We received so much at our baby shower for our little girl (which we were more than thankful for) but there are some things that you just can't put on your registry and totally need to. Unfortunately, you don't find these things out until you're knee-deep in motherhood. Here are a few things from one mama to another that could've made my first few weeks more manageable.
Marley Rocking Chair Land of Nod// $1,000
Whether you're breastfeeding or formula feeding, a comfortable chair is everything. For our nursery, we used a vintage wooden rocking chair that has been in the family for years. Bad idea. No matter how many pillows and blankets I threw on it, my hips on down would painfully become numb at each nightly feeding. I often found myself wondering how my ancestors enjoyed using this chair to relax, when there was definitely nothing remotely relaxing about it.
The search for the perfect nursing chair can go on forever. Are you looking for a rocker, or do you just want to go with a club style chair? It's never ending. In my
opinion, if the chair is comfortable for your back and arms is what you need to go with in the end. The modern design of the Marley is a great look, no matter the style of the room this chair will always look great (also grows with baby and child).
Prepared meals are key for new mamas. Subscription boxes are a great option to feed yourself when you just don't have time or a clone. Mouth is a indie food subscription service that sends you premade dishes, snacks, etc. for a price (non subscription boxes available as well). This particular box was curated by the geniuses at Cool Mom Picks for those mamas who can now finally indulge in everything that they couldn't have during pregnancy. Win.
Ultimate Direction Fastdraw Water Bottle// $18
Please tell me why water bottles aren't on registries (if you're breastfeeding you know what I mean). Well here you go, the ultimate water bottle for the breastfeeding and pumping mama. Just because you still look like you're six months pregnant and breastfeeding doesn't mean that you aren't working out. Your body is literally running a marathon make milk for your little babe and not all of us can hold our wiggly child, try to breastfeed him or her and hydrate all at the same time. This water hands free water bottle is for you. Also it comes with a pouch, bonus points.
Organic Cotton Baby Wrap Moby// $60
Baby wearing is so important for your own health and baby's health as well. No one tells you these things. Something else no one tells you is that your child will choose how he or she wants to be carried. Also, no one told us this. We were given a very nice Baby Bjorn carrier before our child arrived and thought that we were set. Wrong. Very early on I tried to regain my independence as a new mama and come to find out my child hated it. The carrier wasn't right for her, she didn't feel comfortable (until she could hold her head up and I could face her away from me in it) and at that point she just dealt with it. I couldn't wait around so I tried other carriers. Slings were better but she still wasn't satisfied. Finally, I broke down and got a generic baby wrap. I felt bad initially because I had promised my fiance that I wouldn't wrap her because it didn't look safe and I didn't trust myself. Also, very wrong. She ended up loving it and I learned that babies choose the carriers, not the parents.
I did alot of research on wrap before I ended up getting one. The Moby wrap was great for my child because she is large for her age and I had read that this particular wrap held up well and didn't get all stretched out after several uses. It's a great
beginner's wrap and is very forgiving if you're not very confident with wrapping. Something to keep in mind though is that the fabric is very stretchy and thick to hold baby but also can get hot if you live in a warmer climate (babies hate being hot). Also, when baby is more than 10 pounds, you may want to consider wrapping her the "real" way because I found the manufacturer's way just wasn't cutting it anymore. Either way, I was able to do things around the house and bond with my little girl all at the same time.
The Vintage Honey Shop Teething + Nursing Necklace// $25
First of all, teething necklaces are great. They come in many different shapes, sizes, colors, you name it and there they are. You can usually find them in silicone but there are some really awesome shops like The Vintage Honey Shop that have your back and make many different styles for mamas to wear but they are more than just pretty necklaces because they double as a baby teether (and they're really affordable too, ranging between $25-$30). I was so addicted to these things when I was pregnant that I wore them as jewelry too! They are complete life savers once your little one starts teething (my little girl started at two months, just so you know). The counter presser helps to soothe sore gums plus these necklaces provide a distraction during feeding time. That's right no more fidgeting fingers pulling my hair or pinching my skin. There are so many cute patterns and colors you will want them all!
Fitbit Alta// $130
Your health is so very important. After you have a child your body goes through so many changes, and it's just never the same again. From stretch marks to saggy skin, it's new and overwhelming and all you want to do is get healthy again. It's important to take it one step at a time and when you get your doctor's ok to start exercising again using a fitness tracker can help you reach your goals (and have fun doing it). And for those times when you're not there yet, you can track your sleep and maybe laugh a little. Either way, you'll enjoy yourself.
Netflix Gift Card// $30
One of the things that truly saved my sanity in the early weeks of mamahood was Netflix. During those long, late night feedings you need something to stimulate your mind (or help baby sleep) and Netflix is the way to go. If you don't pay for it now, you will in the future. You're welcome.
Although there is nothing that can prepare you for having a child, hopefully these things can at least help you get through it. I honestly didn't know how I would get past the first four weeks of colic and endless nightly feedings that I thought would last forever but it happened. And now we have a happy, healthy little girl that makes us grateful to be alive every single day.
Written by VHS contributor// Allison Dandrea