MOTHERHOOD

  • Top 11 Tools & Resources For Busy Working Moms

    Top 11 Tools & Resources For Busy Working Moms

    11-tools-resources

    Are you looking for ways to boost productivity as a busy working mom? I understand the challenges you face, so you’ve come to the right place. Believe me when I say it requires good organisation and planning to balance the two.

    It’s common practice for me to have two screaming children, a mountain of emails to respond to, a report to write, washing to fold and dinner to cook. Imagine what it would be like to have more hours in the day! More hours to get things done and achieve everything you want to in your day.

    Over the years, I’ve learnt some tips and tricks to help boost productivity. Here are my favourite resources to be more productive and efficient with my time.

    Favourite Business Tools & Resources For Balancing Working Mom Life:

    • Canva – this is the best trick to make your content look like it has been professionally design. Use the inbuilt templates online or buy your own templates and load them in! Magic.
    • Asana – this is hands down the best to-do list EVER and it even has an app version. Projects, teams and lists – plus you can print them off if you prefer hard copy lists.
    • Google Drive – my favourite online storage system because it’s so simple and easy to use!
    • Creative Market – buy creative templates including website themes, Canva templates, logos and more from this awesome online creative market!
    • Outlook app – I do love Outlook for my work emails and this app allows you to view your calendar and emails all in one easy place.
    • Gmail app – I do love Gmail for my personal emails and the app is super user friendly.
    • Google Analytics – I LOVE analytics so it’s no secret that I like to have Google
      Analytics on stand-by. Very easy to use from the app and tells you great info about your website/blog traffic!
    • Mail Chimp – I’m currently running MailChimp and this app makes thing super easy to check and load campaigns from your phone.
    • Daily Planner – I’m a HUGE list fan so you can check out the daily to do list I created which has work & personal tasks on the same page.
    • Weekly Planner – I’m a HUGE fan of writing down weekly tasks on a Sunday night. Check out my favourite weekly planner here!
    • Simple Habit – when you are a busy working mom, it’s easy to get TOO busy and then burnt out! Take time out for you with these simple 5-minute meditations.

    These tools & resources help me automate systems and processes, save time and build the business. Balancing working mom life is an art – but with good tools and resources, you can sky rocket productivity too.

    The more organisation, preparation and planning you do – the better. Do you know how important it is to have a clear destination and road map on where you are heading? Take time out to plan and review your goals regularly so you stay on track.

    Remember – we are what we repeatedly do. Our daily habits shape our future.

    I’m always on the lookout for the best resources for working moms that make my life just a little bit easier. That means fewer to-dos, and more time back in my day for the things (and little people) I love.

    Have you used these tools & resources before? Do you have any extra’s you can share in the comments below that I can add to the post?

    Olivia x

     

     

  • 11 Tips for Balancing Business & Babies [FREE RESOURCES INSIDE]!

    11 Tips for Balancing Business & Babies

    How_To_Balance_Business_and_Babies
    How To Balance Business and Babies

    It’s a familiar battle most mums face – how do you balance business and babies? I myself have faced the exact same battle.

    What if you LOVE your babies, but you are also ambitious and LOVE your career? Does that mean that your career has to stop? The short answer; ABSOLUTELY NOT.

    The number one question I get asked by other mums is “HOW ON EARTH do you balance everything and fit it all in?!”

    Well, if there’s one thing for sure, EVERY one is different however I have found that there are three key pillars which help to balance business and babies with ease.

    Plus, a little something called coffee and wine ?!

    1. Use weekly and daily planners

    Planning is the key to an organised life. Set yourself up for success by planning properly!

    Use weekly and daily planners to map out your week and any appointments or key events. My Sunday ritual includes sitting down after the kids are asleep and completing the weekly planner for the following week.

    Once finished – put this on the fridge so everyone can see the planner and knows what is happening that week. The daily planners can be completed the night before or morning of and list out any key tasks, appointments or phone calls to make that day.

    My FAVOURITE to do list has home & work priorities on the same pad – below is the planner I swear by and helps to compartmentalise the family tasks from the business tasks.

    FREE_ToDoList_Download

    1. Do your grocery shopping online

    Doing your grocery shopping online can save countless hours running around at the shops. This is SO much easier than trying to juggle kids at the grocery store!

    You can plan your meals perfectly so you know exactly what to buy when you put your shopping list. This has saved us THOUSANDS of dollars as we used to throw away so much fruit and vegetables from incorrectly shopping when under pressure at the store.

    For example; I always order ingredients for quick 20-minute dinners on the days that I know I will be finishing late at the office. That way when I get home, I can quickly chuck something together and have dinner on the table within 20 minutes. Saves on UberEATS and Chinese take-out!

    Aussie mama’s: I shop at Coles – I’ve tried both and I just prefer it more.

    1. Get up before the kids do

    Get up a little bit earlier than the kids do if you need to fit in exercise, study or extra work!

    I usually wake up around 5am which gives me an extra two hours in the morning to get things done; study, work or exercise.

    This is a habit you will need to form cold turkey. Stop snoozing your alarm – get up and go! It gets easier every day.

    1. Have a growth mindset

    Fall in love with the art of self-development. LEARN, GROW, INVEST IN YOURSELF.

    You are a better mum and business woman by doing so. Use your spare time to read a book, listen to a podcast or learn a new skill. Stop the endless scroll on social media!

    Podcasts are a great way to learn and develop while still allowing you to do your daily tasks. Grab some headphones and listen while you’re cleaning or driving.

    BONUS TIP: Read before bed instead of scrolling through Instagram. It calms your mind down and prepares it for sleep as opposed to firing it up!

     

    1. Get out of your comfort zone every day

    Expand your mindset and open yourself up to new things. Get out of your comfort zone every day.

    Your mind wants you to be comfortable; it doesn’t want you to try new things. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone will help you get out of your bubble.

    We can easily become content at home and not ever leave the house. Get the pram, get to a local play cafe; step outside and do things to mix up your scenery and expose yourself to new opportunities!

    1. Develop healthy eating habits

    There’s a reason why you should put your oxygen mask on before a child’s. It’s because if you run out of oxygen, you can’t help anyone else with their oxygen mask.

    Maintaining good health is key to balancing business and babies. This means, eating good food and drinking lots of water.

    Consume healthy foods like lean meats, fruit and vegetables. Take a multivitamin for extra energy. Your body will eliminate what it doesn’t need.

    BONUS TIP: My go-to healthy dinner is this Clean Lasagna, it’s a FAN favourite and is so easy to make.

    1. Find ways to stay active

    Choose an exercise program that’s right for you. Hate cardio? Great – go take a Pilates class. The key is to find an exercise program that you love so exercising isn’t a chore.

    Staying active helps you mentally, physically and emotionally. For me, I’m in A LOT better head space when I stay active. It’s also good time out from the kids!

    Aussie mama’s: I go to KXPilates North Adelaide and LOVE it. It’s actually quite challenging and has been so good for my body. I’ve never felt better!

    1. Be flexible and understanding

    Sometimes you just have to reschedule things and not everything will always go to plan.

    Be flexible if you do have to cancel and don’t let it get to you. Be honest, make a joke – people understand what it’s like to have kids and juggle work at the same time.

    It is so important to be flexible and understanding with yourself. You can’t be perfect all the time so find the beauty in changing up your plans and rescheduling things when you have to.

    I promise you; it’s not the end of the world!

    1. Invest in wireless head phones

    Apple Airpods changed my life. Hands free calls make life SO much easier and I no longer have a sore neck from being on the phone with a shrugged shoulder.

    Imagine doing the daily tasks like washing the dishes, vacuuming or changing nappies while on the phone and having use of BOTH your hands. EPIC.

    Be careful of the mic though, they are very powerful. I learnt this the hard way when a supplier I was on a call with asked if there was a frog in the background.

    No sir, that’s just my Medela breast pump pumping away! Insert awkward face.

    1. Don’t do tasks you can do when the kids are awake, when they are sleeping!

    Simple, yet effective. Don’t do tasks you can do when the kids are awake, when they are sleeping! Save the dishes and get on top of your emails or that important task that you need to silence for instead.

    When the kids are up, you can set them up with an activity and do some tidying in that room. Or, set them up with their lunch and do the dishes while you’re all in the same room together.

    It’s much harder to be focused on work when the kids are awake, so choose the sleeping times to do the more important work tasks you need silence to get achieved. Save your sanity.

    1. Block out time to spend with them – be present.

    At the end of the day, the kids come first in our household. I block out time to spend with just them – doing the things they love. Sitting in the playroom together, reading books, going for walks and taking them to the local play café.

    Be 100% present with them when you’re there so you don’t feel guilty when you’re 100% present with your work.

    Finally:

    1. You’re amazing. Don’t ever feel guilty for working hard and building a better life for your family.
    2. Rest when you need it. Life is about BALANCE.
    3. Be fearless and forever in pursuit of your dreams. FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY.

    I think it’s important to note that while we have some AMAZING weeks and get so much achieved, other times the week just doesn’t go to plan. We all have bad days, and sometimes we have bad weeks. That is 100% NORMAL, just be kind to yourself during those times.

    If you’re needing a little ‘pick me up,’ then I suggest downloading some FREE affirmations like the ones below and save to your phone wallpaper. It’s a daily reminder to find the positive in everything in your world and makes an amazing difference to your daily mindset.

    FREE_Affirmations_Download

    Motherhood is a balancing act and we do an AMAZING job creating and then raising children in addition to balancing business too.

    Have you tried any of these tips for balancing business and babies before? Do you have other ideas you could suggest? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

    Olivia x

    P.S I would LOVE to know what questions, problems or struggles you may have when it comes to balancing business and babies. Please share your thoughts in this quick survey that will help me get to know you better! I am excited to connect with you and learn more about you!

    This is my way of serving your needs so you can get to know me better. I’m hoping you’ll do the same! Please, introduce yourself on InstagramFacebookPinterest, Twitter.

  • 3 Of The Best Maternity Bra’s For Every Occasion

    A comfortable, supportive and stylish maternity bra is an essential in every mum and mum-to-be’s arsenal but finding one that supports and lasts the distance is easier said than done.  Most maternity bra’s lack support, especially for bigger busted women! After just a few washes, most maternity bra’s will lose shape and stretch out.

    Thankfully, after scouring the market, I’ve found the most supportive maternity bras for every woman. According to Bravado Designs, “Each Bravado Designs nursing bra takes into account endless details for the perfect fit, from the first time you put it on and every time thereafter.

    Whether you’re a mum-to-be or currently breastfeeding, keep scrolling to see my top picks.

    Best Maternity Bra’s

    Bravado Designs Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra 

    Bravado_MaternityBra_Dusty
    best for: all-rounder and breastfeeding

    Bravado Designs Body Silk Seamless Yoga Nursing Bra

    Bravado_MaternityBra_Yoga
    best for: yoga and breastfeeding

    Bravado Designs Clip and Pump Hands-Free Nursing Bra

    Bravado_MaternityBra_ClipPump
    best for: expressing

    If you’re still having trouble finding the right bra, click play below to see a more comprehensive guide.

    There is a full list of video’s available here to help you choose the right bra for every occasion, including the correct size. 

    Have you heard of the Bravado Designs bra’s before? What do you currently wear? Let me know in the comments below!

    Olivia x

  • How To Work From Home With A Baby

    Learn my top tips and tricks on how to work from home with a baby!

    Be Flexible 

    Flexibility is key here and you need to adapt to changes in schedule. While getting routines together is GREAT; the reality is, things don’t always go to plan.

    Practice being adaptable to changes in your day, meetings and routine. If there is a really important meeting, try to plan to have support for the kids in advance and book those meetings in on the same day every month.

    Use Headphones For Phone Meetings

    One of the best purchases I made was Apple Airpods. These have saved me countless trips to the Chiropractor from holding my phone to my ear with my shoulder!

    I LOVE these and it means you can be in a complete different room to your phone but be buzzing around doing things. This is part of my routine for phone calls and gives you the ability to float from room to room putting things away, checking on the kids and preparing meals.

    Keep in mind that they can still pick up sound really easy – I learnt this the hard way when I was expressing milk on a work phone call and the gentleman asked me if there was a “frog in the background.” Awkward.

    Use A Baby Carrier

    The first months of bub’s life are so special, and you want to make sure you get to spend as much time skin to skin as possible by keeping them close to you. Archie loved being on me and having a decent baby carrier means you will be able to get so much more achieved.

    We use the CHEKOH baby sling and I find this one to be so comfortable and easy to get on and off quickly. He loves the flexibility of being in a little hammock and sleeps really well while walking around doing things. Also – it’s super easy to hand-wash and hang out on the line if it gets dirty.

    Have Dedicated Play Areas

    One of the best tips to working from home is having dedicated play areas where you know bubs can independently play that’s safe. At home, we have a play pen setup in the lounge room with toys and a soft lounge suite.

    This is where Henry has independent play during the day and can read books, play with his toys and keep busy. The space is his and because it’s in the lounge room, I can sit in there and keep in company while responding to emails.

    Write Lists and Prioritise

    This is an important one and something I do religiously every day. Get into the habit of writing lists – and using them! One of my favourite things to do on a Sunday is using my weekly planner and sticking to the fridge.

    Using the weekly planner, I write down any tasks and appointments for the week and put it on the fridge. It gives me a weekly overview every time I open the fridge door and acts as another reminder for things.

    Another great tip is to write a list of to-dos’ before you go to bed, for the following day. I love a to-do list that separates tasks for “home” and “work.” This is what I personally use every day and it allows me to separate the work tasks from the personal ones.

    Anything I can’t tick off during the day will be rolled onto the following day’s list that evening.

    Be Patient

    At the end of the day, your kids come first and their needs are the biggest priority. Some days you have it together, and things go to plan. Other days, things get out of hand and nothing seems to go right. It’s all NORMAL, and everyone goes through the ups and downs.

    I find it helps to gently remind yourself that your babies are only babies for a short time. Therefore, it’s so important that you get to enjoy them and share those special moments. If you can’t get everything ticked off the list, you miss a phone call or a meeting has to get re-shuffled, remember to be grateful. Your beautiful babies need you – and we know that won’t last forever!

    You’re doing good mama, and “you can.”

    P.S I would LOVE to know what questions, problems or struggles you may have when it comes to balancing business and babies. Please share your thoughts in this quick survey that will help me get to know you better! I am excited to connect with you and learn more about you!

    This is my way of serving your needs so you can get to know me better. I’m hoping you’ll do the same! Please, introduce yourself on InstagramFacebookPinterest, Twitter.

  • 5 Amazing Baby Products To Make Mum Life Easy

    As a busy mum, I’m constantly on the hunt for amazing baby products that save time and make mum life easy. Here are some of my favourite finds that help save your sleep, win back some time and are environmentally friendly! 

    1. Cocoonababy Baby Mattress

    This baby mattress will give you a good night’s sleep with your newborn and help ease any reflux or colic symptoms!

     The Cocoonababy is the ultimate mattress to give you and your baby the best chance of a good night’s sleep. This ergonomic nest has been designed by French Obstetricians and is a unique mattress designed for newborns optimal sleep.

    I’ve been using this since getting Archer home from the hospital and I have to say this is the BEST purchase you can make as a new mum. I didn’t have the luxury of a Cocoonababy with Henry, and I have noticed a huge difference when it comes to overnight sleeps.

    The Cocoonababy has been designed to simulate the feeling your baby experiences in the womb thanks to the enveloping shape of the nest that has your baby laying in a semi-foetal position which promotes DEEP sleep. A great thing for mum’s lacking sleep!

    What I love most about this mattress is the slightly inclined position that helps to prevent and relieve the symptoms of gastric reflux and colic. This can be really taxing on your energy levels if you are spending a long time settling baby after a feed – by the time you have fed, burped and settled, it can almost be time for another feed! Not anymore.

    There is a wedge which can be repositioned up and down as baby grows and then removed when no longer necessary. I use the velcro fastenings to keep baby secure on the mattress and then have this placed inside my Troll bassinet. You can also keep the Cocoonababy in your preferred cot or bassinet.

    1. Prince Lionheart Wipes Warmer

    This wipes warmer will save your sleep and keep baby comfortable during nappy changes!

    If you live in a cool climate or have a baby over Winter, this is a MUST-HAVE item. There is nothing worse than changing a nappy in the freezing cold with equally cold baby wipes! Introducing the Prince Lionheart Wipes Warmer.

    Yes, you heard right! I didn’t know such a thing existed until well into the warmer months with my first. Now, I’m much wiser and have armed the nursery with a wipes warmer to keep baby comfortable – especially during the overnight nappy changes.

    Why? When you change baby’s nappy overnight, you try to do your best not to fully wake them so they are easy to re-settle between feeds. This clever unit has an everFRESH® System that keeps wipes moist by an evaporation and condensation process.

    Simply load the system with your choice of baby wipes, plug into a power outlet and away you go! The micro-pores in the pillow trap and release water as needed to keep wipes moist ready for your next nappy change.

    1. Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail

    This nappy bin will save you hundreds on refills, doesn’t absorb smell and is kind to the environment! 

    If this is not the most stylish diaper pail/nappy bin you have ever seen, I don’t know what is! A nappy bin is a baby essential and which 12 different colours to choose from, there’s an option to suit any colour scheme.

    What I love about this nappy bin, is the fact there are no bags. You can use ANY bag with this disposal system, saving you money on refills and enabling you to find another purpose for the plastic bags piling up at home.

    Simply load the bag of your choice into the system, slide back the lid and drop the used nappy in. The benefit of the slide system is that it doesn’t allow for air disruption so there are NO unpleasant odours.

    The stainless steel body also prevents odours sticking to the bin, something you really notice with the plastic systems. After a while, the smell sticks to the body and there’s no getting rid of the odour! 

    1. Formula Pro Bottle Maker

    Baby Brezza - Formula Pro-The Stork Nest

    This product will help save SO much time and stopped fumbling around in the dark in the middle of the night! 

    For mumma’s out there that are bottle feeding – this will be the single best investment that you make! This product will save you LOADS of time and will make night time bottles a breeze. No more fumbling around in the middle of the night!

    The BabyBrezza Formula Pro has won awards including best baby product of 2017, and I can see why. The Formula Pro automatically makes warm, formula bottles in a matter of seconds. There’s no measuring, mixing or fuss required as the system does all the hard work for you.

    There is airtight formula storage and it works with most brands of formula. The water tank is completely removable and heats the water to the perfect temperature so you don’t have to worry about under or over-heating.

    The other thing I love about this product is the modern and contemporary styling. It’s an item you will most likely have out on your kitchen counter and it’s so gorgeous to look at!

    1. SRC Recovery Shorts

    These shorts will help shrink your “mummy tummy” back to normal fast!

    This is a product I HIGHLY recommend LIVING IN after birth, particularly if it’s a surgery. It’s the reason my recovery was so much faster the second time around. In fact, my tummy shrunk back to it’s normal size within two weeks of the surgery.

    The SRC Recovery Shorts are designed to help post-birth recover including pelvic instability, muscle separation and back pain. And boy oh boy do they deliver!

    The garment itself is made from superior fabric that provides superior comfort and exceptional support. They help to reduce pain, increase pelvic/back support and regain your pre-baby shape faster.

    The gentle compression promotes supporting pressure to the pelvis, back and abdominal muscles which improves your mobility. If you are mobile, you are activating your muscles and this is what strengthens your muscles and improves recovery.

    Have you tried any of these products? Would love to hear your thoughts below.

     Olivia x 

  • Ultimate Guide To Shopping For A New Baby: Must Have Items!

    Preparing for your new arrival can be one of the most overwhelming experiences for first time mum’s! There are so many options and an abundance of advice, that it can be hard to know what you ACTUALLY need for a new baby.

    This Baby Shopping Guide contains all the must-have items for bringing your new baby home and some suggestions on which products I personally found to be the best.

    SLEEPING

    Bassinet or cot and mattress:

    This is really personal preference and comes down to a few different factors. If you are having your new baby sleep in the same room as you, I would recommend a bassinet to make the most out of space. If you do go with a bassinet, ideally get something that has wheels so you can move it around the house with you and into other rooms.

    Newborn babies spend a lot of time sleeping so it’s nice to have the convenience of bringing them with you to other parts of the house. Especially if you have heating & cooling in certain rooms and keep them in living areas during the day.

    For safety reasons, I would personally suggest buying a cot or bassinet new so you know that it has not been tampered with or broken in the past and is 100% safe. Choose a firm mattress for a cot or bassinet for SIDS safety reasons.

    We are about to have our second baby and these are the three bassinet’s we are considering for the new bubs. Our first was delivered via an emergency c-section and so I would have LOVED a proper co-sleeper back then as my recovery was so painful.

    Here are my top picks for bassinets and co-sleepers:

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    Mattress protector:

    New babies are prone to lots of messy mishaps during sleep times – you name it, they do it! I would always recommend that you have a mattress protector on your bassinet or cot mattress to protect it. They are super easy to pop through the wash and re-apply when you’re remaking their bed.

    Baby Swaddles

    These things are MAGIC! We personally used the Love To Dream Swaddles which were amazing and super easy to use. One of the biggest things with newborns is they have no idea what the difference is between day and night. My tip is to use normal zip up suits during the day and only swaddle at night so your baby can begin to learn the difference between the two.

    [slide-anything id=”4772″]

    Baby Video Monitor

    There are mixed reviews on whether you ACTUALLY need to have a baby monitor or not, and again this is very much personal preference. We personally used ours a lot in the early stages for peace of mind, particularly during the day when you need to hang some washing out, get some fresh air or have a few minutes to yourself and don’t want to stress that your baby needs something. I would set the baby monitor up and then bring it outside with me or into different rooms of the house so I didn’t feel like I was a slave to the nursery!

    FEEDING

    Breast Pads

    The concept of needing or using breast pads was so foreign to me before I had my first. I didn’t get why on earth you needed to stick pads over your nipples for crying out loud – how strange. Let me tell you, these things are absolute life-savers when it comes to the first six weeks of breast-feeding.

    There is no way that I would’ve survived any public experience without them. I still remember the one time I wasn’t wearing them in a WHITE SHIRT, standing in the kitchen with my partner and his work colleague. I’m sure you can guess what happened next and it was rather embarrassing – HAHA!

    My favourites were the disposable Coles brand and you can get them in your online shop (which is an absolute god-send and I will write about in another blog soon) or in-store.

    However, if you prefer ones that are machine washable then the Avent washable breast pads are quite good also and definitely love the fact you can have 6 pairs going and throw them in the wash as you need!

    Breast Pump

    Okay – so this one depends on whether you’re going to breast feed or bottle feed. No judgement either way, I could personally only breast feed my son until 4-5 months as my milk began to dry up as I got pregnant so quickly with my second.

    If you do decided to get a breast pump, here are my top tips.

    1. Choose a pump that is a closed system (hygienic for you and the baby!)
    2. Choose a pump that has the potential to be cordless – you need to be able to bring it with you anywhere and not be always plugged into a wall
    3. Choose a pump that is a double for convenience sake

    I did A LOT of research about breast pumps prior to having my first and really narrowed it down to two pumps that I thought were the best in terms of quality, price and features. I ended up choosing the Spectra S1 Breast Pump which was amazing and super-simple to use.

    It is a little on the pricey side but it won’t disappoint and you’ll get lots of use out of this, particularly if you decide to have more than one baby. Ours is still in perfect condition plus they have GREAT customer service if you run into any challenges.

    Breast Milk Storage Containers

    Again – this one depends on whether you will be breastfeeding or not. If you are, then I highly recommend picking up some breast milk storage containers for a few different reasons.

    1. It’s nice to have a back up in case you need them (support person needs to do a feed while you’re sleeping or not able to breast feed for some reason – and there can be lots of them!)
    2. Any extra milk that you express is not wasted and you can build up a milk bank for times of need
    3. You can bring them with you if for some reason you are heading out and need to express and feed via a bottle
    4. If you get REALLY sore nipples, you can always express and then bottle feed which gives your breasts a bit of a break! Any extra, or if you’re expressing a feed ahead, can be placed in these containers and stored in the fridge until you need them

    The AVENT Breast Milk Storage Cups are the ones that I personally used with my first and found them to be air tight, simple to use and easy to clean and store.

    Nipple Cream

    Another one for breast feeding mama’s – this will literally save your life. Lots of women get really sore nipples from feeding, especially in the first few weeks. I would recommend having lots of nipple cream on hand and potentially even a few tubes – one for your handbag or baby bag, one for the nursery and one for the car!

    The main reason is that nipple cream hydrates, nourishes and replenishes your nipples back to health. The other reason is it protects them from damage or further damage and helps to ease the friction and rubbing that can happen inside your bra or onto the breast pad. Sounds a bit gross but any barrier cream you can put between your beloved nipples and your bra will be heavenly.

    Lanisoh is the main brand you will hear of and it does a great job however it is made with animal products so if you’d prefer to use something more natural and free from animal ingredients then I recommend the Weleda brand.

    CHANGING:

    Nappies

    Nappies are the super obvious buy here but there are LOTS to choose from. We went with Huggies initially as that was the recommendation from my friend who had girls. Personally, we found them to leak and I ended up trying Baby Love instead.

    I wouldn’t recommend buying any more than one packet/box of newborn nappies as you will find that they outgrow them really quickly or they will leak through (this is a sign that you need to go up to the next size!). It’s not really a bad idea to have them move up to the next size on the earlier side as the guides on the boxes are a rough estimate only.

    Even now, Henry is always using nappies that are around a size too big as it’s more important for them to be absorbent than to be a perfect smaller fit!

    Baby Wipes

    Again – there are lots of options for wipes. The most important thing is to strike a balance between quality and cost as there is a big difference between the budget option and the higher quality one. Personally, I found that the budget baby wipes didn’t have much moisture, were prone to ripping and I had to use 10x as many to do the job.

    The best that you can buy would hands down be the Water Wipes brand which are made with 99.9% water and a drop of fruit extract. They can be a little bit hard to find at times and are definitely on the expensive side but so worth it!

    For the nursery, I had the Huggies pop-up tubs that you can refill with bulk wipes and save some money. These are great for the nursery as they are easy to pop open with one hand during a nappy change however I would recommend a travel size pack for the baby bag as they are too clunky to carry around in your bag.

    Change Table

    To be honest, I have no idea how so many people survive without a change table! This has been the biggest god-send for us and is something we use daily – even with a 10 month old. It’s definitely true that you can change a baby anywhere, and you definitely do that when you have a new born but having a dedicated area in the nursery to change a nappy is definitely worthwhile.

    This is not an item I would spend LOTS of money on unless you have a particular brand or look that you want to achieve. We went with the IKEA change table which was so affordable and has served us so well! TIP: We bought our change table topper from Baby Bunting though as I wasn’t a big fan of the quality of the IKEA one – I haven’t personally used it but I definitely love the plush, thick topper we bought from BB.

    TRAVEL

    Capsule/Car Seat

    If you have a car, you will definitely need either a capsule or a car seat. You don’t have to buy both at the same time – most people suggest starting with the capsule which can be used until approximately 6 months of age and then transfer to a convertible car seat which will last between 3-4 years.

    Personally, we LOVED our capsule and can’t recommend them highly enough. It’s so convenient to have a car seat that clips in and out of the base in the car without waking baby up! We were so sad when Henry outgrew his and had to move to a big boy car seat as he wakes up as soon as he gets in and out of the car and we can’t clip him straight into the pram base anymore.

    If you choose a capsule, my tip would be to buy a pram that has adaptors so you can literally get baby out of the car and clip the capsule straight onto the pram base! Voila!

    Pram

    A pram is a must-have and will be an item you use everyday! Again, this is a personal preference item and there are so many great prams on the market. The most important thing is that you go and personally try them in-store, wheel them around, pack them up and pack them down so you really get a good idea of what you are buying.

    Another tip is to buy a pram that has the potential to be a double/tandem if you decide to have another baby after this one. We went with the Bugaboo Cam3 which has been a great pram for the most part however we have to sell it now to buy a double/tandem as it can’t convert!

    GROOMING

    Baby Bath Support

    If you already have a bath at home then I would recommend just picking up a baby bath support as we found these much easier to use than a baby bath on a stand. It’s another thing you have to find room to store and it also doesn’t have a drain or plug so can be a challenge to clean up after every bath.

    Other Must-Have Items:

    • Nail clippers
    • Small wash cloths (these come in handy for bath time, little spews, dribbles and cleaning up!)
    • Hooded towel

    I hope this guide has helped with your journey and given you some advice on the items that are essential for a new baby. If you enjoyed the post or have any questions, please comment below!

    Olivia x

    Disclaimer: I have NOT been sponsored or paid in any way to promote the below brands, the advice is based on my personal experiences only.

  • PCOS, Fertility & How My Pregnancy Journey Began

    How My Pregnancy Journey Began
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    I wanted to apologise… 

    I’ve been a little bit missing in action lately and I wanted to explain to you why… 
     
    After suffering from PCOS and other ovarian issues for many years (BIG part of my acne journey) and being told it would be very difficult for me to conceive naturally I finally received the best news of my life
     
    I AM PREGNANT![/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_gallery type=”nivo” interval=”0″ images=”4609,4610,4611″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]It’s been a rollercoaster ride of emotion, joy and excitement and while I really wanted to write to you, my focus was on getting through the first trimester healthily. Here is the low down on how I conceived naturally with PCOS:

    • Vitex tablets (1 dose daily)
    • Vitamin D capsules (6000iu daily)
    • Healthy balanced diet for a healthy gut
    • Lots of water to flush my body of toxins
    • Regular exercise including walking & yoga

    My personal focus was not on getting pregnant, it was on being healthy. This means that I surrendered to the fact that I had PCOS and focussed on treating my body with kindness, nourishing it with the best foods possible and getting lots of rest.

    There are several really important factors when treating PCOS and these include:

    1. Healthy diet & lifestyle avoiding inflammatory foods
    2. Regular exercise
    3. Liver & kidney health
    4. De-stress and relax with abdominal massage
    5. Self-love through meditation and affirmations

    Do you suffer from PCOS? Are you trying to get pregnant? Share your stories with me below, I would love to hear from you!  I would love to hear from you![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]