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Monday, July 13, 2015

Baby Registry: The Hierarchy

Hey all!  So today I'm going to talk about all of the STUFF you "need" when having a baby.  Most of it you don't actually, truly need. I've had a few pregnant friends ask me recently what I thought was needed and worthless when registering. So, I've listed it from most important to least important.  I am by no means a baby expert, I don't know what the hell I'm doing half the time, but here is what I think so far.

Click here for a printable list.

Must Haves:

Car seat: We have the Chicco (did you know that it's pronounced "key-co"?...Odd) Keyfit.  It's fairly light and has a base that's easy to install. I think all car seats are probably created pretty equal and must pass the same safety standards. Buy It Here

Safe Place for Baby to Sleep: I'm in love with the Rock n' Play with the auto rocker.  Splurge for the auto rock... much better when it's 4AM and you don't want to have to rock it yourself. It's inclined, cozy, and super easy for travel. A crib and mattress could also be listed here too. Ellie didn't take her first nap in her crib until she was a few weeks old. Buy It Here

*Side has been difficult transitioning Ellie to her crib since she is not used to sleeping flat. So, proceed at your own risk.

Diapers: I feel like Huggies leaked more than the Pampers. Buy It Here

Wipes: These are all the same to me. Buy It Here

Onesies/Sleepers: A 5 pack of onesies and 5 or so sleepers are really all you need.  More would be helpful if you don't do laundry every 2-3 days.  Depending on the season you may want some pants, socks, hats, etc.  Don't go all crazy registering for a tutu or 3 piece suit for your newborn.  If you're taking your 4 week old to a formal event, then you can always go out and buy something with your gift cards. People LOVE to buy baby clothes, so do yourself a favor and register for different sizes keeping the seasons in mind.  Your baby may be in newborn for a while or not at all, and you have no idea how quickly they will grow, so register for basics. Buy It Here

Things you will certainly need:

Stroller: For me, stroller = sanity.  I needed to get out and take a walk.  With a stroller, you can get out to the mall, walk around your neighborhood, etc.  You can also just put the infant carrier in the cart if you need to get out, but a stroller is still a must.  We have the City Mini GT and LOVE it. Super light, folds up with one hand, doesn't take up too much room in your trunk. Love. Don't forget to also get a bar that is compatible with your infant carrier. Buy It Here

Blankets: I like the Aiden + Anais Bamboo swaddles.  They're super soft and big.  Buy It Here

Prefold Diapers (Burp cloths): These are cheap, durable, and by far the most absorbent. Buy It Here

Baby Wash: We have the California baby stuff, and we really like it.  I also have the Mustela foaming shampoo, and it seems to do a good job on Ellie's locks. Buy It Here

Thermometer: A baby under 6 weeks with a fever is a big freakin' deal.  It can mean your little guy or girl is seriously sick.  You always want to be able to take baby's temperature if you suspect a fever. Rectal is the most accurate, use some vaseline. Buy It Here

Bulb Syringe/Nose Frida:  You may not need to use this for a while, but in my opinion, it's kind of another safety thing.  You want to be able to clear baby's airway if they ever got into trouble.  Maybe that's just nursing school being drilled into my head.  Newborns are obligate nose breathers, so you want to keep everything patent.  The Nose Frida is THE BOMB, and no snot actually passes into your mouth.  So much better than a bulb syringe...seriously. Buy It Here

Bath tub: Just for the record, we own the bath tub pictured, and it SUCKS. So don't buy it.  One with a mesh sling or one of those flower things would be much better.  It's just hard to find a tub that works with a giant farmhouse sink. Buy It Here

Crib, mattress, sheet, waterproof mattress cover: These are all necessities if you're going the crib route right away.  Buy two covers and sheets and layer them.  I have the "Harper" dot sheet from Pottery Barn Kids.  It's not super soft, but it's really cute. Buy It Here

Things you can survive without, but wouldn't want to: 

Baby carrier: Oh man... these wraps are amazing.  If you have a fussy or colicy baby, a wrap is a must.  When you can't set your newborn down without them screaming their face off, this will give you your freedom back.  Ellie didn't like being wrapped for a few weeks, but then she grew to love it.  I have the Boba wrap, which is a little more stretchy than a Moby. Buy It Here

White noise machine/fan: The Lasko Cyclone fan is loud and amazing.  It drowns out any noise that may startle baby, but it is also soothing.  Thanks to my amazing SIL for the awesome recommendation! Buy It Here

The Baby Connect App: I seriously think I would have lost my mind already without this app.  It's $5, but worth $100 in my opinion.  You can track literally everything your baby has done.  I use it to track eating, sleeping, pooping.  I can't tell you how many times I look at it to check when her last feeding or diaper change was.  Love it! Check It Out Here

Swaddle: Ellie loves to be swaddled for bed at night, and it honestly has helped her sleep longer stretches.  The Miracle Blanket is the BEST swaddle blanket. It has extra flaps to keep their arms in, so your baby cannot get out.  The pouch at the bottom keeps their feet covered. Buy It Here

Nipple Cream: If you are breastfeeding, you will really really need this for the first few weeks.  It can get really ugly without it.  Yikes... Buy It Here

Baby Monitor: Ok, I have two kinds of baby monitors because I am two kinds of crazy.  I have a video one (the one pictured) which was only $75.  It syncs with your phone, you can see it when you're away, blah blah blah.  It's great.  I also have an Angelcare Apnea monitor which appeases the nurse in me.  It's a mat that you lay under the crib mattress and it detects movement.  Love it. (Ellie can't crawl off the sensor pad yet, so I've yet to have a false alarm.) Buy It Here

Breast Pump: Oh breastfeeding, a whole post for a different time.  If you are exclusively breastfeeding as I am...having a pump is essential to your freedom.  You need to pump so your baby will learn to take a bottle, so you can go out and have some "me time." Many insurance companies will cover an electric double pump for free with a prescription from your OB. Make sure to ask before you buy one. Don't Buy It Without Checking

Nail Clippers: Newborns come out with razor sharp nails. I found filing really difficult, and others said that they could chew them down?  For me, clipping them is by far the easiest, and it keeps them from scratching their little faces. Buy It Here

Changing Pad Liner/Travel Changing Pad: These Munchkin changing pad liners from Target are genius!  They're terry cloth on one side, and a waterproof liner on the other.  I put a thick burp cloth down on top (they aren't very absorbent for pee accidents) and just use this for diaper changes.  Folds up for the diaper bag, hides well in a basket in the living room...I have them everywhere. Buy It Here

Very Helpful to Have:

Drying Rack:  I really like our Boon drying rack.  It's cute and comes with attachments for bottle/pump parts to hang. It's also not hideous. Buy It Here

Baby Toys: You don't need this right away, but an activity gym, books, brightly colored rings are all things that will entertain your baby for a few minutes while you make dinner, ha! Buy It Here

Diaper Rash Cream: It's just nice to have on hand for the first time your baby's butt gets a little red. Buy It Here

Medicine: Infant Tylenol, saline drops, gas drops.  Nice to have before you need them. Buy It Here

Stroller Console: This seems like something silly, but it's so nice to have a place to put your Starbucks and car keys when you're out and about. Buy It Here

Pacifier: Ok, so this is kind of a necessity, but don't run out and register for a ton.  You will get free ones at the hospital and in registry goody bags.  I think we also got one with our car seat.  Who knows what kind of pacifier your baby will like, so don't go registering for 20 of one kind. Buy It Here

Bottles: Same as pacifiers.  You will get random ones for free in the mail and with registry goody bags.  Ellie ended up liking Dr. Browns after a few tries.  (Of course she likes the one with a million pieces). Buy It Here

Boppy: For nursing, I just use a regular pillow for support under my arm.  The Boppy isn't my favorite for nursing, but it is great when baby gets a little older.  It makes tummy time a little more enjoyable. Buy It Here

Nursing tank/bra: Again, not a necessity, but definitely makes life easier.  Nursing tanks are great when you're in the hospital.  They keep nursing pads in place.Buy It Here

Bouncy seat: I couldn't use this until Ellie was 4-6 weeks old? It does keep them entertained for a bit, and they're not that expensive. Buy It Here

Things you you don't need:

Baby bath towels: I use a regular towel that we already had, and I like it better.  More plushy and absorbent.

Baby wash cloths: Same as towels, I like plain old regular ones that we already have better.

Diaper pail: These things gross me out a little. I throw them in a plastic grocery bag that goes out to the garage every day.

Diaper bag:  I use a nylon, zip top tote from Old Navy that was less than $30.  Any bag with some interior pockets will do just fine.

Changing pad: I don't understand this.  I prefer to change Ellie on the floor or on our bed (with the liner + burp cloth).  You don't have to worry about them rolling off a somewhat narrow surface.

*This post contains links from Amazon Affiliates

Click here for a printable list.

So, here is my favorite part.  Do you agree? Disagree? Anything you would add?

Do a sister a solid and pin this? :)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ellie's Birth Story (Part 2)

Ok, so I started Ellie's birth story last week.  You can read part one (here).

I left off where my midwife was telling me that an epidural would help lower my blood pressure.  At this point, the contractions were painful, but not unbearable.   I was at about 6 cm, so I said to go ahead and order it.  I've heard stories of women saying that the pain had just completely taken over and they felt out of control of their own bodies.  I was not miserable at this point, but I hadn't really hit "transition" yet.

From the time that the epidural was ordered to when the nurse anesthetist got there, the pain started to intensify.  I was really glad that she arrived when she did.  It went from the "super bad crampy" feeling to the "knife dragging down your abdomen" feeling.  Still though, I wasn't at the point where I thought, "I can't do this."

Worlds most unflattering pre-epidural picture.  I wanted one last picture of me being pregnant with her.
The epidural was no big deal.  Some burning, a quick zap, and it was in.  It took maybe 5-10 minutes.  The only problem was that I was only numb on one side.  The nurse would keep flipping me side to side and each side would get a little numb.  But, I could still feel my feet, hold my legs up, etc.  After the epidural was in, the nurse checked me again, and I was an 8.

She let me "labor down" a bit before I was finally complete and it was time to push.  My parents arrived just in time to say a quick "Hi," then it was time to kick them out and get the show on the road.

I pushed with my midwife and nurse for a few minutes, then they called in what seemed like 20 people.  Ellie had some meconium stained fluid, so there had to be a few extra guests to make sure she was ok after she was born.  I pushed for maybe 20 minutes?

Now, about the pain...this is what has everyone all freaked out.  Yes, I did have an epidural, but its efficacy was debatable.  It is the worst pain you will ever feel in your life, but it's quick.  That ring of fire that they tell you about is pretty accurate, but you have to push through it.  Once you feel that, the only way to make it go away is to keep pushing. (That's what my nurse told me, and she's right.)  Besides that, it really wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting.

Ellie was born at 2:35 pm weighing 6 lbs 0.5 oz and was 19 inches long.

We were lucky enough that I only had to stay for 24 hours, so we got to go home around 3:30 the next day.  It was great!

We were all pretty tired!