I’m now 7 months pregnant – not long to go now! I wanted to go through what we’ve done to help in preparing for a baby, from a travel blogger point of view.
Preparing for a baby for anyone requires some planning and research. When you’re self employed though, it takes a bit extra to make sure things are ticking over and you’re not worrying about blog stuff, and your income, when you should be bonding with your baby. I intend to take a few months off with absolutely no work allowed (hopefully).
My travel blog is my main income, and in my ‘previous life’ (before COVID and the baby news) I used to jet off all around the world, as you can see from all the stories on here.
Lockdown was an immersion into a different life for me. One where I stayed at home, was part of a local community, worked hard at my laptop, talked to family and friends more, and didn’t have the drama of flying around the world every few weeks. I actually liked it.
If I’d gone from my 2019 life to preparing for a baby, I think it would’ve been a lot harder, but my 2021 life is pretty baby friendly – although there were still a few things I needed to sort to be ready.
Preparing for a Baby: Travel Blogger Style
Here are all the steps I’ve taken to prepare for having a baby.
Obviously needed a holiday (or two)
So first up for any self respecting obsessive travel blogger when planning for a baby: a ‘babymoon’.
We had two, kinda three.
We went to Samos in Greece to meet my niece for the first time, and go to her baptism.
It was also a really beautiful week to tell my family, in person, the happy news that Ben and I were pregnant. It was such a lovely moment and memory.
We had a great week celebrating my niece, and the news. It was also a chance for me to chill out after a stressful first trimester.
After Greece, and the worries of travelling in a pandemic, neither Ben or I thought we’d be going anywhere else in 2021, but somehow I ended up booking us a last minute trip to Canada.
For our ‘babymoon’, we ended up going on an all out tour of Montreal, Toronto and Niagara Falls – it was brilliant. We stayed in nicer hotels than I’d normally choose, hired a car and went to Parc Omega, and just generally did everything we ever wanted to do in those cities, or at least as much as possible.
It was so much fun and a trip to remember forever.
If you’re a travel blogger planning for a baby, you need a babymoon!
(Doesn’t have to be as mad as Canada, not sure what came over me there).
We also went for a cheeky little weekend in the New Forest with mum and dad, for Mum and I’s birthdays at the end of October. Excessive? I mean, I am a travel blogger.
Preparing the house for the baby
Sadly for me I’ve given up my wonderful travel themed office space for this little baby, but of course the baby deserves the best space in the house, so it’s fine.
I’ve now got a nice space downstairs in our dining room, and a sweet new standing desk from Flexispot, which I love. Didn’t even know I needed an adjustable desk but it’s so great to stand up and work for an hour a day, and to sit at it with it above my bump instead of pushing into it. You just press the button to make it gradually go up and down as you want it.
My office turned nursery was already blue, it’s a cute room for a baby’s first. Nice and vibrant and the animal theme seems to have come naturally. I feel like I’ll be spending a lot of time looking out of this window, at the monstrosity that is our rear neighbours’ renovations (going on for a year now, slow progress), so I want to make it as cosy and lovely as possible for baby and us.
We’ve been given SO much stuff, it’s been amazing. Seriously, the baby probably has over 100 outfits – no exaggeration. Pays to be the last of your friends to have a baby!
Here’s my wonderful dad packing all the stuff my wonderful mum and wonderful friends have given us for the baby. The car was chocka!
We’ve got rid of anything we don’t love or need in the house, which has actually taken me quite a while.
I’ve also fully invested in buying the right boxes for the job and sorted the loft and every cupboard. The house has never been so organised. Totally inspired by Stacey Solomon’s ‘Sort Your Life Out’ TV programme (have you seen it?).
I’ve been told to get some healthy foods in the freezer for the first few weeks too, so maybe I’ll work on that in January. A bit closer to the time.
READ MORE: Top Tips for Your First Holiday Abroad With Baby
Preparing for less sleep
So, turns out the baby has to sleep in with us for the first six months (ish). Who knew? Every day’s a school day when you’re pregnant.
Anyway, we wanted to make our room as comfortable as humanly possible, for us. The plan is to fall straight asleep when the baby does, in our super comfortable bed.
So, we got the Silver Hungarian Goose Down Duvet, the Dual Layer mattress topper and the Smart Temperature Duvet Cover from Fine Bedding Company, and oh my days we are COMFY. Our bed is now a delightful cocoon for us to sleep in, ready to sleep as much as possible before the baby comes.
I’d definitely recommend investing in bedding to be as ready to sleep as possible. All that money you save on not drinking and going out can help!
READ MORE: My First Year as a Mum
Preparing for the hospital
One of my all time favourite travel bloggers Monica sent me an official The Travel Hack rucksack to use as a baby bag in the hospital. So elegant compared to the flowery Vans rucksack I would’ve used otherwise.
I haven’t actually packed my hospital bag yet, or the baby’s. Bit early, and we still a few weeks to go. I want to take photos of the rucksack when I do, so it won’t be long now. The rucksack is elegant and spacious, so I hope it’ll fit all I need in. Otherwise I’ll use it day to day as the nappy bag.
READ MORE: My 36 Travel Essentials for Baby
Preparing physically for the baby
I feel like it took me a while to really get in the mindset that I was actually having a baby. Sounds a bit weird. A friend suggested I start pregnancy yoga to bond, so I signed up to a 7-week class at my local LANO yoga studio in Southsea.
I remember the first class (and the rest in fact) just being such a lovely space to be with other mums and have a chat about what we were feeling and experiencing before the yoga began. I really enjoyed the course and it was great to have some reassurance on whether it was ok to stretch this body part or not, or that one. Our teacher also took us through some great positions to be in to give birth, and some hypnotherapy techniques too. After the 7 weeks I knew a lot more than I did before!
Since that stopped I signed up to another one which was a bit more educational, rather than physical, and have been doing some light classes on YouTube too. All the literature I’ve read says that yoga is super helpful in pregnancy, and in giving birth.
Swimming and aqua fit
I’ve recently started swimming and aqua fit for supported exercise in preparing for the baby too. Love them both and just feels good to be in the water. I plan to continue this through pregnancy and beyond.
Preparing mentally for having a baby
The weekend retreat
I don’t really remember how or why I signed up to this, or how I found it, but god I’m glad I did. I did the Womb Alchemy retreat with the magical Rebecca Wilson in the Peak District at the start of November and it absolutely opened my eyes to so many things.
I’ll be writing more about this but just wanted to say here that if you’re preparing for a baby and have the time and money, a retreat like this is an absolute must do experience to prepare yourself mentally, and to identify damaging thought patterns and learn the steps to letting them go.
Books, podcasts and courses
I have absolutely loved the ‘What the Midwife Said’ podcast. I’ve been trying to stay active in my pregnancy and get my steps in so it’s good to listen to as I wander along Southsea Beach.
Ben and I are signed up to the famous NCT classes at the end of the month, and I’d also like to do some sort of hypnobirthing online course too. There are a lot to choose from.
I’ve heard from a few people that this book, on How to Have a Baby, is a must buy. So of course, I bought it and it’s sitting on my shelf. I plan to get started this week though.
There are thousands to choose from, but @thenakeddoula and @thepositivebirthcompany have been my favourite / most informative pregnancy and birth Instagram accounts to follow. Learnt a lot.
All the advice and prep for having a baby can get totally overwhelming – there’s so much information out there. Honestly, I swear there’s a course for every aspect of the baby’s life. Add to that all the well-meaning and lovely advice from friends and family and it can totally stress you out.
Pick and choose who or what you want to listen to. You absolutely cannot do it all, read it all, listen to it all – it’d be a full time job.
Also, take it one step at a time.
Preparing my blog and work
One of the big questions I’m getting is about my blog and my work. What’s going to happen?
Well, I don’t actually know.
So far I’ve prepared blog posts on each of my sites (this one and DayOutinEngland.com) to see me through. I know that I don’t want to touch anything for at least three months after the baby is born so I can properly get in the baby mindset and have time to bond.
I don’t plan on being a ‘mummy blogger’ as I keep being asked. I will be a blogger who’s a mum.
Beyond that I don’t have much of a plan, which is very unlike me but I just don’t feel like I can plan when I don’t know what I’ll be like, or we’ll be like, or what the baby will be like. I know other people have to when they have to plan going back to work, but as one of the benefits of being self employed I’m revelling in it.
Some people have told me they couldn’t concentrate on anything but the baby in the first few months, while others have said they worked while the baby slept. So, we’ll see.
I’ll work it out as we go along.
Preparing for a baby as a travel blogger
As a travel blogger preparing for a baby can be mega daunting. It’ll be a while before I pop off to Cape Town for a few days, or enjoy a carefree solo trip to Vietnam for example. But, I’m ready for it. Ready for my new life.
I have more interests than travel, and I’m excited to be discovering them at home, as well as all the trials and tribulations of Mum Life.
I’ve written more about this in my Second Trimester diary.
I still have two months(ish) to go, but knowing all this above is sorted, while I’m still feeling ok and able is good for my mind. I can now focus on me and Ben, on organising the baby’s room, and on tidying up some loose ends with my work – which never ends.
Just excited to meet the baby now!
Sunday 31st of July 2022
I appreciate blogs that don't magically transform into mom-blogs no matter what the main topic used to be. So fingers crossed! Although talking about less sleep - I do recommend getting a sleep training guide right now to have some time to process. I've been following Susan Urban and her HWL method: https://www.parental-love.com/shop/baby-sleep-training (In fact I also used her breastfeeding book and now the solid food book too). It may save you some sleep.
Tuesday 30th of August 2022
@Carol, I used HWL sleep training and it was AMAZING! I couldn't believe how fast it worked. Everyone should have Susan's books. I've never though about it as a traveling help but you're right it totally is one!
Tuesday 16th of November 2021
So happy for you and Ben and sharing your excitement awaiting baby. Loo after your self and so looking forward to seeing pictures of you and your little one. Lots of love and hugs
Wednesday 17th of November 2021
Hi Chris! Lovely to read to your comment. I can't believe how much we've had to do to prepare! All good to go though, with two months left. Glad we've got everything sorted in advance. Looking forward to just meeting the baby now! Will let you know <3