what's in your hospital bag?

What’s in your Hospital Bag?

Have you got your hospital bag packed?

With my first child, I remember being so organised and having my hospital bag packed weeks before she was due to arrive. My dates were actually a week different to the scan dates so I wanted to pack a little earlier than necessary. As it happened, I was induced after being 4 days late due to my hind waters breaking!

I had so much in my bag, literally everything you could imagine!

What I found second time round was it was better to pack 2 bags, one for when I was in labour and one for when baby was born, which I left in the boot of the car, just in case I needed to stay in.

After 2 children and chatting with lots of mummy friends it seems that most of them did the same.

As a helping hand, I thought it would be useful to compile a list of useful items for each bag.

Labour Bag

  • Toiletries – flannel, shower gel, toothbrush, toothpaste, hair bobbles, brush shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, lip balm
  • Make-up – you may want just a little bit of powder and gloss for a new born family pic.
  • Face wipes to keep you cool
  • Thin, dark dressing gown and slippers / flip flops (maternity units are so hot!)
  • Nighties – perhaps cotton and if you want to breastfeed, have some that unbutton down the front
  • Nursing bra and breast pads
  • Nipple cream – if you choose to breastfeed and the latch isn’t right it will be painful!
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Comfy knickers – several pairs
  • Maternity pads
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Hospital notes and birth plan
  • Tens machine (some Children’s Centres hire them out for a small fee).
  • Comfy joggers and a vest / t shirt
  • Newborn nappies, cotton wool, little pot for warm water during nappy changing.
  • Vests and babygros for baby
  • Muslins / bibs
  • You may also want to take your birth ball, in case the hospital ones are in use
  • IPod to help you stay relaxed.
  • Magazines – some labours are quick while others can take a bit longer.
  • Snacks for you and your birthing partner.
  • Coins for the car park meter

It’s worthwhile getting your birth partner to pack a bag with a few essential items for them too, including a full charged camera!

If you plan to go in the birthing pool and want to keep a bit of dignity, it might be worth popping a loose vest top in your bag that you can throw away after.

But believe me, when you’re in labour, keeping your dignity is the last on your mind and you will have forgotten all about it when your bundle of joy is in your arms!

New baby bag

The bag that I kept in the car just had a few extra bits, I just sent the labour bag home for washing, keeping some of the bits with me, and replaced it with the new baby bag.

  • More nappies
  • Clean nightie and underwear
  • More vests and babygros
  • Scratch mitts
  • Going home outfit for you and baby.
  • Blanket for baby.
  • Newborn teddy / soft toy

It’s also essential to have your baby car seat if you’re going home by car too, that can be brought into the hospital just as you’re about to leave.

I must say, it was only second time round that I did this, first time round it was, take everything, just in case!!

Both my labours were very different, with my daughter I had to stay in for a few days, (I won’t bore you with the details), and with my son we were in and out within 11hrs!

Just concentrate on your breathing and before you know it, you’ll be a proud mummy!

Written by Gemma one of our Dorset organisers

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changing bag

What’s in your Changing Bag?

What’s in your changing bag?

When I first became a mum I knew that the size of my handbag would have to change.  Gone were the days of the small bag with just enough space to put your purse, keys, lippy and mobile phone in.

My very first nappy changing bag, (I only had 2!), was grey and boring but very practical and had so many pockets inside and out! I could practically fit my whole house in it!

The contents of the bag went a little like this…

Changing mat – a handy little foldaway mat that can be used anywhere, including the boot of your car!

Nappies – I always carried way too many, and being a reusable nappy kinda mum, the size of the bag was a big deal! I did have the odd spare disposable nappy too, you just never know when you’re gonna get caught out.

Wet wipes – with my first little pickle, they were the washable type, but my second child they were disposable ones. They just have so many uses; mucky hands, sticky fingers, bumps and bruises and a quick fix to clear up the odd bit of sick!

Hand Sanitiser always came in handy for freshening up after a nappy change, but I have been known to squirt some on the table in a coffee shop ready for snack time too!

Nappy bags were handy not only for the dirty nappies but for keeping the mucky clothes contained.

Spare Clothes – from vests to babygros, cute girly outfits to boy’s comfy trousers. Depending on the age and stage of my kiddies, there would even have been a spare pair of shoes for those potty training accidents!

Breast pads – I exclusively breastfed so the last thing I wanted was a leakage, especially when my daughter was newborn, the feeding was all over the place and milk was on tap.  Breast pads have other uses though, I once used it as a plaster when I was on a long walk and had the worst blister on my heel you can ever imagine!

Muslin squares – handy for feeding, using as a bib, over the shoulder burps and even as a sunshade.

Suncream and sun hats in the summer, and gloves and a beanie for the winter.

Calpol sachets and teething gel / powder – handy to slip safely in the bag.  If it wasn’t my bubba that needed them, they were always handy to help out a friend.

changing bag

As my family grew from child to children,

additional bits were added to my bag, which was upgraded to a more sophisticated style.

Snacks and sippy cups for my toddler.

Crayons and a pad, books and small toys – for those times when you just want to finish the coffee you treated yourself to, while it’s still warm!

Tissues for runny noses or teething dribbles.

Money – lots of change was always a must. Popping to the shops for supplies and getting the buggy out of the car, all set up for baby and toddler, was always a mission.  To then find you don’t have any change for the car park must be any mum’s nightmare. I was caught out on numerous occasions stood at the parking meter when I remembered that I hadn’t replenished my coin purse!

As well as the essentials there would be a small space, somewhere in the bag, for my bits

Purse – a must when having a coffee and cake catch up with another mummy friend.

Mobile phone – full of hundreds of baby snap shots.

Lip gloss

Powder brush to help cover up those dark circles

Sunglasses –  nothing worse than going for a walk with the sun in your eyes.

Chewing gum / mints – did I ever rush out the door without brushing my teeth?! I don’t think so!

So this is mine, what’s in your changing bag?

Written by Gemma our Poole and Ferndown Organiser

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Little Pickles Markets Buyers Tips

Our mission is to save parents as much money as they can kitting out their growing families from bump to early school years at our Little Pickles Markets and on through their primary years at our BIGGER Pickles Markets.

With this in mind we have a few tips to help you to be a savvy nearly new shopper.

  1. Raid the change jar – If you have your £1 entry ready on entry to the market, it help the queue go down quicker, so you can get shopping quicker. The stall holders also appreciate it if you have change instead of handing over a note.
  2. Time your shop – Our popular markets do attract a long queue of money savvy parents eager to scoop the bargains, so if you want first dibs make sure you arrive early to get to the front of the queue. If you like a quieter shop, you can arrive later, don’t worry there will still be tons of great quality bargains left.
  3. Make a list and set a budget – if you are expecting a new baby you might have a long list of needs and wants, if you keep note of what you need already have will help you to ensure you don’t get duplicates. Make a little note of how much you are willing to spend on certain things, it’s only a bargain if it is something you need/want and are going to use.
  4. Take a second look – You will be amazed what you can miss on the your first circuit around the market venue, after all there will be tons of bargains for you buyers to see. So take a second or even third walk around the venue and see what pops out.
  5. Lastly be safe – if you are buying battery operated/electric items make sure you see these working before purchasing. If you would like to use a plug socket please ask the market organiser and she will be happy to help on market day. Also if you are buying a a pushchair or highchair or anything else that may have a knack to using it, make sure that you get a full demonstration from the sellers.

We hope these tips help and please share any tips or advice you could offer Little Pickles Markets newbie buyers.

buyers tips

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Bottle or Breast? Your Doing Your Best

Yet again the breast versus bottle debate reared its head last week due to Jamie Oliver saying the the new sugar tax was just the beginning. And that breastfeeding should now be promoted as he believes it’s best and easy!

Wow what a statement from a man that has never had cracked nipples and a baby latched on for eternity!

But anyway that’s enough about Mr Ego and his next crusade to make parents feel guilty about their choices.

I believe that no mother should feel guilty or less superior for choosing or simply wishing to bottle feed. The bottom line is simple happy mother, happy baby. So be confident in your feeding choice, as bottle or breast as long as your baby is fed that is all that matters.

FeedingblogPic

I chose to feed all 5 of my pickles, it wasn’t always easy and each baby came with their own challenges. Even though they all had roughly the same length of breastfeeding. They have all turned out very differently. Some have allergies some don’t, some grew rapidly and others were slower to gain pounds, some slept through the night some didn’t, some were always hungry some had very little appetite, now they are older some are quick thinkers others take time to get things right, some are fussy eaters and some eat whatever.

We need to remember all children are different and embrace their uniqueness! 

So Mum’s forget others thoughts and enjoy your journey, you are doing your best xx

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Dreaming of a Perfect Holiday #MarkWarnerMum

I spotted that Mark Warner are looking for 2016 Ambassadors, so thought it was worth a try, here’s our entry, well who doesn’t love a holiday.

Now our family is growing and there is no little baby in the house, things are getting a little bit easier. And being a bit of a holiday addict, my brain often wanders away dreaming of the adventures the Little Pickles and I can go on.

Even though I adore a sunshine break, we often discuss taking a family Skiing trip to the French Alps. I have skied twice many years ago when I was at school and have always dreamt of going again and now I can share that with my children perfect.

When the younger Pickles chat about it the first thing that comes to mind is their desperation to build a real snowman, well we don’t often get a much in the way of snow in the UK.

When I asked Jolie aged 6 and ¾ she said ‘I would be very excited about going skiing, going down the hills fast and getting there on an aeroplane. Oh it would be so much fun’

My new challenge for 2016 is to be a braver parent, I have even signed myself up for a sky jump in June, so flying down  slipping and sliding down the keep slopes would suit the new adrenaline junkie me very well I think!

The pickles always love a new challenge and getting to know new friends so ski school would be an absolute must for them. And I’m sure they would look mighty cute in salopettes too.

Plus indulging in some fine french wine and trying local foods. Our lives are so busy so a good holiday is just the best way to unwind and being a single Mum a little bit of time to myself whilst the pickles are in kids club would be pretty nice too.
Right now to bring myself back from my daydreaming and cook some pretty average pasta for tea.

This is my entry into the Mark Warner #MarkWarnerMum 2016 Family Ambassador Program

Written by Jessamine Hislop

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