Thursday, October 27, 2011

If I'd only known. . .

I've been a parent for 10 months now. We've all managed to survive. My life revolves around two little people who happily crawl around my house, squealing and tackling each other.

 I wanted to talk about what I would have done differently had I known what I know now, but it's sort of too soon for that -- at least concerning the big questions. I'm thinking more on the lines of stuff. My love for stuff stems from my love of AT, which came from having rheumatoid and trying to be a high school student. A pillow made sitting at wooden desks somewhat bearable. Foam tubing made it possible for me to grasp a pencil. Having the right baby stuff is the difference between an easy day and a miserable day, I've found out. And if you're broke and only temporarily employed, as I am, you can't afford to be picky.

 There's a lot of stuff that I bought that was useless, a lot of stuff I passed on that I wish I had, and some things that I found out about too late to make it worth my while to buy.

 So, if you happen to have a mom with narcolepsy, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiples on your list, you probably know me. But if not, here's what I'd get a new mom with multiples:
1. The Original Arms-Reach co-sleeper  

I had a mini-co-sleeper that I got at a flea market, which is significantly smaller than the original.    I just couldn't justify the $200 price tag for the original at the time. But man, I should have gone for the original. I used the heck out of my mini. Very soon the babies were too big to fit together so I put my daughter in a yard-sale bassinet and used the mini for my son, who had reflux. It was easy to adjust the legs to have him sleep at an incline.  This model also converts to a pack n play when the babies are older -- a useful feature that extends the life and helps justify the price slightly.

I wasn't comfortable co-sleeping, having narcolepsy and all, but this kept the babies close by so I could see them in the "are they breathing" panic attacks I used to have.  Other things that would have worked just as well would have been a pack-n-play with the infant bassinet attachment and a crib divider in the middle or the twin pack n play by Graco. But it has terrible reviews. And none of those offered the ability to simply roll over and look at the babies from the bed.  Neither did my daughter's bassinet.  Reaching over to pick her up out of the bassinet while I was sitting on the bed was very awkward.  It was much easier to lift my son from the co-sleeper.  I have such good memories of rolling over and staring into my baby boy's eyes in the middle of the night, a connection I didn't get to have with the daughter in the bassinet. (Of course, she also would wake up every time I moved, so maybe having that barrier between us was a good thing.)

Also --
The mini co-sleeper came in an odd size that had me souring ebay for the expensive sheets. (I was convinced that anything but the manufacturer's sheets would smother my babies.)  My mom inadvertently put a changing pad cover on the mattress and it fit perfectly.  Word to the wise.

to be continued...  

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