Friday, March 27, 2015

Our Newborn Must-Haves aka Survival Items for the First Two Months

I honestly can’t believe that Baby Mason Modesto is going to be 2 months old on tomorrow!

It’s weird – part of me feels like Mason was just born and another part of me feels like he has been here forever!

I’ve received a few emails from readers asking about our baby carrier or which stroller we use, so I thought it would be fun to share our Newborn must-haves. Below are the items that we’ve absolutely loved and a few realizations of things we just didn’t need.

Boppy Newborn Lounger, Geo

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Basically a giant pillow for a baby!

It seemed silly at first, but as first-time parents it has been nice to have a spot that I know I can safely sit Mason while I get ready for nursing on the couch. We also love to sit him in the lounger and sing him songs or tell him stories. Newborns are so wiggly; this lounger is perfect for giving Mason a snug and safe spot to hang out.

Solly Baby Wrap

While I was pregnant, I became obsessed with baby wearing. Who wouldn’t want a snuggly baby hanging out with them hands-free?! After doing tons of research, I decided that I definitely wanted a light-weight, stretchy, breathable wrap for Mason’s newborn stage. I went with the Solly wrap and I have to say that I have absolutely loved it!

Learning how to wrap was simple, and I definitely get better every time I do it. The fabric is light and breathable so I don’t get super sweaty when he’s on my chest. He can keep his head tucked out when he’s awake:

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or I can tuck his little noggin in when he’s sleeping:

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*Note: In a hold like the one above, Mason’s head should be facing the side so that his nose isn’t squished and his airways are clear. I always turn his head – the boy loves to smoosh – and it’s hard to tell in this photo but his head is turned.

I especially loved the Solly wrap in those first few weeks when I really just needed to get out of the house but I didn’t want strangers to try and touch him. Cold and flu season + People with poor social boundaries = no bueno.

mason tucked in 

Even Parrish has gotten in on the baby wearing fun!

Parrish with Mason 

BumGenius 4.0 Pocket Diapers and All-in-One Diapers

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I’m going to write a separate post about Cloth Diapering because we are loving it! In my opinion, the BumGenius diapers make it SUPER easy. We used pre-folds for a short time, and then switched over to pocket diapers and AIO diapers once Mason hit 8 pounds (which didn’t take long!).

Video - Getting to Know Your Baby: Sleep

The amazing lactation consultant I worked with locally sent me the video above and it was a lifesaver! As first time parents, Parrish and I had no idea what Mason’s baby cues were. We knew to check his diaper if he was crying and then feed him, but that was about it. Once we started looking for his cues, particularly those that let us know he was getting tired and those that meant he was over stimulated, we saw a drastic change in his sleep and overall disposition.

Basically, we were letting him get over tired because we kept “playing” with him when he wasn’t interested. All he wanted to do was decompress and go to sleep!

Sleep Machine App

Babies love white noise. As it turns out, Mason loves the sound of the vacuum cleaner! This idea actually came from our pediatrician. He told us that lots of newborns can be calmed down by the sound of a vacuum. Later that week Mason had a melt down in the car seat – he was hungry and didn’t understand that he had wait 10 minutes until he could eat (he is a baby afterall!) Then I remembered the vacuum setting on my Sleep Machine App on my iPhone.

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Now I can use my phone to help calm him down when he’s tired in public and fussy. I turn on the app and he’s out like a light – magic!

Baby Connect App

I basically live and die by this app. You can time breastfeeding by side, count sleep, track diapers, and even store medical information. At the least, this app helps me remember which side I last used for breastfeeding. But for me, at the most, it helps me feel more in control of uncontrollable situations.

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Newborns are too young to schedule, but I can follow his rhythm. This app helps me anticipate what could come next in our eat, play, sleep rhythm and makes me feel more prepared. Or as prepared as you can feel with a newborn! Plus, the geek in me loves the charts option – It’s fascinating!

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AND in those early weeks when I was SUPER sleep deprived, Baby Connect helped me remember what I had done in the middle of the night!

Teddy Bear Suit

I feel like this is self-explanatory. If you don’t understand why you should dress your newborn up like a teddy bear….then we can’t be friends.

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I picked this brown bear suit up at H&M for 20 bucks and it was worth every penny! I was so sad when he outgrew it, but I can’t wait to dress him up in a larger suit this coming winter.

Gripe Water

Magical, magical baby juice. Parrish and I are so thankful that our friends gifted us a bottle of Gripe Water. While Mason isn’t a super gassy baby (knock on wood), he does get some gas “stuck” that keeps him awake. The first time we ever used it, Mason had been having a fussy day. He hadn’t really napped but I didn’t notice because we had family visiting. That afternoon you could tell he was super tired but he just couldn’t fall asleep. I bicycled his legs, massaged his tummy, and burped him forever. Nada. Then we gave him the gripe water and LITERALLY 30 seconds later he passed out. (And slept for 3 hours poor guy)

Now we always have a bottle in the fridge and a bottle in the pantry for back up!

Items we didn’t need:

Baby Nail Clippers – Attempting to clip his nails was so stressful, you would have thought I was performing open heart surgery. I’m sticking to biting them myself for now – possibly TMI for some of you but it is way easier! And surprisingly doesn’t gross me out.

Tons and Tons of Clothes - As a super fresh newborn, Mason went through about 6-8 outfits a day. And by outfits, I mean zip-up PJs because Parrish and I quickly learned that neither of us had time for full on outfits. We were doing laundry nearly every day, and we would always end up putting Mason in the same PJs everyday. So no, we didn’t need a ton of NB clothes or 0-3 month clothing. At just 2 months old, Mason is already wearing mostly 6 month outfits. A few of his 3 month outfits still fit but just barely!

What about you Moms? What items got you through those first months?

What did you end up not needing?

AND what will we need in the coming months?