How We Survived Our First Month With A Newborn
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Baby Gray is a little over a month old now and I honestly don't know how we managed to survive. Just kidding, life with a newborn is challenging, but if we managed to do it and so can you! Throughout my pregnancy I vowed to not spend too much on getting supplies and things we would need for Gray because 1. I didn't know what having a kid would entail and 2. I felt like a lot of things I was told to buy were personal preference and 3. if you know me then you know I have the tendency to procrastinate. Weeeell fast forward to now and there are a few things I would have bought a lot sooner... like before he was here sooner. If you're like me however, all of these things can be bought along the way as you discover what you might need and might not need. I will say if one of these items on here sparks your fancy to pin it on Pinterest or screen shot it (cause I know you're reading this on your phone). I kicked myself in the butt a time or two for not saving some must have baby items early on. Anyway, now on to the list!
1. APNO Cream (All Purpose Nipple Ointment)
First off, let's start with the nips. Breastfeeding was awful in the first few weeks, and I made the mistake of not taking a breastfeeding class before he was born. I think I paid for it once he got here. I vividly remember the feeling after the nurses put him on my chest ... now what? How do I feed this thing!? Despite the stigma of breastfeeding being the most natural thing to do with your baby I will say there's nothing natural about those first few feedings. I fumbled through the first few latches and in turn had the worst nipple pain of my life. My sister in law has been such a blessing throughout the pregnancy, and after telling her how feedings were going she suggested I ask for a prescription strength nipple cream. She told me to ask for it while I was in the hospital but I hesitated, and again, paid for it later (why do I do this?). After getting the prescription, combined with learning how to get him to latch correctly, my nipples slowly started getting better. I went a week without this stuff so you can go without, but it hurts... trust me.
After messing up my ninnies in the first few days after delivery I was begging for some relief. I kept thinking that if I could pump some milk that G could bottle feed to give my breasts some time to heal. Unfortunately, our insurance wouldn't send a pump until a week after delivery, the hospital also denied my request to rent one. A day after we brought Gray home we made a b-line for target and bought a pump. We went with the Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump, it was a lifesaver while waiting for the one we ordered through the insurance company but once that pump came in I never looked back. The Spectra S2 is a hospital grade pump that I felt is a lot gentler on your nipples than the Medela. It's bulkier and has to be plugged in but it's my choice for a pump for sure.
Okay, after this paragraph the nipple talk should stop, but until then you gotta get yourself a silicone breast pump. Because I failed to take Breastfeeding 101 I had no idea that babies only take in teaspoon amounts of milk (colostrum) in the first few days of being born. I was freaking out that Gray wasn't getting enough to eat. Once we bought the pump I pumped like a fiend so the more mature milk would come in. Well, it worked and I ended up with super engorged breasts and an oversupply of milk so I was leaking all over the place. The silicone breast pump saves at least a few ounces of milk every time I feed. Just pop this puppy on the opposite breast and wala! You'll have milk for later ... if ya want it.
This is one item I recommend getting beforehand: put it on your registry because its uses are never ending. Its original purpose is for nipples but our pediatrician recommended using this for Gray's chapped lips. Thanks to a tip from fellow blogger Lindsey from Sparrowsandlily we also use it as a diaper cream because it works miracles on the baby bums. Gray had two sore looking things on his bum after a ton of diaper changes and lanolin was the only thing that made them go away completely.
5. Mylicon or Infant Gas Relief Drops
Gray gets some major gas and after he had a complete meltdown one night we decided we had to figure out some sort of relief for him. Our pediatrician recommended Mylicon or Gripe Water. We tried Gripe Water to no avail so we switched over to Mylicon and it has really helped him. He still has his gas fits so it's not an end all, but it does provide him some relief after feedings. The generic version of Mylicon is just as effective and has the same ingredients, but I will say they all come with really crummy droppers. The name brand comes with a really handy syringe type feeder that becomes a life saver in the wee hours of night holding a fussy baby.
When I first set this on our counter G was skeptical. He asked me why we didn't just run the bottles under hot water to warm them up? After the first bottle he was a believer. He primarily does all of the bottle feeds so his method is to put the bottle in the warmer, set the timer, do a diaper change, and come back to a perfectly warmed bottle. I can't imagine him having to get our water up to temp while holding a crying baby, especially now that we're going into the colder months.
If there was an adult version of this I would get it. This thing makes bath time so much easier and comfortable for Gray. It's a super soft plushy bath insert that's perfect for newborns. We gave Gray his first bath in the kitchen sink before his stump fell off and he hated it. Once he was able to take a full bath we gave the Lotus a try and he loved it! He was so relaxed and I now think bath time is one of his favorites.
Like many new parents I am terrified of SIDS, this fear was further compounded when he turned purple in the hospital after choking on his own spit up while he was sleeping. I'll admit the first two weeks we didn't use this thing because I was afraid of waking him up and we needed those thirty minutes of precious sleep. Now, we've gotten into the routine of putting it on before he falls asleep. Like with any technological thing we don't rely on it fully but it does give us peace of mind during the longer night stretches.
Two words: Baby Acne. I had no idea that a few weeks after babies are born they can wake up one day with white heads and red bumps all over their face. It first started around his T-zone and it felt like after every nap it was spreading to almost his entire face and upper back. I was told not to pick at any white heads and that baby acne is totally normal and it will run its course and go away on its own. Everything I read said between 4-6 months it should start clearing up. What!? Baby acne doesn't bother them but it bothered me that he looked like a full blown teenager so I started researching if there's something we could do. Mustela No Rinse Cleansing Water seemed to be the answer. After about 5 days of using it his face is pretty much clear again! Definitely recommend this stuff, we use it once in the morning on a cotton ball and once in the evening.
It's amazing how many things there are to make life with a baby easier. It can be so overwhelming to figure out what you really need! I've taken the learn as you go approach so far. What are some of your baby must haves for months 2-3? I've heard there's some major fussy times in our near future!
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