The Start Ready Project was one of the very first things I sat down and thought about for Baby Godiva. I thought very hard about the absolute bare necessities that are needed when you have a baby.
- Safe Sleeping Space – a Moses basket and stand. Sheets, three of them as we all know babies tend to leak from both ends. Blankets, again – three for the same reason.
- Clean Baby – bath (or top and tail bowl). I personally used both and even popped my little ones in the kitchen sink but if we had them, we could supply them. Hooded towels or towels – two because I had gotten my boys out of the bath on more than one occasion to have them immediately pee on their towel!
- Toiletries – having the full range of lotions and potions keeps baby clean and mum feeling secure that she has everything she might need.
- Maternity toiletries – now, forgive me, but mum needs some help in the “clean” department too. Babies are not the only ones that leak in the early days! Maternity pads, breast pads and some small toiletries for the hospital bag may be vitally important and something mum has overlooked in her preparations for baby’s arrival. We put these in every Start Ready Kit to let mum know that we have thought about her too.
- Clean bum – nappies and wipes, at least two packs of wipes for each pack of nappies…we all know why! I am not a massive fan of using nappy sacks but, if we have them, we supply them.
- Clothing – now, people may buy you a cute outfit when you have a baby, and these are always appreciated but, babies have a tendency to leak. Being able to afford three changes of outfits or vests a day to get between wash loads is a serious investment. I knew that baby clothes usually come “second hand” by the black bag full (I have experience in this from having my own children) so I decided clothing kits were a necessity. At least 10 Baby grows, 10 vests, a few outfits, cardigans, hats and scratch mitts. Socks! OMG where do baby socks go?! A pram suit and any little accessories we may have in – cute headbands for little girls, if that is your thing, soft baby shoes etc. It all comes in a very useful cardboard box and hopefully gives mum a hope of not having to do a baby wash load every day.
- Travel – getting to places of necessity or fun is important for baby’s development and mum’s mental health. We fully safety check the travel systems and pushchairs we receive to make sure they are all tickety boo.
- Feeding – milk delivery in whatever method is important. Bottle or breast fed, we don’t mind. Fed is best. Bottles, steriliser, bottle warmer, formula milk and any accessories we may have in stock such as mini powder tubs or an insulated bag for being out and about. Or, breast feeding pillows, breast pumps, milk storage bags and additional breast pads. We are mum’s of both feeding methods so have a good idea of what is useful in both circumstances.
- Safe Space – putting baby down is important for baby and mum. A safe space to pop baby down, either a play mat or a baby bouncer to promote good muscle development and gives mum a little break.
And a lovey, just because!
All in all, it comprises around 30 items and, if one were to do the second-hand calculations, it equates to around £300 of donations (new would be easily two or three times that!). We are truly blessed to be able to give that instant support to mums-to-be and it is one of the most positively talked about services that we provide. Although the grumbles of Welfare Professionals that turn up in small cars to collect a full kit still make me giggle! 😊
One Welfare Professional described our service as one of the most thoughtful and powerful assisting families in need in Coventry and Warwickshire. When I posted that same compliment on our Facebook page, it was met with many, many comments echoing the sentiment. I am thoroughly proud that Baby Godiva is thought of like that – I have tried very hard to ensure that these families know respect and dignity in what we provide and hope they know they are thought of kindly and never judged!