Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sonja’s Top Ten Essential Baby [and New Parent] Items

My Lovelies, 

I am fully convinced that the only way to survive the first six weeks of parenthood with your sanity somewhat intact is to hire a full time Night Nanny. Maybe two. Should you be lacking the resources to hire said nanny and need to muddle through it on your own, here are ten items that I found to be exceedingly hlepful, for both parent and child. 

In no particular order:

Holy moly I love this thing. Who knew that a giant horseshoe-shaped pillow could be so fabulous? I tote this thing all over the house. It is truly a nursing mother’s best friend, right after the Lansinoh lanolin. Trying to breastfeed while supporting 14 pounds of tubby baby is no fun; supporting the kiddo on the jumbo pillow makes the process much more manageable. It also makes a great tummy-time tool as I can drape him over the pillow and he won’t get a mouthful of rug when he gets tired of holding up the noggin. I would definitely recommend the waterproof slipcover and a few pretty outer covers, particularly if you’ve got a child that doesn’t always keep down his meal.

Let there be light! I love these little guys. I set them out each night: one in Ben’s room and one in our room. Thus, when he wakes up at night I’m not blindly groping around for my glasses. They last for 10+ hours when fully charged and they’re easy to carry around since there are no cords. I pop ‘em on the charger during the day and we’re good to go for the following night. Plus they’re cute little guys. 

3. Cheap-o Washcloths from Target

I buy these in packs of 5 for $2.99. We use them for just about everything: In the bath, burp cloths, as snot wipes, etc. They are very utilitarian and so handy to have… well, on hand. 

I wear these camisoles practically everyday. They seem a bit more discrete for nursing in public (if you don’t have a hooter hider handy) and no tummy exposure is required. I practically live in tank tops during the summer so these were a natural choice for me. They work well under other shirts, are long enough to cover that saggy post-pregnancy belly, and come in a few different colors. 

For our nightly Spa Time, we typically pop the bambino in the Eurobath for a quick scrub-down. When he was just a wee little thing, the tub was a bit big for him and he had a tendency to slide around. Cherie (MIL) picked this up at a drug store and it has been just the ticket for bath time. Not only does it keep him mostly immobile but it provides a bit of cushioning against the hard plastic. 

Aka The Snotsucker. Since we were advised that the hospital-provided nasal aspirator bulbs are no longer acceptable, we were casting around for a substitute for when the kiddo came down with a snot clogged nose. Enter the NoseFida, which is basically a long tube that you suck on and it zips that lovely slime right out of the schnoz. Gross, but oh-so-very effective. Plus its Swedish. We like the Swedes, ‘round these parts. 

7. Ok. Not cheap and maybe not strictly ‘essential’ but really, really awesome. I adore my ipad

I have the older, less fancy model but it is still very, very fabulous. There is lots o’ internet surfing, crossword figuring, blogging [Ahem. Please note the time on this here post], and emailing going on during those wee hours of the night in our casa. Our kiddo is one that doesn’t like to rush his nursing and sitting for an hour in the chair while he sips and slurps his way through a midnight feeding can get exceptionally boring. This makes it better.

Forget anything with snaps, buttons, or ties, they take far too long during those early morning diaper changes. When I hear Benjamin cry at 3 AM, I want to get in there, get him changed, fed, and back into bed as soon as possible. Fumbling around in semi-darkness with snaps is not the answer. If they had a classification in the Guinness Book of World Records for fastest diaper change, you’d want these PJs in your back pocket. Plus, how can you resist the cute animals on the footsies? And how can I get a pair?

9. Our Sleep System. 

Our house is old and drafty. We spent a lot of time worrying about Ben’s temperature, particularly since he was born in the middle of winter. We didn’t want him to freeze at night but we also recognized that overheating the wee tyke is also a very serious problem. We found that a three-pronged approach led to a warm and happy baby. First we start with a base layer, in our case, the zippered PJs. Then we wrap him up in a summer weight swaddle so he doesn’t wiggle around too much and lastly we stick the entire bundle of kiddo into a fleece sleep sack. This keeps him toasty warm. Inevitably he’ll have managed to work an arm or two free from the swaddle and will be victoriously waving it about when I get up in the middle of the night but he it keeps him occupied for a while and allows his mama a few extra minutes of desperately-appreciate shut-eye. 

 10. A Comfy Chair. 

I know those Eames knock-off rockers are all the rage right now for nurseries but really, would you want to spend six hours a day sitting on that hard plastic while the kiddo indulges in a snack? Heck NO. Get something comfortable, that has good back and neck support, and that you can sleep in. And preferably comes with machine-washable slipcovers. So worth it. We tried out several gliders and eventually bought this one

And that, my Dears, is my list. Anything that you found to be essential during your first six weeks of parenthood?