I talked a lot, and I mean A LOT, of smack about people being gross consumers when a baby came. I said to so many women and men who had gone on to parent before me that “My kid will be minimal. We don’t need all this STUFF.” And every one of these wise men and women would just smirk knowingly at me. The joke was on me. These are the top five items that I wish I would have registered for. Each has been critical to our child’s existence and happiness.
Good lord how did people sleep without this? Sabine would not sleep anywhere but our arms when she first came home. My baby was tiny and needed to feel snug, secure and close to mama to get any rest. After two weeks of my husband staying up literally all night to hold baby, bringing her to me every three hours to nurse and then sleeping all day we caved and shelled out the $50 plus rush shipping for the Rock ‘n Play. Sabine slept exclusively in this by our bedside until she was 8 weeks, and then transitioned to the crib on her own. Today she still plays in it while I do some dishes, take a fast (albeit not regular enough) shower or run the vacuum (usually after I find a cat hair in her poopy diaper – gross!) We also attach this Tiny Love Sunny Stroll to it to make it a play station. Money well spent. Register for it!
This video is of Sabine having a delightful time in her swing right before we ate dinner. That laugh… that smile… those ten minutes of getting to use both hands to shovel dinner into our mouths… priceless!
Ok, I have to admit that I still hate this product because of how much space it takes up, but it allows the Professor and I to eat dinner with both hands each night and gives me 10-15 minutes of happy baby when I need to make a phone call. It was also the only place other than my arms that she would nap from 12-16 weeks of age. These swings come at a HUGE price tag for what they are, and they don’t serve your kid much past the age of four months from what I can tell. Sabine is starting to sit up now meaning one of us has to be by her side the entire time she is in the swing. Had we had this from day one, though, I think it would have been well worth the $150+. Since we bought it when she turned 12 weeks I snagged one very used swing on Craigslist for $40. Looks a worn but works just find and saved us a good bit of cash. Wish I had registered for one though and had it from the beginning!
Another thing that I thought we would not need. Why not just use the adaptor bar on our Bumble Ride Indie? Um, because that sucker is HEAVY. Add a heavy car seat and good God almighty you are lugging about a zillion pounds of baby equipment for your 6 pound newborn. Oh, and every time I picked up and unfolded that Bumble Ride for the first four weeks post c-section I thought my belly would unravel. I finally caved and paid full price for the SnugRider after we moved to NYC and I realized that I physically could not carry Sabine in the car seat and the folded Bumble Ride up the three flights of stairs to the train by our house. Do I like that I have THREE strollers crammed into our closet? Nope. But the SnugRider is light, small, easy-peasy to use and worth every penny and inch of space, in my opinion! If you have not put this on your registry, seriously consider it. Especially if you rely on public transit for your day-to-day operations.
Who on earth would spend $40 on a sleeper? This Mama. Sabine was a swaddle addict and I knew that the transition out of swaddles would be a challenging one so I bought the sleep suit at 3 months of age. I tried it a few times before she was rolling and it was an epic failure. Then last week Sabine mastered rolling from back to belly in one afternoon and we knew it was time. I tried putting her down without swaddle or sleep suit and she kept waking herself up with flailing arms. When I put her in the sleep suit, though, she slept 7 hours straight and has since done pretty darn well in it. She also seems quite happy to be able to find her thumbs at night and self soothe a bit. To the Mama’s who believe their baby will not need swaddled, or will magically be happy to transition from their swaddle to nothing, I knowingly smile and gently urge you to register for this damn expensive sleep suit. If you don’t end up needing it, return it. Otherwise, you will be singing it’s praises when you wake up at 3 a.m. and realize your baby has just slept 6 hours without any concern of he or she rolling over while swaddled!
I made a lot, and I mean A LOT of fun of this when I was pregnant. Come on, how can you not make fun of something so poorly branded? But after my bout of mastitis, and the breast feeding fury that ensued to unclog my boob, I changed my mind. This pillow is the best invention and I shudder to think how much my hands and wrists would hurt if I did not have it! I would recommend registering for this pillow if you plan to breastfeed. Spend your first few weeks when baby is tiny using a regular pillow and when your milk supply is established and you feel confident in your breastfeeding journey, break this bad boy out. If breast feeding is not for you, the pillow is still in the packaging and you can return it for something you will find more useful.
What did you end up finding to be invaluable? What would you suggest new parents consider registering for?
You guys, thank you for all the great comments. Yesterday was a particularly rough day. Sabine had not slept well that night (3 wakings and then UP for the day at 4:30 a.m.) and I had gotten off our schedule of regularly planned activities with other moms. For two weeks we have missed play group, story time at the Library, walks and other planned meet-ups. I don’t think this is particularly good for my sanity or for Sabine’s sanity. I worry that looking at my face and the cats all day long might grow boring and monotonous. So after reading comments and having a good ugly cry as my baby slept in my arms with boob in her mouth for the fourth time that day, I took a shower. I washed my hair, which is still falling out by the handful, and then I put on LOTION and a tiny bit of makeup. I didn’t look much better, but I felt and smelled a lot better and Sabine had clean milk makers!
A lot of you suggested I look for part time work. Where I live and in my field part time work does not pay enough to cover the ridiculous cost of childcare. I have looked into freelance but to be quite honest, I don’t think I could produce quality writing while a baby was crying in the other room. You see how my blog is lately!
Two weeks ago I went back and started really looking at my Plan B – personal training. I visited the school in Manhattan and was way impressed with their program. Both founders had recently had a baby and both alluded to needing some scientific assistance in becoming pregnant. I talked to my husband, I looked at starting salaries, I talked to other personal trainers in the area and then I took the plunge – I enrolled in vocational school. Yesterday I stopped staring at them and signed loan papers taking another student loan to fund my continuing education.
In January I will start a nine month program that will prepare me to sit for the certification exam, provide internship experience and prepare me to enter the workforce at a higher pay grade than if I just sat for the exam alone. I have set a five year goal to own my own business working exclusively with women undergoing infertility treatments and those pre and postnatal.
Am I sad to leave the marketing/PR world? Not really. These jobs are being cut left and right while salaries dwindle and cost of living skyrockets. I am confident my writing background, marketing expertise and work in the small business world will help me grow my business into something both profitable and fulfilling. I look forward to becoming an “expert” in a new field and writing about it. I hope to one day submit expert editorial about fitness and nutrition to publications. I hope to one day roll Scrambled Eggs into my business as a place for other women struggling through infertility to connect and seek inspiration. I have big plans.
Taking this jump at the age of 33 with little in the bank is scary. But standing still or drifting backwards is even more scary so I’m choosing to move forward. I’m working to be the strong, independent, resourceful woman I want Sabine to know and that I hope Sabine becomes. Ahhh, I just looked down and Sabine has fallen asleep by my side. It’s as though she knew Mama needed a little time to write more than four paragraphs. I think I’ll have another cup of coffee and watch the sunrise over my NYC apartment. Cheers to you all, and thank you again for your encouragement!