I'm just over a month into my new role as a mom, and it's amazing how far we've come as a family in that short amount of time. Don't get me wrong - there are days where it feels like I still have absolutely no idea what I'm doing, and this is definitely the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. But it's also the most amazing and gratifying. I mean, look at that little guy?! How could you not love him?!
Looking back over the last few weeks, there are definitely a few things that I wouldn't have made it through without. From helping get the baby to sleep to helping me keep my sanity, here are my first month essentials (in no particular order):
After he was born, Graydon spent some time in the special care nursery, where he was swaddled night and day. We kept it up when we got home, and it definitely helped my husband and I calm him down during many a crying fit. He is definitely soothed by a good tight swaddle, and we're still swaddling him for bed and naps. At first we were wrapping him up in individual swaddle blankets - thankfully we received lots of these as shower gifts. My faves are the muslin ones by Aiden + Anais. They're lightweight and comfy, and they come in a bunch of really fabulous prints.
|Aiden + Anais Classic Swaddles in Night Sky, $49.95 for set of four.
These were perfect when he was still a little guy, but as he got bigger, he started kicking through the bottom fold of the swaddle, so we upgraded to a Halo SleepSack Swaddle. These keep him hugged nice and tight but there's no danger of him kicking it loose in the crib.
|Halo SleepSack Swaddle in Pin Dot Navy, $28.95
2. Target Nursing Bras/Camisoles
I stocked up on a couple nursing bras and camis before the baby came, and boy am I glad I did. I packed them in my bag for the hospital, and it was great having one less thing - namely clothes that aren't breastfeeding friendly - to worry about while getting the hang of feeding my baby. For something so natural, breastfeeding is incredibly difficult and frustrating in the beginning. Everything is going smoothly in that arena now, but I'm still relying on these staples. And the best part? They're from Target, so I didn't blow a ton of money on them.
|Gilligan & O'Malley nursing bras and camis, $16.99 to $19.99
3. Button-front shirts - and PJs!
Another thing that has made breastfeeding easier is having a selection of button-front shirts in rotation. It's nice to just be able to whip out a boob whenever necessary, especially at night, so I highly recommend classic menswear-inspired sleepshirts, like this one from Target.
|Gilligan & O'Malley flannel sleepshirt, $19.99 (but currently on sale for $14!)
Also, if you're expecting, I'm sure you've heard that after giving birth, you still look about six months pregnant. So definitely hold onto your maternity clothes! I bought this Gap Maternity shirt while I was pregnant and it never really worked for me then, but it's been great to have postpartum.
|Gap Maternity Perfect Shirt, $29.95
If you're going to try breastfeeding, trust me, you will need some of this stuff. Chances are your nipples will be in a lot of pain - possibly cracked and bleeding - as you establish breastfeeding, and lanolin really does make them feel better. It's pretty oily and it will stain your clothes - another great reason to save some money on your nursing bras.
|Lansinoh HPA Lanolin, $7.99 at diapers.com
5. Amazon Prime
I don't think my husband and I left the house for the first two weeks we were at home. We definitely didn't run to the store for diapers, maxi-pads or extra newborn size PJs. Nope, we ordered that shit on Amazon. Jon already had a Prime account, and the free two-day shipping has been invaluable. We also signed up for Amazon Mom, which let's you subscribe and save even more on essentials like diapers. I highly recommend this for any new parents.
|Amazon Prime membership, $79/year
6. My Husband
I can't say enough how much it has meant to me to have such an amazing partner during this major transition in our lives. Jon has been my rock, and I absolutely couldn't do this without him. There is no way I would have made it through those first chaotic weeks without him, and even now, he's there to take care of me. And he's an amazing father. I love watching him with his son. It's the most indescribable feeling in the world. It's beyond love, something bigger, and I've never felt closer to him.