A quick update…

Well I’ve survived the first two days of work.  I’m going back for a short evening shift tonight and a short morning shift on Friday.

I woke up early on Tuesday morning, anxious about getting ready on time and getting my daughter over to my parents’ for the day.  I was able to get my hair and make-up done before E woke up.  We were able to go through a shortened version of our morning routine – we didn’t play quite as much as usual – and I got everything packed up to take with us.  It was a fair amount to carry.  If it happens that my parents are watching E more often I think I’ll just double up on a bunch of things so that I don’t have to cart so much back and forth.

I carted everything to the car, strapped E into her car seat, and we left our house just after 8:00 in the morning and arrived at my parents’ about 8:15.  E was happy to see Grandma (my dad was at work) and was content while I set up the playpen, white noise, and baby monitor.  Around 8:40 I kissed E good-bye and got back into my car.

On the way I realized that I had totally forgotten all the papers I had signed and was supposed to bring on the first day of work!!!  What a great way to make a good first impression.  Oh well, what could I do?

Once I got to the library, I was greeted warmly and the training started shortly afterwards.  There were two of us being trained, which I understand why they would want us to start together, but I think I found that more stressful.  I’ve never worked at a library before and there is a LOT to learn!  My brain was suffering from overload by the end of the day!!!  But I survived.  🙂  And so did E.  My mom said she was great all day, which helped me feel a little better.  We packed up everything to take home.  When we got home, my husband was already home and asked how the first day had been.  By then I was so hungry and I had a headache, that I couldn’t say more than “please, feed me!”  Haha!  The rest of the evening went well.  I prepped for the next day as much as I could and then we spent the evening watching a movie, once E was asleep in bed.

Thursday morning came and we repeated the process.  I was worried that E would be upset when I left her with my mom, but she was as happy as could be.  My mom said that she was a bit more relaxed than the previous day.

The other trainee wasn’t there that morning which I think helped me relax a bit more too.  I was up at the front desk most of the day which provided me with lots of opportunities to practice what I had learned on Wednesday.  It seems like the staff are pretty nice and are willing to help me whenever I have questions.  No headache for me at the end of the day.  🙂

E was full of smiles when I arrived to pick her up.  Mom said that she was great all day!  That evening was also a pretty relaxed one.  I put E down for bed, giving us some snuggle time.

This morning was a normal morning for the most part.  My shift starts at 4:30 so there has been lots of time to play and read and enjoy each other’s company.  She was a little on the fussy side, but hopefully she’ll feel a little happier after her nap.  And my husband is home this evening so they will be enjoying some Daddy/Daughter time.  I’m so grateful to have such a competent husband when it comes to childcare.

What I’ve learned so far:

  • Prep as much as you can the night before.  I packed up E’s snacks and bottle as well as my lunch, keeping everything in the fridge until we were ready to go.  I also made a list of the things I needed to pack in the morning: sleep sack, white noise machine, E’s mousie and blanket (her loveys), some toys, etc.
  • Realize that you probably won’t have tons of time to worry about how your baby is doing while you are at work.  It was go, go, go the entire day.  I sent my mom a text during my lunch break and she got back to me saying things were ok, and that was as much as I could squeeze in.  It really helped to know that E was in capable hands so I didn’t have to worry.
  • Expect to be tired and frazzled at the end of the day!  I’m so glad my husband was home Tuesday evening after my first day because I was finding it so hard to think about anything!

And now I’m going to enjoy this little bit of “me” time while E is napping!  🙂

Any tips and tricks for returning to work?

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The Day I Became a Mom

It is hard to believe that my daughter is a year old today!  Was it really a year ago that I was waiting, and waiting, and waiting for her to arrive?  She was 10 days late.  My May baby ended up being a June baby instead.  I thought I’d share my birth story.

While I was pregnant I had read so many times that I should create a “birth plan” for my labour and delivery.  I think there is some value in having a plan, but when I say having a plan, I mean discussing the “what if” scenarios and maybe a couple extra things.  An example of the “what if” scenarios – what if the baby needs to be taken to the ICN, who will go with the baby, who will stay with mom?  You hope it won’t happen, but at least you know where everyone is going to be if it does.  Other things like do you want an epidural?  And who do you want in the delivery room?  Those are questions you might want to have answered too and put into your “birth plan”.

Here was my birth plan: I wanted to deliver in the hospital.  I wanted an epidural if possible.  I wanted my husband by my side, but if I needed my mom I gave myself permission to ask for her to come into the room.  I’m glad I didn’t have anything more complicated than that since it probably wouldn’t have happened.

Here’s what did happen:

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I was due May 24.  It came and went.  I was scheduled for an induction for June 3 at 8:00 AM.  I was sent in to the hospital for a non-stress test on June 2 just to make sure that the baby was doing ok.  This was the third non-stress test I had to do so I was starting to be a pro at them.  🙂  It went well and I was even asked by one of the intern doctors if they could bring in an ultrasound machine so that he could practice identifying the position of the baby for future deliveries he might be involved in.  They apparently needed someone very pregnant but not actually in labour.  I was the perfect candidate.  It was fun seeing the baby in there one last time.  We headed home shortly afterwards.

That evening I started getting contractions.  They weren’t all that painful, nothing more than menstrual cramps.  I’ve probably actually had worse cramps than the contractions I was having.  According to the information we were given I was supposed to head to the hospital if the contractions were coming in less than 5 minute intervals.  Once they reached 3 minutes on a consistent basis (around 11:00 at night) we decided to head to the hospital.  Another non-stress test, a pelvic exam, and I was sent home, being only 2 cm dilated.  😦

The contractions slowed down a bit, but they were enough to keep me from really sleeping that night.  They were also enough to dilate me just a little bit more.

Bright and early we drove to the hospital.  Another time being hooked up to the machines for a non-stress test.  My doctor visited me, confirmed that I was 3 cm dilated, and gave the go-ahead to start pumping me with oxytocin to induce labour.  Now we just had to wait for a labour and delivery room to open up.  In the meantime, the nurses came to start the IV.  Attempt one – not in.  Attempt two – not in.  Attempt three – it’s in, but it hurts!  It ended up hurting the entire day.  If I had known better I would have kept on mentioning it until it got fixed.

About an hour or so later I was moved into the labour and delivery room.  The wonderful thing about the hospital was that you were able to stay in one room the entire time.  The oxytocin was hooked up and we waited for things to start happening.  The contractions were still no more than menstrual cramp intensity.

Around noon my doctor stopped by and broke my water.  What a weird feeling!  It was quite uncomfortable when she used the crochet-like hook to break the membrane and then the warm liquid burst out.  It kind of felt like I had just wet myself!  About a half hour later that’s when things started happening!

The contractions started coming faster now and a bit more painful (although to be honest I don’t recall any pain since it was overshadowed by what was happening next).  I requested my epidural and then all of a sudden, out of the blue, I was in a full blown panic attack!!!  It was scary!  I had never had a panic attack like that before!!!  The nurse was fantastic.  She was with me the entire time, helping me get through the intense moments.  I was crying.  I was trying to breathe.  I was crushing my husband’s hand when I contraction would come.  I remember the nurse’s calming presence.  Her hand on my head.  Her gentle voice.  (Even now as I’m writing this I’m almost in tears from the memories!)  Eventually I calmed down enough and the anesthesiologist was able to give me the epidural.  It felt like ice being poured down my back and then no more pain.  Breathing returned to normal, crying stopped, and I was able to settle back down again.  (As a side note, I was reading somewhere the pros and cons of having an epidural.  One thing that was listed as a con was needing a catheter since you can’t really be up an and about.  I’m not sure why this was listed as a negative thing.  I loved not feeling like I had a full bladder.  Anyone who’s been pregnant knows the joys of having the baby sit on her bladder.  Haha!)

My parents came for a visit, as did my sisters.  It was fun being able to see them and it was a diversion while we were waiting for me to get more dilated.

At 6:00 pm my doctor came back to check on my progress.  (I had lots of visits from the nurses in between the doctor’s visits.)  It was determined that the baby was sunny side up and I was only about 7 cm dilated and the oxytocin was at a very high dose.  They decided to give it a bit more time, increasing the dose of oxytocin, and my doctor would come check again in a couple hours.

In those two hours my feet started swelling and my cervix did too so that by the time my doctor came back I had actually regressed.  Now I was only 6 cm dilated!  My doctor recommended a c-section.  They turned off the oxytocin drip.  I was told that there would be a bit of a wait before I would go into the OR because there was one lady in front of me in line.  Of course, about 10 minutes later the nurses popped into my room saying that they were waiting for blood work for her and so I was going in right away!  Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t do all that well with change…ok, I’m terrible with change…and being pumped up with oxytocin (a stress hormone) I was barely managing to keep calm.  My husband changed into scrubs (he looked pretty handsome in them if you ask me) and I was wheeled into the OR.

I lost it when they asked me to move from the bed I was in to the operating table.  I had been given an extra dose of the epidural and my feet were so swollen that I could barely move.  I started panicking again!!!  They tried to distract me and help me calm down, but I couldn’t stop shaking or crying.  My husband came into the OR and tried to help calm me down too….

The next thing I knew I was opening my eyes and there was my husband, holding our daughter!  They’d had to put me under in order to get me to stop shaking so they could perform the surgery.  I asked if the baby was a girl (apparently a few times) and I thanked the anesthesiologist for putting me under and then we moved to the recovery room…where I started having my third panic attack of the day!!!  My nose was stuffed and I was having a hard time breathing, the nurses were checking this and that, pushing on my uterus to make sure the bleeding had stopped…I don’t even remember how this panic attack ended, but I guess it did eventually and I was able to hold my daughter for the first time.

She was beautiful!  A tiny little perfect baby girl!  And she had a beautifully shaped head.  I was a mom!

After about an hour we were wheeled into a private room and my parents, my husband’s parents, and my sisters came into the room to meet the newest member of our family.  As I remember this part of the day I remember who was there and that there was time when I wasn’t holding my baby, but I cannot, for the life of me, remember anyone holding her.  I have pictures, but I guess I was still too drugged up to remember.  So strange.

The next morning we were told that the cord had been wrapped around my daughter’s neck a couple times.  It really made me appreciate how great it is to have hospitals, doctors, nurses, and epidurals.  There seems to be a huge fad for having “natural” births and home births, but there is a reason why there are hospitals and doctors.  The panic attacks I could have done without, but that was me and not the “modern medicine’s” fault.  My goal for the next time (if/when it comes around) is to be conscious when the baby is born, but at least I know that I’ll be well taken care of.

And now my baby is a year old!  Wow!  Happy 1st Birthday, Little E!

Hospital Bag Checklist

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a post.  The weather has turned beautiful so we have been enjoying being outside whenever we can!  🙂

With the arrival of summer, I know several people who are expecting their bundles of joy soon and that has made me start thinking about hospitals and delivery.  My daughter is turning one in a couple weeks so that might have something to do with it too.  I find myself thinking about how much has happened since little E came into our lives.

So with all this thought on hospitals, I figured my blog wouldn’t be complete without a “Hospital Bag Checklist” so here it goes!

What to take to the hospital.

The thing to remember is that every labour and delivery story is going to be different, and the length of your stay in the hospital may be different than someone else’s.  I had a c-section so I was in the hospital for 3 nights.  But I think that these things listed here would be nice to have regardless of how long you are in the hospital.  There are lots of lists on the internet to help you pack your bags, and here are my suggestions to add to it!  🙂

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FOR MOMMY:

  • hairbrush, hair ties, hair clip, bobby pins – After going through the entire crazy day, I was so grateful to be able to brush my hair and make myself look presentable again!  I looked a little worse for wear the night my daughter was delivered!
  • face wash, face lotion, make-up – I am one of those types of people who doesn’t feel completely like myself if I have a greasy face or without a bit of eye shadow on.  And I’m able to look back on the pictures feeling like I look at least somewhat decent.
  • shampoo and body wash – Some hospitals may provide this, but I took my own.  That first shower after delivery was fantastic!  I was able to wash off all the sweat and just felt so clean again!
  • toothbrush and toothpaste – A key part of feeling human again!
  • sleep nursing bra – I packed this and I’m glad I did since those silly hospital gowns really don’t provide all that much privacy when you are trying to breastfeed for the first time!
  • nursing pads – Just in case things start leaking a bit.
  • pajamas – I did bring a new set of pajamas that I had bought for the occasion, but I didn’t wear them.  I was so swollen from all the liquids they had pumped into me and the elastic on the pants hit my c-section incision rather uncomfortably.  I think next time I’m going to see if I can either find something that will be more comfortable after surgery or make one of those gowns that I’ve seen on Pinterest.
  • panties – Again, because of my c-section incision, I didn’t use the ones I had brought.  The hospital ones they provide are ridiculous looking, but they sure are comfy!  Next time I’m going to actually ask for a couple pairs to take home with me for the first week post delivery.  However, if I hadn’t had a c-section, I would have been more than happy to be back in my own normal panties again!
  • socks – Didn’t use them until I got dressed to go home, but I know that some women like to wear them during labour.
  • going home clothes – I took a super comfy pair of maternity sweat pants and a nursing top with me.
  • paper/pen – I had a small notebook that I used to record gifts that were brought when people came to visit.
  • camera and charger – Obviously. 🙂
  • cellphone and charger – I liked being able to share those first pictures and announce to the world that my daughter had arrived.  It was also nice to have to be able to stay in contact with my family and friends since I was in the hospital for a little longer than expected.
  • slippers/flip flops – I took slippers with me, but my feet were so swollen they didn’t really fit.  And I leaked blood on them (gross) when I got out of bed the first time.  I think next time I’ll take a pair of flip flops instead.
  • pads – I used the hospital ones during my stay, but they were rather thick so it was nice to have a thinner one to wear on my way home.
  • wallet – Not so much for the money or credit cards, but for the ID and Health Cards.

FOR BABY

  • going home outfit – I took two.  The ultrasound tech had told us we were having a girl, but on the off chance that she turned out to be a boy we took a girly sleeper and a gender neutral one.  The baby won’t need an outfit for in the hospital since s/he will probably just be wrapped up in a blanket most of the time or laying on your chest skin to skin.
  • hat – I forgot one, so the hospital provided one after E’s first bath.  It made a cute keepsake.
  • cloth diaper – This one is totally optional!  I’m pretty sure the hospital will give you a disposable diaper for your baby if need be, but I brought one of my cloth diapers since I was SO excited to use them.
  • car seat – At our hospital they did a safety check once E was strapped in, just to make sure she was in there properly.
  • blanket – Even though it was the beginning of June and beautiful weather, we still put a blanket over top of E so that she was nice and cozy.
  • soother/pacifier – Some people say not to introduce a soother too early, but I’m glad we brought them.  E was able to be soothed and I was able to get some sleep.
  • Vasoline – I brought some but used the tube the hospital provided instead.

FOR DADDY

  • pair of clothes – Just in case he got spit up on or something.
  • snacks or money for the vending machine – He might get hungry and the hospital doesn’t provide his meals.

Basically you’ll be taking what you would take for an overnight trip.

Hope you found this list helpful!  What’s in your hospital bag?

 

I confess: I’m not that great of a mom.

I was awake for over an hour last night…I woke up because my baby was crying and then once she was settled, I couldn’t fall asleep because of my snoring husband and all the thoughts that were going on in my head.

Sometimes I don’t think I’m cut out to be a mom.  Sometimes I don’t think I’m a good mom.

There have been a few times in my life when the advice I got was not the advice that I really needed.  Would I have actually listened anyways?  Well, that’s beside the point.  Now that I’ve gone through some major life events I find myself sharing the advice I wish I’d heard.

For example, if I could go back to my wedding day and change one thing, I would have walked down the hallway to see my groom before the ceremony.  I would have gone before I got in my dress so that would still be a surprise, but I REALLY wish that I had gone to see him.  I wanted to.  I was so nervous and anxious and all I needed was a few minutes with him to calm my nerves and get me excited again.

My advice to brides: give yourself permission to go and see your groom if you need to.  Yes there is the whole tradition about not seeing the bride before the wedding, but since that is a tradition from the time when a bride and groom didn’t meet each other until the wedding date and it was to keep the groom from deciding that he didn’t want to marry her because she wasn’t pretty enough…I think we are passed that in this day and age.  A friend of mine who recently got married told me that she was so happy that I had given her this advice.  She didn’t go and see him, but she did call him so they could talk and she said it helped calm her nerves and helped her be excited instead of stressed.

Now I’m a mom.  And wow, was I not prepared for it!  I guess part of it is because I was living in a state of disillusionment when I was pregnant.  Yes, I knew that my life was going to change, but I didn’t realize how much!

I remember running into a colleague shortly before I was due.  We had been pregnant together.  She had her baby a couple months before I did.  She was dealing with a new baby and I was anxiously waiting for my baby to arrive.  I remember being a little put off by her attitude towards motherhood.  She seemed like she wasn’t enjoying herself.  I can’t even remember what she said, but now I realize that her feelings were legitimate and if I had listened to her I might have been a bit more prepared.

Prepared for what?  Here are some things that have caught me by surprise.  Things I was not expecting.

1. I didn’t realize how much time babies take!  They consume almost every moment.  I don’t have much time to myself any more and I find myself grieving for that.  I find it hard to find the time to recharge my energy and mood.  Naps are great, but they don’t last forever, and before you know it, baby is awake and requiring attention again!  I’m constantly changing diapers, feeding her, putting her down for a nap, doing laundry, and all the other things that need to be done around the house.

2. I didn’t realize how resentful I’d be towards my baby.  I love my baby, and maybe resentful is too strong a word, but in the middle of the night, after I’ve struggled to fall asleep, when the baby wakes up crying I find it hard to not be annoyed, frustrated, mad that I can no longer sleep when I want to sleep and for however long I want to sleep!  Even during the day, when she is clingy or fussy, it is hard to not get annoyed at her.

3. I didn’t realize how resentful I’d be towards my husband.  There’s that word again: resentful.  I am so jealous when he stays up late because it is his turn to sleep in in the morning.  Even if I was going to sleep in the next morning, I know that I’m going to be the one to wake up to the baby’s cries and then need to wake him up, and that it will be hard to stay asleep when I hear them making noise downstairs.  If the baby does wake up in the middle of the night, I get annoyed that I am the one who always gets up to soothe her back to sleep.  (My husband has a really hard time falling asleep at night and if he gets out of bed it can take him over an hour to fall back asleep.  It doesn’t seem fair to ask him to get up when it takes less than 10 minutes to get the baby asleep again.  But it can be hard to remember that at 2 in the morning.)  When I was pregnant I would read in horror that some women would “accidentally on purpose” wake up their husbands when they were getting back into bed after dealing with the baby.  Now I completely understand!  And it isn’t just the sleeping that I can get annoyed at…sometimes something as him staring into space while I’m struggling with feeding the baby can be all it takes to set my thinking in the wrong direction.

4.  I didn’t realize there would be “mom guilt”.  I feel guilty for wanting time away from my baby.  I feel guilty when I’m away from my baby because I’m enjoying myself.  I feel guilty when I ask someone to watch my baby – even if I ask my husband – because I know how tiring it can be being around a baby.  I feel guilty for getting frustrated with my daughter when she is fussy or won’t sleep when I want her to.  The list could go on and on.

So why on earth am I writing this?  It certainly sounds depressing.  Or maybe it just makes me seem like an impatient person who doesn’t love her baby.

You know what, though?  I do love my baby.  I love her so much that I will put my own needs in front of hers, again and again, and again.  That’s why these things I just wrote about have caught me off guard.  I am slowly figuring out how to meet my needs so that I can be a better mom and wife.

I’m writing this because sometimes it seems like there are certain things that just aren’t talked about.  We talk about labour and delivery.  We talk about breastfeeding.  We talk about diaper changes.  We talk about night wakings.  We talk about how much we love our babies.

But we don’t talk about the negative feelings.

And you might not have these feelings.  You might absolutely LOVE every minute of being a mom.  But if you are struggling, know that you aren’t alone.  Know that other moms feel the exact same way.

My Top 5: Things for a Newborn

Here is my first post for My Top 5 “series”.  🙂  Every so often I’ll be posting my top 5 favourite/most used/just plain awesome things for a specific topic.

Today’s topic: Newborns

Here are 5 things that I found to be super useful when E was a newborn.

# 1. SwaddleMe

I strongly believe in swaddling a newborn.  Here are a couple reasons:

  • They are used to being nice and tight and cozy in Mommy’s belly so being all wrapped up tight helps them feel like they are safe and “home”.
  • Newborns also have very little control over their arm movements so the swaddle keeps from startling themselves awake.

Please note that I swaddled my baby, E, when she was sleeping or when she was too overwhelmed by this great big world.  She had lots of unswaddled time to practice moving her arms and legs.  Also, we never swaddled her hips so tight to create a problem.

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E all snug and ready for bed

At first we swaddled using receiving blankets and then moved on to large flannel blankets my mom had made.  The blankets worked great for her naps, but at night she was managing to get her hands out and startle herself awake.  I finally splurged and bought a SwaddleMe.  She LOVED them!  She would often be crying very hard while we were getting her ready for bed, but as soon as she was snug in the SwaddleMe she calmed right down.

The feature I love most about the SwaddleMe?  The velcro!  So easy to keep her snug all night long!

The SwaddleMe comes in different sizes.  We bought the Stage 2 variation in both the small and large.  I would often tell my husband that if/when I go to any future baby showers a SwaddleMe will be included in the gift!

# 2. Avon Sensitive Skin Bubble Bath

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Who know that this would get out baby poop?

This one might seem a bit strange to have on a list like this, but believe me, it is a product that every mom needs!  You know how everyone seems to be offering advice as soon as they find out that you are pregnant?  Even if it might drive you crazy, if you actually listen sometimes you get some good tips.  This was one of those times.

That mustard yellow baby poop stains everything!  And Avon Sensitive Skin Bubble Bath gets those stains out as easily as can be!  How awesome is that?  🙂

# 3. Soother

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E with her Wubbanub pacifier

A soother/pacifier seems to be a bit of a controversial item.  Some parents are worried that the baby will become too dependent on it, other parents worry about it affecting the baby’s teeth and jaw.  I, however, think that a soother is a wonderful invention!

In a previous post, I mentioned how we avoided having a colicky baby and one of the reasons was because we used a soother!  E was a sucker.  At first she was using me as her pacifier and, despite warnings of developing nipple confusion, we introduced her to a soother a couple days after she was born.  Maybe we just got lucky, but there were no issues for going between the soother and breastfeeding at all.

It took awhile to find one that she liked, but when we did (thanks to a gift from a friend), she was a happy baby!  We used the soother for about 6 months and stopped using it once we started sleep training.  I was a bit concerned that she’d start sucking her thumb instead (and you can’t take a thumb away), but it didn’t happen.  Luck again?

If/when the next baby comes around, we’ll definitely use the soother again, but once the baby is past the 3-4 month age, we’d probably restrict it to just naps and bedtime.

# 4. AngelCare Baby MonitorIMG_3395

There are so many monitors available now, but we decided to go with the AngelCare system because of the motion sensing mattress pad.  The pad goes under the mattress and detects the slightest movements of the baby, including breathing.  If movement stops for too long the alarm sounds.  I found it very reassuring as a new mom, knowing that if my baby stopped breathing for some reason I would know about it right away.

There was a recall on the monitor systems recently, because there is a cord connecting the sensor pad to the nursery unit.  All I had to do was request a kit to fix the problem.  The kit came quickly and using it I am able to keep the cords away from my baby’s curious hands.

When the time comes to purchase a new monitor, I will probably go with AngelCare again, although I’d like to get the version with the video.

I did have a problem with the parental unit going blank, but AngelCare sent me a new unit.

# 5. Nursing bras

Ok, this isn’t really for a newborn, but definitely something I’d recommend if you are going to be breastfeeding!  One time my nursing bras were all dirty so I was wearing an ordinary one.  I ended up having to strip down, taking my bra off completely, so that I could nurse.  Not so convenient since I was visiting my parents at the time.

It is recommended that you go a few weeks before your due date to get properly sized for a nursing bra.

And while you’re shopping for your bras, consider buying a sleep nursing bra.  I really appreciated having mine.  It was nice in the hospital because it kept me a bit more covered up than the hospital gown and once I was home it offered support at night as well as held nursing pads in place so I didn’t leak all over the bed.

Ok, there you have it, five of my favourite things to have for a newborn.  And just because it is awesome too, here’s a bonus.

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil is just a wonderful thing.  It has SO many uses.  For a newborn it works great as a diaper cream (cloth safe even), a moisturizer, and it helps get rid of cradle cap.  E was starting to get cradle cap and so I slathered her head with coconut oil about 10 minutes before her bath.  I took a soft bristled baby hair brush and brushed her hair…ok, I brushed her scalp, she didn’t have THAT much hair.  Haha!  Then rinsed it out.

Coconut Oil works great as a nipple cream too, so don’t just save it for baby.  🙂

Hope you found this helpful!  Moms out there, what did you love using when your baby was a newborn?  Please add your comments below!  🙂

 

Shopping for Baby

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Me at 9 months with my daughter

Being pregnant for the first time is pretty exciting!  (My baby is 9 1/2 months old now, so I’m reminiscing. 🙂  Here’s a picture of me about to pop!)  Even though I was completely exhausted most of the time, I never seemed too tired to shop.  🙂  As a new mom-to-be I picked out the “obvious” stuff like a crib, change table, rocker, stroller, etc – you know, the things that you typically think of needing when you have a baby.

Shortly after I announced my pregnancy, a teacher at the school where I was working offered to take me shopping to buy all the “essential and maybe not so obvious” things a new mom and baby would need.  This woman is  a very caring woman and isn’t afraid to talk about the things that aren’t mentioned all that often.  She’s very open, but in a way that makes one feel comfortable asking questions.  She also loves buying baby cloths and let me buy a whole bunch of baby girl clothes at a great price.  The clothes had belonged to her daughter and some of them had probably been only worn once!

Anyways, we picked a day to go shopping and here’s a list of the things she recommended.  I thought I’d share the list.  This list is not comprehensive (you will need more than this for a baby) and there are probably moms out there that would say that there are things on here that aren’t needed, but hopefully you’ll find it as helpful and fun as I did.

For Baby (in no particular order, I am listing things as I remember them!)

  1. Oval Drops: My baby was not colicky and I don’t think she was in pain because of gas, but she sure did have a lot of gas bubbles in her!  Giving her a dose of the Oval seemed to keep things from getting too bad or painful.  I would recommend getting 2 bottles – one for at home and one for in your diaper bag.
  2. Infants’ Tylenol Drops: I don’t use this very often, but it is definitely good to have on hand in case my baby develops a fever or is in pain because of teething.  I got the White Grape flavour which doesn’t taste too badly if you ask me.  Again 2 bottles – one for at home and one for the diaper bag.
  3. Bottles: Regardless of whether you are breastfeeding or giving formula, you will most likely need bottles.  When my baby was first born I was nursing and pumping.  The bottles were very useful when someone was watching my baby when I had to make appointments or went on a date with my husband.  After struggling with breastfeeding for four months, I decided to switch to formula and those bottles got even more use.
  4. Hydrasense Ultra GentleMist Baby nasal spray: It can be very dry here in Edmonton, Alberta and this nasal spray is great for moisturizing her nose and relieving congestion.  I don’t use it all that often, but it is good to have on hand.
  5. Vick’s BabyRub: My daughter didn’t get a really bad cold until she was about 8 months old and then she was hit hard!  Poor thing was so stuffed up and was coughing like crazy.  😦  We rubbed her chest, back, and feet with the rub and I think that helped.  We also gave her a small baby spoonful of coconut oil which helped with the coughing too.
  6. Baby bath tub: This is one of those things that you don’t absolutely need, but I’m so glad I had one.  I was able to borrow one from my sister, but if it hadn’t been available I would have bought one.  A newborn baby is super slippery in water (ok any baby is super slippery in water) and it was nice to be able to put the bath tub on the table at a level that is easier to work with.  We used it on the table for a bit and then put it into the large bath tub.  It was nice being knowing that she wasn’t going to bang her head on the hard porcelain.
  7. Baby bath tub insert: Lots of baby bath tubs come with inserts pre-built into them, but if yours doesn’t then I’d recommend the insert.  I had a c-section and wasn’t able to lift much weight so things were a bit harder trying to hold up the baby’s head and grab the shampoo and rinse her off, etc.  Again, I was able to borrow an insert (from my sister-in-law this time) otherwise I would have bought one.  There are several different kinds.  The one I used was mesh on a wire frame.  The one that was used by the lady who took me shopping was foam.
  8. Baby Shampoo, Bubble Bath, and Body Wash: There are so many different varieties out there.  Choose the one that suits your needs best.
  9. Baby Lotion: Again, lots of variety out there.  I found the lotion great for giving mini baby massages and just moisturizing her skin in this dry winter weather.  I had bought some lotion, but the best stuff I’ve used was a homemade version made by my sister-in-law.  (More on these great products of hers coming in a future post)
  10. Humidifier: I wasn’t sure how much these really help and I was a bit hesitant about buying one since they are kind of expensive.  But then my daughter got a bad cold and we were able to borrow one from my mom.  It is run during her naps and at night.  If nothing else, it provides a bit of white noise.  🙂
  11. Play mat: Any of them will work.  I was given one as well as was able to borrow one from my sister.  I think for the next baby I want to splurge and buy the SkipHop one because I think it is so cute!  Even though the baby won’t play with anything at first, it was nice to have a soft place to lay her down when I needed to do something.
  12. Baby wash cloths: I originally bought 24 wash cloths thinking that would be enough, but then they turned out to be great for wiping up baby spit ups.  My baby spat up a lot and these cloths were a bit easier to use than blankets or actual burp cloths.  We eventually went out and bought another pack of 12.  They have proved useful even now as cloths to wipe up her face after eating.
  13. D Drops: Here in Canada we don’t get enough sunlight to create all the vitamin D we need so if you are in a similar environment, definitely pick some up.  I had heard that a formula fed baby doesn’t need the drops because it is added to the formula, but when I was talking to the doctor and nurse before I switched over, they both recommended that I continue with the D Drops.  (By the way, everyone living in Canada should be taking a vitamin D supplement!)
  14. Diaper cream: I decided to cloth diaper so I needed to make sure I had a cloth safe diaper cream.  Your baby will most likely develop many diaper rashes (it’s just the nature of wearing non-breathable diapers – whether cloth or disposable).  My sister-in-law makes a fantastic diaper cream which is cloth safe and works like a charm!  (More on these great products in a future post)
  15. Newborn diapers: Even though I was planning on using cloth diapers I wasn’t sure if they would fit her right from the beginning.  These were great to have on hand as well because she developed a bad case of thrush diaper rash and the antibiotic cream is not cloth safe.
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Welcoming my daughter into the world

For Mom:

  1. Pads: You’ve probably heard that you are going to bleed for awhile after you give birth.  I bought a pack of those super long overnight pads.  I didn’t use them all, but it was nice to know that I would be prepared.
  2. Hemorrhoid cream: No one wants to think about hemorrhoids, but there is a chance that you might get them so why not be prepared!
  3. Stool softener: I didn’t end up using the ones that I had bought because after my c-section the surgeon prescribed some and I used those instead.  Maybe this helped avoid serious hemorrhoids, but I can’t say for certain.
  4. Lanolin cream: Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt if the baby is latched on properly, but your nipples will still be sore.  A baby is sucking on them for the first time after all!  I remember feeling a sharp pain when my daughter first latched on, but then the pain would go away.  The lanolin cream helped keep me moisturized and protected.  I don’t think I’d buy the cream again though because coconut oil works great and smells better too!
  5. Breast pads: I used a couple boxes of breast pads during the first month.  I found the Lansinoh brand ones were the best.  There are also reusable ones out there, but I liked the convenience of the disposable ones. 

Like I mentioned above, this isn’t a comprehensive list of all the things you’ll need for a new baby, but hopefully it will help get you started.  Happy Shopping!

Experienced moms out there, are there items you would add to the list?