Last night we had dinner at our friends' place and I was asked to have a peek at her baby shower registry to see if there was anything she was missing. The truth is I am probably the wrong person to ask as my necessities might read something like this: 5 white onesies; Swedish wooden blocks. The end. The idea of a million specialized baby products generally freaks me out.
But in truth, there is some great "stuff" out there that I found useful. My sleep must haves are here. For breastfeeding, I'd say we got off to a good start thanks to some advance reading, the breastfeeding group at our hospital, and a home visit from lactation consultant and postpartum doula Alexa Beckham.
Otherwise, here goes.
1) Motherlove Nipple Cream
This stuff was a big help in the first weeks at home, when Axel's mouth was so tiny it was hard to get him to latch properly.
2) Boob Fast Food Nursing Bras
I don't think I realized just how tricky dressing for nursing could be. My summer pregnancy meant I could do a lot of sundress wearing...cut to August when, for the first ten days of Axel's life, I couldn't seem to figure out how to nurse without stripping down to my waist. These bras, and the Boob brand tank tops, have been really useful (even if they are a lot pricier than I'd like them to be.) I think nursing covers are pretty nonsensical, but these bras and tops mean you can be relatively discreet when you nurse in public.
3) Organic Cotton Nursing Pillow
Although a lot of people had recommended the Boppy pillow, I really liked this natural colored pillow (also snagged at Caribou Baby.) It was especially useful in the first month or so. Now I feel like my arms have gotten strong enough I don't really need the extra support.
4) Medela Pump In Style Breast Pump
My sister-in-law leant me her pump, and I've found it to be great. I bought the Medela bottles that come with it and they seem to work just fine as well.
5) The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding
I borrowed these books from Caribou the week of my due date and wound up skimming through them in the hospital. It helped me to understand some of the physiology of breastfeeding. My only gripe is that I spent the first week feeling very intimidated by the various, technical sounding "holds," and reading about them only made me feel more uncoordinated than ever. When I stopped over-thinking it it was much easier. I really am more of a visual learner so attending a breastfeeding support class was key.