So I am expecting my first baby in May 2014. I honestly couldn't be happier. It's hard to believe that it has been almost 6 months already. On a side note, I feel absolutely brilliant. I really do. I keep waiting for the part where I am supposed to feel awful. Sure, the first few weeks weren't the most fun I've ever had but I can handle a few weeks of nausea and extreme tiredness when my body is busy making a BABY. It's so amazing, the human body, I have to just sit back and go about my day as normal and meanwhile my body is working hard at creating a perfect little human being. It is a real life-changer, an ah-ha moment, and suddenly most things you used to worry about just don't matter any more. Your world does not revolve around yourself any more, but this little tiny soon-to-be baby of the world, who NEEDS you for absolutely everything. It is a beautifully humbling moment to realise that you, in fact, are just not that important. Really, it's lovely.
Needless to say I am counting my lucky stars, feeling incredibly blessed, and I genuinely could not be more excited for this new chapter of my life. Yes there will be changes - emotional, financial and logistical to name but a few, but there comes a point in your adult life where change becomes a very good thing. Who wants there life to stay stagnant? It's the twist and the turns that make life interesting. What's that old saying, "it's not the destination that matters, but the journey you took to get there", or something along those lines. I may well have just made that up though, go me! Moral of the story, change is good.
Speaking of the journey - sometimes along the way we have to make choices based on what we believe is best for us. One of those decisions for me has been Breastfeeding. Now, before I go on let me first explain that I firmly know that I am not actually having my baby please God until May 2014 and it might not work out as well as I plan (some babys just don't take to it, or want to) but I have always been a girl with a plan, and right now I am planning to breastfeed! In terms of 'preparation' there isn't a whole lot that I can do right now other than just wait, but there is another thing to consider - bottles.
Regardless of whether Breastfeeding works out for me or not, I will definitely need bottles for my little one. I might only decide to breastfeed for a couple of weeks or months, I might decide to express so that Daddy can also get involved with feeding, and what if I am away for the night and can't feed? (not a regular occurrence but I do happen to have tickets to Robbie Williams in Belfast 2 weeks after my due date, come on now little one, arrive on time please and thank you). Basically there will be a need to have a set of bottles readily available.
For some people it wouldn't really matter which brand they went for, maybe it might be a price issue, or a 'hand-me-down' issue, but I happened to stumble across the brand 'Tommee Tippee' (http://www.tommeetippee.com/)
and I had honestly never heard of them before. For me, baby bottles meant 'Avent' (http://www.avent.philips.com/)
. It all started when one of my best friends had a baby recently and at the christening I offered to feed the baby. I thought the bottle she handed me was some kind of special-made bottle and I started asking her about it. She told me that she was 'Tommee Tippee all the way'. She had used them for her first child and would never use anything different. It was at this point that I began to do a bit of research. It turns out that the whole selling point of Tommee Tipee bottles were that they are 'closer to nature' and they are specifically made to mimic the breast. They are flatter and wider than a standard bottle that you might be used to, and they have a very different appearance. They are supposed to be the closest thing to a Breast basically. Isn't that lovely? Some may see it as a clever marketing ploy but I have asked quite a few people about this and their experiences with Tommee Tippee have been really positive and they really do seem to live up to their promise. I am active on a great Irish forum called Mum2be.ie (http://mrs2be.ie/mum2be/)
and when I posed the question I got great feedback and Tommee Tippee recommendations. There is also information that suggests that because the bottles are wider and flatter the baby is actually closer to the mother (or father) and it encourages and promotes bonding as well. It all just appeals to me so very much.
So off I went at the weekend to try and avail of Superquinn's (http://www.superquinn.ie/aspx/Content.aspx?id=866)
€17.50 deal with a spring in my step and a twinkle in my eye but unfortunately they were completely sold out. The set was half price and was €17.50 for 6 of the 280ml (9oz) bottles. It wasn't to be, and off I went in to town for a cinema date with my man and no intentions of baby shopping.
We had a bit of time to kill and just for the fun of it we decided to pop in to Mothercare in the Jervis Centre in Dublin (http://www.mothercare.ie/) and boy am I happy that I did.
I met a lovely Sales Assistant (I think her name was Sarah) and she gave me such great information about the bottles and what she would recommend that I get to start off. I asked her all of the questions that the internet was giving me mixed answers about and she was really the biggest help ever. Even Daddy-to-be learned a lot (he had just updated his Facebook status with "It's payday and I am shopping in Mothercare, this just got real"). And then I saw the beautiful beautiful word that absolutely lit up my face... SALE. Sarah informed me that the sale would end tomorrow but that I should have a "good look" and if I saw anything I wanted all I had to do was put down a deposit on it and I had six weeks to pay off the balance AND Mothercare would deliver it anywhere in Ireland. Mothercare or Mothership? This place sounded amazing!
In the end I decided to go with the lovely sales assistant's recommendations and I bought the following...
- Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bottle Feeding Starter Set
- Tommee Tippee extra 2 Bottles (9oz)
- Tommee Tippee Milk Powder Dispensers
- Tommee Tippee Bottle Cleaning Brush Set
This all came to the total price of €42 and everything I bought was on sale. I was looking at a similar set for €80 elsewhere.
I have to say I am absolutely chuffed with my purchases and I now have everything I need for bottle feeding whether it's from birth, a few weeks old, or a few month's old. I had my steriliser already! The great thing about the bottles are that even when the baby grows out of the tiny 5oz one's they can still be used for water or for measuring.
So it looks like I will be team Tommee Tippee from May 2014 onwards and I can imagine that I will be spreading the good word to my friends and family!
I think it is lovely to find a brand that is working with the benefits of Breastfeeding, encouraging it even, and promoting bonding, closeness and nature for your newborn and baby.
Another thing that I was delighted about was that I really had such a positive experience in Mothercare. I had never had a reason to shop there before and now that I am a soon-to-be mammy I will be taking many trips in there for advice, purchases and most definitely availing of their excellent sales. In fact, I somehow ended up in their Tallaght store yesterday and I had ANOTHER lovely positive experience when ANOTHER really friendly and helpful sales assistant made my day by pointing me in the direction of something that every pregnant woman loves to see... Nope not a Sale... Nope not a bar of chocolate... It was in fact the Toilet
"Of course you can use our toilet, just go to the back of the room and we will buzz you in". Now THAT is customer service. I passed by their little in-store photo studio where a new born was smiling away dressed in the cutest clothes ever, and I left feeling very positive towards that shop (which I had no idea was affiliated with the Early Learning Centre).