If you were stranded on a desolate island with a newborn baby, what 5 things would you want? Granted, my first instinct would be 1) a nanny, 2) a boat, 3) a great mattress, 4) ear plugs, and 5) a sleeping pill. I’d send the nanny and the baby in the boat to find civilization, and then take the most wonderful amazing nap I’ve had in a LONG time.
But, this is reality. What kind of desolate island has a nanny?
So, here are a few items in my Newborn Survival Kit.
1) White Noise Machine. Apparently the womb is about as loud as a vacuum cleaner. Don’t ask me, I don’t remember. But it seems that baby’s like loud steady noise. My kids spent their early months in the master bath because of the fact there was a loud exhaust fan, but then I got a white noise machine and suddenly I found freedom. Now I can take white noise with me where ever I go. Grandma’s house? Check. Napping at the babysitters? Check.
2) Baby Carriers. My daughter liked to be held. A LOT. Twenty-three hours a day might be an understatement. But, of course, there were things that I needed to get done, and as skilled as I was at doing things one-handed, it really was difficult to be productive. Then I found slings, wraps, and carriers, and suddenly I could carry her snuggled up against me, and still have two hands to do things. And, even better, my husband couldn’t use the excuse, “I have to study!” to get out of toting her around. Aww! Who doesn’t want an adorable study buddy?
3) Nursing/Feeding Pillows. Because, honestly, I fell asleep a lot during those middle of the night feedings and this probably saved my kids from falling to the floor. (WARNING: I do not condone falling asleep while feeding an infant during the middle of the night. With my next kid I promise to try harder.)
4) Swaddling Blankets. I’ve heard a lot of moms tell me that their babies really dislike being swaddled, but I’ve yet to meet an infant in real life who didn’t like the security of being unable to move their arms. They can’t control them. I can’t imagine I’d enjoy being smacked in the face by my own hands. They may fight the swaddle at first, but trust me, they all give in!
5) Suckies, Loveys, and Mobiles. Basically anything that will give your baby a sign that it is sleep time. My daughter never took a pacifier. I thought it was great because we wouldn’t have to break her of the habit. Oh, boy! I wish she had. It would have really helped her sleep. She also never had a lovey. She never had anything to cuddle in the middle of the night. She also didn’t ever have any music or mobile to signal it was bed time. In my experience, babies need signs that it is time to go to bed (that’s why a bedtime routine is always stressed in infant sleep books.) Pop my son’s binkie in his mouth, hand him his blue stuffed elephant, and turn on the music mobile, and you can tell that he knows it is time to sleep. Of course it took some training, but now he has resigned himself to his fate.
So, there you have it. Those are my top 5 survival tools. What are yours?