7 IndispensableThings

Johanna-in-doll-cart 

**Yes, this is baby Johanna in the kid's little doll carriage, lovingly wrapped up and given a little piggy to keep her company. :)

I think one of the most wonderful things about having a 3rd baby is that the actual work of caring for a newborn becomes so much more natural. I remember feeling fairly overwhelmed when I had my first child, a lot less when I had my second, and now this third time around feels even that much simpler and easier.

The longer I am a mother, the more that I realize there are very few things that I need as I nurture my new little one. Her needs are not complex, and neither are the tools that I need to meet them.

There have been a few things, however, that I have been considering quite indispensable in these early days with my sweet little girl:

1) God's grace. Abundant, undeserved, unfailing, sufficient. Along with the daily strength that He offers me, comes deep and pervasive joy. I am overwhelmed, but mostly by His goodness and the rich blessings in my life. 

2) My husband. More than I can ever remember before, I have been cared for and coddled and treated like a queen. In the first few days, if I even tried to so much as put a dish in the dishwasher, I was told in no uncertain terms to sit myself back down! He has been so understanding of my need to rest, and so helpful with the children and around the house. I don't know what I would have done without him!

Cosleeper 3) Our Co-Sleeper. If there is one thing that I would recommend for every new mother, I think this would have to be it. Having my baby right beside me allows me to nurse so easily throughout the night, without getting up, without turning on lights. And having her in her own bed (and not actually in mine) allows me to sleep comfortably, without worrying about baby, without feeling squished. Ahhh… nighttime nursing at it's finest. 

4) My Shower Hug. Back when I reviewed this, I had a feeling that I was really going to like it. Boy, was I ever right! It's like a hot compress in the shower, and much more comfortable than a nursing bra at night. Oh yes, I like it very much. :)

5) Our washer and drier. Between stuff from the homebirth, all of my non-pregnancy clothes that were musty from storage (yep, should have thought to do that pre-baby), regular family laundry and now the usual deluge of laundry that comes along with having a newborn, those machines have been doing double duty, I tell ya!

6) Meals I don't have to cook. Between my MIL here for a few days, a week of dinners from our church caregroup (standard for every baby born- I think this is such a good thing!), and my after-baby freezer stash of meals and simple meal-makings (nitrate-free turkey hotdogs, anyone?), we have been set around here. What a blessing to not have to be doing much fussing around in the kitchen at this point! Every time I try to get more active again since the birth, it starts to obviously affect my recovery, and so I am grateful to know that even if the house gets messy or all that laundry doesn't get caught up on yet, at least we will eat!

7) My nursing canopy and sling (oops, that's 2 things, isn't it?). These are a couple of items that I decided to splurge on this time around (if splurge is the right term for someone who buys things only on sale or places like Craigslist). I got through two previous babies without them, but decided that they sure would be nice to have, and I'm so glad I did. My nursing canopy is not only adorable (a boldly colored morning-glory pattern by Amy Butler), but it really does make nursing in public so much easier as it is completely hands-free and more covering than any blanket. My new-to-me Hotsling
has also been a huge improvement over using a Snugli type carrier, a bad ringsling, and an Ergo infant insert. It folds up small, goes on and off quickly, keeps baby snug and happy, and so far isn't bugging my back. I'm a happy camper.

What things do you consider indispensable after the birth of a baby?

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About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. Kimberle Gamble says:

    I loved loved loved my breast friend. It was a life saver and kept me nursing. I’d also say: Mother milk plus supplement, nicolette Larsens sleep baby sleep cd, water bottles near the glider for nursing. The swaddlers, ocean and rain sound machine, and loong warm showers for mommy to escape. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Oh… a nursing canopy is a cover. I guess not everyone calls them that. Maybe I’m weird (yes, I’m sure that’s the case! :) Yup, just a nursing cover, and I think that I’ve only mentioned in passing that I bought myself one. I haven’t posted about it or anything. Should I? I just love using it and it makes breastfeeding in public soooo much easier and more convenient!

  3. Wait. What’s a nursing canopy? Is it like a cover? Have you talked about one before and I missed it?

  4. This is a great list – and so very true!! My new son is now 2 months old and I would have to say that my Moby Wrap has been such a lifesaver! With a fussy baby and a demanding 21 month old I don’t know how I would manage without my Moby. My son falls right to sleep in it and I am able to do almost all of the things that I would normally do around the house, including sit on the floor and play with my daughter. I have a Hotsling too, which is great for throwing on quickly, but the Moby is much more supportive for both me and my baby – my back never hurts at all, and I don’t ever worry about him falling out of it. I would highly recommend it to all new moms, but especially those with toddler age older children!

  5. I think my list is very similar to yours, minus the cosleeper – we don’t have the room for it – if we did, then that would probably be on the list, lol :)

    My moby wrap definitely….I lived in it!

  6. I agree with you about the co-sleeper…it’s a lifesaver! My son still ends up falling asleep with me sometimes after he nurses, but it’s SO nice not to have to get out of bed in the middle of the night to get him.

    Also, finally finding a baby carrier that works for me…a mei tai!! LOVE IT and wish I had found it in time for my daughter too!

    Finally, I had a diaper shower before my son was born and we didn’t have to buy diapers for THREE months!! It was SUCH a huge blessing!

  7. My list would be similar to yours with 1 addition–a My Brest Friend nursing pillow! It’s so much more supportive than a Boppy & super comfortable. I even took it to the hospital when I had both of my babies!

  8. Meals for sure. We have been blessed with 3 1/2 weeks of meals from friends…it’s been awesome.

    My husband…with 4 other children, he has been Superman! Caring for them and running the house…and he’s done it with grace!

    Going to bed early. 9pm. My husband keeps the baby until midnight out in the living room so that I can sleep alone and deeply.

    Earplugs and sound machines! :)

    My Hotsling and Moby Wrap.

    Food Network :)

  9. First off, congratulations on your new little blessing! I’m so glad your homebirth went well for you!

    Our second babe was due 3 days ago, so we’re in waiting mode right now. I think this is the point where I truly need God’s Grace to be patient and kind to the people around me!

    If I had to list (like you) 7 things, I would choose:
    ~ my husband
    ~ my mother
    ~ my church family/friends
    ~ a nicely stocked freezer/pantry
    ~ Swaddle Me and Sleep Sack swaddle wraps
    ~ my sling (locally made, but very similar to a hotsling)
    ~ Bum Genius x-small diapers

    It’s so nice to hear that newborn care gets easier each time you add to the family. What an encouragement to a soon-to-be second time mama….thanks! :)

  10. My baby boppy pillow was indispensable for the first 6 months or so of nursing. I found it was much easier on my body as my daughter got heavier, but not big enough to sit on my lap yet, to let her rest on the boppy, rather than trying to hold her full weight with my arms. I was still able to “hold” her and keep her close, but the strain on my back and shoulders was greatly reduced.

  11. Most of the things you mentioned, plus — Friends and family! I only have one baby, but it’s nice just to have someone to sit with and talk to while being stuck on the couch recovering/nursing. If they happen to wash some dishes while they’re here, all the better! :-)

    Our church also does a standard week of meals for families with new babies. Such a help!

  12. I would have a similar list!

    My friend laughed at me when I put up 3 weeks worth of suppers and some lunches, muffins, and other quick foods this time around, but with that, and also my mom helping for one week, plus 3 other suppers given to us, it was great to not have to cook for about a month! Freezer meals are indispensable.

    Also, for me: my cloth diapers. I have prefolds and covers and they are so much better at containing poop than disposable diapers I have heard and I’ve never had those massive poop blowouts.
    -my Moby wrap. I wish I’d had this with my first!
    -new (as in used items- new to us!) things for the other child(ren) that come out as surprises in moments when you need to be just with the baby (once all help has gone home). I picked up simple little things, mostly books, at garage sales, and also put together some simple crafts she could do on her own, etc. All very frugal but it was worth it.

    We actually have a crib side-carred to work as a cosleeper. My husband did it super safely so it works just the same. We have the side off. However, just like my first baby, my second loves to snuggle close and I prefer that too, so the sidecarred crib for now serves as more of a place to throw my arm onto and hold my water bottle LOL! Once she is a toddler maybe she will use it more.