After two months of trial and error, here is a roundup of ten things that have made this stage of parenting a little easier: (OK, well here are four of the ten. More to come tomorrow; writing lengthy pieces with an infant sounds much easier than it is.)
I posted a picture of me baking cookies in the Maya Ring Sling sling here. I have scary eyes, but Little Man is so cozy and comfortable. And, excitingly, I have two hands to get stuff done around the house.
Swings and bouncers are great, but often Little Man just wants to be held. While I would gladly hold him every second of every day, there is laundry to get done and dishes to wash (among myriad other chores that don't just do themselves).
In the photo the rings are lower than they should be; I fixed it when I started cooking. I loved that the wrap comes with a DVD that instructs wearers on details like where the rings should be positioned and how to safely and comfortably use the sling. There are quite a few "holds" that make the wrap something parents can use beyond the infant stage. those are also demonstrated in the DVD.
Baby wearing is an ancient tradition that I absolutely love. Baby feels safe and secure, and I can easily monitor baby and quickly comfort him. The biggest benefit: I find it is much harder for strangers to touch the baby when he's in the wrap than when in his car seat. It is amazing how many people want to touch a newborn. These are often the same people who want to rub pregnant bellies! Avoid them at all costs.
Stork Craft Hoop Glider and Ottoman
A gift from my parents, this chair gets lots of use! It resides in our cute sun porch and is a nice, sunny place to pass the time breastfeeding.
I once wrote about a super-duper desirable glider type chair here, and while I still think that particular chair is the bees knees, This glider from Amazon is close to 10% of the cost. (I kid you not!) My mom, being the super careful consumer, read all of the reviews on Amazon. She noticed a common complaint: there just wasn't adequate bum padding. Rather than dropping an extra grand or so on the butter chairs wrapped in clouds (I think I have a future in advertising, no?) mom simply knitted me a new cushion for the Stork Craft.
Voila! Comfy, practical, and loved--with a homemade touch that makes it that much more special! (And no need to take out a second mortgage on the house for a chair.)
I feel like everyone alive knows how wonderful a Boppy nursing pillow is. During my marathon labor, my mom used it like an over sized neck pillow while trying to nap and decided she might want one of her own! Mine resides on the sun porch where I use it in my glider (for its intended purpose, not as a neck pillow...). However, I only use it in my glider where the chair arms prop it up high enough to support Little Man.
My super sweet neighbor Ayme introduced me to the Balboa Baby nursing pillow. She claimed it is the best, and frankly, I'm inclined to agree. I like it over the Boppy because it is a firmer pillow. I find that Little Man sinks into the Boppy and I end up slouching. A little slouch wouldn't be terrible except that I generally spend five hours or more a day feeding my little guy. Bad posture times five hours is an invitation for a backache.
|Notice there is little slouching going on. Notice, too, that it is impossible to breastfeed through a shirt...|
I also like the prints for the pillows more than the Boppy covers. (I'm sure, though, that one can find equally stylish covers on Etsy.) The one in the picture above, "swirl", is my favorite.
Halo Fleece Swaddler
I can't even begin to explain how much I love the Halo Fleece Swaddler. Little Man is a bit of an escape artist and is a very, very busy guy. He has been able to escape from every blanket and swaddler out there--with the exception of the Halo. I fully credit this contraption with my baby's good sleeping habits. Baby's good sleep habits= restful nights for parents! You see why I love this thing so much?
Two nights ago Little Man slept for eight hours. And that's not abnormal. At two weeks old he was sleeping for five hours. But only on the nights he was in the Halo. Needless to say, it is now the only swaddle blanket I use at night.
A few nights ago we had a little sleep over at my parents' house because we had a funeral to go to the next morning and I really wasn't sure I'd be able to get up, feed the kiddo, shower and dress, and drive the hour plus drive and make it on time. So, we had a slumber party. My mom was absolutely amazed by our bed time routine: bathe, eat, swaddle, crib. Even bright eyed when swaddled, Little Man quickly falls into a deep sleep with no effort on my part. I'm not sure if I am merely lucky to have an agreeable baby who loves a good night's sleep as much as I do or if the Halo is a gift from the Gods.
So, moms, what products were necessities for your little ones?
(All images--except the beautiful one of me wearing the cutest baby ever--come from the linked we bites.)
Because I am a huge fan of Amazon's ease and pricing (and have Amazon Prime with free shipping), I purchased almost all of my baby items from there. Here are links to the sling, glider, Balboa, and swaddler for your convenience!