Saturday, December 3, 2011

Survival Mode

As I have just embarked on my first month of motherhood, I thought I would share those top things I couldn't have survived without.

I have this conflicting notion of whether to buy off of someone's registry or to buy them something unique.

For my wedding I was happy to receive something not on my registry, but with the baby registry I "needed" everything on my registry so I hoped to get those items first.

Creating a baby registry felt like a visit to hell and back so I wanted all of my stress and energy put towards it to be worth it.

Maybe that sounds bratty but until you've been through it you have no idea.

I loathed creating that registry and I am so glad it is over, until next time that is. Wink Wink.

For us, this is the Season of Babies.

We have a dozen friends expecting plus we just had our very own bundle of sweetness so we are deep into "all things baby".

It's amazing how quickly you learn and are thrown into this thing we call parenthood.

I bet the husband feels like an expert already although 45 days ago he felt like a lost puppy dog when the subject came up.

Funny how quickly things change.

Here are my top "can't live without items" for the first month.

In no significant order, just helping keep my sanity.

1. My iphone
This little device has been a godsend during my pumping sessions. It helps me keep track of time and entertains me. Words with Friends, Text Messaging, Facebook, Pinterest, TMZ of course all help the time pass quicker.

2. All things Lansinoh. Breast pads and HPA Lanolin Click here
Breast pads have been great for leaking and protection against clothing. HPA Lanolin is so great I wish I had stock in it. This is truly the number one item I would say is mandatory for any mom that is breastfeeding. You will understand once you begin that journey.

3. Skip Hop Bottle Drying Rack click here
Love this thing! We use it after every feeding so it is constantly being used. Every 3 hours! We use it for our breastpump accessories and our bottles.

4. Swaddles by aiden and anais click here
These are perfect for all weather types. Use as a swaddles, tummy time blanket, stroller cover-up, etc. The material is breathable and easy to wash. A friend showed us the "double swaddle" technique so you can never have enough of these. We have 8 and I wish I had more!

5. My girlfriends.
If I wouldn't have had my friends to ask for advice or their opinion I would have gone crazy. Having a few best friends who have had babies recently sure helped when it came to new products, breastfeeding advice, etc. Don't wait too long to ask for help. You will be surprised how much better you feel after you confide in a friend the obstacles you are facing as a new mommy.

6. Boppy pillow click here
This is my breastfeeding best friend. A regular pillow is not supportive enough. This is the perfect size for the little peanut to be propped up on for your nursing sessions. I recommend getting more than one cover so you can wash one and not have to worry about laundry all the time. One friend even mentioned having one for downstairs and upstairs. (My house is one level so I only needed one)

7. Fisher Price Rock n Play Sleeper click here
We used this as our bassinet. It's a great price and portable. You can move it room to room if you need to. Great for small spaces and for those who want baby sleeping in their room the first few months. Good for up to 25lbs. Cover is also washable which is a plus for me!

8. Boppy Noggin Nest Head Support click here
This accessory pairs well with the Rock n Play sleeper or any other swing or chair. It prevents flat-head since baby is sleeping a lot. Her head is perfectly round so it's working to keep her head round. All of the reviews I read, other moms had wished they had gotten it sooner so I bought it when she was 2 weeks old before we had a flat-head issue.

9. Sleep Sheep click here
I did not even register for this item and I received 2. I sent one to Grandma's house instead of returning it. It is convenient, is battery operated, and has a velcro latch so can be attached to anything. She loves the ocean sound setting but there are 3 others to choose from. We turn it on after each feeding when we put her down to sleep. She seems to like it and it helps baby relax.

10. Humility.
Remember, I said they are in no significant order. This one needs to be towards the top. A little bit of humble pie never hurt anyone. Being a new mother teaches you that it's way harder than you think and it's ok if you are not perfect. We all do the best we can and as long as we show our children love and support everything will be ok. This is not the time to strive for perfection. Your mommy instinct will guide you and it's always right.

11. Dr. Brown's Standard BPA-Free 4 oz bottle plus Premie Nipples click here
I love these bottles. Although they do come with a Level 1 nipple, I had to order premie nipples because the milk was coming out too fast for baby. (I ordered from Amazon because they don't sell premie nipples in stores.) She almost never spits up and we always get a good burp or two from her during the feeding.

12. MamaRoo click here
This swing is fun! It allows us to hook-up our ipod and play our music for her or we can choose one of the settings offered. This swing moves forwards-backwards, side to side, and up and down. We started her in this early so she would get used to it. Each day she seems to like it more and more. She loves it after her early evening feedings. We have it in the living room so mommy and daddy can have her in the room with us while we catch up on our day. It does not take up much room but looks like a spaceship!

13. Medela quick clean steam bags click here
These are great for on the go and at home. I use them at least once a day to sterilize everything after I wash with soap and hot water. Your breast pump accessories can be cleaned in these bags too which is an added plus.

14. Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced Backpack click here
There are no words for this one. It gets me through my day although I sometimes feel like it is attached to me. I chose the backpack for carrying to work but you can also choose the messenger bag style option. All accessories needed plus milk storage containers are included.

15. My diaper bag. Click here
I love this bag! I get so many compliments from it and people don't realize that it's not my purse. It has lots of sections along with a changing pad in the bottom for convenience. Great bags!

16. Husband
Last, but not least. Having a great partner to help you is priceless. We have learned even more how to work as a team. Let him help you!!!! I say this in the nicest way possible. We are all OCD to some extent especially when it comes to being a mommy, but don't do this to your partner or yourself. Let him participate in the bottle feedings, let him change a diaper, let him pick out clothes (it's ok, his fashion sense can't be that bad.) The few things dad does really make a difference in giving you a few moments to yourself. Don't feel bad waking Dad up in the middle of the night with you. I promise they want to help especially once they meet their sweet child's face!

So what do you think?

Is it a no-no to buy something not on one's baby registry?
If you feel like an expert and know what they will need or love something so much you want to buy it for others-is it ok then?
Tell me what you think.

I wish I could buy this entire list for everyone I know, even if they didn't register for my husband. haha.

These are my top 16. I was not paid for any of these endorsements. They are my honest opinion on being a new mother. You may not agree with me either and that's ok too. I just wanted to put the truth out there and let ya'll know how parenthood was treating us. I am sure I left something off the list so feel free to share what got you through.

Much love to all,
Momma KHAK