Friday, September 20, 2013

Baby Must Haves: Surviving the First Six Months With an Infant

Well, we survived. Not gonna lie, it took a lot of glasses of wine and the help of family and friends, but we are alive to tell you that you can do it. This too shall pass. You can have a baby, survive it, and do it well. Well, most of the time.

So many pregnant friends have asked me how we made it through the first six months and what are necessities for life with an infant. I thought I'd make a list. I am a lover of lists. And don't get me started on calendars.

By the way, I looked a little further into my question in my last post about how long you can call a baby an infant...This is what I found:

"An infant (from the Latin word infans, meaning "unable to speak" or "speechless") is the very young offspring of a human. When a human child learns to walk, the term toddler may be used instead. The term infant is typically applied to young children between the ages of 1 month and 12 months."

Thanks Wikipedia. I can always count on you.

Anyway, here is a list of what I deem to be of absolute necessity during your first months with baby.
  • The Fisher Price Rock n Play Sleeper. This bad boy gently rocks when your baby moves. Genius. So pretty much, if you aren't holding your babe, he will be in this. The end. R is getting too big for his these days. Lay off the bottles, kid! Just kidding. It's actually not so much his size that is making this harder to use now, but his desire to try catapulting himself out of it. I don't really want to have to visit the ER for some kind of infant fracture. Nope, no thank you. So when your babe is becoming more mobile, make sure you use the little seat belt attached to this.
My little bunny in his Rock n Play - He was so little!
  • Aden and Anais muslin swaddle blankets. Lightweight, breathable, oh so soft. Did I say breathable? Yeah, that's important because the first few months you will be absolutely climbing the walls freaking out about whether or not your child is breathing. Actually, scratch that. You won't have enough energy to be climbing walls. But you'll be worried ok? This was me: "Is that blanket covering his nose? Please move that blanket down. I think that blanket is covering his nose." So use these blankets and worry less (a little).
Robby loved being swaddled in his Aden and Anais blankets. After about four weeks, he liked his arms out.
  • Aden and Anais Serenity Star. This thing is awesome! My mom gave it to me before R was born. It has so many cool features such as a night light, feeding log, white noise maker, and lullaby singer. White noise is a complete necessity for infant sleep. Heck, I am so used to hearing it on the monitor that I can't sleep without it either. This will play white noise (or lullabies) all night long. None of that set timer nonsense where it goes off and then baby wakes up. Um, that's not fun when you'd kill for even an additional two minutes of sleepy time. The nightlight feature gives off the perfect amount of soothing light so you don't break a toe in baby's room at 3:00 am. Trust me, you are already recovering from enough injuries and do not need a broken toe to add to the list. Oy.
No photo of the Serenity Star so here's a pic of Robby. Why is my baby the cutest baby in the world?
  • NoseFrida The Snot Sucker. Babies need to breathe, obvi. For some reason their little noses get clogged up a lot in the first months, and you will need this snot sucker. Sounds disgusting, and I thought so too. But now I am a loyal Frida user. We're on a nickname basis with each other. You literally suck the snot out of their nose with a little tube. It's European. They make really cool stuff over there. Don't worry - the snot doesn't actually end up in your mouth. There is a filter that catches it of course. This works SO much better than the traditional bulb syringe things. And it's super fun to see how much snot you can get out in the tube. It's the small things.
This is the face your baby will make if you don't use the Frida.
  • Aquaphor. If you don't have a baby yet, this probably seems a little random. Babies drool.  A LOT. Wait, is it just mine? Ugh. R's drooling problem started around three months. I slather this all over his face before naps, before bed, and first thing in the morning. So that's basically all day long. If I don't, his little face gets all chapped up and irritated from the drool and then I look like a bad mom. And its all about appearances, you know. Kidding.
See those chapped cheeks? This is why Aquaphor is a must.
  • Zipadee-Zip. Amazing. So, when you stop swaddling at nighttime and for naps, you have a situation on your hands. You are in a real pickle. Baby still craves the comfort and warmth of a swaddle, but it isn't safe anymore. Usually because he started flipping over. If baby flips over swaddled, you may have a breathing situation. Ugh. The horror. This is why you need a Zipadee-Zip. I googled "swaddle transition" and found these. (What would we do without google? I am so glad I didn't have a baby in a log cabin on the prairie. I would not want to have to do this without Zipadee-Zips). We started using them when R was about 4 months, and he sleeps like a champ in them. I truly believe they lengthen his naps. Winning!

Here R is in his Zipadee-Zip. He loves it!
  • Baby Jogger City Mini Stroller. I've mentioned this stroller before. Best stroller ever. Lightweight. Folds easily (and with one hand). Sleek and compact. I looked at lots of strollers. There was a particular stroller that lots of my friends were getting that runs a little over $700. When I went to look at it, I couldn't even figure out how to fold the dang thing. I literally had to get out my phone and watch a YouTube video on folding said stroller. Ummm......that means it's too hard. My dreams came true when I tested out the City Mini. I honestly don't know how people function without it. I don't think I would ever run errands without it. I had friends say that I needed to get a stroller that could convert to fit two kids for down the road use. Um, why wouldn't I want to make my life as easy as possible right now? If and when a second bambino comes along, I'll invest in a double stroller. And the Baby Jogger brand has some fabulous options for two kiddos. I'm obsessed. Baby Jogger, if you're listening and you need a face for your brand, I'll do it. But I want my make-up professionally done, ok?
Here we are on our very first walk. Exciting day! I couldn't believe I could actually walk down the street and push a stroller for a little while. Surgery recovery isn't fun. But I'm here to tell you that it's survivable! Especially with wine and chocolate, as stated before. Oh yeah, and hydrocodone. I've got a few leftover saved for a rainy day. Totally joking.

Sorry for the grainy pic. Here's R the first time we tried putting him in the City Mini without the car seat and adaptor bar. He much prefers to roll this way. I think he looks like an old school 1920s mobster here.
"Hey lady, fuggetabout the car seat. And that's an order not a request."

That sums it up! Before I go, here is an easy, easy recipe for the cooler fall weather. This would be great for those of you trying to get back in the kitchen post baby or for anyone who needs to save a little time.

Normally I like to use the Pioneer Woman's roast recipe but every once in a while I just need to do something that requires no effort. This is it. Takes maybe all of 5 minutes to assemble. Mine is cooking away right now!

Three-Packet Roast


  • 1 3-pound roast
  • 1 packet dry Ranch dressing mix
  • 1 packet dry Italian dressing mix
  • 1 packet dry brown gravy mix
  • 1 bag baby carrots
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 box fresh mushrooms - whatever kind you like
  • 1 cup water
  • Dump everything in crock pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
*You can also add quartered potatoes but I like to make mashed potatoes separately and serve the roast and veggies over the potatoes.


  1. I love his cute red cheeks in the serenity star photo- so precious!

    1. Thanks Nadia! Can't wait to meet little Sam! Hope you are feeling great.

  2. Adrienne, loving your posts. I just recommended the Aquaphor to a friend whose baby has the same drool/chapping issue. Hadn't heard of it myself. Now...if I just had a crock pot.

  3. Thanks Allison! Hope the Aquaphor helps - it helped us so much. You need a crock pot!! I use mine probably once or twice a week. Wonder if they sell them outside the US? Maybe it's an American thing!

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