run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Monday 3 July 2017

Prep for another baby - and the best presents for a second-time mama

When you're on baby number two (or three, or four, or..) and you've been there, done that, got the kiddo (and the stretch marks) and forgotten allllllllll about birth, you've got almost everything you need in the loft/squashed under the sofa/in carefully labelled moth-proof bags, depending on your levels of organisation. But what do you need this time around? And if you're thinking up present ideas for another-child parents, what should you buy? Here's your list...

1) Meals 

I once bought the parents of a newborn a Hello Fresh delivery. I now realise this was a terrible present: the boxes are great, but require prep: chopping, a fair amount of time, and, frankly two hands. Which you don't have as a mama of multiple sprogs. 

So this time around I tested Everdine's prepared food delivery service, and it's amazing. The meals are healthy, so you feel like a Kardashian ordering amazing Californian healthy food even when you're in Colindale; they're speedy - they come packed into a big cool bag, and frozen, so you whack them in the freezer and are ready after a few minutes' microwaving. They're big portions, so even when breastfeeding and scoffing like a herd of pigs, you get full, and they're easy to eat with one hand. I tried a few other brands out too, but Everdine - which  dubs itself 'clean eating, delivered' - was the tastiest and so packed with superfoods and guilt-free that I totally didn't mind eating the best part of a whole Chocolate Orange after.. whoops. Menus stretch from parsnip and paneer curry to gyozo with miso broth. With code IN1RUNOUTOFWOMB at checkout to score £20.20 off your first box - giving you 8 meals for £35.

2) A sling

If you didn't have one for your first, you def need one now. A sling means you can make dinner because it magiaclly stops a crying babe from doing so; it means you can pop out to the park with a toddler without needing a six-foot wide double buggy... I've tried out a bunch of slings and I love BabyBjorn's. Its One carrier is fab for older babies, and fine from birth, but for me, the smaller Original is the best for newborns - it's so cosy for them. And comfy for you. As a gift, a sling might seem like an odd present... But bear with... you're giving a new parent-of-many their hands back. And - for me anyway - their sanity too: BabyBjorn's sling is worn all day in my house because my newborn doesn't like being put down but my toddler still wants me to be the book-reading, Duplo-playing, lunch-cooking mama he's used to!

3) Pampering

Because every mama is going to want to relax; but mums of more than one only have a few minutes to do so, and will need to multi-task, and will be covered in baby sick / toddler food / suncream at the end of every day. So the bath is the ideal place to turn into a quick spa; I'm currently loving the Natural Spa Factory's lovely range of products, which stretches from scrubs and wraps to oils, all botanically-sourced and free from nasties like parabens. I'm loving the Illuminate Peel Off mask and its matching cleanser and toner.

4) Expressing Machine

If you're planning on boob-feeding, and didn't have one of these first time, you'll need it now. I've tried out six different expressing machines with two babies, and Medella's Swing Maxi is the best. It's a double pump that's seriously speedy, painless, and makes up a whole bottle in minutes. After a month's use I can say it's so fast, efficient, easy to clean and as it does TWO boobs at the same time, you can use it in the demi seconds of free time you get when your older kiddo is eating breakfast and your newborn is snoozing. You won't have long, trust me, so you need this one.

As for a breast pump's giftability, a machine that turns a mama into, basically, a lactating udder might sound like the weirdest, least-sexy present ever. But what you're actually buying the breastfeeding mama is the gift of time, and of SLEEP - as someone else will be able to give the babe an expressed bottle. Or even the gift of a night at the cinema/out for dinner with a friend/relative looking after the baby with the expressed bottle at home. So in many ways, the best gift ever. 

Speaking of which, if you're still looking for new-parent present ideas, go for the gift of time..

One brilliant friend organised a 'meal train' - a schedule for the first two weeks' of tiny man's life where family and friends signed up to bring us dinner each night. Amazing - and tech makes it easy to sort out. 

Other great presents include a 'parents' night in pack' - DVD, takeaway vouchers, chocolate, wine.. a family and newborn photoshoot, or babysitting vouchers.

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