Friday, April 20, 2012

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The Must List: First Two Months

Someone very near and dear to me is expecting a baby this fall and I've been trying to pool all my mommy wisdom for her. Not that I have much because I'm still learning as I go but I figured the least I could do is give her a guide to things she must have when the baby arrives. I thought I'd share it with you and also write it down so I can remember how I survived the first two months with a new baby. Aside from clothes and diapers, here's my Must List:

Swaddlers. I remember with Cati trying to swaddle her with blankets and having her constantly break free. The minute a hand escaped the crying started. Then I remembered we had these swaddlers and my whole world changed. Not only were they easier to use than trying to figure out a blanket, but they also held Cati in. As soon as Elina was brought home these babies were put to use.

Bassinet. For the first five months of Cati's life she slept in a bassinet in our room. Elina has inherited the bassinet. With Cati the bassinet was important because I didn't want to put her in her room until she was older and with Elina the bassinet is important because I didn't want her in the same room as Cati while she was waking every 3 hours at night to feed. The one we have was actually Alex's but you can find a bassinet for every budget at places like Target and Buy Buy Baby.
Breast Pump. This is a necessity for me since I exclusively pump, but a good pump should be on any mother's must-get list. It's good for increasing milk supply, reducing engorgement or discomfort, and building a freezer stash. My recommendation is to get a pump that can simultaneously pump both breasts at the same time (I use the Medela Pump In Style). My second recommendation is to call your insurance to see if they cover the cost of the pump.

Baby K'tan. With two kids this sling has been a savior. I put Elina in the sling and still have two hands free to play with Cati. It's also a million times easier to stick Elina in the sling instead of lugging her car seat around. Added perks are that I move around a lot quicker with her in the sling and I get mini workouts when I use it (have you tried walking up stairs with a baby in a sling?).

Elle Macpherson Maternity Bra. With Cati I bought a few maternity bras and none of them fit right. They either made me boobs look bigger than they were or they made me look wider than I was. They also weren't the most comfortable bras. I found out about this bra from another blogger and I bought one bra to try it out. The bra is the most comfortable bra, it's pretty, and they actually make me feel attractive. Needless to say, I bought more. The price can be a little steep but with the comfort you get from the bra, it's well worth the price.
Graco Pack 'n Play. I know of people who use this instead of a bassinet, but if you have a two story house like I do or if you like to have a place for the baby to nap in another part of the house without moving around furniture from the bedrooms, the Pack 'n Play is the way to go. An added perk is that you can travel with it and it comes with a carrying bag.
Basket. Both girls have baskets with diapers, wipes, and cream. It's easier for me to move a basket around from room to room instead of having to come upstairs to the bedroom to change diapers. The baskets I have are baskets you can pick up from Michael's. (Note: I have never used our changing pad)
A Good Book or Movies. The first few weeks at home with a new baby are brutal. Even if you get an "easy" baby, you still need to adjust to the sleep deprivation. With Cati I would get through night feedings by watching old episodes of The Cosby Show. Watching the shows helped keep me calm when she was crying and, in a way, it made me feel less alone. With Elina, I did the same but I also read books. Read a book, watch a movie, watch a show, whatever you can to keep your mind clear and calm while up in middle of the night during feedings. For a book I recommend The Hunger Games trilogy and for a show I recommend Psych (this show made me laugh when I was in my darkest moments...that's how I knew I would be ok).

That's all I have for now. What's on your must list?


Christina @ This Woman Cooks! said...

This is a great list. I'm expecting my first this summer and I love reading posts like this. I've registered for almost all of these items and I'm going to check out the maternity bras. Did you read and watch TV during late night feedings?

Stephanie said...

That's exactly what I TV or read a book during feedings. It helps so much!

Alexandria said...

My must have is a car seat/carrier, either as part of a travel system or something that although purchased separately can snap into a stroller. If you baby is a bad sleeper, you will want to keep that baby asleep when transferring him/her from the car to home.

Desi said...

Thanks for writing this list! This will for sure be my go-to place for tips when I have kids ones day :)