Millennium Mom

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Getting Ready for Baby

For those of you who are reading this, have no fear, we are not expecting another baby. Rather, we had friends stop by today to take some of our baby stuff as they await the arrival of their first, a son. Going through all of our stuff made me realize that many of you reading this may like some tips on how to prepare for the baby, so I will dedicate this blog to that.

Let's start with your first child. There are some key things you must have ready, but most of the others are "nice to haves." In case you have never heard this fact, as a marketer I feel compelled to share it with you all. There are only three "occasions" in which there is no price sensitivity for the most part. The easy translation of that is "people will pay anything", they are: babies, weddings and funerals. Think back to your wedding, was that the case? If so, you will likely get pulled into the same "registry" trappings as you did for your wedding. Going through the store with that great little gadget that has a way of getting you to say "oh why not" vs. "do we really need that"...heck, it's not your money right?

Arnie and I were fortunate to have had our first in Europe, which meant no showers, and no registry. Most people felt bad for us, and perhaps for a second we felt bad for ourselves. But then we learned one of the many lessons living in Europe taught really don't need all that stuff. So I will write this blog will a little broader view than our first birth, but still with an essentials versus nice to have attitude.

You absolutely need to have the following at least 6 weeks in advance for a normal pregnancy. If you are an "at risk" pregnancy then get these three months in advance: a car seat (which you know how to work and is in the case safely), a place for the baby to sleep (this will likely be a bassinet or cradle vs. their crib in their room as most first time moms like to have them in the room with them), diapers, wipes and cream for baby, nipple cream for you if you will breastfeed, baby soap, thermometer, a stroller, lots of onesies (I would say 10 so you don't have to do wash frequently), sleepers for baby and about 10 outfits, a first aid kit, a grooming kit (with nail cutter, etc) and one "seat" of some sort to lay the baby in on the non-sleeping floor.

Here is what you don't need but do help if you have the money; a baby sling or Bjorn, a nice boppy or breastfeeding pillow aid, mirror for car (it really does make it safer to not turn around).

What you don't need is any fancy clothes for less than 9 months. They just don't get used. The baby spits up or leaks and frankly you just want really comfy clothes for them. Return them and get a bigger size. I was never a fan of wipe warmer, bottle warmer, sanitizers, etc. That was what a dishwasher (which disinfects) and hot water did for me. Europe had no swings, so we survived without it and did just fine. I finally bought a vibrating seat when I had my 2nd in the US and both of my girls hated it, so much for that.

Once you have the baby you will become best friends with your postman/women with how many boxes will be delivered. Resist the temptation to wash everything immediately. You will be surprised by how quickly the baby outgrows clothes and how little outfits you really need at a young age. I know so many people who washed something only to wear it a couple of times and then have the baby gifts run out after 6-9 months. If you get a receipt with it, definitely keep it together with the outfit and take inventory by size to figure out what you need.

With your second child there are a couple of addition musts. First, transition your older child to their new room well in advance of the baby. The rule of thumb is to try to not have the older child ever thing something is "because of the baby." So get them excited about their room by having them pick out some things for it and do it before the baby arrives. We hadn't really thought of this with Ben when we had Claire. The previous owners had a "boy" room with baseball border and all, so we knew where he would go, but not when. Unfortunately he had other thoughts. When we returned from the holidays in NY where he slept in a port-a-pen, he rejected his crib completely, would not sleep in it. After two weeks of me sleeping with him in the guest room we put a double mattress on the floor in his "new room" with portable guards on it.

That works, but I had no furniture in that room. I did some research and decided to order direct from North Carolina ( it). His big boy furniture was delivered on schedule March 28th. Ironically Claire decided to come 3 and 1/2 weeks early on the same day, about four hours after the delivery men left (and I was still home :O).

With the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and so on you also want to have the infant seat cleaned and ready to go, clothes out of storage and cleaned, swaddler diapers ready to go and the bag for the hospital packed. All those things you were totally prepped for with the first are harder to do when you have a little one running around. Most importantly you need a plan for who will watch your child when you go into labor, who can you call whenever to take care of your child. This can be stressful so be sure to think about it in advance and line it all up.

Hopefully this is helpful. I encourage you to think less is more, just to save space and clutter if nothing else. That's it for now. Wish me luck as we are having our first ever "sleep over" tonight with Ben's two buddies (they are brothers) from up the street. We have off for MLK day tomorrow so it seemed like a good idea, that was until I reminded Arnie I am on Fox 19 again tomorrow and will be out of the house by 7:15...oops.


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