Medela Breastmilk Collection Shells were something which I heard two other mums talking about at my postnatal group, and I am so glad I heard about them.  They were really reasonably priced, I think I paid about £10 for the pair from Amazon and I have definitely got my money’s worth out of them!

Medela Breastmilk Collection Shells

They essentially act as breast pads, but instead of soaking up the milk they store them in the plastic discs.  The silicone rings mean that they are comfortable to wear and form a seal with your breast to prevent leaks.  I have not had any problems with them leaking (except when I lean over and the milk spills out of the little spouts! Which shocks me every time! You think I would learn!) It’s also vital that the little spout for pouring the milk out its at the top when you are wearing them too!

I was genuinely surprised when I wore them at how much milk they collected during one feed when I wore one on the side I was not feeding on. It’s amazing how much milk is wasted, and it is little wonder that I had to change my breastpads so often!

I only wear them around the house,  although they are smaller than I thought they would be I still feel like Madonna when I am wearing them, and they do stick out a fair bit making your boobs look lumpy to say the least. Even though I can only wear them when I am in the house I have still managed to collect a fair amount of milk which I usually use that same day in a bottle or later a sippy cup to try and get Boo to drink milk that’s not straight from the source!

They are really easy to clean/sterilise, the instructions suggest boiling them for a short while, but I have been using Milton Tablets.   In hindsight I would probably have bought a couple of pairs to start off with so that I could wear one pair and have the other sterilising, especially as they are fairly cheap.

All in all I am really glad I bought them, and they have been really valuable in meaning that I have breastmilk to give to Boo in bottles/cups but it’s ‘spare’ milk so I don’t feel like I have wasted any milk I have expressed that Boo then doesn’t drink (she is not a massive fan of drinking from bottles/cups)

Zena's Suitcase

Family Fever

Today is nursery eve, tomorrow Boo starts nursery. She will be going for one hour and I get to stay there with her.  I know that she is going to be ok as I am staying there with her but it marks the start of her settling in period and by mid November she will be going two full days a week. Maybe like Christmas Eve I should be excited, after all I am sure Boo is going to have a lot of fun, and I don’t have to leave her. But…

I just feel so anxious and unhappy if I am honest. I don’t want her to start nursery just yet, and I don’t want to have to go back to work. I wish I had the choice to be a SAHM but sadly I don’t. I know that I should consider myself lucky as I am able to go back part time and work has been flexible and let me choose the days so that I could get Boo into the nursery that I wanted (even though we went to book her places back in April they only have availability on certain days!)

I just can’t help but focus on the fact that I feel robbed of the choice to be able to stay at home with Boo until she goes to school.  I wish we all had the choice to do what we wanted but it seems that we are supposed to juggle working and children and running a home (by ‘we’ I mean both men and women).  I honestly never thought I would have children and I have worked all my life, I have had a part time job from the age of 16 and worked full time since I left university.  I wish there was the option for me to take a longer break from work so that I could devote my time to raising Boo.  I just know I am going to feel so sad if/when I miss any of her firsts.   And while I feel it is important for her socially to spend time with children her own age ideally I would like to be just one day a week.


All the paperwork I have had to fill out, emergency treatment permission, allergy information, routines, etc. It all feels overwhelming.  I have, subconsciously left the paperwork until the last minute I think because I don’t want to accept that she will be starting nursery.  It’s all come to soon, and I honestly cannot believe how fast my maternity leave has gone.  A year. A year, seemed like such as long time before my maternity leave started and now it is almost over!

I feel like this is a bit of a self indulgent post after all I am lucky to have a job, lucky that I don’t have to go back to work full time, lucky I have found a nursery I like for Boo but I don’t feel lucky at all. I feel sad that I am going to be missing out on the time I should be spending with Boo.

I thought I would list the most useful things I have bought/been given for Boo. There are so many thing out there, and unfortunately we have fallen victim to a few things which turned out to be pretty much a waste of money, but these things have been essential and/or well worth the money. I have also thrown in a couple of my favourite things.

1. Millions and millions of muslin clothes, they are amazing, moping up sick, spills, faces etc. I also use them on the changing mat so Boo does get a cold shock! They were a godsend in the early days of poo-explosions.

2. Lansinoh Nippple Cream – It actually works miracles, I mean honestly. I am so glad I bought it, I was a bit dubious about the price, but nope, worth every penny.

3.  Car seat Snuggle Liner – no idea what these are really called, but Boo was born in December so it was chilly! and this meant we could keep her warm in the car especially as it doubled up as a carrier.  And we didn’t have to worry about not being able to tighten the straps enough, as they go through this.

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4. ELC Sensory Ball Pit, amazing and suitable from 6 months, my only bugbear about this is that it only came with 20 balls which look a tad bit pathetic lying in the middle of ball pool, so we bought an extra 100 balls and that fits I feel.  Boo loves this and will crawl in and out of it now and she actually chooses to sit in it and play/watch tv.


5. Vtech First Steps Walker – Boo definitely prefers this to her ‘sit-in’ walker and it was a bargain reduced to half price and when I got to the till there was another £5 off it, I love a bargain. It works well on our wooden floor as well as the large rugs we have and Boo loves to play with the detachable front too.


6. Foam play mats – great, (and bought them when they were half price too) very useful on wooden floors when you have a baby who had just learn to sit/stand and is still very wobbley. I just like the nice bright colours too.


7. Bright Coloured Hats – I love bright colours and there is something so cute about a baby wearing a big bright floppy sunhat, I bought my favourite from JoJo Maman BeBe and Boo wears it everywhere, I will be sad when the sunshine disappears.


8. My recent Cherub Chews breastfeeding necklace from Burble Baby – reviewed here.


9. Ikea Antilop High Chair – cheap, oh my so cheap and amazing, wipe clean so good, essential if you are going to enjoy the fun that is baby led weaning =)


10. BabyBjörn Baby Carrier Active – Amazing, Boo loves this especially when it is daddy who is going to carry her in it, great for walking around when she gets bored with the pram.  Boo gets visibly excited when she can see us putting the carrier on. (I can’t believe this is one of the only pictures we have of Boo in the carrier, need to rectify this!!)

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I am sure there are lots of other things that have been really useful too, but those where the things that come to mind more or less instantly.

The List
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