Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Top 10 List

So far we have survived 8 weeks with our little one.  We certainly didn't do it alone.  We've had friends and family help out in a multitude of ways.  We've also had lots of schtuff  to help along the way. 
If I were sharing the top ten items one needs to survive 8 weeks with a newborn infant, the following are items we couldn't live without (excluding the necessary and obvious diapers and wipes):

1. Vibrating/Bouncy Chair - We liked this item for many reasons.  Abby loved the vibration and bouncing.  It has lulled her to sleep many a time.  It was also nice because it can be transported throughout the house to wherever you are.  It mainly sits in the living room either on the floor or on the coffee table.  It has traveled to the kitchen counter while I was cooking dinner.  It has traveled to sitting on the bed while I was getting dressed.  It has sat outside the shower. You can't do that with a swing. 

2. Pacifiers - specifically, the soothies.  Some babies don't take to pacifiers, but luckily (or unluckily as we will see in a couple years when we have to take it away) Abby has.  She could be crying incessently and in goes the bink and almost instantaneously, she calms.  Right now we have 4 of them floating around the house.  I make sure there is one located in our most populated sitting spots in the house (couch, recliner in living room, rocker in Abby's room...and one in the diaper bag). 

3.  Snot Sucker - whether you use the bulb syringe or the Nosefrida, it's a must have.  We took the bulb syringe home from the hospital and it does the job.  A friend of ours recommended the Nosefieda after poo-pooing the bulb syringe.  Of course, I was intruiged and ran out and bought one.  I have to say, I'm a fan.  I can't say that it does a better job over the bulb syringe, but with the Nosefreida, you can see the fruits of your labor.  As you literally suck the snot out Abby's nose, you can see it collect in the tubing.  That tends to gross Brent out, but I like knowing that I'm actually getting something gunky out of Abby's nose so she can breathe better. 

4. Burp Cloths - And lots of them!  I'm talking 30 or so.  I can easily go through 6-8 on an average day.  We have a few different kinds, but we like the cloth diapers the best.  They're thick enough that it doesn't soak through and they're wide enough so they cover the area enough should there be a messy spit up.  It happens. 

5. Swaddle blankets - MUST have.  Abby loves to be swaddled as much as the rest of 'em.  We have a handful of receiving blankets and those were great swaddling blankets when she was first born.  Now that she's longer, we can't swaddle her tight without her feet popping out or her hands popping up, so now we've resorted to a couple hand made blankets (Thanks Donna Sullivan!) that are a great size.  I think I like a rectangle shaped blanket better than a square shape.  I'm sure there's an professional opinion out there about the ideal swaddling blanket measurements, but I like what I like.  And Abby likes the rectangle ones, so I do too. 

6. Miracle blanket - AKA, the straight jacket.  Seriously, this is the swaddle blanket of all swaddle blankets.  We use this at night to wrap her up like a taquito and she CANNOT wrangle her way out of it.  We tried when she was a newborn the Halo SleepSack and her arms would pop out of them every time as there wasn't anything trapping her arms inside.  The Miracle Blanket on the other hand, straps her arms down (I'm not using words synonymous with babies - trapping, straps...) so they can't sneak up and then also has enough material to wrap around her so that she is nice and snug to sleep soundly.  And soundly she does sleep at night!  I'd say at 4 weeks or so she was pretty much sleeping 5+ hours at night.  I would feed her at 9:00pm and then again at 2:00am and again at 6:00am.  Now, at 8 weeks, I can feed her at 9:00pm and then not again until 5am. 

7. On Becoming Babywise - Great book to help a new mom navigate through the breastfeeding world to help babies develop good sleep habits.  I still refer to it at 8 weeks to make sure I'm doing everything I should be doing.  However, as I just stated Abby's sleeping habits, I think she's well on her way to being a great sleeper. 

8. Sound machine/Music - We have both in this house.  Brent had a bedside clock that he didn't care for.  Luckily, it was also a sound machine, so he gladly handed that down to Abby.  It does all the expected sounds - ocean, rain, crickets...  Of course, this would not be Brent's baby if there wasn't music involved.  So she has her own stereo system in her room complete with her own MP3 player.  We had received CDs as gifts (thanks Yak and Melissa Hite) and so Brent put them all onto the MP3 player and with a quick press of a few buttons, she has a range of music to listen to.  We use that and a humidifier to create that white noise effect and drown out any noise happening outside Abby's bedroom. 

9. Gowns - When a diaper change is necessary at night, newborn gowns are the best to get in and out quickly without much fuss.  I recently talked out these gowns in a previous post, so no need to go further.  I actually own these 2 gowns to the right. (Thanks Tara Bell!)

10.  Video monitor - this is newer item/concept for the public.  I do know of others that have young children but don't have a video monitor because it wasn't "the thing" when they were registering.  I debated back and forth in my mind about whether one of these was necessary (otherwise, I'd go for the run of the mill monitor - not video).  We live in a split level house that's pretty open, so it's not like Abby would be that far away that we couldn't hear her if she needed us.  One of my friends said that I wouldn't need a video monitor because I'd just become neurotic looking at it all the time. But, someone made an argument for the video monitor and that's what sealed the deal.  Babies make noises, grunts, snorts, whimpers all the time in the night.  Instead of running up to her room each time she makes a noise wondering if she's waking up or not, all I have to do now is click on the button on the monitor.  I can make my decision about whether to make the trek upstairs or not based on what I see.  It'll especially come in handy when Abby's older so I can peek on her without waking her up. 

Okay, okay, I know I said ten, but I had to add one more thing that has made our life easier. 

11. Bedtime lotion - I massage this lotion on Abby every night and I think it works to help soothe her and prepare for bedtime.  I do wonder if she smells it and is starting to associate it with a bedtime routine?  Either way, I like the smell of it too.  On nights that we give a bath, I like to use the bedtime baby wash also. 

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