Fellow blogger Amy is expecting her first baby and is looking for suggestions on what is needed.
She says she plans on breastfeeding, prefers plain to battery-operated toys, and doesn’t want a lot of plastic crap strewn about.
Well, Amy, I hate to break it to you, but the plastic crap arrives whether or not you actually purchase any. Well-meaning friends insist on passing along their unwanted much-loved cast-offs. Grandparents and other family members scour every garage sale within a tri-state area (yes, even if you live in Hawaii) to procure every battery-operated piece of garbage to give the new darling.
You can’t stop it. Just have the Kidney Foundation on speed dial, as they will often pick up large donations.
- A Swing – Even if you are the most devoted attachment parent ever, there will be times when you have to use the restroom, answer the phone, cook a meal or walk away before you pull your hair out.
My oldest son had colic undiagnosed reflux that left him screaming for hours every day. The only relief was his swing, and yes, I wore him in slings and packs all the time.
Ivy adds: I cannot agree more. Get the kind of swing that plugs in. Batteries are ‘expensive.
- Onesies – If you aren’t going anywhere and the weather is warm, these are perfect everyday outfits. Your house is not a fashion show, don’t stress yourself out with expensive outfits that will just fall victim to bodily fluids.
Ivy adds: When they’re really tiny, I love those baby gowns. No unsnapping; just pull up the bottom. They’re fab.
- A sling or carrier – for tiny infants, I had great luck with a Maya Wrap and with older ones, I prefer a Mei-Tei (thanks, Bramble, you’ll get it back eventually)
Ivy adds: I had a front pack carrier I used with my kids. Now they say they’re bad for their developing hips or something, but I loved mine.
- Good nursing bras – Make sure they fit you properly, get measured.
- Ivy adds: Get you a diaper bag that makes you feel fantastic. Go ahead and spend the extra bucks on it. Make sure you put yourself an extra shirt in the diaper bag. Your baby will leave spit-up stains on you, and if you have an extra shirt, you can change.
Here is the best advice I can offer you from the bottom of my heart. No matter how protective you are of this child, let Dad help. I mean this. Even if you have to leave the room because you can’t stand to see how he fastens the diaper, let him help from the beginning. He may not do things your way, but that’s okay. You aren’t perfect, either.
He is equally invested in your child’s well-being, and the more hands-on he is in the beginning, the easier things will be for all involved. If Dad is a little standoffish, hand him the baby and take a shower. They will both survive.
Ivy adds: Seconded. Do whatever it takes to get some “me” time. Even if that means (and this is totally Heather’s trick) leaving and going and sitting in your car in a Target parking lot reading a book, get some alone time.