Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Countdown to One: My First Year Must Haves

As we quickly approach on my little guy's first birthday (I know, I can hardly believe it). I've been looking back on the items that made this first year so much easier. Items I will surely have on hand when I have my next one (and watch them not need any of them and throw me for a parenting loop by being completely different from their brother). Here are a few items I would recommend every new parent have on hand:

We loved these sleep sacks, and specifically the ones with swaddle capabilities the first few months, because they were warm with a onesie underneath, and easy to use. Neither Ben, nor I, could get a good, tight swaddle with a blanket that we felt comfortable leaving Austin to sleep in, and these were a great alternative. Austin loved sleeping swaddled, and he loves to cuddle and be held close, and these were very easy. Getting into the sack is also a great sleep cue for him. Now, that he can't be swaddled, we use the cotton or fleece ones without the swaddle, and they work great for sleeping in a blanketless crib.

At around five weeks, Austin was a fussy mess. He would cry for no reason, and let out huge farts after huge lags of crying that left us wondering what happened to our easy going little guy. We tired Gripe Water, and it worked a bit, but not very well after a couple days. Then, we tried these drops (we used the name brand Little Remedies for awhile, then started using the Target generic brand because they were three dollars cheaper) and they brought our happy guy back. We were told by our pediatrician (go to your own doctor for dosing advice), that you really couldn't overdose on these drops, and we would give him a few before each feeding, and in between if he started to act up. They saved me when I was having days straight of misery that left me having more than one meltdown.

The Rock and Play was great for when I needed to shower, or when Austin was having a fussy night in his crib and needed another sleep solution (we had Austin sleeping in his crib in his own room from the first night home, it was great for all of our sleep situation). There were nights when Austin went through his, "I won't go back to sleep after I eat during the night" phases, where the Rock and Play was positioned next to my bed, and I would groggily be rocking it with one arm reached out trying to get him to fall back to sleep. When I went back to work, Austin hung out in the rock and play while I got ready in the morning. He also would take cat naps in the living room in this guy. It is light weight and easy to move around the house, and was very simple to put together.

Next comes the Wubba Nub. On those nights when Austin wasn't in the mood to go back to sleep, the Wubba Hub helped when he wouldn't keep his pacifier in. I wouldn't recommend leaving an infant alone sleeping with a Wubba Nub because of the toy on the end and suffocation risk, but when I was right next to him trying my best to stay awake, while he started at me all wide eyed like, "it's 3am, wake up Mom!" this was great for keeping a pacifier in, as he loved resting his hands on the little toy and held the pacifier in better than a traditional one.

Austin's sleep sheep and also sound machine with projection were a life saver for sleep training. We use both and he knows when the music comes on, it's night, night time. Heck, I love the sleep sheep now, and the sound of crashing waves lulls me right to sleep thanks to it emitting that sound.

This subscription was a life saver. We still use it for diaper delivery (20% off with subscribe and save!), but the first two weeks home, it was amazing. When we figured out sleep sacks were the key, ordered two more, when Dr. Brown's bottles worked the best, ordered another box...and the list goes on. It was great to have things delivered when getting out of the house with a newborn was such a production. I didn't like taking Austin in many public, crowded places before his eight week vaccinations, and I also couldn't drive for two weeks post c-section, so it was a three person trip out, or Ben leaving Austin and I at home, secluded to one floor since I didn't feel comfortable carrying him up and down stairs right after the surgery. Amazon Prime (or Amazon Mom) offers free two-day shipping that is awesome. There were a few weeks between my Amazon orders, and wonderful baby gifts, that the UPS man was at our house daily. The initial sign-up cost for Amazon Prime is totally worth it.

I could go on and on about other items I love, but these were the ones I loved the most. I hope this helps other parents and parents to be. What are some of your must have items??

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