I know so many pregnant people right now! In my tired little head, I was going to make them all "survival kits" filled with goodies that I've used over and over during these first few weeks. But with a newborn who's still under ten pounds, it's hard to get out and shop. So instead, I'll just pass on my -- wisdom -- to anyone who is reading!
So ... this one's for you: all my pregnant friends and family.
This isn't meant to be advice at all -- just a few little things that will make your first weeks at home run a bit smoother.
We've spent tons on a car seat, a stroller, a swing, a crib.
We've got our own breast pump (and a rented one, too, come to think of it), bassinet, and pack 'n play.
And all those things have been useful. But I must say that it's the little things we've used most -- and most often. These have been my personal favorite.
Swaddle blankets that are large and stretchy.
These are the pottery barn variety -- I got them as a gift -- and they are my favorite. Swaddle blankets - or receiving blankets - come in all shapes, sizes, and fabrics. Who knew? The cheap ones you can pick up at Target or Walmart are often flannel and they make great bed rolls or simple covers. But if your newborn wants to be swaddled tight, you'll need blankets that are generously cut and made of a fabric that stretches! With stretchy fabric, you can get a tight swaddle that even feisty little legs can't break through!
Burp rags. We go through tons of these things, and little man isn't even a spitter. There are two in the diaper bag at all times, and at least two floating around the house. I can't stand it when they start to smell even the slightest bit sour, so I wash and rotate constantly. If you're like me, you'll need more than you think. My favorite are the old fashioned cloth diaper type. I got some really cute ones as gifts (thanks, Traci!) and use them all the time!
I know this is a bit controversial, but I read the book while I was pregnant and have pulled it out about ten dozen times since Luke came home. I think it has tons of great advice, it's easy to read and comprehend (even at 3 o'clock in the morning, on very little sleep!) and it's been really helpful for me in establishing a routine in these early days. We do not follow it word for word. I've taken a few concepts from it that we hold hard core, but there are some things that didn't work out for little man. Combined with your mommy instincts, it's a nice tool to help your tired little brain start to think about routine.
Nursing pads. Only if you're breastfeeding, of course.
Lactation consultant. And while we're on breastfeeding, don't underestimate the power of the lactation consultant. I met one while still in the hospital with Luke and I swear, she's amazing. These ladies have a bad reputation for being crazy or insensitive. But Sherri has been wonderful. She spent hours with us before we left and I've consulted with her multiple times since I got home. If you don't click with the first one you meet, find one you like and trust!
Log4Baby. This is an iPhone app that replaces the ItzBeen. It's a great tool that allows you to log everything from feedings to diaper changes to sleeping times. I still log every feed and every time I pump. Also, it lets you log custom things, too, so I can keep track of the time Luke wears his splint, takes medicine, etc. I really like that everything is saved, and I can email or print the logs as well. It's neat to look back and see patterns and changes.
That's a short list of my favorite things!