Novice Mom Necessities

I am far from an expert on this stuff, but I have learned a few lessons in my first 3.5 weeks as a new mom.  Some of these things have been shared by other new moms (thanks you’ve been lifesavers) and others I’ve learned through trial by fire, and yet others I wish I knew about a month ago and perhaps life would’ve been easier.  Either way, here’s my wisdom for today…I’ll warn you in advance I don’t follow all the rules so this is not medically validated.

1. After giving birth: I wish I knew about the option for donut therapy and diaper ice packs…perhaps days 2, 3 and 4 may have been a bit more comfortable.  My delivery nurse had some new tread on her sneakers in comparison to the others and it showed.  I was pretty doped up and the adrenaline of delivery sent my body into a whirlwind of post delivery symptoms (nausea, and uncontrollable shakes) which may have drawn my attention away from the need to tend to my bottom.  However, when reality hit about half way through the next day when the drugs were really wearing off I recognized that things were a little uncomfortable.  Donut therapy is not the bakery type, it’s a mini inner tube to plop your cheeks in to take the pressure of the stitches and other swollen parts who just delivered a watermelon out of piping meant for a lemon.  The diaper ice packs are just as they sound…a baby diaper cut open and filled with ice.  When the ice melts the hydrogel particles in the diaper absorb the water so you aren’t sitting in a puddle.  Both gave enough relief for me to believe in heaven once again 🙂

2.  Breastfeeding: When I made the decision to breastfeed no one told me that on the third day they eat continuously for 4 hours. I’m not exaggerating when I say continuously either.  The little man went from Right boob to burping, to left boob to burping, back to right boob…you get the picture…for 4hours straight.  No breaks, not even to go to the bathroom or to sneak in a drink of water.  Needless to say the girls were ready to throw in the towel.  To my rescue the nurse offered these glorious inventions…Lansinoh Soothies.  They are round little gel pads to place on tips of the girls.  I can describe the relief and maybe you have experienced 4 hours of someone sucking on your boobies…I don’t know.  All I know is the were the tidbit of relief.  So much so that on the way home from the hospital we stopped at target to get another pair so I could wear them around the clock and rotate a pair through the cooling station (aka: fridge).

3.  Soothing a baby: The best advise ever was from a colleague of my husband who suggested bouncing on an exercise ball when baby is crying…it works like a charm every time.  Ridiculous screaming baby + Exercise ball= sleepy child and little ab workout for mother.  All in all it’s worth my sanity.  I sure was ignorant when I bought that exercise ball 5 years ago that I would be using it to calm me in labor and to soothe a crying baby.  Gotta love multi-functional equipment.  There are other product out there that follow the same lines.  His bouncy chair that vibrates… also a lifesaver, however he gets into fits and MUST BE HELD, or else…thus I resort to bouncing on an exercise ball.

4.  Soothing a baby part 2: In addition to bouncing I found that certain sounds will calm him.  Classical Music is a must have in our house, which I’ve also found useful for putting the dog and husband to sleep too (in case you have other issues beyond a crying baby in your house)!  Combine that with a cuddle session, and bouncing on the exercise ball and I have a baby that is out like a light in 5 minutes tops!  Another soothing “must-have” product (according to me) is the Munchkin Crib Light Accessory available at Target.com for $9.34.  Here’s the description according to the product:

  • Innovative light helps sooth Baby back to sleep
  • Voice activated light uses both colored lights and womb sounds to relax Baby
  • Attaches easily to crib wall

it’s rated well by others and I tend to agree with that.  When little man cries at night it activates the Lights and Sounds which captures his attention and ceases the screaming and sometimes puts him back to sleep.  The “womb sounds” are a soft pounding. I assume to replicate the heartbeat noise, but it reminds me of the sound of when I’m patting his back to induce belching! Either way, he likes it 🙂

5.  There are tons of things that are nice to have but I’m not going into details about all of them. Just a list of miscellaneous items that are helpful:

  • I appreciate the Boppy travel swing, which takes up minimal space, has a timer and music on it as an added bonus.
  • The Boppy pillow is nice too especially for propping him up while on our lap, or for photo sessions (more to come on that later).
  • Now that his a fan of flailing his arms and legs, we found the Swaddle Me blankets to come in super handy at night so he doesn’t kick his way out of the blankets…which often induces screaming in the middle of the night.
  • I definitely vote for Pampers diapers over any other brands.  We had some Huggies, Luvs and generic diapers given to us either as samples or as gift and inevitably they all lead to leakage and more laundry!
  • The vibrating bouncy seat I mentioned above has come in super handy to help soothe and offer a new perspective for the little man.
  • We received the Bright Start Travel Mat which he’s really starting to like.  It has fold up sides so it’s like laying him in a little padded box.  It also came with a mirror which is good for about 10 minutes of uninterrupted entertainment and utter amusement.
  • Nuk in this house equals Mute button for Caleb.  I know, according to the medical professionals he’s totally going to have nipple confusion and I should be putting him to breast whenever he wants.  So far he’s not confused and the girls really appreicate the relief!  He gained over 2 pounds from birth at his 2 week check up…according to doc “he’s eating like a champ!” Proof that he’s not confused!

There, that’s enough wisdom for one day. Hope you feel a little more educated by reading this!

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