Baby Recommendations

This may not apply to many people who read this blog, but I wanted to share some things I learned post having a baby.
You see this picture everywhere of what to bring and what not to bring to the hospital. I think that all the talk is to over-prepare. I wish I didn't. I feel like I wasted so much space in my bags. Here's my short list of what I actually used at the hospital.
1. Nursing Bra. I found some killer nursing bras at Motherhood that felt like sports bras. I lived in them for the first eight weeks. Really.
2. Change of clothes...the looser the better. Especially for the first kid. I hurt so bad that I wished I had brought pjs instead of my good fitting maternity pants. (maternity wasn't necessary either--I was almost back to normal day one after having the baby--but that's not for everyone--don't count on that)
3. Boppy! I never even bought one. I should have, my amazing sister-in-law lent me hers a few weeks after and it made nursing so much easier.
4. My pillow--totally worth it. Labor was miserable for me..I puked a bunch of time and as soon as I had my epidural--sweet sleep finally came and it felt amazing on my familiar friend.
5. Stuff for the husband. I couldn't focus on anything--he enjoyed some movies or whatever.
6. Change of clothes for the baby...All of it. I spaced in on the pants. I had a cute onesie, socks and a hat (which was a little unecessary because my kid had a tonnnn of hair and didn't need one) but no pants. I was already at a good start for motherhood.
7. Makeup--helped me feel a little better about myself, but lets be honest, i just had a baby and no makeup can make you look gorgeous after having a baby.
8.Old woman undies and the biggest pads you can find. I won't even go into detail here.
9.Shampoo and Conditioner-the hospital I went to did not offer more than body wash. Thank the Lord for some good shampoo and conditioner.
10. A huge bag for stuffing stuff. Every time we had our baby in our room, we emptied it's contents for future use. We still have a lot left.
Post hospital--lots of these are common sense, but I didn't take into account how much I would actually need.
1. Tons of burp cloths.  I'm talking Costco size.
2. Newborn daipers. Cameron was a small baby and wore them for the first 2 1/2 months of her life. I'm not joking. Buy at least 400, attach the receipt and you can always take it back if your baby grows too fast.
3. Breastpump. I wish I had just pumped, nursing got to be so old so quickly. I only had a single one and with the next kid I'm totally getting a double so it won't take so long to pump.
4. Wipes also Costco size. That poop is the black death and then it's gooey and gross.
5. Good blankets to wrap the baby up in. I got a ton of blankets for her, but none of them were good for wrapping (delivery blankets or something, at the store they usually come in packs of like 2-3). It would have totally helped for bed time.
6. Full television series. I watched 176 episodes of Psych while I was on maternity leave, for nearly every feeding and for the long nights of just holding her, praying for sleep.
7. All the free samples you can scrounge up. My mom is a master coupon-er and gave me a ton of sites to sign up with (similac.com, gerber.com, enfamil.com, huggies.com, pampers.com, etc.). If you have a loving parent who lives close, use their address too and you can get double! Then if you opt to supplement or formula exclusive, you don't have to get formula for a really long time.

I recommend staying home for a while. I had a blood clot during my pregnancy so I had to go to the hospital to have my blood levels checked the day after we were discharged. The longest drive of my life with serious pain everywhere and the baby crying the whole way.
Don't have visitors if you don't feel like it.
I support co-sleeping--only if you know exactly how things will be. Cameron and I slept on the couch for the first two weeks for skin to skin contact and for her to hear my heartbeat. I'm a side sleeper and I never sleep on my back and if I slid up to the edge of the couch I knew she would be safe.
Find someone to watch and hold the baby sometimes so you can have a while to yourself, a short walk. I had a really hard time and I wish I had asked for more help so I didn't feel so alone and awful.
If all else fails, keep trying. This will change. Each week got better.
Lessons learned. After having Cameron, priorities had to shift. I wish I had done things different so my focus was more on her and not on myself.

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