Sunday, March 30, 2014

Essentially Essential

So currently I'm drinking my homemade Rehydration drink from THE @nancyholtzman, and working on getting on the mend.

In the mean-time I'll leave you with this...

The other day I gushed to you about those things that I obviously needed for this next child. Because NO parent has ever raised a child without those exact things.

Now, I will talk at you about the actual essentials I found when successfully (?) getting MM out of newborn/infant-hood.

1)      Swing

If your baby is ever this happy in this swing, good work. MM was never that excited. 
Also, we never used that tray thing in front.

Now, this swing was lovingly borrowed by some dear dear dear (did I say dear?) friends, who are going to do the same this time around and I could not express my gratitude enough for them (and the Mrs. Makes some MEAN and well thought-out new parent meals). This swing WAS NOT the thing to get MM to stop yelling, but she did some HARDCORE napping and sometimes through the night sleeping in this swing. The pictures of her on the first days in this swing still make me weepy as she was so tiny.
Also a plus about this gift from Heaven is that when (not if) your baby blows out a nasty one, it’s really not too hard to take the soft part off, toss it in the wash, and re-lamb it. MM also did a lot of TV staring in this, and all around lived in this wonder for a long while. 

You don't have to get one this fancy, and we didn't, we borrowed. So I would suggest a Craigslist scour or talking with parents who may have been blessed one in the past and are willing to share. Because most parents will sympathize and share. 

2)      Swaddle

I should mention that this is the swaddle we used with MM and I’m trading up (at least in my dreams) for Virginia. But swaddling in general is amazing. Locking those arms down is clutch in getting more sleep as these little baby zombies are all jerky throughout the day and night and are always hitting themselves in the face and waking up. MM did fight a LONG time in this especially at bedtime (honestly because that’s when we really used it, naptime was usually swaddle-free and was in #1). Who knows what we’ll do this time around

3)      Workout Ball

This can be used for crunches or whatever you want, but in our house from October 2012 – January 2013 and possibly beyond it was used to bounce a baby. MM was really receptive to bouncing and it was our go-to for a LOOOONNNNG time. It’s great to protect those knees and hips from repeat bouncing, and I mean, potentially for hours. It’s really nice if you wear the babe, while on the ball and watching Ellen. That is honestly the perfect of all combos while on maternity leave. Now, add a toddler running around and who knows what perfect will start looking like.

Upon re-reading this, the idea is that you HOLD the baby in your arms and sit on the ball and then bounce. I think that set up will make everyone happier than just laying the baby on there and bouncing the ball.

4)      Boppy or something boppy-like nursing pillow

I was gifted the traditional boppy, because I registered for it, and was also handed down this beaut. It’s hyper expensive for a pillow that holds a baby under your boobs, but it really has come in handy even before MM was born. I started using it to support the belly at night, but then it got too cumbersome and hot in bed with me. SO I kicked it out like I kicked Charlie and Buckley out of the bed for months. Then it was solely a nursing pillow (note: when a baby poops WHILE THEY ARE NURSING [something only a baby should do, eat and poop] this pillow is on the difficult side to get in/out of the cover, but can be done). Now it is MM’s little pillow-seat when she’s trying to avoid me, or reading a book to or about Belle. The Boppy is good, and fine, the cover comes off tons easier than this other one, but for a brand new momma, it’s not going to fit around your waist by any stretch of the imagination. Another note: I haven’t tried it, but I’ve heard the My Breast Friend (also who doesn’t’ love that name) is a winner, there is back support and even a pocket to hold cellphone, remote, cookies, whatev.

I will also say that if you are shy about popping the ladies out early on, it will save you SO much trouble to get over that and just embrace it, especially in your own home. I was using the utter cover in my living room for a long time, but MM hated it, I hated it, we moved on. Now, I know not everyone is all “let your boob flag fly” like I am, especially in public. But at the house you should be comfortable.

5)      White Onesies

I’ve mentioned it many times before and I’ll take it to the grave. White onesies are cute, functional, unisex, and BLEACH-ABLE for the most part... I mean bleach is lots of mommas’ best friend (we’re kinda friends, it has really stolen some good clothes from me) but it can only do so much. Anyway, I really want to get some long and short sleeved side snap ones, because it would be nice not to have to pull them over Virginia’s tiny screaming head, but just the regular ones you really can’t go wrong with. AND when you eventually ruin them (you will, tell me your secrets if you don’t) you won’t shed any tears tossing them into a trash can that the dog can’t reach.

One story that I recall the parents were quick thinking and just cut the onesie off the lil’ man because what was the point in dragging the poop up lil’ man’s back when you were going to trash it anyway? That is the nice thing about being cheap sometimes… it’s just more convenient.

6)      Nursing Pads

Another thing I couldn’t live without. I was. and kinda still am, a very milky momma. My ladies leaked like no other, and beyond the pain and problems I had initially which after lots of $$ and visits to all kinds of doctors, issues really resolved themselves with time. And gritting my way through it. Anyway, yes nursing is hard and yes you can do it (if you want), but these were the GO TO for the nursing mom. They are like maxi pads for your boobs. There was one fatefully time I didn’t wear them, I was actually wearing a nice dress to an event. Didn’t wear them, it was like I poured two cups of milk on my ladies by the end of the night. One of my better evenings out as you could imagine.

7)      Sound Machine

We didn’t even register for this I don’t think, but some kind soul passed on their good insight and gave us this one. It is wonderful. We use it EVERYNIGHT, and I use it on full blast. We settled on the rain setting because it’s the most like straight white noise, but bird and what-not would be calming too. It has a battery option as well as a plug in. That means, yes it is a traveler too. The only thing about sound machines in general is I don’t fall asleep well to them, so it becomes a “Do I turn the thing down a risk MM waking up and needing the sound vs. me not getting to sleep” She always wins. In everything. We didn’t use this until MM was about 3 months because she was in the bedroom with Charlie and I, but after that. EVERYNIGHT.

8)      Humidifier

We have this one. It’s cute, it’s cool mist, we like elephants, that was the entire decision making process. We like it, for the most part. It has become a little temperamental in the last month or so where it makes a horrible noise and so we can’t use it. Also if you’re lazy and not good at cleaning, it gets really nasty and super frustrating to clean, because you can’t get into the tank with your big adult fingers. So, I’ll recommend, if you do get it don’t be like me and not clean out the tank with vinegar or something for like 8 months. Because you’ll hate yourself and think you’re poisoning your child with mold water. But overall, cool mist humidifiers are the jam, they help babies sleep in the winter when you’re blasting the heat trying not to freeze them as the heat will dry out those teeny sinuses and makes them cough and not sleep well.

I will being this by saying this sucker (pun) is going to make you feel weird. But that is now what you will call parenting. You put the one pointy end at the babe's nostril and the red end in your mouth. Then, do it with me now, you suck. You are sucking the snot out of your sweet child's nose. It will seem foreign, and honestly, Charlie won't do it (I am the sucker that started this whole thing... gosh I love puns). But let me tell you, at 2:34 AM when your baby can't sleep because their nose is stuffed up, you're willing to do just about anything to get them comfort, so you can get comfort.

10)      Large dose of humility and ability not to be yourself for a while

You will have a new baby, or another new baby (bless you). Here are a few things you may not have expected to happen:

a.       There will be a point about day 3 where you will cry for hours for little-to-no reason. Expect that.
b.      You may get a shower every other day (I imagine you’ve heard this).
c.       You will yell/kick/emotionally harm your husband/mother/in-laws/friend unintentionally, they should understand this (tell them to call me if they want to talk about it).
d.      Your boobs will not be yours for a very long time (and not your husbands for much much longer)
e.      Your lady parts will feel weird for a while (and you’re going to bleed for weeks)
f.        With all of the nursing things I had problems with, I walked around topless for a few weeks (you can ask friends that visited, I was not shy)

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