Monday, February 8, 2016

How to Survive the First Month: a starving student's list of essential supplies

So before having the baby I questioned everyone I could think of on what supplies I would need to survive this new adventure.  Luckily I have a sister in law who had a baby 6 months ago so she was able to help me out a TON.  Because women who I thought would be experts at this by now, weren't so helpful.  Example:  I asked my sister.  She has had SEVEN kids. 7.  I figured she would by now be the absolute expert.  So I text her, "What are the things I should make sure I have before the baby comes?"  Her response, "Babies don't really need much, just make sure you have a jogging stroller and a bike attachment."  Bless her soul.  She's been so engrossed in babies for so long she can't even remember a world without it.  She cant remember a world without diapers.

So now that I am officially a month into this I thought I'd come up with my own list of essentials to survive your first month of motherhood.  Who is this list for?  I have no idea, maybe me next go around?  But I figure I might as well write it all down now while I feel like the expert.

So of course this is just my humble opinion.  Also let me add... my life is that of a starving college student. (Not really, but really.)  So I wanted to be as practical as possible when it came to baby.  I didn't want to spend any unnecessary money.  I have been very very fortunate up to this point that I have yet to spend any of my own money on baby.  But this is not a luxurious list like you might find on these mommy blogs that get a bunch of stuff for free.  This is as bare bones list.

Let's start off with the things you don't need your first month of having a baby.  The reason I want to start here is because I spent so much time and energy researching, worrying about, and picking out the perfect of some of these items.  And quite frankly, the first month they are pretty much useless.  The reason I start with this part of the list is because most of these items are expensive and I think it'd be better to purchase these items once you have a baby and have a better idea of what you'd want.  Going in blind, babyless is hard.

Things you don't need the first month:
A crib - an infant can sleep on any flat surface.
A diaper bag - unless you are using formula, the first month all a baby needs is a diaper and wipes.
A diaper genie - new born diapers do not smell.
A stroller - here has been the hardest thing for me.  For the record I have used my SUPER nice stroller probably 7 times so far this month and LOVED it.  But the bottom line is - with a newborn - especially your first - especially in the winter - you aren't going anywhere very often.  Your body is beat up.  Seriously beat up.  If you didn't have a stroller the first month and you needed to get out of the house, using a cart at Target is just as effective.
A high chair or any baby eating item - baby isn't going to be eating for months.
A Baby Carrier - like I said with stroller - wait until you have a better idea of what you want.

Ok.  On to the main event.  Things I found essential to surviving your first month of motherhood.

This list is in no particular order.  I find all of them essential.

Let's start with Nursing:
1. A nursing app.  Your brain becomes absolute mush.  I can't believe how much of an airhead I am.  I can't remember anything.  Let alone the last time my baby ate.  And this is very important.  Especially the first few days.  Nurses and doctors will be asking you all the time when and how long your baby ate.

2. Lanolin.  It will become your best friend.  I have already gone through two 1.41oz tubes.  If I would have known that, I would have bought a bigger tub in the first place.
3. Nursing Pads.  Obviously I knew I would need these, I had no idea how quickly I would need them and how important they are.
4. Nursing Bras.  Buy them before baby is born.
5. A good book or TV show.  My show of choice right now: Elementary.  I knew nursing took time.  You don't realize how much time.  I nurse Brad almost 3 hours in a given 24 hour period.  Add at least another hour or two for burping or changing per day.  That is almost 5 hours a day when you can't do anything else but sit there.  That means just nursing alone in my first month I have spent 85 hours.... 3.5 days nursing him.   I wish I could say I was doing something productive with that time like changing the world.  But instead, at least I am being entertained.
6. Maybe TMI but the best thing that ever happened to me.  A Nipple Shield.

Even if you are nursing:
7. Formula.  You never know when you might not have enough milk or need it.
8. Bottles for formula. We were given a whole set of Dr. Browns bottles... But I don't know if I have a preference yet.

Baby Clothes:
I have always said that my baby was going to just wear a onsie until he is one.  Then I had a baby.  I didn't realize a onsie isn't practical especially in the winter.  The reason a baby can't just wear a onsie is because he scratches his face.  For Brad, mittens didn't work because his hands were so small they just feel off.  So my advice to new moms.

1. Onsies with attached mittens.  These saved me..... or Brad's face.  Because most legged sleepers don't come with mittens.  It's so annoying!   So I have to put on a onsie with mittens and then the sleeper.
2. Nightgowns.  They make changing diapers so much easier!  I would always have him in one of these except.... any time he has to be in his carseat then it expose his legs so I have to use #1.
3. This will probably sound common sense, there is a difference between Newborn clothes and 0-3 months.  For most people that have normal sized new borns I understand having new born clothes was pretty worthless.  But for my little guy I had to have new born clothes.
4. 1-2 cute outfits in New Born size are plenty.

Diaper Changing:
1. I am pretty loyal to Pamper Swaddlers. I tried other brands and Pampers have won for now. I've heard that isn't the case when the baby is older. But as long as he's in newborn diapers I'll stick to Pampers. 
2. Desitin. So Brad poops literally every 15 minutes. The dr says that's a great thing. But I can't change his diaper enough. So diaper rash. But Desitin has saved his poor little bum. 
3. Desitin stinks. It sticks to your hands even when you wash them over and over. So the best thing thats happened to me?

Swaddling your baby tight helps them sleep. I was lucky enough to get a few stretchy swaddling blankets. They are awesome. But too big for a little 6 pound guy. So for now the best thing is his cacoon.
1. Cacoon
2. Swaddling blanket
3. A baby monitor. I didn't think I'd need one because our apartment is 10 feet big. Almost literally. But Brad is a noisy sleeper so we can not sleep with him in our room. So I use the baby monitor. 
4. A humidifier. Brad got sick within a week of being born. A humidifier helped him breath.

5. On the same note of being sick. A baby thermometer. I was gifted a very nice baby thermometer that I didn't think much about until I was on the phone with the nurse trying to decide if we should take Brad to the ER. If I wouldn't have had that thermometer we would have taken him. I had no idea a thermometer would be so important.
6. These thin changing pads. They are awesome.
7. A covered goods nursing/car seat cover. Love it! So I love this two in one item! It's nice to use for nursing because it covers both your front and your back and it's super thin so it doesn't get too hot! I love it for the car seat cover because it makes it so no unwanted people touch Brad during RSV season. 
8. And of course last but probably most important of you ever want to leave the hospital: a car seat. 

I'm racking my brain trying to think of anything else. Oh not essential but definitely nice to have:
A baby swing. 

And there you have it. My starving student list of essential things to survive a baby's first month of life. 

1 comment:

Marcie Parson said...

So happy that some of my items made your list! I'm glad I was of some help.