Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Advice from the Moms Out There

I've noticed that moms like to give advice to other moms -- particularly for first time moms to be (like me)

(And I don't mind, I like having lots of different ideas and options for caring for our baby. Also, having never been a parent I think it'd be silly to just ignore everyone's advice. So to all my mom friends, keep the advice comin')

I've been asked on more than one occasion "What things do you still need for the baby?" and I think "Gosh, I don't know, what DO I need for the baby??" I mean I guess I don't have any binkies yet...or many clothes...or....heavens, I don't know.

So I thought I'd ask you. What products/items did you find most helpful in the first 6 months?? Specifically, which ones are absolute must haves and which ones were splurges that you could have done without but you still loved having them?

Thanks in advance for the advice ladies (oh and guys you can pitch in too, it's not like fathers don't have opinions on such things)

21 little remarks:

Julie said...

Loved, but could have done without:
Diaper champ, boppy, my Baby Bjorn.

Can't do without: I know you have a ton of cloth diapers, but I would keep a couple of packages of disposable on hand also. Pampers swaddlers and Pampers Baby dry are my favorites. White onsies (Lots of them!! Carters brand is our favorite.)

That's all I can think of right now. I should probably start figuring out what I need to start stocking up on myself...

Haws Family said...

I thought I needed a lot, but when our first came we had a changing table, a carseat, about 5 outfits, and some blankets. We didn't even have a crib!

After having more babies, I haven't used much other than lots of onesies, enough cloth diapers (About 2 dozen), and sleepers. And lots of baby blankets.

Babies just need to be warm, fed and loved, and it doesn't take much to do that! ;)

Lindy said...

I realize you probably don't even remember me from high school or know that I've been following your blog. (I also know Joe from Sounding Joy a million years ago.) So I don't know if you want my advice. But since I had 3 babies in 3 years I know some things that are musts.

Burp clothes- babies spit up all the time. It's helpful to have a lot of them around.

Swaddling blankets- nothing is more helpful when you have a screaming baby than a blanket that can be wrapped up tightly around them.

Diapers- I would also suggest disposable diapers. Babies poop a lot and you might need some extras on hand.

Onesies and sleepers- have a lot of these because babies can go through them quickly.

TV shows on DVD- this one might sound funny but I found it helpful to watch a TV show in the middle of the night while nursing. They helped me stay wake enough so that I would actually put the baby back to bed when they fell asleep, and get back to bed myself. With my first child I didn't do this. I found myself falling asleep in an awful position in the rocking chair, then by the time I would wake up and put the baby to bed, it would almost be time for her to wake up again for her to eat.

Anyway I hope this was helpful. Good luck.

Stephanie said...

The boppy is so helpful. Especially if you have to have a c-section (hope you don't).
A swing and/or a bouncer.
a verity of blankets.
Also, I wish I would have packed the little hand mitts in my hospital bag because Bret had to go home and get them.

Colby and Meredith said...

Well I honestly think it depends on the child. For instance, I couldn't have got through the first 6 months without a swing for Lyric because that was my go-to when I just couldn't hold her. But, some kids don't like swings. So I would borrow one to try out before purchasing your own.

I would also say lots of white onesies, burp cloths and bibs.

There is an item called a SwaddleMe that some would say is a splurge item (because you can swaddle a baby with just a blanket), but to me I will use it with every child I have! Eventually babies start to kick and become unswaddled. However, with the SwaddleMe it ensures the baby will stay swaddled the entire night...gotta love velcro!

Lea-log family said...

I just had baby number three and barely discovered the convenience of a baby sling--now I dont know how I survived the first two without it!

Becky Knowles said...

I just did this, so it's fresh in my mine. Lots of blankets and burp cloths. I had spitters and was washing them constantly. I'm with Julie about keeping some disposable diapers on hand, but I can't even imagine doing cloth at all. I also remember running to the store in the middle of the night for infant tylenol with Boston. And, my boppy pillow has probably saved my kids lives a couple times....I fall asleep feeding my kids in the middle of the night and it kept them from rolling away. :) You are going to be such a good mom. The things I always forget are the boring things for ME like nursing pads, nursing bras, pads. etc. You are going to be such a good mom.

Ali said...

I just sent a friend an email about this...I'll forward it to you:) Mostly it's a lot of what the gals above are saying though.

Mandi said...

Enjoyed, but could live without:

Diaper Genie

Crib (at least, for us, for the first year)

Baby shoes



Couldn't do without:

LOTS of burp cloths, and the
bigger, the better (I'm talking AT LEAST 20, but Scott had bad acid reflux. But get/make a goodly supply if you don't want to be doing laundry all the time :)

plain white onesies (the easier to bleach out the spit-up and baby poop stains :)

Dreft Laundry Stain Remover spray (I swear it's the only thing that would take poop stains out of the colored clothes--his AND mine--without ruining them)

Lansinoh lanolin, breast pads, and at least 3 good nursing bras (I don't know about other moms, but I leaked so much milk when Scott was little that I'd have nothing to wear if I didn't have at least 3 bras--also, 7 nursing garment tops)

a nursing cover that you feel comfortable using in public--practice!! (in front of a mirror or your husband, and ask if he can see anything)

A comfy rocking chair to nurse/sleep in

a wide-brimmed baby hat for outside time (she'll be too little for sunscreen)

digital thermometer (sometimes they give you one at the hospital) and supply of baby acetaminophen and ibuprofen

diaper cream with zinc oxide

Johnson's baby wash and lotion

a baby sling or carrier that you like, feels comfortable, and you understand how to use completely safely. These things are life-savers!!

a fridge stocked with quick, easy, portable snacks packed with energy and protein (cheese sticks, fruit, granola bars, nuts, yogurt are some of my faves).

Just remember that preparing for the arrival of the baby also means preparing to have almost no time or energy or motivation to care for yourself (at least for the first little while). Do everything you can think of to plan ahead and make things easier for you to baby yourself, too. :)

That's all for now, but maybe I'll think of more. You really opened a can of worms with this one! :)

Jessie said...

Lots of blankets, cozy clothes (like sleepers and gowns), and burp cloths (we actually just use cloth diapers for those) are pretty essential. The hospital will give you a pacifier or two most likely, which was something I used a lot with Breanne, but not with Janey. Other than that, though, you really just need diapers, a carseat, and a place for the baby to sleep. We really like using a bassinet in our room for the first couple weeks, but that's just a personal preference--many women prefer to go straight to the crib in another room, which is just fine, too.

Something I'd given no thought to, but realized the importance of after having the baby was nursing stuff--you're probably going to want some nursing bras, and nursing pads--I tried the washable nursing pads for the first few weeks after I had Breanne, and it was a disaster! I would totally recommend, if you can afford the $6-7 every couple weeks, to go with disposable ones. SO much better than leaking milk through all your clothes. Also, and this falls under the category of "mostly non-essential" is perhaps a pump of some sort--whether a small hand pump, or something more fancy--just in case you start to get an infection or something, and can't get it unclogged by self-expressing. Those are just SO painful, it's nice to have something to provide some relief. Plus if you're planning on going back to work or whatever, you might want one anyway.

And last but not least, I love my Moby Wrap--though I did without it with Breanne, I used it constantly with Janey, and will definitely be using it with this baby, too. My friend just made me one out of jersey-knit fabric, and it's fantastic. If you've never heard of it, here's a basic idea of what it is: http://www.mobywrap.com/. I can't talk it up enough.

Angie said...

Honestly there is so much that I thought I needed but when it came down to it, all we needed was a carseat, stroller (and even that is up for debate when they are really little) and a crib. OK so clothes too and the best thing I did was stock up on diapers. With all the other expenses and how many diapers you go through I loved having so many already. I guess that won't matter if you're using cloth diapers though. Everything else was like "Oh we should've got one of those" or "ya, we could've gone without that." Oh a pack n play was great for us because we travel a lot. For our next kid I'll probably get a bumbo, those things rock. But I will be searching on craigslist b/c it's ridiculous to pay full price (in my opinion). OK enough of that. Let us know what things you end up loving!

Angie said...

OK I thought I was done but I'm not. Another thing we liked (but it was a gift, again I wouldn't have paid full price for it :) was a bouncer. When they are really little it's great to have them just sitting in it rather than on the floor but it's not a necessity. It was just one of those things I really loved having. And one of those slings too. Especially for airports, the mall, etc. I think your "lifestyle" will effect what you want/need and could live without.

Colby and Meredith said...

Oh one thing that I forgot to mention, along the lines of what others were saying above about stuff for YOU...at the Motherhood Maternity store they have what are called Sleep Bras. Easy to nurse in and SO much more comfortable than a regular nursing bra. In a sense it kind of looks like a sports bra, but it is so comfortable.

Tiff said...

I couldn't live without:
-baby formed q-tips (great for cleaning around the umbilical stump, ears, and works awesome at getting boogers out of little noses)
-*fleece* swaddleme. Harvey could get out of any swaddle from Day 3, except this one. The fleece doesn't stretch much, but the cotton one does. He could get out of the cotton one. He was in that thing almost 24/7 for the first month.
-Mylacon gas drops. He seemed to calm down at night with those.
-Medela Swing pump (if you're not going back to work.. if you are get the double one.)
-Medela steam cleaning bags. (LOVED them.)
-Burp cloths made from cloth diapers. I was given a few of these and they were the best at soaking up.
-sleep gowns. It was much easier to change middle-of-the-night diapers. If it's cold, get a zip up sleep blanket to go over it.
-socks instead of booties. Those things just fall off.
-hand sanitizer - right in the crib or bassinet. It helps you remember to wash your hands right before you (or visitors) pick them up.
-waterproof pads for the bassinet/crib. They also sell small ones (washcloth size) and right at first when my milk came in I would just stick a folded one in my bra. It was a life saver.
-washable nursing pads. After my milk regulated a bit, they were fine.
-JJCole bundle me. Okay. Maybe this is a luxury. And maybe a cheaper brand is out there, or you could make your own. But Harvey was born in Nov, and it was freezing outside, so it was great to put him in his car seat and zip up the bundle me. I didn't have to worry about blankets falling out/off.
-baby411 (the book). I turned to that reference SO many times. There is even a section called "Surviving the first two weeks".

Later:
-travel swing. It's much smaller, uses less batteries, and you can move it from room to room.
-bouncer. Mine had a vibrating option. Harvey slept strapped in this thing for almost the first three months. He loved it. See what she likes (swing/bouncer/neither) and then buy one.
-borrow a bumbo from someone.

Don't worry about it:
-"baby" towels that are made of thin cotton fabric. They don't soak up any water. Either spend the money for a cute hooded one made of regular towel fabric, or just use what you have.
-baby washcloths. Just use what you have.
-flannel burp cloths. They're cute, but they don't soak up anything.
-baby shampoo. Just get the all-in-one wash.
-toys/stuffed animals/etc. People love buying you this stuff, so save your money! Babies love to play with empty packaging, old TP rolls, etc.

For the hospital:
-A robe if you have one.
-your own pajamas. I had a top that buttoned up, so I could still nurse without taking it off.
-Don't forget your camera!(we did)
-Your baby book. You can get the nurses to do a foot / hand print right inside the book. Just ask.
-A journal/notebook. I had one journal just for baby stuff, and it helped to write down everyone's advice, the baby story, and all the nurses' tips on nursing, swaddling, burping, etc. Now I take it to all of Harvey's appointments too.

You'll do fabulous. I felt like although I had read everything I wasn't prepared, but you'll know your baby best. And you'll figure it out. :)

Lisa said...

Holy cow! People sure have a lot of things to say. My three favorite things that haven't already been said:
Secrets of the Baby Whisperer
Udder Cover (only 9 dollars with a promo code)
Avent binkies(they have lids!)

Charayne said...

Wow Anna, everyone had told you about a lot of great product. Call me and I will tell you what I think. It would be much faster than writing it all down and then we could chat. :)

Kaela said...

I posted about this awhile back before I had Logan. Here is a link to it: http://freshdesignsstudio.blogspot.com/2009/09/getting-ready-for-baby.html

With Logan my most favorite things have been:
-An exercise ball- my babies love to be bounced for some reason and it stinks being up late at night trying to stand and bounce them.
-The baby bjorn- babies love being close to their mamas and it is so nice to have two hands once in awhile.
-Also, I love aiden and anais blankets. Ali introduced me to them and Target carries them now:)

Abbie Scott said...

Anna, Have I told you yet that I think you are going to be a great parent (regardless of what "baby gear" you have)!!
For me my favorite splurge was my summer VIDEO monitor!! I loved seeing my baby (now 20 month old) at all times! I would trade a closet full of clothes, a swing, and a whole bunch of baby gargabe to have one. Well worth the 160 bucks.

Andrea said...

I totally recommend "splurging" on a really comfy rocker. We didn't have one with our first...just a glider, with wooden arms (so uncomfy, and noisy!). For our 2nd we "splurged" and bought a comfy, microfiber rocker/recliner and it is the best purchase I have EVER made!
Next time we have a baby, I am going to splurge on a video monitor. I have always wanted one and I know it would save me a lot of time worrying.

Ariel said...

Two words: BUTT PASTE!

Amber said...

I haven't been to your blog in ages! There's lots of good advice here and I don't know that I would say anything different. I did want to let you know that we have a swing that you could borrow, if you want. It's a Fisher Price and it PLUGS IN! No wasting batteries! It's just sitting in a closet right now and we won't need it for who know how long. We're still in Provo, so if you're interested in borrowing it just let me know :) amberpena @ gmail . com

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