Did anyone ever tell me that newborns would be this hard? Because I really don't think anyone ever told me... Instagram and Facebook moms make it look so easy! These past 7 weeks have rocked my world and I only have one kid, a hands-on husband and a temporarily live-in mother to help! Hats off to single parents and parents of multiples! One (of the many) things thats been amazing is the number of fellow moms who have reached out to me with advice, support and encouragement. It's really something I wasn't expecting but certainly appreciate so I figured this would be my "pay-it-forward" post to share all the things that have made newborn life slightly easier (but still not easy).
Nose Frieda Snot sucker
When I shared a photo of my VERY hectic coffee table, this "tool" hands down brought in the most DM's to my Instagram from fellow parents who swear by it. I learned really early on the the old school bulb nasal aspirator wasn't going to cut it...like wasn't even going to PRETEND to get a boog out so I'm so glad this weird and slightly gross little gadget exists. I use this every single day!
Medela Breast pump + accessories
If you're breast feeding, chances are you're going to have a want or need for a breast pump. Maybe you're going back to work or you just want to give your partner and family the ability to help feed (and babysit!) so you're going to need some expressed milk. Upon recommendation from fellow moms, I purchased both the Medela Swing electric pump as well as the manual pump for emergencies. Using a breast pump is also a great way to see how much you're producing and can put your mind at ease about how much baby is getting. When my milk first came in I had a full on melt down in my kitchen about whether or not my baby was getting enough food so I decided to pump for the first time and was so relieved to see that my supply was just fine! Since then I have needed my breast pump to give my nipples a break during a spell of thrush and to stock the fridge for outings where breast feeding may be more difficult. I honestly think the electric pump is a game changer and would recommend it to every mom planning to breast feed. I also recommend the Medela breast milk storage bags for refrigerating or freezing your milk and the microwavable sterilizing steam bags to sterilize your bottles, pump parts, pacifiers, nipples, spoons etc.
PUMP // BUY HERE
BREAST MILK STORAGE BAGS // BUY HERE
MICROWAVE STERILIZING STEAM BAGS // BUY HERE
BOOB Ease Organic nipple balm
While we're talking about breast feeding... make sure you add the Boob-ease Nipple Balm to your cart. I recommend this one specifically (over the Lansinoh) because of its smooth and easily spreadable consistency. I found in those early days that other creams were a little too thick and more uncomfortable to try and spread over my tender bits. You also don't have to worry about wiping away the balm before feeding again so thats a plus!
While it was recommend to keep baby in our room with us for the first 6 months, for us it was best that baby went in his own room around 6 weeks which meant we needed to be able to rely on a really good monitor to be able to see and hear him. I remember stressing out about what monitor to get, as a lot of the reviews on well-known brands were less than desirable. I found the Netvue security camera on Amazon and decided to give it a try. I was impressed with all of the features as well as the reviews (bonus: It's compatible with Alexa Echo if you have one of those). Since setting it up, I can't tell you how many times a day I tell my husband how much I love it. You have the ability to set it on a shelf or mount it on a wall. It syncs perfectly to your devices through the app so we set up the iPad on our nightstand to have an XL view of him during the night but can also take a peek at him on our phones when we're in other rooms or have left him with grandma for babysitting. We get alerts on our phones anytime there is movement in the room which allows us to check on him easily. My husband loves to watch him nap from his phone while he's at work. OH, and there is also 2-way audio!
Black and white baby book
Babies have a limited color range that they can see when they're born so high contrast black and white books are great for helping develop their eyesight. I ordered my black and white book around 4 weeks when I noticed he was more alert and starting to have more awake time. I swear by this book. He absolutely loves it and spends a good amount of time really concentrating on the images and it helps with focusing his attention during tummy time. I have also recommended this to a fellow new mom and her baby also loves it!
People have different opinions on pacifiers, to give them or not to give them, that is the question. We stayed away from and faux nipples for the first 3 weeks upon recommendation from the nurses to prevent any nipple confusion since I am breast feeding. My husband and I decided we would only break out the pacifier if we felt like it was absolutely necessary. We introduced this Wubbanub pacifier at about 4 weeks and most often use it when in the car or out shopping. We love this pacifier specifically because the soft animal toy helps hold the pacifier in place and reduces the amount of time we have to place it back in his mouth. Don't get me wrong, it still falls out from time to time but the toy definitely helps. TIP: I tuck the arms in with the seat belt to help keep it in place in the car.
I hope these are as useful for you as they are for me! Feel free to ask my any questions. There are plenty more things that make mama-ing easier so share with us your must-haves in the comments! Enjoy and GOOD-LUCK mamas!