Thursday, July 31, 2014

so you have a newborn: my essentials list for baby and mom

One of my favorite things to research as I was pregnant was what every mom considered her "newborn essentials". I being obsessed with gadgetry and preparedness was curious and spent a lot of time reading people's lists and then adding things to my registry that fit my general qualifications for a baby item being worth it. It couldn't be expensive unless someone swore to me up and down that it was worth the dough (like the mamaroo and the ergo carrier), it should ideally serve two purposes, and it had to be clever in its execution or purpose. For the things that serve two purposes for example, the pack and play is good, the top becomes a bassinet you can have in your room while the baby is wee and when the baby is bigger it's a portable crib and baby jail.

spit up rags- At our Baby-Q Michelle had our friends decorate plain white cloth diapers and our friends made some very cute designs for Alice that we love seeing when we're cleaning up spit up, laying on the bed while I nurse her, and general all purpose-ness.
aden + anais swaddle blankets- I think these were on every mom's necessities list and they really are great. They're multipurpose and extra large and breathable which is great for our summer girl. We have them all around the house and Matt swaddles her in them and she likes it.
some sort of bouncy chair- we have the glorious mamaroo that does all the bouncing for you and the baby just chills in there happily but we also have a basic fisher price rocker that has gotten so much use, it's amazing and might I add that I totally called it? Matt kept saying we didn't need another one since we have the mamaroo and I said we did. We got the rocker as a registry gift and thank goodness because we move it from the living room to the bedroom at night and Miss Alice sleeps peacefully in it after we discovered that she HATES the bassinet part of the pack and play we were trying to get her to sleep in. We actually have the pack and play still set up and we put the swing in it and then she's at arm level and makes it easy to take her in and out of it. I think she likes sleeping at an angle to aid her digestion and the rocker feels more snug than a flat crib
nursing pillow- I have two. One, the mombo is double duty, one side is flat so you can nurse your baby easily and the other is soft so you can lean the baby on it for tummy time, to burp, or to lounge. I use this one in the nursery with the glider. The other one is my brest friend which was highly recommended by the lactation consultant and I'm gonna throw my hat in the ring and endorse it as well. It's just for nursing but it's really clever. It has a back support pad for mom and it snaps around you so it won't shift and move and right where the baby's head goes there's a slight elevation so she lays with her head nipple height. If you're planning on breastfeeding, get this pillow.
 a baby carrier- I also have two. I honestly haven't used them much but when I did try the moby wrap, she enjoyed being so close and I enjoyed being able to have both my hands available. The other one is mostly so Matt won't be embarrassed wearing the moby since the Ergo is more like a backpack (which is one of the ways you can carry your kid when they get old enough). She's a little too floppy headed for the Ergo but we have big plans to use it. Big! I know this whole "baby wearing" thing is all on trend and whatnot but ugh that term is stupid. People have been carrying their babies on their bodies all over the world for centuries. America, we did not invent this, we just made better tools to do it so get off your high horse and just do it.
a car seat and stroller easy snap thing/travel system- You can't leave the hospital without a car seat! I'm really happy with our stroller and car seat thing. We have the Britax B-Agile travel system. The fact that you can just snap her out of the car seat and onto the stroller without waking her is amazing and the ease of snapping her back into the car by just clicking it in: genius. When they're teeny they hang in the car seat that snaps easily onto the top part of the stroller and once they get bigger they will go in just the stroller part. I HATE how 90% of strollers look and this one is all mod and very light. I chose the all black because Matt would be pushing her around in it and want him to stylin' like the cool dad he is.
pacifiers- Oh yeah, I gave in. It wasn't as if I had anything against them but I resisted for awhile because we wanted to establish breastfeeding. I think it's safe to say we're getting the hang of it and she's going back and forth between paci and boob no problem. It keeps her quiet when we're trying to get some much needed sleep or when we're out and I can't nurse just yet and for that, I'd just about do anything. Matt is a big fan since it means he can help soothe her while I get much needed rest. We're using the Mam ones but we also have a WubbaNub to help out.
double electric pump- I don't know if you moms know this but a breast pump is covered by your insurance. I KNOW! I chose the Medela one even though I had other options because it's the most popular brand and knew the accessories were readily available at Target. I'm glad I did because the few days in the hospital they wanted me to pump since Miss Alice lost a little more weight than they wanted (she was fine BTW) and they used the Medela hospital grade one and they let us keep the extra pieces for it! When I go back to work I'm planning on leaving a hearty stash for Matt to feed our daughter but right now it's helping me out because I have one boob that particularly fills up and it comes at Alice so fast that I'm getting in the habit of pumping that side for a few minutes to alleviate the rush and she takes that side much better now. It also helps when she's sleeping for that extra hour and I'm so full and heavy that I can just let out the milk a little and let her keep sleeping and I feel much better. We stash the milk in the fridge and then if we never have to resort to the bottle after a few days, I put it in a freezer bag and watch our stash grow.

snap PJs- They're also known as 'sleep n plays' or footed one pieces and there's various combos but my favorite are the ones that cover the feet and have snaps or a zipper. We've learned that Miss Alice likes to soothe herself with sucking on her hand or thumb (yay!) so we make sure her hands are always accessible to her and keep her little tiny feet warm with these. We only had 0-3 sized ones and they were a smidge too big on her so we got a few newborn sized ones to rotate for the next few weeks. I think we go through two of these a night due to spit up and pee/poop situations. 
As far as other clothing I mean, to each their own. I just put whatever people got her on her and try to dress her up in "outfits" when we have guests coming over that way we use up all the clothing we've been gifted before she outgrows it. 

FOR THE NURSERY (aside from the obvious things)
a digital clock/sound machine- We actually have an old iPod loaded with a white noise cd on it that we can just put on loop to help Alice sleep and it has a big digital clock face on it which is super helpful when I'm sitting there timing how long she's been nursing on each side (which is something you do in the beginning to make sure she's eating and pooping enough). Plus we have a little playlist of songs we like on it so we can play music in there during the day.

a comfortable glider chair- I LOVE my chair and ottoman. I nurse my baby in it for hours, I rock her to sleep in it, hang out in it while she's falling asleep, and I sleep in it. It's the perfect height for laying in and the arms are the perfect height for resting your arms that probably have a baby in them.

a fan- A ceiling fan and a dimmer has been really helpful for us. The fan is very refreshing while I'm sitting there nursing and schvitzing. Also, thank heaven we installed the Nest system before we had this babe because I can sit there and control the air conditioning system from my phone without breaking Alice's latch.

waterproof changing pad liner- Boy has this thing saved our bacon. We'd have had to wash that changing pad cover about 10 times already but thanks to these guys we just swap them out when Alice decides that she wants to pee on us while we're changing her or spits up on them. We bought 3 and we bought 3 more. Definitely get them.
side table nursing station- The side table next to the glider is loaded with supplies like chapstick, snacks,  nipple balm, and is a surface for my water bottle, iPad, and magazines.

FOR MOM (nursing particulars highlighted in pink)
an insulated water bottle- You have no idea how hot and sweaty you get while nursing. Your hormones really do a number on you so keep some nice icy water nearby that actually stays cold for hours.
nursing camisoles- I have four of them and actually thinking about getting more. They're incredibly comfy and it's so easy to feed your baby you just unsnap and pop baby on boob. I haven't set foot outside of my house for the past week and since I left the hospital I've been rotating these four shirts the entire time.
nursing sleep bra- I labored my entire time in this bra, was wearing it during the surgery, and wore it when I nursed Alice for the first time and during most of my recovery in the hospital. It's like a comfy sports bra but with the bonus of easy boob access. They recommend you wear a bra to bed for support and this one definitely fits the bill.
yoga pants with the band that goes up- Again, comfort and support.
non-glamorous items- snacks at the ready everywhere, pre-natal vitamins, maxi pads/panti-liners

to help with pooping- prune juice, milk of magnesia, stool softeners: to get things going. medicated wipes/tuck wipes, preparation H: once things get going its gonna be a little painful, have these nearby.

breastfeeding supplies- nipple balm, disposable nursing pads

comfortable flip flops- ain't nobody got time for socks in the summer! 

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