by Dr. Alex Mayes, Pediatric Dentist and mom of 2
Adapting to life with a new baby is without a doubt the most wonderful and most exhausting thing that I have ever done. As a brand new mom a few years ago, I remember feeling like I was just stumbling through the process with a lot of trial and error. And then this past summer adding baby number two to the mix was a whole different ballgame.
We definitely had a false sense of “we’ve got this” since we had already survived babyhood and early toddlerhood with our daughter. Wrong! It turns out, all babies are not created equal! Again, the trial and error restarted.
What our daughter loved, our son is totally disinterest in, and vice versa. I have to say, we would not be surviving without a few critical baby items this go-round trying to juggle both kiddos and both my husband and myself working full time.
This is my “thank goodness these items exist” list!
When I first heard of this concept, my initial thought was “oh that’s clever”. But until I had my own paci-loving baby who drops his pacifier no less than 10 times a night, my opinion changed to “THIS IS GENIUS!”
Baby number two is such a light sleeper, so anything I can do to prevent having to use any sort of light or any excessive jostling of the mattress to search for a much-needed paci at 2am is a godsend.
Now I can very carefully creep over to his crib, immediately see the glow, and slip it back in before the meltdown ensues. Anything that means even just a little more sleep for this tired momma gets an A+ in my book!
Bottle Sterilizer with drying option
This is another thing that I have discovered with baby number two. I previously had one that steamed the bottles, but it did not dry them. Having the drying option just saves the extra clutter of the multiple bottles, parts, pacifiers, etc. sitting on a drying rack. Game changer!
When I was looking for recommendations, several people said to me “why don’t you just use your dishwasher?” While I love that the dishwasher is an option with my Smilo bottles, let’s face it, my dishwasher is full of dirty dishes about 99% of the time…
Having bottles with fewer parts and easy assembly, plus electric sterilizer as an option save us so much time and counter-space.
Nothing is better than sweet newborn baby snuggles, but sometimes momma needs to shower, pump, wash bottles, potty train an older sibling, etc. etc. etc. Especially with our second baby, having a lounger was absolutely necessary.
My maternity leave with baby number two just happened to coincide with my 2-year-old’s summer break from her daycare. While it was a special time for her to bond with her new baby brother, it was also hard for her to understand that mommy’s hands could not always be free to get her milk, snacks, and toys like before.
I loved having a lounger where I knew the baby was safe and secure so that I could try to strike this mom-of-two balance. Also, beyond my maternity leave, as a mom working full time I had to pump more than I would have liked. The lounger allowed me to keep baby within arm’s reach during those times for comforting and bonding.
A new baby also means using muscles in different ways than you ever have before. Having a thicker/ more firm nursing pillow (like the Smilo Monarch Pillow) this time saved me from a lot of neck and shoulder pain that I had previously. I attempted to use a bed pillow with my first baby to support her while breastfeeding, but it still did not help hold her high enough.
Over using my arms to hold her up, plus strain on my neck at work led to more serious shoulder problems. I love the support the Monarch Pillow gave me with baby number two so that I could better relax my shoulders while nursing and even while giving him bottles.
I’ll admit, I still sleep with it like a pregnancy pillow too! I love its versatility.
Life with a newborn is such a beautiful, yet challenging time. Whether it is your first baby or adding a new sibling to the mix, it can be so helpful to have well-made “tools” for your momma “tool box”. There are so many products available for various purposes, but I have grown to especially love and appreciate the ones that mean I have extra time for snuggling my baby… and of course, ones that allow for more sleep for this tired mom!
Dr. Alex Mayes Young is a board-certified pediatric dentist practicing in Lexington, KY. She made the decision to become a dentist and follow in her father’s footsteps at the age of seven when she began treating her stuffed animals in her playroom. Planning to return to her Kentucky roots for dental school, Dr. Alex enjoyed exploring the city of New Orleans for her undergraduate experience at Tulane University where she received her BA in Art History. Always loving the mixture of art and science that dentistry had to offer, she was honored to get her Doctorate of Dental Medicine at the University of Kentucky, College of Dentistry. Following graduation, Dr. Alex practiced general dentistry for two years in her hometown of London, KY in her father’s practice. During those years her love of pediatric dentistry became very apparent. Dr. Alex was so fulfilled to complete her Pediatric Dentistry residency at the University of Kentucky, College of Dentistry and follow her passion. She is a member of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the College of Diplomates. She resides in Lexington with her husband Adam and her daughter Amelia.