Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Kids Room - FREE Printable

So I have been experimenting on printables lately! The font industry is huge, and having seen some great ideas all over the net I decided it was time I dabbled into the art myself. 

So today I am giving away a FREE Printable file, that you can easily use in your kid’s bedroom anywhere. This is a A4 size page/ card stock, or can be made into a poster. I decided to keep it simple for my first one – it says “Even a superhero has to go to bed” 

I am going crazy lately about lovely quotes and fun punch lines, made into inspirational home décor pieces. So here is my humble first attempt at the thing. More free stuff to follow.  :)

You can download the PDF file here
Don’t forget to hit the follow button on my blog while you are here !


Small print: 
Please note that, this image is for personal use only! 
NOT to be used for any commercial purpose. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

6 Ways Of Using A Swaddle Blanket

 Hello Everyone ! 
Aren't swaddle blankets the best ? 
They help keep your little one snug and comfy, and you can be trendy with the designs.
 So my post today is all about them! 

Here are my top 6 uses of a swaddle blanket.

1. A Basic Swaddle 

Well, that's what the blanket is for! So one way to use it is to swaddle the baby. Swaddling a newborn creates that snug feeling of still being in their mother's womb. It also helps against baby getting jittery and getting up at night. Elena slept like a breeze when swaddled during those early days. But she quickly (by about 8 weeks) grew aware of it and started pushing her hands out. 

And that's here trying to push her hands out. 

2.  Photo Background

This is one of my most favorite uses of a swaddle. I love photographing Elena whenever I can. You will probably doing this a lot too. I try and take pictures on my phone and my digital SLR.one after the other. So that i have something on my phone to share quickly with my friends and the Hi res images from the DSLR go into my laptop later for editing if needed.
unfortunately during my first few weeks with my daughter, I wasn't able to capture pictures of her on my SLR as she was really sensitive to lighting. She would just wake up if I turn the light on or keep her near the window. So I worked with my phone for any pictures possible. It's not visible here due to some filtering that I did while capturing this picture, but there are pin stripes on the blanket in baby pink.

3. Summer Blanket

This is another use of a swaddle blanket. No matter if it is a angular swaddle or a rectangular one, they always make great summer blankets because they are light and airy. If you are using a muslin one, that's even better! There are so many options available these days its just amazing.

4. Tummy Time Blanket

It is recommended to give your baby tummy time after about 3 months. I wasn't very keen on it but the good effects of tummy time made it totally worth the effort (more on that later).
So using your swaddle blanket for tummy time is great. They are light and if baby drools or brings out a bit of milk, that would totally save ur carpets and floors from getting messy and it will give a soft base for the baby to rest on. 

5. Pram / Car Seat Canopy

During those sunny days you will probably need a little canopy to save baby from direct sunlight on their face or body. You can easily use ur swaddle for covering your pram or car seat to stop the direct sun. It's breathable and if you leave some room to the sides for air to pass through it's even better.

6. Nursing cover

In an emergency, when you have forgotten your actual nursing cover and need to feed, swaddle blankets can be used as make shift nursing covers. I have done it, its not the best of things but it is good enough.

So that's the end of my list ! If you have any more suggestions I would love to hear them. 
For now, that's it from me. 
Namaste 🙏🏻 


Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Introducing Elena !

Hello world !
Now that my delivery story is done and dusted, its time to meet my little baby Elena !
Introducing Elena K

If that's how wonderful it feels to be a mum, I would say my 35 hour ordeal was worth it! 
Now i stayed at the hospital for about 5 days, and all I did (apart from feeding) was look at her sleep! 
They say that sleep when the baby sleeps... well that's hard, when you have a tiny little miracle yawning and snoring beside you. 
I will be posting a lot more about my adventures with Elena in my following posts. 

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Delivery Diaries - Day 2

Welcome back everyone!
I had a lot of requests on Instagram to share the rest of the story quickly. I am really excited to know that you guys want to read more. So here we are sooner than I expected. 
Elena is nicely tucked into bed, Mr K is watching a movie on Netflix and I am in front of my laptop with a hot chocolate by my side,  life couldn't be better! 
If you have missed reading the part one of my delivery story you can find it here.

Honestly when I think back I can hardly remember that it went on for so long. I had no sense of time what so ever. So it is with my husband's help (who is a master at dates and time, tends to remember it all )  that I am able to write this down. 

21 Feb 2016

12:00 AM

It was time to move to the delivery suite. 

12:15 AM

I was being told that I am going to have the baby today, I was given a nice delivery suite, but it had no birthing pool , as my hospital has about 4-5 of them in certain rooms and they were all quite full. My midwife said " you picked a very busy day to deliver!" (as if I had a choice ? )  

01:00 AM

My mom and husband were my birthing partners. We could pick two so I thought mom will be an added support, and I was right. She kept me sane.

I always thought I would act all crazy during contractions because my pain threshold is not that great.
But now when i think back I survived on Gas & Air for most of it. 

3:00 AM

I had 2 midwifes , they kept monitoring me and while the pains came and went the student midwife kept checking on me and kept telling me to breath in and out. I think i concentrated on her voice and kept going, with my mom and husband taking turns to hold my hand. 

4:00 AM

I tried sitting and swaying myself from side to side on a birthing ball. Surprisingly I felt good and in control again. I moved around the room a little as and when i could and went back to the ball when i felt a little tired. 

5:00 AM 

It was time for a shift change for the midwifes. Then came in my actual midwife Jill , who seemed to know what she was doing. She asked me if I wanted to change but i didn't want to so I was still in my long Tee. 

Later things went on and I was trying to move around as much as i could. 

09:00 AM

When they checked my blood sugars it turned out high and went on climbing every 30 mins,
 even when I had had nothing to eat since last evening. I was stressed about a phone call that had come in some time ago to my husband, and even in so much pain I could hear little bit of what was going on. Sparing the details on that, I think that was the reason for my sudden blood sugar rise. 

Tip- As hard as it is, don't think about anything else but to get the baby out and how it will feel to hold baby in your arms !

9:30 AM

Following another blood sugar test it was decided to give me an insulin shot to keep it under control. Because high sugar could create complications in the delivery and to the baby. I got the shot. I am not afraid of needles so it didn't matter. I decided to calm myself down and kept on with the Gas & Air. 

Meanwhile my husband helped me with servings of cold water. All the Gas & Air wasn't easy on the lips too. So had to keep using my chap stick. 

11:00 AM

With my sugar under control, Jill noticed that my contractions were now slowing down, not that I noticed, it didn't seem any less painful. But by now I was very tired. Then came in a student midwife (who was warmer and quite friendly) and what a coincidence , her name was Elena ! She asked me if I was happy that she helped Jill with the delivery. She kept talking to me to keep me awake and kept saying its not too long now.

11:15 AM

Jill asked me if I wanted any other pain relief because they were going to offer me an hormone drip to speed up the labor since I had been at it for so long and I was gestational diabetic. I decided it was time to say yes to epidural. Soon my room was filled with doctors, my consulting doctor came to me and asked if i was sure I wanted Epidural, I was so much in pain I screamed " Just give it to me !! " I was at the verge of crying. 

11:30 AM

I was 8 cm dilated by now. And for the last 2 cms I couldn't hold on ! I was given epidural. It took a while to kick in and I remember feeling a little better. But soon the hormonal drip started and all hell broke loose. 

12:45 PM 

By now I had this serious urge to push. Jill told me not to push until she said so. Apparently if you listen to your midwife and push when its the right time to, you are likely to have less tears. 
But my case was different, I was already having the worst pain of my life and that great urge to push. I kept screaming to Jill 
Me - " I cant hold on any longer" 
Jill -  " I will take a look , I am supposed to do this about 30 mins later, but let me check. "
Jill & Elena together - "That looks like the head ! Baby is coming !" 
Jill - Ok Pooja , We need to do this now, looks like baby is on the way, take a deep breath and push!! 

The room around me shifted. there was so much chaos , Mom was holding my hand almost in tears, Hubby was standing beside me rubbing my forehead and I think I spied a tear in his eye too. Everyone was shouting one big push, one big push! By world ! that was the biggest push of my life.

1:00 PM

With one last push, all of a sudden there she was ! I could hear her cry ..... I was crying my guts out myself. and when they put her in my arm..... It felt magical.... 
All my pain was gone , Baby Elena was in my arms and she was looking at me with her eyes wide open, her head full of beautiful black hair ( no wonder I had major heart burn throughout the pregnancy) I think all mothers, would agree with me on this, the first time you hold your baby in your arms its something that will live with you forever. 

1:15 PM

She was out barely 15 mins and my midwifes were saying she is not breathing properly. I couldn't believe my ears, they said that Elena has swallowed some meconium (which is baby's first poo). 
She was quickly taken away from me and pediatric nursers were filling the room , one of the senior nurses put something quickly into Elena's mouth and made her puke all the meconium out. But it was decided she will be put on oxygen for a while. She was taken quickly upstairs to the Buscot ward, special care baby unit.

I think it was after a few hours that I got to see her again. By 9:00 PM she was sent to my room. 

So this was my story of a long and tiring labor. But if I was to do it again I totally would. Don't ever get nervous about how it will be, coz every pregnancy is different and so is every labor. I am glad that Elena was  born to us. It has been such a fantastic journey since then. 
Don't get me wrong, there are ups and downs of motherhood (I will be sharing it all) but nonetheless it's has been a life changing experience. 

Here is the first ever picture of Elena, 
One that my husband took on his phone. 
That one moment when she was given in my arms and our eyes met ! I always thought that babies have their eyes closed but I was so pleasantly surprised to see that she had her eyes wide open. 

Bless the mid wife's who work so hard for everything ! I am truly thankful to my hospital for making it a truly great birthing experience for me.

In retrospect if you are in the UK and your hospital asks you to wait at home as long as possible, do it for as long as you think it's safe for you. I found that it was good that I waited at home for as long as i did because I was with my family, in a familiar environment and I was free to move around or take hot baths as and when I needed them. Somehow I think waiting at home made it possible for me to get through the pain and I wasn't as tired as I could have been had I had been in the hospital since one day before. It would have been really demoralizing.  

So trust the midwifes and listen to your body. Don't let anyone scare you of labor and giving birth, because trust me,  your body was made to handle it and you  got this ladies! 
With that thought I leave you. 
Hope you all have a positive birthing experience. 


Monday, 1 August 2016

Delivery Diaries - Day 1

From what i have heard, giving birth is always going to be a unique experience for every woman, even if you have done it before. This being my first, I was thrilled and nervous at the same time.
It has taken me a long time to pen down my delivery story, my first priority being my baby girl.
But here I am! Better late than never isn't it ?

If you are wondering why am i calling it delivery "diaries" - "Day 1", well I am among those women who had an awfully long labor. If i calculate from the time I started to have my first real contraction at home till baby Elena came out, it went on for about 35 hours to be exact.
I was under so much pain that we didn't think about taking any pictures (hopefully next time :D if that ever happens)

So here it goes

Since I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in the 8th month of my pregnancy, I was to be induced on the 20th of Feb 2016, we picked that date because it was a Saturday and hubby could be home and such, without wasting any of his paternity leaves.
Last few days had been very difficult to go by for me and my family. We were all excited that the baby will be here soon and I for one, wanted my contractions to start naturally.
I had a disappointing phone call on the 19th of Feb from my hospital saying - my induction will have to be moved to 22nd of Feb due to overbooking and lots of unplanned inductions that happened that day. Since I wasn't as high risk I had to be moved. Since the NHS provides free maternity care and my hospital is considered one of the best ones in the county , I couldn't do much than to say yes.
 But little did i know.... that my wish was about to be granted and granted good !

By late evening on the 19th I felt like having Pizza! Yes ! Pizza !
I told my husband , "This baby isn't coming out until it has had that slice of pizza ! "
And we had it ... Dominoes to the rescue !
Later I went to bed around 10pm British time, slept maybe for a few hours when my contractions started.

20 Feb 2016,

 2:00 AM 

I woke up with a lot of pain. It was probably going on for a while but this was when the real contractions started to kick in and woke me up. My first instinct before i woke anyone up was to record the time and gap between the contractions. I used the mothercare app , which has a contraction timer . At this time the contractions were coming and going , i would fall asleep and suddenly wake up with a lot of pain.

4:00 AM

By this time things got more intense, the pain was a lot more than before but it would last about 8-9 seconds and go away.

9:00 AM

This was when i finally gave in and woke my husband up , he took my hand and together we started counting the contractions. The pain was coming and going in waves like it should but the duration between two contractions was still not enough to go to the hospital.

12:00 PM

By noon I was feeling much better and i could walk normally and I was back to my normal self . The pains still came and went but the duration between two was getting longer. By this point I thought it was a false alarm.

5:00 PM

Had tea and toast , The pains were back again with much more intensity than before.

6:00 PM

It was hard to stand , and I found it difficult to manage the pain.

8:00 PM

I had my Dinner , and now the pains and the intensity was much increased. Little did i know that this was just the beginning ! My husband called the hospital to report my situation we were advised to stay at home and wait it out a bit. I was to continue my day as usual and practice breathing exercises ! Our collective feeling at that time was FRUSTRATION !

10:00 PM

By this time I was in horrible pain, we called the hospital again , they asked me if there was any sign of water breakage and there wasn't , so I was advised to take a hot bath and keep doing the breathing exercises at home. I did take a warm bath and it did feel nice to be honest, but it didn't last, as soon as I came out of the shower all the comfort was gone.

11:00 PM

An hour later it was just unmanageable pain ! I couldn't stand without support and I was constantly bending forward keeping my hands on a table and swaying from side to side to relive the pain , after a few minuets when i went to the loo , I saw the mucus plug going down and I knew it was time. But there was still no sign of water breakage but i couldn't be sure. Hubby called the hospital the 3rd time and said "that's it she is not going to hold on any longer !" and we were asked to come to the hospital.

11:10 PM

A taxi was called , I had no time to change, thankfully I was in my yoga pants and a large comfy Tee. I could see the panic in my husbands eyes... as i mentally prepared myself that this is going to happen now and by morning I will be meeting my darling Elena !

11:30 PM 

We reached the hospital and went to the labor ward , where I was taken into a assessment room . After a few assessments and about 30 mins of monitoring of contractions with baby heart beat It was determined that I was ready to be admitted! I was almost 5 cm dilated already, half way there.
I was already on Gas and Air to relive the pain. It was quite helpful.

12:00 AM

It was time to move to the Delivery suit.

To be continued .....
The rest of the story is coming soon with an introduction of Baby Elena ! :)


Friday, 17 June 2016

Documenting Your pregnancy !

Hello everyone! Hurray to the fact that I finally managed to find some time to blog uninterrupted! 
Baby girl is asleep, so is her daddy... such bliss ! 
Today i have decided to share a little post promoting documentation of your pregnancy ! 

 Having experienced being pregnant , I think its always a great thing to keep documenting you pregnancy. I always thought i will be really creative and will give it all about documenting it but somehow between moving house, my job, crafting commitments and running an Indian kitchen at home, made me so busy that i now feel i have not done a very good job on documenting my 9 month journey.

In retrospect here are some things that I did manage to do and some I missed that you can maybe do.

 1. Taking pictures of your bump aka Bumpfies ! 

As a pregnant lady, you will catch yourself looking in the mirror a lot for any sign of that belly.
I did it a lot, and I totally enjoyed taking pictures of my bump in the mirror or bumpfies (Selfie of a bump) not sure if that's even a word.
As busy as I was, I think I now regret not taking a picture every week!
If i were to do it again, I would take picture every week in the same spot and in the same clothing to show the substantial growth and It would have been a great idea for a time lapse video!
But here are some pictures I did manage to take while i could.
From 21st week onward I started looking really preggers !


2. Scrapbook 

Being a crafter, I can totally recommend scrapbooking ! If you have time on hand (apart from sleeping and eating ) do this to satisfy your creative side !
I didn't do conventional pages, but here is an example.

3. Project Life 

Well this is another form of scrapping but this can be used by everyone ! You just have to slide in pictures in pockets and journal on some cards from the project life kit. Beware that it can get a bit expensive to buy a lot of kits. Another alternative is to buy scrapbooking paper pads and cut them to the size that fit your pockets !

4. Digital Scrapbooking 

This is an option if you cant really do arts and crafts ! You can do it in minutes and will be much cost effective. Imagine doing this on your way to work in the train or a taxi ! There are many apps available for this but i picked the project life app , great free packs and you can buy some if you wish.

5. Ultrasound pictures 

It is always a good idea to get as many ultrasound pictures as you can. I bought about 3 every visit. 
I still love to look at them sometimes. And when you are pregnant those pictures make it more real. If you are anything like me, who had a bit of a hard time connecting to my baby in the belly at first. This will make it all real and give you something to imagine when you think about and talk to your baby. So go ahead ! get as many as you can ! I cant wait to show it to my baby girl when she is a bit older.

6. Write a baby Journal 

I didn't do this but it sounds like a great idea to pen down things and feelings throughout your pregnancy, with baby brain kicking in , it would be such a nice thing to read later... and you could go like - "Oh yeah, and there was this day". It should be a fun read for your partner as well. 

7. Maternity Photo shoot

Having a maternity photo shoot done is a big rage at the moment. As much as i love getting a picture taken, I didn't want to hire a professional photographer for the sole reason that its super expensive (At least where I live) But later on , wondered if I would regret not doing this. So i decide to do some DIY photography and managed to get some beautiful done. (More on that later) 

8. Blogging 

This is another way of documenting your experience, if you don't mind it sharing with the world. 
I am having fun doing this now (better late than never! ), although I am not comfortable sharing every single detail of my pregnancy, its always great to keep a record of things and ideas for next time :D isn't it ? And if it helps someone else in the process even better! 

9. Belly Casting 

I have seen a lot of beautiful belly casts and then babies getting photographed later in those. Although I am not comfortable getting one done, it is another great way of actually getting a feeling of how big you were. It is best to be done in the last few weeks of your pregnancy. 

 10. Writing letters to your baby 

This is one idea i recently heard someone say they did and i absolutely loved it ! I am bummed that i didn't think of this myself but imagine handing over letters you wrote to your baby few years down the line. So exciting ! And if you have the patience they would make really sentimental wedding gifts specially if you have a daughter.

11. Writing a Planner 

A really good friend of mine is crazy about planners and she plans every aspect of her life ! I suspect she has a list for all her lists as well !! If you are someone like her go for a baby planner ! Record the minutest detail of your day , it is quite beneficial to keep up with your water targets for the day and remembering to take your pills and stuff like that. The great thing about that there are so many amazing options for getting a planner these days its like a major art thing ! There is always a planner to go with your style. 

No matter what option you choose, definitely go for documenting your pregnancy. Because memories are all we will have. 

Until next time 

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Hospital Bag Essentials !

This is probably the most exciting things in late pregnancy. I have known the feeling when packing a bag makes you feel you are in control ! (Well for a while anyway!)
I think its wise to start thinking of your hospital bag from 30 weeks and finally get it packed and ready by 36 weeks. Some women might just give birth at 37 weeks so its always safe to have it packed and ready by 35 to 36 weeks.

Today I am sharing my list of Hospital bag essentials.
Stuff that I Packed in my bag and stuff that I forgot so hubby had to run and get them for me !

First things first , here is my hospital bag!
I didn't want it to be a like a big travel bag or a suitcase so I went and got myself a nice overnight bag from Primark !
I didn't want to spend too much on a bag I may not use too often so Primark fit the bill.

I decided early on that I want my bag and baby's bag packed separately.
So that its easy for hubby to locate things when I need them. Also for the baby I didn't buy another travel bag , instead I packed everything in her changing bag that I had already bought from Mothercare.

So here goes my list -

1. Birth Plan & Maternity Notes 

This is the first thing you must pack. Even if you forget everything else your MAT notes are a must !
A birth plan is basically your wishes for the birth, something written down for your birth partner and Doctor / Midwife to know about. It should include things like 
  • Where to give birth
  • Your views on pain relief - do you want to go all natural and no pain relief or do you want it all ( Like I did ). Some women prefer no epidural. Do read about all your options on pain relief for a normal or C-sec what ever is applicable.
  • If you want to use a birthing pool ?
  • Assisted delivery - use of forceps or vacuum (Ventouse) to help baby out in case of emergencies or when you are really tired to push.

2. Old Night gown or a T-shirt dress 

It is always comfortable to have something of your own to wear when you are in labour. I found that the hospital gowns are quite uncomfortable and you feel like a patient in them ! Make sure its old or a cheap one because things will get messy and you will have to bin it after the baby is born.
I wore an old T shirt dress for my labour.

3. A dressing gown

You will probably need this as a cover up to walk around the hospital if that's what you need for pain relief during the start of your contractions. And maybe later after the baby is born when you have visitors!  

4. Lip Balm / Chap stick

Always have one, its a life saver ! All that pain and contractions they make your mouth go dry. Specially if you take the Gas & Air pain relief option.

5. TENS Machine

A TENS machine is a small portable, battery-operated device which is worn on the body. The box is attached by wires to sticky pads stuck to the skin. Small electrical pulses are transmitted to the body, like little electric shocks. This can help to ease pain in some people with certain types of pain. For early contraction pain relief a TENS machine is really good! But please hire one at least 4 weeks in advance because it often takes time to arrive. Unless you just want to buy one (which I think is a bit expensive specially if you only have one baby in mind.)  A TENS Machine is attached to your lower back with the help of patches and you control when you want the pain relief. It is quite a handy thing to have.

6. Hair bands

If you have long locks you will want your hair out of the way and tied up for labour.

7. Candies

To chew on and to keep you going. Remember you will not be eating anything else for as long as your labour lasts (mine was awfully long 36 Hours). Good news is you wont need it ! With all that pain who will be thinking about food ?

8. Front Opening Night Shirts or Gowns

These are good for those night time feedings ! You will probably want something loose as a top , if you are planning to wear jammies with them. If you have had a C sec then long front buttoned night gowns will be best.

9. Jammies (Pyjamas) or Yoga Pants

It would be a great idea to buy some loose and cotton blended jammies or yoga pants. Make sure they are a breathable fabric specially if you are delivering in summer. I bought myself some 3-4 of them before I delivered. STOCK UP !!!

10. Nursing Bras

Always a good idea to have some in stock ! I took 2 of those in my hospital bag. A tip I got to know from the Mothercare experts was - Buy your nursing bra at or after you are 37 weeks pregnant. Have yourself measured first in store before you guess and start buying something you will regret.
I got mine at 37 weeks but anyone who feels the baby might come sooner may go get it by 36 weeks because by then you gain as many sizes you are supposed to.

11. Sleeping Bras

You don't probably realise this but you definitely need at least 2-3 of these. Sleeping bras are the most comfortable bras I have ever worn! Period ! They are easy to nurse in and also keep your rack comfy and secure. Great for night time. I must confess for the first few weeks I have worn these the whole day !

 12. Anti slip flip-flops or shoes

A must have ! You don't want yourself slipping and falling with your new-born.  

13. Maternity Pads

They are more absorbent than your normal period pads and you sure as hell will need it as things get a bit messy down there and the better quality it is the lesser visits you will have to the loo for changing them and disturbing your stitches (if you have had any). But of course for hygiene reasons it is recommended that you change them at least 4-5 times a day. Carry at least 20-30 of these with you. I took about 3 packs of 10 just in case.

14.Breast pads

Great for those leaky situations if you have an abundant milk supply or good for the cracked nipple situations. Check this post for reviews on the ones I have tried. If you stay in the hospital for longer than 3 days have at least 20 pairs with you in your bag.

15. Nipple Cream

Go for a good one ! Its essential to have a good nipple cream handy. Specially for the first few weeks of breast feeding . Check this post for reviews on the ones I have tried.

16. Disposable Knickers

Think about use and throw! So don't buy new ones instead use old ones and dispose them off. Since there is a lot of blood loss after you give birth it makes sense to use cheap ones or old ones.Keep the new ones for later !

17. Toiletries 

Pack a small pouch with your toiletries such as a bath liquid , loofah, Shampoo, conditioner (trust me you will want to wash your hair after hours of labour) a toothbrush, tooth paste, fragrance free moisturiser and a stretchmark cream. I bought myself travel packs of all of the above so I didn't have to carry like huge amounts.

18. Going Home Outfit

I think its important to have a nice but comfy outfit for yourself too. Everyone will probably be taking pictures so you do want to look presentable don't you ? I wore a maternity dress from New Look

19. Chargers for  all your gadgets

If you are having a planned induction or a planned C-sec , all that waiting would make you impatient and bored ! So bring chargers for your phone , iPad , kindle or what ever gadgets you plan to bring along. And of course don't forget your camera and batteries all charged up for that first picture and countless more to come of your little one.

20. Towel

Don't forget to pack a bath towel for yourself ! Once you have had the baby all you will want is a warm bath, you will need assistance so please take your birth partner with you (Yes all shame is lost after giving birth and its true! ) I couldn't stand at first so it is imperative you take someone along so you don't fall off or faint in the shower!

First off here is the changing bag I used for packing the baby essentials
This bag is from Mothercare. Love the geometric pattern on it and the colour. I picked this one because of its size for the price of 37 £ (a few months back). Also it comes with a handy changing mat for travel which comes in handy every time we go out!  It has lots of pockets - two on each side for bottles and /or food one of which is lined with a silver foil like fabric to keep things warm, a big pocket in the front with multiple mesh ones inside it to hold things (My phone goes in that),one zip pocket at the bag and a few more inside. Which makes it my magical bag with the undetectable extension charm for holding everything just like Hermione from Harry Potter !

Ok now here comes the fun part ! which I know every mother waits for - Packing stuff for the baby !!
I took a picture of what I packed in the bag above when I went for my delivery.
Here it is

TIP : Wash everything ! Right from clothing to blankets give all the clothing a good warm wash in your washing machine before you pack it. Use a non fragrant fabric softener and a non bio washing powder.

So here goes the list of what you need for the baby

1. Sleep suits (If you live somewhere cold )

You need at least 4 or more in your bag just in case you are made to stay in the hospital for more than 2-3 days. I had to stay in the hospital for 5 days , so my bag came up short of clothing ! I had my mum get some from home.

2. Bodysuits

You will need about 4-6 of these. Babies ,if yours is anything like mine , poo a lot! Chances are you are going to have nappy accidents ! So better to carry a few extra pairs.

3. A going home outfit and / or a photo shoot outfit.

Since its a baby I'm sure you are going to take a lot of photos !We have the option of a first day photoshoot in our hospital and I think it was worth it! Since we already knew its a girl I carried a cute little dress for the shoot. Now when you take your newborn home for the first time you would want him/ her to be in a special outfit as well :)

4.Fabric hats

As soon as the baby is born your midwife will ask your birth partner for a hat , just to make the baby cosy and protect its ears and head. I carried about 2-3 of these New born sizes from different stores. turned out to be a good thing because some of them were too small for my little one so we had at least 2 that fit !

5. Scratch Mitts

Those tiny hands are going to have some super sharp nails ! And chances are you will be scared or paranoid to cut them at least for a week or more ! It took me about 10 days to draw the courage to pick up a nail cutter. So do get some mitts to help prevent the baby from scratching itself .

6. A Blanket

The hospital has some really good breathable blankets that they will wrap your baby in but it is always nice to have a nice little blanket of your own. Good for swaddling the baby for a good night's sleep.

7. Baby Towel

For that first bath ! They will tell you to wipe the baby clean with a wet cloth at first. But if you stay in the hospital longer than 3 days like I did then you will want to give your little one a nice warm bath. We (hubby and I) had our first baby bath experience in the hospital and it was such a lovely moment !

8. Muslin Squares

Take about 4 of these!  One for each day. Babies are messy , they will posset , puke or just spit milk out! muslin squares can be used as barf cloth.

9. Pair of booties or socks
To keep those little feet warm and cosy when they are not wearing bodysuits. socks also make good mittens ! something your baby will have hard time removing.

10. Nappies

Quite a few at that ! on an average you might be changing about 8 or more nappies a day. we didn't buy big packs right away , we got small packs of 3 different brands and tried each one to see which suits our little one best and then went ahead and got bigger packs to stock. To be honest this proved to be a good thing because we heard good things about the Aldi Mamia nappies and our little one rejected them out right ! She was uncomfortable and cranky in those. Had quite a bit of nappy rash as well. So now we have moved on to Pampers and Boots own as they both seem to have worked for her.

11. Nappy Rash Cream

Stock up ! Its a must have ! Rash or no rash I apply the cream to keep those tiny bums moisturised and happy !

12. A Pack of sensitive wipes

If your wallet permits go for water wipes they truly are amazing ! I am using them now 99% water and 1 % fruit extracts. Easy on those bums and quite well soaked . This is to be used for major poo accidents.

13. Cotton balls

It is recommended to use cotton with water to clean up your baby when you change the nappy.
You will be told to do so for a while anyway.

14. A cuddly toy

Your Little one wont be playing with it yet but it is recommended to take a cuddly toy anyway as a photo prop ! Make sure its nothing too small or hairy / furry that could have a chocking hazard.
Specially if you are having a photo shoot done in the hospital.

X End of list X

I know this is a long list but I think these are the most important things I thought there were ! A well packed hospital bag will give you a sense of control over things. Specially if you don't trust your partner to find the right things in the right place later :)
Plus its always fun to gather everything ! It makes you feel you are closer to seeing your baby soon and sort of prepares you mentally for what's to come.
So that's it for today
Happy Packing !!