My Top 10 New Parent Lifesavers
Ask any parent and they’ll be able to give you a list of things that saved their life (or sanity!) when their baby was little, so I decided to share some of the things that have helped me so far.
(These are all my own opinions on products that have helped me in my parenting journey. I have not been paid or asked to talk about any specific products or brands.)
A Good Breast Pump
As a mom who exclusively pumps to feed my child a good pump is extremely important for our success. I use a Medela pump, but the brand doesn’t matter as long as it suits your needs. With as many times as I have to use it each day having a good pump really helps to meet the demands of exclusively pumping.
I didn’t think that I would need a nursing pillow. I thought that they were something you’d put on your registry and then never use so I didn’t get one. The first time I used one was in the lactation consultant’s office and I was surprised how much it helped during feeding. I ordered one the same day and even though we’re not breastfeeding anymore we still use it for support during feedings.
MAM Anti-Colic Bottles
Shortly after we switched to exclusively pumping and bottle-feeding, Delilah started having some tummy troubles. She was fussy all the time and wasn’t sleeping well. It was starting to feel like if she wasn’t sleeping or eating, she was crying. We tried a bunch of different things to try and soothe her and eventually started to wonder if the bottles were part of the problem. We spent hours looking at all the different anti-colic bottles and decided to try the MAM bottles. They were truly a lifesaver. After just one day of using them we knew she was feeling better. She was less fussy, more satisfied after a bottle, and taking much longer naps during the day. It’s been a few weeks and she hasn’t had more than occasional gas.
This one isn’t a product but it’s definitely a lifesaver. Delilah LOVES music. It doesn’t matter what kind, whether it’s Mozart or Metallica, she loves it all. She can be crying and as soon we put music on she immediately calms down and usually falls asleep.
Snuggle Nest Co-Sleeper
When I was pregnant, I swore to never co-sleep because of safety concerns. I planned to have Delilah sleep in a bassinet next to the bed so when I got the Snuggle Nest at our baby shower I figured we’d only use it for travel. We tried having her sleep in the bassinet but it was not working. Between feeding and diaper changes we were up all night and I couldn’t sleep because I’d watch the bassinet just waiting for her to wake up. We tried the Snuggle Nest when I wanted to nap during Delilah’s naps. I laid it out flat on the bed next to me and put her in it when she fell asleep. It was the best sleep I’d gotten since her birth. I like it because even though she’s in our bed she still has a separate space around her where she can sleep flat on her back.
It doesn’t matter if you use a wrap or a harness carrier, baby wearing is a lifesaver! I use a harness carrier because I feel that it provides more support. We love baby wearing because it gives us just a little bit more freedom during the day. It’s nice to be able to put her in the carrier to do a quick chore or take a short walk and Delilah loves it on most days.
When we were planning for Delilah and trying to figure out what products we actually needed, we decided to have a swing or a bouncer but not both. We did a lot of research trying to figure out which one would work best for us and we decided on a bouncer rather than a swing. It was more portable around the house, cost a little less, and she could use it a little longer. We were so happy to find out that she likes being in it. I’m able to make dinner or pump with her nearby.
I’m going to be honest – I am horrible at swaddling. Joshua seems to have gotten all the swaddling talent. When he does it, she’s wrapped up snugly and sleeps so well. When I do it, she has her arms out in about 20 minutes and is wide awake. Using the swaddle wraps saved both of us! I didn’t have to wake Joshua up to swaddle her at 3 AM after she had broken out of my swaddle for the 3rd or 4th time, and I got to sleep for longer than 20 minutes at a time.
Haakaa Breast Pump
Though I’m not using this pump anymore, I’m adding this one to the list because of how much it helped when I was trying to breastfeed. In those first days I was a leaky, milk-soaked mess. Having this pump to catch letdowns while I was feeding took one of the many things off my breastfeeding stress list so I had one less thing to worry about during feedings.
This one isn’t a product but it is the biggest lifesaver out there. I don’t know where I would be without the support of my family. I constantly ask myself how I would manage if I were doing this on my own. I am so thankful to have my family so close, not only for my sanity but because Delilah is constantly surrounded by the people who love her.