Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Advice for New Moms (and Dads) / Stuff You Need for Baby’s First Six Months

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A friend of mine is pregnant with her first baby due in July. A few weeks ago, she asked if I had any advice for her, which is sort of like asking a pastry chef if she has anything sweet. I put myself in her shoes, remembered how overwhelming everything felt in those months before — and after! — the baby came, and condensed my advice into what I thought was the most important to keep in mind. Mostly, I stuck to product recommendations because, if you’ve never had a kid and don’t know many people with babies, it’s hard to know what stuff is necessary — or just useful — in those early months and what’s stuff that some company is just trying to sell to chumps who don’t know better. Keep reading for the advice I shared with my friend and feel free to pass it along to your pregnant pals or use it as a guide for baby shower shopping.

Labor

You’ll have your own birth plan/ how you want to do things (or not; I didn’t really), so I won’t get into all that, but I will say that if you have a vaginal birth at a hospital, be sure to take home everything that is offered to you. You’ll want to bring home extra disposable panties (don’t ask, just take ’em), maxi pads, and bed pads, especially. Also, that squirt bottle for … um, squirting water on your nether regions.

After the baby

Best thing I did was form a new mother’s group. I did this when I was about seven or eight months pregnant. I just searched for neighborhood parenting yahoo groups, posted a message for woman due around the same time I was, and set up a get-together shortly before we started having our babies. There were about 20 of us who all gave birth within a few weeks of each other and, during the first few months of our babies’ lives, we’d meet up a lot for lunch potlucks, walks, happy hour (you wouldn’t think it, but bars during the day are a great place for new moms to congregate!). Having that connection in the crazy, early months made such a difference in my well-being. And 18 months later, I’m still close with a few of the women (and their families) and we get together on weekends and sometimes for ladies’ nights in the hood.

Your hormones will be wackadoodle in the first few weeks after giving birth and it’s totally normal if you feel like crying all the time. It doesn’t mean you’re crazy or that you don’t love your baby or that you have postpartum depression, but/ if it goes on longer than a few weeks and if you ever have thoughts about hurting yourself or your baby, definitely talk to your doctor or midwife.

Know that the first three months will be hard and they will pass. The sleep deprivation, the struggling with nursing, the not really knowing your baby — all of that will work itself out and things will begin to feel more normal again. It’s also a beautiful time, full of lots of bonding moments, so soak up the good stuff and don’t feel bad if you don’t love all of it. (And don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help in whatever form might work for you. I got a prescription for a low-dose anxiety medication that I still take once or twice a month when I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed).

Get out with your partner — sans baby — as soon as you feel comfortable leaving him with someone. Drew and I got out for a brunch on our own when Jack was two weeks old (Drew’s brother and SIL babysat) and it was great. Then, when Jackson was 2 1/2 months old, we hired a real babysitter and went to some Christmas parties. After that, we just established that we’d go out at least once every three weeks, even if it was just for a quick bite to eat in the neighborhood. This has been essential in keeping our marital bond strong and reminding us that we are a couple before we’re parents.

Stuff I Recommend
(This should go without saying, but of course, whenever you are able to borrow this stuff instead of purchase, do that! Most of this crap you’ll only use for a few months, so it’s great if you can get away with not spending a lot on it. We borrowed a lot from friends whose son is a year older than Jackson.).

Moby Wrap
Kind of tricky to learn how to wrap, but look up a how-to video on YouTube or ask your childbirth instructor or a friend to show you (I can even show you on Facetime if you want). These are great for when your baby is super small (newborn to 4-ish months) and makes walking with them really easy. I used this exclusively until Jackson was five months old (never even used a stroller once until then).

Ergo (plus newborn insert)
Functions like a wrap, but holds more weight and isn’t as tricky to get on and off. I didn’t think this worked as well for a newborn, but it’s not so bad if you have the newborn insert. Still, I definitely preferred the wrap until Jack was a few months old.

Diaper Bag
Although a big purse or tote bag will do in a pinch, I love a traditional diaper bag for all the pockets and different sections to store different things. Some, like the one I own, even comes with its own changing mat kept discretely in a bottom zipper section. We also have this Skip Hop bag, which Drew and our babysitter uses. I think this Ju-Ju diaper bag would be a great baby shower gift as well.

Skip Hop Diaper Changing Mat
If your diaper bag doesn’t come with its own changing mat, be sure to get one! This one is easy to clean and fold and fits well in most bags.

Infant tub with newborn sling
Fits well in most sinks and babies seem comfortable in it.

Inflatable duck tub
Great for travel! But also great to have as a smaller contained space in a big tub.

JJ Cole Bundle Me
You put this in baby’s stroller or even bouncy seat in the winter months to keep him all cozy and warm (bonus for you: it helps the baby sleep more).

White noise giraffe
I seriously don’t know what we’d do without this thing.

Bjorn travel crib
Very similar to pack-n-play, which a lot of people like, but we have this instead and like it a lot; it’s very lightweight and is relatively easy to travel with. Also doubles as a “play pen” when baby gets mobile.

Sleep Sacks (we like the brand Halo)
After the baby grows out of swaddles — which could be anywhere from a few weeks to many months (but 2-3 months is about average–Jackson was over it after about 3 weeks) you’ll want to use sleep sacks. Blankets aren’t good because they are a hazard for little babies who can’t roll over yet.

Dr. Brown’s Bottle warmer
We had another bottle warmer that broke on us, but this one is still going strong.

Zutano fleece booties
Unlike a lot of baby booties, these actually stay on. Plus, they’re cute and warm. Did I mention that they stay on?

Aden and Anais swaddle blankets, crib bedding, and bath towels.
Pretty much everything Aden and Anais is super soft, durable, and well-designed (both aesthetically and practically). I don’t think a day has passed that we haven’t used an Aden and Anais product.

Graco Snap-n-Go stroller
This is great because the car seat snaps into the stroller frame (be sure to buy each, of course), making transportation a … snap. Perfect for the first few months. Seriously, don’t even bother buying a “real” stroller until your baby is at least four months old because this snapping-the-car-seat-in-stroller-frame is so much easier and you can only do this for the first few months, so live it up! When Jackson was about five month old, we switched up to an umbrella stroller (the UPPAbaby G-Luxe, which we love).

Swing
Not every baby likes a swing, so if you can try one out before your purchase — or, better yet, borrow one from a friend — that’s the way to go. We used this one, which Jackson loved. He also liked this one, which he got to try at a couple of friends’ places.

Bouncy Seat
This is a necessity. I’ve never met a baby who didn’t love and need a bouncy seat. This will buy you hours of hands-free time to actually do stuff like cook, check your email, and maybe even bathe.

Floor Seat
There are two popular brands that make these things — Bumbo and Prince Lionheart. We inherited a Bumbo and it was fine. These are perfect from months like 3 to 6-ish, as the baby is learning to sit up and is strengthening his or her core muscles. This is basically just a big piece of rubber to pay for and store that your baby will likely only use for a few weeks — although it’s very useful for those few weeks! — so if you can borrow this one or find a cheap used one, that’s the way to go.

DIAPERS.com!!
They sell everything you will need, have free delivery, and will deliver to your door within 48 hours, often within 24 hours, and sometimes even as quickly as 12 hours after you place your order! Through their different sibling sites, you can also get pet food, groceries, toiletries — anything you need, really. This is a god-send if you don’t have a car or have your hands full with a child and just need your shit delivered straight to your door.

Finally, if someone offers to throw you a baby shower, don’t turn them down! Say yes, register for all this crap, and be genuinely grateful when people help get you started on your new — expensive! exhausting! — life as parents. You will have plenty of opportunities to return the favor.

82 comments… add one
  • FireStar

    FireStar April 17, 2013, 2:20 pm

    I just met my friend at a baby store down the street from me 5 minutes ago and felt an overwhelming desire to flee all the pink and blue and things you didn’t even know existed in the world much less were mandatory. Thanks so much for this list. There is a Baby Show (think Home Show but for all things baby) coming up in a convention centre in a couple of weeks that I’ve been dreading a little – at least now I can focus my search to what we will actually need.

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    lets_be_honest April 17, 2013, 2:22 pm

    I can’t get past that picture. I know he’s freaking out, but its still so tiny and adorable. I miss those days.

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      bethany April 17, 2013, 2:33 pm

      I don’t know why, but I don’t mind at all when babies cry (little babies). Now if it’s 4am and they cry for hours, that’s a different story, but when they just cry because that’s all they know how to do, I think that’s amusing for some reason.

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        lets_be_honest April 17, 2013, 2:46 pm

        Mostly I don’t either. I can remember one night though, all night long she was crying like Jackson looks like he is the picture. Obviously losing my mind from no sleep, I grabbed a pillow, shoved half of it in my mouth and screamed “just shut up already!” It helped a bit.

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    lets_be_honest April 17, 2013, 2:44 pm

    1 little baby, 15 little seats 🙂

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest April 17, 2013, 2:51 pm

    Tell me if I’m annoyed for no reason…
    So someone I know somehow got a chance to go to Katie Couric’s show today which was some sort of baby showered themed show, where the guests got a ton of free baby stuff. (I’m not sure if its like Oprah’s where everyone gets stuff or just the panel of people on the show.) This girl is going on and on about all the free stuff she got, meanwhile, she’s well off, pregnant with her second kid, needs literally nothing at all. Don’t you think its obnoxious to take all these things she doesn’t “need” when there are so many people who actually need them?

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl April 17, 2013, 3:00 pm

      Ugh.

      It would be amazing if she donated the items or even the monetary equivanlent of the items but lets face it- we live in a freaking materialistic society and it’s never going to happen.

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      lemongrass April 17, 2013, 3:10 pm

      It depends on how well off she is. I don’t consider myself well off but I’m by no means needy. I own my own home, we can afford for me to stay home but we aren’t taking vacations or buying expensive clothes. I would keep the stuff if I was given it on a show. However when anyone posts a free item on the Fb’s mom swap & shop group that I’m on I never take it because it could go to someone needier than me.

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        lets_be_honest April 17, 2013, 3:12 pm

        She’s very well off. Lives in a mini-mansion, expensive clothes, expensive vacations, doesn’t work at all, husband makes mid-6 figures.

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        lemongrass April 17, 2013, 4:04 pm

        Then feel free to judge 🙂

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    • FireStar

      FireStar April 17, 2013, 3:15 pm

      Did she have an option to donate the items? Or was there someone else she could have given her ticket to that was in need that she knew about? Maybe she knows someone else that she will be giving the items to? I have a bigger problem with the people who register for a second baby shower or wedding shower or whatever when they have already everything they need and this is their second rodeo. That seems deliberate – this is just happenstance – and maybe someone else will benefit… at least from her hand-me-downs if nothing else because no one would keep two of everything – right??

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        lets_be_honest April 17, 2013, 3:17 pm

        It didn’t sound like that to me at all unfortunately. I mean, I get being excited about “winning” something, but it just left a very bad taste in my mouth. This woman does not need any of these things, and so many women do.
        Good point about someone benefitting eventually with hand me downs.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 17, 2013, 4:41 pm

        Ughhh. Posted a list of what she got. $3000 worth of stuff. All stuff she has already. I’m angry.

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      • lemongrass

        Lemongrass April 17, 2013, 5:01 pm

        Comment on the list as say something like “Wow! Can you imagine how much that would help a mom in need? You could really change a family’s life with all those duplicates you have!” Might shame her into donating.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 17, 2013, 5:04 pm

        OMG YOU ARE A GENIUS!

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    • avatar

      spark April 17, 2013, 6:53 pm

      No, it’s a TV show. And those are gifts. Do you feel obnoxious accepting gifts? Eating at a nice restaurant? Having more than 2 shirts and 2 pairs of pants in your closet? I mean, where do you draw the line?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 18, 2013, 9:01 am

        You know, you are probably right…and make a really fair point about more than 2 shirts/pants. I guess I hadn’t really looked at it like a gift.
        p.s. I actually do feel bad receiving some gifts, and certainly bad about telling other people about some gifts.

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  • avatar

    lemongrass April 17, 2013, 3:06 pm

    First things- Get all used, seriously that stuff is in such good condition and you will save so much money. The only things that I didn’t buy used were E’s crib mattress, car seat, stroller, wrap (I use the k’tan, its really easy). I scored a used Bumbo with tray for $20 yesterday!
    Second- I am really impressed with Fisher Price’s customer service. I borrowed my sister’s bouncy chair, which she bought used for 1/3 of the price. The toy bar is starting to go and I emailed them and they are shipping me a new motor and a new toy bar for free. I’m not even paying the shipping! I’m really impressed, I didn’t even ask for it- I asked what I can do to make it work better.
    Third- If you have a freezer then stock up on precooked meals, bake some muffins, buy several boxes of protein bars and feel free to say that you aren’t ready for visitors. Accept help if you need it (which you probably will!) It doesn’t make you a worse parent.
    Fourth- Give yourself 6 weeks to adjust and let everything just flow until then. After that stop waiting for things to get easier, stop waiting until you feel more rested to start living your life again. Take it slow but start to do all the things that you used to. You’ll feel better once you’re done.
    Fifth- do your research on how to handle labour pains. Even if you plan on getting an epidural you will still need to know how to handle the pain until you get there. Don’t discount the psychological aspect of it- if you are scared or expect it to hurt it will hurt more than if you feel you can handle the pain. I recommend this book http://www.amazon.com/Birth-Partner-Third-Childbirth-Companions/dp/1558323570 for both of you to read. I had an induced pain-med free birth but more than that, it didn’t traumatize me and I believe that was because I wasn’t scared. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with pain meds but they weren’t for me. Its a personal choice and don’t let anyone pressure you one way or the other.

    The things I used that Wendy didn’t mention are an exercise ball: it is much easier to bounce on that with the baby in your arms than it is to jiggle them or walk around your house. I travel with ours, it gets so much use. Fennel tea: E was a very gassy newborn. Gripe water has all kinds of stuff in it (some include alcohol!) and it never lasted more than a half hour. We gave him 1/2 teaspoon of fennel tea in a syringe and it stopped his gas within 5 mins. Works for adults too if you have an upset tummy!

    Wendy, that is a really sweet picture. E had his first immunizations yesterday so I was pretty much doing that exact same thing. I was really worried about him having side effects or me breaking down in tears but it didn’t go that way at all. I didn’t cry, he did and he had a loooong nap afterwards where he would only sleep in my arms but once he woke up he was happy. He slept normally last night and he has been the easiest baby ever today. All smiles, napping easily for long times and he normally only catnaps and its a pain in the ass to get him to sleep. I’m liking this and I kinda feel guilty about it!

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest April 17, 2013, 3:10 pm

      “Accept help if you need it (which you probably will!)”
      and ask for help too!

      Also, the epidural might not last. Mine didn’t. So be prepared for that.

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      • FireStar

        FireStar April 17, 2013, 3:34 pm

        Whaaaaaat?

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        lemongrass April 17, 2013, 3:53 pm

        Oh yes, that can happen. Or it might not work at all, or only half your body will go numb. And then your still not able to get up or move around and still have a catheter in. LBH- I’ve heard an epidural that doesn’t last is more painful than going without because as your body increases in pain so does your endorphins that block pain but when you have an epidural that interrupts the process. Ouch!

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        GatorGirl April 17, 2013, 3:56 pm

        Do you always have to get a catheter when you have an epidural? Because that is reason enough for me to not get the pain meds. (My goal, when I’m pregs, is to have a pain med free birth.)

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        lets_be_honest April 17, 2013, 3:59 pm

        Mine was administered into the spine by needle.

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        GatorGirl April 17, 2013, 4:04 pm

        yeah, I mean isn’t that how the epidural always is? I guess I was wondering why the catheter was brought up…isn’t that only for pee?

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        lets_be_honest April 17, 2013, 4:06 pm

        I don’t remember having a catheter at all.

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        lemongrass April 17, 2013, 4:08 pm

        Yes you do. Your entire lower body is numb so you cannot get up, walk, or control your bladder. It was one of the reasons I didn’t want pain meds, I wanted to be able to get up and walk around right after birth. I even was reminding myself that during the hard part, “you want to walk around with your baby and not be stuck in bed, you can’t do that with an epidural.” And I did. I was sitting cross-legged the day I gave birth.

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        GatorGirl April 17, 2013, 4:11 pm

        Well I am sold on a pain med free birth now. The thought of a catheter just gives me the chills. (no offense meant to those who need them, I just can’t wrap my head around it!)

        Also I wanted to do it med free anyways but.

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        kerrycontrary April 17, 2013, 4:18 pm

        I used to always want an epidural, but now I think I’m leaning the other way. I want to be able to walk during labor. I believe it moves things along and standing up/going in other positions can be more comfortable than laying on your back. Plus I’m so sensitive to stuff that I’d be one of those rare people who gets a spinal headache.

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        GatorGirl April 17, 2013, 4:22 pm

        Yeah, what you’ve said is pretty much why I want to try really hard for all natural. I’m not a big meds fan in general, plus all the birth shows I’ve watch (Birth Day and such on TLC) the mom’s who have the freedom to move and rock and even water births always seem so much more at peace then the epidural moms. I think it’s great that there is the option for those who want it, but I don’t think it’s for me.

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        lemongrass April 17, 2013, 4:38 pm

        I didn’t stop moving the entire time I was in labour. Seriously, at the very end when I was not even really aware of what I was doing my hips were just rocking back and forth without any thought from me. I’m sure it helped things. I didn’t tear, so something went right anyways!

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        lets_be_honest April 17, 2013, 4:25 pm

        Idk, catheter is nothing compared to labor pain. I don’t even remember the episiotomy, which I had AFTER the meds wore off.

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        lets_be_honest April 17, 2013, 4:22 pm

        Oh, you know what, I forgot about that. lemongrass is right GG.

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        lets_be_honest April 17, 2013, 3:58 pm

        It worked, it just wore off.
        Firestar, I was in labor exactly 12 hours. I got to the hospital at hour 2, got the epidural by hour 3 the latest I think, by hour 9 maybe, it was worn off entirely and they wouldn’t administer any more. I’ve only given birth once, so I can’t speak to how better/worse it is without an epidural wearing off, but I can promise you it was not fun. I imagine it was the same experience as women who do not get pain meds.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom April 17, 2013, 7:37 pm

        I went pain med free too because I was far more afraid of somebody messing with my spine than I was of the pain. We went to Lamaze classes and it made a big difference because I knew what to expect and how to relax.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy April 17, 2013, 5:12 pm

        Or you may not have time for an epidural, as was the case with me…

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        lets_be_honest April 17, 2013, 5:15 pm

        I remember hearing that can happen, and I was like “step on the gas!!!!” I was terrified of not getting it.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy April 17, 2013, 5:25 pm

        I didn’t even occur to me that there might not be time. I always thought labor — especially for the first baby — lasts hours and hours. Mine lasted less than three hours from the first contraction until I was holding Jackson in my arms (and an hour of that was getting things together and driving to the hospital). By the time I was set up on a delivery bed, he was already coming out. No time for an epidural. Hope to avoid a similar fate if I have another baby by camping out at the hospital as soon as I’m six months pregnant.

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        lemongrass April 17, 2013, 5:40 pm

        Things going shorter- especially pushing is usually a good point for most moms but that must be alarming knowing that it can go quicker than that. Drew should take an emergency delivery course to prep if you guys choose to have another. Me, I’m so happy that it will most likely go quicker, although I only pushed for 20 mins so I’m not sure how much faster it can get!

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom April 17, 2013, 7:42 pm

        I think you can usually expect the second one to be faster than the first. If you’re dilating ahead of time you can expect it to be quick. With my second baby I was only in labor for an hour and we barely made it to the hospital.

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        lets_be_honest April 18, 2013, 9:05 am

        Haha, probably a good plan if what everyone else is saying is true about a 2nd baby coming quicker.

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        GatorGirl April 17, 2013, 8:52 pm

        I have a dear friend who had her baby in the back seat of her car on the side of the highway. Labor was so fast they didn’t make the 30 minute drive to the birth center.

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        bethany April 18, 2013, 9:10 am

        That happened to my x-boyfriend’s brother. He was born in the car!

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    Sue Jones April 17, 2013, 2:11 pm

    A boppy or nursing pillow thingie, and of course an infant car seat (if you drive).

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    • FireStar

      FireStar April 17, 2013, 2:23 pm

      Anything else anyone else couldn’t live without? I’m taking suggestions…

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      • MaterialsGirl

        MaterialsGirl April 17, 2013, 2:31 pm

        my friend said buy TWO of the nursing pillow things.. especially if you’ve delivered vaginally. essential for sitting on that first week of healing

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    cdobbs April 17, 2013, 2:11 pm

    Can I add…try to buy BPA-free products (baby bottles, dishes, utensils, etc) – BPA is an estrogen analog and can affect the babies development…adults should avoid BPA to, but because babies and children are still developing it affects them more (sorry I’m a molecular biologist…so these are the types of things i worry about!)…here is a link if anyone is interested:

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    LolaBeans April 17, 2013, 4:10 pm

    holy shit that’s a lot of stuff!!! after about the fifth item i was overwhelmed.

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    Amanda April 17, 2013, 4:18 pm

    Wendy, thank you for this list! This is so great!

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  • fast eddie

    fast eddie April 17, 2013, 3:18 pm

    I never did understand why anybody would WANT a baby. It seems like all work and throwing up then PAIN to deliver followed by sleep deprivation for weeks or months then anxiety of what did/didn’t/might happen. Don’t even THINK about cost, aggravation and emotional rejection of puberty. Then it’s off to college and fear of drug addition, pregnancy, and STDs. My conclusion is that grandchildren are totally worth all of the above.

    I really, really wish I had some.

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    • theattack

      theattack April 17, 2013, 3:25 pm

      Completely agree with you, fast eddie. After watching my cat raise her kittens, I’m even more freaked about babies. I truly do not see a bit of value in having one, but I’m happy for everyone else who loves them. I wish I could learn how to love babies from everyone else.

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      lemongrass April 17, 2013, 4:02 pm

      I’m only 3 months in and it is a lot of hard work. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done but that hard work is a good thing. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I am so proud and full of love for my son. I feel like he is the most exceptional baby in the world even though he’s just pretty average (although I do think he’s cuter than average!) Every smile is worth the broken nights, every new accomplishment is more exciting than any accomplishment I’ve ever done. He’s hilarious, just watching the funny faces he makes. My body definitely doesn’t look as good as it did prepregnancy but I have way more respect for it and self-esteem for myself. The hard work has definitely enriched my life.

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        lets_be_honest April 17, 2013, 4:07 pm

        Your baby is cuter than average. His pictures on facebook kill me.

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        lemongrass April 17, 2013, 4:10 pm

        Thanks! I totally feel like I go facebook photo overboard but I figure if anyone doesn’t like it then they can feel free to block or delete me lol.

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        GatorGirl April 17, 2013, 4:15 pm

        Let them hid or block you. I personally love the pics 🙂

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        bethany April 17, 2013, 4:18 pm

        I don’t think you go overboard at all. I probably post more cat pics than you post baby pics 🙂

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        kerrycontrary April 17, 2013, 4:16 pm

        Agree, you have a cuter than average baby.

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        lemongrass April 17, 2013, 4:39 pm

        Aww, thanks guys.

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  • chicotia

    chicotia April 17, 2013, 5:43 pm

    Thank you for this Wendy! I just found out last week that I am pregnant…shhh 🙂 Can’t wait to read this later!

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy April 17, 2013, 6:12 pm

      Congrats!

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      • chicotia

        chicotia April 17, 2013, 10:06 pm

        Thanks! Any tips for what I might need during pregnancy…other than a new bra?

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        lemongrass April 18, 2013, 12:32 am

        Tums. Lots and lots of them 😉 Also don’t repeat these words: “I won’t do X with my baby” unless you like the taste of humble pie.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy April 18, 2013, 6:20 am

        Enjoy maternity pants — they’re the best!

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      • chicotia

        chicotia April 18, 2013, 1:18 pm

        Can you remind me of that great bra website again? I thought I bookmarked it but I guess not.
        Oh and I definitely plan on enjoying some maternity pants!

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy April 18, 2013, 1:49 pm

        Well, if you live in NYC, I highly suggest Iris Lingerie in brooklyn. Online, Bare Necessities is good. But your boobs will change so much through pregnancy and afterward, that getting a proper fitting is essential!

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    Addie Pray April 17, 2013, 5:45 pm

    Also, post pictures and the baby’s name ASAP after delivery b/c your friends need to know as soon as possible!!!!!!!!

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      applescruffs April 17, 2013, 6:02 pm

      But, feel free to clean yourself and the baby up first before posting pictures. That’s allowed.

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        Addie Pray April 17, 2013, 6:12 pm

        Good one. And leave OFF FB the pictures of the baby coming out – the actual birth or c section shots.

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      GatorGirl April 17, 2013, 8:55 pm

      My BFF who just had a baby waited 6 days to put anything on FB. I’ve been texting with her since 4 hours post birth but I was dying for some public acknowledgement! And for them to announce the name so I could call the baby her name, not just “baby LastName”.

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    SisiSodaPop April 17, 2013, 5:52 pm

    One thing to add to list of essential items provided by the hospital that you will kick yourself for not taking home with you – especially if you have an episiotomy :that numbing spray that they give you to spray on your “nether regions.” That shit works wonders. Seriously.

    Also, if you can find where the nurses hide them, grab an extra nose sucker. The ones from the hospital work better than any of the ones you can buy in the store.

    (I feel like an idiot even admitting to this next learining experience, I must have been suffering from sleep deprivation) Something I learned the hard way: After a few months I got sick of washing bottles. I came across a bottle sanitizer while shopping online. I thought: Awesome. No more bottle washing. Just throw those suckers in that thing, plug it in, wait 20 minutes, and ka-bam! clean bottles! …… Nope. Turns out you still have to wash the bottles before you put them in the sanitizer, otherwise all you get is sterilized formula/milk stuck to the bottles, lol. Just as easy to boil it for 5 minutes. Don’t waste your money.

    P.S. If anyone is shopping for a bottle sanitizer, I have one for sale.

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    SisiSodaPop April 17, 2013, 6:08 pm

    *Bonus Tip
    Something I didn’t figure out until I had my 2nd baby:
    Bottled Water Delivery Service. With a Dispenser. MUST dispense BOTH hot and cold water. The benefits: No more carrying heavy jugs of water home from the store (up stairs? elevator?) Best part is no more waiting around for the bottle to warm up while baby is SCREAMING in your ear (5 minutes of baby SCREAMING in your ear is uquivalent to 13 hours of Lamb Chop’s “the song that never ends”) Just use 1/2 hot and 1/2 cold water to get just the right temperature. (always double check the temerature before giving milk or formula to baby by dripping it onto your wrist first, regardless of your method of bottle warming!)

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  • lemongrass

    Lemongrass April 17, 2013, 6:37 pm

    Oh, also get those hard plastic reusable cold drink cups from Starbucks. They have a straw and most importantly they don’t spill when you drop them. They are great for sitting in bed or propping them up against the couch in easy arms reach. It isn’t very easy to move to reach the coffee table when you have a newborn sleeping in your arms or if you are breastfeeding. Use travel mugs to drink coffee from, too.

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    • katie

      katie April 18, 2013, 6:22 am

      lol, this is already how i live my life.

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      GatorGirl April 18, 2013, 8:34 am

      I use these Rubbermaid bottles and they are AMAZING. My cat likes to stick his head in cups so you can’t have an open container sitting arround. These don’t break when you drop them, have a wide pour mouth (which I like), don’t spill when sealed, and are cheap, like $3.99 from Target.

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        lemongrass April 18, 2013, 12:06 pm

        Ooooh dishwasher safe!!!! It is so hard to find dishwasher safe waterbottles and I am lazy!

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        lemongrass April 18, 2013, 12:11 pm

        I really hope Target will be carrying it when they open here! As of now you can’t buy it in Canada

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        GatorGirl April 18, 2013, 12:23 pm

        They were in a really strange section at my Target…like by the ziplock bags, rather than the other water bottles. Maybe try Walmart? Do they have those in Canada?

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        lemongrass April 18, 2013, 12:44 pm

        Walmart is in Canada but I looked at the ‘where to buy’ from that link and it only said: target, meijer and kmart.

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    Julia June 6, 2013, 11:05 pm

    These suggestions are all great, but the inflatable duck is a necessity. Baby safety while bathing is vital and having an accessory like this, that you can travel with, is important.

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    Jen S February 23, 2014, 1:51 pm

    Thanks for the great advice, but what about with twins? Any advice there? About everything….what I’ll need, what to expect and such like that. I found out a week ago that my surprise baby was really two surprises. 9 weeks down……hopefully many more to go.

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  • Jess

    Jess April 14, 2014, 1:57 pm

    I just added pretty much the entire list to my (unpublished) baby registry/shopping list. Plan to look at Craigslist and “Mommy markets” and hope to score some used items. Thanks for the tips!

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