A girlfriend of mine that does not yet have kids asked me today what were must have for me when my son was born.  Tricky question, I think there are many little things that helped that I will make good use of for my second baby.

  • calendula save, for a new mom and a new babe. In the hospital after the baby’s first bath they give you a tiny bit of olive oil (*needs to be cold pressed). Lube that baby’s bum up and them and keep them lubed until the meconium pooh is done (within a couple of days). Otherwise meconium is really hard to get off of them! This is great for the healing Mom too. I originally got it for me at recommendation from my midwife as I was uncomfortable ‘down there’, and it helped, but found it had multiple uses and I could have used it on my son right from the get go instead of olive oil.
  • 40% zinc cream for diaper rashes (you need to check the ingredients, very few have 40%). There are two brands that I have found that make it “‘lil goat”, but it has quite a scent to it. And “Extra Strength Zincofax”. If I had known how much little ones go to the bathroom when they are first born… every time they go it is pooh! I would have placed this on as a precaution before getting the diaper rash. My son got such a bad diaper rash it bleed. And once that happens, it’s hard to put anything on it to protect it… nothing wants to stick. Next time I will have a tub of this and apply after ever diaper change from day 2 or 3 on to prevent one! (after meconium is done with that is).
  • lots of washcloths and large receiving blankets (as big as 36×36 inches). It will amaze you how many you go through. We still use washcloths… and I need more!
  • bibs with snaps, OR ones with GENTAL Velcro (does not hurt to rub on your skin) on the SIDE, NOT the back of the neck. We had so many bibs that cut up the back of my son’s neck. My favourite ones were from Carter’s in the USA. I never found any in Canada that I liked. I would get them on our trips down to the San Francisco. I plan to stock up before next babe! As my son has made good use of the ones I had for him, and don’t think they can be passed down.
  • once our son was a little older, old enough to sit up in a high chair on his own, but not old enough to eat from a bowl. I loved using a little place mat thing (called tiny diner: http://www.jamtots.com/Kiddopotamus-TinyDiner-Portable-Placemats-C525.aspx), that has suction cups on the back to stick to the table, and a little catcher for food. A girlfriend bought it for William’s first birthday. We used it so much. And provided me with piece of mind, because I cleaned it and he didn’t need to eat off the dirty restaurant tables. I know they have it at ToysR’Us as well for only $10 but I cannot seem to find it on their website to link to it.
  • along with the above, we liked the little scoop bib. It allowed us to give him snacks, in the car… we would just put the snack in the bib and he would grab it when he wanted it. If we gave him a bowl, or snack trap, he would find one way or another of turning it upside down and it going everywhere. When it was attached to his neck, it was a lot harder to do, and even if he did, he still landed back in the bib catcher thing! The one I got us from Superstore and I love it. Very similar looking to this: http://www.babyproofingplus.com/item9390.htm
  • the DVD Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp. Most first time moms can have fuss pot babes and this teaches you soothing techniques you need to know to survive fussiness (what used to be called colic). It helped us A LOT! If you are really keen you can then get the book, but the DVD for busy new parents works well for starters.
  • along with the above we had a ocean sounds CD. We actually originally got it for my meditation, but found our son loved it as it was similar to the noisy sound of the uterus, like white noise.

Things I will consider getting for our second by didn’t have for our first….

  • a bassinet instead of a crib in our room. For our son we had him in our room and over time moved him to his crib. But even when he was in his crib there were countless nights when one of us would sleep with our hand over the side (and our arms would fall asleep), because in order to sleep he needed one of us touching him. I really would love to have a co-sleeper.
  • a bigger bed… like a kingsize. Many babies need to sleep with you the first few weeks, and a bigger bed makes it all that much easier. Also in pregnancy I took up way too much room in our bed with all my pillows and having to stretch a certain way. Led to “this is my side”… when that normally isn’t a problem. I love to cuddle with my hubby…. unless I am uncomfortable (aka pregnancy).

This is all I can think of for now. I will add things in as I think of them. And if you as a first mom are reading this, please let me know what you loved!