Here’s the scene, your sweet bundle of joy has arrived, healthy, with ten fingers, ten toes and virtually in your eyes is the precise definition of perfection. Between all the doctors and nurses and visitors at the hospital there isn’t much time to think or consider anything for the first day or two, and by the time there is you’re home with your new little human who is expecting you to love, and cherish and nurture them…now what??
Sitting on the couch that first day when we got little man home all I could do was stare at him in complete wonder, and complete fear.
It was then that I realized that I sincerely, entirely had no idea what the hell I was doing, or where to even start.
So here it is folks, my somewhat choppy list of items I feel we couldn’t have survived without for the first 3 months…because let’s face it, having a new baby is hard enough without having some stuff to make it a little easier.
1. Hands Free Pumping Bra:
Nursing is hard. Start and end. In the beginning you nurse so often you feel like you are never going to do anything but nurse ever again. And then there’s the growth spurts….the fussy nursing is enough to drive even the calmest person to a snapping point. Then we get into pumping, because let’s face it as much as you love your precious brand spanking new smush smush you are dieing for some adult time, to see a movie or to have a nice dinner with your understanding but neglected husband. But you can’t leave baby anywhere without a milk supply. Then going back to work looms over your head, and the pumping bonanza begins. And man, does pumping feel like a chore. When you aren’t nursing or pumping you’re obsessively counting how much milk you have in the freezer and doubting your milk supply. It takes forever to pump because you have to do one boob at a time, or baby starts fussing as soon as you get situated. Enter the hands free nursing bra…it’s a game changer. You get to pump both sides at the same time, decreasing the amount of time you spend pumping. It also leaves you able to do something other then pump, such as read or play a game. For me, I had a lot of issues getting my milk to come out while pumping. Pumping both sides at the same time has been the only thing that has helped.
(Please note that through the entirety of this post, what works for me isn’t guaranteed to work for you.)
2. Snacks and Meals:
Okay…I know…this one is more for Mom and Dad then baby…but we count too right? Honestly my parent’s being around to help the first week was a lifesaver, they cooked and cleaned and loved on us. I have no idea how we would have made it through with out them, especially with my emotions out of wack, recovering and zero sleep. My mom made us home cooked meals pretty much every night, there is no amount of money in this world that can replicate that. On that note, my suggestion is having easy to eat items on hand, and food items that are at least semi healthy that you can eat one handed. There were plenty of times after my parent’s left that I found it impossible to feed myself between nursing and/or dealing with a fussy baby who wanted to be held all the time. Then my milk supply would dip and tears of frustration would ensue from both myself and the kid, sometimes at the same time. So, it may be for Mom and Dad, but ultimately what’s good for Mom and Dad is good for baby too.
3. Gas medicine:
We have used Mylicon . Please be sure to clear any and all medicines or the like with your Doctor before hand. It is better safe then sorry so if you aren’t sure if something’s ok, just ask anyway. We did get the OK from our Doctor because little man was pretty fussy and didn’t and still doesn’t burp very well.I still don’t drink solid amounts of dairy because it has seemed to irritate his tummy. This has been a lifesaver and usually right after giving it to him he let’s out some impressive gas or goes number 2.
If you are apprehensive about the possible chemicallyness (is that even a word though?)
you could always start with gripe water. I did start with that and it didn’t really seem to have an impact on him. He also got hiccups every day, which sounds cute…but it wasn’t because when you’ve spent 20 minutes trying to get a gassy baby to sleep only to have them wake themselves up from hiccups and have to start all over again you just want to cry, or scream..or rip your hair out, and then you stand there considering why you can’t do all 3. If you are interested in Gas medicine and have gotten the go ahead from your Doctor you can find some here: gas be gone!
4. Baby Swing:
There was a time when all little man wanted was to be in his car seat and have us swing it (obviously not all crazy Tarzan style) or he would scream like he was at the top of the Empire State building needing to get mama’s attention all the way at the bottom.
So…Nana bought him a swing, and MAN did this make a difference. In fact I remember being sick (which really ended up being a clogged milk duct) and sitting in front of the swing, the only other thing he would tolerate beside being held, and hoping he would go to sleep, he did. And Mama got an hour of sleep. Hallelujah. The things you will do in order to get sleep when you have a baby….like…swearing to never eat another Twinkie in your lifetime again if he will just close his eyes and sleep for 20 minutes. I call this the sleep bargaining stage.
He doesn’t really tolerate this anymore, now that he is more active he arches his back until his little butt is almost out of the seat. But I will take what I can get, and it bought precious hours for a couple of weeks.
I admit that this one probably seems silly, you are probably seeing it and thinking…well..duh. But I tried really hard to compose this list with items that I found I didn’t realize I’d need or that I didn’t know would help save our sanity at times.
This is a combination and here’s why.
You need an assortment of blankets, thin gauzy blankets, solid medium like blankets, fuzzy blankets, blankets for the blankets…just kidding.
But seriously between baby spitting up, and peeing, diaper blowouts and plain dirtiness you are going to want a good amount of blankets on hand if not just because you don’t want to have to do laundry every single day. Not to mention a blanket that may suit a stroll outside in the stroller may not be the appropriate weight/warmth for the baby while he is inside with let’s say…the heat running.
Blankets are not a bad idea….just sayin.
6. Burp clothes:
Again, this may seem like a DUH thing…but I really had no idea and we started off with a whole whopping zero.
Between spit up and drool…oh god…so…much…drool, you are really going to want some of these, even if you just buy a big pack of cloth diapers and use those. And like above, you are going to want a lot…because let’s face it, no one has time to wash a couple burp cloths every single day. And if your interested in seeing the pack of cloth diapers turned burp cloths here’s the link:
7. Baby carrier, Bjorn and or Ergobaby for example:
He doesn’t tolerate being put in this so much anymore, but there was a good solid 3 weeks that he was put in it pretty much always and not only was he put in it, but it was all that made him happy. He wanted to be held at all times or he cried. When you are stuck on the couch all day holding a baby you become very desperate to even be able to do a load of dishes or throw in some laundry or just some pajamas since the pair you’ve been living in for the past month has spit up all over it and is about to start growing mold. Or…you could just keep buying new ones:Non-Moldy Pajamas
hey…I’m not here to judge.
There was a solid time frame of the Bjorn being crucial to the point that not only did we take it everywhere but one time we forgot it so we went back home to get it.
On that note the Ergobaby and Bjorn are not the only baby carriers you can get, they are just the two we have utilized, the Bjorn is simple and easy to strap on, it does the job quick and dirty and I honestly really like the simplicity, but the Ergo baby, while being much harder to put on and get baby in is ten times more comfy, especially on your back. I’d recommend the Ergo baby for when you are going to be wearing baby for long periods of times and the Bjorn when you are just running into the store real quick.
Ok…bare with me, I know this is controversial for nursing mamas. There’s the whole nipple confusion ordeal for starters. Short of smush smush not latching well to my left side and biting with his little saber tooth, which caused a cracked and bleeding nipple. OUCH…and..TMI. He really didn’t have any latching issues, which is one of the concerns with binkie’s they say you really want to make sure the baby is latching properly before introducing binkies. We got the okay from our Doctor before we went ahead and gave little man a binky. I was very thankful to introduce him to them because I was ready to pull all my hair out from all the nursing. Even to this day little man’s appetite has seemed insatiable.
I usually have to trade him a binky to regain control of my boob. And I swear, we have 20 binky’s and can never find any of them. Our baby really liked the brand MAAM.
9. Pack and play with infant/newborn napper/insert:
This thing has been a lifesaver on so many levels. It’s one consolidated area for changing, storing items like diapers and back up wipes, and for sleeping. We have probably used it every single day of smush smush’s life. And…it’s only going to continue to grow with him, which I think is an added bonus.
I never took to using receiving blankets and folding origami over the baby. I didn’t have the patience or attention span to learn it. My husband was really good at it so he ended up doing it until we finally bought some swaddlers like these:Summer Infant and these Halo
At 2 am, trust me, the last thing you want to do is deal with a blanket coming unswaddled. With the swaddlers sometimes it was all that would get him to not startle himself awake and start fussing. Also in the beginning my husband and I didn’t know we weren’t supposed to put a blanket on him…so…we were.And while it makes sense now as to why we cant, we didn’t know in the beginning or even think much of it. Once we realized it’s been swaddlers ever since. He has a nice fuzzy one that’s like blanket material that I call his bedtime swaddler and a couple of thinner ones I use when I’m worried the other one’s may be too warm. These really were an item we both agree full heartedly we couldn’t have survived without, which is why it made it to number 10 (which is this list’s number 1)
And on the cheesy side, the most important was the love and support of our family.