I have survived almost a full month of motherhood of two. I have a talkative and active toddler and a newborn that both require a lot of attention, which I am more than happy to give them! But it is made much easier by a few of my favorite items. I am quite sure I would either A) fail on the daily or B) go cookoo for cocoa puffs (yum) without them. So I compiled a list...for any of my friends who might want some suggestions on what to register for, buy, etc.
For those first couple of months when you have to get up multiple times to feed the baby, this thing rocks! It attaches to the bed and puts your sweet bundle within "arm's reach". I love it for feedings, for paci fallouts, and for that moment of panic when you have to check if they're still breathing (which I do at least twice a night). It also has lots of pockets and storage for diapers, remotes, and other necessary items. They come in two sizes (big and small). We have the smaller size, and have no complaints.
I like having this to prevent her from rolling over. It also has an incline which helps with her spitting up and gas.
On Aiden's first night home, Jamie had to make a mad dash to Kroger in the middle of the night. We had tried everything, but he was still crying. These things are a Godsend. With Anna Scott, she takes a drop with every feeding because of her tummy troubles. They help her burp which cuts back dramatically on gassy fussies and spit ups! Love it. We buy store brands, and they work just fine!
Most any of my friends and family will tell you that I am a HUGE advocate of the perfect swaddle. I watched tutorials when I was pregnant with Aiden and took lessons from the baby nurses while in the hospital with him. I learned the art of the swaddle, and think that all new moms should too. The trick is to tuck the arms, use lighter blankets (fleece would be too hot), and to double up. My favorites are made by Aden and Anais or the flannel ones made by Carter's. If you want to swaddle as they grow, or you have a long/tall baby, the Aden and Anais ones are much better. The Carter's ones are great for newborns, but my babies started kicking out of them at one month.
Swing and Bouncy Seat (with vibration!)
These are great for when I have to do things sans baby. Both of my babies found the vibrations soothing. It also helps if they have something to look at. I've noticed that Anna Scott needs to be repositioned every once in a while (she gets bored with the same view), and this swing allows me to rotate her seat, which I love. I also like the sound machine that comes with it. Aiden used the sound tower until just a couple of months ago! The heartbeat and music are my favorite settings to use.
These are harder to find than most brands, but are so worth it. They mimic the breast, and make it easier for baby to switch from one to the other. They also help with reflux, spitting up, etc. I have seen them at TJ Maxx, Kohls, and some Target and Babies R Us stores.
We used the winter-y one for Aiden, and bought the Lite version for Anna Scott. I love it because it's soft, it's pretty, and it's much easier that keeping up with a blanket. Babies like to kick. And my babies like to kick blankets off, so this is perfect for us. Plus, they have lots of fun colors!
Onesies and Gowns
These are what I like to put her in most of the time. I love the onesies because you can buy them in bulk (usually five for around $10). I like the gowns for middle of the night diaper changes. You don't have to deal with zippers or snaps. These usually come in a two or three pack. Outfits are fun too (especially now that I have a girl), but these two things are what she is in most of the time (plus a pair of socks - My mom would get me if I didn't have her in socks!) Hi, Mom.
If you're breastfeeding, buy one. I would also invest in a higher quality cover. The regular ones are super rough. Aiden's was the organic cotton one, and Anna Scott's came from PB Kids (the chamois one) Both are super soft! Also, don't forget to take it with you to the hospital.
Lanolin, Lanolin, Lanolin
Another must if you're breastfeeding. I have the lotion/gel stuff as well as the gel pads. Both are absolutely necessary the first week. I like to store the pads in the fridge. I also made sure to have these in my hospital bag, but I think most nurses offer it.
These work MUCH better than the disposables. MUCH better!
LOTS of Bottled Water
I go through about four bottles a day, especially at night. I think it's the nursing that keeps me so thirsty, but I could not get by without a super-cold guzzle of agua!
Mini-Fridge (for the lazies)
Our bedroom is upstairs, and we're slow moving in the middle of the night, so we bought a mini-fridge and keep the bottle warmer in the room with us so that we can prepare bottles more quickly. It's also nice to store Mom's bottled waters.
Twizzlers (or midnight snack of choice)
I have a bag of these in one of those handy Co-sleeper pockets. I love gnawing on these during middle of the night feedings. But with Aiden, my snack was Zebra Cakes...I'm hoping these are a little healthier...Now I want one.
TV Series (multiple seasons)
I suggest purchasing some seasons on DVD, renting some from Netflix, or simply accessing some on demand. Since she was born, I have gone through two seasons of Parenthood and almost four seasons of Friday Night Lights. They're all On Demand so I get to watch them without commercials (again - for the night feedings). The other night I dreamt I was practicing making tackles - a sign that I watch way too much, I'm sure.
I live in my Bravado bra. I bought it when I was pregnant with Aiden. It's soft, supportive, and convenient. I freakin' love it.
I buy this for my friends when they have babies (either this or the Aden and Anais swaddlers). It is an amazing invention. There's literally no way I would be able to remember the last time I fed her, especially when your days and nights start to run together. One night, I actually thought I had just fed her, but after looking at the timer, realized I must have dreamt it. Crazy what sleep deprivation will do to your brain. I think this is the number one thing to get. Hands down.
Alas, my Best Friend Forever...no that's really what it's called. My family all pitched in and bought me my dream diaper bag - the Ju-Ju-Be BFF! I had a navy Kate Spade with Aiden. It was stylish, yes, but did not have a lot of room, and only two pockets. If there's one thing I love, it's organizing things into containers, pockets, you get it. And this bag has TONS of little sections and pockets galore. It's a super cute print, It's insanely clever, I can fit my DSLR and lenses in it, I don't need a purse b/c of the brilliant mommy pocket, and it's pretty much my portable nursery. I kinda love it. Can you tell?