A shopping list for new parents
Everything in this list is something we have actually used and would recommend to other new parents.
Morning sickness is no joke, except it’s nothing like what we see in movies and TV, where the heroine throws up once and then takes a pregnancy test. The new mom is going to be on the verge of puking for weeks on end, morning, noon, and night. Fortunately, extra-sour candy can trick the stomach into feeling normal.
I hate this fucking pillow, and I’m grateful that I don’t have to share a queen size bed with it anymore. That said, as you can’t sleep on your back or stomach when you are pregnant, this pillow is a life saver.
She has back pain. Don’t even ask if she has back pain. Just assume she does and make a hot water bottle, about 80°F, and wrap it in a dry towel.
Natural Rubber Hot Water Bottle
You will also want a good way to time contractions. The Bump’s Contraction Timer worked well for us.
You did it! Every birth is different and your little one may some day ask about her story. We used Apple Voice Memos (and a high-end microphone that I already had), edited in Audacity, and archived it to AWS S3 Infrequent Access for safe keeping.
Story Corps also has a free app which may be more to your liking.
People will tell you that these next few months, every moment is precious. This is true, but maybe in an unexpected way: do you want every conversation with your partner to be about the logistics of diaper changes and feeding shedules? There’s an app for that. Baby Tracker or Baby Connect will give you and your partner a respit from “baby brain.” Knowing your little one’s last diaper was three hours ago and less recent than her latest meal will help interpret her cries.
The womb is insanely noisy, and the little one will be more stressed out by the comparative silence of the outside world. “Shushing” is one of the “Five S’s” but will you have the energy to shush your little one for hours on end? Better then shushing is mimmicking the “schwoosh-schwoosh” sound that you might have heard through your midwife or OB/GYN’s doppler microphone. You will get tired though. When that happens, you will be thankful for a portable white noise machine.
Sleeping is about to get really hard. You will need to sleep at unexpected times, both from incredible exhaustion and because sometimes the only time you can sleep is in the middle of the day when your little one finally lets go. This sleep mask is like a bra for your eyes. It blocks all light without actually touching your eyelids. I’d suggest getting one of these for each parent.
This list is heavily biased towards sleep aids, but when you need to be awake with minimal side effects: I’ve been drinking CogniTea for years and always keep some on hand for when coffee is either inaccessible or insufficient. It combines caffeine and L-Theanine (from green tea) in a great tasting mint tea which provides wakefulness and focus with no crash at the end.
CogniTea Productive Energy Tea for Mental Clarity and Focus
As a new dad, I can’t say I’ve directly used this product, but my sources tell me this is a must-have.
Haakaa Silicone Manual Breastfeeding Pump
And finally, a bottle warmer. Earlier generations of parents had to go to great lenghts to warm milk without burning it or scalding the baby. With this you just turn it on and come back in a few minutes to perfectly a body-tempurature bottle.