Wednesday, January 09, 2008

WFMW: Preparing for baby?

For today's backwards edition of Works For Me Wednesday, I was hoping you could give me advice about preparing for mom-hood and bringing the baby home.

Baby girl is due in 72 days...right about at the 10 week mark. Holy cow! My to-do list has about 72 items on it! Ok...maybe not 72, but definitely more than 10. This is coming quickly!

What did you do to prepare, and what did you later wish you had done to prepare? Both for bringing baby home, but also for the change of becoming a stay-at-home mom? What did you do that was smart, or unnecessary, or what would you have done if you could do it all over again?

These can be anything from preparing a bag for the hospital (good advice on what to put in it?), special things you did w/ hub, buying a _______ that turned out to be so useful?

Thanks internet!


Jeni said...

Wow. I would imagine you're going to get lots of comments on this question.

To prepare for my Girlie, I read, re-read, and re-re-read books on infant care and post-partum recovery. Not that I got a whole lot of new insight, it just made me feel better. I wished I had done more specific reading on C-sections, especially since we knew ahead of time that's what we would be doing.

In the hospital, everything was kind of a blur. I was recovering, my baby was beautiful, and then we were home. I very much wish someone had knocked some sense into me about breast-feeding. I thought we were doing it right, but we weren't, and I ended up never being able to breast feed because my milk never came in.

So I'd recommend that you talk to the nurses, talk to the lactation consultant, and if you're having to supplement with formula after day 5, go back to the lactation people - you should be making enough milk by then (no one told me that).

Swaddling is fantastic. I understand that not every baby likes it, but my Girlie was tightly swaddled every time we wanted her to sleep until she was strong enough to undo the swaddling herself. If we tried getting her to sleep without swaddling, she'd only sleep for a little bit before her random flailings woke her up.

Mrs. G said...

I wish I'd gone out to eat with my hubby more! You may not get a whole lot of "alone" time for a while, so do try to enjoy it now. Don't stress about the baby; just spend some time together. You *will* get time together again, but it may seem like you won't!

Also, I made all kinds of plans of what I'd do when, etc, but when my daughter actually got here, none of it worked. For instance, I was totally against the baby sleeping with us. After several nights of no sleep, I decided co-sleeping wasn't so bad. I thought cloth diapers were insane. I'm totally loving my FuzziBunz now. Just learn to go with the flow.

oh amanda said...

I don't know how I prepared. Maybe I didn't do a very good job!

The one thing I remember is that my parents came and while I was still in the hospital they cleaned my house and bought groceries. That was the nicest present ever. So, a clean house and some good food will be a great thing to have when you come home!

As far as "stuff", here's the things I wish I had and/or bought along the way:

BIG swaddling blanket (like this one:

if you're nursing: lots of tanktops instead of nursing shirts, lasinoh brand lanolin,, a direct line to your lactation consultant and a nursing shawl.

good christian kids music to play

(hmmm...there's not as much "stuff" as I thought)

One big thing I loved as a new mama...especially a new sahm, was messageboards/playgroups. I joined one on ivillage that is just for babies born in my daughter's same month. It was so fun to talk with these moms, ask questions and just have some grown up time! I know there's Christian sites, too. I'm still on the boards ever week--2 years later. They are big support to me!

WOW. I rambled A LOT! God bless you and your new baby!

Annikke said...

After delivering 4 babies the one thing I was always glad I did was have my overnight packed... several weeks early just in case something happened early. I also learned it was very important to have a bag of quarters in my overnight bag (we had parking meters to pay, not to mention husbands many trips to the vending machines while he waited). If you go here - they have a great list to refer to for packing a bag. BUT I'm telling ya, bag of quarters is SO helpful!

Amy said...

Pack your bag NOW, or at least have a specific list so your DH can get things for you if needed. :) I don't mean that in a scary way, but both of my kids were preemies, and I was unprepared both times... you'd think I would have learned the first time, right? Anyways, you asked what I would have done differently, and that's it-- just packed way early.

I found myself kind of lonely after my daughter was born- and I never thought I would feel that way. Finding a moms group in my area was great-- an excuse to get out of the house without spending money, plus talking with other moms going through the same things was great.

Good luck!

Heather@Mommymonk said...

You never really can prepare for this change in your life. It will surprise you how much different it is than what you expected. I promise. Relax and enjoy this time right now when you can meet all of your little one's needs without having to lift a finger (except to put something good in your mouth!)

And I agree with Mrs. G spend as much time as you can alone with your hubbie because that is going to be tough soon.

I wish I had known how hard it would be some days - not to be a downer about the baby days, but to be realistic. I imagined myself feeding the baby and putting her to bed and then going out to tan for an hour while she slept. I had no idea that this was going to be a 24-7 job - literally.

So, think about who will be there to support you in those early days. Also, I would really recommend the Baby Whipserer. She helped me to understand the rythms of baby life.

Congratulations - it's going to be the adventure of your life. Put the hospital bag in the car in case you go into labor in some obscure place away from home. :)

Kristin said...

Great question. I have 5 children. I agree - pack your bag early, leave it open in your room b/c you'll think of things to throw in there as the big day approaches.

Freeze some meals for those evenings when you just cannot get supper on the table.

A changing table is really not necessary - I wish I had forgone that purchase and got a nicer dresser to keep in the child's room.

Go ahead and start buying diapers now. One package everytime you shop will add up. Sure, some babies don't do well w/ some brands but for the most part you can't go wrong w/ Luvs or Pampers or even the store brand.

I read Baby Wise beforehand and even though it's very controversial, it did help me get a grip on organizing our day once baby was here.

Stock your medicine cabinet: Infant Tylenol, Desitin, Vaseline, Vicks Vapor Rub, Garlic Oil for ear infections.

For breastfeeding, invest in Soothies. They are expensive but they are worth it - the first 2 weeks are painful and Soothies really help.

Get your husband some earplugs!

Jessica said...

First, if you haven't already, get the book Baby Wise. I just took what I wanted from it, but both my girls were sleeping through the night by 6 weeks and are still great sleepers!

Second, let the nursery take your care of your little one so you can get lots of rest in the hospital b/c you are going to be crazy tired those first few weeks.

Third, accept any and all help that is offered. We had family in-house helping for the first 3 weeks and I loved it b/c the moms cooked and cleaned so Daddy and I could rest and just focus on baby.

Finally, if you are nursing, call your lactation specialist if you have ANY questions. I didn't with my first and HATED nursing for the first 10 weeks until someone gave me a helpful hint. W/ my 2nd, the consultant helped me in the hospital and it made a HUGE difference.

Good luck and congratulations on your little one!!!!

lizzykristine said...

These things aren't relevant just yet -- no babies here yet -- but I had fun reading all the tips just the same. :)

Your days are ticking down!

Sileena said...

1)Have your freezer stocked with meals you can heat up in a hurry.
2) Make sure you have charged up batteries for your camera, film if you need it, new tape for the video camera (all in your over night bag)
3)Pack snacks for hubby in the over night bag and snacks you'll want afterwards. Saves from having to buy from the vending machines
4) Have the list of numbers you want called after the birth either by you or someone else.
5) Definitely invest in Soothies, Lansinoh and Mylicon
6)Have nursing bras 1 and 2 sizes bigger than normal (pack one for the hospital)
7) Definitely have diapers in NB and sz 1 since you don't know when you'll be able to get out and get em again.
8) Just my opinion, if you don't want to entertain formula feeding, don't have it in the house in the beginning
9) Have a breast pump. Do your investigating ahead of time so you don't impulse buy when you NEED it
10) I didn't intend to be so long winded. I have a home movie for my sister in law who's baby was born 6 weeks after mine and I made it as things happened and were all very fresh in my head. If you have questions about jaundice, thrush etc. just ask. nolanitesatroadrunnerdotcom
Sorry to be so overwhelming. This is just a comment forum right?! Ugh!

Alicia said...

I'm sure that you've read the books. I found my favorite after my third child was past the newborn stage, The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer.

But my advice would really be to not be so worried about what the books say. Don't be too determined to follow one particular method that sounds good to you right now. Every mother and baby are different. You will learn all about your baby in the first few weeks and you will know more about her than anyone else. As long as she and you are both happy and healthy then just do what works best for you (and your husband, of course!). And don't worry if it's not what you had planned.

Mama Russell said...

Stock stock stock your freezer! You will love being able to pull out dinner in the morning to cook in the evening without having to do any of the prep work. It is great.

Make sure your house is as clean as it can be. It will be hectic enough coming home with a new baby and all of the "stuff" that comes with a new baby. If the house is already disorganized, it will make everything that more chaotic.

Spend lots and lots of time with your husband. Get him involved in preparing for the baby. Read books together and watch movies. Laugh together. Go walking and window shopping. See if he has any "check-lists" of things he would like to get done before baby arrives.

Congratulations on the impending arrival! You are blessed.

nicole said...

Find other moms and meet them. I felt way too isolated when I had my first child. Even though your baby will not be playing at such an early age, join a playgroup or something. Try to get out with the baby as soon as you feel comfortable. Make sure you are taking care of yourself and that you are telling someone how you are feeling when you get the blues (it happens to almost everyone to some degree). Don't be afraid to ask for help, but trust yourself. God has blessed you with a child and He will give you the grace you need to be her mother. Good luck!

kel said...

You guys are great! Thanks for all the tips... keep 'em coming!

Thanks especially for the specific brands and items - I'm going to find out what soothies are - I hadn't heard of that yet.

I'm leaving work a month before the due date, so hopefully I'll have lots of time (or at least some!) to focus on freezing meals, organizing and cleaning our home, and spending time with other mom-friends.

Based on your advice, I am going to start putting together a list of things I need to put in THE bag, and then get it all together. I haven't really thought about that AT ALL yet, but I know the baby really could come at any time.

Lizzy - I've had so much advice given from a few different WFMWs. Hopefully, when it's your turn, you can just come back here and read it all!

You all are awesome!

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

You have gotten some really, really great advice here! Everything I was going to say has been said.

The main thing is to try and find a playgroup in your area. Seeing other moms, especially those with babies older, is the best resource for tips, products, support, etc. Find a new moms group at church or on a place like All of my "lifesaver mommy tips" came from other friends, not books.

My best advice is to see other moms who seem to have similar personalities to you and whose kids' you think are well behaved, and just ask her questions. I had two Mommy Mentors that I called all the time, and now I have been Mommy Mentor to others. You can find any book to give you 500 opinions and you might just confuse yourself to death. But other moms who have been down that road are invaluable.

I also taped TLC's A Baby Story every time it was on for the last month or so of my pregnancy. That was the best tutorial on the hospital & birth!

Sis Sarah said...

Purchase a bag of poise pads (the bigger kind) cause if your water breaks, man you'll want those things. It's not like it breaks and no more water comes out.

The frozen meals area must, the last thing you want to be worrying about is meals when you get home.

I loved lanisoh creme, and get several kind of binkies. Life is much easier when they have a binky.

Melanie said...

Go for dates with hubs now. You don't know when you will get the chance later!

Stuff I bought-
Portable booster seat/high chair. I kept it in the car for when we went out and maybe they didn't have a high chair or it was just plain yucky. I took it with us on trips, vacations, etc. Mine was the kind that folds up. They are about 20 bucks.

I wish I had bought the crib that converts to a toddler bed. This would have saved money.

Don't over buy on clothes. They grow out of them so fast.

Expect the best but don't beat yourself up if you have a difficult labor, go into labor early, or you need a C-section. No birth is a "failure." The same goes for breastfeeding if you choose to do so. It has to be learned and is not as natural as people say. You and your baby will learn what is best for you.

Find a network of other moms NOW. You will love the advice and the company. Being alone with a baby all day can be an adjustment.


Melanie said...

One more thing-

Learn to let things go at home after you come home with the baby. Laundry can wait. Accept help with meals. You will be TIRED! Sleep when the baby sleeps. ALWAYS. You never know when they can get sick or fussy and then you are up long periods of time and exhausted. Your body will be healing. It is best for your baby for you to be rested.

Amy said...

You have gotten so much great advice. I just had my third baby 2 months ago, so this is fresh in my mind.
-- My frozen meals have been so great. I just had lasagna last night. So easy! I also froze some vegetable soup. It makes me feel like I'm eating better, since I'm nursing.
--Breastfeeding will HURT the first 2 weeks. Just push through and know that it will get better. Even after nursing my first two for a year each, with the third, I needed help from a lactation consultant in the hospital. Please ask if you need help.
--More breastfeeding advice...make sure your baby gets a full feeding each time. It should last around 30 minutes or so at first. You may have to wake her up, change her diaper, take off her clothes, but make sure she gets more than a snack or you will be feeding her all day! If she gets full, then she should go 2 1/2 to 3 hours between feedings. The Baby Wise book did help me feel more confident about WHY my baby was crying. If you go with the routine of Eating, Awake Time, Sleep, Eating, Awake Time, Sleep...then you know that she's probably crying b/c she's sleepy, not hungry, for example.
--See if there is a Kindermusik program in your area. It is a great way to meet other moms, get out of the house, and have something beneficial to your baby all in one. My kids have enjoyed it even as early as 4 months. Actually, I think they can start at 6 weeks.
--Take any extra diapers, wipes, pads, etc. home from the hospital. Your insurance has already paid for it anyway.
--Have your car seat figured out and installed before you go.
--Make sure you have a few New Born outfits. The 0-3 month clothes won't fit for about the first month.
--I second the advice to send the baby to the nursery in the night and have them bring her to you when it's time to eat, then send her back when you are finished. You NEED your rest.
--There is a special swaddler that they make now. I'm not sure of the name, but my sister loves hers. I think it's around $10 at Target.
--I also haven't had a changing table. The bed, ottoman, floor, has worked each time for me.

Good Luck!

Andi said...

1- Stay up late, get up late, go to movies & go out to eat at places with tableclothes

2- Get a pedicure & a massage

3- Stock your freezer & pantry with good, easy to prepare foods

4- Stock up on maxi pads & epsom salts for sitz baths

5- If you're nursing, get a breast pump

6- Enlist someone to clean your house after the baby comes so you dn't have to worry about it

7- You don't need much for a baby, clothes, diapers, blankets (Target sells waffle weave blankets that are awesome for swaddling- all the flannel receiving blankets we got were too small for my hefty son!) and I would have some pacifiers.

8- Did I mention that you should sleep now? Do it! And, don't worry about doing every thing "right". We'll all make mistakes in parenting & just because you don't follow a certain book or philosophy doesn't mean you're doing things the wrong way!

Mom2fur said...

I brought my firstborn (a boy) home 25 years ago! And not one person told me that I'd have something like a 6-week long period afterward. He was a high forceps birth, so maybe that is why. But I'd tell you to get a supply of good overnight maxis. You may only need them a short while, but you'll be glad you have them.
And here is the best advice I've ever heard for a new mommy: "Don't stand when you can sit, and don't sit when you can lay down!"
I wish you tons of happiness and a very, very easy delivery! said...

Okay, my advice, for what it's worth:
1. Attend a local breastfeeding group. There was one at a hospital in Pasadena that ANY breastfeeding mom could attend, regardless of how old the child was or where it was born. You get to meet with other moms, ask questions, and weigh your baby, both to know how much (in ounces) she is drinking and to track growth between doctor's visits.
2. Buy 2-3 of those cheap packs of a dozen washcloths from Target. You will be wiping up all sorts of things between now and a year from now (and much longer I suppose, but that is the extent of my experience so far) in your house and on your baby, and you won't have to feel bad if they get stained or you need to use like ten of them. They're cheap, reusable, and wonderful.
3. Get out of the house!!! Especially since you were on bedrest. Take baby out on walks to get a cup of coffee or see the spring flowers. Go visit friends. See if your local movie theater has mommy movie mondays. I promise, the fact that she sleeps in the stroller now, and doesn't require that you pack any additional snacks for her, is something to enjoy while it lasts.

There are about a million other things, which of course have been covered by the former responses to this question, but I thought I'd weigh in. Now that you are actually a mom in practice (no longer in training) you may have a different perspective on the responses you received.

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