I've only been doing this mom thing for a little over a week now, but one of the things i kept looking for when i was preggo was a good list of baby things that were really essential - and from a mom, not from babies-r-us or some other retail store telling me what all they wanted me to buy. And i never really found a good one, so maybe some of you will find this helpful, i hope, and if anything it will be a reference for me to look back on the second time around- because apparently i cant remember what day it is, let alone keep up with all this down the road. :)
1. A Fabulously Helpful Husband- seriously i'm not joking. I couldn't have made it through this week without my wonderful Matty. We opted to have family come in and stay with us after we got the hang of everything, so we could figure out this new parent stuff together on our own. I know, a scary move on my part, but it's been the most amazing week. Sure we are sleep deprived and a little loopy but i'm so glad he was able to take off work for a week and really figure it out with me. We are such a great team and i'm so thankful for his never ending helping daddy attitude and how happy is to do anything and everything. One of my favorite moments of the week is when he was changing a diaper and Max started pooping in the middle of it! He was scream "AHHH, wow kid how did that much come out of something so little!" we have had our fair share of being peed and pooped on this week.
2. A Professional Cleaning Service- One of the best things i did was research a cleaning company during pregnancy and then we called them when we got to the hospital and arranged for them to come and clean the house before we came home with Max. It was AMAZING. Coming home to a perfectly spotless house was a treat and let me totally take my mind off of anything chore related and just focus on Max. I highly recommend it.
3. the My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow, Lanolin Cream, & Hydrogel Pads- For the Breastfeeding mother these three things are essential. When we first got home from the hospital i didn't use my pillow because when i tried it in the hospital bed it just wasn't working out, well that was due to the awkward hospital bed, not the pillow, and after fighting with 4 pillows all around me on the bed every time i nursed i decided to give it another shot, and it is fabulous. It has a latch that keeps it up (unlike the boppy) and its super stable and just makes nursing so much easier. The lanolin cream is essential and the hydrogel pads are also great in preventing cracking, bleeding & any other unwanted discomfort. Ask for the hydrogel pads at the hospital- they have them, but don't really offer them so you have to ask, but ask, because they aren't cheap!
4. A Rocking Bassinet- At first i didn't really think i needed/wanted a bassinet and so i didn't register for one, but my dad and step mom surprised me with this adorable one so we of course put it in our room and decided to use it for the first month or so. Well let me tell you the most amazing thing about it is that it rocks- like a swing or glider- and so after those late night feedings all i do put him right back in, crawl into bed and lay down and with one hand push it back and forth for about 5 minutes and he falls right to sleep- and so do I. :) It's heaven.
5. A changing table, A plastic changing cover, Diaper Doo, & Butt Paste- The changing table is really nice, and you don't even need a "changing table"- i just bought a dresser and then we used velcro and attached the changing table topper pad to it, so that down the road he can just use it as a dresser. For me the biggest plus of the changing table is not having to bend over to change him- my back thanks me every diaper change. Normally it does have a cute cloth cover on it, however i've already washed it 3 times and we finally wised up and decided to put one of the plastic portable changing pads on top of the cloth cover because seriously he loves to go to the bathroom on us while we are changing him and it inevitably ends up soiling the fabric cover and goes back into the dirty laundry. When we first got home i don't think we realized when he had a wet diaper because it wasn't that much and it's clear so on Monday he had a diaper rash, talk about feeling a little bit like a bad mom, and so to clear it up a used the butt paste i had received at one of my showers. The rash was completely gone by Tuesday afternoon! Its wonder cream! and then to prevent any rashes and create a barrier between the poop and the bum i started using the diaper doo gel and it seems to be working great as well.
6. Swaddle Sack- One of my absolute favorite items we own, this fleece swaddle sack is genius! I actually registered for it just on a whim because it looked nice and then my friend Tiffany gave it to me and said she used it and it was great. Well i knew that babies loved to be swaddled and to be honest the whole swaddling situation kind of intimidated me, which as my husband pointed out is a little ironic since i work with fabric, but i just was unsure about how to make it so that the thing stayed on correctly. Anywho there is no need for a swaddling tutorial because all you do is put them in the sack, zip it up and then fold the side panels over each other and they velcro into place, its more than genius. Fast, Easy, and he falls asleep within a matter of minutes once he's in it. I just don't know what i'll do when he grows out of it! yikes!
7. The Infant Nightgowns- We are a big fan of the sleepers with the elastic at the bottom, especially since we put the swaddle sack over it. It makes it super easy for diaper changes- no snaps or zippers to worry about and they just look comfy, right?
8. Baby Timer Iphone App- When we first got home we bought a little memo book and were writing down every time he ate and it was getting a little hectic and then my friend Sam showed us this app and it has honestly changed my life. I love it. It records your diaper changes, feedings- with a timer!, sleeping and a journal for other notes which is where i record when i last took my meds. It also tells you in the stats part how many diapers he's had in the last 24 hours and how many feedings etc. so when your pediatrician asks you totally know the answer! Talk about making life easier.
9. Baby Swing- I actually didn't buy a swing but my friend Jamie was kind enough to loan me hers and as I type this our little man is sound asleep in it. I will for sure purchase one for the next baby because he really loves it, awake or asleep. We have it in the basement so i can work on the computer and Matt can play video games and he has somewhere to be. I think he also likes it because when he's awake he can watch whats going on.
10. Pack-n-Play with Changing Table- We put our pack-n-play on the main level (my house has an upstairs where the bedrooms are, a main level and then the basement) and it has been super convenient to have somewhere to place him while we are eating or watching tv, etc. Especially because he literally sleeps all the time and i'm not comfortable just putting him on the couch just in case he might roll. i guess i could just use the monitor and have him upstairs, but i like that he's with us even though he's asleep. It's also fabulous for diaper changes, the one i have has a diaper changing station on it and i love it.
For such a little guy he sure has a lot of stuff. :) A little update- we are doing great, he is such a sleeper. I have to wake him up to feed him every single feeding- day and night. I think next week (once he is 2 weeks old) i am going to transition into 7 feedings a day instead of 8, eliminating one of the middle of the night feedings. I know he's doing good health wise, even though he's always sleeping, because his diapers are very consistent and he has gained weight. We try to keep him awake during the day for the 30 minutes after he eats and he's been getting better at that- and then as soon as we swaddle him he's down for the count. My only frustration is that since he's such a sleepy baby i have a hard time keeping him awake to eat a full feeding, so we have to strip him down to his diaper for each feeding and sometimes even get a cold wash cloth to give him a little cold shock, changing his diaper in the middle of the feeding also helps.
I am pretty much following the book On Becoming BabyWise, in my opinion there are a ton of great baby method books out there but i just decided to choose one and go with it, instead of reading a bunch and becoming overwhelmed with advice. I know a lot of people who used baby wise and it worked for them so that's what we are doing as well. So far it's been going great- he's on such a good 3 hour schedule, and it's just nice to have some sort of "manual" to help say this is normal, this is good, this is bad, etc. Oh and look at the time- feeding time, again! :)