Eight and a half months. That’s how long I’ve kept my tiny human alive. It’s how long I’ve been her mama while she’s been outside my belly. (side note, she’s now almost been outside my belly as long as she was in it!! So crazy!). Over these past months, I’ve come to realize that there are some things that I found were just absolutely essential for this journey of ours!
We’re pretty pumped at how simplified we’ve been able to keep everything thus far in our adventure as being Lily’s parents! That was one of our big goals and I think we’ve done a really good job so far! Below is a list of things that I found to be really important to have, and why!
- REUSABLE NURSING PADS – I’ve been breastfeeding all along, and having reusable nursing pads that I could just toss in the wash with my clothes has been SO helpful! I had disposables in the beginning from the baby shower, but once I ran out I stopped using them! I have ten pairs of resuable pads, and they were more than enough to get me through those first few months of unpredictable milk flows! haha! They created WAY less trash (I was finding the slips you peel of the disposable ones all over the place!) and they cost significantly less in the long run!
- BATTERY PACK FOR MY PUMP – One thing that the pump didn’t automatically come with was a battery pack. A friend of mine gave me hers since she was all done with it, and it was a game changer! This little battery pack allows me to pump literally anywhere, which is so nice to not have to be limited to finding a place that has an outlet!
- BOPPY – This had SO many uses! I used it a lot in the beginning for nursing, Steven still likes to use it when he gives Lily a bottle. It was also great for me to sit on after I had Lily, because I was pretty sore and uncomforable while sitting for a while, and the boppy relieved a lot of pressure! I used it to prop Lily up while doing chores, and it was also a great support to have around her as she learned to sit up on her own! One of the greatest things we have!
- ROCK AND PLAY – It’s a hefty investment, but it was so so helpful for us during the first 8 weeks of Lily’s life. She slept in the rock and play every time she needed to sleep. Eventually, we moved her into her napper at nighttime but we still used the rock and play during the day for her naps up until she was 5 or 6 months. It was also great to use to set her in while we ate dinner together!
- PACK AND PLAY – Such a valuable tool! If you can, swing for the pack and play that has the bassinet, changing station, AND the napper! We used the napper for Lily to sleep in at night for a while, and then when we outgrew that we moved her down into the bassinet part of the pack and play until she was 6 months and we moved her into her crib! Now we use it very regularly when we need to contain her! It’s a great thing to set up, plop her in with toys, and do a workout or clean or make dinner! She has a lot of fun in there 🙂
- BOBA CARRIER/WRAP – We have the carrier AND the wrap. They’re great!! We used this thing ALL the time in the beginning, and now we just use them when we go for walks together. They’re pretty useful!
- ROCKING CHAIR – There’s not much that needs to be said about this one, but make sure you have one and USE it! For whatever reason, we hardly used our rocking chair the first couple of months (maybe because Lily wasn’t sleeping in her room yet?) but once I started using it regularly it changed my world, haha. It helped my back not hurt anymore from standing and bouncing/rocking Lily when she was upset.
- LANSINOH 3-IN-1 – This is for nursing mamas. It’s a pack that you can heat up and freeze and then apply it to your breasts when you have clogged ducts or mastitis or any discomfort. These were a lifesaver both times I had mastitis and all the times I had really clogged ducts.
- SOUND MACHINE – I love ours because not only does it get her used to sleeping with noise, but it also helps muffle some of the noise that we make around the house while she’s sleeping!
- CHANGING PAD – Our friend, Dawn, made us the most beautiful diaper bag and changing pad. I love the changing pad because it allows me to change Lily anywhere! We’ve even changed her on the hood of our car, because we had a pad to lay her on!
- DIAPER RASH SPRAY – The thought of having to rub cream on her butt when she’s got a rash grosses me out, so we bought an all natural diaper spray from Kelly’s Closet, and it’s awesome! It works really well, lasts a LONG time, and we never have to touch her, haha.
- SLEEP TRAINING BOOKS – The Happiest Baby on the Block, and On Becoming Baby Wise. I read both of these books when Lily was five months, and it really helped us with sleep training her in a way that felt right to us, and made us feel comfortable! We worked on sleep training during the DAY first for about a week (oh gosh, the first day was the absolute worst and most dificult!) and then we moved her into her room at nighttime and the transition was seamless. It’s like she didn’t even notice. Anyway, these books were great, and it’s hard work, but now we have a little girl who sleeps all night and takes two naps a day without putting up much of a fuss.
- CLOTH DIAPERS – Check out this blog post here about my love for cloth diapers.
- GRIPE WATER – This was really helpful some nights when Lily just cried and cried forever and was so uncomfortable. This helped relieve any gas and pain she had in her belly and would help calm her down long enough to fall asleep!
Phew! Did you make it to the end?! There’s not much on the list, to my surprise, but just lengthy descriptions as to why I love them, haha. When I started this post, I thought there was going to be a huge laundry list of things I felt were pretty crucial, but I was pretty psyched to realized that there wasn’t much!
Other mamas out there – do you have anything you’d like to add to this list?