Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lessons Learned

Here we are about 7 weeks into Elliott's "time on the outside," and I would like to think that I've learned some things.  I can survive and thrive on the same amount of sleep that I did in college, I can balance things better than I thought, and I love sitting in rocking chairs.

I'm sure every mom looks back at the things she "had to have" and thinks "how silly."  Granted, certain things won't be useful until Elliott gets a little older, but other things have already proven to be either life-savers or space-wasters.

LIFE SAVERS
1. Bottle brush: Because my dishwasher leaves a lot to be desired with my bottles, I love using a bottle brush.  Mine even has a hidden brush in the handle for a small brush to clean tight spots.
2. Boppy: What would any nursing mom do without this wonder pillow!  My arms would probably give out before Elliott was finished with each session.  Also, it's a great way to prop him up to play with him. Could they make adult Boppys?
3. Pack 'n' Play: We use this so E can sleep in our room.  It's portable, so we can pull it from one room to the other if need be.  It's great for traveling, although we've only used my mother-in-law's so far (she bought one from a friend to have at her house for her and my mom to use).
4. Medela pump / bottles: I've had great luck with this pump (I use the hand-model...I wasn't impressed by the electric model in the hospital).  The great thing is that any bottle or container from that brand is meant to work with the pump.  I can pump right into bottles!  Silly, I know, but nice to only dirty one container.
5. Hand-sanitizer: All babies have less-than-awesome immune systems, so it's always a good rule of thumb to scrub up before you touch a little one.  However, after having an ICN baby, and having to literally scrub up when we entered the nursery, we are really into keeping our hands super clean.  We have little bottles in every bag and purse, and we have larger pumps in the living room and our bedroom.  I even keep a little bottle in the dresser / changing table so I can wash up without walking away.
6. Baby tub: Some people can deal with a sink or tub and freestyle it; we can't.  Ours has a little shelf built in for his little bum to rest on.  Plus, it's a whale and has little toys to attach to it when he gets a little older.
7. Glider: He's soothed by it, so it's awesome.  Ours has a gliding foot rest too.
8. Diaper bag: This kinda goes without saying, but we love our diaper bag.  It's perfect.  We have the Skip Hop bag, which has a lot of pockets that are easy to access with one hand, as well as a cell phone pocket and a holder for a water bottle.
9. Dry Erase Marker: I use this to temporarily mark bottles after pumping so I remember which one to use first.
10. Water Bottle: I used one to death (literally...it eventually cracked) when I was pregnant, but I use this just as much now since I'm nursing.  I have a 25 oz Camelback, which doesn't spill and is easy to carry and clean.

SPACE WASTERS
1. Dishwasher rack: I think it's the quality of my dishwasher, but all my bottles come out spotty and the nipples don't really look clean.  I just use my handy-dandy bottle brush instead.
2. Mittens / socks: Elliott doesn't keep these on, and it's pretty hot out to boot.
3. Diaper holder: It's not super close to the changing table, so we don't really use it.  It's holding the Luvs diapers that we don't use right now.  Luvs leak for Elliott.  Lame.
4. Changing "table" & mobile on Pack 'n' Play: The mobile is not being used because for a while, we moved the PnP all the time.  I guess we could put it back on now that we don't move it.  The changing table on it tilts, making diaper changes interesting.
5. Baby powder and oil: Perhaps I just haven't found the reason for baby oil, but I just don't use it (and I have two GIANT bottles of it).  I registered for these massive containers, thinking they were baby care staples...not so much.  I did the same with Vaseline though and that was a good decision.  Apparently baby powder is also no longer en vogue, but it's lavender scented, so I'll just use it in the summer to keep dry.

NICE TO HAVE, BUT NOT ESSENTIAL
1. Burt's Bees Baby Bee products: These smell so good and they work just wonderfully.  Elliott smells like lavender and honey when his bath is over.  :)
2. Wipe Warmer: Right now, it's a wipe holder (we just buy wipe refills), but in the winter I'm sure it will be nice for him not to have cold wipes.
3. Moby Wrap: I use this a little around the house, but because of the heat, I have held off.  He likes being in there and being close to me.  I used it on vacation only once, which was to go to breakfast.  The rest of the week was too hot.
4. Diaper Genie: It's a glorified trash can.  We got it for free, so no complaints.  I also made a diaper pail out of a kitty litter pail (they are huge and air tight).  I covered it with fabric, but it's not the best looking thing in the world.  Oh well.

There you have it!

 - J & M.