Your first few weeks with baby at home is a blur of feeding, burping, changing, bathing and some sleeping. It is exciting but exhausting because you also have to do other things like have a shower, do the laundry and get dinner ready. However, it mostly works out, maybe not in the planned order -actually definitely not in the planned order – and slowly some kind of pattern emerges.
And it is during this period that you really get to know which products you need and what is really useful and what is not. The only issue is that as a mother-to-be we like to buy everything in advance so we are ready! So I’d like to share my experiences to help you sort through the masses of products that are available – lots more than when I had my children – some of them better but some of them definitely not.
First thought is where is baby going to sleep in the daytime? My obvious answer is “in their bed.” I think that a calm quiet space is best and with a monitor you will easily hear when he/she wakes. Maybe it also is better for you not to be checking on him/her all the time and you can think about something else for a while. I know that I turned on the vacuum cleaner more freely knowing that my baby was asleep in the nursery, not around the corner.
If, however you prefer to have baby closer by, a bassinet would be a great choice. You may already be using one for overnight sleeps. If it is on castors you can bring it into the living space during the day but if it is upstairs, you will pretty soon find that a tiresome exercise. Investing in two bassinets? I have seen several lounge rooms with a Leander Cradle either suspended from the ceiling or from a tripod and it looks fantastic but you may not be able to justify the expense.
You could consider your pram as an option. If it stands in the hallway and is fitted with a carrycot it is a handy spot for a nap. It also means that baby is ready for a walk when you are.
Alternatively, is there a spare bed downstairs where you can create a “daybed”? While baby is not rolling place a Moses basket or a baby nest on it for daytime sleeps. Or is there another secure are you could use?
In Denmark a playpen with a raised floor is a common spot for naps, safe from siblings and/or pets yet in the living room. Fantastic for twins as there is plenty of room. You would then have the play pen for later use too when the child is mobile and you just need to get something done.
Do any of these options appeal to you?
Time goes on and things starts to change a bit. You are still feeding lots and baby sleeps heaps but there is more “awake time”. You introduce baby to floor time – lots of time on the tummy is really important for the development of the back muscles – and at least here the product choice is simple: just a soft blanket. Phew.
But as baby gets older and is awake for even longer there are times where you where you need something else. You could be having visitors over or simply want to change things up a bit. A bouncer is a really good investment as it is a nice soft and supporting seat and it works a treat for the first early spoonful’s of solid food too. There are many, many bouncers to choose from. Some move really easily, others hardly respond, some are mechanical and move the child rather than the other way around but the one thing they have in common is that they are all up to approximately 6 months old. Except a few and one stands out: the Quax Rocking Baby Bouncer.
Another vital but often overlooked item of initial importance is a good feeding cushion. Your shoulders will turn into hard rocks if you don’t have some support under your lower arms and this is important whether you are bottle feeding or breastfeeding. There are lots on the market in various shapes and sizes and it can definitely be hard to predict which one is going to be the best for you. In my mind the best one are quite pliable, like a small bean bag. That way you can generally get the support where you need it and you can reshape it for the bigger baby.
Final note: Trust your instincts and chances are, you’ll get it right. If not, put it down as experience and move forward from there.
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