The Baby Box

Parenting

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This weekend marked our first Antenatal class (hurrah!) and when asked by the course leader what we had bought for our newborn to sleep in, Ored with a wry smile declared “A very expensive cardboard box!”

I first read about the baby box in an issue of Gurgle (for UK Mamas I can’t begin to recommend this magazine enough, which offers insightful, informative and above all a non-judgemental approach to parenting, products and plenty more besides). The piece was small but it certainly grabbed my attention.

97% drop in infant death rate thanks to a box

Finnish-style baby boxes are being trialled in the UK. Mums at the Queen Charlotte & Chelsea Hospital will get a sturdy cardboard box and mattress (from The Baby Box Co) for baby’s first eight months. The small size compared to a Moses basket is thought to prevent babies rolling onto their tummies, believe to be a factor in SIDS. Finland’s seen a drop from 65 deaths per 1,000 births to 2 as a result of using them.

My interest was instantly piqued by statistics that seemed hard to fault. On further research I found that the stats run from 1938 to 2015, so one could argue that it isn’t the box alone but also a better understanding of cot death as a whole, which has contributed to a more informed and safer style of parenting. Either way I was sold.

As with any new parents, one of our biggest anxieties has been about the safety and wellbeing of our child.”How will we know if our baby is warm enough?” “How will I know if I’m producing enough milk to satisfy a very small but very hungry tummy?” Whilst a lot of these worries will disappear once we start getting to grips with parenthood-or so we’ve been told-  the baby box seemed to provide the perfect solution to one of our biggest niggles, “what is the safest space for our baby to sleep in?”

So we ordered our box from The Baby Box Company choosing the basic ‘Bed Box’ package because quite simply, we’d already begun amassing a ton of essentials from friends and family. Out of the four different prints available, we went for  ‘lovable lions’ as our Nursery ‘theme’ seems to have organically evolved into something resembling a safari!  And anticipating that I’ll always need to have one sheet in the washing machine, I also added an extra mattress sheet, bringing the total (including shipping) to approx £66 which is totally in keeping with the average price of a moses basket, if not slightly cheaper!

The box took about a week to arrive and when it did we were both pleasantly surprised.

The box was…

  1. Bigger than I expected- For some reason the official measurements (26 3/4 X 16 3/4 X 11 1/2 inches) hadn’t quite resonated with me, so in my mind I was picturing something significantly smaller.
  2. Sturdier than I imagined – Prior to ordering, I was a little dubious at claims that parents leave the box on the floor. I kept imagining myself tripping up over the box in the middle of the night! But the reality is that due to the size and structure of the box, it simply doesn’t need a stand like most moses baskets do.
  3. Of a very high quality- When I ordered the box, I had no idea what to expect. So I was delighted and relieved to find the box exceeded all expectations!

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It seemed like more than mere coincidence when less than a month after buying our box, Scotland announced that it was trialling baby boxes in every hospital from the start of summer, 2017. Another great reassurance for us!

 

I will do another post once baby is born, because currently I feel like I’m reviewing a film that has received rave reviews but that I haven’t actually seen. In the meantime what I will say is that whether you chose to buy a moses basket, box or let your little one sleep in a bassinet for the first few months- trust YOUR instinct, because if it’s one thing I have learnt throughout this pregnancy (and particularly in our antenatal class) is that there will always be conflicting, contradicting and sometimes confusing advice given to you about almost anything and everything . You just have to trust your natural instinct as parents!

 

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Little Feet, Big Change (Hello 2017!)

Parenting

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For my first post of 2017 it seemed only fitting to write about the huge little wonder which is about to change my life in ways I could never have imagined. Of course those of you that follow me on Instagram will already be well aware of the fact that Ored and I are expecting our first child very soon- 2nd of March to be exact!

I’ll be honest with you, the past 34 weeks has been a complete whirlwind.Prior to meeting Ored, children were never on my agenda. In the hundreds of daydreams my imagination created in coffee shops or in the back of a lecture hall, my future never featured the pitter patter of small feet. And then rather cliched, Ored came along and turned every plan I ever made for myself on its head. All of a sudden, I felt broody (shock, horror). The love we had for one another, so full and unconditional, seemed to require a little human to spring forth and complete it.

So we talked, because let’s face it, becoming a parent is a big deal. Yes we love each other, yes we want children, but is now the right time? We were told by friends with children, that “you’ll never have enough money” and we came to the conclusion that they were probably right. For when is there ever a right time? We might never have enough money, there might be an endless and ever-growing list of things that need doing to the house, and job satisfaction might have somewhat eluded us for now but what we did know was that the love we had for eachother, along with a happy home, would be more than enough for our children.

As this is my first pregnancy, I thought that I would be eager to share it with the world. Inspired by achingly cool and creative ideas I’d seen online, I thought that that I would be one of those mums-to-be who created a quirky and unique way to reveal their pregnancy, or documented a growing bump each week with the help of fun and eye catching props.

So I was surprised to find that actually, I ended up doing the complete opposite. After initially telling close friends and family after our first scan at 12 weeks, Ored and I then went on to wait another 6 before revealing on Facebook, to our wider circle of friends, that we were expecting.It might have been driving my sister crazy (who text me to say “WHEN ARE YOU PUTTING SOMETHING ON INSTAGRAM!?”) but something about this baby made me want to cherish my pregnancy away from social media.

Admittedly I felt the pressure to document every waking moment (which I was even less inclined to do for the first 24 weeks, as I suffered with constant morning sickness) but we didn’t cave. Instead we just enjoyed being in the moment with our unborn child. Marvelling at that first kick, or enjoying cuddles on the sofa- just the three of us.

It’s only now, when we are so close to meeting our little one, that it feels like the right time to start capturing this incredible journey, which is already moving so fast that I fear I will forget all of those little things if I don’t write them down.

Stay tuned, for Life With Ored will never be the same again (and I can’t tell you just how wonderful that feels).

p.s Noticed that I’ve been saying ‘baby’ the whole way through this post instead of ‘girl’ or ‘boy?’ That’s because Ored and I chose not to find out the sex of our baby! Why? I’ll let you know in an upcoming post very soon…

 

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