Saturday, May 25, 2013

Baby Essentials: The Early Days


I'm BACK!!! And darn it feels good to be here.
When I was pregnant I loved reading all the "Baby Essentials" posts - so I thought I'd write one too!

Billy is now 19 days old (wow) and our journey has been an absolute whirlwind. From breastfeeding to cloth diapering to sleep deprivation, we've had our share of ups and downs. I'll give you the last few weeks in a nutshell, then pounce into the goods.

Billy is a "lazy sucker" and chews... so (TMI) he kind of chewed my nipples off the first few weeks...and that left them as open, oozing, bloody little windows for infection. I also have very high fat milk (the lactation consultant jokes I make cream cheese, not milk) which means I am prone to plugged ducts. Plugged ducts + open, ouchie nips = Mastitis. Twice. Talk about a party. 

We switched to cloth diapers on day 9, which happened to be the day I realized my nips were beyond repair and this breastfeeding thing wasn't going how I hoped it would (it's all good now, don't worry) so the stress of the swap left me in an emotional turmoil where I questioned if this is something we really should do after all.

After ten days of cloth diapers, I'm so glad we stuck with it. It's been an adjustment learning what folds work best for newborn poop, how to keep him from wetting through his diaper at night and which diapers work best when I will be out of the house for a few hours, but I don't regret our choice to use cloth diapers for a second now! The laundry is SO easy and with the sunny days we've had I have been able to hang everything outside on laundry days so our diapers have no stains! (That will continue to blow my mind...put them outside in the morning covered in poop stains, bring them inside after lunch and they're spotless)

Billy's days and nights swap back and forth, so some nights I get as much as 5 hours (not consecutive) of sleep, some nights I don't. It's amazing how well you learn to function as a mother with little to no sleep. As long as I can get a 45 min nap in every day I am in good shape...a longer nap is a real treat.

NOW... Onto the goods. 

1. Breast Pump: I purchased a Medela pump from Target but quickly learned with Mastitis it's best to just have the hospital-grade pump. It's very affordable to rent for a month ($35/mo) and completely worth it! If you have a moment of concern in breastfeeding, see a lactation consultant immediately and rent a good pump!!

2. Fisher Price Rock N' Play: Originally, we registered for this item to use it as a bassinet at night so Billy could sleep in our bedroom. That didn't work for us so he sleeps in his crib in his bedroom, but the Rock N' Play is still a lifesaver! I am able to get housework done or take a nap and keep Billy next to the couch while he naps. He falls asleep almost instantly when we lay him down in there and sleeps for hours and hours. Magic.
Little pea in his crib.

Boys are awesome. So is Rock N' Play. 
3. Bath Goods: This is broad, and will change based on your situation, but one thing I've learned in early days of Mommyhood is: When in doubt, strip them naked and give a bath. I use California Baby "Calming" Body Wash & Shampoo, a wash cloth and a bath sponge in the kitchen sink and it is a beautiful thing. The shampoo/body wash smells AMAZING and Billy is so cozy on his bath sponge. I get the water the perfect temp and keep it running on his boy bits while I suds the cloth and get him squeaky clean. He loves it and ALWAYS stops squealing when he's in the bath. I realize the body wash is the most expensive item among these other simple items, but I promise you it will change your life.

4. Swaddle blankets of all weights: The weather in Chicagoland is....unpredictable. While it's May and it should be a beautiful 75ยบ out, this month we have had our AC and heat on within 48 hours of one another. That said, we have learned to REALLY appreciate a broad range of swaddle blanket weights. Some nights he is stripped naked and swaddled in an aden + anais muslin and other times he is snuggled up in the softest minky we can find. They all come in handy!!
5. Washcloths: Using cloth diapers, washcloths are our "wipes" - we use a small spray bottle with water and lavender oil to wet the wipe - so we fly through them like no one's business. It's great to have a thousand on hand because I can always grab a clean cloth for an impromptu Billy bath or breastmilk spill (it happens).


  1. You hit the nail on the head with these essentials! While I was not prepared the first time around for doing cloth diapers, I am looking to do them for our next baby. Great info!

  2. Kudos to sticking with the nursing. I second the hospital grade pump. Totally worth it. I don't have any experience with cloth, but baby wash cloths are amazing and our rocking Fisher price chairs like your bassinet are lifesavers!

  3. Awe Billy is so freaking adorable!! Glad to hear you're doing better! Let me know when I can come by and meet him! I'll have a chii (are you allowed to drink those while breast feeding?) and my nail caddy. I think an at home mani/pedi is in order for you! On the house of course! Let me know your color selection you'd like. = ]

  4. I have three children in diapers. My oldest is 4 years old and is autistic. We have not been able to potty train him yet. We tried several brands only to find out that Honest was always the one we went back to. No question! No leaks!
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