Top Things To Buy For A Newborn Baby: Baby Product Review

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This is my second child and I decided I wanted to just get the bare minimum when it came to buying the baby stuff.

Baby items are expensive and with my first daughter we had a big baby shower. I got tons of gear, half of which I didn’t even use. It was just sitting around my house collecting dust. Some of it, my baby didn’t even like, so I couldn’t use it. Now that I’m kind of a veteran in baby care, I know exactly what to get so I don’t end up with items to give away.

Here are my five top items for new moms

1)Ergo Baby Carrier With Infant Insert:

I got the Ergo Baby with my first daughter because I was just tired of hauling her around in my arms. A lot of people commented that they had their own carriers either a baby sling carrier or the Bjorn baby. I ended up with the Ergo Baby because I thought wearing your baby sticking in versus facing out was better. And it seemed easier to put on than a sling. The Ergo Baby, I believe is the best best baby carrier for six months and older unless you also get the infant insert. With my second child I bought the infant insert and was able to put her in the carrier right away. I would say I started around three weeks because her legs were just a little too small to put in any sooner. She was actually not that heavy to carry and she slept a lot the first three weeks.

Overall, I use it almost every day. Most of the time I don’t want to take the stroller if it’s too bulky, I’ll put her in the baby carrier. The stroller is really good for long walks or or outings like shopping at the mall. I like baby wearing for shorter outings or if I know I’m going somewhere where there won’t be a ramp and if there’s a lot of stairs. And my baby is pretty comfortable in there. She likes to burp, it’s a good way to burp your baby and she’ll fall asleep pretty easily.

 

Ergo Baby

2) A Baby Swing: Ingenuity Swing

So with both my children, I got a newborn baby swing. I forget which brand my first had but my daughter really liked it; so with my second child, I decided to get another one. This time I got the ingenuity swing. It’s really cute! It has multiple settings: six settings for speed, a little button for songs, a little light and a rotating mobile that the baby can look at. The actual seat of the swing can be removed and become a rocker. We’ve used it outside as a rocker and she fell asleep in it while we were having a party! The multipurpose aspect is great. It was a bit of a pain to put together but most baby items are for safety reasons.

Ingenuity Swing

3)The Sleepea Swaddle:

Created by Happiest Baby On The Block, this swaddle is amazing! This baby sleep pod immediately resulted in better sleep, it’s a miracle swaddle. I think the secret is the inside wrap, in addition to the outside wrap swaddle that you can zip up or down. Perfect if you need to change your baby, you don’t need to undo the whole thing. It’s supposed to be very snug, so just keep in mind that the small size will fit children up to about four months and then after that you’ll have to get a medium. My friend had referred this swaddle to me. At that point I was desperate, my baby wasn’t sleeping well and my husband and I were exhausted. Since then, I’ve recommended it to two other families and they absolutely love it! This is the swaddle to get your baby to sleep. A reminder, you’re supposed to stop swaddling once your baby starts to be able to turn over on his own. The medium size is good for bigger babies to feel secure but there are openings on each side so the arms can be out, so it’s safe for infants able to turn.

Sleepea

4)Carter’s 3 Month Old Onesie Pajamas And White Onesies:

Babies grow so fast! I found that the newborn onesies will shrink and get too small within two weeks, especially if your baby was born 7.5 lbs or bigger. Just jump to the three month pajamas. They’ll be a little big at first but your baby will quickly grow into them. They won’t really get too small until your babies are at the end of two or three months. Don’t even bother getting the fancy outfits like the skirts, the dresses or the little pants and onesies sets. Sure, they look great but your baby’s going to outgrow them quickly and they’re going to ruin them by pooping through them. Let friends and family shop for all the cute stuff or buy them secondhand because, trust me, I only used the fancy baby clothes once or twice to take a picture and then was never able to fit them in that again.

 

5)The Boppy Pillow:

This is great for if you’re either breast-feeding or bottlefeeding! Holding a baby with the Boppy pillow will help them fall asleep after they’ve fed. I bought this pillow with my first daughter and now with my second child I had to get it again because it’s just so comfortable for breast-feeding. The one I have has a slip cover, that’s the outside cover that you can take off and wash so if breastmilk or spit up gets on it, it can be cleaned. Totally essential.

Boppy

6)Diaper Gene

This is 100% necessary. I absolutely love the new Diaper Gene. Dirty diapers no longer leave a smell or stench, the Diaper Gene traps the odors. There are a lot of different brands for diaper disposal but I really love the diaper gene for the refill insert packs. The blue ring packs are just so easy to find. If you’re in a pinch, you can find them at any drug store, Target, Walmart, etc. The lesser known brands are just as good but when it comes to buying the refill bags, it’s more challenging to find.

Diaper Gene
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Overall, these are a must buy for those either having their first child or another one. I can’t imagine surviving the first year without them! It took me a lot of trial and error but my babies used and loved all these items!

Check out my other mommy life posts!

My Unplanned Pregnancy Story

My Postpartum Experience: What I Didn’t Expect

My Unplanned Pregnancy Story

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I wanted to share this story for anyone struggling with their pregnancy.

In 2012 I became pregnant. I was dating the father on and off.  In the past, there was some cheating in on his part. I had finished college but he hadn’t despite my pleas to be be more focused. Still, I loved him and saw a lot of good and charisma in him. Sexually, we had a few hiccups. I stopped taking the pill, I couldn’t find a prescription that didn’t have adverse side effects and it was was becoming too expensive for me. It was like $60 a month for it, and you needed to buy at least three months which was $180 upfront at the time. I fixed these hiccups with morning after pills on 3 different occasions; I had no idea what kind of effects it would have on my body longterm. One day we had another oopsies moment and I told my boyfriend, “I’m not taking the morning after pill. I don’t want to.” He agreed. I was worried about the effects these pills had on my reproductive system and knew I shouldn’t use them as a form of major contraception.

Lo and behold I become pregnant. Oh how I wished I took the morning after pill, I was not in a position to have a baby yet! I had just started a new career in real estate, I literally made -$6,000 in my first year and had tons of student loan debt. I had quit law school a few years ago due to cost and still had loans for my 1 year in law school. My boyfriend had seemingly no prospects, his only work history was as a delivery driver for a Mexican restaurant.

I told my boyfriend while he was visiting family in Puerto Rico. He was shocked but agreed to be there for me.

The first couple of weeks were incredibly tough. I was unprepared for the hormonal changes, and the question of how we were going to pay for a baby and all that’s required gnawed at me. I would have terrible mood swings. I cried a lot.

Things were not getting better and by the 2nd month the thought of abortion entered my mind. I did my research and started looking into it. The abortion pill was easier to digest, it was like a miscarriage. Easy. Happens all the time to women. But I needed to decide soon because I wouldn’t be able to do this after 3 months. After that, I’d be looking at more invasive procedures.  With the D&E procedure it was like, “how is this not murder?” I wrestled with the idea for a while but came to the conclusion I would always live with the abortion, the abortion would not erase this pregnancy.

I vowed not to tell anyone other than my boyfriend of the pregnancy until the period which I could take the abortion pill passed. I did not want to be influenced by anyone telling me I wasn’t ready. I was already feeling really concerned about that.

I started telling my parents when I was 4 months pregnant. I remember making the call and in the weakest, shakiest voice saying, “Mom, I have something to tell you. I’m pregnant.” There was silence as the other end and it was deafening. My mom hoped I would return to law school, she must have realized with pregnancy that wouldn’t be an option. I forget what she said but it was full of disappointment. I got off the phone with her as soon as I could and just cried. I cried a lot during the pregnancy.

I told my best friend who seemed sympathetic and tried to help me as much as she could. But I don’t think she saw this as a good outcome for me, in her eyes I was ruining my life.

I was working two jobs to make ends meet. I sold perfume at Macy’s for their holiday season and also worked at Target. I was barely making my $650 rent for my roommate share and we were going to need new housing soon for the new baby. This happened while I was 3-6 months pregnant.

My boyfriend still didn’t have a job but he was looking. We would get in constant fights. I blamed him for the pregnancy and for not being ready to support a child. I would throw tantrums and flip out. I also wanted him to marry me but he was scared to commit to me while I was so crazy from hormones.

We had a conversation I’ll never forget. He knew my parents were not happy with my pregnancy out of wedlock but he didn’t feel like he should marry me just because my parents thought so. I looked at him and said, “I don’t want to be with anyone else. You don’t have to marry me but just know that’s how I feel.” He told me he didn’t want to be with anyone else either. Even though things were not ideal, he had some pretty great qualities that I knew would make him a great husband and dad.

A week later he agreed to marry me. It was a quick 1 month planning, civil ceremony and family dinner type wedding. His parents helped cover the costs of the dinner. My parents still refer to it as a gunshot wedding. This was in December when I was 6 months pregnant. I remember running into a Davids Bridal with my best friend and just buying any dress that fit! The consultant was kind of in shock.

In January we got a big break. My boyfriend was hired at the local Casino for their surveillance department. One of my roommates saw an opening and mentioned it. Thank God he got the job. It was full time, paid $15.00 an hour and was an overnight gig. I prayed and hoped that he would get it since after the holidays the perfume work dries up.  All I had was the Target hours which also dried up to only 20 hours a week. I was getting too big and tired anyway.

Things were really starting to pull together and we needed housing for the baby. We started looking at small two beds and big  one beds. Every two bedroom was $1700+ and we did not have the funds for that. We looked around and miraculously an apartment showed up that was for $1400. It was only 2 blocks from where I was currently living. It was a house that was converted to a two family home. It was the smallest two bedroom I ever saw, could not been bigger than 700-750sqft but it did the job and was renovated. The owner was kind of sketchy. From what she told us, we didn’t know if she was the owner or the property manager and here we are trying to give her two and a half months rent. Pretty much all the money we had. We had no idea if this was legit or whether she would take the money and run. Thankfully, we signed the lease and and got the keys.

My husband got another job offer, this time for the TSA at the airport. It was amazing. He could work nights at the Casino and days at TSA. It was another miracle we needed. It was  going to be incredibly tough on him, working some days 16 hours running from TSA to the Casino. (FYI, we didn’t have a car so public transit it was). I’ll never forget that time, he knew how hard it would be but rolled up his sleeves and did it. I was 7 months pregnant when he was working those two jobs.

Meanwhile, I was keeping up with my prenatals and doctor appointments. I looked very young and would get dirty looks at the appointments from the older pregnant women. I knew they thought I was just another single mother. One of the lab technicians told me that she thought it was good when people decided to keep it. At the time I didn’t realize how many abortions happen in a year.

Things were finally beginning to settle down at 8 months, we were getting financially figured out, we had our own apartment for the incoming baby, we got the baby furniture as a gift from the inlaws, we got married, and had most of what we needed from a baby shower that my parents threw for me. They came around especially after they saw my boyfriend marry me. They were happy and felt more secure about the whole thing. Things were coming together.

My time at Target was ending and though I did not work enough to get disability from them, I was eligible for FMLA so could return to work there. They were kind and let me work the dressing room with a chair so I could sit during my final weeks.

The actual labor was very intense but because I was very active during my pregnancy, it was short. I was in active labor for 6 hours. I wasn’t managing the pain well and 3 hours in I begged for the epidural and was able rest after it was administered. The doctor was in surgery doing cesearian so all I had was a midwife, her name was Janet, the sweetest woman ever. I felt the need to push, pushed for 20 mins and had my baby! Janet gave me a kiss and a hug.  She showed me how to breastfeed. It was an incredible birthing experience.

After we got home with our baby, it took us bit of effort to get acclimated to the change in our lives. My husband was exhausted from working 2 jobs and 16 hour days. It was still hard. But we managed.

I started getting an itch to start working literally 4 weeks after giving birth. I thought I would start looking again and just get myself out there, after all it might take weeks for me to find a job. I responded to this craigslist ad for a receptionist position at a new rental building. The building was being constructed and they needed someone as reception for the 6 month project while they started leasing it. I was overqualified for the position as receptionist but saw it as a way to get my foot in the door. The woman I interviewed with was shocked to learn that I had just given birth and was a licensed real estate agent interested in the building. She was a mom of 2 kids herself and saw my drive as something worthwhile. She hired me on the spot. I surprisingly started at $33 an hour as their receptionist. The total compensation was supposed to be $40k for six months but the project was extended to 10 months and I made $70k during that time. This was a blessing from God because my husband was getting worn out from working two full time jobs for 3-4 months and now he could let go of one while I went back to work.  He could then help more with the baby.

That job I got was a godsend, it opened the door to so many other opportunities and five years later we are no longer financially insecure. Debt almost paid off.  We had our baby and just had our second one.

I wanted to share this story as encouragement to those families are starting out rough. Life is unpredictable. There’s no plan. Your plans will always be derailed because life brings challenges and surprises at every turn. All you need to do is support each other, take it day by day and always be open to every opportunity that comes to you. Life will sort the rest out.

Wishing all the young families many blessings.

Check out my other post on pregnancy

My Postpartum Experience: What I Didn’t Expect

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Tags:  unwanted pregnancy, accidental pregnancy, options, pregnancy counseling, dealing with unplanned pregnancy

 

My Postpartum Experience: What I Didn’t Expect

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So I just did a thing….I had a baby! You’d think I would remember what it was like to be postpartum considering I went through this 6 years ago with my first daughter but I completely forgot. I really thought I was going to have free time and do stuff! ???. I had a whole list of things I was going to do that went out the window once my daughter was born.

It’s nice to be home from work as a new mom again. I thought that pregnancy was hard with all the weight gain and fatigue but OMG Postpartum is way harder. My postpartum body was to be expected so that didn’t surprise me. I definitely underestimated the first 3 months of my daughter’s life and how hard it would be.

So what is postpartum? Postpartum is the period after your labor/pregnancy when your body is getting used to not being pregnant. It can last 3 months to a year. Below is a list of all the things I was totally unprepared for. I love my daughter to death but it was so challenging.

1. Getting the shakes right after delivery and the fatigue that followed.

This didn’t happen after my first labor with my now 6 year old. I guess it was because I was so doped up on the epidural medicine. But right after I popped out the baby my body started to full on tremble. Like I was freezing, but I wasn’t cold. It freaked me out! Like why am I shaking? Is this normal?

I looked it up later and a lot of women experience the shakes after giving birth. Your body has just done something so intense and amazing that your physical reaction is to shake to cope with the trauma. I could feel my teeth chatter as the nurse put a blanket over me to deal with the shaking. I would say the shaking lasted an hour.

Finally the baby was out and I tried to get back into the groove of things and for a few days my will to get things done trumped my fatigue but by day 4–10 postpartum, I felt like I was hit with a truck. I couldn’t even lift my legs. I wanted to sleep so badly but my milk was still coming in and that made for an angry hungry baby all hours of he day. My belief that I could finally get things done around the house basically flew out the window.

2. How bad my nipples hurt from breastfeeding in the first two weeks.

This always happens when you breastfeed. The sore, cracked and sometimes bleeding nipples are to be expected. Why, I don’t know. Maybe because your nipples are still getting used to the suction. Or because the baby is sucking so hard it causes trauma. I don’t know.

My baby could barely gain weight during those first two weeks. I couldn’t bring myself to feed her every two hours while my nipples we feeling like they could fall off. I’m talking toe curling pain. I used some lansinoh cream to help with the tenderness, but the pain was still surreal.

Thankfully, the pain got easier by the third week and by 1 month I was breastfeeding in my sleep.

3. How much time I had to spend breastfeeding in the the first month.

I’m literally breastfeeding every 2–3 hours during the day and 3–4 hours at night. The sessions could be as short as 20 mins or seemingly endless. I really struggled to understand that I needed to feed her on demand the moment she started showing signs of hunger like sucking on her hand or fussing. All out crying and she’s already famished!

One week I calculated I spent 8 hours a day feeding the baby. It’s so exhausting.

I tried everything to stimulate my production including pumping and consuming Mother’s Milk tea.

I’m now 7 weeks into my postpartum period and its gotten easier. The breastfeeding sessions can get a little long but at least they don’t hurt. I wouldn’t say they are 100% comfortable but they definitely don’t hurt anymore. Yay!

4. How annoying it is to get other people’s opinions on babies.

Everyone has an opinion especially the grandparents. My favorite one is “Don’t hold her so much, she’ll get too used to it”

I’m sorry…what?!? I mean my daughter is a newborn baby that had spent 9 months in the womb and now has shoved into this cold cruel world. Let’s not make it colder and crueler by not holding her when she cries!

With my first daughter, I was encouraged to give a her rice with her milk. Rice?? Rice can’t be digested until like 5 months.

Because I really love these people, I’ve kept a tight lip and let the parenting comments go over my head but OMG are they are annoying.

5. How annoying it was to entertain people wanting to see the baby.

Around the second week, close family and friends wanted to come around to see the baby. Not wanting to be disagreeable I said yes, but I was so exhausted. What I so really needed was for people to help take care of the house that was falling apart, help me get rid of those dirty dishes, hold the baby while I vacuumed, etc.

I am barely holding it together and I’m expected to entertain? It seemed unreasonable. My freaking neighbors also keep trying to get me to go outside and hang with them. “You need fresh air, get out while you still can!” I know, I know, I know, but I’m so tired.

Feel free to to say no to people during your postpartum period. On the outside I wanted to be able to be very social, but I could barely keep up conversation.

6. That taking care of myself and also the baby felt impossible.

Cluster feedings, constant diaper changing, bath meltdowns, and comforting seemed to be my main reason for existence. I often felt torn between trying eat, shower or sleep while she slept. I was neglecting my postpartum care.

And my husband can only do so much because he’s still working and needs to sleep at night. And honestly he sucks at changing diapers, they always leak when he does it. ???

Finding a balance feels impossible. I thought I would have time to maintain myself, go to some Drs appts, maybe get my hair cut. That could only be done when we had a third pair of hands and my mom was staying with us.

7. The random postpartum depression and anxiety

This really caught me off guard. It snuck up on me. The changes in hormones felt crazy. I was not myself. It’s like I had been jacked up on estrogen for 9 months and suddenly had none and it was causing these intense mood swings, anxious thoughts and anxiety. I wanted to be chill and couldn’t be chill.

I made the stupid decision to look at my work phone and send some combative emails during this period. When I got called out on it, I got all weepy because I created more anxiety and stress for work I’m not supposed to even be at. I seriously wondered if I had postpartum depression and anxiety but my doctor said it was only the baby blues.

Right now I’m just focusing on getting rid of the random feeling of impending doom that hangs over me. Hoping it gets better.

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Overall, it’s been awesome taking care of my little one. Her little smiles and coos light up my day. I feel wonderful that I get to be a mom to an newborn again. And even though a lot of this stuff caught me off guard, I know it’s temporary and that I need to take the good with the bad.

Tags: Postpartum depression, postpartum syndrome, postpartum after pregnancy, feeling down after birth, state of being a mother.