Thursday, July 11, 2013


Until just, well, yesterday actually, I'd been avoiding facing the fact that in a little over four months there will be a tiny human living with me, and he will need stuff.

I've actually done very well at avoiding fully accepting my pregnancy altogether. I don't receive emails from babycenter or whoever it is, telling me what size fruit my baby is that week (that's what I have Christina for). I haven't downloaded any apps chronicling my slow and plodding journey toward the delivery room, although my mom and sister have. We don't have a name chosen and probably won't until a hospital official forces us to. I haven't read a single pregnancy book, although there's a formidable stack of them on my nightstand, all loaned by friends and family. And I'm 21 weeks tomorrow (he's the length of a carrot, I guess), and basically sucking at nesting, preparation, being pregnant, and possibly being female.

I know why I'm this way -- my brain broke after all that crap we dealt with over the last few years -- but it's not doing me any favors. I mean, the junk room is still the junk room and purportedly that is where my child is going to sleep.

So yesterday I decided to start a list of everything I will need for this kid. And, oh yes, I know mommies out there often say all you need is your boobs and a pillow. Or your boobs and diapers. Or your boobs and knife to stab yourself in the face. But let's be real, mkay? I done babysat before and I know there are a few basics that can't be done without. Although mommies will also say every baby is different and that is true -- my niece mostly hated her swing but liked the chair that vibrated. (BTW there's got to be a chair that can do both?)

Anyway, I started the list yesterday and "finished" it today (Ha. Ha!) and there are 74 things on it, and lots of them cost a pretty penny. Thankfully I've amassed a collection of hand-me-downs, but there are still many items I think we'll need. I won't bore you by listing them. But I'm getting a little heartburn staring at that list (although that could be my prenatal) and thinking, ok, I need that, but do I need the top-of-the-line thing? The organic thing? The no-baby-cheetas-were-harmed-in-the-making-of-this-product thing? No idea.

And then? There are all these mommies out there talking about all the baby books I need to read. Secrets of a Baby Whisperer. The Happiest Baby on the Block. The Contented Baby. Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child. Wild Things; The Art of Nurturing Boys. And then for every person who says I should read one of these books, there's another person who says the author of that book is full of crap. Ha!

So basically, I just don't know. I may register for everything under the sun. I may order every book and read it. And I guess I'll start reading What To Expect When You're Expecting and work my way down the pile.

But yeah, I could use some pointers. Boppy or My Breastfriend (dear god how I hate the names of all baby-related products)? Moby or Ergo? Both? Read the baby books or ditch them and wing it? Tequila or vodka in the bag that's coming to the hospital?


  1. All I know is that I once wrote a story about baby wearing. Then I made someone a homemade Moby wrap (SO easy) and tested it by strapping a growler to myself. Totally worked. I also printed off the Moby wrap how-to guide and included it along with the story in the gift I sent.

    So, basically, count this list as my baby shower gift to you:

    Also, I've heard What to Expect could also be titled "What to Be Terrified of When You're Expecting." Don't know if that's true, but it's what I've heard.

    1. I remember you mentioning this once before when I was going to be watching my niece. I'd like to say I will do this, but ... I am doubting it. Registry for the win!

  2. Seriously dude - less is better. And borrow as much shit as you can cause Jesus it's all expensive and it's only going to get used for like 3 months.
    Here's my recs:
    1. Boppy for sure. It's more versatile later - use for sitting them up, tummy time, feeding, as well as a pillow when you're dozing on the floor next to them at 5am. Also good for sleeping during those last months of mega pregnant belly
    2. I had a Moby and I used it like twice. It's great for newborn stage but it's a bitch to get on. And once it's on, they want out. And I never learned how to nurse with it. Moby when they're tiny, a Baby Bjorn when they're a tad bigger - 3 months-ish. And I loved my sling - Peanut Shell or HotSling, I think. Light and easy for travel. Great as they get bigger and they want to "help" you vacuum, sweep, cook. Just strap 'em on your hip.
    3. Start with What to Expect. Pick up Healthy Sleep Habits for when baby's 3 months-ish and you're ready to sleep. Borrow Happiest Baby cause it's a quick read and mostly no-brainer stuff.
    4. Register for TONS OF SHIT. And try to get gift cards because you'll end up with 4,000 newborn outfits and nothing for a 9 month old. Consider returning some of the younger stuff in exchange for older stuff. Seriously. And baby clothes have almost no value for resale. #harshreality
    5. You need to get a pediatrician BEFORE baby is born. You may even have to interview with the new doc first. So get on it. Now.
    6. Skip the following: Wipe warmer, bottle warmer, sterilizer, diaper genie.
    7. Take a birthing class. Take the infant care class. Even though you've got experience, it'll help you and B get your head in the game. There's a lot of shit you didn't realize you need to know.
    8. Tour the birthing center. And you have to preregister so do that in your last month.
    9. You will pee in a cup EVERY TIME you go to the doctor. Sometimes you will miss because you can't see that shit no mo' #harshreality
    10. Try not to get caught up in the firstworld motherhood shit. Organic, BPA free, local sourced, hemp, top of the line...fuck that. Do what feels right to you and what already works with your life.
    11. Take every piece of advice with a grain of salt and trust your intuition.

    1. I had not even thought about the pediatrician thing. Ugh! I've signed up for all the classes and the tour of the hospital so I'm sure those will be educational/terrifying. And I'm already having difficulty peeing in the cup, and I am a total champ at that after testing multiple times every month!

  3. 1. Take any and all advice with a grain of salt. Do what works for you and don't let anyone guilt you into anything.
    2. Register for tons o shit. And go to web sites (like Pampers, enfamil, etc) and when you register, give them your due date. Sit back and watch tons of free crap pile up on your doorstep.
    3. Search Facebook for local kid-selling groups. People are selling cribs (good ones) for like $75 and huge lots of clothes for $20. Because, like your sister said, trying to resell your baby clothes is practically impossible. Those groups are also fantastic for snatching up cheap gear, because the moms are just trying to get rid of it.
    4. I will GIVE YOU my diaper genie and 2-3 boxes of refills.
    5. Ask your mommy friends for stuff/advice. But again, grain of salt. I LOVE the Ergo. I think it is amazing and if it could have my baby, we'd be together. Sean lived in that thing for his first 18 months and I'm pretty sure it saved both our lives. Allie gave it the big middle finger when she hit 9 months old.
    6. BOB stroller. LOVE IT. If you don't get it from your registry, look on Craigslist. I've got a dualie (2 kidder) and I can still steer it with one hand.
    7. Eff the books. Seriously. They're all preachy and tell you this and another tells you that and ... your head will explode. Talk to your pediatrician. Talk to other moms. Talk to your mom. Figure out what works for yourself. And let the kid lead you (sleep wise). Sean had to be cuddled to sleep and needed no less than 5 specific stuffed animals with him. Allie would slap you if you tried to cuddle her to sleep. She wanted an empty crib and for you to give her a kiss and freaking walk away.
    8. Two words: Crib soother.
    9. If you're doing the boobs: Lanolin. And get fitted for a nursing bra about 3 weeks before you're due.
    10. Don't be afraid to use formula. Some people throw up their hands and wail about it, but you know what? You need sleep too, and if it works, it freaking works.
    11. Find thee a pediatrician.
    12. Tour the birthing center, so you know where you're going the day of.
    13. I like the boppy, but HAD to get a breast friend with Allie because she had latching issues. So ... boppy.
    14. Get those swaddle things with the full knowledge that your kid will Houdini his way out of it and scream until you tuck him back in.
    15. My kids liked the pacifier. It was both a blessing and a curse. Blessing because it soothed them. Curse because if they spit it out while you're driving/walking/whatever, they scream bloody murder. Also, having to break that habit. So do whatever you like.
    16. For a boy, they make you choose circumcised or au natural before you leave the hospital. (I let Jason make that call.)
    17. Half the junk the stores say you need? You don't. The hospital gives you: a thermometer (better than the ones at the store), a bulb syringe for boogers, a bowl for wetting diaper wipes, a tube of vaseline, and see if you can get your hands on a couple of the hand scrubber things. Tear the soap part off and they're excellent for baby hair brushes and for getting gunk out from underneath the kids' nails. They'll also usually throw you a small bag of diapers and the dry wipes that you wet in water. I also got a diaper bag with a ton of free samples.
    18. Just like "wedding" anything "baby" related = more expensive.

    I'm sure there's more, but if you have questions, ASK. xoxo!

    1. Oh, dude. I don't even know what I'm going to do about the circumcision thing. Thanks for the other advice -- I added several of your suggestions to my list!

    2. Ask B what he thinks. I basically told Hubbs: "I don't have a penis, so ... I'm letting YOU decide this one." ;)

    3. Monkey momma, I took much the same approach. My son is circumcised; he slept through it. I must admit I was leaning that way anyway, but my husband's vote nudged me over (I did read about it and stuff). I would like to add about swaddling things: Houdini issues are absolutely true. My son would wake up every time he got un-swaddled, so I got him the velcro Swaddle Me and it saved us a ton of grief. He could not undo those things.

  4. Boppy and nose frida....must haves! I would only read what you have to read...otherwise it will freak you the hell out and you'll second guess everything you are doing as a parent. And just wait for the breastfeeding advice....dear Lord. Every person you meet from the doctor to the lactation specialist to the books all have something different to say.

    1. I think boppy is definitely winning here. And I do sort of dread the whole breastfeeding thing. Ugh.

  5. ok, first, don't read "what to expect.." its fear based. i know several OBs who tell their patients to throw that book away. why read about something that "could go wrong" when everything is A-OK? skip it.

    as far as carriers go, i'd say get the moby and the ergo. the moby for when baby is 0-3 months and the ergo for once baby's legs can wrap around your waist. we are using the ergo lots now and loving it. the moby is not fun putting on, but just practice while standing in front of a mirror. jonas slept on me in the moby for HOURS! and once jon brewed beer while wearing jonas in the moby. also, you can sit down while wearing it, unlike the ergo.

    i hear the breast friend is best for when babies are very small, learning how to breastfeed, etc. they are better at keeping the baby right close to you without slipping down-like the boppy. in the early days sometimes i had to put a pillow under the boppy to have it nice and "tall". my SIL gave me her 2 boppys, and i was like, what? why would i need 2? but its great, so now i dont have to drag them around the house! i have one on each couch. we still use a boppy to nurse on. and they are great to support the baby when they are learning to sit up. you will get much longer and greater use out of the boppy.

    1. I am loving everyone's vehement hatred of "What to Expect"! I am hoping if I get the Moby I actually use it/the kid likes it. It would be nice to have hands and legs free for a bit.

  6. oh, dont get nursing bras until your milk comes in. it just doesnt make sense and you will be bigger than you could even imagine! ;)

    also, dont buy newborn or 0-3 month outfits/ sleepers with snaps....aint nobody got time for that. ZIPPERS are the way to go. it seems simple but for some reason i never looked at clothes that way. also, get a few kimono style onesies, so if baby boy doesnt like things pulled over his head, you have a couple options that wont set him off.

    1. A few Moms of the Internet have also said it's all about zippers and I think you're right! Some of those jumpers with snaps are super cute but OMG yes I remember trying to get my niece into those while she'd be screaming bloody murder. Kimono onesies are a good tip too, adding it to the list!

  7. You have some smart people on here. As a birth professional, I must second much of the general advice up there, especially that you shouldn't take anyone's advice too seriously. That doesn't mean I don't have stuff that has worked for me and my clients, so I will say that stuff and you can decide if it is helpful.
    1. Many doulas, including me (I am not the only-unmedicated-birth kind of doula; I am the informed and less anxious moms kind) loathe _What to Expect When You're Expecting_. I won't go into why, because it will sound like blah blah, but I recommend without reservation _Pregnancy, Childbirth & the Newborn_ by Penny Simkin et al. However, you don't have to read any damn birth books at all if you don't want to and you will still have a baby and be a good mom.
    2. Please at least think about this one. People will try to make you feel bad about your choices for pregnancy, labor, newborn care, and nursing. Lactation consultants are notorious for making people cry (one made me cry in the hospital, and I totally saw it coming). People will snort and make snarky comments about your feeding and sleep training choices and everything else. We all feel like we don't know what we are doing, and it can be hard to hear these things when we feel vulnerable. Try to remember that these people don't know either. Whatever you are doing is the right thing for you. When you start feeling shame (which you might), imagine someone leaping out of a nearby hedge and punching them in the face. I have strong opinions about things (sleep especially), but I know enough to keep my damn mouth shut unless someone asks me.
    3. These are less important. I like My Breast Friend better than Boppy because you can snap it in place and position the baby on a flat surface. Both of these items work. Some babies are pacifier babies and some aren't; I haven't seen any correlation with success in breastfeeding or anything else, so I wouldn't feel bad about it either way. Ditto swings; my son lived in his, your niece could take or leave it.
    4. Many books will absolutely make you feel like shit for what you are doing/aren't doing. The only one I read after the birth was "Healthy Sleep Habits", which happened to work really well for me, but still made me feel bad in parts. However, I would suggest finding a source of information for what things can happen during labor, because some of them that are completely normal can be scary if you don't know they are coming (vomiting sometimes happens, violent shaking is common at some points, neither of these things mean something is wrong, etc.). Just a thought.

    1. Adding "Pregnancy, Childbirth..." to my possible to-read list! Oh, any lactation consultant who comes on too strong with me better stand back, because I will bite. People can be such dicks.
      A lot of people seem to like the "Healthy Sleep Habits" book! Probably worth a read.

  8. Oh! I forgot the book that is helpful and won't make you feel bad (and is funny): "The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy" by Vicki Iovine.

  9. Just watch the DVD version of The Happiest Baby on the Block. Or read the book, I suppose, if you already have it. I love those techniques and used them on both of my bebbehs.

    Also watch episodes of Super Nanny. I based my entire parenting philosophy on Super Nanny.

    I also loved The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy and The Girlfriends Guide to the First Year (or something like that). Both are hilarious. I only read hilarious pregnancy crap. I could not handle the tone of What to Expect When You're Expecting. I think my friend Bridget coined those women, "The Conspiracy Moms."

    Run from them.

    Just have fun. Do what you think is right. Tell everyone to suck it. Or just tell the baby that. Whatever works.

    P.S. I had a Moby wrap and used it like twice.

    1. Super Nanny, lol! I will give an episode a go, although in the past it's made me rather anxious.
      I think I should probably just take "What to Expect" into the backyard and bury it.

  10. My assvice suggestions, for what they're worth:
    1. DON'T read what to expect. Seriously. Read ANYTHING else. That book is terrible and will just scare the shit out of you.
    2. There's a book called Baby Bargains (they also have a website & forums, but they can be a little overwhelming). Get the most recent one--they break down basically everything you could ever buy, and give recs on a couple different price ranges. It's overwhelming, but it was WAY less overwhelming for me than just scouring the internet.
    3. Basic gerber prefold diapers make the best burp rags. Period end of story. They're not cute, but they are crazy effective.
    4. I wouldn't bother with the sleep books, personally. Until baby is about 4 or 6 months old, the best sleep advice is "whatever works." You can deal with the sleep stuff later.
    5. Two websites I love: AskMoxie & AlphaMom's Advice Smackdown. (There's also a decent & entertaining Pregnancy calendar on Alphamom. That ISN'T terrifying like What to Expect).

    Oh, and one other piece of advice: You are the best mom for your kid. Even when you feel like you don't know what you're doing. Going with your gut is almost always going to be more important than listening to what anyone else has to say. The best thing I learned to do as a mom was to take in people's suggestions and advice & then filter it through my own internal "does this feel right for us?" meter.

    1. Assvice, lol.
      After what you guys have all said, there's no way I'm reading What to Expect!
      Added the gerber diapers to my list. :) Thanks for the website suggestions! I will take a look.
      And thanks for the reassurance. I'm sure I'm going to have my moments where I think I've utterly failed.

  11. It depends on you, but I couldn't watch "A Baby Story" AT ALL when I was pregnant with Sean, because something always goes "wrong" and they make it all drama and I'd get totally freaked out.

    So if you're prone to freak out, STAY AWAY.

    1. No no no no no. I can't watch any of that shit. Christina's been watching birthing videos for months, and I'm like HELL TO THE NO.

    2. For some people, it makes them feel prepared. It freaked my shit out in a major way, so yeah. Just wanted to warn you!

    3. I do like birth videos, but definitely not "A Baby Story" or anything that induces fear. I've watched home videos on YouTube (some are amazing!) and stuff produced by Ricki Lake.

    4. This is not the place for lively debate, but I would like to add that it is a good idea to read/watch counterpoint to Ricki Lake.

  12. Ditto, Monkey Momma. Seriously, just avoid TLC all together otherwise you'll be convinced you're having a two headed, tree limbed, conjoined baby in the toilet.

    One last thing: Consider a doula. Regardless of your birth plan. I had a doula at both of my hospital births and was so thankful for their support. Think about it, if you were going to a foreign country, wouldn't you consider a tour guide? Your spouse, however supportive they are, will probably be feeling overwhelmed and helpless, regardless of how easy the process is. The doula supports both of you and helps advocate for you.

    1. I am considering a doula. Obviously need to discuss it with B, but I definitely see how having one would be very useful. Mostly I need one to prevent anyone from going near my vag with any sharp instruments. ;)

  13. Hmm... I seem to remember you wrote a post years ago about the things you wanted to do when you had a baby. One of them was that you wanted to use one of those baby carriers where you tie your baby to the front of you with a big honkin piece of cloth because that was how the indians did it and you never see indian babies cry or something like that. I hope you put one of those on your list.

  14. I was in denial most of my pregnancy. Not like... "I'm not really pregnant, I'm going to go drink and smoke some weed!" denial, I still took the prenatals and didn't eat anything bad and blahblahblah all that stuff. But I didn't read ANY books and I only got what I thought was absolutely needed. I actually found a list online that broke things down to what was NEEDED absolutely, what is nice to have but not as necessary, so on and so forth. From there, people kinda gave other stuff I never even thought of. Like a wipe warmer. Which I actually used for the first six months because my son SCREAMED the moment those cold wipes touched his butt.

    So girl, solidarity, it's okay! It's also okay to just get the basics for now, and get things as you realize you need them after your baby is born! Otherwise it is all so VERY overwhelming. I remember crying because we didn't have a high chair. Know what babies don't use until they can sit up by themselves? HIGH CHAIRS. I wish someone would've told me that, since we had this huge high chair in our tiny condo that we didn't use for the first six months. XD

    I loved my Boppy, btw! And it also worked as a good support for my son when he was learning to sit up (gosh, those days feel so long ago! 13 months now!)

    There was one thing I was obsessed with once Eddie was born. Sleep. His sleeping, to be precise. I suggest scanning The Sleep Site ( when the time comes. Figuring out baby sleep is WHACK, like seriously. I never needed to buy their sleep consultations, but the articles are VERY helpful when you are trying to set up routines, figure out how naps work, and learn how much sleep a child needs in a day. I still use it to this day as Eddie's schedule changes as he grows! It kept me sane during a very sleepless first year. XD

    Good luck, chica! You'll do great! Also, if it makes you feel any better, my baby still doesn't have a room. His crib has simply been fit into the husband's computer room. -.-