Thursday, October 13, 2016

My must haves (mom edition)

I was thinking the other day about what products have made my life a lot better as the mother of a newborn and I figured I would share! Next up, my must haves for baby boy.

-Good water bottle - I had a strong headache for about a week early on because I wasn't drinking enough water to make up for the water I was losing through breastfeeding. I started off using my hospital cup but it spills too easily so I couldn't just throw it around where I needed it, meaning it was often out of arm's reach sitting on the coffee table while I was on the couch nursing. It also didn't stay cold very long and I strongly prefer cold water. So I pulled the trigger and purchased a Hydro Flask, which I've had my eye on for awhile. I got the 18 oz for cupholder fit and portability, and purchased the straw lid to facilitate one handed drinking (this was cheaper at our local Dicks Sporting Goods than on Amazon). I can lay it on the couch next to me and it doesn't leak and my water is always cold! I'm still struggling to drink enough water during the day so I'm contemplating buying the 32 oz to keep at home so I don't have to deal with refilling as much.
-Breast pump - I wasn't anticipating needing the pump as early as I did. I ended up pumping colostrum in the hospital to hopefully avoid needing to supplement with formula again. After my milk came in, I needed the pump to help with engorgement. I've used it to pump for bottles so we can make sure Lewis continues to take a bottle. And of course I'll need it when I go back to work! I chose the Spectra S2, which is a relatively unknown pump. It's hospital grade and a closed system (milk doesn't get in the tubing). I think it's Korean and just recently started selling in the US. All the reviews I read raved about it and said it was a step above the popular Medela pump. Its claim is that it is more gentle and better at mimicking an infant's suckle. I don't have anything to compare to, but I really like it!
-Breastfeeding app - I didn't realize the nurses at the hospital would need to know when he ate and for how long, and when he pooped and peed. They gave me a paper chart to use but obviously an app would be easier to keep up with. I use "Glow Baby" and it's great. The home menu allows you to easily track breast and bottle feeding, wet and dirty diapers, and sleep with the tap of a button. For breastfeeding and sleeping, you can manually enter the time, or use a timer through the app. Nowadays, I mainly use it for the breastfeeding because it's easy to lose track of how long it's been since he's eaten. I also use it for the dirty diapers now since he's been going a few days without one and it's easy to forget how long it's been since he pooped!
-Video monitor - I use to roll my eyes about video monitors - "Parents have been raising babies for thousands of years without video monitors, parents these days just need to calm down!" Yeah... It's amazing what changes when you're a parent. I planned on keeping Lewis in our room for at least the first few months of his life, but I quickly found out that I could not sleep with him in there. Babies make a lot of noise in their sleep! You already don't get much sleep with a newborn, so you really need to be able to sleep when the baby is sleeping. We moved him to his own room after all of our guests left, at about five weeks. But moving him to his own room that early made me nervous! The video minor lets me see him and know that he's ok while giving me some space to help me sleep soundly while he's sleeping at night. We borrowed this monitor and I'm trying to decide whether to buy it or this one.
-Recliner - I didn't think I would want a recliner because they are so big and his room is so small! But I soon realized I would greatly benefit from a comfy chair! I looked at a few different types of chairs (gliders, rockers, and recliners) and the recliner definitely won out because I can fall asleep in it. It keeps me comfy for rocking him to sleep at night and during nighttime feedings, and if he's having a hard time sleeping, I can recline with him in my chest and we can both sleep

-Kindle app- I always have my phone while I'm nursing, and when you're checking Facebook, instagram, and your blog reader every couple hours, not much is changing, especially in the middle of the night. The kindle app lets me read a book in the dark! I use this less now that he nurses quicker, but this is really the main way I could read a book, since I can do it while holding baby boy.
- Coconut oil - this has come in handy for multiple things. It was first recommended for sore nipples. I didn't really care for the Lansinoh brand lanolin cream. It's really thick and kind of hurt to apply. Plus it seemed to weird Lewis out. The coconut oil is easier to apply and safe and natural and didn't seem to bother Lewis. I also had some intense...ahem... chafing from wearing huge pads for days on end and the coconut oil helped immensely with that. Finally, Lewis gets dry skin on his forehead, and you're not supposed to use lotion on their faces, so coconut oil it is!