I never made it to my third trimester, but I did have to wear maternity clothes. Of more assistance to me after I delivered, ironically, were pants with a belly band because any kind of pressure on my c-section incision area was intolerable. Eventually, those pants became too large for me to wear effectively any more, so I had to find a different soft waisted option. I opted for leggings. My midwife advised that I wear a belly support band, but those were rigid and uncomfortable. To find a middle ground, I got Spanx Leggings. They are just the right amount of support while not being obvious under your clothing. You can buy them at Target (Spanx Assets Leggings ).
Since I was doing skin to skin (kangaroo care) with our daughter every day, I wore my nursing tank tops. On the days that Daddy did kangaroo care, I would wear my nursing bras from Hot Milk. My nursing tank tops I got from Jessica Simpson’s section at Motherhood Maternity (Jessica Simpson Nursing Tank) . They are great because they have built in absorption in the boob area incase you leak through your nursing pads. They also accentuate your reappearing waist line with the elastic sinching on the sides. They have lasted 7 months of heavy use, so I’d say they are worth the investment if breastfeeding/pumping is something that you are going to want to do. The bras at Hot Milk are much more normal looking. They have really pretty selections, and once you have kinda normalized in your boob size after delivery, I recommend getting one for date nights. (PRO TIP. Do NOT try any frisky business without wearing a bra if you’re lactating… #justsayin).
Once we brought our little peanut home from the NICU, there were two monitors we decided to use. Both have made it where we can sleep at night without having panic attacks randomly in the night, “OMG IS SHE BREATHING? NO SERIOUSLY – IS SHE BREATHING?!?!” We invested in the Owlet. It’s essentially a pulse ox that is in a little baby bootie the baby wears when you are all going asleep. Its a great monitor. It works really well, as long as you pay attention to the how to set it up and sizing information in the box. If you don’t… enjoy those yellow, blue, and false alarms. After having her home for about 3 months, we finally
evicted moved her to her own room. (BEST DECISION EVER!!!) We did this after our Nanit arrived. The Nanit is a great video monitor that also provides insight onto how your baby is doing with sleep training. Please for the love of your sanity and future sleep, SLEEP TRAIN YOUR BABY BEFORE THEY CAN GET OUT OF THEIR CRIB. If you don’t… Let me know. I’ll buy you a coffee and listen to your woes. Both of these devices work in tandem with your IOS device, which means you don’t have to have 5 devices on a utility belt just to monitor your child’s sleep.
So let’s just say that my sister calls the first months of being a parent the trenches for a reason. There are some days where you feel like all you do is eat, pump, wash pump parts, wash bottles and bottle parts, 30 minute nap, rinse wash and repeat as necessary. Occasionally, these plastic parts that go with the bottles and pumps need sanitized. Get a SANITIZER. There are different types out there. We got the Tommee Tippee Sanitizer.
Its great because it fits a ton of different types of items that need sanitized (Sophie the Giraffe, pump parts, bottles, pacifiers, etc.) in there, and it has well written instructions on descaling and use. Let’s just say, out of all of the baby gear items we received from our beloved friends and family, we have used THIS the most. I would add this to your must have list, unless you’re into boiling pots of water to stick your stuff in. (I’m not, by the way).
You will also want somewhere to place your baby that is not their crib or your arms. I know that it might seem like you’re all, “Awww… I want to hold you every minute of every day because you’re the cutest little bundle of joy ever!” But then your husband (or partner) goes back to work, and you’re like, “CRAP! I need to shower! I need to pump! I need to eat! I need to make a bottle!” You’re gonna need a place to stick that cute little bundle of joy. My AMAZING sister got us a Momaroo from 4Moms. I’m not saying that you have to dump the pile of cash on this amazing swing, but for your arms and sanity, if you can’t get one of them, get SOME kind of a swing. Fisher Price has these Rock N’ Play swings that you can get for like $30 that are great for babies with reflux, and they vibrate. Babies like the buzz… especially if they are gassy or colicky. The Momaroo is fantastic because you can change the angle of incline on the seat, you can change the speed at which it moves, and you can change the pattern of movement to varying patterns that are meant to mimic the way parents try to soothe their children. Our daughter LOVES her Momaroo, especially the mobile that comes with it.
Babies are really into contrast in their early months, and as they figure out that color is also amazing, you can change the balls to the other side gradually, keeping their attention on the amazing mobile of wonderfulness.
These are the items that really made our transition home from the NICU ‘easier’ than it would have been without them and my healing from major abdominal surgery better.