The Best Baby Checklist from A Mom of Four!

I’m finally done with my new-baby checklist. This is everything I personally need for a new baby in the house and some more things that I always like to have for extra comfort during the first postpartum weeks. If you have any questions about anything on here, let me know! I have listed some of my favorite products, and I’m going to give you guys the link to each one of them so you can check them out yourself!

 

baby checklist

 

 

Here is the HUGE List of my favorite items. Most of these you can find on Amazon (score!).

  1. My chair from American Signature Furniture. It is the best, softest thing to sit in, sleep in, rock in while you’re pregnant, and during those long nights and getting used to nursing. It is the best. I love it so much.
  2. Tucks pads.
  3. Colace Stool Softener  not super fun to talk about, but its such a necessity for postpartum.
  4. Dermoplast Pain Relieving Spray also a big necessity.
  5. Boppy Nursing Pillow
  6. Medela Tender Care Lanolin– My favorite! This is my first choice among all of the brands.
  7.  Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On the Go Tote – Also my personal favorite.
  8. Medela Contact Nipple Shield, Medium– These were life savers for my twins. They were so tiny and had issues latching at first, which can cause any mom to rethink breastfeeding at all. You NEED these in your hospital bag!
  9. Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier, Pink/Purple, 0-3 Months, 2 Count– These pacifiers are the ones they give you in the hospital. I love these because there is virtually no risk for a choking hazard. But please be sure to change it as your baby gets older, there are 3+ month Soothies that are made a little tougher to keep babies from putting the entire thing in their mouths. Hands down these are the best pacifiers out there. My babies have never used anything else!
  10. Summer Infant Comfy Bath Sponge– This is the bath sponge that I love to use for newborns, it adds a lot of security during bath time and its easy to keep clean. Take a look at the price!
  11. Fisher-Price Newborn Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper– This is what I’ve been talking about in all of my posts. I love it. Its a major necessity for me.

So those are my favorites out of the list! I hope you find the list useful and you can narrow it down by checking off what you need, or adding other things you want to have! I have also added a safety checklist of things you need to be aware of before bringing baby home.

I have just published an article about baby toys that will be helpful for new moms as well, it is The Best Toys for Babies! Check it out!

Don’t forget to make the most of your pregnancy, click here to see my favorite Pregnancy Keepsake Ideas.

I want to know what else is a must-have for pregnancy, postpartum and baby. If you’re a mom of multiple children or a first-time mom, let me know what you think! I want to hear from you. Comment below!

Please share with this with your friends, and feel free to sign up for my All-Things-SuperBaby newsletter!

 

Breastfeeding Essentials!

new-infographic-2

This is my top 10 essentials for a nursing mama. I have made this picture great for pinning on your Pinterest board! Enjoy.

As a nursing mom, I’ve had 5 years of nursing experience (total! so far). I nursed my daughters for two years each, and I’m working on 9 months with my twin sons! I’ve learned full well what works, what doesn’t and what is a total waste of money when it comes to nursing. Nursing is very inexpensive, and you don’t need a whole bunch of expensive stuff to start. All you truly need is support. If you feel like you don’t have any, let me be that support for you. You can talk to me by going to my “Contact Me” page, or just leave a comment!

1. If I had to pick one thing to get for nursing it would be a Boppy pillow hands-down. Newborns are tiny and nursing a newborn can be difficult especially if they’re under 7lbs (three of my babies were under 7!). Boppy provides the best support and it’s very comfortable to use. I’ve used several other brands and none of them compare!

2. I rarely use it now, but for nursing a newborn the second most important thing for me to have is lanolin nipple cream. The most effective brand for me is Medela. It’s a creamier consistency than other brands and if you have sore, cracked or other nipple problems, you’re going to want something easy and comfortable to apply.

3. Prenatals . It’s pretty self explanatory, but I highly recommend staying on your prenatals if you’re breastfeeding.

4. I put a BIG fluffy recliner in the picture above for a reason: If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, you’re going to be sitting down a lot. And you’re going to be sitting a LONG time. Your baby will nurse for about 15-20 minutes on each side, every three hours around the clock in the early days. If you buy the wooden glider with the 2 inch thick pad, your rear end is going to hate you. Mine did! I spent HOURS upon hours in the glider when my first daughter was born and I vowed to get a big rocking recliner when we had our next baby. You Will NOT Regret It.

5. A hospital grade pump. I didn’t even buy a manual pump when we had our first baby. I wasn’t planning on breastfeeding. It wasn’t until we had her that I fell in love with nursing. I ended up buying a manual pump when I was dealing with my first clogged duct, and it didn’t help at all. I bought a hospital grade pump after our second baby was born, and it worked wonders. I’m an exclusive nursing mama, which means that I don’t do any pumping or any formula feeding, so for the moms that plan on feeding with bottles, skip right on over the manual pumps and buy a hospital grade pump before your baby is born and learn everything about it! It is not difficult to use at all, but I recommend getting really familiar with milk storage guidelines and sanitation practices.

6. This needs to be in big letters but I won’t yell too loud: WATER. Aside from my Boppy pillow, water is my best friend. Keep a bottle with you wherever you are. Drink when baby drinks, and get plenty! Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.

7. A nursing bra. Nursing bras are my saving grace but for the early days I just recommend going to a maternity store and buying nursing pajamas or a nursing gown. That way you don’t have to wear a bra, and a top while you’re dealing with that first-two-weeks-engorgement-period. You need to be as comfortable as possible to enjoy breastfeeding and be really successful. Splurge on yourself and buy some super soft nursing pajamas before your baby is born, and use them in the hospital. I did with my twins and I was ever-so-thankful.

8. Healthy, healthy, healthy snacks. My favorite thing to eat in the hospital were these little veggie trays they had after I had the boys. They had chicken salad, carrots, crackers, and cheese and it was delicious and filling. I recommend having a family member go out while you’re in the hospital and fill your fridge up with yummy snacks like this for you to eat. You’re going to be pretty hungry (or not-I was shocked at my lack of appetite after I had my daughter) so make sure you go home to a pantry stocked full of healthy snacks for you to munch on throughout the day and night.

9. Nursing pads these are another huge necessity for me. Buy them and pack them in your hospital bag, because when your milk comes in, its going to be a huge mess(lol!). That was another thing that I didn’t prepare for when we had our first baby. I used tons and tons of these and the brand that I loved was Lasinoh, but Medela is good too. I don’t recommend buying reusable nursing pads.

10. Nursing camis. These are awesome during all phases of your breastfeeding journey, I love them and I still use them now that my twins are 8 months old. I hope that I can make some nursing cami’s for my business, Snickerdoodle, soon. 🙂

Added: one thing that I forgot to mention was Medela Nipple Shields. I bought them when we had the twins, and they really helped my son Jackson who struggled with a bad latch! It was amazing! I highly recommend them for babies born early. 

 

Having twins? Read my Breastfeeding Twins post!

My other checklist posts are: All-Things Baby! and Pregnancy Necessities!

Thanks for reading! These are my necessities, if you have more, please share! Thanks y’all.

Breastfeeding twins: What you need, and some tips to help.

breastfeeding,twins,newborn

breastfeedingtwins

^Our twins Jackson and Levi.

Breastfeeding twins sounds like a near-impossible feat. So much to worry about. So time consuming. What if I don’t make enough milk for two babies? Can I do that?! Can I really nourish two babies.. Adequately? Will they be healthy? What if they don’t gain enough weight? How will I get any sleep? Is it even possible to hold two babies nursing at the same time?!

These are some of the thoughts I had when I was pregnant with my twin boys. Even as a breastfeeding veteran, I was terrified. I felt very intimidated by the thought of two babies needing me every three hours around the clock for their first few months of life.. Even though I have a combined four years of breastfeeding under my belt, I still felt like it was a crazy thing for me to expect myself to be able to do. I can only imagine what moms think of their abilities to do this who have no breastfeeding experience at all.

Im here to say this:

You can nurse your twins. Effortlessly.

It takes patience, determination, and willingness to alter your schedule and your tasks around your babies’ needs.

I’m going to give you the best advice I have, from my experiences nursing my sons. I hope it helps:)

During pregnancy To-Do’s:
1. Plan maternity leave if you are working. The more time home with your babies, the better.
2. Get a high quality breast pump. A lot of insurances are covering the cost of a breast pump, I highly recommend looking into this!
3. Learn and read everything you need to know about using the pump, and reading about when to pump and breast milk storage.
4. Get your basic nursing essentials from my list Breastfeeding Essentials!
5. Buy two Fisher Price Rock ‘n Plays. The closer your babies are to you at night, the better. There are so many good things about this little bassinet when it comes to breastfeeding. It’s portable, it’s safe, it’s comfortable, and it’s small. You can find one on Amazon by clicking here:Here

6. Do your HOMEWORK.

The one thing that I urge moms to do is read. Educate yourself about breastfeeding. The more information and knowledge you have before your start, the better your confidence will be about nursing to your goals.

Expect yourself to run into road bumps. Everyone does. Research all of these things and PLEASE only go to trusted sources for breastfeeding info.

My top nursing go-to website is Kellymom.com.
You should also seek support from your local La Leche League Group, you can find information here at LLLI.org.

These are some basic road bumps that I have had to deal with:

-correcting poor latch
-engorgement
-clogged ducts
-milk blebs
-mastitis
-nursing a sick baby(stopped up nose)
-nursing strike
*Another thing, don’t believe breastfeeding advice from just anyone. There are a lot of things people think are supposed to help with nursing but really only hurt your efforts. There are myths out there that may make your struggles so hard that you cannot continue. Your great aunts sisters niece might mean well, but only take their advice with a grain of salt. Do your homework. Do your research before you take any advice.*

When your babies are born:

– begin breastfeeding right away, as soon as you can. If it is possible, ask that absolutely no formula is given to either of your babies. If you can’t physically nurse your babies (if they need to be in the NICU, begin pumping when you can.)
-get in touch with the breastfeeding consultant while you are in the hospital and make sure all of your questions are answered and you feel confident about nursing your babies.
I was adamant about nursing both of my twins at the same time while I was in the hospital. I wanted to know I could do it. I don’t really know why I wanted to, but the encouragement from the staff at the hospital really helped me. They were really surprised that I was actually attempting it and doing it! And I wondered to myself, do most twin moms not try? I surely hope it is not the lack of confidence that keeps twin parents (or any parents, rather) from breastfeeding their babies. I realize that the amount of support that a new mom gets when she starts breastfeeding truly can make or break her. I just can’t assume most moms will toughen up and have that determination all by themselves. It was a miracle that I did, because I had no support when we had our first baby. But I can see that it doesn’t happen for everyone. If this post helps just one mom, I would feel like I have done my job for my entire blog, you know? I want all breastfeeding moms to know that they CAN do this and that they CAN get through the road bumps. You can.

Not necessarily tandem nursing, that’s optional. But the truth is, you’re going to have to do it at some point. Those babes are going to be crying at the same time, you’re going to realize that you have two boobs! (Lol.) and really, it isn’t that bad. Tandem nursing is an art. And you don’t need anything but a comfortable place to sit.

More on that later.

When you come home from the hospital, get a journal and keep it next to you and write down every poo diaper, every pee, When they nurse and how long they nurse. Their doctor is going to want to know all of that anyway, but it helps your confidence level. Knowing they are giving you plenty of wet diapers means they’re getting enough to eat. And when you write it down, you don’t have to rack your sleepy brain to try to remember the blur of the last week to see if he’s had a drop in pee diapers, when you feel discouraged that he’s not getting enough milk. (Sorry for the forever-long sentence just then.)

Another HUGE thing I want to tell moms:
Fall in love with water.
Water is going to be the key to success. You need to have great, clean, good tasting water. The Sam’s Choice bottled water at Walmart is just fine and it tastes great. I’m extremely picky about my water, so trust me on that one! Nursing my 8 month old twins, I go through three 32-pack bottled water packs in two weeks.
You need to keep a bottle close to you at all times. Breastfeeding makes you thirsty (obviously) but don’t wait until you get thirsty to drink. Keep one with you while you’re nursing and when you sleep. Another saying that is easy to remember, Drink when they drink!

Stay on your prenatal vitamins. Don’t stop them just because you aren’t pregnant anymore. You’re still nourishing their every need. <3

Keep snacks with you close by, and don’t get hungry. Don’t worry about dieting because one great thing about nursing is that those pregnancy pounds will disappear! I was still hanging onto 40lbs when the twins were born, and now I’m down to 15lbs. So keep your diet full of good, healthy foods and stay full, because you’re still eating for three. 🙂

Night-time Nursing:

One big thing I’ve learned nursing twins is if you want to get any sleep, nurse your babies at the same time throughout the night. For example, if Baby A wakes up at 2:30am, nurse and lay him back down, but wake Baby B up to nurse as well. That way, you don’t nurse Baby A and go back to sleep just for Baby B to wake up hungry in a half hour later when you just barely got to sleep again. That way both babies are fed and hopefully sleep another 2-3 hours before someone wakes up again. Eventually they’ll get on the same pattern and it’ll help you tremendously when you’re trying to sync up their schedules.

Now, some may not agree with me on this and that’s alright, but here’s another tip: let Dad do most of the work through the night. Let him do the diaper changes. Let him get up to get them. You need your rest. I know how hard it is not to do those things yourself but breastfeeding takes HALF of a mothers energy. Half. You need every ounce of sleep you can get. If you’re doing the massive task of feeding two babies with your body, he can change a diaper half asleep. He will be alright. You stay asleep when the babes go to fussing at night, let him get them a fresh diaper and then you can wake and nurse. Let him put them back to bed.

Speaking of rest, learn to nurse while laying down. It’s probably not feasible when they’re newborns but as they get a little older and they grow a little, side lying is best at night for nursing because you can fall right back to sleep very easily. You don’t have to get up and get a nursing pillow and situate yourself and then situate baby. It takes a lot of energy to do that half asleep and can make you dread night feedings.

Prepare for hunger. When my first daughter was born my husband actually made me a sandwich before we went to bed. It is kind of funny now that I think about it but it really helped. I would wake up starving and I would gobble down whatever I could get. Pb&J sandwiches would fill me up until morning. 🙂 You will get hungry throughout the night and if you can, eat up!

Whew I’m exhausted.
I will do a Part 2 post soon! Thanks for reading. 🙂

Blogger Babes Link Party

My List of NEWBORN Must-Haves!

newborn,must,haves,essentials

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 8.44.36 PM

^That’s my son Levi!

When I started this post and I had listed a ton of stuff that is really important to me when I have a newborn in the house. I was thinking, if I’m actually advertising all of these products, why do it for free? So I decided to become an affiliate for Amazon, and now if you guys buy anything you read about from my blog from the link that I put, I will be paid for it. So it’ll help a mama out while I’m doing my best to help you. 🙂 Not to mention, I buy so much from Amazon because their prices are always awesome, and you can easily get free shipping. 

So! I’m a mom of four, including my set of twins! So I like to think I’ve become a seasoned pro at preparing for a baby (and in my case, babIES). All of the things below are things that are an absolute must-have for me and these are things that will help ease the new-parent craziness. When my first baby was born, I was a complete mess. I had most of what was on the basic registry lists but boy I did not do my homework. The long nights could’ve went so much better for us had I just done a little research. By the time my second daughter was about to arrive, I knew what to expect ahead of time and everything went so much smoother. I was a happy mama.

So I hope that someone will read this and benefit from it, and be able to have a better experience transitioning to being a parent than I did. And even if you are a parent already, maybe expecting another baby, I hope that this helps! Thank you all!

This is a list of things other than the basics like clothes and diapers and wipes. 🙂

1. My absolute TOP must-have for newborns is this. A Fisher-Price Rock ‘N Play Sleeper. 

 

719MUV79NlL._SL1452_This is my favorite thing to have when I have a new baby. When we brought our first daughter, McKennah, home from the hospital, I had a frilly bassinet that was so cute but she hated it. She had reflux and she just could not lay in that bassinet without screaming. We tried putting her in the crib, we tried elevating the crib, with no use. She cried and cried. I couldn’t let her sleep with us because I was too afraid of the accidents that can happen (I am not a co-sleeping fan), and our bed was too small anyway.

We were desperate. With no sleep, I was up all night long rocking her in the glider and every time I tried to lay her down, back to screaming. We went to the store and found one of these, and IT WAS PERFECT. I brought it home and when she fell asleep, I put her in it, and she absolutely loved it. She slept in it every night after that until she grew out of it.

When my second daughter was born, I knew well ahead of time what she was going to sleep in. We pulled out that little Rock ‘N Play that Kennah used and our little Ava loved it too. And when the twins were on their way, I didn’t hesitate to order a set of Rock ‘N Plays that they could use too.

11336843_10204501155985981_4468180522889022130_o

 

Here is my husband and our baby Jackson in his Rock ‘ n Play. This was the day we came home from the hospital. 🙂

If I could recommend one thing for any parent to have, it would be this.  It is elevated, to help reflux that many babies have. It has straps that you can buckle your baby into to keep him even more secure, it has mesh sides for safe breathing, it promotes the back-to-sleep sleeping position, and it also has a very soothing vibrating feature to comfort your little one as he sleeps!

You can buy one from Amazon by  clicking this link! Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play Newborn Sleeper

 2. My second must-have is the Boppy Nursing Pillow! 

81Pxzh6P+aL._SX522_This is essential to me when I’m nursing a newborn. When McKennah was born, it was literally the first time I had ever held a newborn. Or really, any baby. I just never liked holding other peoples babies. Until Kennah was born. 🙂 Anyway.. I had to have Josh run out to get one of these pillows when me and Kennah were still in the hospital. I saw these and didn’t buy one because I figured pillows would work fine. I didn’t realize how difficult it would be helping Kennah nurse and being extremely careful and she was so tiny and I was just like, WOW this is a necessity. I felt so much better using this pillow. It stayed put, it was very comfortable, and I just loved it.  

You can find this exact pillow here:Boppy Nursing Pillow and Positioner, Whale Blue, 0-12 Months

Boppy also makes other things like portable nursing pillows, high-chair covers, and pregnancy support pillows!

 3. The perfect Bouncer!

71va1xU5iyL._SX522_The Bright Starts Bouncers are my favorite ones for babies because they’re not too laid back and too fluffy for them to actually bounce in. The only thing I don’t like is that the box that plays the music and vibrates the seat is right at the foot of the bouncer where the babies’ feet kick. My daughter loved her bouncer and she kicked that box so hard when she was bouncing I was afraid it was going to hurt her little feet! She had so much fun so I don’t think it bothered her enough to stop bouncing. I looked for a good bouncer for my other kiddos where that box wasn’t on the foot of the bouncer, but I couldn’t find any. This is my favorite brand and type of bounce seat that there is, and it’s a great price online! Here is the link:Bright Starts Bouncer

4. A diaper changing station! 

81rC-R-0ovL._SX522_I didn’t have room for a changing table when any of my kids were born, so I had to think outside the box when it was time for diaper changes. Most changes I did right on the floor, on a comfy blanket (or sometimes a towel-blowouts are messy!!) but I was overwhelmed with carrying bags of diapers and boxes of wipes. Plus, I often had to run and find the diaper rash cream or burp cloths or any other thing that I needed. This is genius and pretty to look at! Keep everything in a basket, and keep it close!

Buy it here:Munchkin Sarabear Portable Diaper Caddy🙂

 

 

 

 

5. Speaking of Diaper Changes… Boudreaux’s Butt Paste.

81yJUU57ztL._SX522_

Hands-down this is the best diaper cream out there. I’ve used all of them, and Boudreaux’s is top-of-the-line, most of the time it takes one use of Butt Paste to clear my little ones’ skin right up! I love this stuff. It doesn’t smell terrible. Make sure to use A TON of this stuff and your baby will be good as new. I love it. Buy it bulk with this fancy jar!

You can find this here:Boudreaux’s Butt Paste 16 oz. Jar!

 

 

6. Soothie Pacifiers.

716hmBQEfmL._SX522_I’m a huge fan of the basic pacifiers you get from the hospital. They make the paci’s for babies over three months as well! These pacifiers are so much safer than the plastic ones, because it’s all one piece. There are virtually no choking hazards. They come in really cute colors now!

They are easy to clean, made of hospital-grade silicone. They are also soft, and won’t press on your babys skin when she uses it. Find them here:Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier, 0-3 Months, 6 Pack

 

 

 

 

7. Summer Infant Comfy Bath Sponge

41rkb5tIA5L

I LOVED this when I had my twins. They were born at just under 6 lbs each so they were sooo tiny and scary to hold when they needed baths. The sponge will fit in your sink or in a baby bath tub. It is soft and contoured for comfortable baths and I highly recommend them! Not to mention, you can get a pack of TWO on Amazon for cheap!

Buy it here:Summer Comfy BathSponge

 

Okay so there are a few of my necessities. I’m going to go ahead and post this and come back tonight. My babies need me. See ya later. 🙂