- Cute, Comfy Clothes
I'm going to be honest with you. For the first probably six weeks of Grayson's life I lived in nothing but sweats, yoga pants, T-shirts and tank tops. On the rare occasion that I got out of the house I would pull myself together, but that didn't happen that often. When you are so exhausted that you can barely function and your days are running together, it just helps so much if your comfy clothes are a little bit cute. Instead of wearing old, worn out things I tried to at least put together matching, cute-enough outfits. It's the little things that make a big difference in your self-esteem in those first fragile weeks. So before you bring that baby home, treat yourself and invest in a few new "outfits". I promise it will be worth it.
Those first few weeks are this hazy, far-away time that I look back on fondly. Everything seemed to run together and I felt like I was drunk on no sleep and a so-intense-I-could-barely-stand-it love for my new little baby. Things were amazing. But during the day he slept. A lot. And I sat on the couch holding him. A lot. And at night he woke up to eat. A LOT. And if I didn't have my iPad to keep me entertained I'm quite certain I would have fallen asleep nursing him every single time. And during the day I might have lost my mind if I didn't have Bravo and HGTV to keep me company. Moral of the story? Have something on hand to keep you awake...because it will be the biggest challenge of your life!
- Hand Pump
If you choose to breastfeed, it can be a little tricky to figure out what is a necessity and what you don't really need. In the first few weeks after my milk came in I was seriously engorged. Getting everything all leveled out was not easy, and the only thing that saved me some days was pumping to get some relief. I didn't pump and give G a bottle for about six weeks, so it was purely to save myself. I had Arsen run out and get me a Medela Harmony Breastpump after just a couple days. It's inexpensive and does the trick. I still use it pretty often when I'm pumping to store or if he goes too long between feedings.
Again, if you are breastfeeding, this is a must. Here is the honest truth. It kinda hurts. And by kinda I mean sometimes a lot. I don't care what people say, Grayson was a champion eater from day one and never had any issues latching, and I was still super duper sore for a solid week or two. I mean, imagine what your body is going through. Of course you are going to be raw and sensitive. I lathered this stuff on every single time he ate, whenever I showered, changed clothes, etc. It's a lifesaver. Promise.
- Nursing Pads
This one is definitely not glamorous, but it's something that is an absolute necessity for a breastfeeding mom. You will leak. No getting around it. I literally have used these every single day since G was born. I tried using washable ones since I hate throwing away so much waste, but let's just say they didn't really do the job. I've had to stick with the disposable ones, but I literally couldn't get by without them. My favorites are the Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads. I need to buy these babies in bulk.
- Helpful Books
Two books that I don't think I would have survived without: The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. If you need any help with a baby who won't stop crying or have questions about breastfeeding, these two are uh-mazing. Another great one to have is What to Expect the First Year. I love reading about the milestone's Grayson should be hitting and common issues that may arise. Great resource to have on hand!
Save Your Money:
- Super Expensive Electric Breastpump
Now, this is totally a matter of opinion, and I only feel this way because of my circumstances. I originally was planning on going back to work and pumping while there, so I think the expensive, double electric pump would have been very nice to have. But now that I stay at home and breastfeed almost exclusively, this thing just doesn't get much use. And we spent over $200 on it! Ugh, it makes me so sad that we wasted that money. I hardly ever use it. I like to keep a couple of bottles on hand just in case I need to leave Grayson home or want to have a drink or something, but I honestly just use my hand pump probably 75% of the time.
Being a new mommy can be super overwhelming/confusing/stressful, and knowing what is a necessity and what is just nice to have can be tricky to figure out. I hope that I'm able to provide a little guidance, because even though there is SO much info out there, I still somehow felt a little lost going into things. I also want to throw it out there to any soon-to-be or new mamas, if you have ANY questions or need ANY help or just need someone to listen to you vent about how tough this mama thing is, please feel free to reach out to me! I love making new friends in this wonderful bloggy land that we live in and I truly hope my experiences can help out others. So please, don't hesitate!