3 Months

Another month down & Isla is growing beautifully!¬†She seems to be learning something new every day & is really practising her chatting now with lots of ‘Goos & Gah’s’ – especially to Nanny & Grumps! We get smiles all day long & even squeals of excitement so I think we aren’t too far away from her first giggle now! We took her swimming for the first time this month & she loved splashing about with Daddy & Grandma.

1-ad.jpgOur tree, lights and most of the decorations are from John Lewis, with additional decorations from The White Company & Selfridges. Stockings from The White Company.

Christmas is coming and we are all ready to go – with far too many presents for a little person who won’t even know whats going on!

4-ad

Such a cheeky girl! (Bauble from Selfridges & outfit from H&M.)

3-ad

Baby’s first candy cane… Luckily her motor skills aren’t good enough to successfully find her mouth! ūüôā

Labour & Hospital Survival Guide

So it seems every where I go I end up being asked to share advice with other woman that are about to pop, and the recurring theme is, ‘I wish someone told me this…’. So I thought I should write it all down and just put it out there…

  1. Be patient.
    I know… It’s so hard and you just want to get this thing¬†bundle of joy¬†OUT of you. But the only thing you can do is rest, relax, take a bath, eat a shit ton of cookies… And repeat. Until your little one is ready, theres no point stressing yourself out, you are going to need all the energy you can muster soon so just try and wait it out.
  2. Don’t hold on too tightly to your birth plan.
    While it’s great to have a plan, anything can happen – the only thing that matters is that you & your little one are healthy, so if she/he arrives a little differently than planned, it really won’t matter when you get your first cuddle.
  3. Know your options.
    If this is your first baby you might be thinking that you know you want an all natural labour (So did I!), but things may change that are out of your control Рso the best thing is just to read up on every pain relief option available to you, so that when you are asked you can make an informed decision!
  4. Clue in your birth partner!
    Make sure whoever is supporting you through the birth knows exactly what you want incase you can’t tell the doctor yourself for whatever reason.
  5. Bring a packed¬†suitcase… just in case.
    Of course we all hope that we’ll have the baby & be safely out of the hospital & back home in just a few hours. But anything can happen so take with you three days worth of PJs, underwear¬†& everything you might need (see below!).
  6. Leave a packed suitcase at home… just in case.
    And just incase your hospital stay gets a little longer, leave a packed suitcase with all your favourite things in it ready to go at home so your wonderful birth partner won’t have to run around the house frantically guessing what you might want.
  7. Put on your Tens machine and don’t take it off until it stops working…(And by that point hopefully you’ve got some stronger drugs!) Tens doesn’t work for everyone but it was amazing for me & I would highly recommend getting yourself one

How do I know what I will need, I hear you cry? Well, here’s my top birth & hospital must haves…

Hospital essentials -Adventures With Isla Baby and Lifestyle Blog

  1. Comfy PJs/Nightys… Lots of them – the softer, the better! Don’t even think about wearing ‘real’ clothes for a while. Some lovely soft bed socks, slippers or flip-flops are a great idea too. I had¬†ultra squishy soft Nike pair that I wore for the last few weeks of pregnancy & in the hospital that were so comfy! Available here.
  2. Maternity Pads… So, you are going to bleed, a lot. For around 6 weeks. I know, you thought you’d¬†just finished with all the gross stuff, but no! You are just entering a whole new chapter. Hooray!
  3. Face Wipes… And any of your toiletries that make you feel human again. Deodorant, Toothbrush, nice smelling creams and oils, just throw it all in the case, why not?!
  4. Breast Pads… So once your milk comes in you are going to start leaking milk at all times of the day. So breast pads are a must to avoid an embarrassing wet patch. I love Medela’s as they are ultra absorbent & have never leaked on me – I started with Tesco’s own brand but gave up on them pretty quickly! Don’t forget to put them in at night unless you want to wake up in a puddle…!
  5. Supportive pants…¬†If you read my Week 1 Survival Guide, you will remember I noted how strange my body felt as it got used to life without a bump. The best way to stay comfortable is with really REALLY big soft pants to hold your stomach. I struggled to walk for a few days after but having support helped me so much.
  6. Tangle Teezer… One of my biggest regrets was that I didn’t put my bloody hair up. By the end of three days in labour it was knotted beyond belief and truly¬†disgusting. (I couldn’t use my hands as I was shaking so much from the epidural going wrong.) So after what felt like the best shower of my life I covered my head in leave in conditioner and attacked it with my Tangle Teezer. Within minutes it was back to normal & with no pain at all!
  7. Evian spray mist… I had a serious temperature immediately¬†after Isla was born (are you getting the joyous picture that was my birth experience! Ha!) and this was a god send! One spray and you feel so much better and refreshed, a must have for the birth bag!
  8. &9. One of the best pieces of advice we were given was to remember that it’s a hospital not a hotel – so take your own Towels & Pillows. If we hadn’t done that I would have had a small hand towel to dry myself after showering and only one rubbish pillow. I took 2 giant super soft towels (not white!) and 3 pillows – a bit of a pain in the arse to fit in when you are packing but so worth it!
    10. Pack a serious snack bag – even if you can’t enjoy it during labour you sure will need it for after! Fruit, flapjacks, crisps, croissants, chocolate…¬†You just gave birth, you are officially super woman so eat whatever the hell you want! Barney brought me food into the hospital every day as the hospital food looked like a BushTucker Trial… I’d highly recommend you avoid it at all costs if you can! Don’t forget some nice flavoured drinks – I was obsessed with blue PowerAid for some reason!

And that’s it… Remember to breathe – deep, slow breaths and just focus on what you have to do. Your body is amazing & before you know if you’ll be out the other side & holding the most beautiful baby you’ve ever seen in your life!

Leave me a comment & let me know what were the best things in your hospital bags!

 

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Surviving Week 1… Win 2 Tickets to The Baby Show!

Well that went quickly… from the first perfect cuddle, to now, we are already finding our feet and certainly finding what we just can’t live without to get through the day… and no, I don’t just mean coffee! I thought I’d do a little ‘must haves’ list for surviving¬†that first week and also hold a competition to celebrate making it through!

Adventures With Isla Baby Blog

Earlier in the year – when we were barely 12 weeks pregnant we were invited by a wonderful (and very wise) friend to go check out The Baby Show at Olympia… It’s a huge event with literally everything you could ever need for your little one all under one roof with some incredible discounts on offer. We bought all of the big things including our travel system/car seat, bottles, pump and¬†travel cot… you name it, they have it! It was all safely delivered to our house and we saved well over ¬£500.

Adventures With Isla Blog

Now, thanks to the amazing people at The Baby Show, I have two pairs of tickets to give away for their upcoming event on the 23rd – 25th October at Olympia, London.

To enter head over & ‘Like’ my Facebook page – then leave a comment telling me what you would most like to buy at The Baby Show!¬†

The Show is a great event for young families to attend with a crèche, a dedicated feeding area provided by Tommee Tippee and a baby changing area with wipes and nappies all included.

Highlights of The Baby Show at Olympia will include:

  • Over 200 trusted brands, from the likes of iCandy, Maxi Cosi, Tommee Tippee, Milton, Mamas&Papas and Mothercare, offering visitors the chance to try before they buy.
  • Exclusive discounts and offers for Show visitors from top parenting brands.
    The chance to win a number of competition prizes from exhibitors and speakers.
  • Catwalk shows with all the latest fashions in maternity, baby and toddler wear.
  • A complimentary cr√®che where parents can drop off their little ones and enjoy the show knowing they are being cared for.
  • The Baby Show Stars‚Äô themed competition where the show‚Äôs cutest baby will be awarded a free, high end, exclusive photo shoot.
  • Dedicated baby facilities ensure visitors have everything they require, including the tommee tippee feeding area where parents will be able to take advantage of heating equipment, complimentary baby food and a comfortable and private space for breast feeding.

Adventures With Isla Baby Blog

Now down to my must-haves…

Sleep Time (If you manage to get any!)

The Red Castle Cocoonababy Nest is an¬†ergonomically shaped nest which reassures baby and helps them adapt to their new surroundings, which should help to increase contentment and reduce crying. We absolutely love ours – and while it is one of the most expensive things that we bought, I can’t recommend it enough. It gives me peace of mind that she is safe in her cot at night and in the day we can take it downstairs with us & she can sleep anywhere we are! Made in France and designed to help little babies sleep longer and better, it also helps to avoid startle gastric reflex and flat head syndrome. ¬£129.95 from John Lewis. (Cheaper from The Baby Show!)

Red Castle Cocoonababy Nest Adventures With Isla Blog Red Castle Cocoonababy Nest Adventures With Isla Blog

I love products that help you to feel¬†confident ¬†– which¬†is one of the most important things as¬†a new parent – and the GroEgg Thermometer does just that. I had no idea that the chance of SIDS is higher in babies who get too hot. A room temperature of 16-20¬įC is recommended, which to me feels¬†cold, so this little egg has been brilliant to reassure me that it is right & best for Isla. It also doubles as a night light which really is essential when you are trying to breast feed in the pitch black at 4am…

Feeding

Whether you are breast feeding, bottle feeding or mixing it up – these should make your life a little easier.
We got an amazing discount on the Philips¬†Avent Natural Bottle Set from The Baby Show including the steriliser and breast pump as part of a huge pack. They have been completely brilliant & Isla latches on perfectly. I’ve been pumping so my partner can join in on the feeding & the pump has been so comfortable and easy to use. I slightly regret not buying a double pump, as I feel like I’m attached to that machine for ages at a time. I’d love to try a¬†Medela Swing Double Pump as I’ve heard incredible things!

The Medela Nipple Shields have been my biggest life saver so far – they take away 99% of the discomfort, are so comfortable and make it easier for her to latch on properly without hurting me. They come with a little case so you can take them with you wherever you go.

Phillips Avent also do the most amazing ‘Breast¬†Shells‘ which comfortably collect excess breast milk from leaking and save you from waking up in the night covered in it! I had no idea these were even a ‘thing’ but my very sweet partner researched everything he could to make me more comfortable and stumbled upon them!

5-adventures

For you

I knew recovery after giving birth was going to be difficult but I hadn’t realised just how strange my body would feel as it tries to adapt and re-align to not having this huge weight to carry around. My stomach hurt and ached with every move & my ribs felt bizarre for a good few days as they started to expand again. The best thing I found to combat this was to get as much support as possible – wearing a bump band helped me feel comfortable and supported all day. Also getting a nursing bra with lots of stretch especially around the ribs helps to keep you breathing comfortably. I got both from Mothercare for under ¬£20 each.

A few packs of super soft sleep suits and a million nappies and you are all set to survive your first week… Don’t forget to look after yourself too! Plenty of water, good food and rest as much as you can!

If you want to¬†win two tickets for The Baby Show¬†on the 23rd – 25th October at Olympia, London¬†head over & ‘Like’ my Facebook page – then leave a comment telling me what you would most like to buy at The Baby Show!

The winner will be drawn at random & announced on October 1st.

If you aren’t one of the lucky winners, the early bird advanced ticket price is ¬£11.25 on the Friday, ¬£12.25 for either the Saturday or Sunday while on-the-door tickets cost ¬£20. For more information visit http://www.thebabyshow.co.uk.

Opening times:
Friday 23rd October: 10.00am-5.30pm, Saturday 24th October: 10.00am-5:30pm, Sunday 25th October: 10.00am-5:30pm.
Venue: Olympia, London: Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London W14 8UX
Olympia, London: Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London W14 8UX

My English Tea Party – Baby Shower

This weekend my wonderful family threw me¬†an English Tea Party as a substitute for the very American ‘Baby Shower’ that is slowly but surely becoming the norm over here too! It wasn’t the usual baby shower, as¬†I wasn’t so keen on having any party games… I know… I’m such a spoil sport… But we used it as a great¬†way to catch up with family and friends (and eat far too many scones!).

My lovely cousin Annabel came over the day before and helped me bake cupcakes and scones, because I thought that would be fun to stand in the kitchen for 4 hours baking & icing… Next time, Hummingbird Bakery are getting a call… Luckily they turned out really well & we even got lovely cupcake cases from the V&A to make them extra fancy. (Oooh!) ¬£4.49 for 50 available here.

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

We served pink¬†lemonade with fruit in jars with gorgeous paper straws, Earl Grey tea in vintage tea cups from my grandmother’s collection and champagne for anyone without a bump!

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

The flower arrangements were by far my favourite part – we saved old jars, bought some string and dyed it with tea before wrapping it around. I thinly sliced lemon and added it to the flowers that we picked from the garden. Et Voila! The cheapest flower arrangements of all time. And rather lovely, if I do say so myself!

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

The rest of the decoration was simple, colourful lanterns, floral bunting and some of Isla’s tiny baby socks clipped onto string with wooden pegs! We made finger sandwiches in traditional flavours… which took a painstaking amount of time to cut into neat fingers, so as you can see… they got a little more ‘rustic’ as time went on. (Why did I think making the food was a good idea…? Seriously, just order it all or better yet, go to a lovely restaurant and then you don’t even have to clean up!)

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

I think¬†it’s safe to say, Ellie was pleased with the cupcakes…

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

The only ‘game’ of sorts that I wanted were predictions sheets for Isla! I’m so glad we did them as some of the answers are¬†hilarious – especially from the younger party guests! There are lots of great free printables online or if you aren’t too bad on photoshop, you can whip up your own and personalise them like I did! I’m going to put them all into Isla’s baby book so she can read through them one day too!

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

To say we were spoilt would be the understatement of the year. Our wonderful family & friends gave us such beautiful gifts.¬†We now have so many clothes Isla may start to think she’s North West & only have to wear everything once!!¬†A huge thank you also to my parents for the most beautiful travel system and to Sarah, Barney’s mum, for Isla’s absolutely stunning cot!¬†

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

As you can see, Ellie took her job of Assistant Present Un-wrapper VERY seriously. She¬†even told me off for being too slow (thanking people in-between gifts) a few times which was just hilarious. I’d highly recommend getting one of your own if you are feeling a little self conscious about being the centre of attention. I hear most can be paid in cupcakes and minion colouring books…

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

Before everyone left we asked if they’d leave a little message for Isla, which we are going to scan and put into a beautiful piece of art for the nursery.

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

Everyone left with hugs, kisses, thank you’s and these little bags filled with cupcakes and sweet treats for the road!

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

It was an absolutely lovely day, catching up with family and friends and getting advice from every generation! Thank you so much to my parents for hosting! We could not be more excited to start this journey as our own little family! T-Minus 6 weeks!!

Adventures With Isla Blog - Baby Shower

La Coqueta Sale – Extra 10% off!

It’s only Tuesday but I’m already looking forward to the weekend… If you need a little pick me up to get you through, I have just the thing! Luxury, classic children’s brand La Coqueta currently have an amazing sale… and whats more, an Extra 10% off with the code: SALE10. (You’re welcome!)

La Coqueta - Adventures With Isla Blog

I’ve picked just a few of my favourite looks out, but truthfully… I want it all!

La Coqueta - Adventures With Isla Blog

Quinta Baby Look…

La Coqueta - Adventures With Isla Blog

Aire Baby Look…

La Coqueta - Adventures With Isla Blog

Lucio Cotton Knitted Baby Set…

La Coqueta - Adventures With Isla Blog

Beltran Baby Look…

I absolutely love this brand and the website is just beautiful and so easy to shop with the ready made looks! Go and check it out and let me know what you just can’t resist!

If you are in the London area you can find the store here:

La Coqueta Kids
5 Heath Street
London NW3 6TP

Telephone +44 (0)207 794 6333
Monday – Friday 9am – 6pm
Saturday 10am – 6pm
Sunday 11am – 5pm

La Coqueta - Adventures With Isla Blog

Oh Mama… It’s hot!

Well I think we can officially say summer is here and my goodness what a start we are having here in London! Dressing for this sticky, humid weather is never going to be easy but with a bump in tow it’s essential to stay cool whilst braving the tube & tourist packed streets! I’ve found maternity shopping more than a little tricky, especially when so few stores actually keep it in stock! Even knowing what size to order is problematic¬†when you are growing everyday. Things that I bought thinking they would last me the whole pregnancy are getting to be far too small already (12 weeks to go!). So far I’ve stuck to Topshop skinny maternity jeans and a rotation of the same few bump friendly T-Shirts, but it’s time to step it up a gear now that summer is here! So here we go… A few top picks for staying stylish and cool in the city…

Adventures With Isla Blog TopShop

TopShop Denim Dungarees

For an everyday look that’s as easy as it is cute, why not throw on these Denim Short Dungarees from TopShop (¬£38)… So simple, comfy and practical. What more could you want?

Adventures With Isla Blog ASOS Swing Dress

ASOS Swing Dress

I love this light, pretty look. It’s easy to dress up or down and will keep you cool no matter how much running around you still have left to do before your little one arrives! ASOS Swing Dress – ¬£25.

Adventures With Isla Blog Arizona Two Strap Birkenstocks

Arizona Two Strap Birkenstocks

You really can’t go wrong with a good pair of Birkenstocks. I love the double strap on these to make sure you feel secure in every step as your balance starts to go. And they are adjustable if your feet do start to swell. Plus, it’s the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a pedicure! ¬£54.95 at Office.

Adventures With Isla Blog Mamalicious Maxi Dress

Mamalicious Printed Maxi Dress

This lovely print is great for summer & would double up well for everyday or even for a Wedding. Unfortunately, I’m 5″2, so Maxi dresses are always at least a foot too long for me… So this one is for you to wear and me to live vicariously through you!¬†Mamalicious Printed Maxi ¬£38.

Adventures With Isla Blog Salon Skater Dress - Silk Organza

Salon Skater Dress – Silk Organza

Speaking of weddings… I find it so difficult to find anything pretty and formal that would fit my bump. But this gorgeous number would be absolutely perfect for any summer occasion and it’s only ¬£65 from ASOS.

Adventures With Isla Blog ASOS Striped Swimsuit

ASOS Striped Swimsuit

The whole way through your pregnancy one of the things you’ll hear again & again is how important it is to stay active, so why not do it in style? I’ve found swimming outdoors in Richmond Park in the sunshine a perfect way to get some Vitamin D and take the weight of my bump off my hips and back for an hour or so! ASOS Maternity Stripe Swimsuit ¬£28.

Adventures With Isla Blog Sophia Webster Adele Banana White Sneaker

Sophia Webster Adele Banana White Sneaker

I am obsessed with my Sophia Webster Banana Sneakers¬†(¬£140). I’ve pretty much worn them every day since they came out – they are supremely comfy and as your bump gets bigger bending down to tie your laces gets trickier so these solve that problem! Oh and whats even better…? They also come in mini sizes (¬£70)¬†for when your little one arrives! I can’t tell you how tempted I am…!

Adventures With Isla Blog Sophia Webster Kingston Banana White Mini

Sophia Webster Kingston Banana White Mini

So there we go… Just a few picks to get your summer maternity wardrobe started! It’s a tricky balance between wanting to look and feel good but not breaking the bank for something you (hopefully) won’t fit into for very long once baby has arrived! What are your top picks? Leave them in the comments below! Happy Shopping!

Adventures With Isla Blog Bump and Sophia Webster Banana Sneakers...

My Bump and Sophia Webster Banana Sneakers…