The secret to Calm and Confident Parenting. An official Gina Ford website

How Gina Ford's routines inspired me to launch my baby business

by Karen Snyder owner of

When I was pregnant with our first child I collected many pregnancy magazines to prepare ourselves for our new arrival. My maternity leave began and the organising and planning kicked in. I excitedly laid out the magazines and spent my first week putting together what was to become known as "my baby bible" and a few years later my own business,

This "bible" contained everything I needed for the arrival of my baby - what to take to hospital for labour and post labour for me, my baby and not forgetting my husband, and the essentials needed for starting our lives together in and out the home.

Our delightful daughter Tami bounced into the world in 2003 and thanks to my "bible" I was totally prepared. However, what new parents aren't prepared for is the shock of how quickly your life changes. We had been married for 2 years when I fell pregnant and boy did we have a fantastic couple years! Meeting after work for impromptu dinners, relaxing holidays and glorious weekends spent sleeping in, long lunches and nights out!

That all changed with the arrival of Tami, she was our priority now and we welcomed this new addition. But soon the novelty of interrupted sleep, breastfeeding and lack of order began to exhaust us! I suddenly remembered an old friend telling me about a book that became her baby bible, Gina Ford's Contented Little Baby. I sent my husband out that day to buy the book and excitedly read it. The Contented Baby and I were a match made in heaven. I love order, planning and routines and Gina Ford's book provided me with this. I used Gina's routines with my 3 children and it enabled us to have calm and contented babies (as for the ensuing years, well that's another story!).

As we were preparing for our second child Coby's arrival, I started thinking about the importance of planning for a family and as my friends panicked and prepared for the arrival of their babies, I dusted off the boxes from Tami's birth and found "my baby bible". The Contented Baby is a worldwide success but still parents are panicking about what to pack in their hospitalbag and I decided to use my experience by turning my "baby bible" into a business and I launched in May 2012.

I wanted to offer pregnant women the opportunity to take the stress away by creating a pre-packed hospital bag for both mummy and baby that can be bought at the touch of a button. The aim of myHospitalBag is to make your 48 hour stay in hospital more comfortable. The bag contains 35 branded items including a toilet bag with: miniature shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, lipsalve, hairbands, shower cap, toothbrush, toothpaste and lipsalve. The bag also includes comfortable knickers, maternity sanitary towels, breastpads, facial wipes and antibacterial hand gel, along with flip flops, bed socks, a laundry bag, water fan and a pocket pad and pen. To help aid recovery there is a small bottle of Arnica pills which help bruising and discomfort after birth.

This stylish bag is not just for mums. I have included essential items for the newborn such as babygrows, vests, hats, mitts and muslin squares all in neutral white, newborn nappies, nappy bags, wipes, cotton wool, disposable changing mat and Sudocrem. The bag is even big enough to ensure that you have space to add a few home comforts and comes in 10 different colours. This year I introduced a Luxury Hospitag Bag with an extendable, pull along handle. The bag also contains the fantastic DiaryDoll pants (created by Carol Smillie & Annabel Croft). is the perfect gift for any pregnant friend, wife, family member, colleague or yourself. At £85 including delivery, it is cheaper and more convenient than buying the items separately. Armed with myHospitalBag and a copy of The Contented Baby book you can't go wrong! - created by a mum for a mum!

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