I have two baby showers in a couple of weekends. I’m so excited! I also faced a little dilemma – do I go off of the registry or do I go a little rogue? Maybe a little of both?
I decided to a little round up. Now, I wouldn’t necessarily call these my baby must haves, but things that in those first few weeks/months are great for mom. Some of these might even make good gifts right after the baby is born.
Hospital “Kit” – it would be great to get/give a little bag with some face wipes, dry shampoo, hair ties, toothpaste, etc. And maybe a little chocolate to boot.
Anything breast feeding related - probably most significantly nipple cream or breast pads. I know that seems like a weird gift, but I would have welcomed it. Actually, I did get an open but almost full box of breast pads and some milk storage bags. Those were great because I didn’t realize how many storage bags I would need.
And, truthfully, I think things like this say “I support your breastfeeding journey. I get it”. And in those early weeks you need that so much!
Shutterfly Gift Card – I used Shutterfly to make a photo book of Oliver’s Birth and birth announcements. I also just ordered some prints off of there. A gift card would be a great way for a new mom to have just regular prints or some cute things shipped to home (so you don’t have to leave).
Pizza/Take Out Gift Card – I got someone a Domino’s gift card as part of their baby gift a while back, and I’m still happy with what a great idea that was. That way, the new parents don’t have to go anywhere! (and yes, meal drops are amazing, but this doesnt hurt!)
Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets - Okay, these are a little more conventional, but I love them that much. They are perfect for swaddling, and new babies love a good swaddle. Plus, they are adorable without being overly cutesy ( I know, that’s a weird description, but when everything in your life is suddenly so super baby themed it’s nice). And the material is safer than most because it’s very breathable, helping panicky parents feel safe about wrapping the little bundle up like a burrito.
A light weight bath robe – I bought one while I was pregnant and I loved it. I was glad I brought it to the hospital, so I could throw it over my gown, but it’s also nice in those first few weeks too. You can throw it over whatever your wearing if you have company, or put it on at night when you spend hours in that rocking chair – it is easy to get the front open, after all. I bought because I read a suggestion to put it on over your work clothes in the morning when you have a little one, so spills get on that instead of you, but it’s good wayyy before that too.
Things you cannot have enough of – bath wash, wipes, baby socks, bibs. Things that either don’t have a specific size, get used a lot or are used for a long period of time.
Plain onsies and/or zipper PJs – I don’t know why all PJs dont zip. And plain onsies go with everything. There’s no pressure if your kid poops on it. It’s great.
We took Ollie to a pumpkin patch over the weekend. I had all these images of him laughing and holding up a tiny pumpkin he would try to put in his mouth and generally being adorable.
Obviously, he was adorable. But.
Not one smile. Not one! He had taken a nap and eaten, but he was still so tired he fell asleep on my shoulder as we walked back to the car. In retrospect, I’m actually just glad he didn’t cry the whole time.
I wrote up a post on Oliver almost exactly at the 5 month mark. And then I forgot to save it. But rather than wait til the 6 month mark and not get a chance to update again, here we go.
I am so lucky to have a very happy baby. He has his moments, of course, but he’s really got a very happy demeanor. We don’t exactly sleep great, so I feel like it all evens out.
We went to Dallas at the beginning of September for a wedding, and that was our first real out of town trip as a family. Oliver did great. The thing about traveling with a baby is all the little things – stopping halfway there so we could feed him, making sure he had a place to sleep in the room, etc. And, of course, waking up at 6AM even if was a “vacation” Saturday, because you can’t give a baby that kind of memo.
My favorite thing right now has to be the looks this little guys gives me. Like “mom, I love you and you are the best”. I’m still so tired 99% of the time, but its great.
And, I started a new job. It’s a lot (new baby, new job, who’s life is this?) but it was such a good move and I’m very happy. Gabe also has a new job (see? A lot.) that he loves. So lots of changes in the WK household, but we’re up for the challenge.
Speaking of changes, we’ve started feeding Oliver “real” food. So far we’ve tried sweet potatoes, apples, banana, peas and carrots. It was so funny to watch him taste it, and also realizing that he had no idea how a spoon works. We’d put it in his mouth and he would try to grab it with both hands, and then suck on it. I mean, that’s what he does with a bottle, so it makes sense but it was funny to watch. He’s starting to get the hang of it.
I make his own baby food, which I might write more about later. It’s a little bit of a process but I think makes it more fun.
I made a promise with myself to be honest about pregnancy, and I wanted to do the same with motherhood and birth. I’m writing this almost at the one month mark, and I want to be real. Really real.
I’d heard the first couple weeks were hard, and I tried to brace myself, and I still underestimated it. I think it’s hard for every new mom – maybe for some it’s only a couple of days, and for some it’s several weeks, but it’s hard. And I think it can be hard for different reasons.
First up, the c section. It made it really hard for me to move the first two weeks, and almost impossible the first week. I felt terrible, and it that was hard for me to deal with. And, I had to rely on Gabe for help A LOT, which he was so great about, but was just a little hard for my ego.
Then, the sleep deprivation. I won’t lie, this was probably the hardest thing for me. Especially once we brought him home – he’d wake up around 2 or 3 and then he would just be awake for hours. Babies don’t come out knowing night and day, and this proved to be tough on us. I will admit I’m lucky and he breastfeeds like a champ, though I did end up with mastitis once. Breastfeeding is the physically hard part for a lot of moms, but sleep was it for me.
Once we started getting used to the sleep a little bit, it was also mentally hard for me to be the sole caregiver night and day. 2 weeks after I gave birth, Gabe was back at work and it was just me and Ollie, all day. And then at night I tried to let him get some sleep. So all day, and all night. And don’t get me wrong, my son is amazing and beautiful and fantastic but it is not easy giving one demanding human being 22 hours a day of your time.
I think we’re finally starting to get the hang of things. And I repeat, I love this kid. He’s adorable and he’s my son and I love him to death. But I had to say it. The first couple of weeks are hard. But if you’re expecting, or a new mom – it is true, they do get better.
The whole pregnancy I was determined to read as much about everything as I could, so I did a little research on what to pack in my hospital bag. Gabe thought I over packed it, even my sister said “well you seem…very well prepared”. And since I ended up having an emergency c section, it was perfect. Here are some of my hospital bag must haves:
- Toiletries – Really, everything you can think of. I packed a hairbrush,deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, body wash, and shampoo and conditioner. Since I had to wait a couple days to shower, and tack on the time I hadn’t showered before I got to the hospital…well I was funky. And that shower felt amazing, and having my own stuff made it heavenly. I brought this Earth Mama Angel Baby body wash so I didn’t have to worry about something too harsh. I actually tossed in some EMAB body butter too.
- More toiletries - I also packed dry shampoo and face wipes and this was a good choice. Monday morning, I could bathe but I felt so gross and these helped a little.
- Hair ties – bring like 5. I kept losing them, and I have no idea how, but you can’t have too many
- A robe and nightgown – the night gown was just a nice to have, but I was really glad I packed the bathrobe. They encourage you to walk around, so I wore it while walking around the floor, and when I had visitors, which was nice. The nightgown was a last minute addition, and it just felt so good after I finally showered to be able to wear sometime soft that was not a hospital gown. I picked up something cheap from Target, so I wouldn’t be bummed if it got ruined, and made sure I could slip the front down for breastfeeding.
- Nursing things – I wore a nursing bra there (my plan), and I also packed some disposable and reusable breast pads, and nipple cream. My hospital gave me some nipple cream so I used that, but I would pack some just in case.
- A snack bag – It’s true, they only let you have ice chips, so originally this was mostly for Gabe. But it actually turned out to be handy in the days we stayed in the hospital when we wanted a good snack in between meals. I packed some protein bars, beef jerky, almonds, chocolate covered almonds (as a treat for me) and an orange. I’d had this ready to go for a couple weeks prior.
- Slippers/flip flops – that you won’t mind getting ruined. Just trust me.
- Baby stuff – None of it’s necessary. We brought a little going home outfit, but the hospital stocked us with plenty of shirts, just in case. And I brought him a blanket, even though the hospital provided plenty of swaddling blankets that we could have taken home. But at least with the blanket, it was nice to have something of our own. However, seriously, the hospital gives you everything you need, so it’s totally up to you. You do need a car seat.
- Going home clothes – I’d packed sweat pants and a nursing tank top, and then last minute threw a maxi dress in there just in case. This is where packing just in case comes in handy – there was no way I was wearing pants, so that dress was a great addition. So pack for the just in case!
- Phone charger
We threw the birthing ball in the car, but we didn’t use it at the hospital at all. We did also bring a small blue tooth speaker that we have, so we could play music in the birthing room.
Honestly, I know it can be a burden to carry around a heavy bag or a bunch of stuff you don’t need, but when things don’t quite go as planned, it’s better to have this stuff on hand. I mean, I might not have needed dry shampoo if I’d had a normal vaginal birth and was able to shower the next day, but that was not case.