Newborns eat quite alot... every 2-4 hours to be exact... which goes by quite quickly when you consider that's from when you start feeding and it could take babies anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour to finish. Yes, nursing is a beautiful bonding experience. No, I don't necessarily feel the same poignant emotions at four in the morning. Regardless, it's necessary and beneficial to baby. Babies also have breakdowns and like to be held. That being said, it's important to keep oneself relaxed and entertained or it's easy to be uncomfortable and tense the majority of the day. Here is the survival kit that has aided me tremendously in the numerous feedings and spontaneous baby breakdowns at all hours...
Ipod touch & blackberry- with these I can conveniently respond to emails and surf the Internet. Also, there's a free app I use religiously that keeps track of how long feedings are, suggests an appropriate time for the next feeding based on duration, diaper changes, and baby's sleep times. It's been beyond helpful to reference when I have dozens of other things on my mind
Nook & Magazines- for an especially long bonding session with Dylan, I can get pretty far in my latest warm weather read with a touch of a screen; it's especially helpful that this barely takes one hand to use versus a real book. For a shorter session, the latest magazine does the trick
Reading light- not too much lighting to wake up husband, but enough lighting to find my way to the bassinet and changing table when needed
Boppy- I haven't built the upper body strength yet to hold baby girl all day long. This enables me to still have use of at least one hand and makes baby and I both much more comfortable
Portable fan- I'm still hot all the time, but I have to remember that baby is not. Also, G does not appreciate a high air conditioning bill, so this fan continues to be a close friend
Water bottle- self explanatory. I need to remember to take care of myself too
Now, this survival kit doesn't negate the need to be present with baby and give her my complete attention when necessary. This survival kit helps to cope when I may need a little relief or break, but it may not be possible at the time. Baby will sense if I'm frustrated, stressed, bored, or uncomfortable so the faster I can find a way to remain a calm me, the better I am for her.