A void filled with piles of unfolded baby clothes, dirty diapers, and those little disposable plastic cap things that go on the ear thermometer.
Also 7 trillion breast pump parts that have to be washed and sterilized all of the goddamn time.
You guys, I'm so tired. Everyone tells you how tired you'll be, but you just have no way of really understanding just how tired you will be.
And breastfeeding is just a treat, she said sarcastically.
But finding yourself in survival mode for 3 months can really put into perspective what really matters in life... like having a top notch baby swing and baby pajamas that zip from the bottom so you don't have to strip your baby every time you change his diaper.
And, you know, loving something with every fiber of your being. That shines through the darkness too.
Here are some of the things that have been absolute lifesavers for us... many were gifted to us, but many we discovered on our own as rookie parents with an Amazon Prime account.
First of all, AMAZON PRIME, you guys. This would be my #1 gift for any new parent. My god how we have taken advantage of that free shipping.
WASH CLOTHS - I remember after my baby showers thinking 'I have way too many tiny wash cloths'. I was wrong. These are handy for everything. Wiping noses. Wiping barfs. Cleaning babies. Cleaning yourself.
BURP CLOTHS - My mom made me tons of flannel burp cloths and I go through about 20 of them a day. I love them so much. I keep them everywhere and I usually end up with about 5 of them next to his bassinet every morning from carrying them with me from night time feedings. If you don't have a cool mom to make these for you, I've been super impressed with a free one we got from Burt's Bees, but they are a little pricy. Cloth diapers also work great. Get yourself about 30. Seriously.
WEARABLE BLANKETS - We use Halo SleepSacks. It's part of our night time routine to put him in one of these, and I think it has helped him understand the transition from awake time to sleep time. We have a warm, sweaty little baby, but these things are light enough that they keep him cozy without making him too hot. We have two of these, plus a fleece one for colder nights.
MUSLIN BLANKETS - Anyone in the business of procreation has heard of the ubiquitous Aden & Anais muslin blankets. I don't own a single one. I'm sure they're great, but they seem pretty expensive for a very simply hemmed square of muslin. My mom made me one that I absolutely love out of a fun piece of muslin she bought online. Wade also got a great deal on a fantastic 4 layer muslin blanket on Amazon that we love. It's plain white and just about the coziest thing you can wrap a baby in... SO SOFT. It's also great for creating a nice backdrop for a photo.
PAJAMAS - Quentin basically lived in pajamas for the first month of his life. Now I make an effort to put him in some kind of outfit every day (mostly because we got so many cute ones as gifts and I feel guilty not using them), but I would be 100% okay with him just living in soft pajamas. The two standouts for us have been from Cat & Jack and Burt's Bees. The Cat & Jack pajamas are from Target and they have a reverse zip which is SO AWESOME. You unzip the pajamas from the bottom so that you can change a diaper without completely undressing the baby. They are lightweight, soft and pretty decently made. They come in a pack of 3 for about $13. The Burt's Bees pajamas are the Cadillac of pajamas. They don't have the reverse zip, but they are the softest and most well-made pajamas we have. We got one as a gift and went out and bought more. They cost around $12 each... so definitely pricier but also definitely worth every penny.
BOPPY INFANT LOUNGER - I put this infant lounger pillow on my registry impulsively and received it from a friend at my shower. I had no idea how much I would use this thing. Quentin has basically lived in this pillow for the past 3 months and he is sadly about to outgrow it. We use it on the couch so that he can chill with us in the evening. It's nice having him with us on the couch instead of in his rock n' play or swing. We can watch TV or eat dinner and still interact with him. It was also awesome for tummy time early on when he wasn't loving laying on his tummy. I think it helped position him more comfortably. It's also great for positioning for impromptu photo shoots!
|Please note the ever-present pile of baby laundry in the background|
BABYCONNECT APP - This app was recommended to us by my sister in law Kristine. We use it to keep track of diaper changes and breastfeeding. There are lots of other ways to use this app, but this is mainly what we have used it for and it has been 100% indispensable. Every time you go to the pediatrician or lactation clinic they will ask you about the number of wet diapers and nursing sessions or bottles in the past 24 hours. This makes figuring that out super simple. I also keep track of his weight for no other purpose than my own entertainment.
WEESCHOOL APP - I heard about this app through Baby Rabies. There are so many baby development milestone charts on Pinterest, but I think they were making me anxious. This app displays just the milestones to watch for during the current month you are in age-wise. It also gives you simple activities to do with your baby to help hit these milestones and other developments down the road. It's super straightforward and simple. I love it.