Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Things I Wish I'd Known About Sooner

I wrote a post a while ago, just a totally new mom sharing what was working for us. There are some things I either forgot to put on that list, or didn't know about yet. So without further ado, here's the second edition of things I'd recommend having with a newborn in the house...

+ Wonder Weeks: There's a book, a website, and an app. For the sake of simplicity, we've been using the app. The theory behind the 'wonder weeks' is that there are growth spurts in baby's brain at fairly predictable intervals. You enter baby's due date into the app and they predict your baby's 'wonder weeks' and give you a detailed description of what's going on in their brain at that age, and what skills they are developing during that time.

+ Simply Noise app (for 'brown noise'): We use this if we aren't at home with the fan in the nursery.

+ Ergo Carrier: I'm sure lots of carriers work well, but we like this brand now that he's older, and Ross doesn't feel too silly wearing it!

+ Motorola video baby monitor: It would be nice to be able to pull up the baby monitor view on a smartphone, but the paranoid side of me does like that this monitor is on its own network, and not WiFi. Since I'm hearing impaired, I especially like that I can glance at the video screen, and that there are agreen and red lights across the tip that will light up as he makes more and more noise. The light often wakes me up before I hear him through the monitor. I also like that this monitor tells us what the room temp is, since we're still figuring out air flow in our house.

+ Belly Bandit BFF: I'm still skeptical of the "belly compression to lose baby weight" movement, but when I finally started to go to physical therapy around 12 weeks post-partum, they recommended getting a belly band for the swelling I was having and HOLY COW I felt so much better the first day I wore it! I wish I'd had it from day one in the hospital, because I think it also would've helped prevent a lot of the lower back pain I had in those first few weeks. I liked this better than a lot of other ones I tried because it fits over your hips, too, which is where most of my pain was.

+ Target Up and Up breastmilk storage bags: I'd heard horror stories about generic bags beaking in the freezer and leaking when thawing, but so far these have been superb. They're nice and thick, they seal well, and I haven't had any issues with freezing and thawing. I'm so grateful, because they're so much cheaper than the brand name ones!

+ Foundational Concepts: In France, every postpartum woman has a Physical Therapy evaluation. Here, not so much. Women get right back to running or Crossfit or what have you without really knowing how their pelvic strength has changed, and then end up with long-term complications. I had a ton of pain and swelling post-partum and finally referred myself to PT. Best decision ever.

+ Herbal bath from New Birth Company: Absolutely ask your health care provider if you're allowed to take a bath post delivery. Certain surgical incisions or pre-existing health conditions might exclude you from this. But in my case, the Midwife recommended taking a warm bath every day to help with the pain from my stitches. For the first 2-3 baths, I used an herbal bath pouch made by one of the Midwives I used to work with. You boil water and steep the pouch like tea, and then add the water to your bath. It felt so good. Now I kind of want to go buy another one!

+ Little Remedies medications: I love these because they really only contain the ingredients they need. They are naturally flavored, but they don't have sugars or dyes in them. Do you know how hard it is to find Infant Tylenol without Red #40? Impossible. Until I found a store that sold the Little Remedies version. So far, we've used their gas drops, their gripe water, and their acetaminophen. Noah LOVES to gulp all of these down!

+ Nose Frida: Sadly, Noah got his first cold right around 4 months and we made an urgent trip to Buy Buy Baby when our bulb syringe just wasn't cutting it. The Nose Frida got a TON of snot out of his nose. I don't know how else to say it. It works so well! Of course Noah hated it, but he could always breathe better afterward!

+ Cloth Diapering Class: I wish I'd done this 5 months ago! It was so much easier just asking questions in person than trying to read everything online.

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