Sunday, December 4, 2011

Life with a Baby: First Month Must Haves

Today marks the official one-month mark since Piper's grand entrance into the world. To say we're still getting the hang of this parenting thing is an understatement, but each day we get a little more experienced (or at least less frighteningly naive). So no, we are by no means any type of experts, but we have learned a lot in the last 30 days.

When preparing for Piper's arrival, we tried to not go crazy with the baby gear, and reigned in our registry as much as possible. But babies still amass a lot of gear, no matter what you do. For newbies like us, it's hard to determine what's worth the hype, and what's a waste of money and space. And of course, there is some truth to the idea that all you need to raise a baby are some diapers and boobs. But aside from the true bare necessities, there are a few items that after my short month as a mom, I personally deem "must haves". Half for posterity, and half to help any of you that are about to embark on the parenthood journey for the first time, I've recorded some of our MVP's (most-valuable products). It's by no means an exhaustive list, there are certainly many more things that we use (and love) on a day-to-day basis, but so far, we've found a few favorites that I wouldn't want to do without. (Official disclaimer: Everyone's experience, and baby, and body, etc and so on, are different, so while this list got us through our first month, you might hate it all.) Check it:

For Baby
Clockwise from top left:
  1. Vibrating pack and play- We've been getting up 2-3 times each night, so having Piper in our room saves us a few bleary eyed steps each time (and having her close makes me sleep easier as I can monitor her little snuffles without worrying about cryptic noises through the baby monitor). And the vibrating feature on the basinet is awesome. It soothes her, and we've found can occasionally be used as a "snooze button" of sorts to trick her into five more minutes of sleep. (don't judge).
  2. Disposable changing covers- You know what's really fun? Having Piper poop as I'm changing her diaper. I mean, we're talking three times a week fun. She just loves it. These little sheets save us from washing the cloth cover every time she gets the urge to go (over and over again).
  3. Miracle blanket- They call it that for a reason. It may not be an actual life-saver, but our little snuggler loves a swaddle, and this is the only one we found that she can't weasel her way out of.
  4. snug a bunny chair- It makes the baby look like she has bunny ears. Done.
  5. Sleep sacks- These are Piper's nightly uniform...she has at least 8, and we go occasionally go through a couple in a night (see must have #2). Not having to wrestle with snaps or tiny little footies is priceless when you're changing several diapers a night- usually with the lights off, and sometimes with your eyes shut.
  6. Diaper rash stick- We got this because it's safe for cloth diapers (vs. traditional creams) and it works great. (Dustin swears it's just a giant version of climb-on...which wouldn't really surprise me. That stuff is crazy good.)
But it's not alllll about the baby. I've found a few must-haves for myself too.

For Mom
Clockwise from top left:
  1. Nursing pads- Ok, I actually pretty much hate these, BUT they do get the job done (and by job, I mean protecting my clothes from the never ending milk buffet I'm serving these days. Isn't motherhood fun?)
  2. Flax seed- no one warned me to up my fiber intake after giving birth...but it turns out it's necessary to you know...move things along. Allow me to warn you. Sprinkle this on pretty much doesn't taste like much, but even if it was terrible, it'd be worth it!
  3. Nursing tanks- I bought a bunch of sports bra type pieces, and a few tanks as well (underwires are a no-no at this stage of the game) but I didn't love any of them. They were shapeless and sloppy, and lumpy and dumpy (or was that me?) But these are great- they're form fitting, without being excessively tight, they're long enough to actually cover your body, and the best part- they have a bit of padding in the cups for some extra coverage and camouflage (you know, for those lame nursing pads you have to wear).
  4. Plastic cup- This thing is my constant companion. You wouldn't believe how thirsty I can get these days, and with all the pills I have to pop, it's helpful to have a drink handy at all times.
  5. iPhone-How? HOW? did people survive without iphones? I am totally that person now- the one that's obsessed with her phone, but when you're tied to a baby for multiple hours a day, the iphone is your saving grace. I have constant access to email and texting, which helps me not feel isolated, and apps like facebook and pinterest help keep me awake during 4AM feedings. Oh- and without babybix to track Piper's daily activities (i.e. meals and bathroom habits) I'd have pretty much no clue about anything.
  6. heating pad- This was as close to a lifesaver as it gets. I have a traditional electric heating pad as well (which I used nightly too) but this little guy can be heated up in the microwave, and forms nicely to your body.
  7. Elastic waist pants- I was lucky enough to lose a lot of the baby weight quickly (perhaps the only perk of delivering a moose of a baby...) but even if you're in that same camp, don't kid yourself, you will not want to wear jeans. And I've found that sweatpants (or their slightly more modern cousin- the yoga pant) can crush your spirit after a while. I had two pairs of slouchy cargos from aerie that I wore before I was pregnant, all the way through my pregnancy, and even home from the hosipital. They're just as comfortable as sweats, but make you look put together without any effort-the very definition of must-have for a new mom.
But I would be remiss if I didn't share the one thing I couldn't do without:

Honestly. I'd be lost without Dustin. If I could somehow clone him for all new moms to put on their registry I would. He has taken care of me in a way that I never expected I would need, and I can truly say I don't know what I would do without him. He adores his daughter and puts the needs of his two girls above and beyond anything else. In the past month he has taught me (again) what it means to have a servant's heart, and continues to show me what it is to love someone whole heartedly. And that is a must have.

1 comment :

  1. I love your list! I agree those swaddlers are a LIFE saver. I hope this next one is a swaddler. I'm pretty sure our Max was swaddled for the first 4 months of his life. Only way he'd sleep, little stinker (and he was HUGE, too).
    And I lived in nursing cami's (and eventually just regular ones with the pads popped in there) during the day and NIGHT! I hate sleeping with a bra on at night and it's just as easy, in my opinion to pull down a strap and get to work. Oh joy... so much to look forward to very soon!!!

    I used your list as a springboard to start mine... so thanks for kicking my butt.