to follow up on my top 10 for new baby post, i wanted to do a top 10 for new mamas. because, let's be honest, the better a new mama is doing, the better a baby is doing. many of these items were recommended by dear friends, others i found through trial & error, all have made these past four months a bit easier:
1. some new pajamas & slippers. you're going to spend a lot of time cocooning with that new bambino & it makes things a bit brighter to have some brand spanking new pajamas & slippers to greet you when you get home (i even brought some to the hospital as a treat!) i love j. crew pajama pants (when they go on sale...) & have absolutely lived in these slippers since E arrived!
2. cute thank you notes. you will be overwhelmed by the outpouring of kindness in those days after your little one has arrived -- have some cute thank you notes & stamps on hand to express your gratitude! i love these from paper-source!
3. a good water bottle. ESPECIALLY if your breastfeeding, but i can imagine for any new mama, it's super important to stay hydrated. mine has been refilled countless times. p.s. husbands, major brownie points for keeping the water bottle filled.
4. good breastfeeding care. the first few weeks of breastfeeding were made so much more comfortable by this trifecta: ameda comfort gel pads, medela lanolin cream & bravado nursing bras/tanks. i've since not needed the pads or cream on a regular basis, but the tanks & nursing bras continue to be lifesavers. i especially loved flying in the tank tops -- it made feeding ellie on the plane so much easier! (you can usually find them at target stores)
5. baby oxyclean. welcome to the life of a load of laundry a day! to be sure those baby clothes & blankets stay spotless, i kept a bottle of baby oxyclean with ellie's hamper in her room.
6. iphone app -- baby timer. your baby is four days old, you show up at the pediatrician & they ask you all these HARD questions -- how many times is she eating a day? how many dirty diapers? you're so tired you aren't even sure if thes middle name you just wrote on the form is right & you have no idea if you've changed 3 or 30 diapers in the last few hours.
enter baby timer, with a few taps, it records meals & diapers, gives you stats for the day/week -- and most importantly, it gives you a peace of mind. ryan & i lived by this app for the first month of ellie's life. now we're in a groove & don't use it, but i literally can't imagine those early days of parenthood without it. it is SO easy to use & helped us keep little ellie fed & with a clean diaper!
7. meal calendar. we wouldn't have survived without the incredible meals friends brought us during the first few weeks of ellie's life. the ultimate love language, their home cooked meals nourished us so we could focus on ellie. i'd encourage you to have a friend set up a calendar for you -- we had it set up for dinner every other day which worked out perfectly. you can also go beyond meals and ask friends to take a pet on a walk, watch older kids, do a load of laundry, etc. it's so important to let others help you! (i know it's tough type a overachievers, but you must! :)
8. good prenatal vitamins / fish oil. i would actually go so far as to say every woman would be well served to take these every day (both are incredibly good for you, whether or not you're growing a little baby). they're a tad more expensive than other brands, but as my midwife explained, it's pretty important to know what's in your vitamins and how clean the fish oil is. she swears by these two: new chapter organic perfect prenatal & barleen's fish oil (they're priced best on amazon, but you can also snag them at most whole foods stores). i'm planning on taking them for a long time!
9. good, honest, hilarious reading. i have literally forced anne lamott's operating instructions on fellow new moms. i send them a copy or bring them mine & forcefully beg them to read it. best i can tell, they love it as much as i do. it's candid, laugh-out-loud funny & so reassuring (you're not the only new mom who thought that!). another favorite book for new moms here.
10. an easy way to track precious milestones. i have an absurd number of ways i'm recording ellie's first year of life -- a calendar, three scrapbooks, a photo album & oh wait, this blog. it's ridiculous. & completely unsustainble. i feel so badly because any siblings ellie might have one day will probably be lucky if they have a few baby photos.
so, i'm streamlining & focusing on my favorite calendar (easy way to track lots of small moments) & this precious book for longer thoughts. i love the way it's laid out, it's small & easy to travel with. i hope ellie will love looking back on it one day.
take good care of yourselves new mamas! xo