Newborn essentials – what I’ve actually needed

I had gone through all the pinterest lists and with that info made my own list with a hint of common sense and it seems I did a pretty good job. So here are the things that I have actually needed, so far!

The baby hug 4n1
We have a crib too, but we haven’t used that one yet. This one is all we use, you can move it around and you can put it high or low, on any level, so you can make it the same height as your own bed. We keep her in it at night, right next to me, and then we can roll it out to the living room and have somewhere to put her for naps and throughout the day. It’s phenomenal. The wheels make it a little clumsy though so watch out if you have a small space.

Dresser/changing table
I’m so happy that we decided to turn a dresser into a changing table instead of buying an expensive changing table, cause it works perfectly and we saved a lot of money.

Nursing basket
It doesn’t have to be a specific basket, just something to put all your breastfeeding stuff in. And possibly changing stuff if you don’t wanna have to get up and go to the changing table in the middle of the night. I keep my towel, wash cloths, my nipple cream, snacks, bottle of water, baby log book and all the stuff you might need.

Wash cloths and towels
So I didn’t get the burp cloths, because, well, why? Just have a good sized towel, small but long, to put over your shoulder when you need to burp the baby. Wash cloths have been useful to, to wipe her mouth, my boob or what ever needs wiping, and to use with a bit of cold water for when she doesn’t want to wake up to eat (luxury problem haha).

Obviously. But we really found an amazing stroller. I’m so happy with it and it’s the perfect size because it actually fits in our elevator haha, which of course is important, and it also came with a great diaper bag!

Bath stuff
We literally got the cheapest baby bath tub we could find and it is working perfectly. I don’t see a reason to spend a whole bunch of money on this since it’s literally only to keep water in.

Coconut oil
For everything. For the boobs, the baby, the bath, as oil, lotion and cream it just an all in one. I needed to go get a special diaper cream because my nipples got ruined at first, but accept for that coconut oil for everything, all the time.

Baby wrap
I haven’t used this one too much yet, I actually got it delivered quite recently, but it felt amazing when I did. To be able to have you baby close and even comfort her while having your hands and arms free, amazing.

I know some advice to not use pacifiers, and I wasn’t sure about it at first, but when our little girl started getting some stomach ache in the evenings, using the pacifier to calm her down has been golden! She is however very specific with what pacifiers she likes, so my advice would be to get a few different ones.

If you’re planning on breastfeeding I would also advice to keep some infant formula at the house just in case. If it takes some time for your milk to come through and you have a hungry, screaming baby, it might be a good idea to supplement with a little bit, or if breastfeeding is just not working. We supplemented a little bit once or twice, and both times it was in the middle of the night when we would have had no chance to go to a store and get it.

Maybe I have forgotten something, my brain is not functioning super great with the lack of sleep, so I might do an update later on! Hope it’s helpful

Postpartum essentials

Before giving birth I also read a lot about things that you should keep in the house for when you come back from the hospital. And here is a list of things that I have actually needed or been happy to have.

  • Maternity pads and big panties to go with them.
    I thought that I would be able to switch back to normal pads already in the hospital ha ha boy was I wrong.
  • Spray bottle for water
    In the hospital the shower was right next to the toilet which made it easier but at home we don’t have the luxury, so I’ve had a spray bottle to use instead of toilet paper after peeing, because, it hurts to pee.
  • Belly wrap
    I don’t know about you guys but after giving birth it literally felt like nothing in my stomach was attached, that everything was just flopping around in there. So a belly wrap made walking a lot more comfortable. I only use it when we go out for actual walks though.
  • Easy self care products
    I’m so so so happy for my skin care products that I normally use because they’re fast and they’re easy. I use a skin care device and not a 7 step skin care routine which made it a lot easier to keep taking care of my skin in this new situation.
  • Tank tops
    I went out and got those nursing tops, but to be honest a normal tank top works just as good for me. So instead I would spend that money on buying more tank tops instead. In that case I think nursing bras are more worth it.

Other things that have helped a lot is for example to get groceries delivered so we don’t have to think about that and a good big water bottle cause man does breastfeeding make you thirsty.

Tips for the warm summer mama

I was going to write a post with tips for the one who’s pregnant in the super summer heat. But as I’m sitting here, I’m wondering if there are any… it’s just f’ warm and I’m dying, we’re in the middle of a heat wave too. So I guess these would be my best tips

  • Wear as little as possible
  • Find a friend with a pool
  • Buy a fan
  • Be still

Yap. That’s pretty much it. Also hydrate, and yes it sucks, so much, like you’re not peeing enough, now you’re gonna drink even more water and pee more because of it? Yes, sorry.

I do recommend to buy a great fan, we did, we probably got the most expensive one, and it’s phenomenal. Funny thing is we got one of those that are super silent for when you’re gonna sleep. Ha ha, no use for that, it’s way too weak on that setting. Good thing it’s pretty quiet on turbo mode too. And for those of us who loooooves sleeping with our cozy cover… Tough shit. Just pull that cover our of the sheet and give up.

If it wouldn’t be a little inappropriate I would go around like this all the time.

Good things to tell a pregnant woman

So I have talked a bit about weird things do when people are pregnant. For example here. So I thought it would be a good idea to write about things that are actually nice to hear when you’re pregnant. Which, of course, is only according to me but I do think these are more safe than the things that people usually do say like, OMG you’re so big, for example. No one wants to hear that they’re big, ever, under no circumstances, at all. And yes sure, I’m big because I’m pregnant, but that’s no surprise now is it?

  • That you look good in your clothes.
    For one, being uncomfortable with being pregnant is not only about a growing stomach, everything is growing, in weird ways, and you’re a weird form, and clothes doesn’t fit very well, and like that wasn’t enough you’re probably over sensitive too. So hearing that the one thing you found on the maternity section actually looks really good on you is really nice.
  • That you’ve grown since last time.
    Now me being a little extra sensitive to people saying stupid things, I might think, oh you don’t say. I really cannot believe that people get so surprised that you get bigger when you’re pregnant. Anyway, if you for some reason feel the need to comment on the size of this person (BUT WHY), skip sentences involving big and fat and just go with this one.
  • Can I feel your stomach?
    Well, no, not really, but at least you had the decency to ask if it’s okay. And if we are friend, it might actually be. But it is never, under any circumstances okay, or normal behavior to just put your hand on someones stomach. How would you like it?
  • Are you nervous, worried, scared?
    It is okay to ask, even if I might not wanna talk about it. And asking is always better than telling. Don’t start with throwing your friends friends scary story about giving birth. If anything, dig up a positive story about how everything is gonna be okay.

Do you agree/disagree?
What did/do you appreciate to hear?
And definitely did/do you not appreciate to hear?

Thoughts on what it takes to be a great parent

I’m so excited to become a mother. Also scared shitless of course, but excited. I really think that I could be really good at it. I know they say that women have this maternal instinct. I think some people have it, but I don’t know if I believe that everyone does. My mum did though, she was just the most natural mother and I hope it’s genetic. These are some of the things I believe that a person should have or do to be a good parent. Just keep in mind that I don’t really know what I’m talking about:

  • Confidence – I think that you need to believe in yourself and have confidence in yourself when it comes to this. As in most things in life, if you doubt yourself the chances are bigger that it will go wrong.
  • Love – let’s me honest, we need to keep a human alive, and that’s really scary. Not only that but we are also hoping that the human will turn into a good person. But at the end of the day, we all get fucked up one way or another, and life happens, we need to be loved, we all need to be loved.
  • Support – we have our heads filled up with what we should and shouldn’t do, what everyone else thinks about what we do, and how we should be living our life. Be the support, be the person that the kid can go to, even with the weirdest ideas in the world. And support, help and support. But promote to get creative and make things happen for yourself.
  • Be selfish sometimes – I believe that to take care of someone else you need to take care of yourself first. I feel like in society you need to be stressed, busy and completely occupied by your kids to be a good mum, to be only a mum. But we are still the same people. And we have become these people through life. I want to be an inspirational parent, and to do that I need to be me, to be the best version of myself, I need to take care of myself. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

I also think it’s important to lead by example, like in all other situations in life. People and kids especially do as you do, not as you tell them to. But I might also have a very naive view of things, not being a parent yet myself. At the end of the day I think we all walk around with way to high expectations. Living in a society where everything is looking very perfect around us, no wonder we do. We can all afford to be a bit more kind and understanding sometimes, we’re all just doing the best we can! So let’s finish of with my biggest point, that I’m probably going to have to remind myself of about 10 times a day when I’m there myself


Tips from a non expert on how to keep a healthy and loving relationship

Today I wanted to talk about relationships. Now this is a subject that I have thought a lot about over the years. Spending my entire life in the singles lane, I have had a lot of time to think about and learn what it is that I want in a person. Having parents who are still in love with each other, also made me reflect a lot about why they managed to stay that way when a lot of people don’t.

Now I have only been in one relationship in my life, and that relationship is only in it’s third year. So I’m no expert in the area, but I still wanted to share a few things that I think can be the keys to success when it comes to lifelong love.

First of all, I believe that falling in love is a choice. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not completely up to me who I fall in love with, but for me it still kind of was a choice, a choice to let myself fall in love, to allow this person into my life and decide to give it a try. I was of course still lucky to have met this perfect and amazing person that I had feelings for, but at the end of the day, I could made a choice to not let him in or let myself get to that point of actual love.

Second of all, staying in love is a choice. Same goes for this point, not completely, but still. I don’t believe that staying with someone for the rest of your life is something that has to do with luck. I don’t believe that if you’re lucky enough you’ll end up in a relationship that is just good and functioning and the love will last forever. I don’t believe that a lot of things in life has to do with luck, actually. I believe that staying in love and staying together is a choice and it’s hard work. Now here, of course, come the question if it’s worth it, if it’s too hard, maybe it’s not right.

Me and my fiance have not been together for very long, but we have gone through what feels like 10 years of challenges in these 2 years. And all along, the both of us, have continued to choose each other and us. We have not accidentally, by luck, stayed together through all of it. We could have left this relationship and moved on a long time ago. But we decided that we are worth it.

I don’t think that people walk around and choose to not love each other any more. But I believe that people let their love fade and that they give the problems more space than the solutions. I think that staying in love and staying together means that you have to make that choice and stay in the game every single day for the rest of your lives.

Here are my best tips on how to keep the love alive

  • Appreciate the small things. Feel gratitude for just being together in the simplest ways, sitting on the couch, watching a movie.
  • Say “I love you” at least once a day.
  • Give compliments, even on your worst day, find something that you really appreciate or like about your partner and say it.
  • Grow together but apart, it’s important to grow, and maybe you want to help your partner grow, but at the end of the day, remember that you also want to keep the person you fell in love with.
  • Support each other. This is one of my favorite points, and so important. I have never in my life felt so supported as I do in my relationship. My fiance believes in me more than I do myself.
  • Take time for each other. Go away just the two of you, a weekend or just a long walk once a week.
  • Have fun together. It’s easy to forget to have fun together when life gets too serious, but try to do stuff together that you both enjoy.
  • Dream together. We have a lot of things that we want to achieve on our own but we also have a lot of dreams together. We dream about travels we want to do, or the house we want to live in, together. Then we plan those trips, save for them, look at houses for sale, together.

I’m a sucker for a good love story and I’m a huge movie nerd. But I do believe that from all the stories we grew up with, we take away that there is someone special out there and everything is just gonna fall into place on its own. But we’re missing that in those movies and books and stories are also these choices and struggles. My biggest belief when it comes to a a life long love is that in contrary to popular belief, it’s not always for the best to go with the person who makes your mind go crazy. For me, my life partner was the first person who could make my mind be still and quiet.

Tips for having a baby in another country

As you might now I’m Swedish and my fiance is French and we’re living in Barcelona. So I wanted to tell you all a little about my experience and thoughts so far. It’s of course a challenge to be living in a different country when this huge life-changing thing happens. Especially when you don’t know the language very well. And let me tell you, the beginning of this pregnancy was not easy for us. You can read more about the emotional process in this post The shock and struggles of the first weeks of pregnancy.

So when we found out I was pregnant we
1. Didn’t really have any experience with the Spanish health care system
2. Didn’t speak Spanish very well
3. Were living in an apartment that had mold in it, and the contract was until the end of July, around the due date.

So the first few weeks were very stressful, and even though we knew that it would be okay, it felt so stressful to get everything in order. We started with making an appointment with a midwife. We were registered in a specific place, in the area we lived, and we went. I was still in shock about being pregnant and I just needed to know what to do. However, the midwife did not speak a word of English, and didn’t slow down the Spanish for us to understand either. She was rude and just kept in talking, to Odi, not to me, and the panic grew. Eventually I couldn’t help it, I started crying, and what does she do? She turns to Odi and asks HIM if I even wanted the baby…

We also contacted the agency we were renting the apartment from, about needing to end the contract because of the mold. Since I’m also super allergic and was very very sick most days, so that was not a very good situation and at first it seemed like they were gonna fight us too.

But eventually everything turned out okay. We got recommended a doula and went for a meeting with the two women we got recommended. And let me tell you, I didn’t even know what doula was. They explained that they worked a lot with expat mums and they were a support system for us, they could also help with the language people if needed, and they would be with us all through this pregnancy and for the birth. After that meeting both me and Odi felt that we could breathe again. That we would have someone to turn to and someone to help us through this whole thing. We managed to get off the contract and we were super lucky to find an amazing apartment super fast. So in just a few weeks, we moved. When we moved we also got signed to another CAP (medical center), and got a different midwife. We went for the first appointment, and we got one that spoke English. And after that all the midwife visits and ultrasounds, we got people who spoke English.

We feel comfortable in the CAP that we’re in now, with the midwives we have had, with our doulas and we love love love our new apartment.

So here are my tips for having a baby in another country, more specifically in Barcelona, but maybe it can be helpful for people living in other places too. Also, I don’t have a baby yet, so this is more so for the pregnancy. I’ll write a similar one after actually having a baby here.

  • You have a choice, you can change medical centers, hospitals and doctors. Make sure you’re comfortable. You have rights!
  • Hire a doula, now this is of course personal, but if you feel uncomfortable or insecure it’s really nice to have support from someone who knows what they’re doing.
  • Get all your papers in order. We were all over the place with the documents we needed and where we kept them, and as a organized person this one gave me so much comfort.
  • Contact your consulate and ask all your questions. I sent an email and got a long respons with information about documents for registering a baby and what we need to do. Once again, feeling prepared usually gives some comfort.
  • Join communities for mums on social media. Ask all the questions you have and start connecting with people who are or have been in your situation.
  • Use the last point to also find groups and meet ups to join and attend.
  • Relax. Everything is gonna be fine. For me, the problems seemed bigger than the turned out to be, and I stressed out a lot for no reason.

Have you had a child in another country?
What was your experience?
What are your own tips for others in the same situation?