Sunday, October 9, 2011

Guide to Infant "Stuff"

My Top 5 "Must Haves" for Survival with a Newborn
1. Swaddle Blankets with Velcro: I'll admit it. I never learned how to swaddle with just a regular ole blanket. I've always needed one of those special ones with velcro. Daniel, on the other hand, can do a pretty mean tight swaddle with a blanket. But, since he's not around for every time the Little One goes to sleep, we had to invest in some specialty swaddle blankets. My pick: the Summer Swaddle Blanket. It was the only one that was able to tightly enough hold her arms down so she wasn't breaking out of it! (By the way, we're still swaddling. AHK! I know we'll have to stop soon, when she's able to roll from back to belly!)
Little girl... still being swaddled!

2. eRGObaby and Sling: There's no way around this. I love my custom made Karma Baby pouch for quick walking trips over to the church building, or popping in and out of Walmart. I adore my ERGObaby for longer wearing time. Be sure to do research, have multiple options, and don't be afraid to wear your baby! It's not very popular where we live, so I have heard some comments like, "Isn't she smothering?" (when Jenaleigh was sleeping), but I've learned to let them roll of my back. I know my baby loves being worn, and I love wearing her! If you're preggo and think you're going to lug around your heavy stroller just for a trip to the grocery store, or worse, put your carrier on top of the cart (major tip over hazard, ladies!), then think about how much easier wearing your baby would be!
3 Month Old Jenaleigh in her ERGObaby

3. Rock 'N Play. Our child did not sleep, except when laying on us. Needless to say, Daniel and I didn't sleep either -- until the Rock 'N Play entered our lives. The incline is great for reflux babies, and the coziness of it is fabulous for high needs kiddos! She's still sleeping in hers, and I dread the (upcoming) day when we have to transition to the crib.

Critter, when she was tee-tiny in her RNP.
At 4 months, in her RNP
4. Medela Free Style: Most of you know, I'm exclusively pumping. I don't know how I could have done it without the Free Style. It's handfree and battery powered, which was especially useful when Jenaleigh was smaller and would wake up while I was pumping, and I'd have to go get her, which I could with this pump still on! Also, since it's small, it's very easy to travel with. I'd recommend this to anyone who will need a pump, even if it's just for going back to work. I love it!

5. Sound Machine: Jenaleigh can sleep through a bulldozer (I'm not exaggerating -- when we were having our yard leveled, she did fine!), but when Daniel gets ice out of the refrigerator, she wakes up! Cue an appropriately placed sound machine mimicking the gentle sound of rain falling.... then all is well.

6. (Okay I know I said top five, but I almost forgot this most important item) -- MAM pacifiers. The only kind our baby will take...(or similarly shaped -- none of those lipstick shaped ones work for our little one!)

Honorable Mentions:
  • Diaper Genie (no more smelling poopies! even though for some strange reason this past Saturday a poopy diaper aroma lingered in her room... hmmm...)
  • Pack 'N Play (while she didn't sleep super in it, we love using it in our living room for play time and diaper changes)
  • Activity Play Mat (thanks, Deborah! Jenaleigh loves laying on this and playing with her toys)
  • Bumbo (we started using this with her around 3 months because of her great head control and she LOVED it) - however, her chunky monkey legs are getting stuck in it now
  • Nursing covers (my wonderful Mom made me some -- while I obviously am not using them for nursing at the moment, they're great for covering my up while pumping in the car!)
  • Swing -- It took her a good long while to even tolerate being in the swing, but now it's a lifesaver for when I need to shower, do dishes, etc...
I'm sure I'm forgetting some of my favorite items, but those are the only ones I can think of right now!

Item "Fails"
I'm sure there are many babies out there that these items do work for, but not our baby....
1) Small receiving blankets -- they were useful for a little while, but now I just use them as burp clothes!
2) The Boppy -- Let me say, the Boppy is wonderful for supported sitting or lounging, but as a nursing pillow it's not so hot (for us at least). For that -- I much prefer "My Brest Friend" (most horrible name in the entire universe, I know!) for a host of reasons.
3) Footed PJs -- Let me clarify that now they are great (even though we don't put her in them to sleep, since she stays swaddled for bed), but combine our little one's fussy temperament with our inexperience at changing a baby with the complicated snaps (or so we thought at the time) and you get one frustrated mommy and daddy. Thankfully, Jenaleigh's calmed down and we've gotten better at the whole changing a wiggly baby thing, so footies are a "go".
4) Newborn Socks and Shoes -- I know Jenaleigh didn't have monster newborn feet, but those tiny little socks and shoes would never stay on her feet. 0-3 ones worked though, thankfully!
5) Luvs Diapers -- Unfortunately Miss Critter had way too many blow outs in Luvs, so we have to stick with Pampers or Huggies.

What about you? What were your favs during the first few months of your baby's life? Not-so-favs?

1 comment:

  1. Wow, our top 5s are about the same, except we didn't have a rock n play. Insert vibrating bouncy chair there, lol. Also, our diapers have been lifesavers, I can't imagine going back and doing that differently. Although, if we have another baby, some of them won't make it...

    Most useless? Travel system, hands down. Infant car seat only worked for about 4 months before he grew out of it and between Kev and Zane both, we have used the stroller *maybe* 10 times. Zane still doesn't wear shoes, lol, but the weather is about to force that to change!