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preparing for baby.

March 4, 2010

Last night I was reading in the ever-so-popular “What to Expect When you are Expecting” and, besides being disappointed in the fact that they dedicated three to four entire pages on managing pain during birth (everything from narcotics to epidurals and beyond) and that “Hypnobirthing” got merely a dismissive paragraph, I realized that I am officially in the “7th Month” chapter of the book.

What?!? For starters, time is completely messed up when your pregnant. Is it 9 months? Is it 10 months? When is the official date that I start panicking?

This isn’t the post I intended to write at all.. let me get back on track.

We are now in the throes of preparing for this baby. Yesterday we picked up a crib, a bike trailer (important things first), and a car seat/stroller combination. Feels good to be a little prepared. I wouldn’t call it “nesting” unless you consider nesting to be a mad scurry to get things done before the imminent day you know will be your last chance at a semblance of the life you have been living for the past 28 years(going on 29 in a few short weeks..) For better or for worse. Maybe that’s just what my version of “nesting” will be.

So the point of the images, you may ask? World War II government suggestions at what you need for your baby in a time of rations. I have heard many a person say eloquently that “less is more.” Planning ahead and not using more than is necessary. Sounds like something this Oregon-raised girl can get behind. Babies don’t care if you have the $400 stroller (plus the one for the car seat, the one for jogging, and the one for a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood) or enough onesies to clothe an entire Octomom brood of children. Colette Patterns blog had a funny little story to tell on the subject (and thanks to them for leading me to the image!)

It seems like general baby care is a lot like taking care of your own feet on a camping trip: keep ’em warm, keep ’em dry.(Not counting basic human needs like food, water, shelter… that’s a given.)

So my plea is this: no matter if you were a mother in the 50’s or the 90’s or anywhere in between, what was your first week like? Please tell! What piece of baby gear was the most disappointing to you? What did you NOT need that everyone assured you you did?

Respond quickly or forever hold your peace. The list is getting refined as we speak and, as I was recently reminded, the clock is ticking.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. bwakeling permalink
    March 4, 2010 2:52 pm

    We’ve just finished decorating the nursery and I’ve spent an hour putting a cot together. We’re due in April, but are trying to be organised!!

    With our first child, the first week was just a really strange blur, just without sleeping!

    You might enjoy my blog if you want to know how your partner might be feeling during your pregnancy!

    All the best,


    • March 5, 2010 11:03 am

      Congrats on getting organized– I am so jealous. We still have so much to do and the time is getting close! I will be sure to check out your blog– and point Dustin to it! Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  2. Mary permalink
    March 4, 2010 4:58 pm

    well, here goes – lots of cotton diapers, and t shirts. lots of cotton blankets. Lot’s of time from a Grandma who understands her job is to keep everything going smoothly while you sleep and take care of the baby! Now a days I guess that job gets done by a dad who can stay home and do all that stuff. But in my day it was my Mom who somehow magically understood that I didn’t need her to take care of the baby, but just to keep everything clean, the food coming, and looking delighted with her new grandson, so I could just take care of him and sleep. Also you may need Uncle Sam’s cereal for yourself. Check it out -if they still have it at Safeway. I always told all my OB pts. to use it to help with the transition back to normal elimination – don’t think I need to say more. LOL
    Basically, you hardly need anything that isn’t soft and absorbant cotton. But you do need lots of peace and quiet, and good food, and lots to drink, sleep/naps.
    That’s it from the old nurse/mom.
    You will be so blissed out, nothing else will matter – remember first being in love? – that’s it.

    • March 5, 2010 11:02 am

      Cotton, cotton, cotton. I will put that in my memory bank! Both Grandmas will be on hand so I will make sure to take them up on their offers to help. I will check out the cereal, too. Thank you for your beautiful comments!

  3. Gretchen Ruddick permalink
    March 5, 2010 10:55 am

    The first week with a newborn I felt like I was in survival mode. You will spend the majority of your time nursing and changing diapers, so you really don’t need much as far as supplies go! A few essentials are good swaddling blankets (several since they will often double as a burp cloth), onesies/sleepers, and diapers. In the first few weeks we found that it was nice to have a bouncy seat w/ vibration mode, especially if you have a fussy baby that likes rocking & movement. We never used a baby swing, but the bouncy seat went with us everywhere.

    I loved, loved, loved the Moby Wrap! A Bjorn or front back comes in handy as the baby gets older & wants to face outward, but the Moby is so cozy and natural! The baby wants to be snuggled up next to you anyways. (: (Moby Wraps are easy to make also, if you don’t want to spend the $$ on a new one.)

    Do you have a breast pump? Some insurance companies will cover the cost for them. Are you planning on returning to work after the baby comes? I have a Medela Pump & Style that I only used a handful of times, but it was nice to have during the day or two of engorgement when your milk comes in. (a hand pump would do just fine if you don’t anticipate needing to pump very often) I would recommend going to a breastfeeding class (Pacific Women’s Center offers one for free). It was really helpful! Their lactation consultant is awesome.

    My last thought is regarding meals. A group of my friends brought us dinner for the 1st 2 weeks and that was a huge blessing. Josh could’ve handled cooking, but it was so nice for him to be able to focus on helping me & the baby. We made & froze some meals ahead of time, too, which was great during the first month.

    Sorry I wrote a book there! Let’s try to get together soon, even if it’s just for coffee. I’m so excited for you and Dustin!

    • March 5, 2010 11:00 am

      Good words of wisdom! Thanks so much. I will look into the Moby and the other ideas you mention (making meals ahead of time sounds like a great idea!). Thanks for taking the time to let me know! Soooo helpful.

      I will get in touch soon for a little pre-motherhood rendezvous!!

  4. March 5, 2010 6:43 pm

    I agree, that first week is a complete blur. Lots of onesies, lots of diapers (cloth or disposable…or hybrid!) and wipes, burp cloths (we use receiving blankets since his spit up can cover a very wide area), bra pads for when you leak, comfy bras and tops for you. Something to swaddle the baby, whether that be receiving blankets or a swaddler. We also have the Moby wrap and I am loving it…Ben is about 10 weeks now and gets really fussy at the end of the day but calms right down when wrapped up against mom (he is curled up right now as I type!)

    If you take narcotic pain meds after your delivery, do NOT forget to also take the stool softener and keep up on the fluids. Enough said.

    Have some good nutritious snacks and fluids in the fridge for middle of the night feedings. I always felt hungry/thirsty when I was feeding the baby and having yogurt, granola bars, jello, crackers, juice, etc easily accessible made it easy to have a quick snack while half awake.

    We would have been in bad shape without the relatives being here…especially my mom. She basically did all the housework including meals and laundry while A and I focused on the new guy…she even froze some casseroles for when she was gone and made a huge batch of yummy rolls that could be frozen then rebaked. If you have time now, you might consider making double batches of meals with the thought to eat half and freeze half. Though this only really is feasible if you have a huge freezer…

    Also encourage your guests to take lots of pictures…

    This time around I was thankful for the pump because I took serious advantage of the huge milk supply in the beginning…managed to get 3 gallons in the freezer in the first two months! This will come in handy for daycare or if you decide to sneak off for a weekend without the babe…If you plan to breastfeed, be protective of your supply early on because it can take about 6 weeks to establish/level out. And once it starts dropping off, it is difficult to build it back up.

    Enjoy the nesting! It’s kind of fun to see things coming together…but scary too because it definitely means the little man is on his way!

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