One of my dearest friends is pregnant. Actually, two of my dearest friends are pregnant, but for one of them it’s the first time. Yesterday she asked me if there was anything that I would suggest she get. I could not get the words out of my mouth fast enough.
It occurred to me that this is useful stuff, stuff I know I’m going to forget over the next few years. So, here is a list of the unexpected things I’ve found most important over the past few months.
(It starts with some frank nursing talk and then branches into more standard baby-gear things)
Stretchy tanktops, like the kind from Old Navy. Lots of people wear nursing tops and love them, but I was too sensitive for that kind of constraint for the first 3 months or so. The stretchy tank tops are a good alternate.
Bobby pins or headband. If your hair falls in your face while you’re wrestling with the baby at 3am it might just be the thing that makes you scream cry.
Coconut oil for healing and soothing. Also, the Lansinoh is good too! (http://www.lansinoh.com/)
*A tip from a friend – she took a super soft old t-shirt and made breast pads out of them.*
Some kind of pillow(s). Boppies must work for a lot of people, but didn’t for me. I just liked the flat/hard pillow to lay the baby on. Figure out what works for you, and don’t be afraid to experiment! If one kind of thing doesn’t feel right – don’t force yourself to keep using it.
A huge plastic cup with a straw that won’t spill if you’re trying to one-hand it. Mums get super thirsty when nursing, it’s like immediate and severe. You’ll want water next to you!
Electric pump to make bottles so you can be away from the babydoll for more than 2 hours if need be. Also, a manual pump so your boobs don’t explode if you are away from the babe for more than 2 hours. Just find a public restroom and go for it.
I love the Tommy Tippee bottles
) They are slow flow so that it’s not such a huge shock the first time the baby has a bottle instead of you. I think there are a lot of good bottles, but I love these.
An understanding that this will be physically exhausting at first but it will get better. Also, an understanding that you need so many more calories than you used to. So, ice cream, mac and cheese, bring it on.
I have been bad at this, but take your vitamins.
Other baby stuff:
The woombie (http://www.woombie.com/) is something I’d get for the next time. It’s a swaddle that just zips up. No loud velcro, no wrestling with manual swaddling in the middle of the night. Sounds pretty good!
The Rock n’ Play – our babe loves sleeping in this simple rocker.
Pack n’ Play w/ Bassinet and changing table. It’s got everything you need for a baby station in the house.
A wrap. We use the Moby Wrap. Yes, it’s a carrier, but I’ve got the most value out of it when she was very small and needed to be close. Sometimes when she was very upset, it was the only thing that would calm her down. I think it reminds them of being in the womb.
A big exercise ball. This is another good way to soothe the angry babe. Just hold tight, support the neck and bounce bounce bounce.
Yoga pants, many. These are for you, not the baby. Although, that would be adorable.
Play mat with lots of colors for tummy time.
Burp cloths/Swaddling blankets/Any kind of blankets: I thought “oh god, too many blankets! But guess what, we’ve used ALL of them. Aiden and Anais is the best. Super soft, kind of expensive, but worth it.
Car seat stuff:
They have little pads that cover the strap that is by baby’s neck. I just found these like, two weeks ago and I wish I did sooner.
The Pad-a-lilly that helps you not break your arm when you carry it around.
A good mirror so you can see baby while you’re driving.
Clothes: People will buy you clothes. You’ll probably be ok. But it’s good to have both newborn and 0-3 sizes on hand for the first few days/weeks. Who knows how big or teeny baby will be?
Camera! Take pictures and pictures. I’m already super nostalgic for when she was little. And she’s still little.
Other stuff, like the baby bath, baby wash, wash cloths (i love Circo), dipes, wipes, the whole shebang — there’ll be a thousand things you figure out you need. But these things were keys for me.
Maybe most importantly, patience, with yourself , dad, and baby. Willingness to ask for help. Tons of love. You’ll figure out how strong you are and WHOA, you are strong.
And OMG look what you get!!