List Lover Extraordinaire………

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Bullet points or paragraphs? Helpful reminders or a painful reality that our memory isn’t quite as sharp as we perhaps thought? Whatever your preference- short & sweet: long & drawn out, neatly arranged in a alphabetical filing system, or scattered throughout the house like debris from a tornado (that’s my style): I’ll happily bet we are all guilty of writing them.

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Ahh, the list of ‘child’ swear words! Just incase you ever forget…..

Some lists are more important than others, of course, such as the obligatory ‘child manual’ You know the one? When you leave your precious little sprogletts for the very first time with anyone, what initially began as a few brief pointers (milk time, nap time, where essentials are located) slowly turns into a full on article preparing the bemused babysitters for Armageddon. Heck, afterall, the girl guides motto is ‘be prepared’. & What motherhood has taught me thus far is: throw anything at me I’m ready baby! You can’t scare me (have you met M’Lord Snots-a-lot?) & that I usually fail miserably, on a daily basis at maintaining any respectable list.

cool bananas blog, cool bananas, matalan, matalan checklist, matalan, matalan maternity, lists, checklist, funny list, funny listsDespite my open confession to being a list hoarder apposed to a ‘list doer’ (that’s so a word) I still find them invaluable. They can be a little therapeutic: writing down our thoughts can help assess priorities & encourage us to complete some urgent taks (er, buy food, feed child!) & besides, any excuse to purchase swanky new stationary is always a bonus!

cool bananas, cool bananas blog, stationary, lists, maternity list, matalan, malalan maternity, matalan checklist, sharpie, paperchaseThroughout my pregnancy with Bear, I found myself surrounded by baby magazines & the usual pre-birth leaflets. I glanced over many birth story articles, which petrified & reassured me in equal measure: the format of these storiesย usually includes a handful of tips from the new mummy & I can remember jotting down these nuggets of information.

I then embarked on creating my own maternity & birth list: I read enough stories from mothers with premature babies, which terrified me into packing a hospital bag very early on. Every few weeks I’d take a look at my supplies, unpack, repack, & add to the list. Unsurprisingly then, my maternity luggage ended up being my trusty pull along suitcase- of the tiny variety, the size acceptable by budget airlines (easy-baby). Hey! Practicality reins….why carry a hefty bag when it can skiddadle on wheels?

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Most of the supplies I had tucked away were either for myself, or mr banana pants: that’s not because I was unprepared for the impending arrival, more from a fear of jinxing anything. I held out for quite sometime until I felt comfortable to purchase newborn necessities.

Lists may aid our organisation, help us retain a sense of control but they can’t replace the value in sometimes just going with the flow. My top tip? Do your research, browse those parenting forums for ideas, but ultimately try to be as mentally prepared as possible: for all your carefully drawn out plans to go straight out the window. Don’t panic if there is something you forget to pack- undoubtedly you’ll have friends & family rallying around you post birth offering any support they can- if you need post Caesarian knickers? Well, that’s what true friends are for!

With Bear now a full blown toddler: daily he’s shedding his baby layers *sobs*, I’m feeling increasingly broody, with many of our friends adding to their tribe- I can feel my ovaries aching for another. I predict the need to create a new, updated maternity & hospital list on the horizon: I’ll take my experiences ย with me, but Iโ€™ll also seek out updated, & convenient checklists. Like this one from Matalan– smartly coordinating & connecting items mentioned with suitable products available in store & online: presenting an ideal opportunity for you to partake in some retail therapy, WIN WIN!.


  • So, after all is said & done, in your experience what was your ‘must have‘ hospital bag item(s)?

I’m going with my extra soft dressing gown that doubled as a pillow (which FYI there is a severe shortage of in hospital wards) & earplugs! Granted, that may sound bizarre- I can promise you, when resigned to your bed in a cubicle of 3 other mothers & newborns, they are heaven sent!

The only item missing from this Matalan list for me isn’t materialistic & it cannot be purchased: take with you a PMA (positive mental attitude) Sure, have a birth plan- just be aware this is a situation where you may not always hardly ever have control. Ultimately what we all would like to see on this particular checklist is: a healthy, happy baby & a speedy recovery (oh, & a pain free labour/ delivery would be aย real bonus!)

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  1. 24/07/2014 / 11:48 PM

    Admission! – I’m afraid of lists. I do not write them, even the thought of a list makes me feel overwhelmed and I want run away. If I wrote a to do list, I think some days I would need a very long double sided piece of paper. I wouldn’t be able to tick off all of the things and then I would be stressed. So instead I live in blissful denial. Absolutely no lists allowed!! X

  2. Natalie Crossan
    24/07/2014 / 10:57 PM

    make a list and don’t overthink it. All I really used was the babywipes!

  3. Chrissie Curtis
    24/07/2014 / 11:05 AM

    I am list obsessed! My top packs would be PJs I love them! Super Comfy PJs and Slippers. Snacks, Drinks, Magazines, Phone Charger – Baby’s first outfit.

    iPad for my Fiance and some Duct Tape to apply directly over his mouth if he feels the need to be patronising.. Haaa…

    I think the list you have shared is pretty much everything that is required.

  4. 23/07/2014 / 10:00 PM

    keep it simple otherwise you will have everything but the kitchen sink ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Kiran Parry
    23/07/2014 / 6:33 PM

    Plenty of water.

  6. 22/07/2014 / 8:41 PM

    Food is my priority for sure! Plus slippers, dressing gown and new knickers to wear afterwards (black for obvious reasons!) Wearing new knickers made me felt semi normal again! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. cherie shaw
    22/07/2014 / 5:15 PM

    Take plenty of snacks & water ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Zoe
    22/07/2014 / 7:49 AM

    I have to say my favourite kind of list is a pre holiday shopping list ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Kate Gray
    21/07/2014 / 9:31 PM

    Love a list!

    Never wrote one with my first baby, used an online checklist. But wrote several with my second, as I kept losing them. Even had one on my phone which I always somehow ended up deleting! Baby brain was most definitely worse second time round. X

  10. Catherine Culmer
    20/07/2014 / 10:40 PM

    Don’t go over the top ad take too much, someone can always bring extra in.
    I found baby wipes to wipe my hot face. wipe babies bum and wipe up any mess an essential and make sure you don’t forget your camera or chargers!

  11. mark sorrell
    20/07/2014 / 3:23 PM

    my wife joined a lot of parenting forums and asked other mums for their best advice for compiling a list. she also kept a pad and pen at the side of her bed, for when she thought of something to add she could add it right away

  12. stacy sorrell
    20/07/2014 / 12:07 PM

    i think asking other mums is a great tip for making a list , i googled and visited forums with my first, but there were loads i didnt think to add, like ‘tiny baby’ clothes, i packed all newborn, but my little one came earlier, and all her vests were massive, id reccomend at least one tiny baby vest ust incase, also, i had to stay in hosp a couple of days and didnt pack enough clothes for myself, id say overpack, just to be on the safe side, theres no harm done if you dont use things

  13. 20/07/2014 / 8:58 AM

    I always find having some light snacks are key and I always like to make sure their is spray bottle to keep me cool. Plenty of baby grows and bibs are another item on my list.

    Thank you for the fab competition.

  14. Daisybeebee
    20/07/2014 / 1:15 AM

    My family tease me with my myriad of lists. My advice is one list, pack bag and wait for the time. Don’t over pack and enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. 19/07/2014 / 11:59 AM

    I live for lists! I would have to add Evian face spray! Especially when labouring in summer! X

  16. 19/07/2014 / 10:41 AM

    We love lists in this house. Everything has a list – possibly as my baby brain leaves me without the ability to remember most things these days!!

    Having just had number 2, I was really slow at packing my bag this time. My top tip, whatever you think you need, halve it! 1st time round we took FAR too much stuff. Looked like we were off on holiday for a week.
    My most important item this time round was a crossword book and my phone charger! The sanity of the outside world was needed ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. 19/07/2014 / 8:31 AM

    I’m writing my maternity list for my third baby, die in December. My must have is a sports bottle for sipping water in labour – I kept spilling cups everywhere!

  18. Michelle Austin
    19/07/2014 / 8:25 AM

    Spritz bottle, face wipes, stress relief things (squeezy ones), knickers, the usual stuff. Oh and the ipod.

  19. Jayne T
    18/07/2014 / 9:32 PM

    Disposable knickers and pads.

  20. 18/07/2014 / 9:16 PM

    dont go OTT – you can always get things brought to you!

  21. 18/07/2014 / 1:16 PM

    Fab post. I love a good list. My desk at school is covered in post it’s and the post it’s and stuck together making a long, albeit brightly coloured list!
    You’re so right about the leaving-your-child-with-someone else-list, that for me is the longest list! Xx

  22. 18/07/2014 / 10:33 AM

    Ahh, great post and competition. I’m a definite list hoarder too. Writing them is fun, doing the items on them – not so much! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    My top tip for a maternity check-list is don’t worry too much about forgetting items. I spent weeks crafting the perfect list, packing and re-packing. In the end, baby girl was in such a hurry to make her arrival that the suitcase never even made it out of the boot of the car! We survived and so will you. (We were glad to have our own snacks though, the midwives were so busy that I didn’t see that promised tea and toast for hours after giving birth!) xx

  23. 18/07/2014 / 9:29 AM

    Wow, I so never made a maternity list!! So that ultimately makes you more organised than me, even if you do nothing with them, at least you wrote them haha!!

    I definitely took way too much crap into hospital with me, and totally not realised that post c-sec I wouldn’t be able to have a proper shower for days yuk!!!!

  24. amy skinner
    18/07/2014 / 9:28 AM

    Pack it once, make a list of what is in there, n leave it alone. I was nervous so I kept re packing, in the end it got all confusing. Plus, it’s not the end of the world if you forget something, someone will get it for you

  25. 17/07/2014 / 10:15 PM

    Aww love this and remember making my maternity lists like it was yesterday! I took all the crap they have on the lists and used hardly any of it! I too took a small suitcase as I was induced so needed more than normal. Completely agree, ear plugs all the way, mine were my life saver and my iPod for when silence was too much to bear. Also take some normal sanitary towels in your hospital bag, not everyone needs the house brick maternity pads and if you don’t need them you’ll be glad for normal ones. X

  26. 17/07/2014 / 10:04 PM

    Whoop love a compo! I am list obsessed, they are everywhere! To be honest I brought so much stuff to the hospital with F, that with S I brought hardly anything- on my list would be baby oil (for massaging), lots of snacks/food (hospital food is grim) and your phone/camera charger x

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