Since I'm at home most of the time with a small person who is very demanding I've discovered that there are a few parenting crutches that I am OH SO GLAD that I own.
As a matter of public information I would like to present to you a list of the essentials according to moi.
Seriously, an iPhone is an awesome thing to have for a nursing mom. Since I'm planted in my glider for half of my waking hours for at least a half hour at a time it has been a sanity saver.
Sure, when I'm nursing Claire we bond and look into each other's eyes and I talk to her and do all those things you're supposed to do with your baby but I can't do that for 4 or 5 hours a day. Let's be honest here: at three weeks old she was often cross-eyed because she couldn't control her eyeballs 100% yet. She's not the most adept conversationalist.
Once she gets down to business and really starts eating, I check mail, go through my reader, read Tweets, find the latest news, etc. I even wrote the Dramatic Pants post entirely from my phone.
If I didn't have that to keep me in touch with the world I think I'd be a lot more stir-crazy.
This is nothing more than a gadget with 5 timers on it that counts up. We used it a LOT during the first week to figure out how long it had been since she had eaten, gone to sleep or had a new diaper. The nurses were very strict with the eating every 2 to 3 hours thing and really hammered the idea that it was a non-negotiable window of time or else the baby MIGHT SHRIVEL AND DIE OH NOOOOOO.
Of course, once we got home I was obsessed with feeding her at NO MORE THAN 3 hours and the Itzbeen allowed me to give into all kinds of OCD behavior I didn't even know I had in me.
Besides making me feel like I wasn't forgetting to feed her, with two caregivers it was just nice to know that yes, she had a new diaper five minutes ago but SHE STILL NEEDS A NEW ONE. (I swear, the rate at which this child goes through diapers astounds me.)
Now that it's been a few weeks, we use it far less. It's definitely an item we could have done without but since I'm the kind of person who addresses her Christmas cards in August this was right up my alley. If you have OCD tendencies and a newborn, you must get an Itzbeen.
Everyone says "OH! You hafta get a BOPPY!" And I didn't really believe them because it's just a dumb pillow and I have lots of pillows at home. But I registered for and received one.
I could not imagine nursing an infant with success without this dumb pillow. In fact, I take it with me EVERYWHERE we go in case she wants to eat because I have yet to master the art of nursing a child who cannot support her own head while simultaneously not exposing myself to the world.
Yes, toting a child AND a big awkward pillow wherever you go is a pain, but that's what SUVs were made for.
Hello, may I introduce you to my child's first baby sitter?
I can reliably stick her in this thing for at least twenty minutes several times a day. After 20 minutes she gets a bit bored but then I just switch it to start vibrating in addition to bouncing and voila! At least ten more minutes of quiet time for Mommy to do something exciting like brush her teeth!
Now, I know that nursing moms aren't supposed to load up on caffeine. (And I'm not exactly loading up - just one drink a day.) I've been drinking a latte almost every morning and it doesn't seem to be messing with her.
Since leaving the house is now a major event, I can't just pop out to Starbucks for a $4 pick-me-up when I get bored and start craving that crack-a-licious Gingersnap Latte. (Oh Starbucks, why do you torture me with your overpriced holiday beverages? I always feel that I have to cram in as many as possibly this time of year before they disapper until next time.)
After I've been up several times that night and then up for the day at 5 am I'm kind of tired. (Imagine that?) So, once Claire finishes her breakfast and goes back to sleep MOMMY GETS A LATTE! WOOOOOOOOO!
It's the little things.
The Baby Swing
The really hilarious part about this is that Chris and I didn't figure out how awesome the swing was until about week 4. We were viewing it completely wrong. We thought it was a "fun" thing for her. You know, like a third grader likes to swing at recess? Wheeeeee?
Uh, no. This contraption is a shortcut to sleeping. You stick her in it, crank it up on the highest level, turn on the white noise to its loudest and she is asleep within moments.
The first time it happened I was like, "Whoa. Baby Swing. Will you marry me?" Ever since we figured this out there has been no more pacing around the house or endless bouncing in place for an hour at a time to lull her to sleep (when she's so obviously tired).
Baby Swing = Gold
What about you dearest readers? Anything you couldn't live without those first few weeks?
And, uh, what can you not live without after, say, 6 weeks? Not that I'm going to be there next week and couldn't use all the help I can get or anything.