What I Wish I Knew Before My First Baby
By Elina Furman
With two boys ages 12 and 8, it feels like forever since they were babies, but I can still remember those early, sleep-deprived days. The mental fogginess, the anxiety, the feeling of pure shock that the hospital would let me take a baby home knowing as little as I did.
As a busy freelance working mom with my own business, I had to return to work almost immediately after birthing my babies and like most moms in the US today, I did not receive the support I needed. My husband took a week off but then it was just me, alone at home with a colicky baby and a mountain of deadlines. It’s no wonder I suffered from postpartum depression and anxiety in the first 6 months. I was lost, confused and never expected that I would have such a hard time easing into motherhood. I had assumed that pregnancy would be the toughest part, so it was not surprising that I was in for a rude awakening.
That same year, I launched a media company for moms to provide baby/kid product recommendations that would make their first experience as a new mom less overwhelming. I vowed that I would help other moms make better decisions and prepare for their new baby.
Today, there is a much deeper dialogue around the 4th trimester and post-partum health topics which is a wonderful thing. Many companies are now thinking about mothers in a way that they have never done before, offering products to help soothe and help not only the baby, but mothers as well.
When picking out products, I think new moms often lose sight of the fact that babies make huge developmental leaps each day. Purchasing products that expand and grow with kids is the best way to save on money and clutter.
Crib: The new Nestig crib is a marvel in design and construction and can be used for many years. Adjustable height and parts that transform this piece from rolling infant crib to toddler bed.
Stroller: I also had a really hard time lugging around a heavy car seat, especially after a C-section, and would have loved to have the all-in-one stroller and car seat from Doona.
Essentials: For essential items, multifunctional and gender neutral products can go a long way, giving quality items a longer life. The double gauze bib in the Big Little Universe Special Delivery Newborn bundle is so useful. I love that its reversible, adjustable to 3 sizes and super absorbent which makes it great to have on hand to clean up messes.
The velvety soft, all-natural wooden animals are also a great item for babies that are teething and beginning to learn how to hold objects at around 4-6 months old. These wood animals continue to be a great toy for toddlers as they start to identify and match sounds to pictures.
Skincare: I would also look for all-natural, double-duty skincare for both mom and baby like the Kate Mcleod Naked Stone that is made from pure ingredients.
Buying less isn’t just about having a clutter-free home, it’s also about living a more sustainable and conscious lifestyle. Doing less, living at a slower pace, and finding the rhythm to parenting are all important steps to forming a secure family unit. We always hear parents telling each other to slow down and enjoy the moment. And if I had the chance to go back in time when my boys were little, I would do that exactly that.
Elina Furman is a Certified Infant Massage Instructor with over 15 years as a marketer in the baby product industry. She is deeply passionate about spreading awareness about the importance of infant/child massage and earned her certification after talking to many parents who were confused and bewildered about how to perform infant massage. Born in Kiev, Ukraine, she now lives in Connecticut with her husband and two sons.