Saturday, February 4, 2012

Registry Revisited: The First Weeks

I was hoping to still be able to blog every day, but that is proving to be more difficult than I thought - hopefully once we get some kind of routine down and I am a little more well-rested we'll be able to get back to business as usual.  I may run out of things to write about - imagine that!  But for now, I still owe you a lot (example: things I learned about labor, Lilly Meets Layla, Breast Feeding, and a variety of other super fun topics), so I promise to get to all of them as soon as I can.

For today, I thought I'd do a quick post on what I've used the most with baby girl in this first week and a half.  I figure it will be helpful for any of you mommies-to-be who will be registering in the near future - I know I scoured registry checklists and did a ton of research (including hounding my girlfriends), so hopefully this will help others as well.  I may do updates to this as she grows - for now, I'll just give you the things I've used the  most in the 8 days (already?!?!?!) since we've been at home.

  • Sleepers/onesies that zip instead of snap, and preferably ones that have built in no-scratch mittens (I deluded myself into thinking she would be dressed in all kinds of cute outfits, but let's be honest, we (a) can't go anywhere yet for her to be seen in her cuteness, (b) none of the outfits even fit her yet because she is so teeny, and (c) considering the amount of times she poops/pees/spits up in a day, sleepers are just easier).  For some reason I can't find a picture of exactly what I'm looking for, here is the zipper concept (snaps at the top over the zipper so it doesn't poke any of her sweet little chins):
  • And here is a picture of the mitten cuffs (built in no-scratch mittens - just fold the sleeve over her hands):
    I know they make onesies with both zippers and mitten cuffs - we have a ton of them, and in fact have sent my parents out for more because we love them so much - I just can't seem to enter the right search terms to find them online to show you!  But I know Mom found some at Macy's.  Anyway, I like these for several reasons.  First, we change SO MANY diapers in a day - you would be amazed.  We had no concept of just how many we would change.  So for us, the sleepers that zip are far easier to deal with than having to do all of those snaps all the time.  As for the built in mitten cuffs, they are awesome.  It is basically like a little flap at the end of the sleeve that you just fold over the baby's hands.  This keeps Lilly from scratching herself and keeps Mommy from going crazy trying to keep no-scratch mittens on her.  She wiggles around so much that they are always coming off, so when they're built in it's a lot easier.
  • My Brest Friend and quite a few extra covers (we have three and I may even get one more):
    Moms, if you are breast feeding, this is essential.  A lot of people also like the boppy pillow.  I use this too, but just to prop her in - not for feedings.  My girlfriends told me - and I agree with them - that when babies are first born and they're still so teeny, it's hard to keep them situated comfortably for breast feeding on the boppy pillow because they fall through the cracks.  The brestfriend straps around you and you can tighten it so that it will stay where you position it.  I would suggest having two covers for this at a minimum.  That way when accidents happen (read: spit up or in Lilly's case, messy eating/excessive drooling) you can just change the cover instead of having to scramble to wash it immediately.  It took some learning and getting used to with positioning, etc. for both Lilly and myself, but now that we have the hang of it, we love it and use it for every feeding.
  • Changing pad sheet savers and crib sheet savers.  Crib sheet savers have been less important than changing pad sheet savers so far (no accidents in the crib yet, knock on wood) from what I've found - even more so if your child doesn't sleep in the crib right away, which is what I think most people do.  Brand doesn't really matter for the crib sheet savers - we just registered for whatever they had at BuyBuy Baby that matched.  For the changing pad liners, Steph gave us some Boppy brand ones at our Raleigh shower and we LOVE them - we are ordering a few more sets today. You basically just lay them on the changing pad so that when your child pees everywhere, which they inevitably will (I swear to you Lilly pees on Dan EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. he changes a diaper - you'd think he would learn to leave the diaper over her lady parts when the air hits), all you have to do is change the liner and not the whole changing pad cover.  Love:
  • Video Monitor - we have the Summer Infant Baby Touch Monitor, but there are obviously different ones you can get.  This thing has been instrumental for my peace of mind since we wanted to start Lilly out in her crib from day one.  It came highly recommended by several girlfriends, and I had to fight Dan on it because it is very expensive, but we both agree that it's been worth every penny.  The first night, it helped because I could see her and see that she was okay/not suffocating, etc. and I slept better.  In the days and nights since, it's been helpful because babies are noisy sleepers, so it's easy for me to be able to tell whether she's actually waking up or just being noisy in her sleep and saves me from going into her room every single time and waking her if she wasn't actually waking up to begin with.  I also like that I can control the camera from the monitor, so when she starts moving around and I want to see a different angle, I can still do so without going into her room.
  • For any of you who are pumping: (at least) two (I think we may have 3 or 4 - we got duplicates and decided to keep them instead of returning, and I'm so glad we did) sets of breast pump parts.  For the first little while when we were having to supplement after Lilly was on the breast to get her weight up, I was pumping after every feeding.  It was so nice to have a clean set of pump parts to use, especially since we were feeding her every 2-3 hours.  A feeding goes from start to start, so say we fed at 10:00 a.m. and she fed for 1 hour until 11:00 a.m., then she was supposed to feed again between 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. and I also had to pump in between.  It was nice to not have to worry about immediately washing/drying the parts I just used.
  • Bottle warmer.  Many breast feeding Moms may not need this until later, but because we were having to supplement, we needed it early on.  We use Dr. Brown's bottles and so we registered for the bottle warmer that goes specifically with those bottles, and it has been amazing. You're not supposed to heat anything in the microwave because it heats unevenly, and boiling water and then putting the milk in it, etc. can take forever.  This handy dandy contraption does it in 2 minutes.  So easy and fast.  The only thing is, the bottle (and nipple) get really hot, so we always run the nipple under cold water for a few seconds before giving it to Lilly.  And it goes without saying that we always double check the heat of the milk on our wrist to make sure we're not burning her little mouth.
  • Swaddling Blankets.  Babies like to be swaddled when they're little, all nice and tight like a burrito - this mimics how squished up they were in the womb and is comforting to them.  We have been using the hospital blankets that we stole borrowed for the most part, but now that she's getting a little bigger we've also started using the aiden + anais blankets that we've gotten some of the time as well. They are expensive, but so soft and big enough that there's plenty of room for swaddling.  There are also swaddling blankets with velcro that you can get - we have a few of those, but so far I think Lilly might be too little for them because she always manages to wriggle an arm out and then gets mad and wakes herself up.  Luckily, Dan has managed to become a master swaddler thanks to the  Happiest Baby On the Block (and lots of practice):
One of my favorite pictures of my loves from the week.  Just missing Layla!  :-)

Obviously this list is not comprehensive - diapers, wipes, burp cloths, and a variety of other things are necessary as well - these are just the things that are maybe not as intuitive that have made my life a lot easier since we've come home. I hope you found it helpful!

Happy weekend to all of you.  My mom is leaving today, and so we are faced with our first night alone with Lilly.  I know we can do it and that everything will be fine, but I am still terrified and will likely cry a lot when she leaves.  She has just been so much help, and it's been so nice having all of the extra help from she and my mother-in-law this week.  Lilly had a long night last night - I think it is either a growth spurt or something upset her tummy - so here's to hoping that tonight goes a little smoother.  I'll report back on how it goes!  In the meantime, I'm looking forward to a low-key night in with my hubby.  We may even get a little crazy with a glass of wine and  a movie!  My, how the times have changed - so worth it, of course.  :-)

Sarah

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