You find out you’re having your first baby, you have images of cute baby clothes, bedtime reading and a gorgeous nursery! But where do you start? Been meaning to write this blog for a while now- and have collaborated with Homify to give you this insight into creating Kian’s nursery, and where I sourced the furniture from as little as 99p to hundreds of pounds.

Kian’s nursery

Before deciding how to design the nursery – we needed to first decide which room to use! We have a 4-bedroom house, and next to our bedroom, we have a dressing room for make-up, shoes and clothes (this was super useful and loved it!) but we decided to clear it all out and move the wardrobes and things out and make it a blank canvas for the new nursery!

Colour Theme

We found out we were having a boy, and straight away I knew that I didn’t want a typical ‘boy-blue’. I would suggest going to a hardware store to look at the colour palettes to choose a colour. We went for a gorgeous and vibrant bluey-green (see pic).

Wall Features

I spent some time looking at wall features to add an edge! You can check out nursery ideas at homify > https://www.homify.co.uk/rooms/nursery-kid-s-room. You can have really cute borders (but find those slightly dated now), but we went for a really nice wall sticker that we bought from Homebase. It was see through where there was no print so looks almost like it’s been painted on. Would really recommend this and we’ve received lots of lovely compliments on it. We also got a stick-on text one for above Kian’s cot.

Furniture Set

My mum’s mum bought my furniture set when I was a baby, so my mum said she would like to do the same for Kian. I knew I wanted a set as it makes a real impact and ties the pieces together across the room. But the mistake many make is going for a small baby-size wardrobe. Yes, they look very cute, but not practical with limited space. There are baby furniture sets, which come with an almost adult size single wardrobe. Go for those, because it’s possible to put a double rail in it. We went for the ‘MIA’ set from Mamas & Papas which cost around £1,100. It came with the beautiful sleigh-style cot, the big wardrobe and the changer unit with draws. Admittedly, we haven’t used the changer top for changing the baby (I find them so inconvenient!) but we have used it as a teddy display!

The Special Touches

I am a big fan of shelves- they make a room homely and add something to plain walls without making it messy with accent walls and prints. We put up a big shelf for his books above the changer unit, which we bought from IKEA. And on the other side we put a really cute shelf with little hooks that I bought from B&M for 99p! Bargain of the century!

We also bought fabric and made the curtains and matching cushions! Although this was good in getting matching items, but it turns out to be mouch more expensive.

Arm Chair & Side table

No nursery is complete without an arm chair. In those early months, it is used for nursing, but on an ongoing basis, it’s where Kian and I sit every night reading books. I looked at so many different types but I am not a fan of oversized armchairs in a bedroom so opted for this really comfy but compact one from IKEA which cost £165. I also bought a white cosy throw to go over it which has kept it clean and new. I really needed a side table for his bedtime books I keep to hand and his essential bits we use at bedtime. I wanted it small and fitting into the space we had. I managed to find the perfect real-wood side table at a local carboot which my mum painted for me in a Laura Ashley white paint to match the rest of the furniture. I love it and it fits perfectly – and cost me £2!

Once you have the above essentials in, you can make the room personal with paintings your baby creates, gifts people bring and your own sentimental touches! The nursery became our favourite room in the house!

 

Hope you enjoyed this blog and Homify and myself we would love to see your beautiful baby nurseries! Instagram or tweet us on @Melody_Hossaini

 

 

Why are we limited by society's gender specific toys?

From birth we are programmed to follow the usual ‘blue for boys’ and ‘pink for girls’ – so much so that we don’t even question why things are so gender-specific, even for babies who don’t even know what they are! Last night, I was forced to stop and think.

These little teddy comfort rags come in blue & in pink. Society has forced us to robotically purchase blue for boys and pink for girls- but why? Babies enjoy colour- any colour! So why do we surround boys in blue and girls in pink? And also why is it so impossible to imagine a boy having a pink rag or a girl a blue?

Last night I was invited to a family dinner to reveal the sex of an unborn baby in our family! Kian was there and in the middle of dinner, he began crying- unfortunately, I realised I had forgotten his little rag toy (the blue one someone bought us as a gift). Our friend was kind enough to lend us theirs (pink one). But instead of it looking odd that he had a pink one- instead it made me think- why not!?

Kiki has a pink and a blue now. I think he probably likes the variety. But it made me think how society limits or pre-determines boundaries for our children by way of gender. I think that’s wrong. Furthermore, why isn’t there more gender neutral colours available like yellow, orange and gold? I will set my own boundaries for my baby- not society. And my parameters will be as wide as possible to allow him to explore and be free to be creative and to become what he wants to be. That goes for gender colours as it does for life. Mindset is built from an early age.

Tweet me your thoughts @Melody_Hossaini – interested to know what you guys think!

 

Christmas is a magical time- especially, since having grown up in Sweden, we have lots of Christmas traditions but this year it was made more special with Kian being here! It’s his very first Christmas.

Dressed in his ‘My First Christmas’ outfit which my sister got him, he took his place by the tree to watch us all opening presents! There were a lot of presents but he sat quietly and patiently for 2 hours taking it all in! The first present of the day, we opened was his gift from my husband and I. I thought a lot about what we wanted to get for him for his first present. Perhaps new clothes (he grows out of them so quickly!), perhaps a toy (as he loves flashing lights and movement)… but nothing felt just right.

I am aware that Kian is a very fortunate and lucky boy. Not just for the material possessions available to him, but more importantly because he is so loved within a safe family unit. Sadly, not every child is that fortunate. For this reason, as his first gift from us, we made a donation in Kian’s name to a children’s charity (NSPCC) working to help vulnerable and innocent children. His first gift is the gift of giving.

As parents, the greatest thing we can give our children, aren’t material things- but teaching them values- the importance of being thankful, of giving, of caring about the world we live in. In order for this to become inherent within him, we have to truly live it. From my own childhood, I have very little memories of me receiving material things, but my most beautiful and vivid memories are of sitting around the dinner table with my family and my mum telling funny stories and us laughing. Those are values.

Our Christmas was also made special by my sister visiting from Dubai. I miss her dearly since she moved there just under a year ago. The beautiful thing with a new addition to the family in Kian is that it changes the dynamic of family and brings you all even closer. A sister becomes an aunt and a little brother becomes an uncle.

Hope that you’ve all had a beautiful time with your loved ones. Thank you so much for your continued support. Sending you my warmest wishes in the run up to the final days of 2014.

 

 

 

It’s been just over 2 months and already I can not remember life before changing-mats, dummies and sterilising bottles! People ask you if it’s what you expected and honestly, regardless of how much you prepare, you will never be able to expect what is to come. This blog is a little insight into the first 2 months on the outside for the baby and adapting to this big change as a family.

The first few weeks, you just stare at him- not believing he was actually inside your body. How can it be possible? You stare at every little move he makes. Everyday there’s something new. So far we’ve had first smiles, first time he grabs hold of a toy, the first time he starts gurgling! Must say, it’s not all easy and smiles. Becoming a first-time mum has its difficult days. The sleepless nights, the constant demand on your time as well as a change in identity (you’re predominantly now a mother, as well as the other identities you previously held.). It’s a personal journey and it’s different for everyone, but for me, it’s taken 2 months for things to settle.

4 important things have happened:

Routine- For the first 6 weeks a newborn needs all the care it demands, but it pretty much takes over your every minute of the day. That can not continue as you will either go mad or simply not have time for anything else! One day we simply decided we wanted to implement a strong routine for Kian, and decided for feeds only every 4 hours and that we wouldn’t hold him when he was fed and changed- and we stuck to it. It changed our life! Both Kian and parents are happier with this!

Making Memories- As well as a video diary (which I share with our family on a whatsapp group as we go!) we booked in for a photoshoot! A lot of people take photos when the baby is newborn in the first 2 weeks but I found waiting until he was 8 weeks meant his face was more settled and he was more alert, yet still little and cute! With photos as important as these, it’s so important to pick the right photographer. I can thoroughly recommend Paul Ward Studios in Birmingham- he took the photo above. He is patient, talented and has multiple sets in the same studio for varied shots. We took 3 outfits -one of them was a cute Christmas outfit for his our Christmas cards! One casual and one dressed up! I was blown away with the photos! Paul is offering 10% off to my readers and followers. Just quote ‘Melody’. Info on > http://www.paulward.net/melody/

Date Night- BC (before child), my husband and I used to go on date night regularly- but that becomes difficult with a baby. However, it’s vital to make time for eachother and so we left the baby with my mum and went to a lovely dinner together (steakhouse since I couldn’t have my steak medium cooked whilst pregnant!. It was nice to catch up, reflect as parents and focus on our relationship as a husband and wife.

Baby Talk isn’t cheap!- The most important thing you can do to benefit your child’s development (even if they’re newborn) is to talk to them. Each morning, during his morning feed, I tell Kian what day it is, what the weather is like outside and what we have planned for the day ahead. I speak to him constantly when I am with him. People think babies can’t communicate but they’re naturals! The key is to speak to them then pause, and they will speak back (ok, gurgle obviously) – this is helping him to become alert as well as learn the basics of communication.

 

I want to thank you all so much for your constant support. This week my facebook page hit 31,100 people- thanks for following and your kind words! You can tweet/ instagram me on @Melody_Hossaini.

 

 

Bump to Birth in 10 Photos!


You’ve heard your body changes and the bump grows during each month of pregnancy- but what does it really look like if you took a photo on the same day each month? The following blog shows photos taken from first month of pregnancy in January, to holding the baby in my arms in October.

Here’s a very brief breakdown of each month:

Month 1 – The moment you find out you’re pregnant is one of the most beautiful moments (it was for us anyway!) Brought my husband and I so much closer and took us a good month to sink in that we’re having a baby! It’s also important how you begin something, so enter pregnancy with a positive mindset. You’re carrying a baby who will mirror your feelings, if you’re calm and stress-free, they will be too!

Month 2 - Highlight is telling the family! I’m never going to forget the moment I told my family we’re having the first baby in our family. It’s rare that you give such happy news in life and it’s a beautiful feeling. Enjoy it!

Month 3 - The pregnancy symptoms at play, whether it’s nausea or cravings, but by now they should have somewhat settled, as you complete the first trimester, you’ll also be amazed at how quickly it’s going! You’ll also spend time standing sideways checking if your bump is visible yet. Probably won’t be visible to everyone just yet.

Month 4 - Exciting month and a big highlight as you get the choice to find out the sex of your baby! I wanted to know the sex of my baby, not because I wanted to paint the nursery blue or pink but because it helped me connect with the baby and mentally prepare myself. You can see from my bump I was having a boy! Boy bumps are neat and forward, girl bumps are generally wider.

Month 5 – Well into second trimester and you should be feeling at your best (if no complications- although every pregnancy is different). The symptoms should be gone but you’re still not so big that you can’t do things. Use this time to spend time with your partner. My husband and I went on a lot of date nights to spend time together and connect before the baby comes.

Month 6 - This is a good time to go on ‘babymoon’ the last holiday your partner and you will take for a little while (make sure to check the allowance for amount of weeks you can still travel, from both your doctor and the airline if flying). I also found it a good month to have my pregnancy photoshoot, whilst on holiday on the beach.

Month 7 – The 3rd trimester is for preparation! Speak to your midwife and find out what antenatal classes are available in your area- I found them really useful. This is also the time to baby-shop if you haven’t done it already and get the nursery ready! Very exciting once it’s completed, I went into the room a few time a day and gave me such a nice feeling.

Month 8 – Time to finish work (if you’re working) and winding down. By now you’re heavier, bigger and less mobile. Start to relax and take it really easy, but keep mobile- go for nice walks and swimming. The more active you are, the better your labour will be. (I went swimming for 45 minutes, 2 days before giving birth).

Month 9 - Almost there! It’s normal to feel anxious, excited and constantly wondering when you’ll be going into labour! Take this time to discuss with your partner what your expectations are of eachother. You’ll be too emotional and tired once baby comes- this way you are prepared. Have a great labour- your baby is almost here! (this photo was taken 3 days before I gave birth).

Month 10 - Your baby is in your arms. I experienced more emotions and feelings at once than ever before. You’re on a high, and even lack of sleep can’t get you down! You sit by the basket just staring at this incredible creation! Enjoy this beautiful time. Things start to settle in the 2 months that follow. Kian is 1 month old in the 10th photo.

Check out this youtube video on my product reviews, tips to deal with pregnancy symptoms and more:

 

For all enquiries, email info@inspirEngage.com / Tweet @Melody_Hossaini

 

Sep 162014

My first blog as a mummy! Been meaning to write this blog for a few days now but finally getting round to it while my angel is napping.
Wow… where do I start. I’ve experienced a lot in life but nothing comes close to giving birth and becoming a mother. In this blog, I want to share my labour story, sentiments in these first few days of motherhood and introduce you to our angel!

Contractions- During the latter stages of my pregnancy, I’d been wondering how my birth would go and what would happen… everyone’s experiences of labour are so different. My baby was due on Sunday 14th and although people kept telling me your first one is very likely to be late, I had a feeling my baby would come early.
I woke up on the morning of 10th September with minor cramps- which grew in intensity but still felt too mild for me to think I was in labour! I was walking around saying to my cousin (who was visiting at the time) and my husband, “hmm well this hurts a little… hmm here it comes again…what could it be?”

We called the labour ward- and they told us to come in, which I felt was strange- I kept telling my husband (who quickly grabbed the pre-packed hospital bags, and was walking in circles in a nervous & excited tizz!) that there was no way I was going to give birth that day- I can’t possibly be having contractions. How wrong I was! I got to the hospital and turns out I was 6cm dilated and ready to be moved into the labour room to give birth. It’s very important how you go into something- especially something you consider challenging (that’s what I speak about in my motivational speaking engagements), so I knew labour was no different. I remember walking into the hospital and even during the latter stages of contractions, and kept saying out loud- “it’s ok, I’ve got this- I can do this”. Going into it saying, ‘I can’t’ or ‘I don’t want to do this’ will make it 100 times harder.

Labour - They encourage you to make a birthing plan – and I had decided to try water birth on gas & air. However, in reality, we had no time for that as I was moving along so quickly and the baby was ready to come. Although a quick labour is great, all wasn’t perfect. The baby’s heart rate was going too low and the baby was distressed, which left no time for pushing. The emergency button of my labour room was pressed twice and the senior consultant and various doctors were at my bed (I had no idea what was happening and was focusing on following instructions that they were giving me to get the baby out).

I distinctly remember the senior consultant coming close and saying; “Melody, listen to me- we have to get your baby out right now” and me just replying, “Fine- just tell me what to do.” The baby was pulled out with forceps, without epidural. I never knew I had the ability to scream the way I did- the immense pain. But he was there and that’s all that mattered. Got to the hospital at 12.30 and he arrived at 14.16, weighing just over 3kg.

Meet our angel… - Lots of you have been asking me what we named him. His name is KIAN (pronounced ‘Kee-yaan’ as opposed to the Irish version which is pronounced ‘Kee-en’) . It’s a Persian name, after the second dynasty of Persian Kings. I always said, if I one day have a son, I will call him that. Can’t believe that just a few days ago I was still awaiting the arrival of my angel and today is his 5th day with me and l can honestly not even remember my days without him. People ask me if it feels weird but it feels like the most natural thing in the world- like he was always meant for us. The Love I feel for him and our connection is something that only another mother can comprehend. Beautiful & gives life its true meaning…

I’m excited about this new chapter. In this note, I also want to thank my husband who has been an incredible source of support and love (he says something just clicks!) and my beautiful family who have made sure I eat healthily and rest lots (they’re nagging me to put the laptop down right now!!). It’s really added a beautiful new dimension to our family (being the first grandchild!). More to come- going to cuddle my angel- can NOT stop!!

Thank you so much to all of you for your extremely kind wishes. I truly appreciate it. Follow the rest of the journey- connect with me on twitter and ig: @Melody_Hossaini and facebook ‘Melody Hossaini (The Apprentice).

 

All you need to know before baby! Confused about travel-systems, suffering from heart burn or itching or just anxious about becoming a mother? I’m now coming up to 39 weeks pregnant- it’s almost time! Here’s my final pre-baby blog- Covering my tips for pregnancy problems (including my life-saver for itching!), how to be make the most of pregnancy and avoid problems later.

At 37 weeks pregnant in the new nursery

Find me on twitter and instagram: @Melody_Hossaini Let me know what you think!