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?