There are definite items that we purchased or put on our registry that I can't live without for Natalie. Such as...
- The pack n play by Graco in the (now discontinued) Hamilton pattern.
We have the pack n play put together as seen above in the picture with the changing station, the diaper and wipes holder and the bassinet all installed. It is sitting right next to my side of the bed and at night, using the light from the nightlight, I am able to get her out of the bassinet, nurse her or change her, and put her right back without having to go to far or turn on any major lights that might wake her up. I also love that it has the hanging little mat right underneath the changing table and bassinet because that is where I store all my nursing supplies (creams, pads and etc.) as well as any toys or blankets that we're using at a particular time.
- Summer Infant Swaddling Blankets:
Obviously this is not my child in the picture because my baby is MUCH cuter than this. After being recommended the Happiest Baby on the Block book by my friend Beri which teaches the principles of swaddling, I chose to try this method of getting Natalie to sleep at night (and nap during the day). There are swaddling blankets out there that you can use to wrap a baby up in, but Natalie is a little Houdini and somehow manages to get her arms up and out of even the tightest of swaddles. She also seems to scream and cry a lot more when being swaddled in a blanket compared to being put in one of these Summer blankets. The Summer swaddles are easy to use because you just put the baby's feet in the bottom and then wrap and velcro one sleeve, then the other sleeve while making sure the baby's arms are tightly contained. I love them because they are easy to redo at night if I have to take her out of the swaddle to change her diaper.
- Stuffed Musical Giraffe:
We have a stuffed giraffe that plays the ABC song that is similar to, but not exactly like the giraffe above. It is a magical giraffe because it helps lull Natalie to sleep. In the middle of the night when I'm putting her back to sleep after eating or being changed, a few times winding up and letting the giraffe play its music will gently get her back to sleep...thus letting ME get back to sleep. I love this giraffe.
- Sleep and Play Full Bodysuits:
These little bodysuits are Natalie's "pajamas" and every night before bedtime we change her into an outfit like this (she has several) and we begin our bedtime routine. They are great because, again, in the middle of the night when I am changing diapers, all I have to do is unzip or unbutton her, do a quick change and then close it back up and it's back to sleep! Sadly, she is already outgrowing her newborn pajamas because her body is so long that she is getting to "tall" for them!
Up until yesterday the Boppy pillow had been used strictly for nursing purposes. I've had to supplement the Boppy with another pillow from our bed underneath just because my torso is so long that I need to boost Natalie up higher in order to save my back and not be aching while I'm nursing. Yesterday though, the Boppy found a new use! Natalie is big enough and has gained just enough muscle control that I can put a blanket over the Boppy and she can lay on it and just kind of...hang out and be happy! This made for a VERY happy momma yesterday morning when I was able to put her on the bathroom rug on her Boppy while I straightened my hair and put on make-up. Hurray!
Now this last item is a limited quantity item and is most certainly one of a kind. You'd be hard pressed to find anything like it in any other location other than my house. She has been such a blessing to me - she is up with me at night keeping me company and she is my little watchdog when Natalie is sleeping and I'm downstairs trying to sneak in some laundry or a snack...if her ears perk up and she takes off up the stairs, I know my little munchkin is awake. Angie likes to "give kisses" by licking people incessantly and her licking gets even worse when Natalie is fussing and I'm trying to calm her down. I think it's Angie's way of trying to calm ME down so that I can focus and take care of Natalie. Craig and I and our families joke about Angie taking care of HER baby Natalie, but I am so proud of how well she has adjusted and how fiercely she has accepted Natalie as part of her pack.
*I tried to upload a picture of her, but Blogger's picture uploader thingy wasn't working properly.*