Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Newborn Baby Must-Haves

Since my sister in law is due in the next couple of months, I have baby on the brain.  Not that I want to add to our own zoo, but just excited for her and her husband.  And really ready to spoil our nephew.  Mickey Mouse hats, little blue jumpers, and cute sneakers are in his near future.

With three little kiddos in our brood, my days waffle between lots of fun and sheer chaos.  In one day I can go from my highest heights to my deepest lows.  It's one adventure to the next.

With that said, I wanted to share just a few things that saved my husband and I's sanity in those newborn days with our little ones:

*Baby Carrier: Ideally, the Ergo is so comfortable and well-worth the investment.  But just make sure you try it out and see how the carrier fits your body.  In the beginning, I used a very basic carrier and it worked great.  Just make sure your back is carrying the weight and not your shoulders.

*Swing: A good swing can be a lifesaver.  It's a great napping spot as well as a nice spot for baby to sit and play while you get a few things done.

*Swaddle Blankets: Another lifesaver for us.  I swaddled my littles till they were too big to wiggle out of it.  It just brought my babies so much comfort to be swaddled tight.  And swaddling blankets are thinner and longer to get that extra tight wrap.  If you're not sure how to swaddle, ask your nurses before you leave the hospital.  They're experts!

*Sleep Gowns: I wasn't sure about them at first, but for nighttime changes, they were fantastic.  The bottom is usually like a nightgown with elastic and some will even snap into a jumper.  Night time changes are a lot easier with gowns.  Try them, you'll be amazed!

*Car Seat:  Duh!  With baby #3, we're started using a convertible car seat and within days, we went back to the baby carrier car seat.   It's just easier till the baby can hold its head.

*Diapers and Wipes:  Another duh!  But will you use disposables, cloth, or a mix...

*Pack and Play:  This is not an essential, but it is nice.  It's really nice for traveling or doing nap time at a friend's house.  Basic is fine.

*Rocking Seat:  Just like a swing, a bouncer or rocking seat is great for mom to get a few things done.  But it's also a lot more portable than the swing.  I've put my babies in the bathroom to steam when they've been sick or moved them into the kitchen so they can see and talk with mommy more.  And it's super portable for a trip to Grandma's.

*Nursing Pads:  If you're nursing, this is important.  Especially if you produce a lot of milk.  I like to use as much cloth as I can, but I produced so much milk, I ended up using the Lansinoh disposable pads.  They were super absorbent.

*Nursing Ointment:  So nice, especially for first time moms.  I used Lansinoh, which doesn't need to be wiped off before nursing, but you can also use coconut oil.

*Nursing Bra: Yes, you need one.  You can lift up a regular bra, but most are too tight to give adequate freedom.  Nursing bras are expensive, but worth the investment.

*Oxyclean:  I love this stuff.  My first son spit up so much; I wasn't sure the poor thing was ingesting anything.  Oxyclean took everything out.  From spit up to poop, Oxyclean took care it.

*Burp clothes: We used a prefold cotton diaper that seemed to be the most absorbent option for us.  Spit up?  Yeah, nuf' said.

*Sound Machine: With my first two we just used a box fan for white noise.  But baby #3 threw us for a loop.  We started using a sound machine when he was 5 months old and we love it.  We still use the white noise the most, but there's several options to find what works best for your baby.

*Monitor: This isn't a necessity for us in our smaller house, but using the back yard or traveling, it's really nice to have a monitor in case you don't hear the baby.

*Baby book: So maybe this is only a necessity for me, but there's no way I'll remember all those little milestones without a baby book.  And I love preserving those memories for them.

*Nursery furniture: Crib, dresser, rocker,  ... just the basics... and the crib can actually wait if you have a pack and play.  But we found our babies slept better when they had their own space.

*Batteries: Remember that swing, bouncy seat, monitor, and sound machine?  Keep extra batteries on hand so you don't have to run to Wal-mart at 2am.

Nice to have:
*Pump:  I borrowed a pump from a friend and it was convenient.  My kids never ended up taking a bottle, but it was nice to try and have the option.  If you need a pump, go to the big ones.  They are worth the money.  Borrow, buy second hand, go in with a friend,... but if you're going back to work, get one!

*Boppy:  Especially for first time moms, this is so nice to have around.  And since I struggled with lots of infections with my first, I was able to get into new nursing positions with the support of a boppy.

*Velcro swaddler:  Baby #3 was a hard one to train for sleeping.  He was swaddled till he was almost a year.  And finding swaddler for a baby that size is really hard.  These velcro swaddlers saved my life.

*What to Expect the First Year:  This was great book for giving moms a view of baby's first year, month by month.  It gives moms lots of ideas and reference for everything baby.

*Babywise:  A great book for sleep training and developing routine.  We used this system (with flexibilty) to help all three kids sleep.

What worked for you in those early days?
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