Thursday, July 14, 2016

MY new mama essentials

I have seen so many posts popping up on my Facebook news feed lately that boast the "10 things new moms really need" or the "new mom must haves" and my favorite "the only 12 things you actually need when you bring home baby". These lists usually contain things that I just stare at and wonder who made this list?! I blame the content of my news feed on the fact that I have six pregnant co-workers and, at least, four pregnant friends right now so I have been browsing the internet for baby shower gifts. Some of them are first time moms and some of them are repeat offenders :) All those pregnancy posts popping up make me think of those newborn days and I have had more than one mama to be ask me what I think is actually necessary. I am not, in any way, shape or form, an expert parent but I remember those first days home with a new baby so well. Oddly enough, I only remember the rosy parts... Funny how time does that :) So, I have opted to put together my own list of top five new mama essentials and, honestly, there really isn't much you need

I don't care what anyone tries to tell you about the benefits of putting the baby in the crib right away or co-sleeping. Nope. This is the ultimate sleep friend for mamas and newborns. The incline helps for babies with reflux. Some of them have a vibrating option. All of them rock. They are super lightweight which makes them super portable. They fold up nicely making them super convenient for travel, even if only going so far as the deck or a neighbors house. Seriously. This thing was the greatest gift we got.

2. Netflix. 
No chill. You just birthed a small human being. You are going to be exhausted. The baby is going to sleep, a lot, but you won't be able to sleep. Enter Netflix. Countless hours of movies and tv shows at your fingertips. You're going to hear a lot of "sleep when baby sleeps" and you won't be able to, so at the very least, try to relax and binge watch a little SVU. The cleaning and laundry can't wait, babies don't keep. So enjoy those snuggles and a Netflix marathon of your favorite cheesy rom coms. Seriously. 

I might also suggest some trashy magazines. US Weekly and OK magazine could be found in the living room, kitchen and bathroom at our house. The articles were short, the content was entertaining and none of it was critically important. It made for some light, mindless reading when my attention span was lacking anyways :)

3. Baby clothes and diapers. 
People will give you all kinds of unsolicited advice as to what baby should be wearing. My only piece of advice is this: avoid buttons. There are few things more difficult than trying to match buttons in the middle of the night, in the dark, while sleep deprived. I can't count the times I would get Natalie in the morning and find the buttons all mismatched or missed. I quickly became a huge fan of sleep sacks and newborn gowns. Easy on and off. Easy diaper changes. Minimal effort. 

Bonus: you can find some REALLY cute options on the internet. I am especially fond of designs from Purple Possom, Zoey's Attic, OJ Design and Jake and Beth.

I don't think I need to explain the need for diapers. Cloth or disposable, it doesn't matter. As long as that precious little booty is covered, you're good to go. Fun fact: if you buy your diapers at Costco/Sams, my experience has been that, they will happily exchange them out if you have an unopened box regardless of how long it has been since purchase. Target will also accept returns without a receipt, but you can only have so many of those per calendar year.

4. Leggings/Yoga Pants.
You just birthed a human. Comfort > Everything. They hold everything in place. They are incredibly soft, stretchy and comfortable. Need I say more?

5. Nourishment. 
This is fairly broad so stay with me here. It doesn't matter if you're going to breast feed, bottle feed, formula feed, supplement, whatever. As long as the kid is eating something, you're doing a great job, mama. If you opt to bottle/formula feed, I wish I could recommend the best bottle on the market for you. We tried half a dozen bottles before we found one that both Natalie and I liked. Keep an open mind. What worked for one, may not work for you. There is nothing wrong with that. Like I said before, as long as the child is getting some kind of sustenance, you're doing your job :) 

This whole nourishment thing also applies to the new mom. PLEASE remember to eat and drink. I know that it's hard to remember to take care of yourself when you are putting 500% of your energy into your tiny human. I kept a large bottle of water with me at all times and B made sure I always had Uncrustables in the house because they were quick, easy and they really required nothing of me but to open it. 

The following items are not must haves; however, I did find them to make life a bit easier.

1. Blooming Bath.
I absolutely loved this thing for newborn bath time. Did it mean we needed to register for/purchase a second bathtub when she got a bit bigger? Yes. I don't even care. Those first baths are a bit stressful but this thing eased some of that. I cannot speak highly enough about the blooming bath. 

2. Click and Go car seat/stroller system.
With Natalie we had the Britax B-Agile/B-Safe combo. I loved how simple it was to remove her car seat and lock it onto the stroller. The more I did it, the more it became a fluid motion even when sleep deprived. It was nice having one single travel system. 

3. A swing.
We absolutely loved ours and got A TON of use out of it. While not an essential, so to speak, it did really come in handy!

That is just about everything you will need, on a most basic level, to get through those first few days and weeks at home. Honestly, new babies really don't need much in the way of stuff, their needs seem to be far more simple than that.