Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mommy Essentials: The List

As a first time mom to my son (now 4 months) I have learned quite a bit in a short time.  I have more than a handful of nieces, nephews and friends with babies, but when I was pregnant, I wasn't quite sure what I would really need to purchase before his arrival.  The registry lists are out there, but they seemed so long and overwhelming.  Besides, would all of that equipment and extra bedding really fit in our two bedroom home?

Now that I've survived the initial newborn stage and the next round of pregnancies and babies are arriving amongst our friends and families, I felt compelled to make my personal list of favorite, couldn't live without, life saver items.

Here we go:

5. Keurig Brewer - I received my Keurig coffee maker a couple of years ago as a Christmas gift and, at the time, thought it was just a cool little kitchen novelty.  Once the little one arrived, it became a morning routine essential.  It was so mindless and quick - no waiting for a kettle to boil water, nothing to measure, in other words, perfection!  I love my K-cups.

4. Breast Pump - I am so grateful that I had my electric breast pump.  I started pumping almost immediately at the hospital and I continued once we were home too.  Not only did it help boost my supply, but on those middle of the night feedings in the first couple of days when I could barely sit up, it was a lifesaver having the option to pass off a feeding to Daddy.  You never realize until you're there just how much difference a 4 hour stretch of sleep feels versus a 2 hour stretch.  After the first few weeks, it was also a huge convenience to be able to pack a bottle if we were heading to a busy restaurant or someplace where nursing wasn't really an option.  And sometimes, your body just needs a break.  Thank goodness for my pump.

3. iPhone - It's a sign of the times, I couldn't survive the first few weeks of motherhood without my iPhone.  Pathetic, right?  Well, I can't really think of how moms did it before the iPhone.  While I was up nursing in the middle of the night, I always made sure to have my iPhone within reach.  What did I use it for?  Well, first off I had several apps.  One was the "What to Expect - Baby" app which I used to keep track of feeding times and on which side baby had last nursed.  The other app that was an all night favorite was "Babycenter".  Each month has a special birth club with members posting messages and comments to a message board covering all of the topics you are too embarrassed to ask your friends about.

2. Carter's Sleep & Play - It's 3 am, you're exhausted, baby just ate for the fourth time that night, you're ready to put him back down to sleep and you hear it.  That sound that should gross you out, but instead makes you giggle like a third grader.  You roll your eyes and look down to see your precious baby gazing up at you and grinning with that "I feel so much better now" look.  You head to the changing table, put on a clean diaper, manage not to get peed on and it's time to put the pajamas back on.  Show me a new parent who can line up all of those snaps of the other sleepers on the first try at 3 am and I'll give them a pat on the back.  As for this household, we appreciate the simplicity of a zipper, thank you very much.

1.  My Brest Friend - Baby's gotta eat, so this is my number one essential.  I started out with another  breastfeeding pillow, but it always seemed like it took two people to use.  I had to sit down with the pillow and get it positioned while my hubby grabbed our son and placed him on me.  Then, a friend of mine loaned me her Brest Friend and I was in heaven!  It buckles into place and stays put so you can snap it on and then grab baby yourself and start feeding.  No gaps for baby to slide in to and it's the perfect height and position for nice relaxed feeding.  I absolutely love it.

This list was tough to narrow down to just 5 items.  Here are my honorable mentions:

Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper - Baby's bed for the first month, plus a portable spot to place him around the house

The Swing - Anything that can buy you a few hours of sleep is worth every penny.  Plus this one plugged in to the wall, no batteries required.

The Nordstrom Blanket - Our guy was born in December, so a cozy, warm blanket was essential.  This one was the perfect size with just the right amount of stretch for the perfect swaddle.

Flannel Burp Cloths - I received a load of these at my baby shower and used every single one.  Make your own by sewing two rectangular pieces of flannel together (20 inches by 8 inches or so).  Super simple, super useful.

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