We've officially survived the first month.
I'd like to thank the following items:
1. The Miracle Blanket. Grady has those crazy baby arms and hands that like to come up and smack him in the face or poke him in the eye and would often wake him up. This swaddle blanket tucks his arms in so that they can't come up and bother him. I owe lots of sleep to these blankets.
2. Fisher Price Rock n' Play Sleeper. It's basically a portable bassinet that allows your baby to sleep at a comfortable incline. Grady slept in this for his first week home and helped ease those 'what if he spits up and chokes on it' worries that plagued my new mom brain. It folds in half so it's easy to transport, and we used it when we went out of town overnight. It mostly sits in my kitchen so I can set him down when he's asleep and get some stuff done around the house. He's sleeping in it as I write this.
3. The Angel Care video monitor. Grady is a super loud sleeper - grunts, groans, the whole nine. Josh and I both realized that first week that we would all sleep better if Grady moved to his crib. I wouldn't be constantly checking on him or laying awake wondering if those groans meant he was about to wake up to eat. And Josh wouldn't wake up freaking out that Grady was somehow asleep in our bed and covered by the blankets (yes, this happened every single night Grady was in our room). This monitor gave us paranoid first time parents the peace of mind we needed to move him to his own room right away because it has a sensor that monitors his breathing and an alarm that goes off if it doesn't detect movement for more than 30 seconds. We can also check on him via video. We're definitely all sleeping better.
4. The Jeep Universal Cruiser. This is basically just a stroller base that works with almost any infant car seat. It's been great for me because almost everytime Grady is in the car, he falls asleep. There's no way I want to take him out of the car seat when he's alseep, so it's great to just snap him into this base and not interrupt his nap. This stroller has made running errands so much easier. It's lightweight and folds up fairly small, so it's great for my small trunk.
5. Coffee. We weren't sleeping much at first. If I wanted to get anything done, even half a cup of coffee would give me the little boost I needed to keep going. One of my first errands out with Grady was to go to the bank and go get coffee. It was such a small task but I felt so accomplished. If I go for a second cup, I usually do decaf so that I don't overly caffeinate my child but even the placebo effect works on me. p.s. Lynchburg really needs to get a drink-thru Starbucks!
6. Aden & Anais Swaddle blankets. These blankets are so great for summertime babies. They are made of that lightweight gauzy muslin so they're perfect for covering your baby but not having them sweat to death. I use one whenever I take G out - he doesn't need it in the car, but I cover him in the air conditioned stores. They're huge, too - not like a typical receiving blanket. I've used them as a nursing cover, burp cloth, car seat cover, changing pad, etc. - super versatile.
7. The Boppy. This thing has been my second set of hands. Once I mastered hands-free breast feeding, I could get on the computer, eat dinner, cut coupons, write cards, etc. all while breast feeding. For a girl who likes to measure her days by her productivity, this really helped to boost my mood. I could get things done AND feed my child.
8. Nursing camis. I totally lived in these for the first two weeks of Grady's life. It made nursing around the clock a little less hassle and kept my flabby belly covered while doing it. I still wear one to bed every night.
9. The iPhone. Being cooped up at home for the first month can be kind of lonely. My iPhone has kept me connected with the world and my friends. Browsing through facebook and Instagram helped me remember that the world didn't stop just because I felt like I did. And playing games helps to make those late night feedings a little more enjoyable. Words with Friends anyone?
10. Netflix. We got rid of cable TV a month before Grady was born to lower our expenses. Little did I know that being at home with a newborn would be when I wanted TV the most. Enter Netflix. It's great to be able to find a show you've never seen before and start at Season 1 and allow yourself to get sucked in. It's the next best thing to cable TV.
What helped you survive the first month? Any item I should know about for month two?