Products I Can’t Do Without

As a new mom, bringing my daughter home was like stumbling around in the dark. I didn’t know what to expect, what she would need, how much time I would spend just existing with her in my arms.

There are a few products that have made my life infinitely easier. Ones that I didn’t think I would need so much, but know now that I can’t live without. Now, for those people reading who think I am getting paid to put all this stuff on here, no sir. These are things I have around my own house, things I had purchased for me by family or friends, or that I went out and got myself and they are things that I have used daily.

The first thing I have to put on the list because of how often I use it, is my baby carrier. The baby carrier was a super important thing for me because I am typically home by myself with my daughter all day and also have a fur baby that needs to go out on walks. Having to put her in the stroller, wait for the elevator with my dog and walk him (usually through the grass) with my stroller is not ideal. This is where having a carrier, and one you are comfortable with comes in handy.

I got the Infantino Cuddle Up Ergonomic Carrier With Hood.

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This was a gift from my best friend that I received at my baby shower. I also had one of those wrap ones, but my number one fear was that I would wrap my baby incorrectly and she would suffocate or something else would happen to her. Would I tie it too tight and she couldn’t breathe? Would I tie it too loose and she would fall out? I just wasn’t comfortable with that style of carrier (although they are heavily praised by moms).

I love that it is sturdy, when she is strapped it I really feel like she is strapped in. I love that it is machine washable, can be worn on your front or on your back when they are larger, and the cute little hood (which can easily be removed) did come in handy when it was windy out on our walks. There is also a pouch for your hands when it’s cold, although I usually use this pouch for poop bags, my phone, or my keys.

We use this carrier three or four times a day depending on my husband’s work schedule. I also use it when she is being fussy at home and wants to be in my arms, but I have things to do like chores.

The second most important thing in our house is our Fisher-Price Woodland Friends Cradle ‘n Swing.

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$150 CAD

We got ours from Walmart and it is worth every cent.

Let’s start with what it does. It swings baby in two directions, back and forth or side to side. The overhead mirror is a fun distraction for baby and is the centre of three owls that can be set to rotate with the touch of a button. You can set the speed in which you want baby to swing. This in itself was a game-changer for me. I liked that I could set it to swing faster when I knew she was being fussy and slow it down then she fell asleep. And if that wasn’t enough for you, it also plays music.

Right now I have the tray off the front as my daughter is only 7 weeks old. She has no use for it just yet and it just gets in the way of me taking her in and out, which depending on her mood may need to be done quickly. When your baby is a little older, that tray will be great, as you can use the beads there to distract them when the mobile isn’t enough, or you can even use it for snacks when the swing isn’t in motion.

The seat can be set to three different points depending on baby’s age. It can be used up until 9 months I believe… not sure about the weight limit.

Another thing that made this swing a done deal for my husband and I was the fact that it can just be plugged into the wall as opposed to needing batteries. This just made sense to us because we don’t often have D batteries lying around the house and the idea of our swing dying mid-use when baby is fussy and you are home alone and just need a moment had me grinding my teeth.

The reviews for this weren’t the best, and honestly, I have no idea why. This swing has saved me from meltdowns when I have been walking the halls trying to soothe my daughter when she has gas and I have to pee or haven’t eaten.

The other reason why I love this swing is because she is off the floor. When I need to run to the bathroom, I like that she is out of reach from our fur baby. When she is fussy, his kisses don’t help as much as he thinks.

When we were visiting my in-laws on the East Coast, there wasn’t a single room that didn’t have a rocker or glider of some kind. My daughter got so used to being rocked, everyone would joke that we would be in trouble when we got home to our rocker-less apartment. Boy, I can’t tell you how right they were.

Unfortunately, some rockers can cost upwards of $1000, and I just couldn’t justify spending that much knowing how much my daughter will need. So away to Walmart we went.

There we found Graco’s Glider and Ottoman.

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$199.97 CAD

It is only available in the one colour. The wood is a darker espresso than pictured and the cushions are a lighter beige colour.

I can’t tell you how quickly we rushed out after arriving back home to pick this chair up. Our daughter told us all too quickly that she was no longer happy sitting on the couch with me anymore, she wanted to be in motion, and she wanted it now!

All the cushions are removable. The armrests and back cushion can be thrown right in the washing machine and the seat cushion can be spot cleaned. The cushion on the ottoman can’t be removed at all so I would suggest with the light cover, putting something over it or scotch-guarding it.

The pouches on the sides are great too to throw your phone or the TV remote in for the moments where baby is sleeping and you can’t move from where you are sitting without waking them.

I don’t want to overwhelm you guys with products, so I have one other thing that for us was a must.

SkipHop Moonlight & Melodies Nightlight

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$40 CAD

This little elephant is a bedtime helper. My daughter, much like my husband and I, is a night owl. Usually when she lies down in bed she is hesitant to drift off to sleep, especially if I want to go down before 11:00pm.

This little elephant plays music and has a number of other noises like rainforest, ocean waves, and even a heartbeat soundtrack that makes her think she is still in my tummy. Aside from that, it is a nightlight, the whole underbelly glowing softly which helps me during those late-night diaper changes or maneuvering her so I can breastfeed.

The trunk works as a projector and projects a stars and moons on the ceiling. This is the feature I am most thankful for. My daughter stares at them, and it tends to keep her quiet when she rouses in the night or when she refuses to go down to sleep right away. Before I was using it she would fuss and cry right away, but there have been several times a night when I look at her and she is bright-eyed, wide awake just staring at those stars.

This has definitely helped me get more sleep than I would without it.

I would say a lot of the other baby items we have accumulated in this short time we could easily do without, but these are ones I simply can’t get through the day without using and they have made our lives so much easier.

The other lifesaver has been my breast pump but I am going to do a seperate post just about breast pumps for those of you that aren’t sure which one is right for you.

These are just products that worked for me and my family. Every family is different and every baby likes different things. In terms of swings, I would maybe try out a few, see if you can borrow from friends to see which baby likes best. Knowing that my daughter tends to be a little picky with what she will calmly sit in, I bought from Walmart because you can return absolutely anything with a receipt, no questions asked. I figured if the swing didn’t work, I could always bring it back (however I did try another gliding type chair by fisher price as well as a vibrating one that didn’t work as well, and we knew she loved the motion of a swing from the rockers and gliders).

Finding the right products to make your life easier will definitely help keep you from feeling overwhelmed and help you get a few moments to yourself which is great for a new mom and her mental health.

 

Milestones

It is crazy for me to even think about, but tomorrow my baby girl will be a month old! I’ve been a mother for a month!

With such a big milestone coming up, it’s got me thinking about what people consider the milestones for babies, and how so many parents question what is normal.

Every new parent wonders if their baby is developing on time, if they are falling behind, and hope they are ahead of the curve. An important thing to keep in mind when you have your new bundle of joy, is to just be happy and enjoy your time together. Who cares how soon your best friend’s daughter started rolling over, or when your brother’s son started cooing and making eye contact. We are all on our own journeys at our own pace, and that goes for our new babies as well.

I find I am constantly pulling out my resources and looking up when certain developmental things are normal, but it’s mostly with things I am not sure if newborns should be doing so I know whether or not it is something to bring up with her doctor.

Some of my questions were; “Is it normal for my newborn to snore?

There are a few reasons why a newborn may make noises similar to snoring. One is because there can be a flap in their vocal chords that is loose and their breathing when they are sleeping rattles this flap. It isn’t something to worry about as this usually corrects itself as baby grows. Another reason could be because they are congested.

I try to clean out my daughter’s nose whenever I give her a bath. The warm water seems to loosen mucus and build up in her nose which makes it easier for me to clean it out with that little suction thingy that was included in her bath kit. Normally I can look up her little nostrils and see if there is some build up in there, which will affect the way her breathing sounds.

My daughter does make noises while she sleeps. It sounds more like whining and growling than actual snoring and I find it is completely dependant on her position. When she is propped up, which is a position she likes to be in during the day as she likes to feel like she is sitting up, and falls asleep she sounds as though she is snoring. If I lay her down, her breathing evens out and she gets a little more quiet. However, not completely quiet. She is a really noisy sleeper!

Is it normal for my daughter to look so red and strained?

This is not a constant thing of course, but whenever she gets fussy she gets bright red. The same goes for if she is lying on one side of her face for too long, or if she is pressed against my breast during breastfeeding. Her skin gets as red as it possibly can.

My doctor says this is normal for babies at such a young age with light pigmentation. Their skin is thinner so it’s normal to see their veins and for them to go quite red for the first few months. I blame my pale, ginger husband for this.

What is my newborn’s poop supposed to look like?

My daughter’s poop is always this yellowish/brown and is practically water. It’s so runny that there have been more than a few times when I am covered in poop if her diaper is on the wrong way.

It’s normal for your baby’s poop to be orange/yellowish/brown and pretty watery for the first few months. Their intestines are not fully developed yet so they don’t break down food the same way toddlers and adult bodies do.

For those of you pregnant with a baby girl or ones that have a newborn baby girl, there is going to be a thick white mucus in their vagina. This too is completely normal and because of hormones that will prevent infections from their overly runny, gag-worthy poops.

Babies are supposed to get a certain amount of tummy time a day to strengthen the muscles in their neck, also to give the back of their heads a break. Babies spend a lot of time on their back, especially because doctors recommend you lay your baby on their back while sleeping at night. All that time on their back, can flatten the back of babies head.

Not to worry, because of the smaller, second soft spot at the back of their head, even if baby’s head does flatten it will go back. The bad news is that your baby may need to wear a helmet to help their head reshape if it flattens to a certain point. So remember to give your baby lots of tummy and side time during the day.

I usually lay my daughter on her side after she feeds because she tends to spit up and this way she doesn’t choke on it, she also loves being on her side and it gets a lot of her gas out.

At one month, my daughter already uses her arms and legs to flip herself onto her belly which has made nighttime a lot less restful for me. Why? Well because she moves herself onto her sides and tummy while she sleeps and although she can hold her head up and move her head from side to side, sometimes she lies with her face pressed flat against the bed which worries me because it doesn’t give her a clear passage to breathe.

She also gets quite a bit of gas because she likes to play when latching sometimes. She rubs her face back and forth over my nipple. At first I thought it was a latching problem, but she will break the latch to do it… not sure why. Because of this, she sometimes gets a lot of air in her tummy while she eats.

The build up of gas makes her all red and makes her moan and groan angrily. Moving her little legs in a bicycle motion helps, so does lying her on her tummy or her side.

Back to milestones, I have an app on my phone that asks me if she has gone through certain milestones based on her age. The Ovia Parenting app has milestones categorized¬†first based on age. 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, 9-12 months, and 12-18 months. Then it’s broken down again into motor skills, thinking and learning, social, communication, body inside and out, and bathing and dressing. It is set up like a checklist so you can check off your babies accomplishments and milestones. I like it because it lets me know what other children are doing in that timeframe and eases my mind to some of the worries I may have. “Should my kid be doing this?” checks the list… oh… yup. Here it is!

It’s weird because the first month flies right on by. I can’t believe my daughter is a month old! I can’t believe I have been a mom for a month!

New parents, savour every moment because you don’t really realize how quickly time flies. It feels like I just took her home from the hospital yesterday!

I would say I’ve been pretending not to notice, but I honestly haven’t noticed the time passing.

One month!