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Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Baby Post - For the Mommy-To-Be

I've had multiple requests for a post like this, so here ya go, Mommies!!!

I’m at the stage in life where most women my age are pregnant or just had a baby, or want a baby, or are planning for baby #1 or 2…we are all baby cray cray right now!  Great thing for me: my business is CHILDREN!  And not only that, I have hundreds of ladies at my finger tips I can count on for advice and encouragement thanks to the wonderful world of the internet and Facey (Facebook)!!!!  Now that my little guy is over 6 months old, my husband and I are able to sit down and say, “I’d do ‘this’ different,” or “I’d do ‘that’ different,” and when a friend asks, “what did you do?” I can tell them what we did, and then what I’d do different!  But here are a few of the most FREQUENTLY discussed topics amongst me, my hubby, and my besties…..

If you know me, you know I’m an OCD-list-freak.  Yep, I said it, I make lists for EV-ER-Y thing!  So of course, when we knew little Hudson was baking in the oven, the list making began.  All the way from items to decorate his room/bathroom, to registry items, to hospital bag items, and last but not least, at-home items you need to get BEFORE coming home from the hospital so your poor hubby isn’t running around town for last minute should-haves.  For your pleasure, I have included those lists in this post…with the “what I WOULD have done” changes, links to registry items and all the info I think you can’t live without.

First things first:  WHEN YOU FIND OUT!
Plan for decorating your nursery!  This is the FUN part!
·      Color scheme/nursery theme
·      Pillow, decorative (Order from LKC with monogramming!!)
·      Boppy cover(s) (also can order from LKC)
·      Crib bedding, bumpers, bed skirt, sheets
·      Rocker/glider/chair - for the nursery, but also for your living room if you can get your hands on two
·      Furniture: crib, dresser, some sort of book shelf
·      Basket (for blankets, toys, etc)
·      Wall accent items:
o   Baby’s name?
o   Art (1-2 depending on your wall space)?
·      Trash can (one with a LID because - ew.)
·      If you have a large space, consider a reading nook.  Add a large stuffed animal or two and a collection of books and a nice, cuddly spot.  This will be part of your nightly routine and can later be used for playing.  You’ll be happy you have it.
·      Hanging pegs.  For tomorrow’s school outfit or a bath towel, or a jacket in the winter, or the little guy/girl’s back pack!

Wow, this list can go on and on and on and on and on and OOOONNNNN!!!!  For-EVER.  I’m only going to list our MUST-HAVE items because the stores give you some pretty decent lists already for the small things. These are the things we probably could never have lived without.

·      VIDEO MONITOR – Trust me when I say I was the FIRST person to say, “I don’t need one of these, what a waste of money.”  Boy was I wrong.  I might go as far as saying it’s addicting.  And I also might say I’m a semi-expert on the item.  I’ve purchased and returned 3 different monitors at this point, they definitely have not been perfected, but they are a must-have.  We currently have RETURNED the Babies R Us brand made by ‘Summer’ found here:  We are getting this Motorola, and I hear it's AHmazing:  DON'T buy the Babies R Us Summer monitor.  Just don't.
o   Side note if you care about the science of the monitors:  I learned there are “analog” and “digital” monitors.  The analog monitor will pick up the frequencies of ALL analog monitors.  If your neighbor has an analog monitor, you’ll be monitoring their baby as well as your own if within range.  The digital monitors are on a different frequency allowing communication between itself only BUT, the feed will interfere with wireless internet…mostly when loading a webpage and downloading heavy material like pictures or videos.  We have changed the “channel” of our router which improves the situation, but doesn’t solve the problem.  Good news, most people are not using the internet while sleeping which is when you mostly want to use your monitor.  Plus, it’s easy to flip on and off if you need a quick check and then to get back to the internet.
·      For the teeny, tiny days….Velcro swaddle blankets, like these at Target:
·      Woven cotton swaddle blankets, like these at Target:
o   DO NOT REGISTER FOR ANY OTHER BLANKETS.  You will get PLENTY as gifts!!!!!
·      Waterproof mattress pad – that covers the whole mattress like a fitted sheet
·      Waterproof mattress pad – that just lays on top of the mattress pad (this one makes it easier to change just a sheet and ONE mattress cover after accidents…
·      Don't forget SHEETS!
·      SMALL Waterproof pads to lay under baby on top of sheet (in case of spit up, keeps you from changing the entire bed multiple times a night.  Figured this out night ONE).  We found a Babies R Us brand but I can’t find it online.  The Item# is 6739140K10.  These partly saved my sanity.
·      Nap Nanny Chill - Made of miracle foam.  Just get one.  ESPECIALLY useful if your baby has reflux…just sayin.
·      Boppy Pillow -
o   At least one additional Boppy cover
o   Register for TWO Boppys if you have a two-story house and spend time up and downstairs.  You will thank me for this.
·      Car Seat Cover - You can buy these quite a few places like ebay and Etsy... but LKC makes them as well!
·      Exersaucer - My brother has 3 kids, they all used it, now we have it, and we’ll use it again!  You’ll be thankful you have this when baby is somewhat on the move and you have to leave the room to go to the bathroom.  Something like this:  They make a ton of them, just choose one.  I recommend one with BUTTONS and one that does NOT bounce because you won’t be able to use it for a while if it does.  We started using this right around 3.5 months but couldn’t use a bouncing one until about 5 months or so.  You’ll appreciate it at 3 months.
·      Teething toys - Rings, and just plain items than can be put in a mouth.  So many people told me this, but it didn’t register until everything in sight was in Hudson’s mouth.
·      Bath sponge - Ours looks like a frog.  We will probably end up buying another one when this one wears out just because it makes bath time a little bit safer in my opinion.  AND, we never needed any other bath/tub accessory, even when he was an infant.  You can get away with putting just a tiny bit of water in the tub without submerging and still protect the cord for those first couple weeks.  The other things are bulky and a waste of money and space if you ask me.
·      Activity Gym - I used this almost every day until Hudson could sit up. Similar to this:
·      Car Seat toys - Anything to wrap around the handle.  3-5 different things so there’s SOMETHING to suck on or make noise with.
·      Seat protector...for highchairs and grocery carts.  As soon as baby can sit up, you'll be glad you have this.
·      I can’t say this one enough:  CLOTH DIAPERS to use as burp cloths - If you have a spitter, which most do, you want LOTS of these.  I went out to purchase more at least 3 times.  Had a drawer full and took at least 20 with us everywhere we went for 3 months.  Plus, they are cheap, so if you ever need to clean up a BIG mess, like poop, you can just throw it away without worry.  The thicker the better, 6 ply is the thickest I found.
·      Rock and Play – Get some sort of “chair” to lay the baby in.  You’ll use it while you eat dinner, clean house, type on your bloooog……oh wait, that’s me, some friends even used this as their “bassinet” until putting baby in their crib.....multiple uses and easy to transport!
·      Bibs with SNAPS, so the pesky Velcro won’t ruin other clothes in the laundry!  These are mostly for when baby starts solid food, but useful too if you're bottle feeding a lot.
·      Pack-n-Play – ESPECIALLY if you don’t have a bassinet or would rather spend your money on one and not the other.  Our nursery is about 10 steps from our bedroom, so we put Hudson in his crib right away, but a friend’s nursery is upstairs and they used their Pack-n-Play for the first month or two and said it was a life-saver.  Their unit actually came with a small “cradle” attachment for a newborn that was very cool.  This one at Babies R Us has the “cradle” and changing table attachment.  Awesome, I wish I had this.
·      MORE TO COME as I continue thinking and using all my stuff!

There are a few things I wish I’d have picked up before heading to the hospital so I wouldn’t have had to send my mom or hubby on so many errands.  Here’s a few things:
·      Underwear at least 2 sizes too big, small package
·      Underwear at least 1 size too big, small package (you'll gradually want to size them down)
·      Stretchy, cotton underwear that will be comfy before fitting back into your original undies
·      Small packages of different size maxi pads.  Super absorbent, extra long, thin, thick, panty liners, wings, no wings….just get some small packages and be prepared to use/try them all when you get home.  When you find one you like, THEN send someone out on the hunt for the RIGHT ones.
·      Get that nursing tank and nursing bra.  And plan your trip to Petticoat Fair.
·      Depending on the time of year, have a few extra tank tops or long sleeve comfy shirts to wear for a couple weeks until you're used to your new mommy-bod :)

Now this is a special section.  I’ve gathered info from MANY mommies to form this list, and PLEASE, feel free to add a comment and keep the list going!  Side note: you barely need anything.  We packed and packed and had WAY. TOO. MUCH.

·      Insurance papers and hospital papers needed.  Bring your ID and pediatrician info!  Also be sure to make a note somewhere to call your insurance company to add baby to your plan!
·      Blanket.  Probably fleece because they are small/thin, easy to pack and super warm.  LKC sells these!
·      Nursing tank.  Go to Target and try some on.  Get ONE for the hospital and then go back after 3-4 weeks and get another one or try more on.  OR keep your receipt and exchange for the right size if you’ve changed in size.
·      Nursing bra.  This is important.  VERY. IMPORTANT.  Go to Target, buy yourself one, then after 3-4 weeks once you are past engorgement and know how large your breasts get when they are “full,” go to a specialty store that does BRA FITTINGS and get PROFESSIONALLY fitted.  Trust me on this one.  I worked in a bra store, Petticoat Fair in Austin, TX, for a year, and this is a MUST DO.  It can truly make the difference in whether you continue breastfeeding or not.  I won’t lie, good bras are expensive, but you will wear this EVERY DAY, and if you don’t want boobs sagging to your belt, do what the fitter tells you and LEARN to wear a bra correctly, it will change your life.  Go there.
·      Large t-shirt/nightgown or 2.  These are just comfortable.  You won’t care about being cute, and if you think you will care, bring a fashionable robe because you will wear that as well and will look cute in pictures.
·      Robe.  I found a short robe that was fairly thin but still warm.  Easy to pack.
·      Pajama pants, one size too big.  You’ll thank me for this.
·      Slippers that have GRIPPERS/SOLES on the bottom.
·      One more pair of pants that a bit large (maternity pants) and a shirt to wear home.  You can wear your slippers home if they have soles on them.  ONE pair of shoes to pack sounds good to me!
·      Water bottle, and ask where the water fountain is so you can refill when you want and don’t have to ask a nurse to do it.
·      At least 2 pillows, I’d bring 3 of different fluffs.  Hubby can sleep with one too.  The others you can use to help prop for feedings instead of lugging the Boppy to the hospital.
·      Socks
·      Toiletries.
o   Toothpaste
o   Toothbrush
o   Hair comb/brush
o   Hair ties
o   Headband
o   Face wash
o   Lotion
o   Shampoo
o   Soap
o   Deodorant
o   Make-up, if you must.
·      Snacks.  Mostly for Hubby, but for you too when that hospital food just ain’t that great.
·      Change.  Vending machines.  Even if you don’t use it, you’ll have the option.
·      Laptop/iPad.  I couldn’t just do my iPhone.  On day 2 (or day 3 if you have a C-sect), you will be happy you have something to play with.  TV just doesn’t cut it.
·      Camera, or iPhone.
o   Download a baby app if you have an iPhone.   I use “Baby Nursing.”  Use the diaper, feeding and sleeping app.  Your nurses/doctor will love you for this.
·      Chargers for electronics.
·      Lip Stuff…most use Burt’s because it’s natural and won’t interfere with baby details
·      Chocolate
·      Gum
·      A lot of friends have had special hospital gowns made.  If you do this, just be sure they have some way of opening so you can nurse.  And wear this AFTER giving birth.  One word: FLUIDS.

·      1 extra onesie for baby besides going home onesie
·      Going home outfit for baby (hat?)  I read somewhere that only newborns need a hat for the first week or 2, then it's pointless.  Maybe unless it's winter time?  We put a hat on little Hudson for a couple weeks and then couldn't keep it on so it because a hassle.  Unless we were going outside in the cold, there was no hat.
·      Blanket for baby (going home)
·      Baby WIPES.  Most hospitals do NOT supply wipes, but you can use them if you bring them!  They are old school and just wet thick, hard paper towels….something I wouldn’t use myself, so why would I use it on my BABY!?
·      Car Seat, installed

·      Pillow
·      Overnight clothes
·      Snacks
·      Change for vending machines
·      Patience
·      Encouraging/loving words
·      Camera
·      Phone
·      Laptop
·       Blanket, again, fleece is so easy to pack and super warm.  Order here at LKC.

Items I packed and never considered using:
·      Make-up
·      Cards
·      Movies
·      All other clothes including underwear.  Wear the mesh panties from the hospital and ask for extra to bring home until your swelling goes down.  Then opt for the larger ones you bought before you had baby, then get your booty into your old ones!
·      Daily shoes
·      Game Boy (this might be something only I would pack haha …..)