The Handbook
The Handbook

In truth, there’s not much to report this week when it comes to pregnancy. I’m quite literally plodding along – unless tales of savage heartburn and my trusty Gaviscon no longer touching the sides floats your boat.

Something that has changed, however, is the famous ‘nesting’ phase everyone speaks of and it has definitely begun to set in – there’s no place I’d rather be than home right now. For someone who used to eat out nearly five nights a week (perks of the job and pre-COVID, obviously), home used to be somewhere I’d have all but an hour to myself in at night, once you factored in my three-hour daily commute, house admin, dinner, work event, etc. Weekends were jam packed, and bar the odd dinner party rarely at home, I look back on pre-pregnant life and wonder, jeez, I must have been seriously tired. So I’m fully embracing this time at home, falling in love with my oven again and not feeling guilty about Netflix binges because it’s all going to change very soon. 

Back to the nesting, and this week our flat has gone from yuppy-30-somethings-abode to a place that resembles the Mothercare stockroom. In short, babies require a lot of stuff. I was lucky enough to become an aunt in 2018 to my beautiful niece and in turn have inherited some great newborn stuff off of my brother and sister-in-law – I inadvertently timed this pregnancy thing well just as she’s conveniently grown out of everything.

Reusable nappies? I’m not quite there. But a free, secondhand SnüzPod? I’m in.

It’s not only been a financial godsend but helped me be more sustainable in my journey into parenthood. Reusable nappies? I’m not quite there. But a free, secondhand SnüzPod? I’m in.

If you’re newly pregnant and overwhelmed by all the stuff the Internet tells you you have to buy and how you’re going to afford it/fit it into London’s cosy square footage, and are keen to be a bit more mindful with the shopping list, my top tips would be:

  1. Borrow from friends or family if you can – so many of the first baby bits you need are only necessary for six months before the baby gets too big and you have to buy a heap more of plastic. So be savvy, swap, borrow and don’t be snobby about secondhand.
  2. Check out local Facebook groups for pre-loved stuff – pretty much every area of the country has a parents’ Facebook group and while you do have to shift through a lot of rubbish, there are gems to be found.
  3. Buy one of the big things each month. I put off buying baby stuff until quite late – I think I thought it was risky incase something bad happened – but buying one big thing each month will take the pressure off, whether that’s a car seat or a crib.
  4. Enjoy it. We received the first ‘big bits’ for baby last week and it just made everything so real and exciting. It helped that they were utterly gorgeous and from chic children’s brand, Stokke. The Tripp Trapp chair is their version of the high chair and doesn’t look like a heap of hideous plastic sidled up to your dining table. While the Stokke Sleepi crib is all soft, natural wood, clean lines and Scandinavian vibes. Neither are cheap but not outlandishly unaffordable either and adapt to grow with your baby  – the crib turns into a bed that will last until 10 years old and the highchair turns into an actual chair for a child of any age. Genius.

 

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For me, I’ve treated myself to some maternity bras and undies – oh, the glamour. On the whole the majority of which are pretty disgusting but deliciously comfy. I’ve been wearing Lindex’s black, white and nude offerings from ASOS which are super affordable, but Six Studio is a brand that takes it up a notch in the style stakes.

They’re no Agent P or La Perla – not really what you’re after when your boobs feel like they’re about to fall off – but they don’t compromise on style and are functional whether you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Think luxe French leavers lace trims and the softest Italian jersey. 

They also have a stunning Insta feed for any expectant mums out there.

Taking of jersey, well, a different kind. My partner and I were lucky enough to have a COVID-friendly babymoon of sorts. I grew up in Jersey so a couple of weeks ago we flew there for a long weekend and it was just what I needed pre-baby. It might not have been Lake Como or Greek island hopping like the babymoons of Instagram, but a treat to even get out of London without having to quarantine. 

I’m a bit biased because I grew up there, but it’s the perfect spot for a babymoon or long weekend away, especially given the flight is only an hour – perfect with bump and back pain on board. 

The weather is generally better, the beaches beautiful and the food a bounty of fresh produce, from plump crab rolls by the beach that probably cost less than your average Pret order, to some seriously good fine dining options. I highly recommend staying at The Club hotel, if only for their Michelin starred restaurant, Bohemia.

Finally, I’ll leave you with some fashion. As crunchy leaves have started to appear, chunky boots have come out from under bed storage and I put a winter coat on for the first time since pre-lockdown, I’ve relished in cocooning up in layers of knitwear – my favourite time of year.

The jumper dress is the perfect piece for my growing bump. Soft on my ever expanding sensitive skin and clings to the bump in a way that says, “yep, there’s definitely a baby in there, I haven’t just lost all willpower working from home.”

The high street has myriad options that won’t break the bank and will be just as practical once baby is earth side. I’ve been wearing mine with a slicked back mum bun and offensively large earrings.


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