April 21, 2015
I am a mother of a three month old baby boy. Three months. I can’t say “It seems like I blinked and here he was-three months old,” because I am fully aware of each hour I have spent with him. The days seem to have stretched out so that each hour is double what it once was and yet I wouldn’t slow it down if I had the power. I adore this child of mine. He is hilarious, sweet as can be and such a testament of God’s grace. That being said- man oh man has he rocked our world. Even before I was pregnant I loved reading what a wide variety of mothers would say helped get them through those first three months. There are always some staples that seem to make everyone’s list and some items I had never heard of before. One thing rings true: every baby is completely unique and no one will know your baby the way you do. Here are our “Couldn’t Have Made it Without You” essentials.
Colace: Yes. The very first thing on the list. I was told to follow this rule the first two weeks postpartum: “don’t skip a day. don’t forget. don’t skimp.” I foolishly disobeyed those rules one day ( yes ONE day) and I will never do it again. Just trust me.
Baby Connect App: Our friends told us to download this when I was about 35 weeks pregnant and I can’t sing it’s praises enough. We keep track of every feeding, pumping, diaper, sleep, mood and thought on this thing and it syncs to whoever has it with Oshiolema’s name. I can have a babysitter download it (when we reach that point) so I can keep an eye on his schedule while I’m away and my husband loves seeing the “stats” while he works all day.
Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water: Whew. Those first few days are just a doozy. Oshiolema cried because he was sad, cried because he was hungry, cried because he was tired, cried because it was cold, cried because he was hot, cried because he liked it. He cried a whole lot. Most of the time we had no clue what was wrong but the majority of the time…he cried because of Gas. He had a lip tie and a tongue tie which ended up needing surgery so he didn’t breastfeed efficiently. This left his poor tummy with tons of gas. Our pediatrician recommended this Gripe Water given with an eyedropper and it was kind of a miracle. Hiccups stopped immediately, the tears dried up and a look of content wiped across his face. We rarely use it these days but it is an absolute must in the beginning.
Nose Frieda + Little Noses Saline: In week 1 we must have used this combination at least twice a day. His nasal passage is so narrow and the adjustment from cozy womb to dry winter air is tough for any baby. Since they are pretty much exclusively nose breathers (especially while feeding) its important to have a clear nose. The concept was just repulsive at first but it is SO easy and not gross at all! The little hospital bulb didn’t work for us and I don’t like that it can’t be cleaned. This product saved us.
HonestNipple Balm: I had a tougher start to breastfeeding than many but every Mom I know across the board would jump to slather themselves up with this in those first days. I had to use the over-the-counter version but this was great later on.
Netflix: The real MVP. I have been Netflix’s #1 fan from the beginning. There’s nothing like seeing the “Are you still watching?” screen pop up six times in one day. I must say, however, that I had no grasp of my binge-watching capabilities until those first few weeks with a newborn. It seemed like I was nursing 22 hours a day and nothing accompanies hibernation with a baby strapped to your chest like sitcoms, lifetime movies, food documentaries and of course, Friends.
32oz Mason Jar: I’m a bit of a water guzzler. Even before pregnancy I drank a minimum of a gallon a day. I was told that I would never be hungrier or thirstier in my life than I would be while breastfeeding. They weren’t lying. I keep one of these at every nursing station (family room, nursery, our bedroom) so I drink the whole thing while nursing. I am constantly thirsty so this prevents me from being stuck parched.
White Noise App: If we could have two things to assist us in keeping our child sleeping soundly and keeping us sane this app would make the cut. At the very beginning ‘vacuum’ was his go to but now ‘heavy rain’ is his jam. Babies are so easily startled awake and sleep best to the sound that they fell asleep to. If we were watching TV while he fell asleep and turned it off- tears. If it was dead silent when he fell asleep and we started a conversation- tears. We discovered this his first week home and by now when he hears it he knows its time to rest. We play it as loud as possible for every time he’s supposed to go to sleep on my old phone and keep it room when we’re home and diaper bag when we’re out. It’s a must have for us.
Rock N’ Play: Our goal was to have Lem’s in our room while it was essential and move him out when we were ready. (Not he, we). His very first night home we placed him in the bassinet portion of our pack n play. Such rookies. He despised that thing. Imagine going from a hot tub cocoon to a giant flat slab of rock; not so pleasant. Thankfully I had read that babies love the Rock n Play and set it up just in case the week before he arrived. He slept in that wonderful invention for every single nap and nighttime of his first month. He’s super long so at around 5 weeks I didn’t like how cramped he looked in it and we switched him back to the 4 Moms Pack N Play (which we love) to get him prepared to sleep in his crib. We moved him to his crib in his own room at 2 months old and he (and we) sleep like a champ but I can’t imagine that first month without the Rock N’ Play.
Aden & Anias Swaddles: We use these for everything. In the beginning this was his favorite swaddle but he started to be able to break out of them pretty early. Now I use it to drape over his car seat when it’s a little too sunny or if he’s sleeping when we’re out and about, as a light blanket, as a surface to lay him on and as a burp cloth when it’s in arm’s reach and a burp cloth isn’t.
Miracle Blanket Swaddle: Dear friends of ours who have a son three months older than ours sent this to us right before the baby was born. He couldn’t fit in it at the beginning so we put it in a drawer with five other (different kinds of) swaddles. When the day came that Lem’s decided the Aden & Anias swaddles were a joke we went through each and every swaddle for each nap time and all five were a failure. When we put him in the Miracle Blanket, after watching the tutorial video no less than twelve times, he had the best night’s sleep of his life up until then. Game Changer. We have used it ever since for every sleep unless we place him on his tummy for nap time. ( I know they say it’s not safe but we only do it when he’s napping during the day and we can watch him on the monitor. Now he is strong enough to turn and lift his head if need be and he sleeps wonderfully this way.)
(He’s almost past the weight limit for this swaddle and consistently busting out of it so we’re going to give it up in the next few weeks)
Kimono style pajamas and Zip pajamas: There’s a lot going on in that first week. Keeping him content and asleep were our two priorities and pulling super tight onesies up over his head for every diaper leak was pretty awful. (the No…we didn’t know at the time that the onesie was made to be pulled down. That’s also a great tip that would have saved us lots of poop glazed hair). We loved the kimono style separates to help dry up that umbilical cord stump and avoid the over-the-head thing and still snatch up anything zippered because no one has time for 387 snaps at 4am.
Freshly Picked Moccosins: I’m a huge fan of these shoes because despite the glaringly obvious lack of necessity, baby shoes are pretty stinkin cute. Sneakers are my go to for his little feet but he is a ninja and kicks them off all the time. These moc’s are a favorite of mine because they stay on without being too tight. They recently came out with ‘Crib size’ which I recommend for 0-6 months because the size 1 is pretty huge…and yet his giant feet don’t fit in the crib size anymore.
Sponge: We have the 4 Moms Tub which has all the bells and whistles and I was super excited about it. Fastforward to every bath of his first two months of life: screaming, furious, uncomfortable baby. I found this sponge on Amazon Prime and when it showed up two days later the child had his first tear-free bath. We stick it in the sink when we’re traveling and in the tub at home. It’s brilliantly simple and we’ll use it til’ he can sit up on his own
Activity Gym: I will say that Oshiolema has been very strong for his age since birth. His neck strength is especially impressive so we had him doing tummy time on this mat pretty early. At first he wasn’t too into this. On his back he would just stare past the owls and birds because his first love is the ceiling in our family room and lights of all kind. He doesn’t discriminate. But at about two and a half months those owls and birds became his best friends and he absolutely loves playing on this mat. At three months he’s just showing off and plays like a ten year old with those guys so we may be moving to an exersaucer quite soon. I cringed at the thought of this permanently in my family room and looked for something neutral but in the end, babies love colors and patterns. I had to suck it up.
Hip Peas Cradle Cap Care: My mom said she was 7 for 7 with Cradle Cap. We all had it and so does my boy. It was pretty bad at one point and we overnighted a few remedies. This one is pretty magical and cleared everything up in 2 days. We still use it every other day to prevent his scalp from drying out again.
Amazon Prime: No question. Having something show up two days later without paying extra shipping is just a no-brainer. I can’t even count the number of Amazon boxes that have showed up since finding out we were pregnant.
Enjoy Life Products: Just before Lem’s was 2 week old we started noticing his diapers were looking strange. Our pediatrician said it seemed like a dairy intolerance. It turns out many babies are intolerant of dairy, soy and whey while breastfeeding so I cut it out of my diet right away. Since then we have had many stages of scary things in his diapers so I don’t eat dairy, soy, whey, nuts, eggs or gluten. Lord willing, I’ll be exclusively breastfeeding (with solids added when it’s time) for just over a year so missing out on some of my favorite foods for that length of time seemed a little daunting until I came across this brand. Nearly every single kind of chocolate available in stores has dairy in it, and nearly every baked good has butter, gluten and eggs. After being completely turned off by sweets my whole pregnancy I was really looking forward to indulging once he arrived. Major bummer. Enjoy Life cookies are ridiculously good and they hold themselves to the highest standard of allergen-free baking. I use their chocolate chips to bake granola bars and banana bread and go through boxes of cookies faster than I’d like to admit. This brand has helped me keep some sort of normalcy in this season of life.
I also highly recommend the Bugaboo Chameleon stroller, the Crane humidifier, Solly Baby Wrap Carrier, Ubbi diaper pail (you can use any trash bag you want and it’s really pretty) and our Restoration Hardware crib. Babies don’t need much besides love and care but these things have added control to the chaos of being rookie parents. Oshiolema is one of the smiliest, sweetest, snuggliest three month old’s I’ve ever met and I’m so glad he’s mine.
Is there anything you had to have for those first three months that I missed? I’d love to hear it!