lifesavers for the first 3 months
i think my "i have a newborn" phase is over now that Luna is 3 months old. (i wonder if i can still use her as an excuse for wearing sweatpants on most days. but hey, at least my maternity jeans are now back in storage!)
since i benefitted from all the product reviews in various message boards, blogs, and online forums, i think it's time for me to pay it forward... here is my list of lifesavers for moms with a toddler and a newborn, and who do not have the luxury of help from a visiting parent/sister/aunt/family.
1. Abdomend Recovery Belt
recovering after my first c-section was quite challenging. i could walk, but with a hunched back because i was afraid to pull my stitches. after my stitches healed somewhat, my tummy still felt jiggly and not in a remotely cute way... every laugh or cough i made created a rippling feeling in my tummy. ugly, ugly feeling. so this time i looked up belly binding, which is done in most asian countries. my sister had a c-section and she told me that she had a binder on in the hospital.. everyone does apparently. google brought me to Belly Bandit, but i figured that wouldn't work for me since its purpose seemed to be more for fashion than function. then i found the Abdomend belts, which seemed to be aimed more for recovery, rather than i-want-my-tummy-to-shrink. so i got in touch with the canadian distributor and she helped me figure out what size to get, and how to use it. i was even able to use it during pregnancy, since my tummy felt so heavy. and boy did it save me from backache. post-partum, i used it 2 days after my c-section. it helped my walk around the hospital room and bend lightly so i could pick up Luna, and walk to the car when we went home. i used it everyday when we got home, and felt more confident walking around since i felt my stitches were being held in place by the belt. it also helped me with the jiggly feeling; since i was held in by the belt, it didn't feel like any part of my tummy was hanging out like flapjacks. it also made car rides more comfortable; i was even able to drive 3 weeks after my c-section. of course it goes without saying that when you have a toddler and a newborn, the toddler will most certainly accidentally hit your tummy area at some point. the belt helped protect me that way too! it could be my imagination, but it seemed i shrank way faster this time around - even aldo noticed. but haha it doesn't take away the fact that i still have a c-section tummy, if you know what i mean.
2. Baby Swing
i wish i had a swing when Amori was born... it would have made my life a thousand times easier! this time, i borrowed one from a friend, just to try it out. a week or two later, i wanted to buy a brand new one but decided to be practical since Luna won't be in it for too long. it worked great for us, especially during rush hour in our house - when Amori is home from school and i am preparing dinner. i may not have a yaya to hold my newborn, but at least i've got help in the form of a swing!
3. Meal Plans and Frozen Meals
i am now a firm believer in make-ahead or frozen meals, and meal plans. it just makes life easier. now i wish i had a bigger freezer!
again, i wish i read The Happiest Baby on the Block when Amori was born. even aldo was skeptical in the beginning, but soon enough he was swaddling and shushing Luna to calm her down. today Luna is still a swaddling addict. i swaddle her at night and she sleeps 5-6 hours, as opposed to an unswaddled 3 hours. i think i'll continue doing this til she doesn't fit her swaddling blankets. LOL
5. Sleep Sacks
i learned about sleep sacks a bit late during Amori's infancy, but still used them and loved the concept. since Luna was born in the winter, i had her in a Halo fleece sleep sack and a swaddling blanket during the day, and a full swaddle for night time. now she sleeps in a Perlimpinpin sleep sack and a receiving blanket to swaddle her arms. i wanted a grobag sleep sack but figured i'd get a canadian brand and support local products!
my #1 life saver is still aldo though. i am extremely thankful that he took all his vacation days when Luna was born (when Amori was born he only took a week off!) because i was able to rest and recover properly. i can just imagine how easy recovery must be in manila where there is abundance of help!