Since our baby girl arrived two and a half weeks ago our lives have definitely changed! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about things that I thought would stay the same or change once she arrived and what my expectations were vs. the actual reality of them. Some things I was right about. But some things I was so far off from, I laugh.
Days are pretty much as productive as I anticipated (not very), and nights are far more exhausting (and much longer) than I imagined. Going out with her has been easier than I thought, and I’m more okay with getting nothing accomplished too (those cuddles are so much better than doing laundry). Daytime has been rather easy, it’s the evening and nights that are the hardest. She doesn’t do her nights yet, although she does seem to be slowly getting better at them. This is obviously normal, but completely exhausting. Sometimes the exhaustion during the night hits me hard and I tear up when I hear that little cry begin for what seems like the hundredth time. But we’re trying to embrace the whole napping when she naps thing and remembering that she won’t be this little for long so we enjoy those cuddles, even if they are for half of the night when we would rather be snoozing. I will be over-the-moon happy when she sleeps through the whole night though!
Lately Clementine has been much more cuddly than normal, I think she may be going through a growth spurt. This definitely makes getting anything accomplished exponentially more difficult because all she wants is to be cuddled up against my chest, eating or sleeping. Getting something as simple as her two week photos done was challenging enough. We didn’t take them until yesterday because they’d be all crying photos otherwise! Although my arms and back are getting sore from the constant carrying around and cuddling, I wouldn’t change a thing. I know that this stage doesn’t last for very long so I am cherishing every little cuddle with her. I could stare at her for hours, she’s just so darn cute!! My heart is so full of love for this little girl and I still can’t believe how lucky we are to have a sweet little daughter.
While preparing for Clementines arrival, we tried to decipher which ‘essentials’ were truly essential. There are so many options for baby items, so many things you can think you need that end up being useless. And since we are trying to keep things simple and minimal, we really wanted to try to stick to that! Here are some things we believe to be essential (not included but also very essential are a car seat, stroller, bassinet or crib & a diaper bag of course).
1. Diapers: We are super impressed by Honest Co. Diapers! They’re amazingly absorbent, sometimes I have a hard time telling if there’s actually pee in them, they fit our baby girl well, come in a bunch of cool designs, and I love how they’re a more natural option. You have the option of getting a monthly shipment, which we receive, so you don’t have to go out and buy them every week, which is incredibly convenient.
2. A Variety of Wipes: We get Honest Co. Wipes with our monthly shipment and we love how tough these wipes are. They help us get rid of any mess that’s been made with ease and are incredibly absorbent.
We also use wipes by Babyganics. I love how they have different wipes for different situations. We always carry a travel pack of face, hand & baby wipes with us so we can clean our hands after changing her, and we even use these on her hands and face if they happen to get dirty. We also carry the toy, table & highchair wipes with us to wipe off her pacifier if it happens to fall and get dirty (these wipes will be even more useful in the future I think when she has teething toys that get thrown around).
3. Q-Tips: These were definitely necessary the first few days of her life so we could keep her umbilical cord dry and clean after every time we changed her diaper. Even after it fell out on the third day we still had to clean out her belly button regularly because it left some sticky goop in there that needed to work its way out. Now we just leave the travel pack in our diaper bag in case we need them for anything.
4. Newborn Sized Clothing: Okay, so I was very much not prepared for this! We knew Clementine would be around 7-71/2 pounds when born because we had an ultrasound later in the pregnancy and could guesstimate her birth weight from it. Most newborn items say they’re good until 7-8 pounds so I figured she would need 0-3 months items almost right away. I was super wrong about this. She’s 2 1/2 weeks old and still fits most newborn items, and 0-3 month items are hilariously baggy on her. I’d recommend purchasing a couple items in newborn and in 0-3 months size, then you’re covered!
5. Swaddles: There are so many great options for swaddles! We personally love the Little Unicorn brand because they come in a variety of beautiful designs and are good quality. I bought somewhere around ten swaddles because I couldn’t decide which patterns I liked best, and I’m actually really glad I bought so many. This way you always have extras in case some get dirty, which they will, and in case you don’t get to laundry soon enough, which I don’t. Swaddles are the one thing I went overboard on and am glad I did.
6. Diaper Rash Cream: Baby Butz Cream is a great product and our favourite diaper rash cream so far! It helped the meconium come over easier at the beginning and keeps her little bum nice and rash free now. Definitely worth it.
7. Bamboo Washcloths: We’ve decided to not use any products on Clementines skin, other than coconut oil, for now. Really the only thing that gets dirty is wiped during diapers changes, and babies skin is so soft and delicate we wanted to wait a bit before introducing soaps and such. So for bath time, all we use is a baby bath, Bamboobino Baby Washcloths, and warm water.
8. Nipple Cream: I’ve been using Natural Nipple Butter by Earth Mama Angel Baby and coconut oil to keep things soft and moisturized. It’s really important to keep up with it (and to make sure your babies latch is good and deep) so you don’t have to deal with cracked and bleeding nipples.
9. Nipple Pads: Because that milk will leak out and nobody wants stains on their top while they’re out in public. I’ve been using Bamboobino Nursing Pads because they are soft, not too bulky and super absorbent.
10. Maternity Bras: And more than one of them. They get dirty. Fast. Leaky boobs, spit up from your baby, you’ll be glad you have a couple.
11. A Pacifier: Some babies don’t like these but luckily Clementine is mostly into them! We purchase Natursutten Pacifiers because they’re made from pure natural rubber, don’t contain PVCs, Parabens or Phthalates, are molded in one piece so dirt can’t get stuck in any cracks and the Original Pacifier touches her nose to give the same soothing effect as breastfeeding.
12. Pacifier Clip: LouLou Lollipop makes the cutest Wood & Silicone Pacifier Clips! What I love about these is that as Clementine gets older and starts to teeth, she can use the beads to chew on because it’s all natural and organic. Multi usage is where it’s at, folks.