Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oh the Things You Need!

My brother and sister-in-law are due any day now, and she put the feelers out for suggestions on things she'd need in the first three months after the baby arrives. Well, I figured why not share it with everyone! Here are the top 10 things I needed/wish I had when we first brought little Joey home:

1. A schedule for visitors.
When we arrived home from the hospital, my in-laws were in my driveway and ready to help in any way they could - bless their hearts. But, what I really needed when I got home was some peace and quiet to get my bearings. And when you are still trying to learn how to breast feed and your nursery is too small for a comfy chair... let's just say I wasn't jumping at the chance to whip my girls out in front of my husband's grandfather!

2. The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD.
We were about 4 months too late on this one. Mike and I watched it, last month and kept looking at each other going, "WTF! Why didn't we have this 4 months ago?? WHY??"

3. A vibrating bouncy seat and/or swing (that plugs in).
This is one of those items I put on my registry thinking, "Hmm, this is cute. Probably don't need it, but whatever." Um, I needed it. Joey slept in his bouncy seat (while I slept next to him on the couch) for, ohhh, the first 2 months of his life or so. Saved. My. Life. Oh, and I constantly worried that if I left it vibrating all night, it would scramble his brain or something. Believe me, keep the vibrations going, he's just fine. We didn't have a swing, but I think it would have been even more helpful than the bouncy seat in Joey's case. (Some babies like them, and some don't - looking back, I wish I would have gotten one, just in case) And, don't forget, if your swing is not the plug-in variety, LOTS OF BATTERIES! I swear, buy out Costco.

4. Bottles and formula (and know how to mix it).
Even if you are breast feeding. I know, I know, colostrum, yadda, yadda, yadda. My milk took forever to come in, and Joey was screaming non-stop. I finally gave in and made him a 2 oz bottle (struggling to read the instructions at 3am). He sucked it down in nothing flat, and fell fast asleep.

5. A sling or carrier that will hold a newborn (and know how to use it).
When I brought Joey home, all I had was the Bjorn, and he was too small for it. I think it would have saved a bit more of my sanity if I had been able to strap him to me and go about my day. He probably would be used to it, too. Now, it's a struggle to keep him in a carrier, unless we are out and about and he has tons of stuff to look at. I also managed to forget that I could just put him in his car seat and snap him in the stroller if I needed to get out of the house. Seriously. It didn't even cross my mind for probably the first month.

6. Lots of burp cloths.
Self explanatory.

7. My Brest Friend Nursing pillow.
This was another one that I thought I'd never need. Until I tried using my Boppy for the first week, and then took a visit to see a lactation consultant to make sure things were going OK. That was my first encounter with My Brest Friend. We actually stopped at two stores on our way home from the appointment with the consultant so I could buy one. When you have a floppy newborn (and big boobs), I found the Boppy difficult to use (actually, a flat pillow worked better). Now that Joey is bigger, I can set him on my lap with nothing, or just a flat pillow, but I still use My Brest Friend when I am at home.

8. Nursing tank tops.
I lived in these for weeks after we brought Joey home. I had purchased a couple nursing bras before he was born, but none of them fit right, and these were so comfy and convenient.

9. A Good Breast Pump (and know how it works).
When your little one is nursing like a champ at the hospital, gets home and decides to forget how those darn boobs work, the first thing you'll probably worry about is your milk supply - or your milk coming in at all - I know I did! I wish I would have bit the bullet and purchased a good electric pump, especially since I was going to be returning to work.

10. Food.
I stocked my freezer with pasta sauce a couple weeks before the baby arrived, and we had awesome family, friends and neighbors drop off food for us. One of my favorite things: Meghan brought us some chicken pasta salad that we could eat cold and on the run. Seriously, best thing I ever ate. I crave it to this day.

OK, those are my top 10... anyone else? Anything to add or echo? What did you need or wish you had when you first brought your little one home?


Ben said...

#1 is key.

Meghan said...

Dood I've been craving that pasta, too! I LOVE IT SO HARD! Maybe I'll make a batch and we can have a park picnic next week or something???

Annie said...

Yes. Yes. YES!