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This is a baby kit list with a difference.

If you are pregnant read this. If you know someone who is pregnant, read this. They’d rather have a dishwasher than another bunch of flowers they have to find a vase for and then somehow keep alive when they’ve only had 15 minutes sleep in 4 days and can’t sit down properly. Mums of older kids might want to skip back to my recent post on Surviving Motherhood.

photo of mum smiling at newborn - photographer derby

I need to give credit to a group of my mum pals who helped me crowdsource ideas for this list. Thanks Novemberers!

In an effort to ramp up the tension in this blog post I shall be counting down to number one. Oh yes. I’m going there.

10. A Downstairs Loo

I do not have a downstairs loo. George decided to potty train when I was 7 months pregnant with his sister. Make of that what you will.

9. Smartphone

I eschew the iPhone due to crap battery life and rubbish storage capacity. Get a Oneplus 3 for the endless feeds. It’ll change your life. Obvs you’ll be snapping away your little darlings moments so you can remember them, but smartphones are also great for ordering pizza and going on Instagram at 3am.

8. PayPal

Because when you’re on Instagram or Etsy at 3am and you see those gorgeous baby clothes from an independent shop you MUST BUY THEM straight away. And how can you possibly do that when you have a small human draped across you?

7. A Stick to Beat the Guilt Fairy

Have you heard of the Shitty Guilt Fairy? Hurrah for Gin explores her impact on mothers in very realistic drawings. She is real, and she haunts the waking moments of parents everywhere. Need to work to put food on the table? The Guilt Fairy will make you feel bad for leaving your kids in care. Chosen to be a stay at home parent? Shitty Guilt Fairy will make sure you feel crap that your kids aren’t going to get the social stimulus they crave. How dare you?

The Guilt Fairy comes for us all, and we must find a big confidence stick to beat her away with, and banish her from our lives.

6. Chocolate

The finest you can buy, or just a big block of anything. It doesn’t really matter.

5. A Tula

I’ve decided to include a legit baby item in this list because this one is just so bleeding necessary. Because it’s hard to navigate small town coffee shops with a pram and you need coffee now. Because it’s no good pretending that dangly carrier is comfortable, and because by the time your baby’s four months old you’ll be wishing you’d spend money on something more ergonomic. Tulas are the prettiest, most comfortable baby carriers you could ever get. Just take out that second mortgage and get one in the knowledge that you’ll be able to sell it on near market value in a couple of years (to fund the toddler size one).

 

4. Another Maternity Leave

“I’ll bake a cake every week and that’ll be our sweet stuff for the week”.

“I’ll cook from scratch every night.”

“I’ll brush up un petit peu on my French.”

“I’ll take up cross-stitch.”

“I’ll have a perfect house.”

These were the things I told myself when my first maternity leave started. In reality, I was so knackered before the baby even arrived that I spent two months on the settee watching Netflix, and then a month walking around the hills trying to go into labour. I then spent the next seven cleaning dried weetabix off every surface. OK so my oldest is only 4, but it feels longer. I’d like another maternity leave (in which I am not pregnant) just to have a day off.

3. A Grabber

photo of mum breastfeeding newborn - photographer derbyNot just for picking up litter, these nifty little devices also come in handy for reaching remote controls and grabbing your phone, for when you’re stuck under the baby and you need all the things.

2. A Reminder to Put Your Boobs Away

Seriously. If you’re breastfeeding you’ll spend a lot of time with your breasts out (kind of hard to breastfeed if they’re not). And you’ll be tired. And you’ll end up walking around the house with your breasts out. And then someone arrives with your many parcels from all the online shopping you’ve done in the middle of the night. And you’ll have your breasts out. Make a sign.

door sign - photographer derby

1. Mum Friends

Mum friends can generally be found at baby groups and in the park. You might already have some friends who are mums too. These people are lovely, I’m sure, but they’re not the ones I’m going to talk about. I mean an online group of mum friends whose babies are all roughly the same age as your baby. Places like Mumsnet are fantastic for finding these people while you’re pregnant, as antenatal groups are formed each month. Generally you’ll all end up in a closed Facebook group, so you can chat about multiple things at once, share photos, and, eventually discuss the benefits of cabbage leaves down your bra and swap tips for using the snot sucker on your baby.

Together, we’ve faced relationship breakdowns, piles, benign brain tumours, finding childcare and gone to great lengths to discover ways to keep the Christmas tree safe from inquisitive toddlers. I’ve now met many of them in real life and was even a bridesmaid for one, who I’m certain will remain a life long friend. Seriously, if you’re a new mum you need a group like this in your life.