The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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We are slowly getting our feet under us in the new world of parenthood. Ben’s mom was here the first week, and my parents were here the second week, so it’s only in the last couple days that I’ve been home alone with Tucker during the day. It’s intimidating, figuring out what to do with him all day! I know he really only needs to eat and sleep, but I feel like I should also be playing with him or something.
I thought I’d run through a few of our favorite products so far:
- I know I mentioned it before, but that 16 oz Camelbak water bottle I bought this summer? It was a lifesaver during labor, since you don’t have to sit up to drink from it, and I carry it with me constantly now. Since you’re supposed to drink 8 oz of water for every feeding when you breastfeed, it’s helpful to have the 8 and 16 ounce markings on the bottle. And I can sling it around and not worry about spilling like I would with a glass.
- Speaking of breastfeeding, I had a lot of trouble getting the ergonomics right at the beginning. I tried all kinds of chair/pillow/Boppy arrangements, and finally ended up getting the well-designed but terribly-named My Brest Friend. (Oh god, that name.) I may look like a futuristic carhop, as my mother-in-law put it, but I love how it’s flat, so Tucker doesn’t slide down against me.
- I’m lucky: Tucker loves his carseat (a Chicco Keyfit) and carriers. So far we’ve been using the ErgoBaby with the Heart-to-heart Infant Insert, and I’ve had some success with a wrap-style carrier I got as a gift. Even when he’s really fussy he quiets down as soon as he’s in the carrier, and usually nods off within minutes. In fact, he’s in the Ergo right now, which makes typing both possible and slightly awkward.
- On the carseat topic: Love the Chicco. Super easy to install, easy to take in and out of the car and on and off of our UPPAbaby stroller, which has an adapter option for use with the seat. We love the UPPAbaby, too! We’re using the bassinet for him to sleep in, and it’s perfect. I got a rocking stand for the bassinet from another mom on the listserve I subscribe to, and it’s really nice to have it lifted off the floor and to be able to rock it.
- I’ll admit it: The cloth diaper thing didn’t work out, at least for now. It was just too much for me to deal with, especially since this is a very strong baby who fights hard when you’re trying to diaper him. We may try again in a few months, but for now I’m waiting for him to be big enough to use Nature Babycare or Tushies diapers. We’ve loved the Nature Babycare wipes, which are more clothlike and less wet/clammy than the ones they sent us home with from the hospital. Those really inspired hissyfits, but the NB ones are great. I wish they came in a dispenser that we could refill, though--it’s really hard to get them out of the package one-handed. I ended up buying a dispenser of Huggies Natural Care so that I could refill it with the NB wipes!
- I found some great clothes from Absorba at Marshall’s a few months ago--one playsuit and a couple sleep sacks. I love love love them because they snap all the way down, so there’s no wrestling of a big long sack over his head. WHO DESIGNS newborn clothes that go over the head? 90% of what we have is like that and it’s a nightmare to get on him. Hate. I will buy pretty much anything that snaps all the way down, now. (I spend a lot of previous quiet moments using a seam ripper to take the labels (“Lovable,” “Snugglesaurus”) off of otherwise great clothes from Carter’s.)
- The flannel blankets from the hospital are terrific, but in hotter weather we’ve loved the Aden and Anais muslin wraps, as blankets and swaddlers.
- Ben’s cousin’s wife sent us the most genius baby gift: A JJ Cole picnic blanket that wipes clean and folds up into an easy-to-carry package. We used it (along with the Ergo) on Tucker’s first weekend ramble, to a state park on the ocean north of Boston. (See photo) The blanket is slightly padded and has seams arranged to help you refold it easily, instead of struggling to figure out how to get it back to its original size. So smart.
I hear the baby waking up. Off I go!
Kate Flaim is a freelance journalist and food blogger based in Cambridge, Mass. When she's not cooking or writing, she is gearing up for the arrival of her first child this summer.