You can read everything under the sun to prepare for motherhood. Yes, the research helps and it has given me a peace of mind when it felt like I was a mess of emotions or stuck in the “Is it just me?!?!’ phase. But ultimately, there are just some things that no one tells you are the “must haves” of motherhood. Clearly I don’t have anything figured out (Hello! It took me 3 months to take my child to the doctor for them to diagnose a potential milk allergy), but these are a few of the things that have helped me get through the last few months as a new mom.
Sleep Pillow App. There are a ton of apps out there for parenting, but this one has been used since like day 5 in our house. Parker LOVES the sound of rain and it instantly makes him go to sleep. We didn’t have a sound machine to begin with, so the app on the iPad worked amazingly. It also is great for on-the-go naps, especially at restaurants.
Hear Album by North Point. Those early weeks felt very lonely at night. Feedings lasting an hour…occurring every hour or so, wore me out. Pain radiated through my body from having birthed a baby, lack of sleep, and emotions at 1000%. I both hated and loved nursing in those early days because it was an escape for an hour to be alone with my new little baby. It was also frustrating because I felt like I was alone in doing all the work (I was the cook and waitress for P’s meal times), experiencing all of the new scheduling barriers, and still having to figure out how take care of myself. Insert the HEAR album. I played those songs on repeat. I found hope and rest in the lyrics of those songs. Turning them on and letting the words wash over me during feedings usually resulted in tears, but also made me feel refreshed. Praise the Lord for talented musicians that can write and sing such powerful words.
4Moms glider. This spaceship contraption is. The. Jam. Motion + sound machine + pretty design = so good. I typically have this set up in the bathroom in the morning so that I can watch Parker play while I get my clean on. He loves the mobile and it is so fun to watch him discover the colors.
Nuk nursing pads. (If you are a guy, then stop reading now) Leakage. Enough said. These things keep your clothes dry because who has time to change clothes a million times a day, especially when there are no clean shirts to change in to. Just make sure you throw them away, or your dog will eat them.
Swaddleme wraps. We have a Houdini baby. I think normal swaddle blankets lasted 3 days. Parker would bust his arms out so quickly and would just cry. I love the Swaddleme wrap because of the Velcro and the fun colors. Also, since they come in multiple packs, it makes it easy to have one on hand at all times.
#Latenightnursingfeed. If you are on Instagram- check it out. A momma started this hashtag to connect all the women who are up in the middle of the night and provide good information. Seeing the community of women come together and voice best practices has been great and comforting!
Amazon Prime. I can’t even fully explain how much I love AP. I quickly realized that I could order something and it would arrive 2 days later. Now, that probably sounds like “Um yeah, duh. That is the purpose of AP.”. But you don’t understand. In order to pick up batteries, I have to time a trip to the store when I know my baby will not be crying due to needing to be fed, I have to put Brinkley in his crate, I have to hear Parker cry when initially being put into the carrier, I have to drive to the place and hope that there is a parking spot open with enough space to get my baby and stroller out without smacking the car next to me, and I have to hope that no one parks over the line and therefore forcing me to place Parker into the car from the wrong side thus making me flustered. Gosh I am stressed just typing that. I’d rather remember during a feeding to click over to Amazon, and purchase whatever necessities I realize we need. Books to read during nursing- Check! Gifts for holidays- Check! Food for the dog?- Check! Lotion for a very dry-skinned baby? Check!
I’ll tell you what. I am loving this whole Motherhood thing. Of course it has its challenges, but it is really fun figuring out this new little human and how he fits into our lives.