Monday, June 26, 2006

Cheap Conveniences for New Moms

It's been over four years since I had a baby in the house, and there are many small conveniences I wish I'd remembered. Below are some ideas which cost little or nothing, but might make the first weeks with baby a little more pleasant:

  • A watch with Indiglo or a large, readable clock in every room of the house. Moms doing the all-night baby walk will appreciate seeing the the early morning hours pass without having to fumble for eyeglasses or walk back to the bedside alarm clock. Note to self: pick up a few more alarm clocks at yard sales.
  • Phones anywhere you might plant yourself with the baby--as long as the phone next to the bed has the ringer turned OFF>
  • A newly made bed. You will feel like a queen when you slip between clean sheets at night (even if you don't get to stay there long). To me, this is well worth the cost of an extra load of laundry per day! Keep a blanket or quilt folded at the foot of the bed for daytime napping.
  • A basket of nightgowns within reach of the bed. This makes it easy to change into something fresh in the middle of the night. Likewise with undergarments and pads.
  • An extra squirt bottle and an 18-count pack of washcloths ($3.88 at Walmart) for the changing area. Diaper wipes are irritating to most newborns, but traipsing to the bathroom sink to wet a washcloth each change is slow. A filled squirt bottle at room temperature works great for wetting washcloths and bottoms. If you don't want to buy washcloths, cut squares from older towels or flannel sheets with pinking shears.
  • A big travel cup with lid and straw. You can sip all day without spilling ice cold water on a sleeping baby. Can you tell I learned this one the hard way?
  • One-handed pleasures. Chiefly, paperback books and snacks which can be eaten in the middle of the night while the other arm holds the baby (muffins, popsicles, cheese cut into sticks).

If you have a favorite new-mom convenience, please share in the comments below!

16 comments:

SaraJo said...

We have a two-story house so I kept diaper-changing supplies on each level. We had a diaper drawer in the downstairs bathroom. I made five batches of cookies (two days before I went into labor--can you say 'nesting') and froze them. That way we had homemade cookies--my favorite--for weeks.

stephanie said...

I'll echo the watch suggestion! I bought a cheap digital at Target that glowed and I could read without my glasses at night. And I'm so glad you posted the suggestion about the spray bottle. I've been trying to use cloth wipes with my baby and WAS trudging to the sink to wet it ... the spray bottle will work so much better! Actually, I think I'll ditto about everything you said! :)

Jordana said...

All of our kids have been spitters, so we kept baskets of rolled up cloth diapers all over the house to mop up wet burps and to throw over shoulders. Having clean burp clothes and not having to go around smelling like spit up was alway nice.

Sallie said...

I have no advice to share tonight. I just wanted to say...

MAY I PLEASE HOLD YOUR BABY?!?!?!?!?

She is such a little doll!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that your baby is beautiful! I just learned I will be a grandma again in December!!

Alison said...

Beautiful photo of your beautiful baby.

Another one-handed food I enjoyed was pizza, homemade would have been nice but I went for Trader Joe's frozen, with veggie and meat toppings and whole wheat crust when available it is a reasonably balanced meal.

Will have to remember muffins for next time, with my son (only one so far) I subsisted on Trader Joe's cereal bars until I was sick of them.

melanie said...

My tip is more for the diaper bag than around the house, but always very useful. My kids were constantly dropping their paci or toy on the floor, especially during church, so I finally went to walmart and bought one of those mini spray bottles($.50) and filled it with water and a couple drops of listerine for disinfectant purposes. Now instead of disrupting the people around me 4 times in one service, I simply pull out the spray bottle and spritz it off. I did finally decide that it was just as helpful to have one in each room at home too with our last one. Lots of stuff gets dropped with 3 toddlers and an infant, it just isn't worth going to the sink every.single.time!

Anonymous said...

Meredith-
This is a wonderful post! Lots of good ideas. I have a baby coming in a few months, and your suggestions are very good, and got me thinking about how to streamline things to make those first few weeks easier. Your little Elise is just a beautiful doll!! Looks like every trace of juandice is gone, and she looks healthy and alert. I love all these suggestions!
Sue in Illinois

Queen of Carrots said...

The hospital I had the ducklings at gave away a nice lidded travel mug to each new mom (along with a lot of junk food we never did eat up). So now I have one to wash and one to use, even if future hospitals are not so generous.

They also gave away a 6-40lb car seat for every newborn. Quite amazing.

Wow, she's cute! They grow out of that stage way too fast!

Anonymous said...

I also wanted to tell you how beautiful your daughter is! Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

I make a "nursing basket" for my displaced toddler, keeping it on a high shelf and bringing it down only when nursing the baby. I stock it with a few new books, small toys, and healthy snacks, and refresh it as needed. We're expecting #6 in August, and I'm on the lookout for special little things to add to the basket.

Lindsey said...

LOVE the squirt bottle idea. I have no baby anymore so I can't use it but boy I wish I had thought of it back when...

As for the clocks, I didn't want to see a clock because I liked to pretend it wasn't 3 am and I was awake...again.... LOL

Kristen said...

Great snack is make a double batch of banana bread and bake it in a bunt cake pan. A big hunk of that with a glass of milk when I am or done nursing was my favorite snack. I had to eat a little each time I nursed to keep a good milk supply...a tip from a consultant. Good luck. Kristen

Mindy said...

Those are some really genious ideas!!!

Amy said...

Wonderful ideas! A couple of things I did before our Emily was born was to freeze tons of meals for us to eat after the baby came. We had lots of meals from friends, but it was nice to have these as back-up if the meal didn't work out or when the giving ended. I also stocked up on convenience items for dad- things I would not normally buy. These were things he could make himself since I didn't have as much time to cook. I also compiled all of my slow cooker recipes and stocked all of the ingredients so that I could use my slow cooker (which saved me a lot of time and thought).

I also noted what they supplied in the hospital snack room and bought those for my basket of goodies. I kept these on top of the fridge and kept that full with things that I could eat (one handed) while nursing. I just refill the basket and keep it up there!

BTW- your little one is BEAUTIFUL! So sweet!

Amy said...

Oh, one other thing I forgot to mention- buy stamps and thank you cards before the baby comes. You don't want to go to the post office when you are tired! Trust me!