Calling all Moms: what the heck do we need?

I need input on what a newborn baby needs–oh, and what a new mom and dad need (besides a winning lotto ticket and 12 hours of sleep a night).
If anyone reads this post and has some advice on what we can’t live without and what was a waste of time, I would LOVE your input.
You can email me directly or just leave your feedback with a comment.
My email is: colorofgravity at yahoo dot com

On a personal note, I felt very introspective yesterday and was thinking about just how it feels to be pregnant.
I feel both incredibly vital, protective and strong (“just TRY, it buddy”) and at the same time completely vulnerable. I am willing to go through this pregnancy and then the labor and birth of my baby. I could move mountains, or leap tall buildings in a single bound if I had to to keep this baby safe. I read endlessly about what to eat, drink, and what not to eat and drink to ensure his healthy development. On the other hand, I might fall apart over an NPR story about adoption. Or a nature video of a whale giving birth. Or the thought that I love my husband so much and though I know how strong our connection is I can make myself crazy thinking he might leave me or not be as in love with me anymore after the baby comes. After the pregnancy weight. After the emotional ups and downs that make me totally hard to live with sometimes.
This has no basis in reality as Faris has been nothing but loving, giving, supportive, excited about this pregnancy. This is about pregnancy. It changes things in the mom to be.
It is at once totally empowering and completely humbling.

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9 thoughts on “Calling all Moms: what the heck do we need?

  1. Main things I wished I’d known to have prior to arrival of baby:Orange scent disks for diaper pail (especially during the TX summers)Always, always, always, sleep when the baby takes a nap. Your house is going to be messy until the kid moves out, so take care of yourself first. Sleep, eat, and keep in touch with your friends. Everything else will fall into place.

  2. Oh, suggestions would be great. I am registered at Babies R Us and Amazon.com. I really like the Amazon registry, more organics and cool things like that. Thanks to Amy, too, for the advice. Ugh. Diapers.

  3. You need LOTS of soft cotton receiving blankets. Use them for wrapping, burp cloths, laying the baby down on them, cleaning up spills and spit up and pee with them. LOTS of onesies or actually better still T-shirts that snap up the front, not pull over the head. Booties that don’t fall off (hard to find – we found only one kind that worked… I’ll see if they still make them). Also those small waterproof underpads that are soft flannel-y material – lots of them, too. And you need your mom for a little while after he’s born to rock him when you need sleep and he’s fussy. Love Mom

  4. A nice sling can be a lifesaver when they’re small. I had an Ultimate Baby Wrap, which was great because I could wrap the baby upright against my chest (facing in) — great for reflux/colicky babies. When they get older, mei tai carriers are fantastic — I love my Babyhawk. Regular old cotton prefold diapers are also nice — they make great burp cloths, clothes/furniture protectors, pee catchers, etc. If you want to start to get into crazy baby land, the Miracle Blankets are nice swaddling blankets. I’m on the paranoid side and it depends on what your sleeping arrangements will be, but I LOVE my Angelcare monitor — I wish I had had it for Max. And I totally second the sleep advice — I still try to sleep when my “baby” naps. And you definitely need your mom for a while. 🙂

  5. P.S. Don’t look at the Babies R’ Us “necessary” list. Unless you plan to spend $100K :)I forgot to mention little hand covers. You know, the little rattley mitten like things. They will keep him from scratching his face. Elise hated them but they cut back on the facial scratches for her and me.I like your mom sneaking in that plug for grandma time. But seriously, my mom came and stayed a week, and while I was a total bitchy baby, it was so nice to have the break.

  6. The things we foudn invaluable in the beginning:Pouch SlingMoby WrapEternal Om CD (and other sweet music to dance around to while Sufyan is in a sling)Maybe some white noise – we used a floor fanMiracle Blanket (Eila was such a strong little bull we couldn’t keep her swaddled in a normal blanket – the miracle blanket is the swaddling equivalent of a straightjacket)Baby Swing (Eila prefered to be worn, but the swing was good for a shower now and then)Happiest Baby on the Block DVD (all about how to help your baby transition from the womb – essentially by helping them feel as if they are in the womb for a couple of months, the “fourth trimester”Organic Cabbage for EngorgementCalendula for Cracked NipplesDiaper Champ or GenieHomeopathic Chamilia (Eila was colicky and this helped soothe her)Homeopathic Pulsatilla for baby bluesDitto on the importance of self care as a first priority. You will be so consumed with the well being of Sufyan (they’re so easy to care for on the inside) that its easy to neglect your own well-being. You might pre-schedule several postpartum massages or acupuncture treatments. This time for me took the place of sleep for a while.Set up a food tree or buy Soup Peddler bucks. You can also make freezable meals to pass the time in the last weeks of pregnancy – instead of pacing the floors. Also, I wanted to mention delayed cord clamping and not washing off the vernix. Ask your midwife about this or you can email me. While its good to have a bedding in period with Sufyan, let other mothers come over to spend some time with you and handle him. One, you will want someone to share your birth story with. Two, we learn about mothering from other mothers – how to bounce, hold, pat, burp, wear, nurse, etc. I thought all of these things would be totally instinctive. They were not. There’s a reason it takes a village. Third, you might be able to get a heavenly shower in now and then while your mama friends hold Sufyan.Okay, I think that’s all for now.Jenn

  7. I enthusiastically second these previously mentioned “must haves”:pouch sling for new, tiny babyyour preferred variety of sling for older babycabbage leaves for the boobsHappiest baby on the Blockblankets for swaddlingnapsyour momyour momma friendsI also add this “must have”:Birth ball (large exercise ball) to sit on and bounce – often little babies like bouncing better than rocking. This is no small thing – motion they like can be the difference between sleeping and screaming.Also, have local friends set up meal delivery – someone should schedule people to bring you meals at least every other day for the first weeks.Oh, also have someone make you Yogi Tea – it is great postpartum. Drink it a lot! (In addition to lots of water, of course.)

  8. oh yeah – I forgot to mention moxibustion for shrinking and toning your uterus. My midwife GB and my acupuncturist recommended this. It not only felt very healing to my empty, sad and wobbly core (it was such a strange feeling to be empty after giving birth), but my bleeding stopped in less than 2 weeks. You have someone run a smokeless moxibustion stick over your uterus until your skin is pink, about a half hour. You do the belly side one day and the back side the next for about two weeks. You can buy smokeless moxibustion sticks at White Crane. Or I have an extra box I can give to you.

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