We are back home and getting settled with the final piece of our family puzzle!
Our little guy, aka The Younger Boy was born on Monday, January 5, at 9:53am via scheduled c-section. My recovery is going well; the only rough day was the first day when I couldn't even hold down ice chips. I wanted some hospital food, dammit (believe it or not, the food is pretty decent at the hospital)!
We're pretty smitten with him. Older brother, aka, The Older Boy, formerly known as The Boy, is not sure what to do with him. He's definitely jealous, but he's not sure how to express it. So far, though, he's reacting far better than I was anticipating (knocks on wood).
We managed to get discharged a day early, which was good for two reasons:
1- I wasn't sleeping well. Not because I was waking up every two hours to feed our guy, but because people were constantly coming into our room to poke and prod me, the baby, or inquire about baby photos.
2- The Older Boy had been staying with Grammy and Papa, who are awesome and made sure he had a ton of fun, but we wanted to get home and try to carve out some sort of routine to help him get used to this new family invader.
This first week also gave me time to really think about the things we used. Not the things we have ready, the things we actually USED.
During pregnancy, there's always this worry I call "List Panic." While Rob and I practically bought everything on "The List" when prepping for The Boy, I found myself panicking again with this second boy.
"The List" is the multitude of items retailers, relatives, and advice websites tell you to buy in order to survive the first year of having a child. Some of it is absolutely necessary, some of it is questionable.
"List Panic" is the worry you experience as your due date gets closer. Even though you might have purchased everything on "The List," you still panic that you bought the wrong brand, you paid too much, or if you should have bought five of the item. It's ridiculous.
So after breezing through our first week with The Younger Boy, I made a list of the things we used. It's not much:
Diapers and Wipes. Pretty obvious, but you go through A LOT of diapers and wipes at this stage, whether you use cloth or disposable.
I decided to stick with disposable with this kid, which was a really tough decision. With the Older Boy, I was determined to cloth diaper, as we have a fancy washer and dryer, and I hated the thought of diapers taking an eternity to decompose in landfills. I received a ton of cloth diapers at my shower, and I had them prepped and ready.
And when Colic Baby, aka The Older Boy, reared his screeching head, I went disposable, because he was NOT a fan of cloth, and I was not about to add something to his list of things that make him scream for hours on end.
Now? I can barely keep up with the laundry we have, let alone cloth diaper laundry. Thankfully my sister-in-law is willing to give cloth diapering a shot, so I'm more than happy to give her my set--they're all washed and ready to go!
On the bright side, I'm now able to take count of how many diapers fit into my Diaper + Wipe Clutch by each size as he grows! I developed the Diaper + Wipe Clutch when The Older Boy was into Size 3, so now I can take count of the smaller sizes.
Size Newborn? You can fit SIX Newborn diapers into my Diaper + Wipe Clutch and a full Pampers wipes package. More diapers will fit if the wipes are halfway gone, or if you're using the hard plastic Huggies container!
Clothing for Baby. Onesies, socks, and a hat are really all you need. If you can get a few of the sleep gowns that have elastic on the bottom, those are great for nighttime changes! They may or may not keep the socks on their feet, but if your baby is a fall/winter baby, it's good to try!
Sleep area. Whether it's a crib, bassinet, or co-sleeper, it is essential to have a designated sleep area for baby...one that is made for babies.
I am thrilled this guy actually sleeps in the bassinet we saved, as The Older Boy may have slept in it for only a few nights. We ended up cosleeping with The Older Boy, and while I didn't want to at first, it was either sleep or no sleep. I chose sleep. You do what you can. Had I known he was going to cosleep for six months, I would have bought a bedside cosleeper for safer sleeping.
Car Seat. YAY! Our infant car seat was still in good condition, wasn't recalled in the Great Graco Car Seat Recall, and doesn't expire until early next year (which will be around when The Younger Boy will outgrow it anyway). The car seat was one of the hardest things to decide. There are SO many brands and options that it could make anyone's head spin, let alone the foggy brain of a pregnant woman.
Plus, I swear car seat manufacturers are in cahoots with minivan manufacturers, as finding brands that will fit in average-size cars seem few and far between [dons tinfoil hat].
Boppy (or other Nursing Pillow). Okay, okay, I know I had the Boppy on the list of Things to Bring to the Hospital, and I totally brought my travel one, but I didn't use it! I know, I know, the shame!
The hospital room had so many pillows I was able to build my own pillow fort to support nursing my son each time. But--that may not be the case with each hospital, so bring it anyway.
And if you choose Boppy as your brand of nursing pillow, I make snug-fitting covers. :) Either way, make sure you have two covers for your nursing pillow, as feedings come more often than laundry rotations!
Burp Cloths. Your kid may breastfeed, he may formula feed. Regardless, he may spit up. Instead of changing your clothes a gazillion times a day, use a burp cloth as a shield. Most of the burp cloths in major retail stores are teeny tiny and super narrow, which basically renders them useless if you've got a spitter on your hands.
The Older Boy was crowned the Champion of Spitting up Just Outside of Burp Cloth Range, hence why I made my own Burp Cloths, as they are wide and absorbent.
The next few items are based on my personal preference; I don't really consider them essential, unless you and your kiddo use them, then they are wonderful to have!
Swaddle Blanket. Turns out, both our boys love to be bundled into a Baby Burrito. The hospital had some good swaddle blankets that we took home, but my favorite, favorite ones are the flannel swaddle blankets from Swaddle Designs (the Ultimate Swaddle Blanket). They're big, they're lightweight, and even an exhausted mommy can swaddle well at two in the morning (Rob is way better at swaddling than I am!).
Not every kiddo will like swaddling, so pick up a couple, then buy a couple more if your babe likes being swaddled.
Pacifiers. This may be a personal preference, but I dig the pacifier. I'd rather my kids suck on a pacifier than their thumb, as you can't cut off their thumb when trying to break them of the habit! The Older Boy preferred the Soothie/Gumdrop style, and it looks like The Younger Boy is the same. I designed my Pacifier Clips to work with the Gumdrop style, but those aren't recommended until babies are three months old.
The nurses at the hospital advised us to use pacifiers only after the baby has got the hang of nursing (which he did on the first day!).
Itzbeen Baby Timer. OMG, this thing is a lifesaver! Yes, I know there are a gazillion apps out there, but I really like the itzbeen because if you're away, your partner or caretaker can use the timer and know when their last feeding was. It has a built-in light, and four different timers for diaper changes, feedings, sleep, and a miscellaneous timer. I used the Sleep and Miscellaneous timer to keep track of my pain medication schedule. It also has a L/R switch so you can remember which side you last fed the baby (I am terrible at remembering this, but with the timer, I don't have to stress about it).
I can't believe it's already been a week. This guy definitely has a different demeanor than his older brother, which makes Rob and me very happy. The Older Boy may have had colic, but he's a pretty awesome kid now.