- iPhone: This has become one of my most vital tools! I use the Baby Feeding Schedule app to track her habits (feeding time, diapers and sleep) When she is a bit extra fussy I use Pandora, Songza or Amazon Music to play some calm music for her. She really enjoys Sufjan Stevens. I also use it to take some quick snap shots of her when I don't have time to get my fancy camera. I know people have been having babies for millions of years, but I don't know how those moms survived with out a smart phone!
- Rock & Play sleeper: I didn't bother with a bassinet. Babies only stay in those things for a short time! Instead we opted for the Rock & Play sleeper. Its awesome because its portable. She would be asleep in it and we could move it around from room to room with out disturbing her. It was also nice because it is tilted which came in handy to help with our little girls reflux.
- Books: In between naps there is lots of down time. Be warned they are short periods of free time, so it can be difficult to actually get anything really productive done. There were also some times when I couldn't get my little girl to settle down and reading aloud from my kindle came in handy. After the morning feedings the little lady is usually very alert, so that is the best time to read some picture books with her. She loves it!
- Brewer's Yeast and Mother's Milk Tea: At a few weeks old she wasn't gaining weight. I had to supplement with some formula for a bit and I had a mental breakdown. "Is there something wrong with my breastmilk? Am I not drinking enough water? Am I a terrible Mom?!" The doctor assured me that it is normal, and there is nothing wrong with me. To help boost up the supply I had some Mother's Milk Tea on hand. Its not the best tasting of teas but it helps! I have also been taking some Brewer's Yeast supplements. Its helped not only with feedings but also with pumping.
- Netflix: Speaking of pumping, I felt like I was chained to that stupid machine when I was trying to build up a stash. What to do when I'm stuck there pumping away? Watch TV. I've been binging a lot! Including Parks and Recreation, Twin Peaks and a lot of documentaries.
Things you can't buy:
- Baby Daddy: I lucked out, not only is Tim an amazing husband, but he is a great father. He's so supportive and when I'm at my wits end, he takes the baby without me asking. He shares many special moments with her and its just so nice to see. I am a Daddy's girl and I know about that special bond between father and daughter. Its interesting to see that relationship from another perspective.
- A Mom expert: Its good to know a seasoned veteran that you can go to for answers. My sister-in-law Trisha has been a huge help and has been my go to person for help and support. I don't think I could have made it through breastfeeding with out her advice. When I was freaking out it was nice to shoot her a quick text to reassure me something was normal.
- Treat yo Self: Raising a baby is not easy. It can be exhausting, repetitive and painful. So remember... Treat Yo Self! I would take a few special trips to the craft store and indulge in some sweet treats. Treating myself to a little something helped me keep my sanity.