Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Then Comes Baby...

...in the baby carriage, the car seat, the stroller, the crib, the bottles, the pump, and more things than I can possible list here.

I currently have a two dear friends and a sister-in-law who are pregnant. Two of these pregnancies are first timers. Rather than inundate them with MORE unsolicited advice (don't you just love the little ol' lady at the grocery store who tells you to enjoy them while they are young because they grow up fast?) I have decided to post my advice here. Advice based on birthing 3 babies from 3 pregnancies in 3 years and 3 months. That and .25 cents will get you a coke at Wal-Mart. If you buy the Sam's Choice from the machine.

Here goes my top picks on what a new mom REALLY needs, as opposed to what Babies R Us says you need.

1. A bouncy seat OR portable swing. These basically do the same job so you don't need both. If you want the swing be sure to get the short one that you can carry from room-to-room, haul to Grandma's house or sit inside a Pack-n-Play to protect Baby from people and pets. Not that I know anyone who's done that or anything.

2. White onesies in every size up to 12 months. These are great no matter what the season or your location. I prefer white because then they don't clash with the cute outfit that the Grandma will send your way.

3. A Pack-n-Play. Buy the one with the changing table and the bassinet feature. This way you can have Baby in your room for the first couple of weeks and not go crazy running to their room in the middle of the night. Unlike a real bassinet, you can use this one later as a play pen or portable crib. Skip the sun shade & bug covers and sheets, though. O! And have the Grandmas buy one for their houses so you don't have to haul yours over every time.

4. Lap Pads. You aren't going to use this on your lap. Place it on top of the changing pad cover. This way when Baby lets loose when the diaper is off (it is so going to happen!) you won't have to change the cover, just the lap pad. Less laundry and less time, always my goal!

5. Cloth Diapers. A dozen of the thickest ones you can find. Don't go thinking I've lost my mind. These are for burp cloths not diapers. Baby NEVER spits up on the pretty ones Grandma sends. O, NO! Baby would rather use your shirt than those. A cloth diaper will cover your whole shoulder and absorb lots. When they get really nasty they can be bleached. The diaper not the baby.

6. A lingerie bag. This is to put all those darling little socks into. I keep one in the laundry basket. Then, when I pull the dirty socks off I drop them in the bag. As long as everyone remembers the system you won't lose any socks to the dryer.

7. An Exersaucer. Try to find one with the least amount of toys attached to the tray. Baby doesn't need 35 different toys! 3-5 is plenty. My kids have all loved this. It allows them to be upright when they can't sit or stand up alone, yet. They want to see what I'm doing. And once they are mobile it allows you to keep them out from under your feet.

8. Footed Sleepers, Creepers, Pajamas, whatever you want to call them. I love these until about 6 months. You don't have to worry about keeping socks and shoes on tiny feet. Also, the adorable clothes you get at the baby shower always ride up, have huge collars that poke the face and are just uncomfortable for Baby. Save those for when you are in public.

9. Booster Seat. Portable and with a tray. SKIP THE HIGH CHAIR! They take up too much space and don't train Baby to eat at the table. If you start solids before Baby can fully sit up alone, use the Bouncer or Swing placed on a table (yes, I know this is a safety concern just don't walk away when you are doing it!). My 3 have only used the booster. While they are in the messy self-feeding stage they use the tray but near the table (they eat when we eat). Once they gain a little more control over their hands and food (about 12-15 months) I put the tray away and pull them straight up to the table. I even place their food on a plate and teach them to leave the plate on the table (closer to 2 years). I think this method is why we always get compliments on how well-behaved our children are when we eat at a restaurant. Children do in public what they do at home or worse. Never better.

10. The Ultimate Crib Sheet. Put your pretty sheet on the mattress. This sheet lays on top and has straps that snap around the crib rails. When the sheet needs to be changed just pop it off and pop on a clean one. Takes MUCH less time and aggravation than changing the whole thing!

Those are my top picks. I'll be back with my Top Skips. And don't forget. They grow up really fast so enjoy them when they are snugly and smell sweet. Before you know it, you'll have a sassy little four-year-old with stinky feet. At least the kisses are still sweet.

2 comments:

Dawn in KY said...

Well as one of those first time preggos - I appreciate these tips! We just tried to register & man, is it overwhelming. I am glad to say that I did some of this before you left your advice - there is hope for me yet! Who has room for all that stuff, anyway? After you fill your house with all of those things that Babies R Us says you need - where are mom, dad & baby supposed to go? Well I look forward to more of your unsolicited advice. And if I think it is crazy I will just keep that to myself. haha

Anonymous said...

Steph,

This is great! Thanks for sharing with me. I wish I had the time for it.
love ya,
shannon

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