With the impending birth of my niece and second cousin any time now, I feel the urge to impart some hard-earned wisdom. I also know my sister and cousin would probably not like to hear any more advice right now - so I'm sending it out into the blogosphere instead. Here is a list of the top ten things I think are really wonderful - and necessary for any new mom to have. I have not been asked to review any of these things, in fact - my money has gone to these companies I mention.
Here goes - in no particular order:
A mattress on the floor of the baby's room at the very least. There is nothing better than the side-lying position for feeding late at night when you are exhausted and your back just can't take any more. Plus, lying beside your baby and watching them surrender to sleep is one of the most powerful experiences a mom can have. It's beauty is unparalleled. I have to say though - I am a co-sleeping mom, and I could never be anything but. There are also some great co-sleepers out there, and you can find the cheap on Kijiji.
Lululemon STILL pants - 2 pairs. These will be in heavy rotation while you do baby yoga, have a nap, run out to the grocery store, walk and until you get your body back. They ALWAYS look great and can get pretty dirty before you can see it! They are expensive, but they do not ever seem to wear out.
Baby Om Yoga book - amazing book to feel great and bond with your baby. Different session laid out for c-sections, regular births and everything in-between. Best of all - baby LOVES it, and it feels great. My little one smiles and coos through the whole workout and always ends up falling asleep at the end - me too.
soothe a fussy baby, walk, run errands etc. than with your little bundle. Plus there are a MILLION ways to wear it - and you can make it yourself and save a few bucks.
Lansinoh - Pure lanolin for your oh-so-sore nipples. Also works great for sore baby bottoms, rough elbows and much more.
A nursing tank. I strongly recommend the Bravado line of nursing wear. The tanks are super supportive and offer tummy coverage when you really don't want to share it. I had the Warner's nursing cami - and they were great, but they lost shape pretty quickly, the bravado ones wear and wear and wera without losing any fantastivc shape or support. I also recommend the Bravado nursing bra for big breasts - it makes your girls look great, the only drawback to Bravado is the cost... but they are worth every single penny.
A bug net - never underestimate the power of a car-seat. My little girl loves hers. Thankfully, because we use it a LOT. I wrap the bug net ($5) around the seat and she is perfectly portable - so I can play in the sandbox with my son, work in the garden and lots of other things. The stroller that is straps into is really useful too. I am a huge proponent of babywearing, but sometimes a stroller is necessary.
Good friends. People you can call on at any time of day, for advice, a shoulder to cry on, a laugh or a hug. Also strongly recommended is a good phone plan. One of my best pals lives in BC, and we have kids the same age... being able to chat during the day is priceless. You need friends who understand you may have to cut a convo short, and that you are completely distracted by a baby who isn't latching or because you are changing a diaper. People that do not stress you out are very important.
Telehealth - the babytalk line. In Canada we are lucky for many reasons, and Telehealth saved my bacon on so many occasions... I think they knew who I was after the first ten times I called. If nothing else they are a sane voice on the line when your baby does not stop crying all night long and you have no idea why. They also saved me many unnecessary trips to the doctor's office.
A Supportive Partner. You need someone who understands your need to sleep. Who does not harp at the fact that the dishes are not done - and who - for the first few months anyway - does not ask you what you do all day. A partner who gets that your breasts are not really up to fondling till you are ready, and that actually saw what happened when the baby was born and waits patiently until you initiate sex. Someone who is not afraid to change a diaper, supports your decisions and loves you even when you are a bit crazy.
And that is that. My list.