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What do I need to have ready for baby?

Much like the Hospital Bag scenario, it's really difficult to know exactly what you really need to have ready for baby's arrival, and what's surplus to requirements! There are so many things that you will be told that you absolutely MUST have for baby, the latest gadgets and gismos to make life easier. 

Everyone is different and chooses to live their lives differently, and that's what makes life interesting, but I personally believe that the majority of those gadgets and gismos for baby actually just make life more complicated and cluttered. 

Calm Births Hypnobirthing

So what do you actually need? Well a baby needs to be warm, fed, changed, loved and to sleep. Those are the things it actually needs. So with that in mind:

Clothes - well, yes. You'll need lots of vests, babygrows and hats. Depending on the time of year, they might also need a snowsuit to snuggle in for being outside (but this should be removed when they're in their car seat - see some guidelines on that here). It's always difficult to know if baby is warm enough, the best way to tell is to feel their chest or their back, it should just feel the same warmth as you. 

Food - if you're planning to breastfeed you've already got everything you need. If you're going to formula feed then you'll need formula, bottles, teats and a way to sterilise. You can get sucked into gadgetry here but you really don't need to. The easiest way to keep bottles sterile is to buy the traditional sterilising tablets and have a bowl in the kitchen with it in (replaced every 24 hours), and put bottles into it after you've washed them after each use. Then you've always got a sterile bottle ready to go, at the right temperature. If you buy a microwave steriliser, they are great but if you need a bottle NOW (which can happen!!) then it will be too hot straight after use and you'll have to wait for it to cool down. Ever tried explaining to a hungry baby that it needs to wait patiently???!!!!  And I will sound like my Mother now, but room temperature is right for baby as that is how your milk comes if you were breastfeeding. If you ever offer baby warmed milk you're really setting yourself up for trouble - be warned!!!! 

Also in the food category I would say Muslins - you cannot have enough muslins, you'll need one in every room and one in your changing bag. Baby's throw up, often on you when you're out! They also dribble whilst feeding or just after, having a mussy tucked under their chin or to hand to mop up is great. Buy lots of these!!!

Changing - The bag. God people spend £££££'s on changing bags! I've always found that a nice big handbag with lots of pockets is fine, it doesn't have to be an official 'changing bag' to serve it's purpose! 

You'll obviously need nappies (buy shares in these!), some people prefer cloth and some prefer disposable - it's your choice. Warm water and cotton wool is the gentlest way to clean baby's bottom, but this isn't practical when you're out so you will need wipes if you ever want to leave the house. I do strongly suggest buying a tub of vaseline, if you apply this generously to baby's bottom and bits after each nappy change, you will avoid nappy rash - it also means that poo doesn't stick to their skin and comes off easily. You're welcome. 

Sleeping - Again this comes down to choice, but baby is safe to co-sleep with you under usual circumstances, and you cannot spoil a newborn baby. Just because they co-sleep with you for the first couple of months of their lives (or longer), doesn't mean that they'll be 12 and sleeping in your bed. However it is important to be armed with the facts on co-sleeping, and you can find those with the Lullaby Trust. There are lots of options to have baby in your room and very close to you if you prefer not to co-sleep, such as a Moses basket next to your bed.

Calm Births Hypnobirthing Berkshire

Baby will need other things as time goes on, but you will discover what you would like to have for him or her as you go along. You'll want a play mat or something that you can lay baby down on, but you won't need this immediately. 

The first few weeks baby will just need to be close to you - slings are amazing for this, and most (but not all) babies will be happy to just be in the sling with you whilst you are out and about. There are lots of sling libraries popping up now where you can try different types out to see how you like them before you buy one. 

When out and about you'll also want a car seat and a pram - this is pretty overwhelming for most of us, just have a play with things until you find the one that works for you. But please don't fall into the trap of carrying baby around everywhere in the car seat, it's not good for them and it's not good for your back! 

And finally: Love. And I'm pretty sure you've got that covered.

 

 

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A beautiful birth story from a Calm Births Family.

Calm Births Hypnobirthing Berkshire

I received this wonderful testimonial birth story today from the lovely Amy and Paul, whom I taught whilst they were pregnant with their first baby. Together they were a superstar HypnoBirthing team, and have a gorgeous calm baby as a result. Yay! 

"Hi Hannah,

Finally I have a moment to put in to words how grateful I am for what you did for my husband and I in preparation of the birth of our first baby.

I was naturally nervous about childbirth having never experienced it and after hearing many horror stories which people seemed all too happy to share with me on finding out I was pregnant! I was given the Marie Mongan hypnobirthing book by a friend, I didn't get very far in to the book before realising it was absolutely  something I wanted to explore as it just made so much sense to me - the concept of childbirth being a natural process and something women are built to do without medical intervention, and that by releasing all fear and remaining calm during the process enables the body to do what it needs to do to deliver the baby naturally and without stress.

I found you via recommendation on the WGG Facebook page, and I am just so delighted that I contacted you! From the moment we engaged over email I knew that I would connect with you as you had such a nice calm and friendly manner. I decided to opt for the private sessions as I felt my husband would be more comfortable in our own home rather than the group environment and it also gave us more flexibility on times/dates than the group sessions did.

The sessions were just fantastic, we both felt very relaxed with you and you made us feel like no questions or concerns we had were silly or insignificant. We really enjoyed learning about the birthing process and practising the breathing and visualisation techniques with you and just getting more prepared to welcome our baby in to the world in the most calm and collected way possible. I also believe that it really helped my husband feel like he had an important role to play and gave him so much confidence knowing more about the birthing process rather than standing by and watching.

The course was clearly worth every penny and every minute we invested in it, as I am so proud to say that our beautiful son Zane David Richards was born naturally, calmly, quickly and without any pain relief!

We were a little shocked that the labour had started when it did as it was almost 3 weeks before my due date, but despite this we remained calm and used the breathing, essential oils and relaxing music to get through the contractions at home before going in to hospital, I even took a shower and washed and dried my hair whilst having contractions! We had called the hospital to let them know my labour had started, and as it was my first baby even though I said I felt the contractions had become strong quite quickly, they were putting us off going in as were expecting it to be a long process .... well it is a good job that my husband made the decision for us to get ourselves to the hospital when he did, because the moment we arrived at the maternity ward reception my waters broke, and Zane was delivered 55 minutes later! We hadn't even got my notes or the hospital bag out of the car, and there was no time to even consider getting in the birthing pool! The midwife even said to me that she wished all women made her job so easy! Also what was amazing is how calm Zane was having entered the big wide world - he hardly made a sound and just happily lay on my chest! So many people comment on what a 'good baby' he is because he seems so relaxed and rarely cries.

We feel so lucky to have worked with you and can't thank you enough as we believe that the sessions we did with you really did contribute to our fantastic birthing experience. We would recommend anybody to you, no matter how sceptical they are about hypnobirthing.

Lots of Love

Amy, Paul and Zane xxx


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