Wednesday, October 13, 2010

needed: "how to prepare for baby" tutorial

I believe I'm going to need a "Reserved Parking" sign for at least one stall in the bathroom at work. I'm pretty close to an established runway between my office door and the bathroom door, and I anticipate that it will be finalized by March 2011.

In other news, we've signed up for a few baby classes courtesy of our hospital, with one notaable exception: where's the class on registering?! Twice I have visited Babies R Us and Target, and twice I've walked out marveling at the amount of stuff. If you think the wedding industry is doing well, wait till you get to the baby industry.

So, the following questions are within the context of "what do I need to buy in advance?" "what is hype and what is legit?" "what has been your experience?" Given the number of mothers and grandmothers I am fortunate to know, it seemed easiest to put these together in one place and request advice. If you have a soap box on one of these issues, this is the time to get on it. There is no way our future small (fingers crossed) child needs to sample 12 pacifiers to make a selection; however, if there is experience to suggest one option over another, I would love to know before I go crazy with the registry gun and/or my own, personal shopping spree.

So, here's what I've got so far:
  1. What am I looking for in a diaper bag? Shoulder or backpack? How many pockets or are there key pockets I should look for? Size?
  2. Crib bumpers? As cute as they all are and as prevalent as they seem to be with all bedding sets, I've also heard arguments that some people don't consider them safe to have in a crib. Thoughts?
  3. Baby bath options: unless I'm mistaken, my first bath was in something akin to a large pot (mom, feel free to clarify). That may still work fairly well, but there are now also at least ten different options out there, so is there anything that is definitely necessary or that is extremely helpful for infant bathtime or is a pot still a decent option with some gentle soap?
  4. Baby monitors: what should I be looking for? They now have video monitors, but I don't know that that's necessary - we have a small house and I don't know how much extra safety is given by being able to watch a baby sleep. Being a newbie, I'm open to opposing arguments. At the very least, I see the value in a monitor but am not sure what exactly I should be looking for?
  5. Health and safety gadgets: what do I need from this category?
  6. And for the grandparents in the group, or the regular travelers, what's good to have for schlepping baby on overnight trips?
  7. What were the most useful gifts or advice that you received?
Thanks in advance for any advice that you have time to send my way. If you have my email, feel free to send your ideas that way. If you're comfortable posting for the world to see, have at it.


  1. I know you already got an earful from our dinner with Rachel regarding the thoughts that we hammered down your throat in a matter of an hour...but I can put my two cents in writing as well.
    1) Diaper bag...just get whatever you are comfy holding...what type of purse do you normally like to carry? Get something that your hubby won't mind either. Usually you get a small messenger bagg-ish one from the hospital in black. You want pockets on the outside for bottles and inside too, and a changing pad inside...nice to have extra pockets on the outside for toys as well.
    2)I just couldnt imagine not having a crib bumper...not necessarily for the look, but would you like to roll into a wood bar in the middle of the night? I dont think so. You really dont have to worry about a baby suffocating on their bumper..unless you have so much stuff in the crib with them that they cannot move away from it.
    3) Baby baths...hmmm as wonderful as a "spa" sounds...its just silly to get one. when the baby is brand will sponge bath him (Jared laid on a towel on the counter and we swiped him down)...our best purchase was a bath sling...we can lay it in the tub, and he lays on it, safely elevated and in the water...gets him used to the big tub too.
    4) As nice as it is to be able to see your baby (if you have a light sleeper, you wont be opening the door and waking him up). It does help you to trust God a lot when you can only hear your child when they are upset and do not have to watch them (again, do not put blankets or toys in the crib with will worry less). I have the "Baby on Call" monitor and it works great.
    5) Health and safety...well go ahead and register for the outlet covers at the very least, any gates you think you will need, etc. For the health part...definately need a brush and comb, parents survival kit (comes with the nose sucker, meds and other goodies), medicine dispensers, thermometer (a fast one for use on the ear or bum, your choice), nail clippers and file. Those are the main things. You can also take the nose suckers from the hospital (I got 3)
    6) For trips...make sure you have a pack n play with sheet(s) for it too. Strollers are great to have as well (if there is room, if not, get a carrier for baby to ride on you). I always pack a separate bag for him, so if you dont have an extra smaller one, register for one. (those are the main "travel" items I can think of).
    7) 2 great pieces of advice I got...DO wake a sleeping baby at the beginning during the day time to eat and play, if you dont you will regret it when you are up with him all night. DONT rock baby to sleep from the beginning..hold baby until sleepy and lay in crib to finish falling asleep. Well, maybe there was two more pieces of advice...must read books are "Breastfeeding made simple" and "The Secrets of the Baby Whisperer", Both gave even more great advice!!! Please call me or email me any time with questions...or I could go out to the store with you to look at stuff to register for! SOOO happy for you two!

  2. Hi Rebecca - I'm a friend of Melissa Watkins' and she sent me your blog questions as I just had my 2nd baby 5 months ago - guess she thinks I have some sort of experience in this baby thing now! ;) You had all great questions and here are a few of my tips.
    1) Don't register for the small things like pacifiers - ppl will get them anyway as they are cute accessories, plus the hospital will have the newborn ones you need at first.
    2) A monitor is a must because then you can go outside to relax, read, do yardwork, and know that the baby is still sleeping. Video probably not necessary unless baby is on a different floor like our house.
    3) Big help to us - all night sound machine. It helps the baby to have constant noise (as was in the womb.) Also helps as you can travel with it and it still sounds like home when baby goes to bed. We take ours everywhere.
    4) Safety gadgets will come into play when baby starts crawling, and by then you'll have a tighter grasp on this parenting thing, so don't get too concerned about that from the start.
    5) Best advice I can give you - spend as much time as you can snuggling your wee one - you won't believe how fast they grow and change. My first baby went off to preschool this year *sigh* and I swear he was 2 weeks old yesterday. Books are great, but trust your intuition above all. All babies are different and this one is YOURS... follow his or her lead and especially follow your heart.
    Hope any of this helps - best of luck and many blessings to you and your growing family.
    Jill McCurdy, Denver, CO

  3. Good carseat! (infant carrier/booster seat-as appropriate) Paramedics who I've talked to mostly recommend the Graco brand. The one we carry on the ambulance is solid steel and slightly heavy for every day use. Your other parent friends might have better opinions, I'm only going on the few people I've asked.

    Other than that, I'm more lost than you are on what to get, I haven't read any parenting books :P

  4. You are such an organized Mommy-to-be :)!!!