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My Top 10 List for New Moms (part 1)

pregnant mum

I remember when I was trying to get pregnant, I refused to learn anything about what I would actually need if I had a baby. Dreaming of those things meant too much hope than I was willing to take on at that time.

Once I did get pregnant with Pookie, I was like, “Oh sh*t, I have no idea what to do!.”

I asked a lot of friends, did way too many google searches reading product reviews and advice, and came across some items that have been life-savers for me.

There’s so much I didn’t know, so many assumptions about things you need or should do, and it was overwhelming. I’m a questioner, so I found myself asking, “Do I really need a crib? How does this whole floor bed thing work?” or “What’s this whole sleep training business about?.”

I learned so much and found some things that really, really helped me along the way. I was so very grateful that my mom friends helped me out and that I was able to find some resources that supported me and worked for Pookie.

Every time a friend gets pregnant, I always want to blurt out these things in hopes that they might find them useful. I’m not one to offer unsolicited advice, however, so I usually just wait until they ask me.

Plus, I totally respect that everyone has their own perspective. What I like and what works for me may not be someone else’s cup of tea. Cool. Let’s still be friends.

Now that I have this blog, I have the opportunity to talk about my favorite things freely for all who are interested and may benefit. Yay!

So here we go, the first 5 of my Top 10 List For New Moms:

1. Lucie’s List

Lucies ListOh my, how Lucie’s List helped me. The author lays out all the details about the stuff you need or don’t need for your new baby. She explains the lingo, breaks down all the brands and hype, and offers solid reviews and information. I highly recommend subscribing to her newsletter. You’ll get an amazing spreadsheet to compare items from car seats to bottles, and she also sends out very supportive and humorous emails during pregnancy and the first year of baby’s life. She gets it, and you’ll feel so relieved knowing what you’re going through is normal and shared by your motherhood community.

2. Baby Connect App

baby connectMy awesome friend, Jacqueline, told me about the Baby Connect App and it was SO incredibly helpful. The app allows you to easily track feedings, diaper changes, sleeping, and many other things that you think you’ll remember – but let me give you a heads up now – you won’t. You’ll be too tired. Seriously.

My favorite feature is that you can invite people to your account, so they can track when they’re with the baby and it will show up on your app. This was so incredibly helpful and gave me so much peace of mind when I left Pookie with Rob, my mom, or a sitter those first couple of months. I could look at my app while I was on my lunch break at work and see that Pookie had drunk all her milk and was taking a nap. My heart would warm and I’d think about how freakin’ adorable she is, and it would help me pump out more milk. Speaking of milk…

3. Free Breast Pump

breast pump

If you plan to breastfeed, get yourself one of these babies for FREE. Whether you like the Affordable Care Act or not, moms can now get a FREE breast pump. It will save you at least $200.

The best way to claim it is to call your insurance company and ask for a list of companies that they partner with to provide the pump. You then choose a company, call them up, order the pump, they take your insurance info, and viola!, your pump arrives on your doorstep within a couple of weeks. Many companies offer you a choice between a basic model for free, or to upgrade to a higher model and pay only a portion of the cost.

While we’re on the subject of boobies, if you’ve decided to try breastfeeding and end up struggling (most of us do!!!), please don’t hesitate to contact a Lactation Consultant. Pookie was eating well, but it hurt SO badly.

It felt like such a splurge, but we had a consultant come out to our house and trust me, it was worth every.single.penny. Plus, we submitted the receipt to our insurance company and we were reimbursed for part of the expense. If I didn’t have the consultant come out, I don’t think I would have continued breastfeeding for as long as I did (8 months, if you’re wondering).

4. Happiest Baby On The Block DVD

happiest baby

The book is good, but the DVD is awesome. Watching Dr. Karp in action sold me on his methods, plus watching a 30 minute video is way easier than finding time to read the book. Some people swear by these methods and others don’t. It’s up to you to see if this approach works for you and your little one, and if it does, great!

For us, it was a life-saver during our first several months as new parents. Pookie cried a lot and she responded very well to the techniques we learned on this DVD. Plus, we gained a lot of confidence in knowing we had some tools to help us help her. Worth it.

5. Goodnight Sleep Tight: The Sleep Lady’s Guide and Child Sleep Science Blog

good night

Another HUGE GINORMOUS life-saver for us. Pookie was not a sleeper from the beginning. Newborns sleep all the time? Not mine. She rarely slept for longer than 20 minutes at a time and at six months was still waking up around 5 times a night. I was very, very close to cracking and losing my sanity. I needed sleep – beautiful, uninterrupted sleep.

Again my fabulous friend, Jacqueline, came to my rescue and told me about Goodnight Sleep Tight and the Child Sleep Science blog. I couldn’t read them fast enough. I devoured them like a slice of chocolate cake on cheat day and I immediately started putting the techniques into action.

By the second day, using the Sleep Lady’s methods, Pookie was already sleeping longer. By day 3, she was sleeping through the night and sleeping around an hour for her naps. I cannot express my elation at this development. Since then, I have kept strong with our technique and now Pookie is an amazing sleeper. With all the sleep we’re getting, I can do so much more as a person and a mom. Total happiness.

*****

So that’s the first 5 of my top 10! I hope you’ll find them useful, or pass them along to someone who might. 🙂

Next week I’ll post Part 2! Subscribe to my blog to get an email when new posts are up and you’ll also get a FREE Morning Mantras poster!

Until next time. xoxo

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Rachael Hegarty January 19, 2016, 8:34 pm

    Thanks to you I literally used all of those resources haha! I continue to pass them along to my gals around here as well. Glad you posted this. I can vouch for them all being super helpful and effective with Olivia, namely the Sleep Lady and 5 S’s saved us from many many months of exhaustion. I also loved knowing what I did and didn’t need along with a much less overwhelming list of brands to choose from with the various essentials. I’m sure your second half will be among the tools I keep in my belt as well. Looking forward to continuing forward with baby Claire and seeing what you post next ? I love keeping up with you too despite being so far away now. Way to go Amy!

    • Amy Rakowczyk January 20, 2016, 4:58 pm

      So glad to hear it, Rachael! You are missed very much!! Thank you for your support as always. Hugs!

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