Welcome to the Baby Bag Diaries. A series where we share real stories from real mums exploring the transformational journey into motherhood, shining a spotlight on their favourite products and the pieces of advice they wish they had before having a baby. 

Mother, B&E customer and founder of Furbaby, Shari Lovreta is one of those women who is a force to be reckoned with. In this humour filled interview, she talks to us about how she balances it all, how Covid forced her to slow down and how her son’s smile can fix anything. She also spills on her must-have baby products that have made her life easier. 

Tell us about yourself? When did you become a mama, how many babies do you have? If you are on mat leave, have a job/business or care full time for the kids please share that too.

I’m what is technically referred to as a geriatric mum, haha. Not that I feel like old, well… I didn’t before I had Blake, I do now though. I had Blake, my first and only bub when I was 37. Before that I was pretty career focused, but Covid slowed down the business a lot and in some way it was a huge blessing in disguise as I am now able to focus on my beautiful family. I now work from home when I can, but generally am a SAHM and I love it. 


Who were you before you became a mum? (Tell us about your lifestyle, job, career, passions, travels, hobbies etc).

Back in 2014 I started Australia’s first dog café, FurBaby, in Perth Western Australia. It was the first of its kind, with a café for humans, a ‘barkery’ for dogs, a specialised boutique for pets, a groom and pamper salon and a doggy daycare. It pretty much occupied my entire life, and I love it. Then, Covid hit and I had to shut down the café, barkery and boutique. Whilst it was devastating at the time, it was the best thing to ever happen to me. I was able to slow down for the first time in a long time, and reevaluate what is important to me, and that certainly isn’t work. 


Are you still that person? How has motherhood inspired or changed you? Any light bulb moments?

Am I still that person, yeah. I love FurBaby and still get to work with gorgeous dogs all day in the groom and pamper salon and daycare. But, it is no longer my first concern and passion. Blake is. And, I love that even more. Blake spends a lot of time with me at work with the puppies. I think being a mum has taught me not to sweat the small stuff and to stop and enjoy life’s precious moments, as there certainly are a lot of them.


Tell us what you thought motherhood would be like before you became a mother?

Sounds so cliché, but I didn’t think it would be so magical. Look, don’t get me wrong, it's a lot of hard work. But, a big smile from Blake fixes a sleepless night. I don’t think I really had any expectations though, I didn’t know what I was getting myself in for. At 37 though, I had spent many years doing what I wanted, now I am completely ready to stop and just be there for my family. I’m really lucky in that regard, that I was able to live my life and experience so much, ready and content now to settle down. 


What’s in your baby bag right now?

Ohh hold on, let me have a look…

    • B&E Nappy Change Clutch – Most important, I can’t leave the house without it, it is packed with nappies, wipes, nappy bags, the little green cream sati-soothe & a baby bum brush
    • Panadol – Can’t leave house without it
    • Baby Wipes
    • Toys – ohhmygoodness so many toys
    • Muslin Wrap (amazing how many times that comes in use)
    • Spare Set of Clothes
    • Snack Box & Water Bottle
    • And, my purse

Designated baby bag, nappy bag backpack or your handbag with baby things packed in it. What’s your style?

Handbag with things packed in. 


Let’s talk looking effortlessly chic even after having a baby. We know this is an area that many women including ourselves find challenging, dressing our new postpartum bodies and reconciling our personal style with motherhood. Do you have any advice for new mums? 

Haha.. yeah I don’t think I have anything enlightening to share about this topic. I was only crying to mum today that I am sick of looking like sh*t. 


Baby shower or baby blessing? Did you have either one of these? Tell us about it! 

It was huge, I think we had about 100 people at home. Grand it was!


Sometimes as mums we come across the trifecta of baby products – items that are gorgeous, functional and make your life easier! What are some of your “best kept secret” baby products you’ve discovered? 

Ohh I can’t remember what I got from where, so I’ll list my favourite things:

  • B&E Nappy Change Clutch – by far best product, I talk about it to everyone, my and my partner both have one just in case we take different cars we don’t leave home without it
  • Skip Hop Cry-Activated Soother Terra – It was the only night light/voice activated sound machine that is battery powered, there is nothing worse than running out of batteries in the middle of the night
  • Riff Raff – Comforter, life saver with the white noise, when Blake was a newborn would sleep anywhere with it. Now he couldn’t care less for it. But lifesaver in the early months
  • We have a playpen set up in our lounge (that we call Baby Jail) that’s the best thing ever. It keeps Blake safe away from the dogs
  • Mellow Mats – We have one under the baby jail and one in Blake’s toy room. One he saves him hurting himself when he falls, but saves our backs when we are on the floor for soo long.
  • Baby Bum Brush – I know it sounds stupid, but we haven’t ever had nappy rash, and I think it’s because we apply nappy cream with a sterile spatula. That, and when you have acrylic nails, it makes it a lot easier.
  • NailSnail – Baby nappy clipper, makes little nail cutting a lot easier.


What advice would you give to a first-time mum shopping for all the baby stuff? How do you wade through all the noise and know what you truly need?

Biggest advice, start your baby wish list (I used an app called Babylist) yes it is good for guests to use at the baby shower. But, I found it beneficial to do all my homework and start the biggest wish list. I put down everything I wanted not worrying about price, just what I thought I needed or wanted. Then, I waited until Blake was actually born to see what we actually needed. And, let me tell you, there were a lot of things that I put on my wish list that I never got. Because, babies actually don’t need that much. There is just a lot of hype of what you get told you need, but you don’t need much at all.


Hospital bag saviours – was there something that you wish you didn’t pack but wish you had?

Disposable underwear! Do not bother with maternity pads. What a waste of time.

Bring your own muslin wraps and blankets, the hospital ones were a lot smaller than what I had at home and it made swaddling a lot harder. Big drink bottle is a must. 


If you could go back to a pregnant you and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

Trust the medical system, don’t have a baby birthing plan. Plan for a safe delivery no matter what that looks like.


What kind of mum are you now – can you describe your parenting style in three words?

I don’t know… let me ask my partner: Caring, Awesome and a bit Annoyingly Obsessed. Not what I would have said, but hey lol


What is the best lesson motherhood has taught you?

Just to slow down and enjoy the moment. Everyone says they grow up so quickly, and they are not bloody wrong. There’s one day's difference between not saying a word and screaming mumma when I walk in the room. It’s the best, but you blink and you miss it. I try to put down devices and just be present. It’s so hard in this day and age, especially when there’s work demands, but at the end of the day I know he is only going to be little once. I love watching him grow and playing games and just being with Blake. Nothing is more important than that.


Any final advice or words of wisdom for pregnant or new mums reading this?

Don’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect. You’re not, and that is soo OK. As much as your baby learns how to be human every day, you learn how to mum every day too. It’s a journey that you take together and it’s ok to stumble, it doesn’t make you a bad mum. Just try your best and try to laugh when poo gets everywhere, and trust me, it gets absolutely everywhere!

March 29, 2023 — Julie Rout