<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1859947367599285&ev=PageView&noscript=1" /> Surviving a Newborn and the 5 Essentials I Didn't Know I Needed - Jessica Rice Photography

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A Southern Girl living in San Diego’s Endless Summer! I left dental career path to travel the world with just a camera in hand and spent a year capturing the world’s greatest beauty. I’m a deep believer in waking up at 5 am to own my day, rocking every jumpsuit, losing track of time dining with friends and drinking tea until it fills my veins. I traveled the world in search of life’s greatest adventure and found it in my arms as I held my children. I’m here for you. Here for your adventure and here to share everything I’ve learned along the way. 

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Surviving a Newborn and the 5 Essentials I Didn’t Know I Needed

Newborn Survival tips

Ya’ll, having a newborn is hard. You go from being 800 lbs, not sleeping at night because you have to wake up to turn over or pee, waddling around with a belly everyone says is about to pop to being a little less than 800 lbs, still not sleeping at night because you have a crying baby and boobs that are about to burst and waddling around because you just birthed a human being from your body who demands your CONSTANT attention.

Motherhood is not for the faint of heart.

Anytime we would take Lincoln out those first few weeks people would say; “oh gosh, I really miss that newborn stage…” and I would think; ‘YOU ARE CRAZY…do you even remember what this is like, it’s hell, it’s hard, it’s messy, it’s exhausting and I can’t even walk.’ Little did I know I would be saying that exact same thing just a few months later, but that’s not the point.

We spend months preparing for our baby’s precious arrival. The crib gets put together, the clothes get washed, we buy everything that remains on the registry and make sure every little thing is in place for the beloved day our baby is in our arms. While all of that was an absolute necessity for me (I mean nesting is real folks…) once Lincoln was here it was a whole new story.

Those first few days at home will really teach you what you can’t live without, things you didn’t know existed or didn’t know you’d need. So I’ve put together a little list of things I wish I’d known I needed or wanted before we walked (let’s be honest I wobbled and it took me about 5 minutes to get up our stairs) through the doors with a new baby into a new season.

1. Zip Swaddles

There are a million adorable swaddles out there and we had about 100 of them in our dresser ready to wrap out little guy up in. While they were cute and sweet for photos they were soooooooooo impractical for his wild wiggling body. He stayed wrapped up for about 45 seconds no matter how tight we swaddled him. There’s also a ton of velcro swaddles out there but they all just seemed way too big and complicated on his 6.9lb newborn body. Then one day we magically found these Zipper Swaddles at target and they changed our life. I wish SwaddleMe made these in bigger sizes because Lincoln LIVED in these things. They zip from top to bottom so you can change their diaper in the middle of the night without having to totally un-swaddle them and are basically the softest stretchiest things on earth. Do yourself a big favor and just stock up on these now and save the swaddle blankets for photos.

2. An Instant Pot

When all the visiting friends and family stop brining you and your precious new bundle food  you kind of have a freak out, well at least I did. “I have to go grocery shopping now?” “What’s meal planning again?” “This recipe takes 45 minutes to bake, kill me now…” When the Instant Pot came into my life our whole dinner game changed. I was able to whip up a full on meal in 20 minutes once Nick was home to watch Lincoln. Most people are super intimated by the instant pot but the basic thing to remember is once you program it the pot will take about 12 min to reach pressure then the clock will start counting down. Once your dinner is finished the clock will start counting up (releasing pressure) until you press cancel. Batta-bing, batta-boom! #doyourselfafavor

3. Solly Baby Wrap

I cannot rave enough about the Solly Baby Wrap. It can be utterly terrifying when you open that box and find a long piece of soft fabric in there with no instructions on what to do but trust me once you get it you’ll never feel more comfortable with anything! It’s the absolute best carrier for having a newborn and gives you full range of motion so you can actually do stuff with your other arms. I love how secure and snug the baby feels while you’re wearing it and it folds up really small so you can put it in your diaper bag. When I was running errands I would just leave it tied on my in the car and then put Lincoln back in it when we got somewhere!

4. Really Great Deodorant

Girls, this is a REAL problem. Despite the insane amount of hair loss you’re going to experience your BO is going to take a drastic turn. I would do absolutely nothing but wake up in the morning, get a glass of water and plop on the couch before I was certain I smelled like a sweaty vietnamese man who had been working in the garden all day and then came out to eat a massive bowl of kimchi. NOT KIDDING. The sweaty scenarios were endless and my husband’s deodorant wasn’t cutting it. Even before I was pregnant I used this great natural deodorant I found on Shark Tank called Piper Wai, it smells minty fresh and is a God-send for that post-partum stink. But don’t bother with the stick, you are going to need the jar to scoop it out and rub it into those African afternoon pits.

5. Baby Shusher 

This is GOLD. We learned about the 5 S’s of soothing a newborn in our birthing class and one of them is shushing. Basically pretend you’re in the library and you HAVE to get the kids screaming to quite down by just shushing, this thing does all the work for you. It has 2 time settings, 30 min or 15 min and it makes the perfect volume shushing noise that will lull your baby to sleep. We took this everywhere with us and it totally helped him calm down and sleep in any situation.

Thriving through the newborn stage is more than just a list of baby products. It takes patience, grace, understanding and releasing of control. Allow yourself all the time you need to recover, don’t let the world pressure you into think you need to bounce back. Soak in every snuggle and minute that little baby is sleeping on your chest. Be okay letting yourself spend all day staring at that little face and memorizing every square inch of the most beautiful thing in the world. Stop reading all the books and just do whatever it takes for you and your husband to stay sane, get that baby to sleep and enjoy this incredibly special season (and buy these things, you’ll thank me later).