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The Best Products for surviving the 4th trimester
Having a baby is a wonderful life moment. Those first few months are meant to be very special. They can also be overwhelming, exhausting, lonely and just down right difficult.
Even when we brought home our 2nd child in the end of September 2017, we thought we knew what we were doing. But no child is the same and life as a family of 4 threw us into survival mode. Especially during the fall when it’s harvest time on the farm and I was left alone most days with a 2 year old and a new baby who just wanted to be held all the time, or scream.
What is the 4th trimester?
Human babies are born pre-mature. That’s why the first three months are called the 4th trimester, because babies are still trying to adjust to the outside world.
Society makes us believe that we should walk out of the hospital in our pre-pregnancy clothes, and spend those first few months enjoying our new role. It’s not always the case.
Why does this misconception of what motherhood is really like happen?
You can thank social media and celebrities for that
Real Mom’s don’t have a team of hair and makeup pros at their disposal. I think most of us could agree that we’d just settle for someone to hold our babies while we take a shower every few days.
That’s exactly why I’ve put together this list of items I wish I would have had/known before my first baby was born. As I write this I’m waiting on Baby #3 to arrive in the next few weeks. You can bet that I’m going to be referring to this list myself before he or she arrives.
Best Products to Overcome the 4th trimester
1. A Pack and Play
Your baby is not only going to need a place to sleep, but you’ll need a place to set them down for 5 minutes so you can go to the bathroom, tend to your other children, or make yourself something to eat. It’s also handy to use a changing area for dirty diapers. I kept the Pack and Play in the kitchen which was so handy.
There are so many different types of Pack and Play’s, no doubt you’ll find something to fit your price range and style.
2. Your Maternity Clothes
Don’t put these items away just yet. Plus, get some nursing tank tops. I lived in maternity pants, tank tops, and sweatshirts for many months.
3. A very large water bottle
If you’re going to breastfeed you’re going to be thirsty. My favorite water bottle is by far from Stanley.
4. A bouncy chair that vibrates and/or a swing
If you get a swing, make sure you get one that plugs in, not one that runs on batteries. This is the one I have from Fisher-Price and it’s amazing.
As for baby chairs, there’s lots of options out there. The one I really like is also from Fisher Price.
7. A comfortable chair to feed, rock and yes, fall asleep in.
For me, I wanted a rocker that reclined because I spent a LOT of time sleeping on that thing. We opted for a leather power rocker recliner from Ashley Furniture that we purchased before our first child was born. I wore that thing out. Literally, the motor broke and now it just rocks. But it was so worth it. Babies just want to be held like they were in the womb and YOU need to rest. Seriously your only 2 jobs should be keeping the baby alive and taking care of yourself.
8. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon TV, Apple TV – SOMETHING to keep you and possibly your older children entertained while you are nursing that baby, or perhaps, sleeping on the couch.
Don’t judge. Yeah. We watched a lot of TV during those first few months because, cluster feeding. I allowed myself grace to say, it’s ok, my toddler won’t die from watching a little extra TV, it won’t be like this forever, we just need to survive. And we did. And today, a year later, we only watch maybe 30 min. of TV after we come in from being outside while I’m cooking dinner, if it’s Saturday morning or if it’s a family movie.
9. A good baby wearing device.
I did not have one with my first baby and with number 2, I was SO happy I did. I wore that kid everywhere I could as long as humanly possible. Church, outside, inside the house, at the store – you get my drift. I absolutely LOVED my K’Tan Active because I grow big babies who are human furnaces. There’s many different types of baby wraps out there, but I’m just saying, the K’Tan is light, you can pack it in a diaper bag, it adjusts to your body, it’s comfortable and it’s just amazing.
9. Paper plates and plastic silverware
You do NOT want to be doing dishes at any point. It’s so helpful to not have to do dishes for a little while.
10. Freezer meals
This is my #1 MUST HAVE for ANY mom and ideally these are meals that can be dumped in a crock pot, slow cooker, instant pot, whatever pot you call it. I used the freezer meals from The Family Freezer – you can get them here. They come with a shopping list and are easy to put together. I spent a few hours every afternoon during the last month of pregnancy making a few meals at a time. I doubled every recipe so I ended up with 2 months of meals plus leftovers!
A few other items
If you can afford it a cleaning service. If I could – I would. Or if you can gift it to a new mom. Do that. Please. Do that.
These items, along with ya know the obvious diapers, wipes, clothes (although you’ll probably be gifted a lot of those too), car seat, and a really good baby bathtub – your first three months home with the baby should be a breeze. Except for that whole, not sleeping thing.
One last thing about the 4th trimester
Oh and one last thing. You’re going to be ok Momma. This too shall pass. Ask for help when you need it. And remember it’s ok to tell people NO when they ask to come to visit.