Having a Baby? My Recommendations...


I am not about to become a mummy blogger, but I do get asked by my friends what I recommend for the first few months of pregnancy. Rather than sending lists around, I can send this blog and update as needed. 

****It's incomplete but has been sitting in my drafts for over a year so I am just getting it out there and will finish asap!*** Feel free to message me on insta @coops.artist if you have any questions. 

All of the products I have recommended on here I have used personally and found valuable. I have used affiliate links where possible to build up discounts to keep using these brand products. I wouldn't add anything onto the list that I haven't used and loved. 

Finally, these recommendations come from my own experience. My birth was intended to be a home birth but eventually became an emergency C section, so there are likely some things you would find useful for a vaginal birth that I have not used. I am also currently breastfeeding and occasionally expressing for my partner to take on a feed.

Pregnancy and Preparation

My Pregnancy 

I had a tricky pregnancy. My heart went a little wild, compensating for all the additional blood pumping around my body. I was hotter than the sun, and heavily pregnant through a sweltering summer. The hormones were intense and it wasn't a breeze, there are a few items that made the experience so much easier.  

Pregnancy Tips: 

My dear friend is pregnant at the moment and I told her the other day that I wished she had been pregnant before me because I think I would have been stronger at protecting my space. I found it really hard to let go of my people pleasing tendencies when I was pregnant and ended up in situations that I just shouldn't have been in - 6 months pregnant in Ibiza on a hen party for one. 

I wish I had ... 

  • Cleared my diary 
  • Based my planning on exactly how I was feeling that day. It seems flakey but there so much going on with your body it's hard to know which day or month will be a glow up and which will be extremely difficult for you. So take it all day by day. 
  • Rest, sleep, stop, relax - there are moments when you think you can take on the world, but many more when you just need to snooze. 
  • Set healthy boundaries. It's frustrating for everyone in your life when you stop being super available and organised, but they will get over it and if they are friends they will stick around.
  • Evaluated my friendships without judgement. Some people are meant to be friends with you when you are single and partying, or coupled up and adventuring but that doesn't mean they want anything to do with a baby or you as a mother. It's really hard, and often a shock but if that's the vibe then it's probably better to let it drift away than force it. 

Pregnancy Shopping List: 

  • BellaMoon Pregnancy Pillow
  • Jojo Maman Bebe Leggings - Stick with your pre-pregnancy size 
  • Bamboo giant t-shirt 
  • Lucy & Yak original dungarees - they are ideal for being pregnant but do size up. 


How To Plan Your Birth 

Birth Tips: 

Birth Prep Shopping List: 

  • Positive Birth Company - Hypno Birthing Package 
  • Raspberry tea 
  • Dates 


What to pack in your hospital bag 

Hospital Bag Tips: 

Don't stress about this, if the baby arrives early and you haven't had a chance to pack it is not a big deal. Your birth partner can always go a pick up anything you don't have, and really your baby just needs you. 


Hospital Bag Shopping List: (to be continued) 

  • Pjs 
  • Snacks 
  • Chargers and headphones 
  • Clothes for baby 
  • Slippers 
  • Dressing gown 
  • Nappies 


First Few Weeks After Birth 

Our New Born Experience

New Born Tips:

The best tips we had from a midwife were to try to catch baby before he cries. She said to watch for his signs - clenched fists, putting hands to mouth meaning he's hungry. Yawns and red eyebrows meaning that he is tired. Catching him before he cries for something really helped us to create a strong bond with him and helped us to feel more relaxed. 

In a way this switched the roles, rather than having a mind set of needing to look after him, I decided he was the boss and I just had to do what he was saying. He lead the way really well, still at 12 weeks old he very rarely cries. If we weren't sure of the problem in those first few weeks it was usually a nappy change, at 12 weeks it's usually a little wind. We are really lucky that he never suffered with colic or a difficult latch.  

At 18 months old, he has little tantrums now that his personality is coming through strong, but we pretty much made it to a year and a half with a really happy baby. 

New Baby Shopping List: (to be continued) 

  • Wall mounted changing table - this has really helped our backs as we are both tall. 



Baby Travel

Our situation

Baby Travel Tips:

Baby Travel Shopping List:


Breast Feeding + Expressing Breast Milk

My breastfeeding experience

As we slowly approach two years of breastfeeding I am almost ready for it to end. Looking back on the past two years, I see illnesses avoided, comfort, swift naps, a few nibbles and some hard nights. Boobs aren't the solution to sleep but they certainly help! 

Breast Feeding Tips:

There is a lot of pressure to breastfeed, and some people don't like it or want to stop after a few months. I have enjoyed every second of our breastfeeding journey - except the bites when his front teeth came in, the absolute exhaustion and hunger. Other than that, there are no bottles to clean up, and the little cuddles are just delicious! 

Throughout my breastfeeding journey I have repeated two things:

"You are a river, not a lake" - Really helpful in those moments when cluster feeding is intense and you feel empty. Just keep hydrating and eating well, the milk is still flowing, even when it feels like there can't possibly be anything left in there. 

"The baby puts in the order the day before" - A little hope for those empty days around the growth spurts, teething or sickness. When little one ups the feeding schedule, one day could be tough but your magical body will respond to the increased demand and have more to deliver the following day. It's tough, but temporary. 

Baby was born at 41+5 so we had loads of time to collect collostrum before he was born. I highly recommend this, I think it helped my milk come through quickly and really improved the whole experience for us. We also used the collostrum supply for everything from colds, to rashes, to events when he would be meeting new people - for a little immune boost. 

We also froze breastmilk in an ice cube tray and added a couple to his bath, great for the skin! 

Breast Feeding Shopping List:

  • Hakka - this is amazing for let down in the early months. 
  • Elvie catch cups - these are like little buckets for your boobs. Really handy if you leak lots, I would use these if we were going out and I may not be able to feed him right away or if I felt like I had an over supply. Rather than having a soggy breastpad in your bra you can collect the milk and empty when needed. Not comfortable to sleep in. 
  • Lansinoh washable breastpads - I tried the bamboo ones from boots and they are honestly pointless, the bamboo soaks up the milk and then you have a huge wet patch not a small one. The Lansinoh washable breast pads are great because they have a waterproof layer and don't feel soggy. 

Express feeding, our experience:

Felix is a little fussy with bottles, luckily we have a small range of them. Recently he has gone off the Tommie Tippie Anti Colic bottle, he can't seem to get a good latch to feed. The Vita Baby bottle was a little better but the best bottle is the MAM bottle as he is able to latch onto it, it seems to mimic the breast shape. I would recommend testing to see if your baby has a preference before buying a full set. 

We saved a fair amount of milk in the freezer "just incase' but most of it was never used and I would have been better to just donate any extra. 

Express Feeding Shopping List:

  • Hakka 
  • Pump - Hand Expressing 
  • Bottles to go with the pump 
  • Freezer bags for milk 



Baby Sleep 

My baby sleep experience

When he was born he was awake in the night, looking for closeness and milk. I am a good sleeper and for us it made sense to try to keep at least one parent fresh in the day. 

We had a schedule in the fourth trimester where I would go to bed straight after feeding him around 5pm and sleep for as long as I could before he needed feeding again. This gave me an extra chunk on the night and a head start. 

We slept in separate rooms for a little bit of time but around 6 weeks in we were back in the same bed and same room and I don't think Stu was disturbed too much. 

At 18 months old, and with the regular 4:30-5am wake ups we are experiencing at the moment I either join him for a big morning nap around 10am-12pm. Or Stu and I take it in turns to get up with him and do breakfast while the other lies in. I can't rate that enough - being exhausted and cranky can have such an impact on your relationship. And finally if you are tired then go to bed early, Netflix can wait, have dinner with your baby and then sleep as early as you need to. 

Baby Sleep Tips:

There are some amazing tools to help a baby sleep - white noise machines, little contraptions that rock your pram etc. We wanted to see if we could encourage unassisted sleep first (recommendation from my sister!). When he was a new born he would be sleeping in any room that we were in, regardless of light or sound. We didn't whisper around him or try to be quiet. Luckily this worked and he would sleep anywhere for those early days - meaning he could be in the office with Stu or safely snoozing on the sofa at Christmas. So though they are out there, first I recommend not using any sleep assistance. 

Baby Sleep Shopping List:

  • Dock-a-tot - I bought one for my sister so we borrowed it for the first few months. It was perfect for little naps and safety on places like the sofa. 

Baby Clothes 

Baby Clothes Tips:

- New born clothes fit for hardly any time and they are all brand new looking if you get them second hand. The best clothes we recieved as gifts were 6 months +.

Baby Clothes Shopping List: 

  • Vinted for everything - most of it is pretty much brand new or excellent condition.


Baby (Shower) Gift Ideas 

Baby Gift Shopping List: (coming soon)



Things to be aware of...

- Peanut App