Last week I wrote all about Arlo turning 6 months old and it hit me, the “newborn” phase is over. Ah! How did that happen so slowly and also in the blink of an eye?! I remember with Clyde crying at 8 weeks old because we moved him out of our bedroom. With Arlo, we didn’t give him the eviction notice as quickly because of COVID & repurposing the nursery for an at-home office for my husband so for whatever reason, that initial newborn phase seemed to last way longer? Either way, not mad about it. Savoring all the second baby phases while I can.
So, I’m going to do these posts backwards, meaning not in the timeline they happened . First, I’ll tell you all about what we deemed “essential” to get through those first few weeks at home with a newborn. And then, at some point, I’ll share a birth story. Because backwards is better, or at least thats what I’m telling myself.
What every new parent craves and never gets enough of: SLEEP! Lets be honest, to be the best versions of ourselves, sleep is essential. So, to get those babies to sleep in the first few weeks, this is what worked for me:
- The Snoo. But before you think I’m insane and spent $1,200 on a bassinet that my baby would use for a few weeks, let me just tell you that you can RENT a snoo (roughly $100/month). Which is exactly what we did. I had mentioned in a previous post that with Clyde, we used a Rock-n-Play however, those are now deemed “unsafe” for sleep so we took the plunge and went for the Snoo. It swaddles them in tightly, provides white noise & rocks/giggles them to sleep. It does this all based on how the baby is sleeping. So, if the baby starts to fuss or cry, the snoo turns it up a notch and rocks them more & projects louder white noise. You can also keep it on a certain level to keep it from escalating too far (which I did) or keep it on “weaning” mode which preps baby to move into a crib.
- Doc-a-tot. This was gifted to me by a family friend and when you need a place to put baby down in the family room for a snooze or when you’re caring for another child, or stepping away to use the restroom, or god-forbid feeding yourself…they are handy. It was our go-to for both boys in the first few weeks.
- Bibs Pacifiers. Clyde did not take a pacifier. Arlo did initially but then refused them. And is now back on the paci-wagon. These are great because they actually stay in baby’s mouth. I highly recommend – Arlo now associates the paci with sleep and it really helps get him down quickly.
For Peace of Mind:
Okay lets talk baby monitors for a second. I took a poll on instagram to see what the best ones are out there. For those who missed it, ours was hacked when Clyde was a baby and it shook me to my core and I didn’t think I would ever get a baby monitor again. Then I had a second baby and alas, here we are.
I have now bought both the Nanit & the infant optics and here is what I will say:
- The Nanit wins for me. It is more expensive, yes. But it gives you more insights to baby like how long they’ve been asleep or awake for. Their sleep patterns. And although it is connected to wifi, the benefit of it being like this is that I get alerts on both my watch and my phone. No extra devices to carry around the house or try not to lose.
- Infant Optics. Biggest perk here is that it is totally protected. No hacking ever with this guy. So, a great safety feature. Downside is that I just don’t love juggling my phone AND a baby monitor amongst all the other things I carry around like water, snacks, burp cloths, etc.
Other monitors that YOU guys recommended to me are the Motorola & Angel Care. My Summer monitor was the one that was hacked, FYI for those asking.
Breastfeeding probably deserves its own post because dang, this is a hot topic & there is SO much to get into here. I will say this: I feel fortunate to be able to breastfeed BUT that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t come with struggles for me both physically and mentally. Breastfeeding is HARD. It is like a full time job – but like 100x more pressure because you’re actually sustaining life. So, let’s just all say it together: Fed. Is. Best. So whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle feeding, you still will have an amazing bond with your child. And for the purpose of today’s post, I will speak to my experience with breast feeding and all the items I really couldn’t live without.
- BreastFriend Nursing Pillow. This thing makes you look like Saturn but it is a life saver. It really helped me situate myself and baby in a way that got a good latch and didn’t wear out my back. Plus, I loved the pocket where I would stash nipple creams, my phone, snacks, the works. ha! Honestly, I don’t even mess around with the Boppy when it comes to nursing. BreastFriend was the clear winner for me.
- Nipple Cream. Get something with lanolin. There. I said it. I recommend the Medela Gentle Care (which they gave to me at the hospital, btw).
- Hakka. I can’t live without my hakka. For starters, when you are so engorged in those newborn days, it is a life saver when your milk is coming in. Bonus: when you have a let down, it catches the milk so as to not go to waste. I started my freezer stash that way and it is a life saver.
- Breast Pump. I’ve used the Medela Freestyle since the newborn days of Clyde and that thing works like charm. The one I own isn’t made anymore but the newer one looks great as well. I also own the Spectra because it was covered by insurance but honestly, I like my Medela because it’s what I’m used to at this point and it’s super compact. My recommendation: find one covered by your insurance provider and go with it.
For Bath Time:
- We got the Angelcare tub this time around with Arlo and 6months later, I’m still loving it. It’s small, easy & stays clean (no mold, etc. as compared to some of the ones with foam).
- Honest Company soaps and lotions have been my go-to for both boys. I haven’t had a problem with them reacting poorly to these products and continue to use them! I’ve also used their diaper rash cream and swear by it.
Okay, in closing, I want to add that all babies are different and like different things. But if you’re expecting or a new mom and looking for a few things to either add to your registry or pick up to get yourself through the first hard newborn days, these are the items I recommend.