Candid Chatter

Just Say It

Wisdom for the New Mom-to-Be November 12, 2008

I’m sure there are a few of you who read this who can add to the list. When I was in BabiesRUs quickly scanning the items for my baby registry, I saw quite a few confused new parents-to-be trying to figure out what they need and what they don’t need.

I remember doing a whole bunch of returning when I was pregnant with Brianna following my first baby shower. I recall one of my friends laughing at me and shaking her head. Well, I got a whole bunch of crap that was less important to me than the stuff I thought I really needed. Who wouldn’t choose bottles over socks? Seriously.

I declined baby shower offers when I was pregnant with Jeremy. Brianna was a mere 10 months old when I got pregnant with him. I had everything I needed left over from her. I was smart and got neutral everything. I knew I wanted more kids and if I had bought all pink I would have needed everything all over again. Plus, being that I’m a research hound, I learned that babies can only see in black, white, and red clearly when they are small.

Well this time is different. Since I thought we’d be adopting our third child I gave just about everything away. The big stuff, that is. No swing. No bouncer. No tub. And I remember needing pacifiers and pacifier clips. My diaper bag had been through a war zone — or at least it appeared that way — and I needed a new one of those too. So here is a partial list from a Mom of two and a Mom-to-be of three who will all be under the age of five. Yes, I am crazy. Just ask anyone who knows me.

  1. No matter what the magazines or books or well-meaning relatives tell you YOU DO NOT NEED A BASSINET!!
  2. Travel yards (pack and plays) are up to the individual. I never used mine for a play pen. I never took it anywhere with me. What I did use it for was another place to lie the baby down to sleep besides the crib. The crib is in the bedroom. The pack and play can go anywhere else — I kept it in the living room.
  3. If you get a high chair you better get one that is on wheels and easy to clean.
  4. Ignore the lactation nurses and once your infant is 4 weeks old get that baby a pacifier. Yes, you’re welcome.
  5. Let’s talk bibs — only buy the absorbent ones. The cute ones that aren’t terry cloth are just that… cute! They are worthless. If you don’t listen to me here, you’ll see shortly as the spit up runs down the non-absorbent bib onto your shirt, lap, or floor.
  6. Diaper bags. Do NOT get a diaper bag that will embarrass your husband. If he won’t carry it, you are screwed my dear. The end.
  7. Yes, burp cloths are important. They will become a part of your wardrobe. Again, always choose absorbent over cute.
  8. Breastfeeding? One word — Lansinoh. You’re welcome.
  9. Babies (infants) don’t need or want toys. Wait. Just hold off for a few months. They could care less. What they want is warmth, tight swaddling, your touch, your voice, and your face.
  10. The cheap diapers work just as well as Pampers or Huggies.
  11. Get the disposable wash cloths that have the soap already in them. You’ll use these suckers every single bath time and with one hand holding the baby you won’t be able to soap up a washcloth the regular way. You can find these little miracles at WalMart, BabiesRUs, and Target. You can get like 20 in a box for around $3.00.
  12. Get used to raw hands from washing them so much. Buy a really good hand lotion — one that won’t stay greasy or sticky or slimy. I’d also stay away from any brand that has a fragrance since that will burn if your hands start to crack.
  13. Tummy cream doesn’t work. Don’t waste your money. You will get stretch marks. It’s a fact of life. Well, unless you are one of the lucky ones. But most of us aren’t lucky.
  14. You will NEVER use a travel swing. Forget it. I know it’s cute. Put it down and walk away.

What else do you need??

  • A safe car seat that doubles as an infant carrier
  • A good, sturdy swing
  • A bouncer seat
  • A stroller — my recommendation is a travel system where the stroller and car seat all fit together
  • Lots of blankets
  • Lots of absorbent bibs and burp cloths
  • Onesies
  • Socks
  • Pacifiers and clips that attach to baby’s clothes
  • A good thermometer
  • A blue suction thingy and keep it handy at all times incase your little one has acid reflux and chokes on his or her own spit up and then can’t breathe (been there, done that)
  • A good baby monitor. Don’t get the one with video. If you’re asleep you won’t see the little tyke anyway. Get one that doesn’t have a lot of interference and won’t drive you nuts with all the bells and whistles (or lights) when you’re trying to sleep at night.
  • A sleep positioner

Good luck and congratulations New Mommy. Your whole world is about to be turned upside down and sideways. Is it worth it? You better believe it — every single sleepless minute.

Seasoned Moms (or Dads)
What would you add
to the list?


22 Responses to “Wisdom for the New Mom-to-Be”

  1. Ruthie Says:

    I have not had a baby in ten years so I am hoping for all you young mothers they have invented breast pads that really work. I walked around the grocery store, the mall, Wal-mart and at home with two big bully’s eyes of milk that had leaked on my shirts.
    The electric swing was my best friend. Make sure in the winter you do not keep the house to cold, the swing on high and no socks. You will have little blue toes and a very cold baby!

  2. Something else you don’t need is one of those baby diaper magic disposer thingies…I don’t know what they are called…after all, I’m a man…

    But, you can’t get but a couple of dirty diapers in there any way…Save your money and time and just reuse your WalMart or Target bags! They work just fine…and you are recycling!

  3. candidchatter Says:

    Ruthie: Welcome!! Thanks for stopping in and commenting. They do make really good breast pads now. Lansinoh and Medela make them. I get gargantuan boobies full of healthy milk when it comes in. It’s ridiculous really. Trust me when I say I leak, leak, leak — esp if I hear a baby crying. I have never leaked thru onto my clothes. And they are disposable now too. Swings are all battery operated now. Funny how fast these things change, huh?

    Steve: I forgot about Diaper Genies — probably b/c I’ve never had one. Yes — MAJOR waste of money. You’re right!!


  4. mommato3blessings Says:

    I had to laugh reading your list. Funny how different people are….we used our pack & play all the time! Only not at our house! We took it on all trips out of town to use as babys bed. Aside from trips, it’s permanent residence was (and still is) at Grandma & Grandpa’s house! Our kids stay at their house often….so if they needed a nap or for overnight trips, they stayed in the pack & play. I HAD to have one!

    Ditto on the diaper genie or other diaper disposal systems…..we use cheapie-brand sandwich sized ziplock bags. Work perfect!

    Now, this may be just us…..but you can TOTALLY get by without a changing table. After the baby was 6 weeks or so, I never ever used the changing table! We used the floor, the bed, our laps…..never the changing table!

    Do NOT buy a bumbo seat brand new. They are great IF your child doesn’t have majorly chunky legs when they finally get to the point that they have enough head control to sit in one…..which I have never experienced. My Ellie, as well as my nephew and 2 friends’ babies, all had chunky thighs and the leg openings in the bumbo were too tight a squeeze to fit well!!! By the time Ellie’s legs slimmed down, she was too big for the seat and could climb out of it! If you still want one, find it on craigslist or borrow from a friend!

    Do yourself a favor and get a pouch sling…. like a hotsling or a peanut shell. They are worth every penny…and if you’re the crafty type, you can make one! Ellie lived in hers until Eric accidentally threw it away!

  5. I agree on the changing table…my wife JUST had to have one! She couldn’t live without it, or so she thought! It had to match the crib and dresser…oh my, how cute it is…

    And…it’ll be good in a yard sale one day soon–since it was used a grand total of three times! Now, it’s just a place to lay his clothes before they go into the dresser! We’ve used the floor, our bed, the couch, the ground…when the baby comes, you are so tired, after a while, you’d change them while driving down the road, text messaging with the other hand! The place doesn’t really matter…

  6. candidchatter Says:

    Mel: You do a lot of traveling so I can see you needing a pack and play. That’s why I said it’s individual. I love mine, but I can see people paying a fortune for one and never using it. Esp if they have a bassinet already. I sort of disagree on the changing table. They aren’t necessary except in certain situations. I actually have two of them. When Brianna was still little she had one and Jeremy also had one. I highly recommend it for anyone having a c-section or who suffers from any sort of back pain. You cannot get up and down off the floor after a c-section or if you have back pain — and bending over isn’t in the mix either. Being that I’m short the height of the changing table is perfect for me (no back pain, no incision pain). The changing table will be your friend — believe me — if you’ve had surgery. I used it not only to change diapers, but also to dry off wet babies after a bath and to get them dressed. Also, I used them until the kids were too long for them. In fact, I have already assembled the newest one for the new baby. I do love a changing table — but I agree they are completely unnecessary unless you physically depend on them. Also, our Bumbo seat we’ve only ever used to stick Jeremy in so I can put it on the kitchen table or counter to cut his hair. That’s it. It was worthless for anything else and I always feared that it wasn’t safe enough. If you “have to have one” buy it used. Agree, agree.

    Steve: When we moved to Florida Brianna was 7 months old. We used beach towels on the trunk of our Volvo to change her diapers on. She actually loved having her naked bum up in the breeze. It cracked us up. She didn’t want the diaper back on so a couple times I let her “air out” after I took her wet diaper off. So cute!

    I thought of another unnecessary waste of money — wipes warmer. For crying out loud!!!!


  7. Will_nottheactor Says:

    Here’s a tip from a networking geek.

    On the baby monitor – if you have a cordless phone and/or WiFi at home, know the frequencies of your phone so you can avoid interference. WiFi is typically 2.4Ghz (new 802.11n also works in the 5Ghz range), but cordless phones can be 900Mhz, 2.4Ghz, 5Ghz, and the latest are 6Ghz.

    If you select a monitor that oeprates in the same frequency rage as one of the other devices, both systems will be impacted and you won’t be able to hear “junior” when you need it most.

    On the carseat stroller combo, those were just coming out when my daughter was “eligible” and VERY expensive, so I don’t have any experience with them. However, keep in mind grand parents will also need a carseat, and the baby should be left in the same position for more than 2 hours. To me, the combo units don’t “force” you to move the baby, and the grand parents would need the same system. Again, that’s an engineering-oriented observation, not experience.

  8. So, Heidi, having her crack up in the air cracked you up! I laughed out loud when I read that!!!!

    I can see your point about back pain and surgery…I’ll give you that one…

    And, a wipe warmer? We are lucky with Evan to hold him down long enough to even change his diaper…much less make sure his butt is warmed by doing it! I thought that’s what pee was good for? Warming up his bottom?

  9. candidchatter Says:

    You people who have parents who will take your kids away from you in the car, overnight, or on a walk make me so jealous. We don’t live near my family (they’re in Ohio). I know my parents would love to spend time with my kids. And even though we live near Rich’s folks I don’t trust his dad to drive (only because he has serious medical conditions) with my kids in the car and I hate where they live (on the water, with a pool and neither one has a safety anything around it) so overnight stays are completely out of the question. They will take the kids on a walk, but since they’re at our house to do this we use our stroller so they don’t need one of their own.

    Oh how I have been reminded of how much I need a break.




  10. Jason Says:

    We actually use our travel swing, my boy (mom and dad too) loved it, he would swing away sitting on the beach sippin on his pina’ colata, flirtin with the girls. The great thing about it was we didn’t purchase it. Although he would get upset when the nipple would get clogged up with a pineapple chunk. We have found other uses for it too. The greatest draw back from it is its bulky. Oh and we used cloth diapers for burp clothes, very cheap, very easy to clean and you don’t get upset when you loose it, just remember it is used to clean up puke, and if you get in a pinch you can use it for its indended purpose.

  11. candidchatter Says:

    Jason: Pina Colada, flirtin with the ladies. You are so funny!! How old is he now anyway? Six months?? He’s the mac baby, eh? You know I never even took the plastic off the travel swing we had. I donated it to our church’s nursery. Then the church flooded. Bye-bye baby swing. LOL!! Another one bites the dust. Now get that song out of your head.

    uh uh uh — Another one bites the dust – uh uh uh

    Queen rocks!


  12. Ali Says:

    My Dad wanted to make something so he designed the changing table to my specs which was to have it tall enough that I didn’t have to bend over (no back pain!), a trash can tray that pulled out and 2 shelves. We probably used it until she was about 3 or something – she got too long. But we used it for after baths and stuff like that.

    No wipe warmer for us – the child has to get used to some things and what if you don’t have to wipe warmer with you – your screwed and the child is going to be p.o.’d anyway.

    We did rec. a bottle warmer but it was a pita. Too hot, boiled over – I could go on and on. However we did find a travel one that you plug into your socket in the car and it was a band that wrapped around the bottle. How often was that needed – uhm, once I think.

    I have to say that I was tickled pink when I figured out that Boudreaux Butt Paste was the BOMB – even though I laughed my butt off after rec’g it. I also LOVED the medicine pack from Little Remedies. It was great having something on hand without trying to figure out what the heck it was you needed.

    (Btw, Heidi – Fox 5 reported that 3 songs were added to the list of happy songs that were good for your heart – Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ was one of them. Funny enough, that was the song that I TOTALLY used to sing during my HS swimming days. The other 2 songs were Jackson 5 ‘I Want You Back’ and….I’m now gonna draw a blank. Just some useless info for you!)

  13. Jason Says:

    Another one’s gone another one’s gone and another one bites the dust, hey I’m gonna get you to, another one bites the dust, hey!
    I hate you for that!!!!

  14. Will_nottheactor Says:

    Thanks, Jason. I had JUST purged that song from my head after an hour-and-a-half endless loop, only to check back and WHAM – there it is again…

  15. candidchatter Says:

    I take a nap and look what happens. People are singing and happy and life is gooood… mm kay!


  16. candidchatter Says:

    Ali: I cracked up over the Butt Paste too, but it works wonders. My favorite is Triple Paste though. It’s awful expensive, but it is THE BEST diaper rash ointment on the planet. I think it’s sweet that your Dad made a changing table for you because you’re so tall Mrs. Super Modelicious. Friends of ours paid extra to have their sinks and counters raised while building their house because they are both 6 feet tall. Whenever I was in their house I always felt like a Dwarf.


  17. annewtsn Says:

    I’m a HUGE fan of the boob hot/cold packs made by Gerber. They can be frozen or microwaved depending if you have plugged ducts or letdown issues. They’re about $8 at BRU, and TOTALLY worth every penny.

    Lansinoh makes the best breast pads hands down.

    I couldn’t live without my Ergo Baby Carrier with little miss carry me all the time. I had a pocket sling before that and it was wonderful.

    I still use our diaper pail — we have the Diaper Dekor. Now we use regular kitchen bags in them and they don’t smell at all.

  18. candidchatter Says:

    Anne: I am going to check those out (boob packs). With my quadruple sized boobs when the milk decides to flow I will need them. I don’t have letdown issues — thankfully. What I have is engorgement and plugged duct issues. Fun times. Thank you for mentioning them!!!!

    Ok — now I want a sling. I am going to look into this. Hmm. Maybe that’s the answer to my aching back the first few months of having a carry-me-all-the-time infant. Help me decide ladies. What kind????


  19. mommato3blessings Says:

    I had a peanut shell, and I loved it!!!
    HIGHLY recommend….although I wouldn’t get the micro-fleece again. Go with a cotton fabric.

  20. candidchatter Says:

    Mel: I really love this one What do you think?


  21. mommato3blessings Says:

    Adorable! I love it. LOVE IT! Now get ordering! 🙂

  22. […] can you be used to reach others in the mission field of your job (yes, Heidi, yours is a FT job, […]

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