So, sitting around trying not to throw up lends itself to listmaking. Where is everything I own? Is it still out? What have I put away that Ben stopped using? Did I put away anything that was an overall failure and I should just get rid of it? When I was pregnant with Ben I was constantly googling hospital lists, and baby gear lists and sort of mentally screaming at passing strangers: “WHAT IS IT GOING TO BE LIKE??!!”
And I still don’t have the answer to that. This baby could be completely different, which Scott and I blatantly pray for at times. Ben was kind of an inflexible, colicky, particular hot mess from about 6-18 weeks. It’s okay, we loved him anyway. Then one day, he became his mellow, cool as a cucumber self and continued with that until now. I’m sure we have another personality change coming on the horizon here. That’s okay. This baby will probably go through some fun phases, too. But that first four months… if that was easier this time around, I would be SO. APPRECIATIVE.
But anyway, it means I sure can prepare for the hard times, especially in regards to me. Again, everybody’s different, blah blah… insert disclaimer here in smaller and smaller print.
1. My very favorite maternity jeans.
They have this sort of belly fit, called a “self belly” on Motherhood’s site. But I gotta say, I think mine are cuter than both of the options they have now. Anyway, this denim covered elastic thing is soooooo comfortable. I can’t say enough about them.
I started wearing them the minute I got a positive stick that said I officially qualified as “maternal”. I spent the first pregnancy a little concerned about looking cute (okay, not much really) but the little I worried about it just taught me to shut up and not worry about it. I did look cute, at least for my pregnancy photos and the rest of the time nobody cared and I shouldn’t have. It’s temporary. My jeans are super cute anyway so screw it. I also made what proved to be solid decisions last time- I bought slip on shoes, maternity underwear, and loads of yoga pants. All of those will also have their season this time around.
2. I asked for anti-nausea meds, am still drinking my one cup of coffee and Scott hired a sitter. This is really helping. Oh, and SEA BANDS! I’m telling you, I really thought it was impossible but they really work. Nothing works all the time, every time (just like trying to solve colic) but everything helps a little, and all together, I would say this time really is easier. By a little. Except that now they have stretched out a little and don’t work anymore. I either have to shrink them (fingers crossed) or buy new ones every week. Or start tying marbles to my wrists with cut up t-shirts.
3. The Breast Friend
. I know, I resisted it for so long. Until I literally could not keep nursing in contorted positions that were killing my back for one second longer. I didn’t want to buckle myself into some shaped foam torture device slash belt. I will say it: I was wrong, so, so wrong. I have small boobs and had a small baby and I seriously need to buckle myself into a soft, firm shelf that will hold that baby in prime position so that I can use both hands to worry about latching. I still need a third hand for nursing and just don’t have one, darnit. Ben wasn’t a nursing prodigy, perhaps his new sibling will pick it up a smidge easier. On the nursing note, this is my favorite nursing top
. Its gotta be a tank top, then I would layer whatever over it, and that way, when I nursed in public, I’d pull a shirt up, one side of the tank down, and I wouldn’t have to worry about my whole belly hanging out or my entire shoulder, and there was no pushed over fabric to get in the way. Credit to Kelly, who loaned me hers.
4. The rocker will be in whatever room the baby sleeps in. The rocker I finally bought in Ben’s first week of life after realizing that I wasn’t going to be able to nurse in bed like I originally figured that I would. We have firm mattresses, but not firm enough. I needed to sit up, strap on that crazy looking nursing pillow and lean my head back in the perfect position to doze a little. We didn’t work out side by side nursing until way late in the game. Again, my boobs are small. And I don’t want to carry the baby to whatever room the rocker is in. Baby out of bed, onto nursing pillow, back in bed. I can wobble myself whatever extra steps are needed to sleep where I sleep. That way if I run into a lamp or something during the night the baby won’t be harmed.
5. Colorful mobile with a timer that makes different noises and moves.
This is one of those things I thought was just another thing with unnecessary bells and whistles, when a baby would probably be happy with, you know, a paper airplane you hung with fishing line. Some babies probably would, but not Ben. Just in case this baby is on the touchier side, I will attempt to find the equivalent of Ben’s beloved “fishies” (you can see his mobile here
) I will have to find an equivalent because Ben is still fiercely, fiercely attached to this thing. I seriously don’t know what kind of contraption we will have to rig up when he moves to a big boy bed. Because the fishies must stay. My list of requirements for a contender would be that it: has a white noise option, sways back and forth, around, whatever… that it plays soothing music as another option, and that it plays these noises for at least fifteen minutes before turning off. If it stayed on all night I might just consider it.
6. Safe stations to tuck baby into where they have something to look at and hit. Swing, check. Playmat, check. Bouncer seat, check. (By the way, the bouncer MUST vibrate… cause, duh.) I have a Bumbo. Some moms used theirs all the time, but Ben always cried in it. I kept it just in case this baby likes it. Ben would rotate around the rest of these things on a good day and get plenty of happy baby stimulation and good naps. The rest of the time…
7. He was strapped to my person. Carriers. Wish I could tell you which ones you’ll like. I have a Moby because its super affordable and super comfy when my teeny baby just drowned in everything else. But wrapping my body while he screamed at me to be held was a test in strength of mind. Not my favorite. I would have just left it on but I had to move it to nurse (small boobs, people) and rewrap anyway. This time I’m going to have a borrowed Baby Bjorn and an Ergo on hand and try those out. I borrowed an Infantino carrier last time, and that worked fine too, I assume like a Baby Bjorn, but he was too little for it during the time he just had to be glued to my chest THIS MINUTE OR BUST, so we used the Moby. He was not into slings. Of course, that could be different for the next baby, but I’m not going to spend money to find out, unless it becomes necessary.
8. Swaddlers. Personally I like the fleece ones by Summer. Two for each size, for Ben, since he stayed in them until 5 months. When one is in the washer we would be pulling our hair out. So two. Fleece can be too hot for some babies, but usually not at a normal 65-70 degrees. Babies typically love being warm and wrapped up, and the cotton ones were too stretchy so we couldn’t seem to get him wrapped tight enough. For a new mom, in the middle of the night… I’m just saying, velcro wins over folding and tucking every time. Heck, I’m not a new mom and it still wins.
9. Pacifiers. I am totally not afraid of these things and love them with my whole heart. We have different kinds, and I will find the one that this baby likes. Yes, it’s irritating trying to get the baby to keep them in, and they cry like crazy every time they fall out… but they stop crying every time you put them in! For colic, I never found anything as consistently helpful (in Ben’s case) than a tight swaddle, pacifier, white noise, and swinging. Basically the 5 S’s. They really work. I can’t remember the 5th but no matter. I was so concerned about taking it away, but when it started to become an issue, we transitioned him out at ten months and it was just like the swaddle. Four tough-ish nights and we had moved on. I always had help at night (Scott) and we waited for a weekend so that he wouldn’t be a wreck at work.
10. Catch up stuff that seems obvious and how important it is (to me) to get a good one:
Crib: doesn’t matter. Safe, strong, not painted with lead. The basics. Just have to make sure there is some kind of teething gaurd there. We had one in the front for Ben, so he just moved over to the sides!
doesn’t matter. As long as it’s easy to set up (read a few reviews) and the changing pad is supported on all sides, not suspended. I love ours, by Bright Starts, you can see it here
, if you’re in the market. If ours didn’t have a changer, or any bells and whistles, that would have been fine. I could have kept changing stuff in a basket and changed him on the bed. The plus of having those things was that Scott wasn’t “helping” me by changing a kicking, squirming baby on my feet while I was supposedly getting to sleep. That would have been kind of a bummer.
Stroller: I always say I got the Toyota of strollers (Baby Trend Sonic Jogger) as opposed to the Lexus (BOB Revolution). So, I’m not even aware of all the luxury stuff I missed out on, but to be fair, a nice Toyota is great- it runs well, does all the things you need it to do, easily. It’s not like it’s a basic “live through it who cares” type of baby vehicle. What I’m saying, is that a stroller you love is key (swivels easily on many kinds of terrain, good suspension, a big basket for stuff and cup holders). But to me, its not important enough to feel like I have to buy the absolute last word in baby strollers. I’m seriously tearful about having to figure out what to get in the double stroller world. I hate spending money on stuff like this, but I know I need a good stroller. I’ll probably just get another Baby Trend Jogger, only a double this time. Hard to argue with what already works. But will it fit in my Honda Accord???
Car seat: Okay, this matters, but I don’t think there is a way to be sure that you are going to get the perfect infant seat. I like ours (and it came with our awesome stroller) but the straps would sometimes turn over in the clippy things and when the baby was crying it was really tough to figure out how to put things back together. It definitely brought me to tears on a notorious solo road trip with my one month old that I will never do again. Whatever, straps are going to turn over sometimes. Most of the time it was just fine.
We have two. A Fisher Price Space Saver
and a restaurant style wooden high chair
that Ben still uses. It was hard to lose a chair around the table when we had company, but it did stay out of the way and was easier when we were first starting solids and he still couldn’t really sit on his own very well. The restaurant style seat pulls right up to table height and doesn’t take up any more room than a dining chair, so I still prefer it over a more traditional type with it’s own tray. Although he did chew on the table and leave marks. Ridiculous, right? Sigh. They will probably be there for way longer than I’d like. Hopefully the next baby doesn’t make them worse.
Changing Stuff: I use cloth. Recently my ability to do laundry has even become really difficult so we are using them much less, but if you really want to use cloth, but you’re hesitant, sign up for a service. Especially at the beginning, you are mostly using their materials, so you can go back to disposables at any time and very easily. To me, having a service is so much easier than worrying about running out of disposable diapers. Between that and breastfeeding, if we didn’t have to feed ourselves, we would never have had to run to the store. As far as ease of use, it really doesn’t matter in the beginning. You throw them both in the pail and out the door they go.
I will need one or two more changing pad covers. We have a heated wipes holder. It was nice to change him in the middle of the night and not shock his poor tiny self with cold wipes. But it wasn’t that big of a life change. Stuff for him to look at was key (when he was about a month I printed out black and white graphic pictures off the internet and taped them to the wall. Got the idea from my friend Cindy. He was absolutely fixated.) So I’ll have to remember to set that up for the new baby, too.
We got the best towel
from Jessica at our baby shower. I really didn’t think it would matter to me but it is the. best. towel. It is a luxury item (thank you, Jessica!) but seriously, we used it constantly. It looks amazing 17 months later. We finally bought some similar stuff (but nowhere near as soft) and they are okay. But for our next brand new baby, I will have our original, and hopefully I can buy another one, too. Then I will probably gift them to a dear friend if they last through toddlerhood. They are that good. Baths…. eh. I have heard bad things about that baby spa thing
. Ours was extremely basic, but cute, and we loved it. We used it until he got too big and could finally deal with the big tub, around a year. You can check it out here
if you want to. We have that in the attic so that’s checked off the list.
Is that it? Oh, who am I kidding. I will probably still find myself ordering something overnight from Amazon…