All my favorite new-mommy blogs have been featuring their own post-pregnancy-must-haves…so I thought that I might as well jump on that gear-wagon. So if you are pregnant, here’s what worked for us…if you aren’t, just skip directly to #6…because everyone can benefit from easy access tank tops.
1. Soothies Gel Pads – Let’s begin this with a story about my boobs. The day after Will was born, I was in the hospital and the lactation consultant checked in on our nursing progress. I told her that Will was a bit of a yanker even though I had a kungfoo grip on the back of his head. And then she asked to see me do the breastfeeding deed…again. I proceeded to pull all the pillows around me and then pull down my top. That’s when the LC was like “WHOA!” and I was like “I KNOW” and she was like “YOU ARE VERY DAMAGED ON THAT SIDE” and I was like “I TOLD YOU”. So I had to stop breastfeeding on the one side and use my pump for half the feedings. Needless to say, I ended up experiencing a lot of soreness. A LOT. I don’t care what the books say…transitional soreness is not mild…it’s worse than labor in my mind. And for those of you ready to say “Well, Katie, you weren’t doing it right then…” well first of all, if you could identify what I was doing wrong, then you need to become a lactation consultant because my LC didn’t know. She did know one thing that helped tremendously : Soothies! I would pop em in the fridge as I nursed so that when Will finished molesting me, I would get some relief. I would meticulously clean the gel part with an icecube and a papertowel so that they would last the longest time possible. I don’t know what I would have done without these.
2. Balmex – We are constantly battling diaper rash. We use Balmex at night because it has the ability to neutralize irritants in the diapers. It also seems to create more of a waterproof barrier between Will’s willy and Will’s pee. It seems to be working.
3. Maximum Strength Desitin – Like I said, we are attempting to evict diaper rash from it’s current home. The regular Desitin wasn’t working. So we switched to Maximum Strength during all the daytime diaper changes. You could smell the power. It was amazing. In one week we went from LOTS of bumps and redness to only three little dots and just a bit of pink.
4. Baby Bjorn – After the C-section, I was told the number one thing to help me recover faster was to walk. And sometimes I had a hard time pushing the stroller up and down the stairs. Plus, Will loves to face forward. Even before he could see farther than eight inches from his face, he loved to face forward. So we absolutely love this carrier because I can strap it on for our daily walks and he can face forward or lay his head on my chest.
5. Johnson’s Bedtime Lotion – We have a nighttime routine. Bath, Massage, Nurse, Read, Pray, Swaddle, Bedtime. It works like a charm. And during Will’s rubdown, I use this lotion. Sometimes he smells so deliciously cute that I want to kiss his little cheeks off. And Jeremy thinks I am deliciously cute when I let him sniff my fingers. Nuff said.
6. Target’s Nursing Tanks – Gotta love a shirt that can let the girls hang free! And Target carries the cheapest around in an array of different colors. Now you can whip out a tah-tah whenever the mood strikes you…or your baby. Also beneficial when attempting to cool off on a hot day, hiding small objects or when eating crackers. Warning: if your teenage daughter shows interest…immediately remove her from public school, bar all doors and windows, and enforce the “you’re not dating till you’re married” rule. Worked for me 🙂
7. Euro Sham – What the heck is a sham doing on here? Well, instead of one of those plastic changing mats, we use a green euro sham that I scored for $1 when we change the Willmeister’s diaper. Not only is it absorbent for those “HE’S SPRUNG A LEAK!” moments, but it is extra cushiony for his little head when the floor is our only option. Sure, I tried one of those plastic coated mats, but the liquids would just congregate on Will’s onesie…forcing us to change his entire outfit. This way when the little dude tries to tag me, I can use the sham to soak up any stray leakage that may or may not have landed on the carpet, my pants, and his face.
8. The Boppy – I never really used the sucker for breastfeeding but this little c-shaped pillow is worth it’s weight in gold for being the perfect perch for our newbie. Even at the hospital, when we both wanted to see him, the Boppy was the perfect baby-booster. And now, we love to place him in it during dinner which we eat on the couch…just like always 🙂
9. The Baby Book – My darling boyfriend bought me this humongous resource book when I was pregnant. It (along with tidbits from numerous others) helped me get prepared for breastfeeding (as if you can actually BE prepared! Insert me scoffing here!) and baby care. Currently, it is my go-to book whenever I get that new-mom-questioning-everything-disease (Does my baby need vitamin drops? What can I do for colic? What breastfeeding position is best for a yanker? Etc.)
10. bumGenius 3.0 One Size cloth diapers – We are cloth diapering. It’s crazy I know. But we figured that if we wanted four kids, then we could literally save thousands of dollars over the course of our diapering lifetime. After some number crunching, we calculated that we would probably pocket about $400 in the first year alone! That’s a lot of bacon people! So after I convinced Jeremy of our savings, we compromised in some areas…first, we did receive numerous boxes of diapers for the newborn stage. So we didn’t actually start with the bumGenius’ until three weeks after Will was born. Also, we make sure the diaper bag has at least two disposable diapers for when we drop Will off at the church nursery. (No need to get on the nursery worker’s bad side especially with all the chaos in there!) Lastly, we decided to only travel with disposables. Personally I love the smell of dirty diapers in a hot car in the Georgia summer but apparently Jeremy gets two votes on the subject. (oh and for those of you wondering – I scored our diapers at BellaBlu Maternity.)
11. Always Ultra-thin Overnight Pads – Let’s just state the obvious – there’s a whole lotta stuff goin’ down after birth. Literally. It has the option to go down your leg or down onto your pants or down into some highly absorbant, ultra thin, extra long pad. I chose the later. And since I was still ‘adjusting’ to non-pregnancy for weeks and weeks after I delivered, these prevented me from a highly embarrassing situation. Plus the thin profile allowed me to walk without looking like I had a watermelon between my thighs. I vote that hospitals should use these for their post-delivery leakage needs…they are a heck of alot better than those throw pillows they hand out.
12. Ocean Spray Cran-Grape Juice – My name is Katie and I am a Cran-grape-aholic. Hmm. I love this drink. And it loves me. After Will arrived, all I wanted was fresh fruit. But I didn’t always have the energy to get up and grab some. Especially for those late night nursings. So each night I would have a glass of this juice next to my rocker so that while in the middle of the feeding, I could gain some energy to continue with the quest of the missing burps. I still drink it like a banchee. It’s delicious. And it does not qualify as a fuss-food so it is A-ok to pass along to my main man Will.
So there you have it folks…a list of my must haves. And because I know that there are lots of new moms, soon-to-be-moms, and I-think-I-passed-some-lady-in-the-supermarket-that-was-totally-knocked-up-gals out there that need to know all the latest and greatest baby gear, here are some links to my favorite must-have’s lists:
And for those of you just busting at the seams to add something to the must-have baby list, I’d love to hear it! Maybe you just couldn’t live without your bouncer, swing, or stroller? Or maybe you adored the zipper sleepers, or the easy to match granimals or the Breast Friend? Or perhaps your favorite baby item was a ceiling fan and your kneepads for those diaper changes? Whatever your favorite baby item, put ‘er right there in the comments.