In 2016, when I was pregnant with Emilia, a search started for Nico and myself regarding everything baby and baby stuff.
If you’re having a baby for the first time, a new chapter will start and that’s quite exciting! Will it be a boy or girl? What room will be the nursery and what will it look like? But mostly, what all does a baby really need?! The answer is pretty simple: love, love and more love!
I hear you thinking: ‘And what about all the other stuff??’. From breast pump to wardrobe, you can read it here in our “personal favourites” baby-to-toddler guide.
When I look back at this picture, I instantly feel like throwing up. Not because I don’t like the way I look, but because my first trimester equalled pretty much around the clock vomiting and nausea. Result: -6kg, then +6kg and then another +17kg. For all the expecting moms out there, it will pass!
Having a baby = basic instinct
From the moment we knew there was a little one growing inside of me, we had an instant ‘and now what?’ feeling. So we decided to let our mini just do its own thing and not know if it was going to be a boy or girl. When in wonder, white is always the answer.
We turned our nursery into a white palace and, like madmen, we went shopping for little white socks and simple white rompers. Ladies, I know it’s hard, but give your kid a break and don’t go buying expensive baby clothes with lots of bows and buttons. That little person is going to have to adjust considerably in its first days / weeks. They come from an always 37 degrees paradise called the mommy oven and suddenly have to get used to live outside the womb in cold cotton. So creating a warm and soft environment is key.
Pyjamas with feet is one, but also think about where your baby is going to sleep. Whoever wants to go the good old natural way, simply brings his with him to bed during the first weeks. Just be careful if you’re a choppy sleeper. Flat rolling is NOT ALLOWED!
Rock A Bye Baby
Whether you choose to let your baby sleep in your room or immediately by itself is, no matter what people say, completely up to you. For the first two weeks Emilia slept in our room. After that, we moved her to her own room in her very own cot bed and that went, praise be, wonderful.
In our search for a cot bed we went shopping at Childhome. Whether you’re only looking for a cot bed, a changing table or a complete baby room, Childhome has a wide variety of products to fit everyone’s taste.
We chose for their Union Marin Cot Bed. A modern, white bed (70x140cm) with a sturdy character seemed perfect for Emilia. The bed grows together with your baby as it is adjustable to three different heights and the slatted sides are removable, transforming it from a cot to a junior bed.
No bed without a mattress. Childhome has a wide variety of mattresses for babies and kids. We chose the Duo Kokos Natural Safe Sleeper Mattress. 100% eco-friendly and 100% safe.
The mattress comes with a removable cover made out of bamboo yarn, which has natural and permanent anti-bacterial properties. Bamboo offers a higher moisture absorption than cotton and has great breathable properties, which keeps your baby cool and dry at night. The Duo Kokos Natural Safe Sleeper Mattress also has a firm and resilient polyether foam combined with a thick layer of cocos fibre, which makes the mattress very breathable.
I Breastfed Emilia for a ‘long time’ (read 5 months or so). To make this as comfortable as possible for the both of us, we also bought the Childhome Gliding Chair. My all-time favourite since day one! Even today, after two years, we still use it as our bed time story and bed time hug chair.
From boob to binky
When you’re pregnant people often joke about eating for two and you might even believe that from time to time. Stop that, right now! During your pregnancy it’s key to eat healthy, for yourself! In my case, my healthy diet consisted of a pack of fries to manage my nausea. I also regularly ate nuts and oily fish to compensate for the Omnibionta pill I took in the morning but couldn’t keep in for more than an hour. Fats are really essential to your diet, it’s sugar that is the devil. Great! Now you know that too 😉.
What I really want to say is that you only start to eat for two when you start breastfeeding your baby. This is when your baby is actually born. Whoever decides to breastfeed also needs to know that it’s ok to not breastfeed as well. Yes it’s beautiful and lovely and very special, but it’s also heavy. In today’s world it’s almost impossible to be able to focus on just you and your baby. We lost that ability somewhere along the road. I believe it is that focus that makes breastfeeding bearable and a success.
Fortunately, there are some fantastic machines that offer a helping hand and can illuminate this period. When you breastfeed you can’t keep track on how much your baby is actually eating. If you pump your breastmilk you do, which helps you better understand the needs of your baby. By being able to feed in set qualities, I found my peace. And so did my little girl.
Chicken soup with lots of veggies (especially celery) contains lots of vitamins, which give a boost to your milk production.
Just one more thing. Whatever one claims – breast milk is the antibiotic that helps the immune system of your child. No formula will ever match the composition of breast milk. So unless you say 100% NO, it is good to know that you could also breastfeed the first few weeks so your child has had his / her most important (oily) milk.
Do I sound like a know-it-all now? Just go with the flow. Try if you doubt and persevere if your heart and your mind say that you want to continue breastfeeding.
Oh my tits?!
Titties, boobies, milk monsters, bangers?! I want to break the taboo around breastfeeding in public. It’s okay, we all have nipples. Feeling comfortable in public while feeding your baby is not easy. People around you are not always concerned about what is natural. NEVER EVER should you let others make you feel insecure about breastfeeding. To avoid prying eyes, a good breastfeeding bra will do the trick. You have bras that expose your entire boob, but you also have cute and comfortable models that just reveal just your nipple. Super handy! Don’t forget to adapt your outfit breastfeeding as well. I personally liked a button-down shirt best.
To conclude this article I just want to say:
You’re doing great! Your sweet little baby, it cries and that is normal. It’s their only way of communicating.
Elisa Guarraci is a creative preforming artist living in Belgium. Together with her partner, she welcomed her first child in May 2016. A girl named Emilia Alexis. You can follow her story on her www.byelisaguarraci.com.