Ok, this post has been a long time coming, and I feel the deepest need to share some advice with all the new Mamas, soon-to-be Mamas, and Mamas in the making. Seriously, if I could travel back in time to my 30-year-old self, while pregnant with my first daughter, I would first, buy her frozen yogurt (I loved froyo because I was pregnant during the summer months in Las Vegas!) and tell her what NOT to buy and what NOT to stress about. So, this is what I would tell her….
Baby Big Box Retail stores…are a trap! Do not spend hours upon hours researching what are the top registry items to plan for baby. The salespeople there, will always steer you in the direction of the highest price items. $500+ for a travel system stroller, car seat, and coffee cup holder…scam. Seriously, it’s like going to the car dealership, and test driving the luxury car that there is no way you could afford, but “You want the BEST for your baby, right?” NO! Just say NO! Because, your baby will HATE being confined to their car seat, so if anything…chose the one with the highest safety ratings, and purchase what you can reasonably afford. And, never, ever, let your husband purchase a second-hand stroller from a garage sale without you testing it out first. You have to make sure you can easily open and close the damn thing while carrying and juggling your baby, a diaper bag, and if you have other kids, make sure they are not running into the street to scare a pigeon. This is why they have the strollers on display at the store. TEST DRIVE it!
Baby Clothing Stores…I loved Carters! I still do! They have the cutest and most durable clothing and great discounts. But this is where you can also easily get duped….DO NOT BUY bags and bags of newborn and 3 month old sized clothing for baby. Yes, they are adorable, and yes, you’ll need options and daily, maybe triple the times of clothing changes in one day, but you will NEVER EVER go through all of them. Purchase at least 6 newborn and 3 month sized onesies. THAT is ALL you will NEED. Besides, your friends and family will also buy you a ridiculous amount of newborn clothing that you will NEVER EVER use…
Baby shoes and sandals to match…NO! You will NEVER EVER use them. Besides, your baby won’t need them because she can’t walk yet! Yes, they are CUTE, so maybe buy ONE for her first photo shoot or special occasion. Because, again, your friends and family will buy you a ridiculous amount of newborn baby shoes…
Baby Gear…those playmats, bouncers, swings, baby chairs…just create clutter. The one that I would recommend is a bouncer that you put on the floor. I used one for all three babies when they were tiny and it was a life saver. It cradles them so nicely and they would fall asleep in it soundly. The high-tech ones are totally not worth it. Again, don’t fall into the trap that because it’s a high price point, it must be worth it. It’s not, trust me. And high chairs…save your money and purchase or put on your registry the ones that can attach to a dining chair. Saves space and can easily be moved and stored.
Feeding Baby…whether you plan to breastfeed or not, DO invest in a GOOD breast pump. Depending on your insurance, you can get a free pump sent to you while you are pregnant. I had the heavy-duty Medella pumping system, as I needed to pump at work, and the pump burned out fast. I loved my Lansinoh digital pump. No need to be next to an electrical outlet, it runs on batteries and it was much more quiet than the heavy duty kind.
Bobby Pillow…YES! You will need this. Using pillows also do the trick, but the Boppy is firmer and assists you with holding baby comfortably when you are nursing in the middle of the night.
The MAIN item you need for Baby….DIAPERS! And a WHOLE FRICKIN LOT of THEM! This should be the number 1 item that when those who love you want to get you something for baby, you tell them DIAPERS! My favorite is Pampers brand, especially the Swaddlers. It’s the diaper that is used by most hospitals, and they will give you these after labor and delivery. You will need at least 10 boxes of Newborn size, and I’m telling ‘ya, you will use those well within the first month. And, don’t forget the wipes!! LOTS of wipes!!
DON’T WASTE your MONEY on this Baby item: A Diaper Pail. If someone purchases this for you, they must hate you. OH MY G…it’s disgusting. The idea that you put the stinky diaper in it and the “special” odor absorbing bag, wraps around the diaper to hold the stink in. Not only do you need to purchase the special trash liners, but when you pull that bag out…so gross! Like, gag inducing GROSS! Save your money and KEEP the plastic bags you get from the grocery store, and dispose the diapers in that in your REGULAR trash can.
Baby Furniture…you scour through Pinterest and thumb-ear every page of the Pottery Barn catalog. Your nursery for baby is your haven for all things Mama and Baby. You think of their future room and how each piece of baby furniture will easily transition into their big kid room. There is the convertable crib, dresser, changing table, armoire, rocking chair, and all the room accessories…but in reality…your new baby will NEVER EVER sleep in there! And, your second, third and more babies will NEVER EVER sleep in there! So, what do you really need. A box. No, really, in Finland, the state provide new Moms with a cardboard box, filled with all the essentials that she and baby will need. It contains bodysuits, a sleeping bag, bathing products, and a small mattress and bedding. I’m not suggesting a literal cardboard box, but you can choose a bassinet or a smaller scale crib to place your baby to sleep safely. Baby will want to snooze in your arms mainly, so having a comfy box to sleep in will save you so much money.
Other people’s OPINIONS…okay, obviously, this whole post is my own personal opinion, but what I’m talking about is the opinions of others on how you raise your children. You are you and your baby is yours. You will quickly learn that you will have to adjust to baby, and not adjust baby around you. Whether you breastfeed or bottle feed, disposable or cloth diapers, vaccinate or not vaccinate, co-sleep or sleep separately, work or stay at home, DO what is right for you and your family. The most important “job” is being a Mother to your children.
Congratulations on this most special time in your life! You will be an amazing Mama!
Featured image of me and my middle daughter, Jenna.
Photo Credit: Diamond Oak Photography