Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Postpartum Day 91

10 Must-Haves for your Newborn

1) Halo Swaddle Sleepsack

Our baby girls LOVES this swaddle and we tried a few other types and this one wins the "got most sleep when used award."  She has been a pretty decent sleeper from the beginning and started sleeping through the night by the time she was two months old, and consistently by three months old, even moving from bassinet to her crib.  What's great about these swaddles is that once she is able to rollover, we can still use them as sleep sacks.  (Which may be soon unfortunately!)  They also have a muslin version which we use now since it's summer time and a bit warm.

2) Gas Drops

Most babies are pretty gassy in the first few weeks or months as their digestive systems are figuring stuff out, even breastfeed babies who typically have less of these issues.  This was no different for our little girl, we had a few difficult nights struggling with her discomfort.  These drops were a miracle, they helped her sleep a few extra hours.  We used these several times a day until she was about a month old.

3) Solly Wrap

I didn't go into having a child thinking I'd be an attachment parent, I still don't think I am, my baby isn't even sleeping in our room anymore.  But, I LOVED this wrap!!  And baby V does too, still.  As a newborn, she would sleep in this wrap and I could move around and get some thing done as needed.  This is a product made in the USA and it's very good quality.  You can use it until your baby reaches 25 lbs, it's easy to pack in a diaper bag, helps with bonding, and reduces baby crying.  Totally true, baby V NEVER cries in her Solly.

4) Tummy Time Gym

Our baby HATED tummy time and still only tolerates it because of this gym.  We started tummy time the day we got home from the hospital and tried to do it several times a day once we got the go-ahead from our pediatrician.  We were met by EXTREME dislike of tummy time which was frustrating because everyone wants their children to be able to develop the way they need to.  My Mom bought us this gym after I talked to her about it, and initially my reaction was, "another gym?" But my baby LOVES it, she tolerated tummy time so much more and now that she can hold her head up, she really enjoy the prop pillow and looking in the mirror.  A great idea if your baby does not enjoy tummy time.

5) Pampers Baby Dry Diapers

Diapers?? Well of course, you may say, but wait.  Initially we were only using the Pampers Swaddlers for our baby girl, which worked great.  These were a wonderful addition and still are, to our bedtime routine.  Our baby girl is pretty sensitive to a wet diaper and these keep her comfortable for hours during the night.  She does not fuss for want of a clean diaper, again, it helped keep her happy and asleep as long as possible during the night.  Definitely invest in these as soon as you can, you can even size up on these for night-time for a little extra absorption.

6) Balmax

Balmax again? Yes I'm apparently obsessed and I'm not sure why you never read about this on the Mommy blogs, but my baby has NEVER had diaper rash. Ever. As soon as she gets a little red down there, we wipe this one, and presto, it's gone.  Can't argue with family, my parents used this, and it still works amazing.

7) Breast Pump + Accessories

Another duh factor, but let me explain.  Having a good pump can really set you up for breastfeeding success.  I have been very fortunate in my breastfeeding journey, despite overproduction which caused some issues for me and my baby.  However, because I had a great pump (including a manual pump which I also recommend), I was able to start a really great milk stash for the freezer.  This helps for when the husband is watching her, when I'd like to have a cocktail or more than a glass of wine, and on growth spurt days when my girl is extra hungry.  I also suggest these accessories:

Milkies Freeze Kit - perfect for freezer storage
Milkies Milk-Saver Breast Milk Collector - catches the extra when you're feeding
Infantino Freezer Sleeve - good extra storage
Extra Pump Parts - just in case!
UpSpring Milkscreen Testers - because sometimes it's fun to have some wine and this gives you peace of mind
Pump 2 Nurse "Purse" for Breast Pump Parts - perfect for storage and travelling with your pump
Car Adapter for Pump

8) Baby Connect App

This is by far the BEST app I use for my baby.  It allows you to track feedings (nursing and bottles), sleeping, diapers, activities, milestones, medical data, and communicate between all caregivers.  Both my husband and I use it and it's very helpful to know when baby's last diaper was or how long she's napped.  It's helped us see patterns in her sleep and have good answers to the pediatrician when she asks us about her schedule.  Our nanny also uses it as well.  When you're sleep deprived and can't remember which boob you nursed or the last time your baby had a wet diaper (doubtful but possible) this is the best app for the job.  You can also keep a journal and add pictures and messages too.

9) Baby Sparks App

This is my second favorite app.  This app gives a lot of detail about your baby's developmental framework by month.  I say framework because every baby meets milestones at their own pace.  That being said, this app gives you a "schedule" or list of activities and cognitive playtime choice to help engage your baby each day.  It can be hard when you have a newborn knowing how to give them fun and meaningful playtime.  This app gives you so many ideas of how to entertain and stimulate them based on these milestones

10) Uppababy Vista Bassinet/Stroller

So this is a more pricey item and not within everyone's budget, I'm lucky I have some very generous family members, but this stroller/bassinet system has been wonderful and if you can make this fit into your budget I highly recommend it.  This stroller system is amazing.  It comes with a bassinet and a stroller seat, and also works with the Mesa Car seat which we also have.  You can get adapter kits to work with other carseats as well.  This system also comes with bug and rain shields for the stroller and bassinet.  The stroller itself has a large basket which is helpful when it comes to grocery shopping or regular shopping, you don't need an extra cart.  The clip-in system is so easy it makes changing seats a breeze.  So many times when the baby was still sleeping in the bassinet in the morning my husband would un-click her from the bassinet stand right into the stroller and go walking with her and the dog.  Same deal with the carseat.  I will say the stroller is not super compact, but the wheels come off and I can then easily fit this into my smaller car.  Since the bassinet unclicks, we were able to carry it all over the house which helped our baby get used to sleeping on her back which she didn't take to immediately.  I really can't say enough good things about this system.  Since this is costly, if you think of it as an investment it helps.  The quality is amazing and this system adapts if you have a second or third child.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Postpartum Day 90

10 Things You Need in Your Hospital Bag

Don't forget these things and make sure your bags are packed by week 32, you never know when you will be running to the hospital!

1. Nursing Bra

This item is needed on the assumption that you are breastfeeding. Now, I subscribe to the "breast is best" mantra if you are medically able to breastfeed but I know not everyone is able/willing and I would be a bad feminist if I judged anyone for using formula. So. If you are choosing or considering breastfeeding bring a nursing bra, your boobs will be big and full and the support is good when you're getting going with breastfeeding. You don't want to be fumbling with bra straps. Get professionally measured around your eighth month and then again after your milk supply stabilizes.

2. Nursing Pads

See above. Now I brought fabric pads and disposable and I recommend, for those first days, to use fabric nursing pads. Your nipples will be sore and I found relief in the fabric pads. I also recommend bringing these for relief as well. If you have a Health Spending Account, use that to purchase these, any breastfeeding supplies are covered.

3. Fuzzy Socks

Hospitals get cold. Warm feet make everyone happier. Bring some fun, fuzzy socks with grippy bottoms so you don't slide around during contractions. Bring a pair for your husband too!

4. Camera

Don't forget it! And the charger!

5. Towel

I did not bring this and I regret it. The shower in the hospital stank and the towels were worse; they barely cover you and were knarly. After childbirth you are sore and fragile everywhere. And if you breastfeed your nipples will feed awful. You want a nice warm fuzzy familiar towel wrapped around you after that first... dun dun dun... shower of doom! Haha, it's not that bad but it's nice not to have your bum hanging out.

6. Dry Shampoo

I thought I'd feel like washing my hair. I did not. Especially in that shower. So, invest in a good dry shampoo, like this one. I loved the Living Proof dry shampoo, it smells great and my hair did feel cleaner.

7. Surprise for Spouse
This is optional but after all the steps taken to get to your baby, your husband/wife has probably gone above and beyond for you in many ways. Granted, you were growing a person inside you but it can be just as hard for your spouse. So, what's a better thank you than surprising them with a little token of your appreciation.  In my case, I got my husband a cool t-shirt. He LOVED it and wore it the whole time we were in the hospital.

8. Snacks

Mostly for your husband, but also to supplement hospital meals.  Nice to have something yummy after labor.

9. Nursing PJs

I also did not bring these and I regret it, the hospital gown got old after awhile and wasn't great for when I had visitors.  Find something comfortable, soft, and roomy.

10. Extra bag

We brought home a ton of diapers and other odds and ends that the hospital provided for us so make sure you have a way to carry them home!