Thursday, January 26, 2012

Our baby necessities

One of the things I struggled with prior to Boston’s arrival, and really his first few months was what the heck we needed to buy for him and how to prepare. I, like a lot of new moms, consulted with my mom friends and scoured the internet for a list of necessities. It really stressed me out! What if we needed something in the middle of the night and we didn’t have it? What if I didn’t try the one thing that would soothe him or make him happy? Although it can be a little alarming to see the amount of baby products available nowadays, our needs were really minimal. At first I thought we needed all the gear, special toys, fancy crib bedding, learning tools, etc. but really he’s content with diapers, clothes, a blanket and a teething ring. We did however find a few very important buys for us and a few things not so necessary for the first few months. Here are a few of our favorites:

Boppy Infant Lounger
This is an item that didn’t last for very long because he simply outgrew it quickly, but for the initial 6-8 weeks we used this daily. The first couple of months Boston spent the majority of his time in someone’s arms but on the rare occasion we did put him down, we needed somewhere comfy and safe to do so. Laying him in his pack n’ play didn’t always work because at that age he wanted to feel cuddled. His swing would be great except it’s extremely difficult to strap a sleeping infant safely into a swing without waking him. Obviously we couldn’t just sit him on the couch or anything. This is where the lounger comes it. It’s a firm but comfy pillow designed to hug his body and help keep him positioned so he won’t fall off. Of course it isn’t something to lay him on and just disappear but even at a measly 8 lbs, babies get heavy! So when your arms are tired of hugging little one, this is a great place to lay him safely.

Halo Swaddler
We’re still using our swaddler. We actually didn’t start using it until he was about a month old and previously we swaddled him with a blanket. But as he got stronger it was harder to keep his arms in the blanket and I also feared he would loosen the blanket and get his little face under it. Not swaddling is not an option for us at this point in time. When left unrestricted, Boston’s hands get in his way of sleep. He is a chronic eye rubber and also startles very easily so in order for him to get good sleep, he needs to be swaddled. Thanks to the Halo swaddleme wrap, we can safely secure his arms at his sides, snug and warm. It also helps because a lot of babies want to feel that constriction as if they are still safe in mama’s womb, so it’s a comfort for them. I honestly don’t know how we’d get any rest without this.

Little Tummy’s Gripe Water
Boston can get a little gassy and fussy, and as much as I try to burp him and bicycle his little legs and watch my diet, he still inevitably gets bubbles in his stomach. I didn’t feel like we got very good results from gas drops, which I also don’t personally feel comfortable giving to him multiple times a day. I had heard raves about gripe water and a lot of mom’s I know swear by it so we finally gave it a shot. The relief was instant! I have to admit, I’m not entirely sure that it’s because it’s causing those bubbles to disappear right away. I think he enjoys the taste, but I can hear a few burps and other gas exits shortly after giving him gripe water so I do know it helps. So when we find ourselves with an overly fussy baby even after all of our other efforts, our go-to is his gripe water and 95% of the time he settles down as soon as he has it.  

I was hesitant to use a pacifier because of all the babble about how hard it is to break them of the habit, confusion with bottles and breast feeding, and orthodontic problems but we learned in a very short time that a pacifier would be a necessity for us. Boston needed something to suck on soothe. So we waited 2 weeks and made sure feeding was established and then gave him a Soothie pacifier. He had a hard time keeping those in his mouth though so we switched to Avent. It has been a lifesaver for us. It helps calm him down and helps him sleep. Our house would be a lot more rambunctious without that pacifier. I also am glad to know that pacifiers are actually encouraged to prevent SIDS, which is one of my top fears for him so we use it to get him to sleep and it’s done wonders for us. As for eventually breaking the habit, we'll worry about that when the time comes but right now pacifiers are of huge value to us.

Diaper Bag
I know what you’re thinking, don’t all mom’s use diaper bags? Probably. I’ve met a few that try to skate by just using their purse. Not us, we need all the space we can get. My little guy has a habit of spitting up and peeing on every outfit, going through a million diapers, and getting gassy and fussy everytime we leave the house. Add a couple toys, extra pacifier, a cover blanket to nurse, jacket, hat and socks because we live in chilly New England, and of course wipes and you’ve taken up more space then you’d like to admit. So our diaper bag is a big messenger bag style and it is pretty much always full.

So there you have it. Those are the Kat family basic tools of baby survival.

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