After last week’s DEEP post on my dealings with postpartum depression, I felt I needed to lighten things up a bit around here. If you haven’t read it, you can do so here.
I want to continue along the “new parent” lines and give you my top 5 must have products for a newborn. I have two children, but I still don’t consider myself an expert. These are a few items I stumbled upon that got me through the initial phase of rearing tiny new humans.
1. Homedics White Noise Sound Machine: One word, lifesaver. I get that some people might think a kid needs to adjust to their surroundings and get used to noise. I am not one of those people. Screaming babies who wake up due to me shutting a door too loudly or having to tip toe around during nap time isn’t enjoyable to me. Maybe it was the 500 square foot housing situation we lived in while both of our children were infants, but I learned that a sound machine works. We could put both of our babies to bed, turn the sound machine(s) on and have an adult conversation without whispering. And, this is important, we watched TV with the volume on. You need one. You’re welcome.
2. Hospital blankets: Okay, you might think I’m crazy. I know there are about one million different type of swaddle blankets, sleep sacks, and such, but you only need one type in the beginning. They aren’t the cutest things; however, when it comes to wrapping a baby up tight and keeping them that way, this is the only way to go! Get a nurse to show you, or in my case my brother, and swaddle the snot out of that new baby. The baby will feel cozy and calm, and you will think you’ve saved some money. (We all know there is no such thing as free, but these are readily available in the hospital.)
3. Colic Calm Homeopathic Gripe Water: My son had colic… bad. I spent an insane amount of time awake at night googling solutions for his non-stop crying. His “witching hours” were roughly all twenty-four hours in a day. We tried the gas drops, other gripe waters, and any other solution I heard of. (Did you know there are massage techniques specifically to help calm a baby’s tummy? Yep! They didn’t help us, but I did basically become a baby masseuse.) The only thing that actually helped was this one. Colic Calm did not cure his colic, but it certainly gave much needed relief.
4.Hakka Silicone Breastmilk Collector: The actual name is manual breast pump, but I don’t feel that is an accurate description. This is another mom message board find that I always recommend to new moms. With how horribly my body reacted to pumping with my first child, I dreaded the thought of the pump with my second. This piece of silicone magic not only collected excess milk from the side my daughter wasn’t nursing on, it also helped increase my milk supply. Y’all, this was a game changer. I used the Hakka at almost every feeding in the beginning and collected enough milk throughout the day to store a three to four ounce bottle. That might not seem like much to you, but it allowed me to leave my daughter to go to a funeral when she was only two weeks old without having to pump beforehand. (Here’s an extra tip: Make sure you pour what milk you collect into an actual bottle before storing in the fridge. Because of the flimsy nature of silicone, these bottles should not be trusted not to tip over. Oh yeah, I cried over that spilled milk.)
5.Baby Wrap: If you knew me while my babes were newborns and young infants, you probably saw me wearing them. I wrapped them up anytime we went out in public until they were old enough to wiggle out. Church was more enjoyable and the grocery store more tolerable because I could be “holding” my baby and still use my hands. Anytime they were sick or fussy and I needed to get things done, I would wrap them up tightly, helping them to almost instantly calm down. They felt the physical touch they longed for, and I had access to my hands. I remember many, many days of cleaning house, folding laundry, going to the bathroom, and so much more all while wearing a child. Oh, those were the good ole days! Side note: Once my children were a few months old, I switched to wearing them in an actual carrier.
In all honesty, the only things a baby truly needs are love and sustenance. All of the extra things are just that, things. We’re blessed to live in a first world country in the 21st century, where abundance is standard. I always try to keep it all in perspective. So, if you’re about to be a parent, just remember to soak up all the moments and cherish all the feels. As the saying goes, “Babies don’t keep.”