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 crèche where parents can drop off their little ones and enjoy the show knowing they are being cared for.
  • The Baby Show Stars’ themed competition where the show’s 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°C 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

2015: The Year of the Gender Neutral Baby

We are only half way through the year and already we have noticed this promising trend growing stronger every day. BabyCenter‘s mid-year report shows gender-neutral names like Amari, Karter, Phoenix, Quinn and Reese are rising in popularity. “As usual, baby names are reflecting a larger cultural shift,” says BabyCenter’s Global Editor in Chief Linda Murray. “Millennials are an open-minded and accepting group, and they don’t want their children to feel pressured to conform to stereotypes that might be restrictive.”

And names are just the beginning, with campaigns like ‘Let Toys be Toys’ vast numbers of people are calling out to the big toy stores and supermarkets to think before they label their shelves with Pink or Blue stereotypes.

My partner and I both decided early on that we wanted to leave these choices to our little girl and have already asked family and friends to avoid anything that brands her ‘Little Princess’ before she’s had a chance to decide if she even wants to be one! Her wardrobe has been filled with a healthy mix of dinosaur print baby grows and equally lovely florals – ignoring the ‘Baby Boy’ or ‘Baby Girl’ sections has led us to just choose what we think is fun and cute for our daughter.

If you too are hoping to give your little girl or boy more choices and less negative stereotyping – here are just a few ideas…

Having a baby shower is slowly becoming more of the norm here in the UK & my Mum and Sister are busy planning an English Tea Party for me next month… The easiest way to avoid gender stereotyping here is going for a more neutral yellow, grey or cream colour scheme instead of the usual Pink or Blue…

Adventures With Isla Blog Cream & Brown Baby Shower

Adventures With Isla Blog Yellow & Grey Baby Shower

The nursery is the next best place to keep things neutral. I love all things Scandinavian, simple and clean so these ideas will feature heavily in our little one’s new room…

Adventures With Isla Blog Gender Neutral Nursery

Adventures With Isla Blog Gender Neutral Nursery

Adventures With Isla Blog Gender Neutral Nursery

You have only a limited time until they learn to say no and want to pick out their own clothes… So for now here are a few great sites that give you the option of staying neutral for every budget.

Adventures With Isla Blog  Cute Baby Gender Neutral Clothes

Mammas & Papas, The White Company, Etsy, Babies “R” Us, Carry Me Home, Bob & Blossom, Caramel Baby & Child, Mothercare.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be looking forward to getting creative with your little one and that starts right from the birth announcement.

Adventures With Isla Blog Birth Announcement

Adventures With Isla Blog Birth Announcement

Leave me your great gender neutral ideas in the comments below or tweet me @Poppy_Carter