After our first month with Miles Ben and I had a discussion of our must have newborn items. The items listed below are things we couldn’t live without or things that made our lives so much easier during those first weeks. I won’t include the obvious; diaper, clothes, wipes, etc. We tried to come up with things we bought and didn’t need but couldn’t think of anything.
Essentials during the first few weeks!
(click on the product name to go to their webpage)
1. SwaddleMe: We loved this for the first two weeks of Miles’ life. Basically it is a cross between a sleeping bag and a blanket. Miles loved being bundled up like he was in the womb but his legs were free to kick around as well. When Miles was really fussy we would swaddle him and he would calm down and in most situations, fall asleep. This saved us big time during the first nights as a family.
2. Boppy: This was (and still is) a must have for nursing. Miles would nurse for an hour then nurse an hour after that. I was literally spending half of my day nursing and holding up my 8 1/2 pound little monster and my arms were killing me unless I used my Boppy. Even now at 11 weeks, I can nurse without the Boppy but we are both so much more comfortable with it.
We also used the Boppy to hold Miles, he liked sitting up right in it when he was alert and enjoyed sleeping in it because I believe it felt like he was being held. Miles has also been burped while hanging over the Boppy and has done tummy time on the Boppy. As he grows, the Boppy will function as an extra support as he learns to sit up by himself.
3. Pack and Play: We bought this Pack and Play super cheap around Christmastime and we couldn’t have lived without it during the first two weeks. The Pack and Play has wheels so during the day it would stay in the Living Room and at night we would wheel it to our bedroom. We used the Pack and Play as a changing table and as Miles’ bed. We had wipes, diapers, extra outfits, extra blankets, SwaddleMe and mitts in the Pack and Play. It was so nice to not have to go back and forth to his bedroom when I was recovering and in the middle of the night. Miles slept in his Pack and Play and our bed until he was four weeks old when he was moved to his crib.
4. Bouncer: My parents bought one for Miles when he was a week old. We use it EVERY day! Sometimes I wouldn’t get anything done in a day if it wasn’t for the bouncer. Miles loves to be bounced in it and enjoys swatting at the toys. He also enjoys being close to us so with the bouncer I can work on blog posts, thank you cards, do housework and craft. He often wants to be bounced in it so I’m working on getting some killer calf muscles from always bouncing this kid. For the days when all he wanted to do was be held I could put him in the bouncer and he would be content and sleep away the day.
5. Swing: My parents also bought Miles a swing when he was one week old. At first he didn’t really care for it but now he enjoys it. It was a lifesaver when we were trying to get Miles to sleep in his own crib. Miles hated sleeping in his crib. We think the transition was hard for a few reasons; the crib mattress was much harder than ours, he couldn’t smell us anymore, and it was much cooler since he wasn’t snuggled up next to us.\ Most nights Miles slept in his swing for half of the night. It was a lifesaver! Without the swing it may have taken Miles even longer to get accustomed to sleeping away from us. Now Miles will sit in his swing while I clean up his room or do laundry or he may nap in the swing a few times a week.
6. Pacifier: Miles probably wouldn’t leave my breast if it wasn’t for a pacifier. He would eat and then just chill but cry when I pulled him away. After he finished eating he wanted his pacifier. He loves it! We introduced one just shy of four weeks. Now Miles sleeps with it most nights. If he is fussy in his crib usually his pacifier will put him to sleep. We love how much Miles loves it!
7. Receiving Blankets: We received quite a few receiving blankets before Miles was born and one day I came home with more. Ben questioned why we needed so many but after two weeks Ben made a comment about how thankful he was for them. We used these receiving blankets as a crib sheet when Miles peed on the only one we had, as burp cloths, to cover the car seat to protect Miles from the rain, and of course to keep him warm. Now at 11 weeks, we don’t use them as often but are grateful to have as many as we do.
8. Camera: The days after Miles’ was born are a huge blur to us. Thankfully we have photos to help us figure out what happened on what day. And of course it is just nice to have so many photos of Miles. Pictures are such a great way to capture all the “firsts”; first time meeting family, first bath, first family photo, first time at the park, etc. My camera is amazing and takes great pictures and videos. I’d be lost without it!
9. Baby Book: I choose this baby book after reading about it in a blog. The author also made a Pregnancy Book, a Birthday Book and Grandparent book. I love them all and wish I did the pregnancy book. This book is a good mix of fill in the blank and a scrapbook. I spent some time filling out the book every few days when Miles was first born.
10. Family! Both of our families helped so much! Between taking out the trash, doing dishes, making meals, bringing treats, picking up groceries, etc. – we couldn’t have lived without them! Our church family also helped make the transition as a family of three a lot smoother! Our church provided dinner for a week, made phone calls to check to see how we were doing and to pray with us and we also received a few gifts from our church family. The saying, “it takes a village to raise a child,” well that same village also helps new parents survive the first few weeks!