As Hazel is growing and outgrowing things, I thought it might be important to make a list of all the crap I actually used and was vital to my life so I may look back when I’m someday pregnant again. There is just so much shit out there in baby land that you “need” and really, you don’t need any of it. Hell, I didn’t use ANYTHING I had packed in my hospital bag except the clothes and the gum. Granted, my labor was only twelve hours total from first contraction to pushing her out, but still. So, this calls for another list, duh.
1. Nipple Shields. I didn’t even know what these were until David researched them and told me I needed them. I was like, no way those will help me, you are dumb and don’t know anything. (Hormones.) Basically they’re these silicone nipples that go over your own nipples while breastfeeding so your baby doesn’t totally just rip them off. I needed these because Hazel had to be supplemented with formula since I never made enough milk and she obviously preferred the bottle nipple, and didn’t really want anything to do with the real thing. They are the only reason I was able to breastfeed for six weeks, and I would have probably given up five days in without them. At about $12 for a pair, it’s something I’ll have on standby just in case I need them next time. Which, hopefully I won’t.
2. Miracle Blankets. When I was bed sharing, I didn’t swaddle Hazel at all. So for her first four weeks of life she was never swaddled. Then I decided to have her sleep in her own room in her crib, so I needed a solution so she would feel secure and sleep for longer stretches. Miracle blankets really are a miracle. She loved it! She would sleep so long I would actually have to wake her up to feed her. Then I had to wean her from that when she could roll over, which leads us to our next point.
3. Sleep Sacks. It’s basically a blanket that zips up so your baby isn’t sleeping with loose blankets. Because we all know that if you do that before your baby is a year old it will for sure die and so you have to have some alternative. I liked the Aden and Anais ones because they’re light weight, and I do live in Texas, ya’ll. Erin told me they carry these at TJ Maxx/Homegoods for about $10, and she was right. I got four from there, because they are regularly $25-30 so ten bucks is a steal. You kind of have to hunt them down though, because they are basically just strewn about the two kids aisles in random places and hampers and shit.
4. Boon Lawn Countertop Drying Rack. Wtf is this? The greatest thing ever if you spend hours of your day just washing bottles like I do. You can see it on Amazon here. It’s pretty much this thing that looks like grass, and was a gift from David’s cousin Karah. I had never seen it before, didn’t know what the heck it was, and had no clue I needed it. BUT I DID. And I do.
5. Boppy Chair. Yes, you read that right. A chair. It’s kind of like the Bumbo, but that thing is a piece of shit and my baby hated it as babies should, since it SUCKS. Why this thing is a billion times better is that it’s more like a booster seat. It attaches to a chair and has a tray, and she just seems so much more comfortable in this. It also is portable so you can take it to a restaurant so you don’t have to put your baby in their nasty high chairs covered in MRSA. Plus, it wipes clean, which makes cleanup super easy. Babies R Us has this a lot cheaper than Amazon, even though it kills me to buy anything without my Prime.
6. Activity Mat. You can use this for tummy time pretty much from day one. It is the greatest. Just plop your baby down on it and go do what you have to do. Hazel has gotten hours and hours of enjoyment from hers with no end in sight. I do suggest getting one you can actually wash, because babies tend to throw up a lot when they start trying to move more.
7. Dr Brown’s Bottle Warmer. Does what it sounds like. I love it because I can stick a bottle in there and then go change Hazel’s diaper while I’m waiting, or take the dogs out, or go to the bathroom, or scarf a donut. You can use it to warm frozen breastmilk or refrigerated formula.
8. My Canon Powershot. I bought the SX280 before Hazel was born for the shooting modes. In particular the sports mode, which takes 7 photos in like two seconds or something crazy. I figured this would be useful with a baby, and it definitely is. It’s easy to use and I always get great shots. It also connects to your wifi, so with the click of a button you can see your pictures on your computer. I usually just take the SD card out and put it in my laptop, so that’s an option too. I highly recommend it, because it’s only $300 and gives you great quality photos.
Here are some now!
© Carli Garrison and cllgarrison, 2014