Over the last month, it’s felt natural to start getting our house a little more shipshape, ready for our baby boy’s arrival. The biggest changes have been in our nursery guest room hybrid, but the rest of the house has also had a critical eye cast over it.
It might just be nesting instincts kicking in, but recently our DIY list has been growing by the day. Cupboards and drawers have been cleared, and we finally got around to changing the light bulbs in the lounge (If another had blown we’d have been sat completely in the dark…)
The kitchen hasn’t been exempt from a good de-clutter, but we’ve also been getting it ready in a few other ways….
1) Safety first
After reading Jack’s story, there is no way I could ever underestimate how dangerous boiling water is around children.
We’ve moved our kettle to the back of our counter top, and made sure the lead is well out the way. It really isn’t worth the risk for the sake of a quick re-shuffle.
2) Taking things slow
We’ve had our slow cooker for a few years now, and we’ve been using it regularly throughout my pregnancy. A little bit of prep, and there is a meal ready and waiting for us when we walk through the door.
Our slow cooker has a removable ceramic bowl which is great for when it comes but serving up, but we also prep the ingredients the night before and pop the bowl in the fridge. The next morning we pop the bowl back in the slow cooker, plug it in and it’s ready to go.
Over the next month we’ll be starting to cook larger batches, freezing portions to enjoy at a later date when baby arrives. It would be so easy to rely on takeaways and ready meals, so we’re hoping to fill our freezer and have some healthier meals ready to defrost and enjoy.
3) A few additions
We’ve added a few pieces to our kitchen kit recently, making sure we have what we need on hand for when baby arrives. While we’re planning to breastfeed our baby, a few weeks down the line we’re hoping that I’ll be able to express some milk so we can combi-feed (Hopefully helping me get a little bit of extra sleep between feeds!)
We’re not naïve, and of course things may not go quite to plan, but it doesn’t do any harm to be prepared.
We’d been doing a little research and had decided that a natural style teat would be the best place way to introduce our baby to bottles, so we were pleased to hear from Chicco who were happy to send us a gift set to get us started.
Designed to imitate the natural way a baby feeds, Chicco’s Natural Feeling range has an angled teat that 9 out of 10 babies were happy to feed from their first time feeding from the bottle. The wide belly of the teat and an anti-colic valve also work together to reduce the risk of swallowing air, helping to prevent colic and keep baby calm during feeds.
The gift set also includes a really cute soother, which will be handy to have ready and waiting. As a baby, I was fond of a dummy, but my husband couldn’t have been less interested… it’ll be interesting to see who our little boy takes after!
Helping us to keep any feeding equipment clean, we also heard from Milton who very kindly sent us their combi steriliser to try out. Sterilising bottles from two minutes in the microwave, or in 15 minutes using cold water using their sterilising tablets, it’s the perfect addition to our kitchen.
Not needing to be plugged in, the steriliser doesn’t take up any permanent counter space and can just be popped in a cupboard when we’re not using it. It’s spacious enough to fit in five bottles, and it’s easy to imagine how quickly it will become indispensable.
As well as bottles we’ll be using it to sterilise bowls and spoons as we start to wean our baby, so it is definitely one piece of kit that we’ll be getting plenty of use from.
4) Ready, steady, bake
I love baking, but haven’t felt like I’ve had enough time to enjoy it lately. Any cakes have been quickly whipped up, and I’ve stuck to the same tried and tested recipes.
With my maternity leave starting in just over a month I’m looking forward to turning my hand to a few new recipes, as well as tweaking the basic recipes I know back to front.
My never-fail chocolate cake and this easy banana cake recipe could certainly be jazzed up with a few extra flavours. Both recipes can be made in one bowl and don’t require a mixer, making sure there is minimal washing up and plenty of time to spare to put my feet up.
I’ll be making them as traybakes, again freezing portions to enjoy once our baby boy has arrived. We’re expecting we’ll have plenty of visitors, so I’m sure it will be useful to have some homemade cake on standby.