Because, Expectant Moms, I Know Stuff

I asked Cian’s doctor this week when he’d give me the okay to start weaning him. “You can wean whenever you want,” he said.

Not a help, doc. Not a help.

I have about a month a half until Cian turns one (?!?!), which means, in the Leah Land of Breastfeeding and All Things Lactation, I have about two months left of nursing.  I’m ready, as much as I say I’m not ready. I mean, of course I’ll miss the quiet moments, and the mommy-and-me time before bed. But once this baby’s old enough to help himself, I’m outta there. Milk cart, empty. Lactation Station, shut down. No more being hot all the time, and chugging bottles of water (ha, ha! You didn’t think I was going to say “water,” did you? Fooled you!), and the constant hunger (all the time, and everything, just gimme the FOOD). Now it’s straight on through to…menopause.

Oh, nevermind. Maybe breastfeeding’s not so bad, after all.

I was thinking back, though, on all the stuff related to new babies, and being the mom of a wee one–and all the stuff I wish I’d known back when I’d first had SK. I don’ t mean the spiritual aspect, or the “oh, cherish your children” one, or anything like that. When I say stuff, I mean the stuff. You know. The things that make this first year so easy that you may not know about. So, new and soon-to-be moms, behold. I give you tips.

(Please keep in mind that most of these are breastfeeding-heavy, but, like a child raised by wolves, it’s all I know).

  • Bravado nursing tanks and nursing bras (namely, the Body Sillk Seamless one). My friend Molly recommended these to me when I first had Quinn, and dear GOLLY how did I live a happy life before them? The tanks: moms, you wear them at night. You wear them all day, under whatever shirt or sweater you have one. Yay, they’re comfortable. Yay, you’re able to nurse in public without flashing the world all of your muffin top. As for the bras, no, you’re not going to be modeling for Maxim anytime soon in them, but where you going to ever? I’ve three words for you: no plugged ducts. With these bras you will be spared from them, forever (well, at least better than before), and you will be happy. Please note: Bravado hasn’t asked nor paid me to endorse their boobie wear for you (why not, Bravado?!).  I just really, really think these are the one thing I could’nt have done without during this time. And yes, Molly is awesome.
  • Lansinoh lanolin. Don’t let the fact that lanolin is actually wax secreted from sheep’s glands (I kid you not. Oh, wait: I said “kid”. Wrong animal! Ha!) throw you off.  Because, if you’re breastfeeding, the following words will be a regular part of your vocabulary in the first couple weeks: Cracked. Bleeding. Scaling. Pain. And possibly Vodka. The lanolin helps all of that, even more than booze.
  • Nursing pads. You tuck these into your fabulous seamless nursing tank or bra so that when the baby cries and your boobs start throwing liquid everywhere like a water park spray ground, you will not pass out from shame.
  • Lotrimin AF. Yes, the jock itch and athlete’s foot cream. If you breastfeed, you may fall victim at some point to the scourge that is thrush (hint? If if feels like there is fire in your boobs whenever your baby nurses? That’s not normal. That’s thrush). Smear this stuff on your biddies two times a day, and the thrush disappears, which means you can resume nursing without biting bullets/rocking back and forth in agony/crying so hard you can’t breathe.
  • A baby wipe warmer. I don’t care what you best friend tells you, these are awesome. Especially if your newborn is born in January and tends to pee whenever he’s cold. Get the danged warmer. You’d want one if you were a baby.
  • When the nice maternity ward nurse tells you to take the pads home with you from the hospital, take the pads home with you from the hospital. No need for details, here. Just take them.
  • Do not buy or register for adorable burp cloths. Just get the old-fashioned cloth diapers, because nothing works as well as they do. They were made to hold human poo, after all. They can handle your child’s projectile vomit.
  • Just get used to the idea that you’re going to be wearing your maternity pants and UGGs home from the hospital.  All of you will be swollen. That’s just a fact. There’s a reason Kim Kardashian went into hiding for weeks after North West was born. There’s no use in even trying to be your normal, cute self in those first few days (weeks? months?).  Just try to take a nap when you can and call that victory enough.
  • Quilted mattress and changing table pads: They’re these thin little pads, and I loved them. I put them over the mattress cover (under a crib sheet), and one over the changing table cover when the babies were small–for some reason, if they had an accident or a blown-out diaper, it was so much easier to whip off that cover than it was some days to replace the whole shebang, if that makes sense. I dunno. Maybe I just really hate washing mattress covers, but especially in the beginning, when you’re constantly washing poopy sheets, its so much easier with that little extra buffer in place.
  • And lastly, and I know I’ve said this before, but: don’t cut your hair. DON’T DO IT, while you’re pregnant or after you have the baby. Just don’t do it. Your hair will fall out in such large clumps afterward you’ll think you contracted some hideous disease along with that strangely misshapen belly, but don’t do it. A ponytail is your friend. Not having to wash your hair every day is your best friend. Just. don’t. do it.

So now that I totally sound like that annoying old college roommate you ran into at Target who thinks she knows everything and insists on acting like you’re still the neurotic, clueless freshman she knew way-back-when, I’m finished. Hope that helps a little.

Anybody else out there want to add to this list? What products or “stuff” would you insist a new mom not make it through that first year without?

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