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Swindon NCT Nearly New Sale- March 16th, 2013.

“Doors open at 11.15am at the Oasis Leisure Centre, Swindon on Saturday 16th March.

Make sure you don’t miss this great event to get some amazing bargains!

If you are an NCT Member you will be able to gain access from 11am, you will need your membership card and also to queue in the members queue.

At our sale we sell everything from books, cuddly toys to stair gates, sterilisers, cots, moses baskets etc.

The Swindon sale is one of the biggest in the country and is very popular.”

Things I’m glad I bought: Lansinoh, HPA Lanolin nipple creamsj. X

I’d forgotten the nipple pain involved at the start of each feed when you begin breast feeding. I had actually hoped that having only had 6 months off since J it wouldn’t happen this time, but it has.

Thankfully I haven’t forgotten this stuff. It may be annoyingly sticky, but Lansinoh Lanolin for sore nipples helps more than anything else I’ve tried.

“Number Two” baby joined us at 8.30am on Valentines Day.

He is a beautiful baby boy, 7lb 10, whose name also begins with a J. Since I’ve always called his big sister J, at the risk of being confused with a Britvic beverage I will now call our beautiful boy J2. Actually I can’t do that to him, he sounds like a robot! He can be JC.

Having been induced with J I really didn’t know what to expect, so when I was woken at 3 am by pains I went to make a sandwich thinking they were probably Braxton Hicks. Eventually at 4 or 5 I woke my husband and when we called the birthing centre at 6 ish they said to come in and get checked over. By then the pains were pretty strong.

On arrival at GWH soon after 7 we still weren’t sure if we’d be staying and since we had J in tow we couldn’t even bring the hospital bags in. A checkover revealed that I was 6 cm dilated and that the baby would not be hanging about so K went off to get a Granny on the road from Wales and interim childcare help from nearer by.

As it turned out J was to witness the whole birth.

I finally got the waterbirth I had wanted so much last time! Within minutes of getting in the pool (which really does ease the pain, although of course it is still agony!) I was ready to start pushing. K had to watch J and comfort me. While she was a little distressed to see me in pain she was amazing, even stroked my head. I dont think kids are allowed at the birthing centre at all, but it all happened so early and so quickly that no one else could get there to look after her.

I feel so lucky to have had such a wonderfully quick birth in my dream setting and to have a beautiful, healthy baby boy who I’m now holding while I type with one hand.

Baby Boppers have Swindon classes at various venues across town.

J and I tried the classes at Lawn Community Centre on Friday mornings, usually run by the wonderfully energetic and enthusiastic Annie. It’s in the part of the community centre which is often the café- just so you don’t end up in the wrong room like I did!

The classes are great fun and at just a year old J first stood staring in amazement, but gradually started to join in as the class went on.

In brief: songs and rhymes which the children and grown ups can join in with are played loudly through the stereo and an enthusiastic class leader does actions etc. copied (more and more over time) by the children.

The classes are made even more exciting by the fact that each song has an accompanying goody bag from which the children come up and take a toy/ head-dress/ something else and then return them to the bag (tidying up!) at the end of each song. For example for the bunny song there are bunny ear head bands- very very cute!

We have unfortunately only been to a taster session and one other session of Baby Boppers as we’re about to move and it’s not quite worth the long journey for a half hour activity. If it weren’t for the distance we would definitely sign up long-term though.

There’s an £8 initial signing up fee, then the classes are £4 per half hour once a week which you sign up for by the term. If your child likes music, singing or dancing it’s well worth giving Baby Boppers a try.

It was clear that after her initial amazement my one year old would simply love this class and the children around the age of two who go seem to get even more out of Baby Boppers. One boy of about one who came for the taster session cried pretty much throughout so maybe he wasn’t ready for it or it just wasn’t his kind of thing. However Baby Boppers free taster session allows you to assess whether it’s for your child or not.

We loved it. More details on the Baby Boppers website.

Toddler Time is a new monthly meet up organised by Swindon NCT at Next Generation Gym, Kembrey Park.

You don’t have to be an NCT member to take your toddler to Toddler Time, which is held from 10-11.30 the first Monday morning of every month. Toddler Time takes place in the soft play area of Next Generation and costs £1.50 donation per child (£1 for each additional child) and that includes use of the soft play and a tea or coffee- a very nice one last month! Bargain.

We went to the October one and had a great time. The next two are November 5th and December 3rd. Don’t forget to get the code to leave the car park before you go! Highly recommended if you can get out to Kembrey Park.

Can anyone recommend a baby/ toddler thermometer that actually works?

We’ve spend over £70 now on two thermometer/ thermometer sets and neither of them satisfactorily does the simple job they are meant to do.

The “multi- purpose” (BabyDan?) one just doesn’t work and the Philips Avent set is no good because our one year old won’t keep the dummy in her mouth for the excessively long time it has to stay there.

I’ve heard some ear ones are brilliant but I don’t know which they are. This is such an essential item and J is currently very very hot, but I don’t know how hot!

Is it possible to buy a flattering maternity coat? I’m not having much luck…

The only flattering winter coat I’ve found so far has been the H&M maternity coat. Even in the shop it was clear that it was really badly made, with poppers coming off. Only £39 ish, but I don’t have time for sewing.

In New Look it just seems to be a selection of anoraks. Nothing wrong with that, but after a year solid of “practical” looking after baby number one I am ready to feel just a tiny bit attractive now I’ve stopped breast feeding and am no longer wearing some kind of pureed root vegetable on a daily basis. The Christmas party season is approaching afterall… I have my husband’s work do at least.

At La Redoute (as with every time I’ve ever been online and looked anything on La Redoute) their nice looking maternity coat was sold out.

I ordered a cape-like coat with a furry collar from the Top Shop maternity range which was too short. When I returned it to the Swindon store they had loads of identical coats for non-pregnant women, so something I’d ordered thinking it would be a bit different wouldn’t have been at all.

Next online had a couple of pregnancy coats which looked fairly smart, but not particularly special.

As it was my birthday my other half splashed out on what looked like a gorgeous, stylish wrap coat from Seraphine for me. When it arrived it was undoubtedly a very good quality coat, but from the front I still look really bulky. I’ve since noticed that all the pictures of the models wearing this apparently flattering maternity coat are side on, so maybe we are just all destined to look a bit dumpy and frumpy when pregnant in the winter.

The weather is meant to be freeeezing by the end of this week, so I think I’ll just keep this coat and accept defeat in my quest for the perfect winter maternity coat. I’d still love to know if anyone else has had more luck though?

NCT Swindon’s next Nearly New Sale will be held on Saturday October 13th at the Oasis Leisure Centre. It’s from 11.15-1pm (NCT members entry from 11).  Admission is £1.50 which goes to the NCT charity.

From what I’ve heard the best stuff goes VERY quickly so it’s worth getting there early and possibly joining the NCT if you’re not already a member if you’re planning to buy a lot anyway.

For more info on buying, selling or volunteering go to the NCT Website.

Swindon Baby Show is next Saturday September 8th from 10-3 at STEAM near the outlet village.

It’s £3 admission (kids free) and money raised goes to the fantastic Ruby’s Fat Cow Fund  (do take a look at the link) which goes on to four children’s cancer charities. For your £3 you also get free entry to the museum.

Stall holders include a wide range of “advice, products and services for baby, bump and beyond”. Just for example… from classes and nurseries to photography and cakes, as well as a baby market. I’ve never been but it sounds great, so I’ll be there on Saturday!

Croft Children’s Centre will be running outreach groups in various communities in Swindon over the summer. These will run from 10-11.30am and will be on the following dates at the following locations:

Friday August 3rd, Thorney Park- on the green next to the basketball court.

Friday August 17th, Wichelstowe- on the green next to the StoweAway.

Friday August 24th, Hay Lane.


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