My newborn essentials

I did a TON of research on baby stuff before setting up my registry and buying things myself. I wanted to get items that would last through more than one kid and would make our lives easier. These are the things I have absolutely loved for the first 4 weeks of Stanfords life! Most of them are not necessary but really have made life easier. There is a lot of stuff on here, and I definitely didn't have to buy most of it thanks to super generous friends and family at my baby showers! Make sure to register for all the things you really want and don't feel bad taking back the million newborn clothes you get at showers to exchange for things you really need or want. 

Big ticket items: 
Carseat- I got the Nuna Pipa carseat, I absolutely love its light weight, classic colors/design, comfort, extra safety features. As a bonus it has a crash tested drape that you can pull down from the canopy so you dont have to throw a blanket or cover over the seat ever. I was able to find it 40% off so the sticker shock wasn't quite as painful. If I wasn't going back to work and didn't need the ability to use the seat without the base, I would have gotten this version cuz its only 5 pounds! 

Stroller- We got the Baby Jogger city mini GT. The biggest selling points for me for this stroller was how light weight it is and the one handed fold. Plus they came out with a nicer version (anniversary edition) of the fabric right as I was researching which totally sold me. I got bunch of accessories for it as well. The parent console, carseat adapters and bassinet attachment. I got the stroller for 15% off but have seen city select sales since then for as much as 30% off. 

Bassinet- I got the Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Premier. I knew I wanted to room share for the first 3-6 months and having him up close to the bed was important to me. I couldn't find a way to get it new for a discount so I ended up buying one on KSL that the previous owners hadn't actually ended up using. They threw in a halo sleepsack swaddle and the infant insert for free. So far Ford doesn't love sleeping on his back (like most babies) but the bassinet itself has been great! I don't think you need the premier cuz the light and vibrate are the only things that are remotely useful (and just barely).

I kept all the receipts for breastfeeding stuff in case it didn't work out for us, luckily we figured it out after a couple weeks of struggle. 
Pump- You should be able to get one for free from your insurance so look into that, most will let you get it 30-60 days before your due date. Id recommend the Willow (completely hands free) or Spectra (cheaper and more likely covered by insurance). If neither is covered the Medella has good reviews too Ive just heard people like the other 2 better. I have the spectra and love it! Even if you arent going back to work having a pump is really nice if things arent going perfectly with breastfeeding and you need to supplement. It can also help you boost your supply. 
Hand pump- If you dont need a serious pump cuz you don't need to or plan on doing any bottle feeding OR if you just want something that can travel easily with you when on the road or when you are gonna be away for more than one feeding/ your baby starts sleeping through the night and just want to relief a hand pump is super helpful! I got this super cheap lansinoh one and it works AMAZING! 
A hands free pumping bra- is a must if you are going to pump- holding up the flanges during a pumping session is surprisingly hard and you cant do something else while pumping. I got the Lansinoh hands free pumping bra and have no complaints. 
Lanolin - apply after every feeding or pumping session to prevent sore/dry/cracking nipples 
Kiinde Twist direct to pouch system- this is super awesome if you are going back to work, you pump right into a storage bag instead of pumping into a bottle and having to transfer into a storage bag. It gets rid of a step and lowers the amount of parts you need to wash. 
Ice packs for after pumping/feeding. I got some breast ice packs from Lansinoh but you can get them from anywhere. Helps with soreness from engorgement. 
Breast pads- My favorites have been the Lilypadz which not only protect your clothes but actually help discourage leaking to begin with. because the completely stay in place you dont have the rubbing of fabric against your nipples all the time which causes discomfort. I also use the reusable bamboobies.
Kiinde Bottle warmer- Slower than some of the other bottle warmers out there but is perfect for refrigerated or frozen breast milk in a bottle or a storage bag! 
Silicone breast pump- milk catcherThis is a nice gadget. I cant believe how much milk it catches on the other side when Im breastfeeding. It helps you not get engorged on the one side if they don't eat from both sides at each feeding and if you don't want to pump it'll allow you to still have some stored milk if its ever needed! Since my first couple weeks Ive liked using my hand pump more when needed! 

Baby items:
An easy swaddle- we use halo Velcro swaddle but everyone has their preference- we just did halo cuz we got one for free and they are cheap so we got 2 extras for when he spits up or blows out of them in the night 
Mam pacifiers- my favorite/ they even have glow in the dark ones to make them easier to find at night! 
Baby bum brush- (seems unnecessary but seriously so nice not having to try to scrub bum cream off your hands every time you use it since the cream literally repels water) 
Some type of white noise machine + a portable one too- babies sleep SO MUCH BETTER when a white noise machine is used during night sleep and all naps. We use the ocean sound, cuz the actual white noise gives me a headache. 
Diapers with a wetness indicator- pampers or Huggies both have it. Make sure to put diapers on your registry! 
Target cloud island sleepers- zip bottom to top making night changes so much easier. Ford has lived in sleepers since he came home from the hospital and probably will till he goes up to 0-3 months clothing or longer. 
Ubbi diaper pail- can’t smell it at all because its steel instead of plastic so it doesn’t soak up the smell. 
Wipeable changing Mat- getting a cloth one is a waste of everyone’s time. Use travel ones or get a silicone one (skip hop) 
Owlet- I LOVE this thing, we were able to pay for it with our HSA which made it not feel painful to pay for but its definitely brought me peace of mind. 
Puj tub- perfect for newborn baths if it fits in your sink (no having to bend over a tub), also heard good things about the angelcare
Boppy lounger- having multiple things to lay your baby on safely is nice for different rooms
Something that rocks/vibrates or swings. A lot of people love the rock n play, but it isn’t something you want to put your baby in all the time because of the potential for misshapen head (honestly anything in this area has that potential, its the same with leaving your kid in a car seat or swing) I have the rock and play and he loves it. If you are interested in a swing, Id borrow one from a friend to see if your kid likes it before buying one, they seem to be hit or miss. 
Wrap or carrier- I got my moby wrap for free and he really likes it, I havent used it a ton since he sleeps so well and often during the day, but when he's been especially fussy putting him in there calms him down and allows him to sleep on me while still allowing me to do other things! We also got a super discounted Ergo baby which I plan on using but we havent yet! 
Muslin Swaddle blankets- so great for summer keeping them warm but still breathable, laying baby down on the ground, a nursing cover, and for spit up, etc. I got a million of these at baby showers so definitely didn't need to buy any on my own. 

Again these aren't necessary but definitely taught me things I did not know and helped me be more confident! I thought they were more than worth what I paid! 

Hosptial birthing/infant class for you and your partner. 
Lactation link- all day Saturday class- I bought the vip ticket which came with all the online classes + a moby wrap which I love (next in person class is in September) I also did an in home consult with one of their specialists after we came home from the hospital and it was so helpful! 
Taking cara babies newborn sleep online class- BELIEVER, after only 2 days of implementing her tips he was doing a 4-5 hour stretch each night and sleeping amazingly throughout the rest of the day. She teaches you as they get older to get up to 10-12 hour stretches by 10ish weeks old. 

Places to find deals: 
Baby stuff goes on sale ALL THE TIME. There is no point to ever pay full price for something especially when you can get coupons and registry completion discounts. 
Blinq- open box items for 20-80% off. I wouldn’t buy from here unless its over 25% off since you can use a buybuybaby 20% coupon on pretty much anything new. Got my ergo baby carrier on here for 80% off and my high chair for 40% off 
Facebook pages/ craigslist/ KSL- Got my bassinet on KSL for 30% off and it had never been used + they threw in $60 worth of extras they had purchased for the bassinet. 
Buybuybaby- 20% off coupons
Any registry you set up will also have a 10-15% off completion discount. 

Free stuff:
Make an amazon registry list- they’ll send you a box of free stuff when you finish the steps- comes with bottles, diaper and lotion samples, and sometimes a swaddle or bandana. 
Target- make a registry and get your free sample kit in store
My favorite things from here were the changing pads and little pampers bags they came with which we use as “emergency kits” for both of our cars. 

Newborn photos

We had some newborn photos taken the day before Ford turned 2 weeks old. Im kind of obsessed with them.

Stanford is the sweetest baby right now, he does everything you'd expect, mostly eat/sleep/poop. He absolutely loves the bath and has the cutest grunts and noises. He is a HUNGRY kid. We have been doing a mix of bottle and breastfeeding and he always CHUGS it.

We've been surprised at how fast the day with a newborn goes. There are only a couple things a newborn needs but those needs take up a lot of time! Im so glad travis got two weeks off for paternity leave, it helped us get in a groove and figure this new little guy out! I do wish it had been longer though!

Sleep was a little rough the first two and a half weeks but I decided to take an online newborn sleep class and since then we've got at least one 4-5 hour stretch at night every night and he takes 2-3 hour naps after he eats almost every time so feeling like a winner over here right now!

Im amazed at how much I love him already!

Stanford James Sievers

We had joked all pregnancy that Stanford was going to come on the 29th because that was a day before I qualified for 100% 12 week maternity benefits and fmla. 

My water broke while I was asleep just after 1 am on the 29th. The huge gush of water was totally unexpected since I had been told less than 10% of women’s water break before they go into the hospital and even less than that have it rupture all at once like mine did. I woke up and calmly said to Travis, “hey babe, I think my water broke” Travis sprang in to action getting together everything we needed for the hospital as I aimlessly wandered around not really being able to focus. After about 30 mins we were in the car on the way to the hospital.

I felt my first twinge of a contraction and thought, "okay that wasn’t that bad." We went to the wrong entrance at first and the security person was less than helpful. Cue walking back to the car. We drove around and found the right entrance and Travis dropped me off to look for a parking spot. I ran to the bathroom because I was leaking everywhere. I dried off a bit and walked out and he was frantically looking around and looked so relieved when he saw me. We took the elevator up to labor and delivery and they brought me back to a room to be checked. 

I was starting to have more regular and painful contractions at this point. The nurse checked me and I was at a 4! They thought my fluid looked a little strange so they had to send a sample to the lab to be tested to be sure my water had broken. It took another half hour to confirm that it had indeed and we were checked in. 

I was having contractions about 2 min apart and was struggling to get through them. The nurse kept telling me, "I’m going to need you to keep it together sis!" while they took blood, hooked me up to an iv, etc. once these items were taken care of she paged the anesthesiologist who informed her he would be up in a bit. Her answer was no, she’s dying come now. I was crying and writhing at this point every time a contraction hit. 

When the doctor came up finally I was sooo ready for the epidural (another 30 ish mins). I’ve always been terrified of needles but I have never been more calm and collected. Handled the two contractions he was working around like a champ since I knew I would have some relief soon! 

Once the epidural kicked in I was totally fine! The next 6 ish hours we just talked and tried to rest while I was periodically checked. At the beginning the nurse was a little concerned that Stanford’s heart rate was dropping after each contraction had finished. But after a while he was able to stabilize and all was well. 

I finally stalled at a 9, and we used some pillows over and hour and half to open up my hips and help me go the rest of the way! The nurse called my doctor and she was on her way when I started practicing pushing. I was so lucky to be able to have my actual doctor deliver him! 

After 1.5 hours of pushing the doctor suggested using a vacuum to get him out. Unknowing to me she tried it and it didn’t work at all, so while I thought the vacuum was helping get him out I really pushed him that final distance. The relief I felt on that final push and holding him in my arms is like nothing I’ve ever felt. Holy makeral had I been ready to be done. I just looked between him and Travis is complete disbelief that it was over, this was my baby and we were parents! My doctor stitched me up without me even noticing. I just held my baby!

It took a long time to stitch me up, I tore in 4 places. We stayed in labor and delivery for a couple hours learning to breastfeed and waiting for our room to be ready. My family had been waiting for about 6 hours in the waiting room and some of them had had to leave before they could come see us. It was so fun to have them all in our room after and see how much they immediately loved him! 

Also, in a turn of events I got fmla and 11 weeks at 100% so I only missed out on one week of 100% paid maternity leave!

We love Ford so much!