July 16, 2012

Surviving the first week(s)

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We’re still sleep deprived, but things are getting easier. We’re more in a routine now, which helps immensely. We’ve also got a little more of a handle on which baby gear works for us.

Motorola Video Baby Monitor
This thing is awesome! Domingo said if it died tomorrow it will still be worth every penny. I’m not sure I would go that far as we’ve only used it for a few days, but there’s no arguing that it’s one of our favorite, most useful pieces of baby gear so far.

I love having the ability to spy on Nicole as she’s sleeping. Nicki is not a very sound sleeper most of the time. She also likes to “talk” in her sleep. She makes this loud “harrum” as she settles back down. It’s nice to be able to see if she’s truly awake or just stirring. Without the video ability I’m sure I’d accidently wake her up by checking on her. I also love zooming in on her face. So cute.

Nicki on the Monitor

The monitor also shows the temperature, which is handy for us. Our AC sometimes has a hard time combating the summer heat and I’m constantly worried if Nicki is too hot or too cold. I read a review online that the temperature was inaccurate, but that does not appear to be the case for us. We have another temperature gauge in the master bedroom because of the heat fluctuations, and so far the two devices haven’t differed by more than 2 degrees.

I previously thought a video monitor splurg, and that we didn’t even need an audio monitor given the size of our house. Turns out that was only mostly true. We can hear the baby pretty well without the monitor – unless the dishwasher, or laundry machine is running. Then we can’t hear her until she reaches utter meltdown decibels. With a newborn, the laundry machine is always running!

If I have to nitpick, my only complaint is that the device turns off the display if not plugged in for some period of time. It does this to conserve power, and you can always turn it back on, but it would be nice if there was a way to set the display to remain on indefinitely. If I’m eating dinner at the table, I don’t want to move the power adapter, but it would be nice to see the baby during the whole meal.

Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump
At the time I bought the Medela Pump in Style I was indifferent between it and the Ameda Purely Yours pump. I went with the Medela because it was the one on sale, and I’m glad I did.

Medela is also the brand our hospital uses. I had some initial issues breastfeeding Nicki right away, so I ended up using the hospital’s pump while I was admitted. The hospital pump I borrowed came with a bag of sterile accessories – accessories they wouldn’t reuse regardless of whether I used them or not. I got to take them home with me when I was discharged. Since I had a Medela at home, I now have quite a nice set of accessories! I’m sure the bottles would have also worked with the Ameda, but I’m a matchy-matchy kind of person, so it was nice to have the same brand pump as the hospital, and duplicates of a few items.

I also love Medela’s customer service. The second day Nicki was home, the spoke the tubing plugs into snapped off. It was only the third time I had used the pump! I was near tears thinking I would have to buy a brand new pump to the tune of a couple hundred dollars because it was a piece on the pump itself that had broken. (Postpartum hormones?) I knew I could probably send it somewhere to be repaired, but that could take weeks, and I had a four day old Baby who needed to be fed! Medela customer support overnighted me a new face plate for my pump. I couldn’t be more grateful.

Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Bottles
Despite the difficulties, it is still my goal to breastfeed. I had purchased the Dr. Brown bottles as they are supposed to be similar to breastfeeding, and I knew Nicole would need bottles once she started day care.

Are Dr. Brown’s bottles better than other bottles? They seem to, at least for us. The lactation specialist gave us a standard bottle to try with Nicole as we work on breastfeeding. When I started using the Dr. Browns, Nicki did seem much less gasy. I still have a fear that Nicole will think the bottle is easier, and have a hard time transitioning back to the breast. So far, they don’t seem to be hurting. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Snugabunny Rock n’ Play
I was a little worried about the height of the rock n’ play being too low, but it’s actually the perfect height. I love having Nicki close to us. I love being able to reach her without getting out of bed. I love rolling over and seeing her face. As a “co-sleeper” it’s been great. One advantage of the Rock n’ play over the Pack n’ play? Rocking a stirring baby back to sleep without getting out of bed!

That said, it’s not as portable as I anticipated. Part of the problem is I don’t have another spot to place Zippy. If I want to take her downstairs I can’t carry both her and the rocker at the same time easily. This may change once she has better head control, but the rocker will become less useful as she gets older.

A Comfortable Nursing Chair
I am so glad we went with a fully upholstered rocker/recliner rather than a glider or rocking chair. I was pretty sore after giving birth (still am actually) and having the support is great. I also spend a lot of time in it, rocking the baby to get her to go to sleep. It’s definitely worth the splurge in my book.

IPhone
Okay, it’s not baby gear, but it’s made my life so much easier! I loved being ‘connected’ at the hospital, and the iphone is so useful when feeding Nicki, or pumping, or rocking. Have I mentioned I spend a lot of time in the nursing chair? I use it to snap photos (Nicki doesn’t like the sound of my DSLR shutter), to browse the internet, to look up things. In fact, the first five days we were home, I didn’t even turn on my laptop!

I did not end up purchasing the baby connect app. So far we’ve just been using pen and paper. Whatever works, right?

(Wow, I think I typed ‘Zippy’ and not ‘Nicki’ a dozen times in this post!)

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  1. […] also want to mention that having the same brand breast pump as the hospital uses went from nice to awesome when I accidently dropped breastsheild connectors on the hard tile floor […]

  2. […] still in love with the video baby monitor and everything else I previously raved about. Now that we’re three months old, there’s a whole new set of gear to rave […]

  3. […] getting the baby connect app to track baby’s feeding and sleeping in the early days, but ultimately passed. We kept a log on paper for a few weeks, but didn’t end up needing it after that. It’s […]

  4. […] until Nicki was napping in the rock n’ play. (I love that thing, not only has it been a must have for newborn baby sleep, but some of the best photos are from the rock n’ play!) Her feet were elevated in the rock […]

  5. […] best baby gear purchase I made was for a video baby monitor. It’s been useful at all stages, from newborn days to now in the toddler bed. We can hear Nicki just fine without any monitor – in fact, the audio […]


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