Monday, April 5, 2010

Tips for expecting moms from a MOM

CMOTC MOM Amy C. created a list of tips for a friend who just found out she was expecting. Knowing it would help our expecting club moms, Amy is sharing her tips with us as well. Thank you Amy!!

Amy's tips:
  • Start registering early, you don’t have to add everything at that time, but grandparents and family can get impatient.
  • Despite the fact that I just sold my car seats, I’m would suggest buying new, unless you know the person really well and know how they’ve been treated and that they weren’t in any accidents. I was just really nervous about that. If you get a carrier and not a convertible, I would suggest that you get an extra base. It was helpful not to have to switch the bases between cars. Just realize that if you get the carriers, you will be buying a new car seat when he/she reaches 22 pounds.
  • Register/get a swing, I suggest one that swings in both directions, they call is a cradle swing I believe. I had one that was a papason that had a little mirror and some rotating birds over top of them and they loved it. Here is mine. I found it at Once upon a child pretty reasonable and I’ve seen them on craigslist too.
  • I suggest a bassinet. I didn’t think that I would have them in my room because it was so small, but I didn’t care how small it was I ended up wanting them with me all the time. To be honest, I still wish they were with me. Here is mine. Apparently they also have something that attaches to the bed so it’s like they are sleeping with you, but safer. I never looked into those though.
  • Whatever mobile you choose for the crib, get one that you don’t have to wind up. You will use it a lot and you don’t want to sit there and constantly wind it. I made that mistake.
  • Obviously a bouncy seat is invaluable; I even used mine when they were sick so that they could sleep elevated. There are a zillion different types of bouncy seat’s out there, but after the fact I saw one that converted to a toddler rocker, so it could last a lot longer, I even saw one that allows you to hook up your iPod to it. Most regular bouncy’s have a weight limit of 25 lbs.
  • Bottles, I suggest Dr. Brown’s only because that is what a lot of the Lactation consultants recommend, especially if breastfeeding. Opt to register for a gift set rather than individual or 2 packs. I was told to register for all different bottles because babies have different preferences so I ended up with a bunch of bottles I didn’t use and still had to go out and buy the ones they did use. I would suggest doing some research and picking a type you want and actually registering for the gift set. If breastfeeding, ask a consultant or other Mom’s for their recommendations and why. I can tell you that I tried Advent and after the first wash they started leaking badly. Here’s a link to the Dr Brown’s gift set. They also have an infant starter kit.
  • Along with bottles, I would suggest a microwave sterilizer. They say that you don’t have to boil then and I have to say that I wouldn’t even try. My mom did and forgot about them and melted a bunch of my bottle tops. They say to use the dishwasher, but I didn’t want to run the dishwasher that often, the sterilizer is awesome. You wash the bottles buy hand (which takes about 5 min) then you stick them in the microwave for 5 min. voila.
  • Give him/her plenty of tummy and floor time. We did not give as much floor time due to space and the dogs and I swear that is why they were so late rolling over. It will also help keep them from getting a flat spot on their heads.
  • I would suggest one of those sleep machines. I didn’t have one, but we did end up with this bear that basically had a sleep machine in it and it definitely was useful at times. I would look at it more as a nice to have rather than must have, but honestly that really depends on how much soothing your baby needs. My friend has this one.
  • I used bibs way more than burp cloths. I had burp cloths for when they were actually burping, but I used bibs even when giving them a bottle as my boys were dribblers, even now they still dribble a little. I bought these cheap bibs with plastic on the back so that it wouldn’t get their outfits wet. I think I got them at Kroger actually, but I know I’ve seen them at Wal-mart and such.
  • Get extra mattress covers, so that when you change the sheets you have an extra mattress cover to put on. I didn’t at first and it wasn’t a big deal until the first time I had to change the sheets in the middle of the night due to a very drooly and spit-uppy baby.
  • I do recommend a diaper champ rather than a diaper genie due to the fact that you don’t have to buy special bags.
  • I have regular high chairs and find them very bulky and wish that I had something more portable. There just isn’t enough room to store them when they aren’t being used.
  • My kids loved those little mats with the toys hanging overhead, they don’t need to be that fancy.
  • They also love, love, love their exersaucer.
  • They have these links that you can buy that were/are very useful in hanging more toys overhead as well as attaching them to stationary objects so that when the kids drop them or throw them, they won’t go very far.
  • Take lots of pictures. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the moment and wish you had a picture of it later. When I first went back to work at 12 weeks, I actually took a picture of them every morning before I went to work and set the picture as my desktop background and my phone wallpaper, so I always had to most up to date picture with me.
  • Financially, I would say spend money on the things that are going to last you or have to do with their safety and borrow or buy things second hand that you will only use for a little while. Once upon a child is a great place.
  • Diapers – having worked in diapers, they all work the same way, they do their best to hold baby poop and pee. Buy what’s on sale and buy the big boxes not the little bags, or better yet, go to Sam’s and buy Member’s Mark. Sam’s also sells Huggies and Pampers. There are different tiers to diapers, so you want to look for the words ultra or premium on your store brands. There are some eco-friendly diapers, but they are still diapers and made of plastic so eco friendly is a relative term, they don’t have any chlorine to bleach them, so it is one less chemical. If you are really looking to go eco friendly, go cloth. ;) Also, diapers are manufactured like anything else and are not always perfect, just because you have a problem with one bag, that does not mean the whole brand sucks, it likely just means that you got a bad bag. Likely if you complain to the company about the bad bag, you can get free stuff.
  • Wipes – the cheapest place I found them was Sam’s and they are Huggies brand. They sell them as a 700 wipe pack for like $15.

How about you? Do any of you have tips to add? Favorite products? Must haves? Preparation advice? Best tip/advice given to you? Tip/advice you wished someone shared with you? Please share with us!


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