I connected with the beautiful Hannah AKA The Sleep Nurse via the Australian Birth Stories podcast. I was sharing my birth story of Lottie and Hannah was the Introduction Special Offer. I am guessing it was meant to be.
So we recently welcomed a new addition to the Bingham tribe, our darling Lottie Jean. So upgrading our nappy bag size was a must for us. I have a 3 year old boy, Cruz, a 18month girl, Winter Rose and a newborn baby girl, Lottie. 2 days a week its just Lottie and myself but the other 5 days we will head out on adventures as a mini tribe. I have had a few messages from you mumma’s asking what we pack in our nappy bag. So here it is lovelies…
Firstly the nappy bag I choose was the Storksak Stevie Luxe in black scuba. I choose this bag because it was a decent size (being a mum of 3), however it is super lightweight to carry. It has lots of compartments to keep your bag organised, which we all know “sparks joy” thank you Marie Kondo for reminding us of those oh so good feels. It also keeps your essentials stored safely. There is even a cheeky cooler at the back of the bag with a hidden zip for easy access to the baby bottle. This has come in handy for me as I have had to pump EBM every three hours so I didn’t have to hunt through the bag when she got hungry. The bag comes with a cooler bag, I have used this to not only store milk but snacks too. You can even use it as a cooler bag for your lunch, once you no longer need a nappy bag. There is also a luxurious size changing mat with pocket storage, so it is easy to take out of the bag and it covers the surface area of most changing tables in the parents rooms.
So what is in the nappy bag this time round you ask…
Nappies of course, I have a mixture of both cloth and disposable.
Wipes, I make my own and store in a travel sealed container (see recipe here) or love Water Wipes.
Change Mat, I love to use a reusable one to look after the environment. My nappy bag came with one ,but you can buy one from Storksak if you don’t already have one. The parents rooms can be a little gross or there might not be somewhere to change your bub, so you can just do it in the pram or on the floor with the mat.
Hand Sanitiser, just a small one is fine. I make my own non toxic one with essential oils and aloe vera gel.
Outfits for the baby, just one spare in case of emergency poop. For my toddler I have spare undies (because toilet training).
Snacks for all of us and bottles for the girls (still breastfeeding to but expressing). I like to stick to easy snacks like fruit, popcorn, bliss balls, mini muffins.
Not always, but depending on where we go I like to put a small activity or toys in the bag like colouring pencils and a pad or cars for my son.
A muslin wrap, this can be doubled as a cover for bub or tie the two corners around the neck and its a breastfeeding cover. Great if bub falls asleep and you can cover the pram with it. I always like to keep a pram peg in the bag to, just to secure if need be.
I currently need an organic or natural baby/nipple balm. I buy one that can do both.
A disposable bag to store a dirty nappy. Just in case there is not a bin around.
CADDY STROLLER ORGANISER LUXE is handy if you are just heading out for a few hours. Fits a packet of wipes, 2 nappies, baby bottle, my wallet and phone.
Boston & Winnie are just about to venture into the wonder world of food, where did the last 5 months go! Lucky for them they have Mother’s that are serious foodies.
Infant nutrition is crucial for supporting optimal growth and development. Think about this for one minute.. choosing foods for your infant can either prevent a disease or feed one. Now, that sounds serious, but we actually have the power to influence our children with fuel to set them up for a healthy life.
I made a little promise to myself when I was pregnant with my second child. I would do my best to try give my second baby a bottle from 6 weeks if I could breastfeed. The reason behind this is because Cruz (my first child), still to this day has never taken a bottle. I tried so many brands but he was just never interested. All he wanted was the boobies! That wasn’t to much of an issue to me back then as I had him home with me for the 10months of his life. However when he went to day care he would refuse my EDM or formula. I could never really pop out for to longer periods either as he would want to be fed. Cruz was not great on solids either. So he needed my breastmilk to nourish him.
I have been lucky enough to write a blog for one of my favourite Australian organic maternity and baby shops – Organic Mums and Bubs. The store is filled with absolutely divine 100% certified organic, eco friendly and ethical products which are suitable for pregnant and nursing mummas and their new bundle of joys.
Expecting a new baby can be lots of fun. Preparing and buying things for yourself and your little ones arrival is all part of the excitement of this new journey. There are so many great products to choose from on the market but at times can be quite overwhelming when deciding what you and bub require. Organic Mums and Bubs is one of my favourite online stores that caters for a wide range of all your mumma and bubba requirements, which is why I am putting together a blog post sharing with you the 5 products I love most from this amazing company.
I know we get super excited about spoiling Bub, but my first few must haves are just for mumma.
Comfortable Nursing Lounge Wear
The first few days depending on how you birth you could be in hospital. Followed by spending a lot of time at home getting to know your newborn. During this time just wanted to live in comfortable clothing. Little Winter Rose is now five weeks old and I still like to be comfortable to lounge around at home. If you choose to breastfeed to you will want comfortable clothes that you can nurse your newborn in. I really think that wearing comfy, soft clothing helped me to feel relaxed and comfortable in my own home and when heading to the shops.
I wear my Grace Bamboo Maternity Topand Essential Bamboo Maternity Pantstogether all the time around the house. The clothes are so comfy I even sleep in them and I can do my post natal yoga practice in this outfit too. Because it doesn’t look to pj like I can also wear out to the shops too and still feel good. The material of both the top and the pants feels great on my skin too, made from a mixture of organic cotton, bamboo viscose and a little spandex for stretch. I highly recommend this duo and packing it in your hospital bag if you are planning to have a overnight stay in hospital.
Reusable Bamboo Nursing Pads and Wipes
Not only are the Milk Maid Mumma Nursing Pads kinder to the environment, I found they are so much more kinder to my breasts too than the disposable ones. They are made from bamboo and feel luxe against the nipples especially when my little Winter Rose is cluster feeding and my nipples feel grazed. The sit well in the bra and don’t scrunch up like the disposable ones do as the day goes on. I love seeing all the pretty prints on my washing line too. All nursing pad bundles come with a wet bag too, to keep the breast pads safe in the washing machine. Great for storing them in your nappy bag too.
The Milk Maid Mumma Reusable Wipes are also a great alternative to your everyday baby wipes we carry in our nappy bags. I have also found these wipe cloths great as a burping cloth alternative too. The wipes also come with a cute wet bag to store the wipes in.
Both of these Milk Maid Mummaproducts are kind to your wallet and are really reasonably priced, making them a perfect baby shower gift for any expecting mumma.
100% Organic Cotton/Bamboo clothing for your Newborn
Of course baby clothing is part of my list for new mummas as it’s so fun buying outfits for your new bundle of joy. I personally find it more fun than buying for myself these days. When your newborn arrives into the world their skin can be very sensitive. It’s great to purchase some clothing that is gentle and kind to their babies skin.
Organic Mums and Bubs provides a wide range of adorable organic baby clothes that are suitable for your newborn no matter what the occasion. Weather you just want to dress your bundle of joy up for visitors, a special occasion or just for them to relax at home in this boutique has you covered. Some of my personal favourites from the site is the Bubbazimbi range and My Lilly Ann hand painted clothing.
A comfort toy or blanket for your baby
It is up to you as a parent if you choose to use this method. I believe that giving my babies a comfort toy or blanket has really helped them to settle them to sleep no matter where they are put down to rest. A little tip though is to have a few comforters on the go. I always have one in the cot, one in the pram and one in the car. That way if one is misplaced there is always back up available.
As a mum I really want the best for my babies. I am amazed that so many baby skin care products are filled with nasty harmful chemicals and an ingredients list that goes on forever with words I cannot even say. I am a registered nurse and when studying anatomy and physiology I learnt that the skin is the largest organ in the body. It absorbs want we put on it so quickly into our bodies. Our new babies skin is so precious so especially in the little ones early days I think its important to be aware of what I use on their skin. So I keep my babies and my own skin products to a minimal or organic.
When I was pregnant with Winter Rose I received a message from the gorgeous Bianca Ebeling telling me about the book she had created. It was called "Let's celebrate" by @mylittlebookywooky and it was designed to stimulate a newborns vision by using black and white images.
My eldest little boy Cruz is such a little book worm, we hang out at the library a few times a week and borrow new books out. He just loves them, especially the images. I usually change the story around too haha. So hearing about this book I was instantly interested in hearing more.
I received the book and flash cards and was so excited to use once my little one arrived. I placed the flash cards on the wall next to the change table and placed the book in the cot awaiting my babes arrival. Cruz was so in love with the flash cards. He chats to the animals and I tell him what they are. He thinks it's great. Plus it's a great distraction while trying to change my wriggling toddlers bottom. Haha!
Since Winter Rose's arrival we have been placing the book next to her. It's amazing to see how over the past 4 weeks she is really starting to focus on the images. In just a week she was able to lock her eyes on the book. Now week 4 and she is reaching out to the book. It blows my mind how interested in the book she is. During witching hour I often lay her on the bed on her side and she will just settle when I place the book next to her. She goes from crying to such a calm nature. Just wow!
The book will defiantly be something I will be buying for other mummas in the future for baby shower gifts or birth arrival gifts. I would also recommend this to other expecting and new mummas too.
I have asked Bianca a few questions below so that we can all find out a little more about her and her book. Thank you again Bianca.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself Bianca?
I am a mum of 2 little cheeky monkeys aged 3 and 1. My husband and I moved from Melbourne to Geelong 4 years ago for a more relaxed and affordable lifestyle and we haven't looked back. My background is in finance but my biggest sense of achievement comes from being creative. Developing my books has been extremely fulfilling.
What drove you to create a book specifically for newborns?
As part of my mother's group I attended a session with the local librarian who was explaining to us new mummies that we should be reading to our babies from the moment they are born and that the best books for 0-6 months are black and white books. I actually didn't read much to my son so I took her advice on board and found a black and white book and my son started reacting to it instantly. He was completely captivated by the images. It blew our minds. He had previously really struggled with tummy time and would cry so much and really didn't want to do it. I thought he would never achieve lift his head however with the black and white book in front of my him, he started really trying to lift his head to see the images and within less than a week he was holding up his head for short periods. There were many other benefits that we witnessed over the few weeks we had the book from the library and I just knew I had to get one for myself to have permanently. Unfortunately no bookshops or baby shops stocked such books. Hence I had this idea…
What is the idea behind the black and white illustrations?
When babies are born their eyesight is still developing and they find it hard to focus on the world around them. High contrast images are much easier for babies to see in their first few months and provide them with something simple and engaging to focus on, and in this focus or intense concentration they can allow their minds to rest. A baby cannot see pastel colours properly for several months after birth. It is recommended to surround a baby with as much black and white as possible in the early months for visual stimulation and development.
Now the book only has illustrations, no words. What is the reason behind this?
This is one of the best bits about the books. Anyone can pick up the book at tell a story about what they see on the page. In my first book there is a page with a hot air balloon and clouds. There are so many ways to approach this. You can simply tell your newborn baby what you see on the page. Or you can make up a story about a hot air balloon that flew away and went travelling around the world. Or perhaps you got engaged in a hot air balloon. Another story opportunity. Talk to your baby, read, make up stories. Let your baby hear your voice, a range of vocabulary. Also, every parent/caregiver will have a different story to tell based on what they see. The fact there are no words in the book means you aren't bound by the words and you can let your story telling imagination run wild
How important is it to read to your child?
Reading aloud with your child is so important. It stimulates their imagination and curiosity, it teaches them new vocabulary, it opens their eyes to new ideas. It helps develop their language and listening skills. Children who are read to at a young age do better in their schooling years. One of my favourite quotes that I believe hits the nail on the head is "reading to children, even before they can understand, teaches them to associate books with love and affection". I see this in my children. I remember when I had my daughter last year, I would have her snuggled into my arms and I would read her books throughout the day and it was my favourite activity with her. We promote the love of books with our children and set up a little reading nook in our house. Both my daughter and son spend a lot of time there each day looking at and playing with their books. They love bringing favourite books to my husband and I and sit with us and we read to them. My son is nearly 3 and I can see that a lot of his vocabulary that he is using is from the books we read and it excites me and makes me incredibly proud.
I actually cannot believe I am typing the last blog of the Alice In Pregnancyland series. (for now haha) I remember chatting To Tahlia about collaborating with me for the #bumpstyle shoots and now here we are at 37 nearly 38 weeks finishing off the bump series. I have really loved building a friendship with Tahlia from @wyldefolkstudio_ while we did the photoshoots she is such a kind hearted person. I now have a friendship for life with her. Not to mention how blessed I was to collaborate with so many gorgeous labels and maternity brands. throughout the 9 months. A huge thank you to everyone that followed the series and continued to send through such beautiful feedback. Big Love to you all.
The last few weeks I have been on a emotional roller coaster. I have been so excited to meet the little one, I have had mum guilt with my one on one time with Cruzie, I have cried happy tears and I have cried god knows what tears. To me having a good cry really does help me just let it all out, breathe and then let it go. All these new emotions feel like it’s my heart is expanding and I am ready to meet our new little one now.
I finished up work at 36 weeks. Best decision as I was going to work to 37 weeks, the heaviness of nursing and being on my feet got to me a little. So I am so glad to be on maternity leave. It feels so different not having to go to work again.
I have been making the most of my time with Cruzie too. I have been taking him to singing and reading at the library, reading and extra snuggles at night time, park hangs and babycino dates. I am loving being off work with him again.
Everyone has been asking how Cruzie has been? Does he know? I think he knows a change is coming. He won’t let anyone rub my belly but David, he pushes their hand away or pulls my top down. We brought him a little dolly and he has been kissing it, changing its nappy, pushing it around in a pram. It’s so cute to watch. I think he will be a great big brother.
I keep telling myself that I need to slow down as my body is tired, but its true “nesting” is a real thing. I keep thinking of new things to do and clean. I forget to rest and I am on the go all day. Then I have the worse braxton hicks and back ache in the evening. So I should listen to all the advice and just put my feet up. Haha easier said than done though. Plus entertaining my little man. He sleeps well in the afternoon so I should just lay down then and watch some Offspring on tv. Maybe tomorrow? haha.
I went and seen my midwife for a 36 week scan and check up. The cheeky bubbas legs are sitting frog legged but the head is right down there. I keep thinking in my head that the baby will be here early because Cruz came early but I shouldn’t get my hopes up. I discussed my birth plan and what I wanted. My birth plan is to have a natural birth, hopefully not be on the monitor like last time, have a bath or hot shower, use essential oils and just have David in there. David is my rock and he really did help me through the breathing techniques last time. I do still feel anxious about the birth experience and labour but I am just trying not to think about it, what will be will be.
With eating I have been a bit all over the place.
I wake up so hungry and have to eat before I go for a walk. For breakfast I normally have smoothies or protein pancakes. Thats its the I just swap it up between the two.
Then for snacks I have almonds, nuts, apple or a bliss ball. Sipping on so much raspberry leaf tea to ha.
Lunch is lots of greens and a source of protein or a chia sourdough with cheese, figs and cucumber sandwich or the same combo on rice cakes.
I am obsessed with Bolognese at the moment with zoodles (zucchini pasta), I am addicted love it. I also love white fish or salmon with greens for dinner, I have gone off all brown rice and sweet potato probably because my belly already fills so fall at night.
Cravings – organic milk chocolate from Flannerys Health Shop … YUM!!!!
Walking 30-45minutes around the block (filled with hills) but very slowly as I get pelvic pressure. I put my podcast on and enjoy the metime I love it. Makes me feel better. I love doing about 20-40 push ups daily on the kitchen bench and 20 squats on the shower too. About 3 times a week I use my little 2kg weights and do a little arm workout too. If I have having an exhausting day I just don’t exercise at all. Maybe just do a stretch. The last week I have really slowed down, but thats okay, my body needs the rest.
So besides loose boho styles and a few tight comfortable maternity dresses I have been living in maternity leggings and a jumper. Argh so comfy. I do love dressing up the bump, but I feel my wardrobe has become very limited and don’t really want to add to it till the baby is here.
For this #bumpstye shoot I wore a dress I purchased for a hens day a few months back. Its called the FAWN WRAP DRESS and I brought it from the @theselfstyler online. Guess what they just restocked it too. You can buy it HERE. Its perfect to take you through your pregnancy journey and will be great for breastfeeding too. Its not actually a maternity dress but it should be its so comfortable.
Tahlia and I decided for the last bump photoshoot we would find a beautiful spot with long grass (secret location) and invite David and Cruz to come along for some family photos. We had a lovely afternoon watching the sunset and Tahlia came with her family too, so nice. I hope you all enjoy the photos.
Packing my hospital bag for my first pregnancy was very exciting. I Pinterested all these hospital bag lists and I was so excited with what I packed into my suitcase, ready for my babies arrival. When the time came, my husband grabbed the bags and brought them to hospital with us. I thought I was so organised, but boy was I wrong. I had really over packed! I had so much stuff that I actually couldn’t find what I needed, when I needed it. I had to much of the stuff I didn’t need and not enough of what I actually really needed. I was so overwhelmed. So I made a promise to myself that next time I would pack a little lighter and bring more of the essentials rather than all the extras.
I have put together a list of what I need and wished I had put in the first time, for both my hospital bag and my babies nappy bag.
I am so pleased and super lucky to be featuring the gorgeousKirsty McKenzie AKA@themummysomniacfor the second time on my blog. Kirsty is a dear Instafriend that I have been lucky enough to meet, and she has helped to guide and support me through my #mumlife journey and with my lifestyle in general. This woman has a heart of gold and is not afraid to share her trimaphs and failures (argh girl thats what I love about you). In my first interview with Kirsty, she shared answers with you all in depth about herself in my #showtherealyou segment (you can read here). This time she has returned to share with you all this raw piece of writing about how she found a new love for her body during her current pregnancy with baby number three. Wow mummas this is a must read for you all as I know you will be able to totally relate with Kirsty no matter what stage you are at with your self love journey. Enough from me, time to hand it over the beautiful Kirsty McKenzie. Arghhh I know you will love this piece as much as me.
As my very first (ever) stretch marks began to emerge, somewhere throughout my first pregnancy, I’m afraid to say, I cried…
I don’t think for me, that it was vanity. I struggle with change, or at least I have at times in the past (even chopping my mum bun off recently took some serious commitment). I think for me, simply, it’s hard to see something you’ve become so used to seeing, your own body, change so rapidly. After all, I had become accustomed to my pre-pregnancy body slowly changing over the previous 27 years. Yet the changes that we experience during pregnancy are over but a fraction of the time that we had with our bodies before. After a while, I accepted the changes (stretch marks and new outie belly button to be precise)… even grew to be fond of them. After all, they represent one of my greatest accomplishments in life, my eldest daughter. And believe me when I say ‘accomplishment’, the kid didn’t sleep until she was 3.5, it’s amazing that I’m even half as sane as I am.
When the time came for baby number two, I thought I was prepared for the changes. Yet like each child, each pregnancy can bring with it a whole different set of challenges. My first pregnancy, like my first child, was set out to take me to places that I’d never been before (awake all night… and not voluntarily like in my youth). To push me to let go of the things that I need to, and focus on what’s really important. My second child, like my second pregnancy, came forth to show me just how much I was really capable of pushing things (mind, body and spirit). Just when I thought I had it all sorted out, thought I’d adjusted my headspace accordingly, and knew what to expect, the second child came along to throw all of it on it’s head. To push me to my limits, and to show me just how far my mind and body could stretch, and just how much love I was capable of. There were elements of my second pregnancy, that felt easy, in the sense that I had been there before, I knew the morning sickness would end, that eventually all babies sleep through the night, and that labour is in fact the easy part… and that the hard part is what happens when you bring the baby home. But there are no two pregnancies that are exactly the same, not even for the same person… now I know.
I bounced back physically from my first pregnancy without any real issues, but my second pregnancy had pushed my body to the extreme, literally (10cm abdominal separation). It saddens me to say, that again, when I dared look in the mirror at my body, a mere 6 weeks later, still looking six month pregnant, I felt complete and utter despair (again I cried). I thought I knew what to expect, but this took me completely by surprise. I threw myself into the chaos that was my life as a mum of two, 19 months apart, and tried to forget. Yet, eventually, bit-by-bit, everything returned to normal, or what would become my new ‘normal’. Some time, patience and a lot of hard work, I recovered, not back to the old me, but to a new and improved me. I realised how amazing, and strong my body was.
I think I had taken so much for granted in the past, but seeing how I’d brought it back (after a very long uphill climb), gave me an incredible appreciation for it.
Fast-forward almost exactly 4 years from the appearance of those very first stretch marks, and I’m sitting fat and happy at 26 weeks into my third pregnancy. I’m not sure what it is, whether it’s having been through some tough times, a little bit of age and maturity, or simply having finally worked out what’s worth worrying about in life, but I’m excited about it… about everything (Ok, still incredibly nervous about pushing a baby out of my hoo-ha, that part doesn’t change). I’ve never felt more comfortable (not so much physically, because we all know that pregnancy has the uncomfortable factor, but in the mental sense) in my own skin. To me there’s something about my pregnancy body that fills me full of life again (literally). There’s a confidence there that I don’t normally possess, a sense of pride and self love that I wish I could feel all the time. Not only have the old marks reappeared, the ones placed on my body by this baby’s two older sisters, but some new ones too. It might sound strange, but in some ways these marks are truly welcomed. Each of my children has left their mark on me, in so many ways. I’ve changed the way I approach life, I’ve learned to stop fighting unworthy battles, to accept what I cannot change, to work with the new me, instead of trying to go back to the old me. I don’t need the old me back, she’s not relevant anymore… her way of thinking, her body, her outlook (I would welcome her sleep habits back though)… because the new me, is so much better.
I’m definitely interested to see what my new body will look like after baby number three. I don’t know what to expect, I have to let it all go, and leave my expectations in the same drawer as the pregnancy tests I took (Is it just me, or does anyone else struggle to throw those things away?). I have no idea where this pregnancy will go, but for some reason, at this point (ask me again in another 10 weeks), I’m pretty cool about that.
Wow, thank you so much for sharing this piece of your thoughts with us. I love that you have found this new love and respect for your body and you are helping others do the same without even realising. Want more from this babe? Follow her journey on her Instagam – @themummysomniac and check our her blog http://www.themummysomniac.com/