if my best friend was having a baby tomorrow ...

05 May 2014

... I would sit her down and tell her that if new motherhood doesn't feel like the majority of baby-mama instagrammage makes it look ... sweet and wonderful and sweeter ... that's just fine. And normal. And healthy. And if it does feel just like the majority of baby-mama instagrammage makes it look ... that's just fine too. Julia's descent into our lives was much more of a shock than all three of the other kids put together ... nothing can prepare you for a newborn (in all of the best and worst ways).

With that said ... (now!) I actually love love love the newborn stage and while I know it's not everyone's cup of Chamomile ... I'm a big fan of the chicken legs and the frantic squawks and the post-it sized diapers. But!! So many buts. It doesn't come without it's fair (more than fair, probably) share of baggage. Recovery from delivery can be a real b. If you think pregnancy hormones are crazy ... postpartum hormones need to be institutionalized because ... they bad. And don't get me started on breastfeeding ... it's hard. Really hard. And it will probably make you cry a lot. But ... it will (it should!!) get better.

Last week I found myself placing frantic Amazon Prime orders in the middle of the night and sending Simon emails that he HAD to go to Target as SOON as it opened to purchase x, y, or z, or I would die. And so I started composing an unsolicited (unwelcome? maybe) email to some of my friends that are pregnant with their first bebes with a list of things they really should purchase prior to delivery. Then I decided to make a blog post. At 3:33 in the am. I'm not sure how brilliant this idea was but I'm all about the follow through ... always. Sometimes.

So here it is.

Marvel away ... Jessica, Emily, Audrey, Meg, Fran, Miriel, Erika, and Olivia (I know I'm forgetting people, I've also called Phoebe, "he" about a trillion times since her birthday ... so I'll add more as my brain function expands and improves) ...



1. HALO SleepSack - the hospital gave us one of these and I'm guessing HALO gave them to the hospital which is a genius move because - I've already thought 28347284 times, "I really should order another one for when this one gets blown out/spit up all over/etc" ... genius, HALO. I'm terrible at swaddling and this takes away the middle of the night/in the dark frustration. I'm almost embarrassed that I've gone this long without one because they are amazing. Maybe be an anonymous weirdo and call to ask if your hospital gives these out too? I hope so. You'll love it. And probably want another like I do.

2. Abdominal Binder - Laugh it up. Judge it up. I don't care. I'll admit to buying this after Theo was born after reading what a miracle worker Sarah said it was. I don't know if it helped to flatten the bell at all but I was so SO happy to have it this time around. I'm pretty positive I have diastasis recti (fancy for ab separation) and .. I don't really care that much. I know, I know there are special exercises to help knit your abs back together or something but I've been trying to clip all ten of my fingernails for the past 3 days so .... ab knitting exercises are low on my priority totem at this stage in life. Anyway - steer me back to the original point. Steering, steering, there! Original point: this time around whenever I picked up one of the toddlers (which is often - no toddler picker uppers to be seen most hours of the day around here) - I could almost feel my side ab muscles screaming and tearing. I know - gross. But if I strapped this thing on -- no more ab ripping. It helps a lot. And I have my formerly vain self to thank. So - maybe you won't need one after baby number one but - just something to consider for the future future.

3. Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans - not frivolous. An actual necessity. Maybe it' just me but I cannot finish a cup of coffee to save my vida loca - ever. And with Phoebe in the mix I'm lucky to get an entire sip in before everyone is up and chirping around 6 (please let this be temporary, PLEASE). An incoming resident and his wife stayed with us last weekend while hunting for houses and left a bag of these and .... genius. I just pop a few of these and zing! Efficiency at it's tastiest.

4. Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads - I think someone commented and recommended these and they are really great. They totally got me over the {huge} hump and I only needed one set (pair?) because they were that effective. People have since mentioned these thermal nursing pads which look even better. I did frozen cabbage leaves for awhile but .. the smell! I'll never eat cabbage again - meaning nothing because I've eaten cabbage almost never - prior to now.

5. Motherlove Nipple Cream - I've tried a few different products for the cracking and the bleeding {Phoebe spit up blood ... freaking even Simon out ... so much bleeding} and the awful and this stuff is the best. Coconut oil was the worst ... in my opinion. Get this and take it to the hospital (and don't be afraid to ask for a nipple shield - that thing has saved my soul, multiple times) and use it after every feeding. Every single one. Make it your new religion. Soapbox dismount ... now.

6. Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Spray - don't make me go into detail here. Please. It's great. I didn't require stitches this time around but it was still so ... great. Enough detail, I think.

7. Manual Breast Pump - maybe it's just me but for the first few terribly engorged days - the fancy schmancy big, bad pump ... doesn't give any relief. None. But this little baby does. Worth every penny. Every single one. I sent Simon out before Mass last weekend because surely! Surely I would die a slow and painful death without it. He went, he purchased, and we didn't have to find out because .... hello living Grace.

And because a post on Camp Patton wouldn't be a post without a photo of KIDZ ...


Phoebe rocking her sleep sack. And Julia doing a mirror image of her mother's face when she heard Theo wake up 1.5 hours too soon from his morning siesta.

Anyway, final verdict ... do the veterans agree or disagree? Would you add anything? Take it all away and tell me to tough it out?? I like to think of myself as a minimalist but ... laugh, laugh. Speak up!!


oh! and Happy iCinoc ed oyMa!!! Drink up. I know I am. 

j to the k. SAHM's honor.

And allllll my other lists. Maybe I have a problem ...

labor + delivery hospital bag essentials 
10 things to throw on your baby registry
10 {more} things to throw on your baby registry
favorite baby gear: the heavy lifters
favorite (non-maternity) maternity duds


91 comments:

  1. Nursing tanks! And....wine. And....I can' think of what else. I'm too tired.

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    1. hahah I think I put tanks and tequila on another one of my (zillion) lists but maybe I'm too tired and misremembering. But WINE --- yes. indeedy.

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  2. I love all these suggestions for when babies 3 et al. come along, but can only speak with authority on the chocolate covered espresso beans for after my babies 1 and 2. Yes yes and yes!

    Thank you for giving us this honest and hilarious window into your life!

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  3. Nursing halter, nose frieda (the older gave my newbie a cold right away), comfortable nursing wear, nursing pillow. Snacks you can eat/open with one hand (or rip with your teeth), an awesome water bottle.

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  4. I forget the ab binding thing every time. I should just order it now and pray for another baby. I LOVE the chicken leg stage. Love it. Not so much the screaming in the car seat stage, but guess it's a little give and take. I'm pretty jealous your hospital gives you a Halo sleep sack!!

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  5. I agree with all of the above, esp. the sleep sack and ab binder! I would also add an ipad or small tablet. May sound a bit extravagant, but the nurses scared the bejeezus out of me and told me not to fall asleep while nursing (lest I roll over on my son), so I needed something to keep me awake in the middle of the night. Oh, and those fancy mesh underwear...I had my poor husband scouring the internet on the best prices for them. (hey it was less laundry I had to do..)

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  6. Yay!! So, so glad Motherlove is working for you! That is my new staple gift to all baby showers that I now attend. I will forever kiss the feet of my girlfriend that passed it on to me! I will be remembering those gel pads this next time 'round....sounds lovely. As do those choco-espresso beans. Yum! Oh and the abdominal binder - ordering NOW. I'm a bridesmaid 8 weeks post-delivery so this just might save me from ripping the seams of my dress. All these suggestions are great for even non-first timers...you rock!

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  7. I was told my hospital gave out sleep sacks when I was there with Sophie, but I think they forgot to give me one. Like the nurse said, my babies are big enough that they'd outgrow the newborn size super fast anyway. I'll keep this list handy for the next time around–I have a feeling I'll be seriously needing that ab binder thing.

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  8. I second the HALO sleep sacks! Love them! Also, in those first days with my son, I kept referring to him as a "she" during the wee hours of the morning. It must have been because my firstborn was a girl and the sleep deprivation was getting the best of me. Glad to know I'm not the only one!

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  9. Oh no these are GOOD! We didn't discover the sleep sack until baby numero tres, but it is a favorite. I'd like one in an adult size please. And I swear by the manual pump, I got the big fancy shmancy one with the first child and haven't used it nearly as much as the hand work out one. The espresso beans....stroke of genius. That will be my new baby shower gift!

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  10. Compression workout capris from Old Navy for those of us who deal with a jello-like abdomen for months postpartum, and want to go to the gym to remedy the sitch without looking like bowls of jello.

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  11. I love these lists! I'm absolutely terrified for the recovery process of my lady parts, but I'm glad to hear these things are helpful! Will have to make a note of it :)

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  12. Plenty of nursing tanks and/or bras and/or sleeping bras + nursing pads...because at least in my case, it gets...messy, so you'll need more than one. I also looove some type of e-reader (the paperwhite is my choice as of now) because it's one handed and gives me something to do during middle of the night feedings (plenty to chase after during the day) and to get me back to sleep. I've been trying to read a *real* book the past couple of days while nursing, and it's made me realize how spoiled I am with all my one-handed-reading lately.

    (love the above suggestion of compression workout clothes...at 7 wks post partum now, my faux workout uniform of good-fitting yoga pants have made me look way better than I actually am!)

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  13. i started reading this post and was all "good god i need this", which then gave way to "why didn't iiiii get a 3am email?", then sheer delight when i clicked and realized that the Emily was ME. this reads like a love letter, chock full of wisdom. i'm adding things to my Amazon cart as we speak.... speaking of...how did people GET through bed rest--or the newborn stage, whatever the case may be--before online shopping? i honestly have no idea.

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  14. lol. the ab part, taking three days to clip your fingernails. you're funny grace.

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  15. Nice list! Don't hate me, but I never needed the nipple cream/lansinoh pads, etc. Didn't have an issue there. I've heard that blonde/fair skinned people have a much harder time. My sister used the sleep sack with her twins and swears by them. I always loved having lots of full size cloth diapers - I used them as burp cloths, shoulder protectors, etc. Easy to wash and re-use.

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  16. Ah you're so funny AND helpful. A great combo. AND a saint for having the future resident + wife stay with you right after Phoebe! Chris gave me a bag of dark chocolate covered espresso beans once in college, and they were so needed and helpful.

    Thanks for the ab binder rec. It's probably too late to use it now, but with my horrible posture + separated abs, I look 20 weeks pregnant all the time.

    I cannot wait for Meg to have her baby!!!

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  17. There is truly nothing like your first. That is a tough transition. I am only 2 babies deep, but number 2? Such an easier adjustment.
    I agree! I got a girdle from bellyfit.com and it rocked my non existent socks off. I wish I had had it after bebe numero uno.
    I got dermoplast spray after my last birth, yet another thing I wish I had after number one. SO soothing.

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    1. Just realized it is bellefit.com not bellyfit

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    2. My hospital gave me dermoplast spray. Gift from heaven, that was.

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  18. This is totally not the point you were making but if you roast cabbage instead of boiling it, it doesn't have that smell. It's actually quite tasty drizzled with a little olive oil and roasted. As for the other stuff... I can't even remember post-partum but I am a fan of the chocolate espresso beans. Our little local bakery sells them.

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  19. I say a resounding amen to this entire list! Our hospital gave us Halo sleep sacks as well and they are great. They also sent me home with an ab binder (!!!) which was wonderful. It just helped my feel not so squishy and offered much needed support after a c-section. One thing I might add to the list are the spit up pads that you can put in your crib- having two saved me from having to change crib sheets millions of times due to blow outs or tons of spit up. And footie sleepers with zippers- not snaps- saved me for middle of the night changes.

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    1. I know! Why the snaps, newborn clothing makers??? For the love of humanity, why the snaps??

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  20. The Halo sleep sacks still rock even with a nearly 2 year old. They obviously stop swaddling after a while but they still prevent the "wake up in the middle of the night cold because blankets don't stay on" thing. Oh and also the climbing out of the crib thing because they can't spread their legs too far in the sacks.

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  21. Oh dear Barbara. Never ever Google image search diastasis recti. Perhaps I'm a wuss, or maybe I'm just afraid of the Things To Come, but yowza. Yowwwwwza. So sorry.

    Also, I've been saying lately that I can't wait to have another baby, but it's mostly selfish (of course) - I more want the feeling of familiarity or having some sort of grasp on what the H is happening. And also, I can clearly recall the feeling of that new baby laying (lying?) on my chest, and it's truly wonderful. More babies!

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  22. Post-partum, I swear by a nice, hot, soapy enema. On the daily.

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  23. What do you mean IF your best friend was having a baby tomorrow?

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  24. That motherlove product is great! My friend on #8 said it was her best nursing ever. They make a good diaper rash cream too - cloth safe even.

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  25. Yes to the manual breast pump. And I also always make sure to have a couple of nursing tank tops on hand--the cheap ones from Target or wherever--because I live in them during the hardcore nursing months. I like them because I don't have to hike up my shirt and expose my unpleasant midsection to my household (which includes my MiL, so this is extra important) and I can sleep in them, too. And I do. Sleep, not sleep, the tank top is a permanent article of clothing.

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  26. Have you ever tried rubbing breast milk on the sore areas? Let it air dry a couple minutes before putting bra back on. It worked wonders for me. Way better then any cream.

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  27. I <3 the Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter. *bonus- it smells like cocoa* And I would die without Bravado nursing bras they are a little on the expensive side but all the Target, Gap, Kohls, etc ones I've tried don't even compare.

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  28. Thank you for posting this!! You know I love your lists :) Adding to Amazon now! xo

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  29. Those gel pads are life savers!! With my first the pain from breastfeeding was horrendous and the lanolin only helped so/so. Then with my 2nd one of the nurses brought me the hydrogel pads and with them incredible pain relief. All new moms need this list!

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  30. Nipple shield was supposed to help make feeding easier for the baby, I thought, but it wasn't until Wilson that I realized that it actually gave me a break when things get painful!

    I use vitamin E oil for your unmentionable spray. My friend's mom said to just put it on pad. I didn't know about any of these tricks until day 5 with Sol and I was so so grateful!

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  31. Good call on the Earth Mama Angel Baby. That stuff is awkwardly awkwardly awkwardly amazing. And I think I'll splurge on this abdominal binder next time around (if. when. lord willing.) I'm vain enough to stress over abdominal separation but not to put my dollars where my mouth is.

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  32. Great list. I'm three months in to baby #2, so I am living in your list right now. I had a lot of cracking & bleeding with my first, and these little breastshells from Medela saved my life: prevents nipples from touching shirt or bra and lets air in there so those cracks can heal. http://www.medela.com/IW/en/breastfeeding/products/breast-care/breast-nipple-problems.html
    Totally gave up and wore these under my shirt to the grocery store like a boss.
    I'd also add a year's supply of granola bars. I go through like 6 a day those first few weeks post-baby.

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  33. Hmm, if I ever get pregnant again I might need to get one of those abdominal binder things. Heck, maybe I should just go ahead and get one now? I still have postpartum belly flab and my youngest is two!

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  34. I second the gel pads! I was always blown away whenever I took them off and behold: a nip that looked like a nip is SUPPOSED to look! (Sorry if that's TMI...) Also, Luna bars were my go-to middle of the night snack when both me and baby felt the need to eat every 2 hours. And I had a primal NEED for chocolate. Those chocolate covered espresso beans would be perfect. I devoured my way through many bags of Hershey's nuggets (toffee and almond, thank you very much).

    Also, Dermoplast spray, followed by dibucaine ointment and preparation H smeared on a Tucks pad, was a lifesaver!

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  35. I had my third baby 7 months ago and the lactation consultant told me about those gel pads, they were awesome! I had a lot of pain for weeks nursing all of my babies. Wish I would have had them the first two times. On another note any surviving residency posts in the future? I'm dying, DYING here. We are two years in...dying Grace! Okay bad day rant over, so glad you posted today : ) Phoebe is adorbs!

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  36. 4, 5, 6...I will be having #6 in less than 2 months and am going to purchase these items now! I love the Halo SleepSack when kids are older and didn't realize they make a swaddle version. I am going to order some of those too.

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  37. MY LOVE FOR YOU KNOWS NO BOUNDS, GRACE PATTON. Saving this and every other hospital bag/baby registry post you've done in my arsenal of resources to help with baby things I am overwhelmed by (so, basically everything). I don't have a Halo sleep sack but we got NuRoo swaddlers? UGH, I HOPE THEY ARE GOOD. Also, I need nursing bra recommendations? Also, I am so so afraid for my nipples and lady parts. Also glad someone up there mentioned Luna bars for middle of the night snacks. GOOD CALL!

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    1. I think someone else mentioned it too, but I love Bravado nursing bras. They are a bit pricey but totally, totally worth the money. So comfortable, and you can get them when you are still preggo for the support. My mom got me one of their tank tops for a gift with baby #4 and I swear I need to go buy more in different colors, it's that great (she just turned six and the thing is still great, I'm now nursing her younger bro). They're extra long on bottom to help cover the after baby belly.

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    2. Thank you so much, Amy! I am all about long tank tops. I'm going to go look those up on Amazon now :)

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  38. MMMMM those chocolate covered coffee beans… get in meh belleh. Will definitely need the nipple cream and down there care.

    Your baby posts have helped me pack our bags for the hospital, and this one will help me get postpartum care together. Thank you!

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  39. I love all things Earth Mama/Angel Baby. I don't know what sort of hippie magic they put in their products but they're so awesome. I love the nipple butter (I never in a million years thought I'd type THAT) and their sitz bath soaks are amazing. I love the binder! I had c/s with my first they gave me one in the hospital. I had a vbac with the second and requested one anyway. I also bought a heavy duty binder/girdle thing from Bellefit once the hospital one was too big. Miracle worker I tell ya.

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  40. This is a great list! I love the Mother Love nipple cream! Way better than the Lasinoh from the hospital. That stuff ruined my shirts! I also love the Halo sleep sacks, but Ted busted out of those pretty early...I would recommend looking into the Woombie (www.woombie.com). Loved it! Same idea as swaddling, but the babe has free range of motion, their arms don't have to be at their sides. Ted loved it and slept amazing...until he started rolling over. Also I love just about EVERYTHING from EMAB, great list!

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  41. I add pretty pajammies. Newborn stage keeps me in the "I don't want to...can't...forgot to" get dressed. But pretty soft pj's make me feel like I'm up to something good.

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  42. Champagne, or some other sparkling wine, for some time during the first week! I like the coffee bean idea, because I always need chocolate when the hormones go crazy and it's so impossible to do anything. Along the food lines, I also like to keep protein bars or anything else that provides a quick & easy boost for the inevitable "can't find time to eat but so starving".

    I think I have a Halo sleep sack, but it's a warm & fuzzy one so not as great for the summer newborns as they tend to get a bit hot in it. I favour Swaddleme's, which is a similar idea, and I love them so much that I ended up getting four. Also, perhaps not quite kosher, but I find great peace of mind from keeping a few containers of ready made formula on hand just in case the breast feeding ain't working -- but that is probably due to nightmare of #1 refusing to breastfeed and the hospital refusing to discharge me until he ate (which he wouldn't...at all...unless it came in a bottle).

    And lastly, lavender oil. It was so nice to be able to slip into a bath with the lavender oil in it, and feel like I was getting some clean relaxing time after all the nasties of PP recovery & breastfeeding.

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  43. Get the MuTu system for diastasis recti and pelvic floor recovery! So quick, simple, and effective! Don't bind for too long since you don't want to add pressure to your insides... they'll try to find a way out! Buy some step stools so the toddlers don't need to be lifted as often. I second the Woombie. Better than the Halo swaddler because it has a zipper, fewer layers, and doesn't get stuck to all the other laundry. Happy healing to all your lady parts!

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    1. I think I've I handed Theo a step stool when he wants to be held ... he might laugh/cry all at the same time :)

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    2. Poor Theo! My Coraline is 1 month younger than Theo, and there's no way a stool would work for her, either. The bigs could do it, though! Julia is a few months older than my Adelaide, and she loves using her own stool all over the house (ikea). You have double the amount of kids as I do in the same time frame- keep being you because you're awesome. Mine are extended nursers so your fertility powers far exceed mine. Blessings to your brood!

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  44. My babies always seem to have bad reflux, which means no nursing lying down and an extra half-hour of holding them upright after they finish. My iPad saves my life every time! It makes those looong night-time sessions so much more doable. Also, my husband buys me several of those large Target buckets of trail mix (I like their "simply trail") to supplement those boxes of granola bars by my bed -- lots of peanuts and almonds for good protein, raisins for quick sugar, and REAL M&Ms for new-momma hormones!

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  45. My doc gave me an abdominal binder after SK was born via c-section and some of the nurses rolled their eyes and called it old fashioned, but I loved it! It made me feel so secure and together, plus it was exciting to see how I could close it tighter every day. I'm totally using it again after this baby comes, no matter how he decides to make his entrance. I'm all about the support!

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  46. Expensive bodywash/shampoo/conditioner. The shower is sometimes the only break you get from holding someone during the day. Its THE place to feel pampered.

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    1. probably my favorite suggestion!!! yes.

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  47. Ok, what is up with the manual pump? I wam traveling and forgot a piece of my hands free really expensive pump (!!!! Insert panic!!!!) so went to Walmart to pick up a hands free one to get me by. Thinking it wouldn't get nearly it all... I think it's actually doing better and in a shorter amount of active pumping time!!

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  48. Big fat yes to the chocolate covered everythings! I am going to have to check out those gel soothie pad things because they sound amazing. I found a container of good old Tucks to be helpful as well, but I'm definitely ordering the Angel Mama Spray. Definitely. And also...how did you host guests with everything happening??!! Wonders never cease at the Camp.

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  49. A friend of mine was told recently not to swaddle her baby once she can break out of it (aren't they born able to break out of a swaddle?). It's been 12 months since I had a baby...so is this what they're telling people now? I don't know how we would have survived without a swaddle. Are the swaddle sleep sacks exempt form this new advice?

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    1. hmmm ha. I've never heard that --- I'll swaddle till their 12 if they sleep :)

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  50. With #4 I tried a swaddle blanket for the first time. AMAZING! I mean seriously, how did I not know about that?! I don't have that brand but I assume they are similar. The other thing with #4 is perspective, which you can't get with your first. But knowing how quick it goes. I loved the newborn stage with my fourth, cherished it like I never had before.

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  51. Our baby dude is 9 days older than Phoebe--would NOT sleep at night until I did a mad escape to Target yesterday to acquire a sleep sack. And last night...HE SLEPT! Thanks a million billion for this post!

    I'd add Balneol to the list. So soothing when all manner of wiping is a nightmare. I don't wipe postpartum without it! http://www.balneol.com/

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    1. YAY - so happy! Hope you're feeling marginally rested today :)

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  52. That bottom spray is so great.

    Fit2B Studio has a lot of really excellent online workouts specifically designed to heal diastasis recti, which most moms have to some degree. It's only 10 bucks a month. :)

    Yes to stocking up on snacks! Fruit like apples and bananas, Larabars, pita chips and hummus... stuff that takes NO prep because you are so so so hungry all the time.

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  53. Oh! And if you take a LOT of buffered vitamin C, it makes things much easier in the... um... bathroom department. No Metamucil required.

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  54. Taking note! Not pregnant yet here, but these would definitely make for some not-run-of-the-mill gifts for the new moms I know. As always, much appreciated Grace!

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  55. Extra pillows for your bed/couch/wherever you can make a nest. I spent most of the first 5-7 days hunkered down since husband was home, and I used every pillow in the house to comfort me/ease breast feeding. I soap box about bottom spray to every pregnant lady I know. And if they scoff I just send it to them anyways, because this mama knowwwwssss.

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  56. motherlove nipple cream is the best ever! And when Ryan's not looking (pffff...cheapskate) and Lily is especially hurting, I use it as a diaper rash cream...I'm 1100% convinced it's a miracle product. Oh...and lavender oil in a spray bottle after I ran out of the earth mama spray made me a believer in lavender oil forever (I think I'm developing an essential oil problem...)

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  57. LOVE the list. I am getting the ab binder for next time because it's been almost a year and I STILL have a gap between my abs. I should probably look up those exercises...

    About that spray... Getting that too. Holy moly I was NO WHERE NEAR prepared for post partum healing. You think you know, but nope. Of course I had the lovely full body rash to go with it which might have made things even worse.

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  58. That nipple cream is the very, very best you can get (if you don't need actual medicated nipple cream). It's awesome, and this is from someone who's nursed 4 babies (fifth coming in June), all of whom have done a certain amount (some left scars) of wearing and tearing on the nipples. Sticker shock, though. I actually made my own, though (not postpartum, of course, because making ointments falls far below everything else on the list of priorities like eating and using the bathroom), because it's not hard and the ingredients are a cinch to come by. BUT if you can't make your own and you need a nipple cream, it is definitely worth EVERY penny. Just think how much you'd pay not to have your nipples hurting any more, and then see what a bargain this is!

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  59. I can totally identify with it taking three days to clip finger nails. Add in having to clip the fingernails and toenails of your children and I can imagine the first ones have already grown out by the time the last ones are done.

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  60. I said it in another post here, and I'm going to say it again--DEPENDS. Forget the bulky postpartum pads, go straight for the adult disposables. Game changer with my third, will be using again with the next...seconding nursing tanks and some sort of laxative...

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  61. List away, Mrs. P. List away. This 1st time preg eats it up. Definitely just added the Halo, nipple cream and bottom spray for our registry.

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  62. You've got some good stuff on here. + the most GIANT PADS you can find.

    Newborn stage was haarrrdd for me. I like em 4 months and up please :))

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  63. #7! Yes! I left the hospital in so much pain because my eager newborn eater went on strike after one too many pokes and prods from the nurses and doctors. (In his defense, I probably would have too.) The lactation consultant gave me a little manual pump like that, and it saved my life. Of course I hadn't thought to get one previously because I had this "wasn't going to pump for the first 6 weeks" image of breastfeeding where nothing hurt and the sun would shine and birds chirped a happy chorus in the background, etc. etc. That was a wake-up call.

    I would add raspberry leaf tea. I bought it originally because I was a week past my due date and heard it could help get some labor action happening. My midwife suggested I drink it afterwards because it is supposed to help post-labor bodies get back to a semblance of normal. It really helped the week following my delivery, but maybe I'm dreaming. :)

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  64. I am big fan of the Miracle Blanket as a swaddler...my son had Hulk-like arm strength but he at least couldn't get out of that until month three.
    I will have to try the nipple cream when(ever) I have another baby because lanolin just didn't cut it! I wound up pumping and bottle feeding for a while to give myself a break. Fortunately we never had any nipple confusion issues...once my son got a little bigger he latched like a champ and we could kick the pump to the curb.

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  65. Agreed, but I really liked the Medela nipple cream. Just thinking about nursing right now makes me cringe--and it usually does get better!

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  66. Tons of lansinoh nurcing pads. But I think maybe you put that on another list. I'm getting everything else on your list! Thanks!

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  67. I don't have anything to add except we had to run out and get a sleep sheep for our baby #2. I just wish it didn't turn off after 45 minutes. and i think you should get some award for hosting guests that are not family while you have a newborn to attend to!!

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  68. Ditto to what a couple others said about the Miracle Blanket. And I'd add Mustela's foaming newborn shampoo. That is the only stuff that did anything for cradle cap.

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  69. GREAT post! I fully agree. And now that you have admitted to wearing an "abdominal binder", I won't feel so bad if I wear one next time around.

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  70. I love your honesty Grace! I was shocked after having my first last June. Didn't expect to still look preg afterwards and I definitely wasn't prepared for the fun stitches. So, I love that you're so open with this stuff. I like knowing that I'm not alone. ;)

    Another thing I wasn't prepared for was diastasis. I wore a belly binder afterwards but it was more for my vanity at the time. Afterwards I figured out that I have lovely ab separation. Honestly, I was always jealous of how you bounced back each time, so it's nice to know it happens to the best of us (I mean that in the best way possible - it sounds terrible). Right now, I'm trying one of those programs you can buy online...and all I can say is it takes time. :(

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  71. Okay, if I wasn't already, I'm officially stalking your blog for all these glorious lists of things I NEED! Expecting #1 in October... eek!! P.S. LOVE that last pic of Julia and Phoebe... too cute!

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  72. I have to tell you that I really admire you for having 4 kids so close in ages! I absolutely LOVE my kids but don't know what I would have done if they'd all been born close together. Of course, I'm saying this as I've started being a Mom all over again. I have 3 girls, ages 16 yrs., 14 yrs., & 4 (almost 5) months. Along with my 4 girls I have 2 step-sons (ages 18 & 15) a step-daughter (age 23) & a grandson (age 2). I struggle every day to juggle the teens routines along with re-learning the baby routines, working full-time, doing community / volunteer work, & being a wife. Your blog is a wonderful read for me in my free minutes. Thank you for sharing.

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  73. Grace, I am due tomorrow and thank you mucho. I know that little stinker won't be coming tomorrow but thank goodness for Amazon prime!

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  74. Newman's Ointment. It has an anti fungal in case of thrush, and anti-bacterial in case of that and it's soothing for the nipples. A lactation consultant and good nursing how to book. Dry shampoo or baby powder

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  75. Rest rest rest and read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.....the bible on breastfeeding

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  76. Is that a Medela manual pump? I bought an Avent pump and bottle set, and it didn't seem to work out very well. I often had problems getting a good seal. And--I don't know whether this was me or the pump--I could NEVER pump enough. Once I went back to work it went downhill fast, and we ended up having to switch to formula. :( I'm trying to decide whether to go it again with the same pump with #2, figuring that the problems the first time around were due to my cluelessness as a new mom and the insane time demands of my job, or spring for a new pump, new bottles, etc etc etc. (I have a much better job now. A sane job.)

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  77. Hello Sweet Camp Patton - I purchased 5 of these 7 items. I had my 2nd baby 1/3/2015 and have beeb using these items faithfully. Why didn't anyone tell me about the belly binder with my first c-section???And the manual pump... I actually don't dread pumping anymore!! And the spritzer spray....ahhhhwesome! Thank you so much for your recommendations, you really made this 2nd delivery so much more enjoyable.

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