My sister-in-law is pregnant with
the spawn of my brother a precious gift of God. They are due in early summer and will be first-time parents. Remember those days? You were filled with anticipation and had NO friggin' idea exactly how much you used to love sleeping?
At one of my baby showers, my girlfriend Mama Mia gave me some "advice." (She bought me a real gift too, lest I never speak to her again.) I have since added/adjusted/amended the list and given it as part of a baby shower gift. Just another way for me to grace the universe with my unsolicited opinion . . .
|No, really, Mommy . . . you should try to get some rest.|
(which you may, of course, choose to ignore)
compiled by BoyMommy
CEO: BoyMommy Family Household
I. My favorite brands:
* I am not receiving any compensation from the following brands, but if they would like to throw some money my way, I will gladly accept it.
a. Diapers & wipes – Pampers
b. Car seats – Graco Snug Ride (infant) and then Britax Roundabout and Britax Marathon, in age-appropriate order
c. Socks – Children’s Place
d. Footie Pajamas – Children’s Place
e. Sippy Cups – Platex (Gerber sippies have stoppers that fall loose every time Baby drops the cup. Platex stoppers stay in better.)
f. Gas Drops – Store brand (Mylicon is expensive, and let’s face it . . . they’re GAS drops; how different can they all be?)
g. Pain Reliever – Motrin lasts longer than Tylenol
h. Bible – What to Expect the First Year
i. Bottles – Dr. Brown’s are the “new thing” but I’m not sure it makes much difference. HOWERVER, if Baby is colicky you're willing to try anything to please for-the-love-o'-pete-make-it-stop.
j. Diaper Crème – Desitin
* my computer thinks I'm all fancy and French and keeps adding that little thingy to the top of the e. Still doesn't change the fact that it goes on Baby's poop chute.
k. Sleep Bras (if you nurse) – Motherhood
l. Nursing camisoles - Target
m. Maternity clothes – Motherhood, Gap Maternity (online), Kohls, Target
II. Things I wish I’d known:
a. Nipple confusion is bullsh*t. I wouldn’t let the nurses give Large a pacifier because I was worried about nipple confusion. (Because I was an expert . . . I mean I HAD been a mother for a few hours now . . . ) Trust me – babies know where their next meal’s comin’ from.
b. Unless you know you’re going to be transferring Baby from one car to the other a lot, don’t bother with an extra base. We’ve used a car seat in Daddy’s car maybe 5 times total.
c. Register for BIG items, even if you’re not going to use them right away. It’s easy to store things like the high chair/swing/exersaucer in their original boxes until you need them, and then you won’t have to run out and buy them yourselves later. These make great gifts for people (like co-workers) who want to pool their money for one big gift. Don’t register for clothes – you’ll get a ton of those anyway, especially if you already know what you’re having.
d. Shave your legs, get your toes done, get your eyebrows waxed, and get your hair cut about a week before Baby’s arrival. It may not happen again for a loooooong time. And buy some good ponytail holders. Personal hygiene is the first to go.
e. Invest in a good quality glider. Baby doesn’t care if his/her dresser matches the crib, etc, but YOU will appreciate having a comfy place to sit in in the wee hours of the morning. You don’t want a hard rocking chair that makes your butt stiff.
f. Register online at Pampers.com, Gerber.com, Enfamil.com, Similac.com, etc, even if you plan to nurse. They’ll send you free coupons, and even if you don’t use the formula coupons, you can trade them with a girlfriend for something you will use, like diapers.
g. Ask your pediatrician for samples of formula and pain reliever.
III. If you plan to Nurse:
a. Don’t go cheap on the nursing bras. Target has In Due Time brand nursing camisoles that look like little tanktops. They run a little small, so you might want to try on first. (I wore a 2x – I know I’m not a LITTLE girl, but come on!) Motherhood has good bras too, but don’t forget – their return policy is not very forgiving. I love their sleep bras – not very supportive, but enough to keep you from leaking.
b. Take Lansinoh gel with you to the hospital and apply it EVERY time you nurse. Breastfeeding hurts. The La Leche Nazis will not tell you this because they want you to keep trying. Consult with the Lactation Consultant at the hospital and get used to the fact that not only has your doctor been elbow-deep into your hoo-ha, now a very grandmotherly lady that you don’t know will be feeling you up.
c. The Lactation Consultant should also have these little gel pads that fit right over your nippy to help soothe the soreness. They’re expensive, but SO worth it. You can put them in the fridge and cool them before you apply. I know it sounds weird right now, but please take my word for it. You can also buy them at the store (Gerber, I think) but they aren’t as good as the ones you can get from the Lactation Consultant.
d. If you buy a breast pump, get a good one. I have a Medela and I love it. I actually used it quite a bit. I registered for it so I wouldn’t have to shell out all that money myself. It is LOUD. A 757 could pass overhead but you wouldn't hear it over the sound of the Human Milker.
e. No one will tell you this: when you do the s-e-x, you might leak from your boobs. It is very strange and can really ruin a moment. (Also, invest in some K-Y because nursing makes you extra dry.)
f. Lansinoh also makes disposable nursing pads to keep any leaking from showing through during the day. I tried to save money by using cloth ones that I could reuse, but they’re a lot thicker and they’re pretty obvious. I wore nursing pads for about 6 months with all 3 boys.
IV. Other odds and ends:
a. Keep all blankets you get as gifts. I thought I had way too many, but if you have a puker, like my own little Yacky McVomit (AKA Medium) then you’ll need a lot of clean blankets.
b. Miracle Blanket (online) has great swaddling blankets which I think work WONDERS in the first few weeks. I got one as a gift for Medium and I wish I’d had one with Large.
c. Every parent will tell you something different, but personally, we’re firm believers in the Ferber Method at about 3.5-4 months old. I think it’s REALLY important for your own sanity that you teach your baby to sleep on his/her own. I also know it’s REALLY hard to listen to your baby cry for you. But it’s a few nights of pure hell (maybe a week?) that pays off in the long run.
d. Gymboree is very expensive and I have been very happy with the cheap classes I have taken through the park authority.
e. Malls, Libraries, and Bookstores have a lot of free kid programs. Check them out online.
f. A pacifier tether will help keep Baby’s binky close at hand. So when you’re driving down the highway at 60 miles an hour, you can reach behind you and easily find the binky because Baby can only spit it out so far.
g. I LOVED my Baby Bjorn. Expensive, but totally worth it.
h. No one needs a wipes warmer. (Although a friend told me their wipes would freeze in the winter, and they used one, so perhaps . . . PERHAPS . . . I'm not an expert.)
i. Join a mom’s group. You can look online – just google "mom’s club" – and you should be able to track one down in your area. Motherhood is very isolating, especially at first. It’s vital that you remember you are not alone.
j. Be honest with your doctor. Having baby blues is normal, but there’s NO reason for you to suffer unnecessarily.
k. MOST IMPORTANT: Sleep while Baby sleeps! You will not get a significant chunk of sleep for MONTHS, (maybe years,) so you have to get it while you can. The dishes and vacuuming will be there later. Your time is better spent with Baby and you’ll be a better mommy if you are better rested.