(These are the thank you cards I created for all the lovely gifts & visits Lil Mr M has been receiving)
Hello there! So Lil Mr M (no we didn’t name him an ‘M’ name on purpose, somehow we must just gravitate towards the M’s) has arrived, he arrived safely on the morning of Friday 28th February, looking like his sisters twin at the same moment that we got to meet him. He has been settling in very well into our now family of 4 (still so surreal we have not one but 2 children), and I have been recovering really well!
This time round was a little different, as I was always booked in for a planned c-section due to complications with my first, this was a safer/less risk option for us. I have to admit, knowing the date was very weird, instead of waiting for those contractions to come, at every pang in your stomach thinking is today the day? I thought knowing the day would have me super organised, but instead it also made me procrastinate on a few things as I knew how many days I could buy, such as putting the new double pram together (we had it for a month and half in the box, before I decided to put it together 3 weeks beforehand), getting the second car capsule installed, which I did about a week and half before. But I did sew and cook like a mad pregnant lady as much as I could until a few days before surgery I was just so tired and sore I decided that was it, no more, whatever I hadn’t done, was not going to be done.
I did manage to get through a lot and took into consideration how different it would be having a toddler and a newborn, and that Lil M would be having her 2nd birthday while I was still in hospital, knowing I would have to stay in there for at least 5 days (which I hated, being away from my two).
(I created this balloon to give to Lil M on her 2nd birthday when she came to visit, alas it had half of the tassels if not less by the time she was done with it, but she had and fun and it’s still up in her room)
So now that they are all tried and tested I thought I would share with you some tips that have made it easier and less stress free, bringing baby home and also some tips that are working for us so far also having a toddler in tow.
1. We learnt with Lil M that you can never have enough bassinet or change mat covers, sometimes we would go through 2 – 3 a night at the beginning when she was getting used to my milk. If you can sew make your own ( This tutorial is the closest to how I make mine, here). It’s very simple and once you have made one, you will find it very easy to keep going. I remember buying Lil M a very basic pink striped change mat cover for about $40 + postage, this time for about $100 I made 4 bassinet fitted sheets (I made 6 in total with fabric I already had) and 4 change mat covers. It may seem excessive, but living in a 2 storey home we made sure that we have the same bassinet upstairs and downstairs, and another change station downstairs. Sounds expensive to have two, but it’s not, I bought the second bassinet 2nd hand – remember that most 2nd hand bassinets will be in great condition as babies only tend to sleep in them for a short amount of time, its a King Parrot / Boori Urbane bassinet – we have one in teak and one in white , I love that all sides are mesh which means its easy for baby to breathe even if they move right up to the edge, it’s a simple, sturdy wood design, and it has wheels and breaks, and the size is perfect, not too small and not too big.
Keep a towel, an extra wrap and outfit in your change station, along with your toddlers nappies, if you have another child, still in nappies.
(ok so please excuse the pic and the wrinkled cover, but hey this is real life haha! But I wanted to show you the convenience of having another change station if you have multiple levels at home. We just keep the mat and the carry box at the side of the couch ready to pull out on top of our low ottoman)
(2 of the many bassinet sheets / change covers I made, I will be showing them all in a post all about Lil Mr M’s nursery)
(Sneak peak of Lil Mr M’s nursery)
2. Pre cook meals and freeze! The last thing you want to do when you come home with your new baby is cook dinner, and you need to eat good meals, and nourish your tired selves! I made a few favourites, and meals that the Mister could also just pop in the oven when it was just him and Lil M while I was still in hospital, or we could have as lunch meals too. Sorry I haven’t included the recipes, if I did we would be in for a super duper looong post, but I have put reference where you can find them, or you can email me if you really want it, no problem!
*Pork & Ginger wontons (for wonton noodle soup) – Donna Hay Classics
*Lamb Kofta (we have these with spiced cous cous or in wraps) – Jamie Oliver’s 15 min meals
*Pork & Fennel sausage rolls – Bourke St Bakery recipe book
*Beef & Vegetable lasagne – Own recipe
*Italian lamb meatballs (Own recipe to have with pasta)
*Chicken & mushroom mini pies – Altered recipe from my pie maker recipe book
*Honey soy garlic chicken fillets (to have with salad, on a roll, with veg or rice)
*Protein power balls – you can find these under Table Tonics Blog – Sunday night power ball recipe
*Chicken & sweet potato soup
It’s been just over 2 weeks (now 5 weeks as I finish his post) and I don’t think I’ll be cooking a meal from scratch for a few weeks yet! yay!
3. How to make it easier on your toddler/child with new baby. This I wasn’t too worried about as Lil M is a very social little thing, and has never showed jealousy when my attention is on other children, and she is very interested in babies since she knew we were having one, but you still never know. It was going to be a big change for her me not being home for 5 days. The Mister and Lil M would come to visit me twice a day for a few hours. The day Lil Mr M was born we gave her a ‘Big Sister’ card and a gift from him to her – she is crazy about shoes, so we bought her a cool pair of kicks, and yes she adored them and wore them straight away. We took in one of her playmats that stayed in my room, and we bought a few new books and a few small toys that would stay at the hospital and we would surprise her with each day. As it was her birthday we spread her gifts out over that week. In the end as each day went by, she did become a bit distant with me and more clingy to Dad, but having her toys and things she was familiar with at the hospital made it easy for me to continue playing with her.
(Poppy and Nan Nan, gave her this Duplo set for her birthday on a visit and it stayed at hospital while I was there, was a great way to keep her occupied and a way for us to still engage with her and bond with baby)
4. So many friends with more than one child told us the best thing to do is to involve your toddler with the baby, e.g., asking for help to change the baby, bath the baby. This rings so true! Lil M is wonderful at setting up the change station for me down stairs when I have my arms full, and she seems so proud to of helped, she helps Daddy bath Lil Mr M and that is only the short of it. I have also found that while I’m feeding Mr Lil M, she enjoys bringing a book over for me to read to her
5. Pre prepare for any birthdays/events within the month or so you have, while bringing baby home. I had a lot of birthdays this month, so I made sure I had any presents sorted, cards made and ready to send/give before I went into hospital.
(I had this wonderful cake made by Forget Me Not Cakes we celebrated Lil M’s birthday with cake the weekend after I got home, every birthday needs cake!)
6. As sleep deprived as you may feel when you bring baby home, as easy as it is to stay in your PJ’s all day, I always still got up had a shower and got dressed (whatever as long as it was not what I slept in) with Lil M and have done the same with Lil Mr M, and take it easy, the washing can be done later, I don’t think I took it easy enough to recover first time round, this time I am, but I need to always get out in the fresh air, so if we have been home all day we make sure we get out to the park, or for a short walk by the beach in the afternoon/evening, just something to get us all out to refresh. (as I finish this post finally, I am currently running off about 4 hours sleep possibly less! ha!)
7. Just take each day is it comes, and go with flow, it will make it a lot easier, remember they are only babies, and only babies for such a short amount of time, so enjoy, take it all in, and try to see the funny side of all the vomit ruined outfits, the poo explosions, and the fact they are always grizzly just as you want to sleep and enjoy your new little addition :) x
Coming soon will be all about Lil Mr M’s nursery, his own little space…