Posted By: Kara Matuszewski Sassone
First -- and second -- time mom. Her twins were born seven weeks early and spent their first three weeks in the NICU. During that time Kara navigated, with the love and support of her husband, how to pump and bring milk to her babies in the hospital.
Walking into any baby store can be completely overwhelming. When it came time for me to make a registry, I had no idea what to put on it – or even how many of certain items to include. Instead of walking through stores aimlessly, I employed my best friend, who was also a new mom.
Together we walked through one of the big box stores with her son in a stroller and me with a scanner in hand. Together we made a full registry in virtually no time at all.
As you would expect with any registry there are some things on it we just never used (like the ump-teen pacifiers we got), but there are a few gems on there, too.
There is not a day that goes by that we do not use our swings. The babies nap in the them in the morning, and go in for a few minutes at a time when I need both hands. The same goes for our pack-and-play. Although these are big pieces of equipment, they have really helped.
Our playmats spent some time in their boxes, but now are part of our daily routine. The babies love the toys that hang down and the music that plays.
There are, of course, the car seats and stroller combination that we use daily. As well as the diaper pail and bags. But I likely wouldn’t have known about the multiuse pads we put in our crib and on our changing table were it not for my friend. They keep me from having to wash sheets and changing pad covers daily.
Finally, it wasn’t until the babies were born and in the NICU that I got a breast pump. Having used the one in the hospital without a bustier, I knew I wanted a hands free one. I was able to purchase a MedelaFreestyle which attaches directly to my bra. It’s wonderful and allows me to tend to the babies even while I pump. It also saves settings and can be adjusted as needed.
One final piece of advice: keep receipts and tags on items until you are actually ready to use them. You’ll likely end up wanting to return some things and stores are usually good about giving credit.
Kara and her husband compare bellies as he tries on an "empathy belly" at her baby shower in Boston last year. Photo credit to Emilie Sommer of emilie inc.9:02am on Tuesday May 15