Friday, August 22, 2014

The 10 Baby Items You Probably Aren’t Using That Can Save Your Life (newborn edition)

When I was pregnant, I was bombarded with everyone’s recommendations of items that made their lives a while lot easier with a newborn. Many of them my hubs scoffed at. He said over and over, “it’s a waste of money. You will use in only a handful of times.” Some things he was rights about, but many of the things on this list were essential to helping me keep my sanity the first couple of weeks with baby P.

1.       Sound Machine
a.       I SWEAR by my sound machine and I know a whole boat load of Momma’s that do too. When we forget to turn it on—or take it with us—sleep is a no go. I prefer one that plugs in and has batteries for travel. I also got one that does not only work on a timer so that it plays all the time. P cannot and will not sleep soundly without it.
b.      I also found that it was extremely helpful in the first few days with helping P notice the difference between night and day. During the night time the sound machine stayed on all the time. When she woke at night to eat—I kept it on so that she would get the idea that that sound meant sleep. I am a huge believer and fan in the sound machine!

2.       Zip up sleepers
a.       Yeah the button ones are cute and the zipper ones are fewer and harder to find—BUT do yourself a favor and skip the button sleepers. They just aren’t practical at 2 am in the dark with a screaming newborn. JUST—trust me on this one.

3.       The swing
a.       I have heard a lot of mommy’s say that the swing is unnecessary. In my house, with my baby—it was a GODSEND. P napped a lot in the swing the first four months of her life. Our swing is pretty heavy duty and I LOVE IT! It can go side to side or front to back—and also vibrates. I also was insistent that we got one that plugged into the wall and didn’t just run on batteries. When home girl went postal—it was the only thing that would calm her down! Don’t skip it!

4.       A baby carrier
a.       In the first few weeks home from the hospital I was insistent that P get some skin to skin time, however I still needed to be able to walk around. Hence—the moby wrap. I loved this for when she was really small. I would wrap her up and she would sleep her whole two hour nap strapped to me. I was able to make breakfast, eat, and watch TV with her. I miss those days immensely now.
b.      Now that she is bigger I have switched to a sturdier baby carrier that is an Ergo knock off. I use it when we go somewhere and I don’t want to take the stroller. I used it a lot on our beach trip this summer to carry her to and from the beach. I have also taken my dog for a walk with her strapped in it. She loves it!

5.       The Belly Bandit
a.       It’s this great contraption that helps your uterus go back to its normal size faster while at the same time helping to shrink your waist and add extra support to those stretch out tummy muscles. I used mine for about a month after P was born and my stomach looked flatter than before I got pregnant. I also found that it really helped to add support to my core muscles in those first few days when they were still sore from pushing. I wore it night and day. I felt that it was a definite confidence booster for sure!

6.       The halo sleeper
a.       This thing in AMAZING. The first time I put P in one—she slept through the night. It is this straight jacket looking thing that keeps her swaddled despite her Houdini efforts. I used swaddle blankets for a few weeks, but IF I ever have another—they will go in one of these first thing!

7.       The crib
a.       A lot of parents co sleep in the first few weeks of their baby’s life. While, I believe that this is a personal choice and it is totally up to the family—I personally think that it leads to less sleep for everyone involved.
b.      I have heard that many breastfeeding mothers co-sleep because it is just easier in the middle of the night when you are exhausted. You just lift up your shirt and BAM. While, that is nice—I just couldn’t do it. I never slept a wink when P was in the bed with me. I was constantly worried that I would roll over on her, that she was too hot—you name it. So, P slept in her bed in her room from day one. AND—I still breastfed. Yeah I had to walk across the hall in the middle of the night, but it was fine. When I was in bed I slept well and I didn’t have to go through a rough transition with P and the crib later.

8.       A musical mobile
a.       I didn’t have a mobile the first couple of weeks of P’s life, but I wished for one a lot. It would have been helpful when first teaching her to fall asleep on her own. Now, I put her in bad and crank that sucker up and she knows it’s another symbol of sleep. She loves the song that it plays and when she is away from home I hum it to get her to calm down. It works! Don’t skip this gem.

9.       The Boppy
a.       Many breastfeeding moms say it’s not necessary, and while they are probably right—I LOVED my boppy pillow. I used it when P was nursing. I used it to prop her up when she was little. She used it for tummy time, and now I place it behind her for piece of mind when she is sitting up and playing. Eventhough, she is a great sitter—I worry that she will fall back hard. So I always put it slightly behind her for a safety net. It is also great when travelling as a travel pillow for you. I used mine to sleep in the car on the way to the beach. I will probably keep it for that purpose even when P no longer uses it.

10.   A Mommy Support Group

a.       This is number one underrated thing that you NEED as a mom. You NEED other women going through the same things that you are. You need someone who is going to make you feel better about the fact that you cried in the shower or screamed into a pillow. You need someone who is going to put your mind at ease. Someone that can say, “I’ve been there.” No one else will be able to do that for you. Do yourself a favor and find one of these groups. They are the best thing that you can do for your mental health.

What things could you not live without?

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