When I found out I was pregnant with my first born, along with all the usual emotions that coincide with the fact that you’re actually going to actually have an ACTUAL baby and once I realised it wasn’t really productive to spend hours worrying about the logistics of exactly how it was going to come out of there, the realisation hit me one sunny day in second trimester, that my first born child had so generously given me an Access-All-Areas pass to uncover a whole new world of shopping!
Saved article for later
Suddenly, lunch breaks turned into shopping sprees in Topshop or H&M as I would hunt out high-waisted smock dresses or maternity jeans and leggings. Cooing at cute kids wear with colleagues became a regular past time, as well as going online to sneakily spoil my first born with everything from Oilily changing bags to Dior milk bottles.
My theory is that firstborns have the BEST wardrobes. You don’t realise (or care in fact) that the little people only need a few essentials like cotton sleep suits, scratch mittens, a bonnet and bodysuits. Yet despite the books, your Mum and other parents knowingly telling you so, it’s pretty impossible to resist the magical mini ranges out there and if you find out the flavour beforehand too (like I did with my first) then please move out of my way and get me to Baby Gap!
Depending on your natural body shape and the size of your bump, you may or may not need to by maternity clothes at all. I found that high waisted dresses bought in two-three sizes bigger than my usual size 10 worked a treat, as well as layering oversized shirts and tops and although maternity jeans and leggings may look scary after your 12week scan, come third trimester, you’ll be gagging for a pair from Topshop and from then on, a lifetime friendship for elasticated waists will have formed!
ASOS are a great go to for maternity too. Especially when you realise you RSVP’d to that summer wedding and need to hit yourself up with something slightly dressy.
Where to start? Being a parent means you soon realise that all the shopping you used to do for yourself, quickly becomes all about the little people - and in my experience should become an Olympic sport!
So when I’m going for gold, I go mad in H & M as they cater for newborns right up to teens and I love their take on sporty, street styling with added quirkiness too.
Something that River Island also recently started with the addition of their new baby wear collection, so now your little person can be just as cool as you!
M & S, Boden and Next are all style staples in my children’s wardrobe and although some bits can be pricey, you’ll definitely get great quality clothes in return.
And finally, I love a bargain! So yes I will hit the sales like everyone (although never at 6am and I do salute those that do!) and I will exhaust every rail in TK Maxx where I’ve picked up labels like Stella Kids, Replay, No Added Sugar, Paul & Joe Kids, Ralph Lauren, Dior and many other designer brands for a mere few pounds.
Oh and don’t discount your local supermarkets too! George at Asda, Sainsbury's TU range and Morrisons Nutmeg Collection means that while you’re doing the weekly shop, you can clothes shop too! Be warned, as it can be a bit lethal and in my case of late, the food to clothes ratio has been slightly imbalanced. Whoops!
The Gift Guide
Even if it’s not you that’s having a baby, the conundrum of what present to buy a baby can be an overwhelming process. Although there are no rules to this, I kind of work by this loosely based law of lovely things to buy…
Indulge a new first time Mum-to-be into the Motherhood. Introduce her to the world of baby booties, cute slogan bibs, celebrity favourite aden + anais muslin cloths and other luxury blankets that she probably wouldn’t buy herself, but these make great gifts.
If she’s already a Mum, perhaps all club together to create a hamper of all the practical essentials she’ll need from nappies to nipple cream! And a spa voucher for a mani + pedi or a pregnancy massage will always go down well for the already exhausted parent.
Christenings, naming ceremonies and 1st birthdays are best times to buy something quite traditional like jewellery, silver wear and tokens to hand down and treasure.
Top tip! If guests can find out who’s buying what beforehand to avoid ending up with more ‘Your 1st Curl/Tooth’ trinkets and money boxes than you’d think possible and finally, if there is a sibling already, a little gift for them is always greatly appreciated.
I love DotComGiftShop for their traditional toys and thoughtful gifts which are perfect for this.
And let’s not forget the truly important Push Present.
I celebrated the momentous journey into the Motherhood with Mulberry. A ‘Roxanne’ bag for the birth of my first born and then a ‘Tillie’ for when my daughter came along.
Leather goods are a great investment, but if bags and purses aren’t your thing, a special notebook to jot down all the funny things your little person will do and say in the years to come makes a great memento. Smythson is a must for any stationery addict and you can engrave then too for that extra personal touch.
Finally, there’s jewellery. Depending on taste, there’s something pretty and personal for everyone. Charm bracelets make a great gift as you can add to it on birthdays and anniversaries and I personally love the interchangeable designs you can find at Nikki Lissoni as again you can add to the collection as your family grows.