Parents-to-be, while you're pouring over the menu of "extras" you can order to customize your new baby (cuteness, sweetness, unscented poop, etc), I definitely recommend going for the "Super Sleeper" app. I know it's expensive, but it's sooo worth it! For the last two nights, Clementine has slept for six-hour stretches!! I've woken her for a final change and feed at midnight, and then she's slept until six! It's downright civilized of her. Okay, so maybe we didn't pay extra for this. Maybe we just got rillyrilly lucky, but man, is it awesome.
The wonderful photographer, Carrie O'Callaghan, who shot pictures of us a couple of weeks ago, has just posted some on her blog. Here's one:
Aw, so sweet! Honestly, I don't know how she got this one, because in my recollection, Clementine was really fussy by the end of the shoot, when we were trying to get pics of her by herself! This smiling moment might have been a millisecond in the midst of fuss, but Carrie captured it! Tomorrow we'll see the rest of the pictures and try not to spend $1000 ordering prints!
As per the second part of the title of this post, I thought I'd take a second to say what of all the tons of baby stuff one supposedly "needs" we find we have actually used a lot. I know when we were registering for the baby shower, and shopping on our own, we were a little overwhelmed. Of course, the Babies R Us registry would have you believe you can't live without 62 pieces of large plastic equipment of various sorts, but we didn't believe that to be true, and in fact, it is not true.
One thing we are managing quite nicely without? A stroller! Clementine is small. We "wear" her. We somehow acquired (second-hand and by gift), about every style of baby-carrier known to modern man: the sling, the Ergo, the Moby, the Snuggli, and yes, the Baby Bjorn. I have to admit that in the first few weeks we had a bit of yuppie snobbishness and kept trying those first three, because they somehow seemed *cooler* than the plain old Bjorn which I had purchased at Target. But then a friend came to mom group wearing her baby in a Bjorn and lo and behold, it's just way better for small floppy babies! So that's what we've been using, though I expect when she's a bit bigger we'll transition to the Ergo.
This is our only piece of plastic "gear." We have a small battery-powered travel swing made by Boppy, and it's fabulous. If we put her in it when she's asleep or drowsy, it will conk her out, and the rocking motion helps keep her sleepy longer. The other day we were having my parents over for dinner and I had to cook. I put Clementine in her swing in the kitchen and baked a cake (apple-upside-down) and made a salad (wild rice and salmon) and she slept for two hours.
We swaddle Clementine at bedtime and the nice warm cocoon keeps her from startling herself awake with little newborn arm spasms. You can do a blanket swaddle, of course, but we like the Kiddopotamus swaddlers: they're an easy wrap with a few pieces of velcro, they come in different weights of fabric for different seasons, and they don't constrict the hips and legs, so the baby's legs can still "frog" like they're supposed to for hip joint development. Clementine will outgrow hers soon, which will be sad.
Just a U-shaped pillow for nursing support. Very comfy. We also use it as a little nest, with a small pillow in the middle and a blanket across it, propped against the sofa back, we can set Clementine there to snooze in the evening if we're right there. Soon she'll be too active and squiggly for it, at which point it will be a good support for semi-sitting position.
Obviously diapers are an essential, along with a place to change them. Now that Clementine is big enough we're using G-diapers (which don't yet come in newborn size): they're cloth outers with flushable inserts: environmentally friendly! We're investigating all-cloth, though, because these will be pricey over the long-term. I heard about a new system called Bambino Mio. Anyone know it?
That's about it! As for clothes, onesies are of course the way to go. T-shirts and dresses on a newborn just ride up like mad. Right now we're in fleece foot-pajamas. Socks are a pain, so foot coverage = good.
Lest it seem like we try to keep Clementine in a state of constant slumber, we do not! She does wake up, and she is a gurgling, cooing delight for long stretches of time before eventually falling back to sleep.
Okay, that's all. Cheers! Have a lovely day!