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When your little one is at home, peace of mind is anywhere but where you are. Especially if you’re a first time parent. I remember being so scared over every little thing because I was terrified I was going to somehow damage my child for life. Granted, my little boy has a bigger head than most due to his hydrocephalus so I was worried that if I held him the wrong way I’d snap his neck. Most people don’t have that particular worry. But I think, as moms, we can all agree that the moment we took our firstborns home was pretty terrifying.
For NICU moms, its a bit different. We have so much help that others don’t, because nurses are around 24/7 to take care of our little ones and help us learn to take care of this brand new baby that has now entered our lives. For some, that help lasts a few days. For others (like us), a few weeks. And then there are some that have that help for months. When we finally get the green light to go home it’s terrifying because that help you’ve come to depend on is suddenly not there anymore.
Looking back now, I realize just how lucky we were to have all the help that we did. Chris and I like to say we got extra training and we were (and are) very thankful for it. But while all that training prepared us for taking care of our baby in the hospital, nothing could prepare us for taking him home. That was a whole other ballgame: new place, new things, and one baby who was thrown completely off of his routine. That’s why I want to put together a list of the five things you must buy if you are a NICU mom. These items helped us greatly during our transition home, and continue to help us even today!
Five Things Every NICU Mom Needs:
When you’re in the NICU (or the hospital in general) you hear machines beeping all night long, nurses talking outside your door, babies crying, and people coming in interrupting your sleep every few hours. The first night home our little guy couldn’t sleep unless we had talk radio on and the bathroom light. He freaked out when we turned off the lights and whimpered because it was too quiet. As soon as we turned on some white noise and a light he fell right asleep in the pack and play beside us. Unfortunately for us, we didn’t. While he was used to that noise and found it comforting, we had a much harder time adjusting!
A Quality Baby Monitor
I did a lot of research on baby monitors when I was pregnant because I wanted to make sure I got a good one. One thing I wasn’t looking for, but was really excited by, was the fact that some monitors are able to tell you what the temperature is in your child’s bedroom. We always have the problem where our air conditioner breaks over the summer and the heat breaks in the winter. It’s miserable. And I didn’t want our little guy to have to deal with overheating (which can lead to SIDS) or becoming too cold. We ended up with The VTech Safe&Sound DM271-110 Audio Monitor with Open/Closed and Motion Sensors for this reason alone. Knowing the temperature at all times is invaluable to us, and I automatically know if our little guy is comfortable or if I have to go adjust the thermostat.
Pictures or Videos
When I was pregnant I was determined to try to nurse my child when he was born. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to but I ended up having no problems once my milk came in, which was a nice surprise. But, nursing as a NICU mom was difficult. I needed to make sure I established a supply that could keep up with my growing baby’s needs, and that meant pumping every three hours when I wasn’t at the hospital. My biggest concern was that my body wouldn’t respond well to my pump, so I had to find ways to get my body to respond. One of the nurses suggested we take pictures and videos of our little guy when we were visiting him to look at when I pumped, and it worked! My milk came in and I was able to keep up my supply until he could come home and nurse on demand.
A Night Light
While the lights were always dimmed at night in the NICU there was still a good amount of lights from the monitors and overhead dimmers. Our little guy had such a hard time adjusting to a dark room after he came home, and it made night-time terrible for all of us. He couldn’t go to sleep and Chris and I were exhausted and miserable. We love our Storm Trooper nightlight but the battery doesn’t last very long, and we always figure out it’s dead right before bedtime. Luckily, the VTech Digital Audio Baby Monitor has a on-ceiling nightlight that projects the moon and stars onto the ceiling, and since it plugs into the wall the light will never go out like our battery-powered one! Our little guy loves this feature and will stare at the ceiling for a long time before finally drifting off to sleep. (The monitor also plays a sweet lullaby, which is great white noise!)
One thing I really hoped for when I found out we were expecting was that our baby didn’t get my horribly dry skin. But of course, he did. I suffer from bad eczema and so does our little one. The humidifier was a must-have for us because it helps with the humidity in the nursery and keeps our little guys chapped lips at bay as well as his eczema flare ups. I love sitting in the rocker next to the humidifier and breathing in the “wet” air, so I’m sure if I love it our little guy does too!
Being a first time mom is quite terrifying on it’s own, but having peace of mind with my VTech Digital Audio Baby Monitor was something that really helped Chris and I get through the first few weeks at home! Nap times were always a little scary if we weren’t in the room, but knowing that we could talk to our baby on the two-way talk-back intercom if he got upset or hear him if he needed us made cleaning up the house or even trying to get a quick shower a do-able thing!
I’m really excited for when he is older and starts moving around too, because the VTech Digital Audio Baby Monitor also comes with motion sensors! That way I’ll always know when he’s trying to sneak out of his room for a midnight Oreo snack!
If you’re looking for a monitor you can gain peace of mind with, you can pick up your own VTech Digital Audio Baby Monitor at Amazon or vtechphones.com.