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baby

Lifestyle

Styling Grace’s Nursery

15th March, 2017

As anyone who is expecting a baby can attest, decorating a nursery is one of the more fun aspects of being pregnant. Just the sheer possibility that awaits when styling a blank space for your impending progeny is definitely a highlight, especially when you’re about to become a mum for the first time. I adored putting together both Sophia and Grace’s nurseries. Whilst Sophia’s space has definitely changed now she’s a toddler (stay tuned for an upcoming post on Sophia’s room) I also didn’t just want to replicate it for Grace’s room as I wanted her to have something uniquely her own. I loved sourcing different pieces Grace’s room and incorporating little trinkets and gifts from friends to create a cosy and inviting nursery. Here are some of my tips for putting together a nursery you and your baby will love spending time in…

Start with a neutral palette

I started with a neutral palette of whites and greys as it’s an easy colour scheme to build on. I wanted soft shades rather than super bright colours as I wanted to create a really simple, yet cosy space for Grace and something quite soothing to be in (we would inevitably be spending a lot of time in there after all). The aim was to keep it light and airy so everything from her cot to chest of drawers is all white.

Use soft colour accents

To brighten up the space I added touches of soft pastel pink whether it be in the form of a stuffed toy or blanket. It helped to give the room a little personality and also some feminine touches. If you’re having a boy you could always add soft blues or yellow if you want to keep it quite neutral. That said, if you want to use pink in a boy’s room or blue in a girl’s room then go for it!

Add personal keepsakes throughout

I love adding little trinkets throughout the girls’ rooms such as gifts from friends and family to really personalise their rooms. It makes it a really special space as it’s like having a presence from all the important people in their lives dotted around the room.

Mix and match

I love shopping at places like Pottery Barn and Jacadi for things such as furniture and accessories as they have such a great range to choose from plus the quality is great so I know it will be able to grow along with girls. There’s a Jacadi playmat that I used with Sophia that Grace is now using and it still looks great. You don’t have to spend a fortune on outfitting a nursery but buy the best quality furniture that your budget will allow. It’s also worth keeping an eye out in your favourite interiors stores for other things such as lamps and frames as you don’t need to shop at kid-specific brands for those decorative elements.

Don’t over clutter

I like to keep a really tight edit of everything in Grace’s nursery to avoid it looking too cluttered and busy. I make sure that everything on display are things that I think really add something to the space. When you’re expecting you’ll find you’re often gifted so many things but it’s important to remember that you don’t always have to put everything out on show. Keep the room quite streamlined. Even if you’ve got numerous stuffed toys on your hands, choose the three that you like and store everything else away for playtime.

Display pretty things

Whilst I’ve got prints hung up on the walls I’ve also got a beautiful tutu and star bunting hanging up in Grace’s room as decorative accents to brighten up the walls. I also keep her adorable shoes on show because they’re so cute. And instead of hiding away things like knitted blankets and wraps, I’ve chosen to dot them around the room. Whilst I mentioned above that it’s important to keep a tight edit of things in the room there are just some things that are simply too pretty to hide away! When in doubt just ask yourself if it adds to the room. You’ll know by the answer whether it’s something to display or not.

Sneak a peek at the rest of Grace’s nursery below…

Photography: Sophia Athas

 

Lifestyle

What’s in my baby bag?

31st January, 2017

As every mum will attest a baby bag is a lifeline when out and about. Now that I’m going through the baby phase a second time with Grace I’ve managed to keep her baby bag to the key necessities and resist the temptation of taking everything in the house with me so I’m not lugging around something that weighs a ton. Here’s what I’ve got it down to…

Spare nappies

Nappies are of course a no-brainer inclusion in a baby bag but the number depends on where we’re going and if we’re likely to be out the entire day. I bring a couple with me in case I need to change Grace a few times while we’re out.

A disposable change mat

You can never be too sure of the state a baby change room is going to be in so I always make sure to bring a disposable change mat with me. They’re a great option as I can just flush them down the toilet as soon as I’m done which makes them a little more hygienic.

Nappy bags

Carrying around a soiled nappy is not entirely pleasant so I bring nappy bags to keep the odours at bay.

Spare clothing

I bring 1-2 spare outfits for both the girls in case disaster strikes and I need to change their clothing entirely. Also if the weather seems a little unpredictable I bring a jumper so I can have it on hand for Grace.

Blanket

If it seems a little cool outside I always make sure to bring a blanket with me just in case.

Wraps

Lightweight wraps are so versatile as I can use them for everything from a makeshift summer blanket or to shield Grace’s pram from the sun.

Sunscreen

I always make sure to pop sunscreen on the girls whenever we’re out and about so I have a bottle in my bag at all times.

Water

I’m always going on pram walks with the girls or taking them to the park so having bottle of water in the baby bag is always handy.

What do you carry with you in your baby bag?

Photography: Sophia Athas

 

Lifestyle

What I took in my hospital bag when I gave birth

9th August, 2016
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With Sophia when she was just a little bub

Packing a bag to take to the hospital when I was giving birth to Sophia was a little daunting as there were so many things I knew I would have to deal with while I was there – post-birth recovery, breastfeeding, and looking after a new bub were all things I knew I needed to be prepared for. Being a first-time mum it helped to have a list of recommendations for things to take to the hospital so I’ve noted down some of the necessities I packed below. I hope it comes in handy!

What I packed for me:
6 x large full brief underpants in black

If ever there is a time to wear the comfiest underwear possible it’s after having a baby. I opt for black and go up a size or two bigger than my regular size to accommodate wearing maturity pads which are quite thick.

2 x packets of maternity pads

You’ll need to wear a pad after giving birth and change it every couple of hours so make sure you come prepared with a supply for your entire stay.

Maternity singlets in black and white

These are great for breastfeeding. Bonds make some great singlets which are really comfortable.

Long loose tops

You don’t want anything to restrictive as you’ll be breastfeeding so loose tops are ideal.

Loose cardigan/jumper

Pack something to keep you warm as hospital rooms can get chilly. Plus as above, you want to wear something loose when you’re breastfeeding.

Loose black pants

Comfy and practical, a pair of loose black pants will take you through your entire stay. Plus you’ll be walking around the ward so you may not want to be in your pyjamas the whole team.

Toiletries

Pack all your necessities as it’s nice to have familiar things like your regular soap and shampoo and conditioner when you’re away from home.

Socks

As I said hospital rooms can get chilly so it’s a good idea to pack a pair of warm socks.

Slippers/Comfortable shoes

Pack comfy shoes only – this is not the time to get all glammed up. A pair of slippers or just something you feel comfortable in such as flats is great for when you’re walking around the hospital.

Snacks

Hospital food isn’t always the tastiest so be sure to pack yourself some snacks to graze on throughout your stay.

Breast pads

I use the brand Pigeon and have found them to work a treat.

Panadol

You never know when you may need a packet so be sure to pop some in your bag just in case.

Metamucil

It’s less than glam but your digestive system can be in all sorts after giving birth so be sure to pack some Metamucil to help things along.

Gel breast discs

Expect your nipples to be sore (breastfeeding will do that…) so these are great for soothing and healing.

Lip balm

I found my lips tended to get dry so I made sure to have this on hand to moisturise.

Hot/cold pack for the pain

Yes, you will be in pain. Pack one of these just in case.

Tech gear

You’ll need your phone, a phone charger and camera but these can get lost in the mad rush to get to the hospital so make sure you pack what you can in advance.

Recovery shorts

These help with support and separation in the weeks after birth. I used the SRC ones for the first 6 weeks and found them to be really helpful.

Hair brush/Beauty bag

You may not use the makeup you’ve packed but let’s face it you’ll end up having a lot of photos taken so better to be prepared just in case.

A present

This is great for those having their second baby. I’m bringing a present for Sophia “from the baby” for when she first visits to help her feel included in the whole process.

 

What I’m packing for the baby

6 x size 0000 singlets

Pack both short and long sleeved versions.

6 x size 0000 jumpsuits

I love Bonds jumpsuits but buy any brand you prefer. I do make sure to get the type that cover the baby’s feet

Note: in case you have a big baby it’s good to buy jumpsuits and singlets in a size 000 just in case.

2 x lightweight swaddling wraps

There are some really cute options out there with great prints and colours so find one to suit your style.

1 x woollen or cashmere blanket

I like to pack a cosy blanket to wrap the bub in in case it gets chilly in the hospital.

 

Do you have other recommendations you can share? What did you take with you?

Lifestyle

The baby things I can’t live without

27th August, 2015

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Most mums will know that you tend to accumulate a lot of stuff having a little one running around. There are things I thought I’d use but never do and then there are those things that are constantly in high rotation and make life just that little bit smoother. Here’s my list of must-have, can’t-live-without baby things. 
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Baby Bjorn travel cot

I have sometimes ended up at hotels and there hasn’t been a cot so I like to take a travel cot with me when I travel. It folds up into a nice little suitcase and it’s just really easy to travel with and really easy to put up and dismantle.

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Baby Bjorn carrier

I loved my Baby Bjorn carrier. It was always great for travelling and it meant my hands were free. Luke was a fan as well. (If you’d prefer to wear a sling, the designer Kirrily Johnston recently launched her own sling line and it’s called Wandersling. I actually just bought one for my friend who is having  a baby. It’s the nicest sling I’ve found and it’s got a little zipper so you can carry a nappy or wipes with you.)

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Bugaboo Cameleon

I do a lot of pram walks so my pram gets a lot of use. It’s a really great pram. It is a bit bigger so a lot of people don’t go for it, but I think it’s fantastic. It’s super comfortable and Sophia loves it. It’s also great for any terrain, it can even go in sand.

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Babyzen Yoyo

I recently bought a Babyzen Yoyo to take on our overseas trip. The reason I bought it is because it’s the only pram you can take right up to the aircraft and put up in the overhead compartment as it folds up quite small. I just like to make everything super easy when I travel. You don’t need two prams but the benefit of this is it’s great for travelling.

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Uniden baby monitor

I couldn’t live without my Uniden baby monitor. As it’s a video monitor it’s great because when Sophia sleeps I can see her wherever I am. It’s got great night vision as well so I’m never worried at night. It’s also handy when we go away to our family farm as I often can’t hear Sophia crying so it’s great to be able to hear and see her wherever we are in the house. I tell all my friends who are having a baby to get it.

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B.box sippy cups

I’m so often just throwing my stuff in a nice handbag so I don’t want any leakage! A friend recommended these to me and I’ve found them to be really great. They have a little weight at the end of the straw so it rarely leaks. Sophia loves it. Compared to every other sippy cup I’ve used they’re great.

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Little Baby Bum nursery rhymes

I’ve downloaded these onto my computer and my iPhone and Sophia loves them. When we’re travelling in the car and she wants a bit of music I just play these songs. I have so much music on my iPhone for her but these songs are the ones that she’ll dance along to.

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Tommee Tippee plastic bibs

These were a lifesaver during weaning. If you’re like me and don’t like doing too much washing and going through a million bibs a day these are a great alternative as you can just wipe them down.

What are some of your baby must-haves?

Lifestyle

The apps I use as a mum

4th August, 2015

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Parenting is often all about juggling multiple things at the same time so I’ve found that being able to access information via an app on my phone has been amazing in helping me to keep track of everything. I think there’s an app for just about every parenting concern or query out there! And while each parent will have their own set of apps that they can’t live without, I found the below apps extremely useful. Some of these apps are ones I still have now, while some I used when Sophia was still a baby, but I found them to be quite handy in helping me navigate being a first-time mum.

The Wonder Weeks

This is a calendar that tracks your baby’s growth and development. I get a little alert on my phone each time Sophia goes through a little growth milestone. It’s been really handy for helping me keep track of Sophia’s behavioural developments.

Feed Safe

I used this app when I was breastfeeding. The app was developed by the Australian Breastfeeding Association, Reach Health Promotion Innovations and Curtin University and is based on the latest research and the alcohol guidelines set by National Health and Medical Research Council. If I wanted a glass of wine, I’d put the timer on and it would tell me when it was safe for me to feed again.

Save our Sleep

This app is based on the book series written by baby whisperer Tizzie Hall. It was great for when I was still getting the hang of putting Sophia on a routine and acted as a great reference as it tells you which routine your baby should be on depending on their age and weight.

Save the Date to Vaccinate

This is an app from NSW Health and I use this to keep track of Sophia’s immunisation schedule. I find it really handy as it’s helps me stay on top of when I need to book Sophia in to be vaccinated.