I love things and stuffs. I wanted anything and everything baby, practical or ridiculous. The Hub reigned me in, thankfully, so while I didn’t get to get everything I might have wanted for the baby, I had everything I needed. I did get a lot though, and here are the things I would say were the most important or most used in my household.
1. Rocking Chair/Glider
Emilia seems to require constant motion in order to not be screaming, even from the very early days. For a while rocking her was the only way I could get her to sleep, and in the beginning you just have to do what you can to survive. At least, I did. We had a play date with the lovely Suchada of Mama Eve and Emilia threw one of her more dramatic fits, the only thing that quelled the crying was for me to mimic the rocking chair movement. That was the day I realized how much I loved that damn chair.
2. Changing Table
Sounds silly but one of Emi’s favorite places to be is on the changing table and while I realize you can change a baby on the floor, having something at a comfortable height is just really nice. Once I attached her mobile to it she would lay there for ever watching her birds. I couldn’t find a photo of the changing table itself, so there’s the entire set.
Which brings me to number three, a mobile. Emilia is absolutely fascinated with her birds, they were the first thing she ever smiled at and they calm her down when she’s upset. When you have a baby who cries for hours (starting at around 4 pm and wouldn’t go to sleep until about 2 am from about 3 to 6 weeks) any thing that gets them to stop is a sanity saver.
4. Smart Phone
Again, sanity saver when you have a baby. Need to check if that color of poop is normal? Need a distraction from the screaming in your ear for hours on end? Need a link to the outside world where people actually respond when you speak to them? Need all of this to be accessable easily while holding a baby? TA-DA! I honestly would have went insane without it.
As a breast-feeding Mama, I can’t take a lot of pain relievers. As a woman who just grew, carried, delivered, and is now nursing a baby, I have a LOT of pains. Not a great mix. The first week or two of breast-feeding was painful; my nipples, my back, my arms, everything just hurt. Advil got me through it.
6. A Support System
Ok, so you can’t buy this but it’s absolutely the most important thing you can have. While I was pregnant I took Bradley Method birth classes and attended a local La Leche League meeting. My Bradley instructor was also my doula and was absolutely amazing not only during my labor but afterwards as well. My post partum visits with my midwife were wonderful as well because she gave me confidence that things were going OK. Breastfeeding hurt so badly at first that even though I knew Emilia was getting enough to eat, I thought something had to be wrong. Thankfully, I had to help and support of the La Leche League ladies to help ease my fears, give me advice, and encourage me. When people say it takes a village to raise a child, it’s not just for the child’s sake. Adults need help too, as a first time parent I had no idea what to do or expect and by reaching out and surrounding myself with a community of support there was always someone around to help. And those long nights, those scary nights I sat up and cried for hours while my precious baby screamed, feeling like I was forever falling deeper into a black hole I had my sister and my best friend always just a text away. Having all of these female connections, women who had the same experiences as I did, who were or had been through it, was so important and beneficial. Having a loving and supportive partner is crucial too, but you have to realize they are in the same boat as you. They’ve been a parent for exactly the same amount of time and they need support too. The Hub is amazing and his love, understanding, and support are unwaverin. I know with him I’ll never be alone, but how could he understand my absolute fear of the first post-delivery poop? You just need a girl around for that…
Maybe you’ve noticed there isn’t a lot of actual baby stuff in this post. That’s because honestly, I think most of that stuff is nice to have but not important. Stay tuned to part two for that list!