…

It can feel so lonely at 2 am. Like you’re the only person in the world awake (apart from the screaming shit machine that is your offspring).

I offer as some small accompaniment to the longest hour of the night, one of Samuel L Jacksons more famous speaking roles (with no reference to guns, motherfxxxers or a Royale with Cheese)

Samuel L Jackson’s finest

The List: Part One.

Better half and I are slightly older than average parents ( no numbers) so have had the benefit of watching both sets of family go through the early stages of family life. You’d have thought this would have warned us but we naively jumped in both feet first anyway.

My younger brother’s wife, after we’d told them and the shock had subsided, sent me what is now known simply as ‘the list’. An excel spreadsheet that managed in 100 lines to convey to us how little we knew, how much we needed to buy and how wildly life was about to change. It had words on it that, at the time, we had no clue about. ‘Breast Pump’, ‘sleep suits’ and ‘a travel system’.

It was daunting but also a life saver. Here on our computer screen was now the first guidance as to what to buy and how to do this, from someone we trusted and we knew had got it about right. And we followed it, added to it, highlighted it, researched it and finally ticked off all the bits we thought we needed. And then we sent it to everyone else we knew was having a baby too. And we still do. So…

Part One

The Travel System

This merits an entire post all of its own. What used to be called a pram or a push chair has been techno-geeked, health and safety-d and posh-and-becks-d. No one can have just a pushchair any more. I looked cluelessly around at the huge number, types and styles available with no idea what I was doing -the last time I’d even looked at a pram, it was for a doll, not an actual baby. So Better Half did the manly thing and whisked me and impending bump down to nearby John Lewis and interrogated the nice lady in the baby department for an hour. I then weebled (I was 30 weeks, walking was no longer possible) round the fourth floor pushing each of them and trying not to hurl in the Haberdashery department. There were things I hadn’t thought of like the fact that I’m tall with a penchant for heels means that some of the handles were too low. Others were quite heavy. Some were just a bit too cool or frankly not quite us. But here’s what we learnt…

The wheel chassis is now an individual entity upon which varying attachments can be added, albeit you buy them as a set. The wheels themselves range from your super sleek, about town designed by nasa types to your ruggedised, off road trikes designed to scale Everest. Are you a stroller, a walker, a hiker or a runner? City slicker or country bumpkin? Don’t let your baby carriage limit your lifestyle. Ha!

On top of the wheel chassis, is the baby carrier itself. And again lifestyle dictates but there are other practicalities in there too. For the first month or so, bimp is basically an eating and sleeping mini machine with no head control. The first part of the carriage bit then is probably the bit that looks like a pram. Somewhere bimp can sleep post feed and you can get on with shopping or your lifestyle coffee when you finally manage to get out of the house. The second attachment is more of a seat. We didn’t really start using this til about month three when neck control was good and he was less asleep. The seat we got can be rotated however and that’s really useful. It can either face you (probably best to begin with) or away from you (junior loved this, like a whole new world had opened up to him!). It can also be rotated from a pretty aggressive upright position through a couple of in between stages to a laid back Kipping position. Ideal now the little dude is six months and super curious but still needs his nap times.

The final attachment in terms of baby carriage is the transferable car seat. From safely attached to whatever mummy bus you drive to safely attached to the wheel chassis without so much as waking the bimp up. Word of warning, there are plenty out there who will warn you not to keep junior in his car seat too long because it might give them back issues. http://www.babycentre.co.uk/x554834/is-it-safe-to-let-my-baby-sleep-in-his-car-seat

Be sensible with the amount of time junior has in the car seat. He will let you know when he’s had enough though.

The final thing to add about travel systems is the cost. They can easily run into four figure sums of money. Of course, junior is worth it but do your research and the same super deluxe, super safe travel system in a smart store might be a few hundred quid cheaper online. And that money you can spend on starting a savings account for the wee man or buying the rest of the stuff on ‘the list’.

 

Another sign (WARNING: Post contains graphic detail)

If I wanted any other signs to convince me or any one else that life for my pregnant self was about to utterly change, the sight of me in my best work heels, suit skirt and pressed shirt honking up in to one of the clear plastic bins on Finchley Road Station should probably do it.

Evening sickness. Winner.

The little stick….

So other than the obvious, how the hell did this happen?  18 months ago, I was (reasonably) young, living in a (tiny) flat in London, enjoying date nights in the big smoke (Tuesdays) and expanding my mind intellectually by attending night skool (Thursdays).  I enjoyed work, drank cocktails, went to the Theatre (oh, the theatre. weep.), and generally made the most of life in London.  And then we decided to try for a bimp…

And then the dawning realisation of bad maths, which sends you to the Tesco round the corner from work, silently praying you won’t run in to your Boss  – ‘no,no, its not for me – I’m meeting a friend, who asked me to buy it for me.  Her’.

And then… The little white box has a little blue stripe in it.  And it matches the other little blue stripe next door. Two little blue stripes on one big white wee-d on stick.

Gulp.

There are now three phrases to be used.  Not necessarily in this order.  And with a variety of emotions.

‘Oh shit’

‘Really?’

&

‘Brilliant’ (Or Hurrah. Or Finally. Or Thank God. Etc etc)

 

And then I told my better half.

 

In the Car Park.  In Waitrose.

 

The only thing I can say is, at least it wasn’t the Fruit and Veg section.

Missing…

MISSING: One Small Angelic Child. Has been replaced by extra from Gremlins or possibly Twilight. Lacks basic ability to sleep but can communicate with dogs and use whale song. Takes human form during daylight hours or in the company of others.  At night, able to recreate that scene from the Exorcist.  Including the vomit.

Life is unrecognisable.  Everything has changed.  Every. Single. Thing.

Job.

     Relationship.

                 House.

                          Car.

                                  Social.

                                            Body.

                                                     Brain.

                                                               Baby.

Let me run you through that list again.

Job. Relationship. House. Car. Social. Body. Brain.

BABY.

!!!!!!

And here I am. 7 months later. Still scaling a learning curve shaped like the North face of the Eiger but still here and loving it. Most of the time. There are moments when I could happily put him in the laundry bin but they are few and unfulfilled.

So the 2 am feed, is just that. A feed, a lifeline, a humorous story or two about the journey so far. Posted or written at that time in the morning that has now taken on a whole new meaning. No longer the time you stumble out of a taxi on the way home after a good night out. No longer the time you get up for work or a flight on a bad day. 2am is feeding time. A time when thousands of parents wake bleary eyed and slightly disorientated as their newest child mews, cries and, if not attended to, screams for food, warmth, love and attention. 2am is the time you begin to figure out how the milk warming machine works; the time you curse your other half for being a sounder sleeper than you; the time when you find yourself wondering whether it’s possible to fall asleep while standing up while still holding the baby and the bottle. 2am is the moment you question your sanity about getting into all of this in the first place.

Welcome.