Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What I've learned so far...

BG is 3 months, 2 weeks and 1 day old.

Ok, I’m not a veteran mom but I’ve been a mom now long enough to have a list of what I’ve learned.

Things I’ve learned, product edition:
1. Sleep sacks were totally useless for this baby. I wound up buying more swaddling blankets (ginormous 47”x47”) ones. In the summer, the muslin blankets are best. I swaddled BG with arms tucked until she found her hands (apx 3 months). Now, I swaddle her for naps only and allow her arms to stay free and tuck the swaddle under her arms.

2. Swaddlemes were unnecessary. DH found them too complicated and they only became useful in the carseat but by the time I figured that out she had outgrown them and looked like a bursting sausage. Again, I should have stuck with swaddling blankets.

3. Gerber stuff is not worth the $. So far I find most of the Gerber cloths are too thin and wear out quickly. I like more bang for the buck so have stuck with clothes from BabyGap, Carter’s, Zutano, Tea and some items from Osh Gosh.

4. Skip socks sized 0-3 months and just jump into 0-6 months. By 2 months, BG was outgrowing the 0-3 month knee high socks her Grandma gave her. It was a shame too because they were super cute.

5. Exchange all items received sized 0-3 months. I kept a small drawer full of clothes which she wound up never wearing. Of course, I pulled off the tags and washed them all and brought them all with me to the hospital because I couldn’t decide what she’s go home in. See below. It was the humid heat of summer and I had a newborn. She lived in white kimono tops made by Carter’s for practically 2 months. When she went out, she was always worn by DH or myself. When visitors came over, she was swaddled. I only can remember a handful of times when we put her in an outfit outside of the kimono and diaper. I strongly recommend keeping maybe 3 outfits but exchanging the rest for bigger sizes and make sure the outfits you keep aren’t crazy zippers/buttons/snaps in the back craziness. The newborn is too tiny and wiggly to be dealing with that. Stick with cute simple outfits that don’t have snaps or buttons in the back.

6. Unless you live hours away from the hospital, the chances your little one is going to be wearing their going home outfit for very long is unlikely. Don’t break the bank. Don’t be like me and pack her entire wardrobe either. My hospital bag was filled with her clothes with a little Ziploc bag of my clothes and essentials. Honestly, your best bet is to have a cute t-shirt for him/her to wear for the few photos you take. 1. Newborns are so jello like, anything that requires you to put it over their heads and down past their fragile necks is going to give you an anxiety attack. 2. Their belly buttons will be tender and you’ll panic at anything that brushes it. 3. They are going to be swimming in the outfit (don’t buy newborn. Buy 0-3.) and before you know it, they will have outgrown it.

7. Don’t go crazy buying the must have bottles. Your baby will most likely reject it and you will spend a small fortune buying every bottle known to man and the accompanying nipples until your child finds one he/she prefers. This goes to all breastfeeding and formula feeding moms out there. If you follow me you know I breastfeed so buying a case load of bottles wasn’t going to be my concern. However, my concern was that my husband have the best bottles in town for when we were ready to give her a bottle. For me, I had to have the BPA free Dr. Brown bottles. Of course, I delivered just as they were shipping out and just as every other mom in the world ‘must have’ it. The only BPA free Dr. Brown’s bottles available were glass. I resigned myself to glass bottles. Then every store in the tri-state area was sold out. So I resigned myself to ebay and craigslist. I got myself 3 4-ounce and 3-8 ounce bottles for more money than I should have spent. Then my lactation consultant tells me, don’t use Dr. Brown’s. They say they are slow flow nipples but they aren’t.
Long story short, I now have 3 Playtex Drop In bottles. We didn’t like the latex nipples that came standard so we bought silicone nipples. Then one day during a particularly trying feed my husband calls me while I was at Target to ask to upgrade the nipples to fast flow. She hates fast flow and after consulting La Leche league and kellymom, we found out that for the duration of her bottle feeding, she’ll most likely stick with slow flow as most breastfed babies prefer it.
So now we have a bin full of unused nipples, bottles and contraptions (Dr. Brown’s dishwasher container) we have not used. I plan to give them away to a local mom but not any time soon because…

8. What doesn’t work today may work tomorrow. It’s not that a baby is fickle. It’s not that a baby is trying your patience, on purpose. Sometimes a baby may not be ready for something. Unfortunately, after trying and trying, it usually is about the time when a parent gives up on something that a baby develops to enjoy said item. So before you give away those bottles he/she rejected, before you give up the swing that she/he hollered at everytime they were placed in it, hold onto it. Before you know it, the swing becomes a helpful tool that she doesn’t cry at but laughs at whenever she sees her face in the mirror in the swing.

9. Restrict yourself to two books/websites per topic otherwise you will be inundated with too many opinions and recommendations. In the end, you do what you feel is right for your child. You will always be showered with opinions from strangers and mainly relatives. Smile nicely and thank them for the suggestions but do what you think is best. You are your baby’s mom. You will be surprised but you know your baby better than anyone including the pediatrician.

Be on the look out for more 'What I've learned'.


First restaurant dining with baby
Done with some La Leche League mommies. 6 babies. 6 mommies. Delicious eats. Great company and the comfort of breastfeeding in a restaurant without stares. What a great way to do this first!

First use of a changing table in a bathroom
Completed at a local cafe. I know this is a weird first but I'm skived out by most bathrooms in NYC.