Friday, March 29, 2013

A Day In the Life With a Six Week Old

Today I thought I would show what a day in the life with a six week old baby is like.  At least what it's like with MY six week old.  This is not how every day is, because Greg was home today, and sometimes he's not, but it's not too far off from how a lot of our days are.  This was yesterday.

2:15am- Allie cries and wakes us up.  Time for her first night feed.  I'm impressed because she made it from about 10pm til then, which is a big stretch for her.  I feed her and change her and get her back to sleep, which ends up taking almost an hour, because I have to get her out of the bassinet and settle her down again after trying unsuccessfully the first time.  Changing her usually makes her more awake and harder to get back to sleep, but we knew she had pooped (we heard it), so it was necessary.  I swaddled her arms in the second time she fussed and that seemed to help her get back to sleep.

5am (ish)-  Allie wakes up again.  I feed her and she falls back asleep pretty easily this time.  Score.

8am-  Allie is awake.  I turn off her white noise, gather her up, and head to the nursery to feed and change her.  My husband and dog continue to sleep for a while.  Greg couldn't sleep for a lot of the night, so I know he's still pretty tired.

After feeding and changing Allie we head downstairs and I put her in her boppy lounger.  She watches me while I make a batch of juice with our juicer (I've been into it lately, this is like the third time I've used it this week).  I used carrots, apples, pineapple, papaya, grapes, orange, lemon and strawberries.  I have to stop and put her pacifier back in Allie's mouth about 30 times.  I also pop a piece of banana bread in the toaster oven to heat it and smear some peanut butter on it for a quick breakfast.

8:40am-  Allie is fussy and not liking being in the boppy or being held in various positions.  We head to her play mat so I can see if she needs stimulation.  It works for about 10 minutes before she gets tired of it and cries.

9am (ish) Since I know she's been changed, doesn't want to be held, and doesn't want stimulation, I guess that she is probably still hungry so I try feeding her again on my other boob.  Success- this was why she was fussy.

After eating she drifts off in my arms, and I transfer her to the boppy again so I can get some coffee and type some of this post while chatting with my husband, petting Clyde, and watching the Today Show (multitasking!).

10am- Allie wakes up and we hear her poop.  Her poops are usually a loud squishy sound, unmistakable.  Sorry, TMI?  I change her and we decide now would be a good time to give her a bath.  We usually do baths about every other day, and I usually do them in the morning so I can put her in a clean outfit after.

10:25ish-  Bathed and changed into her outfit (Hello Kitty pants and a matching shirt), I put her in her crib for a bit while I put some of her laundry away.

10:45am-  I feed Allie again.  She seemed fussy again and I guessed that she probably hadn't eaten enough at 10 and wanted more.  Yup.

10:55am- I microwave my coffee, which I haven't really had time to drink, hold Allie, and Greg and I discuss plans for the day- lunch and a walk.

11:30am- I finally take a shower (late!), while Greg holds Allie.  We take turns holding her, putting her in the Rock N Play, and getting ready.  We also discuss logistics and plans for a trip to Hilton Head in a few weeks, which stresses me out, since I now am planning trips with a baby and have no idea how she'll do in the car for 3+ hours or how she will sleep...  The discussion gets us kind of sidetracked so we take a while to get ready.

12:50pm-  I feed Allie again right before we are ready to go so she'll be good for a while.

1:12pm- We finally leave the house and head to our destination- Rock Hill, SC.  We haven't been there in a while and want to check out the restaurant options in the downtown area.  Luckily there are a few new ones that look promising.

1:30pm- We find a pizza place called Millstone Pizza and Taphouse that looks cool and decide to eat there. We split a salad with tomato basil vinaigrette and a mushroom pizza.  Both are delicious.  We like this place! Allie sleeps through lunch as usual, confirming to me that lunch out is an easy option with her at this age.

2:20ish- We then head to Glen Cairn Gardens for a walk around the park.  It's a beautiful day and the park is scenic so we enjoy our little walk.


The park isn't that big and we still want to walk more, so we also hit Cherry Park to do a loop there after.  Allie sleeps through both walks.

4pm (ish)- We leave the park and decide we need ice cream, so we stop for hot fudge sundaes at Steak and Shake drive thru on our way home.  Clyde wanted a Frisco melt, but we told him no (he got some whipped cream from our sundaes).

4:20pm- I quickly do dishes while Allie sleeps for a little while longer in her car seat.  She has basically been asleep since we left for lunch around 1pm so this was her long nap for the day.

4:30pm- I feed Allie.  While feeding her I hear the definite sound of her filling her diaper.  After her feeding I find that she's had a little blow out and it's time for an outfit change.  I opt for a zipper sleeper so we don't have to change her outfit for bed again tonight, since we're staying in the rest of the night.

5:15pm- I head downstairs and put Allie on the play mat for some play time.  I also play fetch with Clyde while talking to Allie and helping her bat her toys.  Greg works on our taxes.

5:30-6pm- Greg and I discuss the plans for our trip to Hilton Head more and we decide on a course of action.  I call my mom to discuss it with her.

6:10pm-  Allie gets fussy on the play mat so I hold her for a while, and then we move to the couch so I can put her in her boppy and work on this post.

7pm- I feed and change Allie again.  Allie pees on her changing pad while I have her diaper off.  Good times!

7:20- I start working on dinner- scalloped potatoes with broccoli, one of my husband's favorites.  Allie hangs out in the boppy and watches.

7:30- Greg gives Allie her daily dropper of Vitamin D, which she gets because I exclusively breastfeed and she lacks this from my milk (for those of you who don't know).

7:40-  Allie falls asleep.

7:50-  Allie is awake so I play with her for a bit while waiting for dinner to come out of the oven.

8pm-  Dinner is ready.  This is later than we normally eat, but we were kind of thrown off by late lunch and ice cream.

8:20- Change Allie's diaper.  We heard the explosion while eating, so knew it was time.

8:25- Feed Allie and put my pajamas on.

8:35- Attempt to watch an episode of Burn Notice on Netflix.  Allie falls asleep on me.

9ish- We head upstairs.  Allie sleeps in the bassinet.  Greg and I play with our IPads.

10pm- I see on Facebook that a guy I grew up with is going to be on Chef Wanted on the Food Network, and decide to watch.  Usually I go to bed at 10pm, but I am curious to see him.  (He is eliminated in the first round).

11ish- Allie fusses, so I feed her, change her, and put her back to bed.

Like I said, this isn't every day, and we were late doing most things on this day (lunch, dinner, bed), but it's not too far off from where we are at this point.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Six Weeks

I honestly don't know how some of you guys with babies find time to blog every day.  It's not that I feel that busy, but I really don't have a lot of time when Allie doesn't need me in some way, when I feel like I can blog.  Maybe it's because my husband is away a lot and I don't have much time to myself.  Even when he is here though, I find myself intertwined with Allie, and I'm lucky if I even read anyone else's blog posts (usually on my IPhone when I do), let alone blog myself.  It's challenging.

I do want to document this time though, as much as I'm able to, and I know a lot of you guys that read want to see and hear what is going on, so I am trying to drop in from time to time to update.

Allie is six weeks old today.  It's weird because in a lot of ways it feels like it's flown by, but at the same time, like she's been here longer than that.  I don't know that I feel that sentiment a lot of people mention that it seems like she's always been here, but it's probably because I had such an established life before her- 11 years with my spouse (almost 7 years married), 6 1/2 years in our house, 3 years with our dog, etc...  I really feel like it's been an adjustment getting used to life with a baby for me.  Everything from getting used to talking in the "baby voice" to Allie, to setting aside time to stimulate her on the play mat, to planning outings around her- it's all still kind of weird to me.  Last weekend I turned down an invite to a dinner thrown together by friends that I probably would have gone to had I not had Allie to worry about.  I'm still not comfortable taking her out at night yet, since that tends to be her fussy time and I don't want to disrupt her sleeping habits by having her out too late.

Even though I'm still adjusting, I know I'm lucky and that Allie is a pretty good baby.  She really doesn't cry for no reason much, it's usually to be changed or fed, although, recently we've discovered we think she is crying because she is bored and wants stimulation on occasion.  I can already see that it's important for me to play with her and entertain her frequently, so putting her down in a Bobby lounger or some other device doesn't work so well, and limits my ability to get stuff done.  I frequently camp out in a chair in the living room with water, snacks, my phone, and anything else I might need for a while, prepared to entertain Allie or hold her while she sleeps.  Right now, I have a rare moment when she's asleep in the Bobby lounger, which doesn't happen much these days.

She's an okay sleeper.  I think she could be a lot worse.  She wakes up about every three hours to eat at night, and I'm lucky if she goes a little longer.  Usually it's pretty easy to feed her and get her back to sleep though, and since I don't have to work, I don't mind that much if I'm up a few times at night, because we usually don't get up til about 8am or so, so usually I still end up with around 8 hours of sleep, it's just really broken.  Her naps during the day are kind of all over the place and she often sleeps on me.  If we go out to lunch or something, she sometimes goes a 3-4 hour stretch in the car seat sleeping.  I know soon I need to start figuring out her sleep habits and maybe start sleep training.  We also need to think about transitioning her to the crib.  If you guys have tips on any of this, let me know.

Like I mentioned, she seems to crave stimulation now.  It's pretty cute to interact with her now and feel like she's interacting back some.  She loves the play mat, loves hearing people talk to her, and music.  My mom is convinced she's a genius, because at five weeks old she can kind of bat the toys on her play mat...

Her favorite lullaby is Baby Mine, and I like to either sing it to her or play her the Alison Krauss version or the Bette Midler version at night to settle her down.  Usually by the end of the song she's falling asleep.

I love taking her for walks in the Ergo or in her stroller.  Sometimes she will stay awake and look around when we go for walks now, which is cute to watch her looking at everything.

Allie's still a good eater, and usually eats about every two hours during the day unless we're out somewhere and she's sleeping.  At night she goes anywhere from two to four hours between feedings.  In the past couple weeks, Allie has started spitting up a bunch after eating.  I don't think she has acid reflux or any serious symptoms (it doesn't seem to bother her), but it's something I keep an eye out for after feeding her.  I've started putting bibs on her and watching for it, because she'll get it all over her clothes, bassinet, or wherever she is when it happens.  I wonder if it's because I have a lot of milk and it kind of shoots out when she first starts feeding.

She is now growing out of newborn diapers and usually wears size ones.  Same thing with newborn clothing. She can still fit into most of her newborn outfits, but they are getting snug and 0-3 seem to fit her better- with a little room. I have recently gotten in to putting her in actual outfits instead of just dressing her in sleepers every day.  She has a couple pairs of pants and some tops with the snap bottoms, so I like putting her in those if we're going out or something to up the cute factor.  They are a bigger pain for diaper changes than sleepers though!

Dachshund onesie with pants and mary jane socks!
She also had her first St. Paddy's day and wore her shamrock sleeper out!

I am doing well, and feel pretty happy and healthy.

I'm about 5 lbs up from my pre-pregnancy weight now.  I can fit into some of my pre-pregnancy jeans, but they are still a little snug.  I have two pairs that are a size up and wear those most of the time, but they are actually a little big on me, so I have to wear a belt to keep them up.  Really the problem with the pre-pregnancy jeans is that I have some "muffin top" going on in them.  I need to work on my abs to see if I can get those back to a more normal belly.  It's pretty flabby there right now, which I guess is to be expected, especially since I've done zero ab work since pregnancy.  Another change is that my boobs are bigger, so a lot of my tops fit weird, since my chest is normally on the smaller side.  All in all, I'm actually surprised at how much my body has bounced back to its pre-pregnant state though.  I am in my mid 30s so I wondered if I might have trouble losing the baby weight, but it seems to not have been a big problem, and that's with no working out besides walking.  I'm lucky, I know.

Speaking of working out, I had my six week follow up with the OBGYN today and she gave me the all clear to resume normal activity, including running!  So that's something I want to do soon.  I also want to do yoga again, and maybe even other types of workouts.  The biggest issue is finding time to do it and time when I want to do that as much as hang out with Allie.  I know I need to set aside the time for myself to do it though, it'll be good for me both mentally and physically.

Greg and I are doing well.  We have our ups and downs with getting used to life with a baby.  Last week was kind of rough actually and I found myself stressed out, crabby, and taking some of it out on him.  He left for his trip and I could tell we both really needed a break from each other, even if that meant me doing it all by myself for a few days.  This week we're better though, and I feel like the team effort in taking care of Allie is really there.  I also feel like he's starting to bond with her more, which makes me really happy.  I know it's tough for guys to bond with babies sometimes, but I feel like he's making more of an effort to bond with her.

That's about it for my six week update!

Monday, March 18, 2013

One Month

Allie turned one month old!  The actual day was last Wednesday, but I haven't had time to blog much lately. I also don't have those plain onesies that most people use for monthly pictures, so we're just going with the regular sleepers with the sticker on ;)

It's been a whirlwind month.  I really don't know how four (coming up on five) weeks have gone by already.  Crazy!

This week Allie became kind of a fussy baby.  She always had that evening fussiness, but lately I feel like if she's awake it's hard to keep her happy and she's very quick to melt down and cry.  She really wants to be held ALL.THE.TIME. if she's awake, which makes getting anything done pretty tough, and she also doesn't nap that much during the day unless I take her out somewhere, which usually causes her to fall asleep in the car seat and then she'll stay asleep for a while, especially if there's ambient noise.  This actually works out good for lunches out, but there's no way I'd try it in the evening for dinners out yet.

Mornings are her happiest time and she's easiest to please then.  She kind of gets more grumpy and fussy as the day goes on.

Lately she wants to eat a lot more often and a lot more at each feeding.  For a while I went by what the pediatrician initially recommended and fed her every three hours, even waiting til it was exactly three hours til I would feed her, but now I'm more flexible because she seems to want to eat closer to every two hours, sometimes even more often than that.  She also eats a lot!  I also stopped waking her up to feed her unless it's been a really long time.  The irony is that as soon as I stopped waking her up at night to feed her, she decided she wants to eat about every three hours at night anyway, so letting her sleep til hungry didn't really change anything.

We still have her sleeping in the bassinet of the Pack N Play with white noise and either bottom half swaddled in a muslin blanket or a Halo Sleep Sack (arms must be free or she freaks out).  My husband is more than ready to get her in the crib, but I'm not ready for that yet.  She's had a couple naps in the crib that went okay, so I think we'll try and continue with that a little more and then eventually try full nights in the crib.  Right now I like having her in the room to check on and feed easily when she wakes up.  She typically goes to bed around 9-10pm, is up at about 1am, up again at 4am, sometimes maybe one other time a night.  Aside from the occasional hellish night, she's a pretty good sleeper and I can't really complain.

Allie is still wearing some newborn stuff, but also 0-3 month clothing.  She's still in newborn diapers, but I'm thinking not for much longer.  Size one diapers fit, but seem kinda big on her, so she's kind of in between the sizes.

Allie had two bottles this week and it went well.  Greg gave her the first one and I gave her one a few days later.  She didn't seem to care and liked the bottle fine but was also fine with breast feeding at the next feeding both times.

I'm happy that she can eat either way.  Right now I'm not that comfortable with the idea of breast feeding in public, so I'm happy I can bring a pumped bottle of milk for her if I want to when I have her out for a while.  Really it's not the public part of it as much as it is that we both make a huge mess when I breast feed her.  I tend to leak/spray her because of my over supply and she tends to leak milk out of her mouth when eating, so it's a miracle if both of us aren't soaked in milk when a feeding is over.  I just can't figure out how I would neatly breast feed her in public, even if I was more comfortable with the idea.  I'd have to bring outfit changes for both of us!

As I mentioned, Allie does well for lunches out (she sleeps through them), which is good for me, because I've gotten stir crazy at home and like making lunch plans a couple times a week if I can.  She has had a bunch of "play dates" with my friends and their babies, and slept through them.  I keep telling her other babies aren't going to want to hang out with her if she doesn't participate more ;)

Allie's Likes:

-Listening to voices
-pacifiers (still the Wubbanub, also the Avent ones)
-Being in clothing
-Sleeping in the car seat
-Being held
-White noise/hair dryer

-Being in the car seat until we go somewhere
-Not being held
-Diaper changes
-Baths (still not loving those)

It worked out okay that this post was delayed, because she had her one month check-up with the Pediatrician today and we got some stats on her.  Her weight was up to about 9 lbs.  For percentiles: her head is in the 70s, length in the 50s, and weight in the 30s.  The Pediatrician said all of these were good numbers and she was happy with how much she's eating and gaining, because the progression on her graphs looked normal from where she started.  So all is well with her health.  She got her second Hepatitis B shot today, which was sad :(

As for me at one month out?  I'm good.  I feel like I'm gaining more confidence as a mother, and also starting to feel more like my pre-pregnant self again at the same time.

I've now had some days with Greg gone, when I'm totally on my own, and it's tough to not have him here.  I probably do most of the baby holding and handling when he's here anyway, but it's still nice to have him here if I need him and I definitely use him to hold her a lot for those little tasks like just washing my hands, getting dressed, that sort of thing.  I can do it myself and use baby holding devices, but it's just nice to have someone to hand her to if they are here.

The other day I came down in the morning and Allie was hysterically crying, I was in pajamas, and we had landscapers in our front yard.  Clyde needed to go out, but I could not do it with everything going on.  I waited a half hour so I could feed Allie and throw on some clothes and by that time Clyde had peed in the house, which NEVER happens.  I felt so bad, but he was justified since it had probably been like twelve hours or so, and was not able to give him attention.  I'm working on balancing it all.  It's not easy.

I thought I'd be a better napper once I had a baby, but I'm still pretty terrible at it.  For one thing, Allie doesn't nap very consistently herself, she could be out minutes or hours, it's hard to predict.  Secondly, like I said, she likes to be held all the time and therefore often wakes up when I put her down somewhere and hope she'll continue sleeping.  I guess I could try to nap while holding her, but that sort of freaks me out.  Also, often when she's asleep, it's like the one time of day I'm not tired enough to sleep.

I'm working on trying to talk to Allie more.  I don't know that I've ever been one of those people who is naturally good with kids and I am used to being in the house alone a lot, so I really have to consciously try to talk to Allie and use the "baby" voice, which doesn't come naturally to me.  I know she's at an age where she likes hearing my voice and she actually does seem to respond to it when I do it (calms down, looks at me), so I try to do it.  I'm also singing to her some at night and she seems to like that.

Physically, I feel almost normal.  I may try running soon if I actually have any time to do it.  I'm definitely good with walking long distances now and I'm about 7 lbs above my pre-pregancy weight at this point, so I feel like that's not bad at all, especially for my only form of exercise being walking.  I mainly just have a nice muffin top going and bigger boobs.

So that's where we are at about 4-5 weeks out!

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Name

I found naming our baby extremely stressful.  It's a lot of pressure of knowing that someone has to live with a name I picked out for them for the rest of their lives!

Greg got me this bracelet when Allie was born.

The biggest challenge was for Greg and I to agree on a name.  We actually had a boy's name we both loved and would have used if Allie had been a boy, but when we found out she was a girl, it was a little more challenging to finalize the choice.

Really, I think knew in my heart the whole time that we would end up naming her Allison May, but I was hesitant to commit until the day she was born.  Allison was actually my idea.  My parents considered it as a possible name for me when I was born and I'd always liked the name so I brought it up when we started to consider girls names.  Even though it was my suggestion, it was Greg that really fell in love with the name Allison and wanted it from day one, while I wavered for months.

I spent hours searching online on name websites, looking at girls names and developing lists that I would bring to Greg, only to have him shoot them all down.  I really liked Lauren (my middle name), Megan, and Emerson for girls names, but Greg didn't like any of those.  He usually said that he had met someone he didn't like that he associated with the names I was coming up with.  He also didn't like anything too modern or too complicated to spell.  He was extremely picky.  Really, I think it more that he just liked the name Allison so much, he really wasn't open to anything else.

I had a few concerns over the name Allison.  One, it seemed to be a name a lot of people my age have, and I wondered if it was too 70s/80s.  Obviously there is a trend of old names being used now, but mostly names from our grandparents' generation like Emma, Eleanor, Adele, not so much popular name choices from the 70s.  Two, I also felt like it was a serious name for a baby or little girl.  That wasn't a huge concern, because we knew we'd call her Allie while she was little, and I actually did like that she has the option of going with Allie or Allison if she wants something more professional later down the line.  The third hesitation was that when you call her Allie with the middle name May, it's SO Southern- Allie May!

I wouldn't commit to the name for the whole pregnancy, even telling people when they asked that it would probably be Allison, but we weren't absolutely sure, and not to monogram anything just yet.

One thing that makes the name Allison special to me is that my close friend Alison and I went through our fertility struggles together for over a year.  If there is anyone that understands what I went through to have Allie it's Alison.  We talked almost every day about Reproductive Endocrinologists, treatments, miscarriages,  seeing everyone around us get pregnant and have babies, and everything else related to the struggle of wanting a baby.  She gets it and listened to me when I complained, was sad, was frustrated, was hopeful...all of it.  She's also a runner so we often talked about running/training as well as fertility struggles.  In the end, right before I pregnant with Allie, I wished it would be her over me that got the miracle baby.  I felt like she had struggled enough and I still had more time, and it was HER turn.  But, it was me that got pregnant this time, and I was actually visiting her when it happened, so she was even there for my first phone calls to the RE and some of the first pregnancy tests I took.  I wondered if she'd be able to still talk to me during my pregnancy, and I know there have probably been many days when it's been hard for her.  After I made it past many ultrasounds with strong heartbeats and into the second trimester, if anyone was rooting for me, it was Alison.  I was so grateful to have her there to talk to, because I know she understood a lot of what I was feeling as I cautiously tried to enjoy what seemed to finally be a healthy pregnancy.  I don't know if I could have made it through everything without her, because she truly is the one person that I feel like really understands what I went through.  I'm forever grateful and we're forever connected by this experience.  Even though we opted to spell Allison with two L's, I still consider the name a tribute to Alison and hope that Allie is as awesome a person as my friend.

Alison and I a couple years ago, not too long after I started trying to conceive.

The middle name was something I was definitive on and had pretty much settled on before the first name was set in stone.  May was my grandmother's middle name, and I knew a long time ago that I wanted to use it because I love the name and I loved my grandmother so much.  She would have loved Allie and I wish she'd gotten to meet her.  May is also the month Greg and I got married, so that's a bonus as well :).

In the end, I think I just wanted to see Allie and feel confident that she looked like an Allison or Allie, and that it was the right name for her.  When she was born, I felt no hesitation, she was Allison May for sure.

Photo credit Volree Wade

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Newborn Hits and Misses at Three Weeks In

I'm only a few weeks in, but I thought I'd share some stuff we love with you guys, because I loved reading these lists when I was pregnant and trying to figure out what stuff we'd actually need and use.

Wubbanub pacifiers.  For some reason I think Allie actually likes these better than the regular Soothies.  She has the pink bear and the monkey one and I might even get some extras.  These are good for calming her down and I also use them while breastfeeding if she's being finicky latching.  I kinda go back and forth between the boob and paci and it seems to help her.

Lap pads.  We have two spots we use to change Allie- the Pack N Play and the changing table/dresser in the nursery.  We like to put lap pads down on each changing pad instead of just using the cover in case she pees or something worse in the middle of changing her.  This way we can just throw them in the wash and not have to wash the whole cover.  I think a lot of people use them in the crib as an extra layer too if their baby is prone to blow outs or leaks.  Handy.  They come in lots of sizes and colors too.

Pampers Swaddlers.  We have some Huggies too, but Pampers fit her better and the only time we've had leaks/blow outs, she's been in Huggies, so I think Pampers win for us as the best diapers.  At least for now.  We recently picked up some Target brand diaper to give those a try, so we'll see how those work for us.

Pottery Barn Stroller Blanket.  Since Allie was born in February and the weather fluctuates here, I didn't go too crazy buying tons of warm clothing for her.  She mostly wears long sleeved onesies and when we take her out, we add a sweater, mittens, and hat.  This stroller blanket was a gift and it's great to put over her in the car seat for extra warmth and coziness.  Also, you can get it monogrammed- my friend Sarah has the blue version with her son's name on it.  Great gift idea for someone for a baby shower :)

Ameda Purely Yours breast pump.  I think everyone I know that has pumped has one of the Medela pumps, but my insurance covered the Ameda pump, so I ended up with the Ameda since it was free.  It works great.  The first week my milk came in, I was so engorged, I had to pump a little before each feeding in order for Allie to latch.  So far, we haven't done bottles, but when we do, I'm completely confident in my ability to pump with this and I also got a huge supply of bags with mine.  I just wanted you guys to know there was another good option besides the Medela pumps.

My favorite onesies are the Little Me and Old Navy ones.  They fit Allie so well and I use them so much I feel like they are what she has on in every picture, even though she has other ones.  I also like the weight and softness of them.  I actually don't mind the snaps that much, even though everyone says zippered ones are easier.  I had a hard time finding many zippered onesies anyway.

Burp cloths.  People tell you that you can't have enough of these and they are right.  We have the old school cloth diaper ones, Aden and Anais fancy ones, Green Sprout ones... they all work good.  I mainly use them for feeding because milk gets all over.  I probably go through at least five every day.

Bobby Lounger.  We love putting Allie in this when we're eating so she can be near us but we can be hands free to eat.  It's great as long as she's not fussy.

The white noise on our baby monitor.  We have the Withings Smart Baby Monitor.  This was one of the few purchases my husband did all the research on and wanted.  You can use any computer, IPad, or IPhone as your monitoring screen, which was particularly appealing to Greg so he can see the baby when traveling.  So far we're not using the monitoring feature much since she's sleeping in our room, but we love that the white noise can be set to stay on til you turn it off, which Sleep Sheeps (they only last 45 min) and some of the other white noise devices don't do.  We keep it on all night and it seems to help Allie sleep for long stretches of time.

The Pack N Play.  Since this is our primary sleeping area for Allie, this is a must right now.  Originally, our plan was to put her in the Rock N Play at night and keep the Pack N Play downstairs, but so far she seems to sleep a lot better in the Pack N Play bassinet, and we also use the changing station on it as much as the one in the nursery.  Greg even talked about getting a second identical Pack N Play for downstairs so we have one on each level, but right now we're making due with it upstairs (I consider going upstairs for changes part of my exercise routine right now ;)  I think eventually, when we put her to sleep in the crib, we'll move the Pack N Play downstairs so we have a changing station down there too.  We also like the pockets on the side for changing supplies and have used the vibration feature on the bassinet for Allie.  The bassinet and changer are essential though, so glad we got one with those features.

Constellation Nightlight by cloud b.  We also use this night light when we put Allie to bed at night.  We want enough light so that we can see her, but don't need a ton of light.  I love the stars on the ceiling, so cool!  My only complaint is that it shuts off after a while.  I'd kind of like the option of keeping it on all night or longer.

Mustela foam shampoo.  This stuff smells awesome and makes Allie's hair so soft.  Love it :)

For me:

Disposable breast pads.  I've used the Target brand ones and the Lanisoh ones, both work well.  I'm really paranoid about getting thrush (like a nipple yeast infection that you can get if your breasts are sitting in a warm moist environment), so I've been trying to be diligent about changing breast pads a lot and go through a ton every day.  I have some non disposable ones and they couldn't hold the amount of leakage I have, so the disposable work better for me.

Target nursing bras and tanks.  I use these for nighttime:

I can't find the daytime ones I have online, but they are the Gillian O'Malley bras and tanks.  I have a couple of each and they make it easier to whip out a boob when you need to.  The only problem I have is that milk often leaks all over them, even when I try to protect them with burp cloths when I'm feeding.  I guess Allie is a messy eater and I just have a lot of milk going everywhere...  haha.

Things that were have not been useful so far:

The Itzbeen Timer.  I loved the idea of this when I registered for it, you just push a button after feeding or changing to time how long it's been in between these events.  Problem?  I never remember til later, way after I've fed or changed her to set the timer and there is no way to edit the time on this thing.  If you are good with remembering to set timers, this will be useful for you.  If you're like me, forget it and just write it down or do something else to remember.

Baby socks.  I think in the future these will be more useful, but right now Allie lives in footed onesies, because it's still kinda cold here and they are just so convenient, so we rarely use socks and we have TONS.  They are cute though, even if she's not wearing them much yet.

One of Allie's few outfits that she can wear socks with.

Miracle Blanket/Swaddle Me Infant Blanket.  Allie hates having her arms swaddled, so these are not working for us.  However, the Halo Sleepsacks (with or without swaddle) are great, because I can keep her arms out and they add warmth at night.

The Crib.  I know it's early, but so far Allie kind of hates the crib.  Hopefully we'll get her to sleep in there at some point.  Right now we're sticking with the Pack N Play bassinet in our room.

The swing.  I think she might like it in the future, but right now I feel like it's too fast for her, even on the lowest setting.

I've realized that we are fortunate to have a ton of baby stuff and a lot of it we haven't even tried out yet because we either haven't gotten around to it, haven't needed it, or Allie is too little for it right now.  I'm sure as she grows things will change a lot, but this is where we are at three weeks in!

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