How gorgeous is it when a loved one remembers to order Smythson’s monogrammed diary for you? But we are also loving Jardine of London’s leather-bound Suffolk Journals (especially in dandelion yellow), Caroline Gardner’s diaries with their chic typography and Mum’s Office’s family organiser in their new red colourway.
If you’re super old-skool and can’t function unless everything is written down, the Mum’s Office range of diaries is wonderful way to keep your brain in order throughout 2017.
With loads of room on the left hand side of the page for everything you need to do each week (it’s ‘space-generous’ enough to use this page as a work organiser) and then columns on the right hand side so that you can match up your plans with the commitments of your children, husband and pets. Ergo avoiding accidentally forgetting to pick one of them up from football practice or dropping your toddler with the dog groomers.
If you have more than three kids, probably worth getting the Big Family version (also a good option if you have large handwriting, lol) but the bestselling Mum’s Diary (or even the mini version) are better choices if you carry a smaller handbag. The Big Family diary works great in a Birkin or a large tote tho.
The diaries also include sections for notes, useful info, year plans, term dates etc and with both the Big Family Diary and Mum’s Diary you can slot in receipts, permission slips, party invites blah blah into the back cover and hold the whole lot shut with the elastic fastener. There is also an elastic to hold a pen.
The hardback cover on these diaries comes in delicious (Smythson like) colourways ranging from super girlie pink, hipster orange – to uber chic champagne or French Navy. We adore the Seafoam colourway best; it’s so calming… (and we all need a bit of that when it comes to organizing a family!)
Read Mothercare’s recommendations here – they suggest things like nighties, maternity pads, camera etc. Yeah yeah, very practical. But we think there are a few touches you could find room for that might make the experience a bit slicker…
Colourful baby blanket: Myleene Klass takes this opportunity to plug her Baby K range, but when the little one comes out in an NHS hospital they tend to just wrap them in a regulation white towel. So pack a nice blankie and not only with your newborn be snuggly, but those first pictures will look less ‘clinical’… Hillcrest Knitwear in Scotland make some gorgeous cashmere ones in a range of colours (from raspberry to teal to lime to chocolate) at a very reasonable £24 each.
Jurlique Rosewater Facial Mist: smells like Valentine’s Day in a bottle and cools whilst hydrating and softening. Spray it liberally on your brow, feet, nape of neck… Heck, give the tired nurses a quick blast too…
Contraction Master App: OK, not so much one to pack as to download, but let’s face it, who wants to faff about with a pen and paper and a stopwatch when you can track contractions on your iPhone. The App also plots a handy graph you can show the midwife when you arrive and is techy enough to keep your partner interested…
Bubble Popping Game: forget watching a romantic film or reading Tatler, what you really need is instant gratification. Try downloading an old skool game like this bubble wrap popping one: http://www.games.com/game/dragonsnare0/bubble-blaster
Hipflask: OK so not ‘hospital approved’ but Dads-to-be might find a little dram in the car park helps with the stress of a long labour. Just get a taxi home…
Post partum girdle: super skinny ‘blessed with good genes’ Natalie Portman may have emerged from hospital without a mummy-tummy but a good girdle not only helps keeping the wobbly bits tucked in but also gives a bit of back support.
Gifts from the baby to an older sibling: Aaah, the first time your little darling meets its nemesis, quite unlikely to go without screaming ab-dabs and general confusion. Reduce the drama with a petit cadeau – we’d suggest something non-projectile like this ‘Big Brother’ tee from Cafepress.
Lollipops: sucking on lollipops helps regulate breathing through contractions, provides you with a much-needed sugar hit and generally gives you something else to do with your mouth bar screaming, wailing and biting your husband’s hand… Keep it classic with fruity Chupa Chups.
Thank You cards: after your midwife has spent 24 hours mopping, coaxing, measuring your cervix via the medium of gloved hands and doing most of the above whilst being grunted at, you might like to scribble a little note of apology/gratification afterwards. Bizarrely, hospital shops don’t seem to stock anything other than ‘Get Well Soon’ cards – so come prepared. Smythson’s ‘Truly Wonderful’ notecards (£40 per set) say what you might be too overwhelmed to write…
And pack it all in this Travel Bag by Chamomile from not on the high st: gorgeously girlie, comes with a travel pillow, a blankie that doubles as a changing mat and notepads with crayons for you to scribble rude words on, this is the ultimate in calming, beachy-chic baggage.
Parenting Style Coveted