Let's face it, during those first couple of weeks with baby you will be in complete survival mode. I had lots of expectations and best laid plans and that all went to...well shit once this little baby arrived. For one, I was not planning to introduce the bottle or pacifier for the first 6 weeks. HA! Needless to say, things didn't go as planned. In hindsight, I realize it was a lesson for me in letting go of control.
However, there were a few essential items that helped me claw my way through those initial weeks. These were things I didn't think I would need, but in the end I can't imagine doing it without them! Great news, the priciest item on the list is under $30!
Summer Infant SwaddleME
This swaddle was a lifesaver and the only one we used. I thought I was being so clever by registering for 398 different swaddles. "It will be perfect, I can see which swaddle my baby likes best and then order more!" WRONG! That ended up being a complete and total disaster. When we got home from the hospital, I had no clue how to use any of them and was scrambling to figure it out with a screaming baby on my changing table. Not what a new mom needs. Then my pediatrician recommended this swaddle, we tried it and never looked back. The velcro makes this swaddle foolproof, you'll have that baby rolled up like a burrito in no time. They also grow with your baby. Though they do have different sizes and we had to size up twice because Mary Clare is very long. "The American Academy of Pediatrics supports safe swaddling of infants that leaves the hips and legs free to move." According to the AAP, "Legs should be able to bend up and out." I have also read many moms say that these are the only swaddles their baby Houdini cannot escape. Trust me when I say you do not need any swaddles other than the Summer Infant SwaddleMe. Register for 4-5 and call it a day. Also, you will be told not to swaddle your baby during the day. At first, don't BUT do start swaddling for daytime naps once the little one has their days and nights straight. It was a game changer for daytime naps!
(((YOU GUYS! The above picture makes my heart hurt. She is so teeny here. It is wild how time feels like it goes so slow and yet so fast at the same time?)))
Yes, I was that pregnant lady who thought she didn't want to give her baby a pacifier right away. BAH! It must have been I don't know, hours...minutes?? after we got home before I decided to pop that sucker in her mouth. Like I said, survival mode! Anyway, I only had those green Philips Avent soothies in the house because honestly to me they were the most aesthetically pleasing. However, I came to find newborns can hardly keep a pacifier in their mouth. For Mary Clare and a bunch of friends babies, the Philips soothie was just too big for that tiny mouth. A fellow mama recommended the MAM pacifiers, so as any sane person would do, I ordered 10 of them on Amazon Prime. It will still be hard for them to keep it in their mouth at first but babies get better and better at it as the weeks drag...errr I mean pass by. Also, MAM makes tiny newborn pacis that are great when they're still so little. In all seriousness, I have read a lot about pacifiers from different experts. It seems the consensus is they are a great way for babies to learn to self soothe. Do I want my girl using this paci tie she's 2 years old? No, obviously not but for now it's a God send. They are available on Amazon, in every pharmacy and of course, at the Mommy Mecca also known as Target.
P.S. - they make some pacifiers glow in the dark which is completely genius because who wants to fumble around searching for a paci in the middle of the night?
Boppy Newborn Lounger
First of all, this picture KILLS me! Okay so the Boppy Newborn Lounger, it's basically a pillow with an indent for you to nestle your little newborn into. Or as a friend of mine so eloquently said, it's like a dog bed for babies! This unassuming pillow hands down got the most use of anything (other than my boob) in the first couple weeks. It's the perfect place to plop that little baby down after you feed it and may want a moment to, I don't know, drink a cup of coffee or perhaps pee without a newborn in your arms. Jokes aside, she liked this thing better than the mamaroo or the Bjorn bouncer. Thankfully, she did eventually warm up to those other baby things that are way pricier! If, wait no, when your baby spits up or has an explosion while on the Boppy, just pop it in the washer/dryer on gentle. It gets a little misshapen but you can get it back into shape easily. It's less than $30 so just do yourself a favor and buy it!
Waterproof Disposable Changing Mats
So I actually got a package of these from a family I tutored for, they didn't need them anymore and offered them to me. So I took them but thought, these are silly and I would never buy them. You guessed it, my opinion changed post MC. So you know, newborns need their diapers changed....like a lot, more than I imagined possible. They will also pee all over you while you're changing them. I mean, I have a girl and this child peed all over me. I can't wait to find out what a baby boy will do, if we are ever lucky enough to have a little boy someday!
I have 3 changing pad covers and even still I used these waterproof changing mats. They aren't that nice looking but I found in those early weeks I did not need any more dirty laundry than I already had. They are great for when baby suddenly decides to pee mid diaper change which happens more than you'd like to think. It makes for quick and easy clean up without the need to change the changing pad cover. I really don't use them all that much anymore but in the first 8 weeks or so we had one on the changing table at all times. I do still use them when she's had a massive blow out and I want something to wrap up all the "stuff" when I'm finished. They are surely not a necessity but I did find they made my life easier. And at the time, I was taking anything I could get that would make my life easier.
I hope my brutal honesty about the first few weeks has not scared any mommy's-to-be out there. I've decided to be brutally honest about motherhood because I just don't know how else to be. Also, I hope my candor can provide a more realistic idea of what's to come. I have butterflies and rainbows dancing in my head and it is anything but that. I was blindsided and I wouldn't want that for anyone.
I will say and this is a promise, as everyone else will tell you, it gets so so so much better and easier. Bear in mind, this is coming from the girl who was calling bullsh*t on that for weeks! Trust me, girl, you got this!