So... let's talk baby stuff. I was determined to keep things pretty simple in terms of baby gear, both when I was pregnant with Eliza and with the Deuce. Our house is tiny and we just don't have space for that much stuff. Babies seem to come with so many accessories, but only a few that are really necessary.
That said, there are a few things that I have found enormously useful, although not necessarily essential. So here I am passing on my unasked for recommendations and unsolicited advice. You are so welcome! Here are five not-really-necessary things that are making our lives a little bit easier.
Thing 1: The Woombie.
My mom bought this at an adorable little specialty shop in my home town called Belles & Beaus (cute name, right?). It's essentially a straight jacket for infants that works as a swaddle blanket. Don't get me wrong--we looove the Aden & Anais muslin swaddle blankets and use the heck out of those as well--but this never comes untucked, so no worries about her squirming out of it during the night. It's the perfect summer weight, and works on Caroline like a baby Ambien. We call her our little glow worm when she's wearing it.
|zipped up in the Woombie|
This literally makes her our little glow worm, because it has a small flashing light you can see through the Woombie. If I hadn't lost a baby, I probably would have thought this was "silly," but I cannot tell you how much better it makes me feel to know she's wearing this at night. It's a tiny baby monitor that attaches to her diaper. It's really small (like the size of a baby's hand) and very lightweight, and the rubber tip that touches the baby's belly is soft and flexible. It works as a motion sensor that senses the baby's breathing and beeps if it doesn't detect movement for 20 seconds. Of course, it nearly gave me a heart attack when it slid off her diaper the other day and the alarm went off (fortunately she was grunting at the time so I knew she was ok, but STILL). This little gadget helps us sleep peacefully at night.
Thing 3: The Wedge.
I bought this Boppy pillow from Amazon when I was pregnant and used it to support my belly when sleeping on my side, or lying on my side on the couch doing kick counts and watching TV. It's also come in super handy to use with the regular Boppy or by itself when it comes to nursing or just snuggling with Caroline.
|the Carolines and the wedge|
Let me just say that I did not buy this because whatshername Kard.ashian used it. I got it after we lost Eliza because I was horrified at the idea of looking post-pregnant without having a baby to show for it. I wore it under big, baggy sweaters when I went back to teaching. And I hated it. I remember feeling like it was uncomfortable and suffocating, but actually I think that was my grief. This time, I tried it because my core muscles seem to have completely disappeared and it was all I could do to get myself out of the recliner while holding a baby. So I skeptically strapped on the Belly Bandit, expecting to feel confined and uncomfortable and instead... my stomach and back felt supported. In a good way. And yes, it's hot outside, but all I do is sit around in the air conditioning so it hasn't bothered me to wear it. And I have the bamboo version, which is supposed to be breathable.
|mine is plain black, no fancy pattern. image from here|
Their website recommends wearing it constantly for six weeks postpartum. I don't know that I will be a 24/7 wearer of the Belly Bandit (it does need to be washed occasionally!), but so far I have had it on a lot (and I've slept in it) and I think it's kind of awesome. No idea if it will really make a difference in shrinking my stomach and hips, but it just feels comfortable in a kind of weird way (I guess it's sort of like a nice supportive bra for my stretched out belly--how gross is that?).
Thing 5: Creepy Bear
We call this guy Creepy Bear because he's a bear and, well, he looks totally creepy. When David first saw him perched in the corner of the Pack 'n Play, he said, "Um, is that thing old?" Why, yes. Creepy Bear IS old. He was my brother's and my brother is now 28 years old. Also my mom thinks that she might have bought Creepy Bear at a consignment shop, so who knows how far back he goes. Anyway, my dad had to get Creepy Bear back in working condition and when you turn him on (rotate the dial on his belly) it sounds like an old-time radio with lots of static.
|sweet baby and creepy bear|
So... what am I missing that you can't live without? Baby-related or otherwise?