First, let me start out by saying that I know nothing. Like, literally, nothing about being a parent (I don't know nothin' 'bout raisin' no babies). I am totally winging this whole having a baby thing. BUT, I have found there are a few things that have made my life lots easier. These are things I wish I would have had when I first started (way back 3 weeks ago) but that I have now and don't think I could live without. Here they are. I hope they may help some of you if you are in need. :)
If you have a baby boy...
These weird little things are called "Pee Pee TeePees" and they are exactly that. They are little tee pees that you put over your baby's pee pee to keep them from pee peeing all over you while you are changing them! Hilarious, but also so wonderful! I didn't use them at first, thinking they were more of a novelty than anything else. Now, I use them ALL THE TIME! I have been peed on more times than I care to admit. The insides are lined with terry cloth, so they also absorb some of the stream. Not all, but some.
Also helpful for little boys for the same reason as the tee pee, is this cover-up. I am not really sure what to call this thing. Here is what it does... when bathing your baby, you drape this on him to keep him warm and covered. Again, it keeps you from getting peed on while bathing him. It also helps prevent him from peeing because it keeps him warm. Anything to keep him from peeing everywhere is a good thing. And pretty invaluable.
If you are breastfeeding...
Let me start this section by saying that I was not a big fan of breast feeding when I first got pregnant. It never really appealed to me at all. I kind of was (immaturely) grossed out by it. I know, stupid, but that's how I felt. It was not something I really cared to do. But, we went to a breast feeding class and I was on board. There are so many health benefits for you (lower risk of breast cancer) and for the baby (brain development, better immune system, etc) and it is free. AKA it saves you tons of money you would otherwise be spending on formula. And if you can save money when you have a baby, that is a good thing. I promise though, you will find something else to spend that money on - namely diapers!!!
That being said, here are my must haves for breastfeeding mommies!
First off, the Boppy. Get one, it will make your back and arms feel so much better. Trust me, you want this thing.
The next two pictures I think have the most important breastfeeding helpers. The top pic is of Lansinoh breastfeeding soothing cream. This stuff helps. And, unlike some other things I have seen, you don't need to wipe this off before the baby eats. That is key. Any time you can avoid touching that area, the better. It gets SORE! Hence, the need for the cream. And, it also helps when you shower. It kind of acts as a protect ant layer. The next picture has breast pads (kind of needs no explanation) and tea bags (may need A LOT of explanation). The tea bags were suggested to us by our lactation specialist. When you are sore, get the tea bags wet with warm water. Squeeze out any excess water and put directly on you (I hate this word) nipples. Leave them on for 20 minutes, then throw them away and put on the aforementioned cream. The tea is supposed to be a natural healer.
**Word of caution** when you put these on, also use the breast pads. If you do not, you will have stains on what you are wearing, and in my case, what you are sleeping on. There are brownish stains on a few things in our house... Live and learn! :)
This weird looking device was the reason I was able to keep breastfeeding my baby. I will spare you all the gory details, but there was blood, crying, engorgement, and lots and lots of pain. This was given to us by the hospital and was a life saver. It goes on you and helps the baby latch on and keeps you from hurting too much. It isn't something to use long term, but it is nice for relief when you are in terrible pain. Which I was. And sometimes still am.
The next 3 pictures may be a no-brainer to some of you, but I thought I should include them. First, get a really comfy chair. This is a must. At 4 in the morning, you need to be just as comfortable as he is. You will give up the whole thing if you are feeling pain anywhere. Your body will thank you for this. The one shown here is from Buy Buy Baby. I love it. Many times the hubs and I have fallen asleep in this bad boy. Also important is something to do while feeding. I show my ipad and Tina Fey's Bossypants (you need to laugh when you have a new born and this book will NOT disappoint!!). Both of these got my through many feedings. For the first week, I felt bad doing anything while feeding him so I sat there and watched the clock for 15 minutes, switched sides, and watched for another 15 minutes. Yes, your baby is ADORABLE and you could stare at him for hours. However, there will be a moment possibly at 2:37 when you want something to make time go faster. Anything to make time go faster so you can crawl back into bed is a good thing.
Speaking of beds... have a comfy one! I LOVE ours... and crawling into it at any time of day makes me so very happy. Do whatever you can to make it your haven. And yes, I still sleep with a teddy bear. Don't you judge me!
For summer born babies...
These 2 types of blankets are a total must! Swaddling your baby helps them fall asleep, or at least it does for ours. He will wake up from a seemingly deep sleep to complain that he is not wrapped up like a burrito. If you have a summer born baby, you will not want him in a heavy blanket because he will be hot. Then you will worry. And you have enough worries already, trust me. These blankets are made of muslin and are gauzy feeling. They keep him warm without overheating him. I got one as a present and the day that we had him home I realized how useful and necessary they were so I ordered 4 more. (BTW I used diapers.com and got them for cheap and with free 2-day shipping, I highly suggest them). Our pediatrician went on and on about how much she loved them once she felt ours. She was even telling the nurses about them. SO, get them.
Lastly, get a groovy new haircut! I chopped off 13+ inches and donated it to Wigs For Kids and got half off a nice 'do.
I asked the hubs what he would add and he said the Diaper Genie because otherwise the house would stink and the pack and play. The pack and play because the nursery is on the 2nd floor of our house and changing him and naps are easier when not having to climb stairs with an infant.
So here is our list. Anything to add??? Please pass along any tips and must-haves!!