Thank you for returning for Part 2 of the things that helped me survive the first weeks of parenting a newborn. Without any further mumbo-jumbo, I will go right back into my list.
- I did a post a few days ago on The Five S's. One of those is swaddling. When you have your baby, your nurses at the hospital will make that whole swaddling thing look so easy. Then you will get home and realize that without the nurses, or those old hospital blankets, your child has somehow gained the ability to break out of every single swaddle that you manage to put them in. The Swaddle Blanket saves the day. There are lots of brands of these out there, but I prefer this one. Reason being is that it doesn't take a website to teach you how to make it work, and I like the velcro. It is easy, just a couple of steps to get them in there, and with the velcro, they aren't going anywhere. It also comes in different fabrics. I have one in fleece for when it was cold, but also a couple in really light cotton for now, when it is warmer at night.
- I have also mentioned this one before, but I seriously would not be able to survive without Babies Bliss Gripe Water. It is an all natural liquid that helps soothe upset tummies. It works for gas, and general tummy upset, and apparently also teething (although I never used it for that purpose...). You can give it to your kiddo directly out of the bottle (but be prepared for some gagging and angry faces--it tastes like black licorice), or else you can mix it into either a bottle of formula or breast milk. I pump every other day just so that I always have about 2 ounces of breast milk in the fridge to use to mix with this stuff. My baby HATES the taste of it, but will happily gulp it down when mixed with about 15-20 cc's of breast milk (about half an ounce). Get it. And give it to your kid every 4 hours. You can thank me later. :)
- This next item is something I am sure you have heard from anyone who has ever been a parent. You need to have lots of plain ol' diaper rags. The old school kind that our parents actually used to diaper our butts. And when your parents come over they will look at them with nostalgia and tell you all about how they used to have to use these for pee and poop and use A PIN to put and hold them on and wash them out in the sink and... well you get the idea. But for our 2009 purposes, they are great for spit up, to throw over your shoulder when burping, for laying under the baby during tummy time (they always barf a little during tummy time, don't they?) and for ten thousand other little uses. I am still using the ones I bought with The Boy for wiping his nose when he gets a cold so he doesn't get the red-kleenex nose, and for dusting his room etc. You can never have too many nor will you ever tire of coming up with little ways to use them. They rule.
- I hesitated to put this next thing on this list because it really does vary with each baby. But this is my list and I am talking about my kid so...here it is. You really need a swing. There are TONS of different kinds of swings, and if your baby ends up to be a swing baby, then I doubt it matters which kind of swing you have; just that you have one. Again, The Five S's state that swinging or swaying your baby helps. I use it when I would like to sit the hell down after standing and swinging/swaying a baby for hours. I also use it for sleep at night. I used ours for The Boy and now for The Girl. They both slept in it. I personally use this little travel swing because then I can bring it with me from room to room with little trouble. I use it out in the living room during the day and then move it back into her room at night. This goes along with The Five S's, but it has been a must have for us.
The other recommendation is a white noise machine. Again, this goes along with The Five S's concept. But The Boy used it forever, and now it seems to be great with The Girl. She sleeps much better on the nights that I put her in her room and turn that on. Again, I wouldn't categorize this as "can't live without," but it is a nice thing to have. This is the one I have and it has lots of different noises on it. The Boy loved the water one, but so far with The Girl I have just used the "white noise" portion.
Okay, hope for any of you out there that are expecting or hope to expect in the future that this list has helped. All of these things have made the first 6 weeks of my daughter's life much easier to deal with. And now, since you made it through the end of this post, as a reward, I have some pictures. First, the "don't bother me, I'm trying to sleep" pose...
And finally, my big baby girl in her bath tub. She is staring at the faucet, which is apparently much more exciting than looking at Mommy.
Thanks for reading!