Tuesday, May 26, 2009

If You Can Get Through My Ranting, I Really Need Your Suggestions

*UPDATED* (See below)

I think we've done it.

Between gifts, a few online excursions, and a giant trip to Babies 'R' Us AND Target over the weekend, I think Ish and I have stocked up on the baby basics.

But right. I think. What do I actually know?

Oh, well, I know a few things. I know that the idea of baby "safety" makes everyone completely crazy, and the reports and statistics and number of things that COULD result in DEATH OR SERIOUS INJURY is staggering.

And I'm not buying into it.

Not that I'm planning to hand my infant razor blades, but I seem to be gravitating toward the "it'll probably be fine" end of the parenting spectrum. Because you know? I sorta remember the 70s and early 80s, and cannot imagine that a SINGLE item of baby equipment I was given would be allowed under current regulations. And yet we managed to survive somehow.

I don't want to make light of the standards we have now. I'm glad we have them. I like being informed. I'm glad we've discovered the dangers of BPAs and have a better handle on what causes SIDS.

But I also think that if I went the way of today's super-mom, gobbling up every single piece of consumer reporting available and taking it at face value, I would never leave the house again. It seems so illogical and even somewhat arbitrary.

Example:

There is a slight chance your baby might suffocate from a crib bumper. For this reason, bibles like Baby Bargains (awesome book, btw) does not (cannot?) recommend them. However, when they say "slight" do you know how "slight"? I looked into it. Approximately 1 in 3 million, and that's not accounting for other factors that might also be at play in that one child's crib/home.

Do you know what the chances are that you might be in an auto accident with your child in the car? I don't want to scare you (or myself), but it's a LOT higher than 1 in 3 million.

My point is this: Thousands of people will forgo the crib bumper while thinking nothing of packing up their baby into the car.

And I TOTALLY get how that seems reasonable. But it also kind of isn't. And so there's a point where, again, I put the books down and step away from the internet and breathe and try to figure out what I really need to worry about versus what I don't.

No easy feat.

But so here I am. And despite reading lists and books and sorting through all kinds of "recommendations" I still do not feel like we have everything we need.

I feel like there's still that elusive thing, that one we-could-not-have-lived-without-this item we don't know about, that we must have.

So you know? I thought I'd ask you. You seem to know stuff.

My specific question is: What is your list of things that you had (or wish you'd had) when you returned home from the hospital? What did you wish you'd thought of?


Trying not to go overboard, the basics we have:
- A crib
- A bassinet (for our room, where she'll sleep for the first few months)
- A changing table/dresser for her room upstairs
- A Pack 'n' Play with a changing station for downstairs
- Newborn and size 1 diapers
- Infant car seat and stroller frame for it to pop into
- A bouncer
- Clothes/blankets/swaddlers/sleep sacks

- UPDATED: Sorry, forgot to mention: We did also get a Diaper Champ (recommended over the Genie). We got this because we've already actually had one for over a year. Why? you ask? Because it was a LIFESAVER when we had four cats in a single apartment, and no garbage chute nearby. We kept the Diaper Champ next to the litterboxes, and it totally rocked. It's otherwise nearly impossible to stay on top of the cat-poop smell, and this did wonders. It takes regular kitchen garbage bags, and is so handy for cat litter! Figured if it could handle the stench of four cats' best efforts, it can handle a baby's.

And not to be all ULTRA-controversial or anything, but on the subject of breastfeeding...well, I plan to. At least I will try to. We'll see how it goes. I think if I can, I will. For a while. I do not believe that breastfeeding is the answer to all of life's problems, however, or that you are less of a mother if you do not breastfeed.

**********Sidenote***********

For what it's worth: I know a few moms who were physically unable to breastfeed and who were demeaned, vilified, and made to feel horribly guilty as a result. WTF? These women are some of the best moms I've ever met. Pressure to breastfeed is overwhelming to me, and it's simply my temperament to be skeptical when "everyone" seems to be "shoulding."

Who knows? Maybe I'll LOVE it. But if I don't or can't, I believe that's okay, too.

[I loved this article in The Atlantic about how the "Breast Is Best" philosophy is at least partly refutable. Of course the article has flaws, but at least it pokes holes in many of the arguments people seem to take as law. That breastfed babies are healthier than formula-fed babies isn't incontrovertible, for example.]

UPDATED: Please read the Atlantic article before telling me not to heed it. The point -- of the article and my linking it -- is simply that there is another side to the YOU MUST BREASTFEED OR ELSE position. Most current studies support the theory that breast is best, but the studies aren't without flaws. Am I willing to believe the entire American Pediatric Association? Of course! Just...not blindly. It's not like doctors haven't been wrong before (remember the decade or so during which all moms were instructed to position babies on their stomachs to sleep?), or that new studies don't constantly change our best thinking. I'm just trying to be sensible, and have a hard time believing there is ever only one "right" way.

**********End Sidenote***********

But so, okay. Assuming I will be nursing for "a while," I don't have a good sense of what equipment I NEED to have at home right away, and what stuff I can get eventually: bottles? How many? Pumps? What kinds? Even if I'm not working? How does one store breastmilk most efficiently, anyhow? Should I have formula on hand anyway?

Lastly, what are your thoughts on diaper bags? I'm assuming I need one, but what should I carry with me? What do I REALLY need in the beginning? Is this something else I can wait on, or something I should have prepped?

I promise to take your suggestions VERY VERY seriously, so please share as much as you're willing.

Thanks!!!

97 comments:

  1. As a non-Mom, non-Mom-to-be, I have to say I'm pretty curious about this as well! My one piece of advice, gleaned from a recent baby shower, is that it's nice to have a couple of cloth diapers around for spit-ups, wiping, etc.

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  2. OK, I have to give the caveat that I'm not a mom, but I have a bajillion nieces and nephews and godchildren, etc. and here's what I have gleaned:

    You. CAN. NOT. Have. Enough. Onesies.

    Ditto for burp cloths.

    The best product I've ever experienced for new moms, because bath time can be a little scary at first: a really small, blow-up bathtub. It's kinda shaped like a little life raft. It's soft, so you don't worry as much if the baby slips (and the baby WILL slip, don't worry, they survive) and it lessens the chance of them inhaling water when this happens (even if they do, and they WILL, don't worry, they survive).

    It seems like a waste of money because you can only use it the first few weeks or months, but believe me, it takes a little time to get the hang of the whole bathing routine, and this takes a lot of the anxiety out of it. I've given them as gifts for years, and everyone has loved them. Except for the stinky plastic smell when you open it. But you know how to air things out, don't you? ;)

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  3. Err on the side of not buying too much. The stores will still be there once baby comes and you can buy things then. The ONE thing--and it seems crazy stupid, but I wish I had had a Diaper Genie. Maybe others can tell you/me if it is worth it.

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  4. say it with me...
    common sense...
    say it again, take a deep breath and relax.
    I have two kids and I used this approach and...presto! Two grown kids!

    car seat
    blanket
    clothes
    food (self-made or store bought)
    diapers
    you!

    some things that made my life easier??

    baby monitor
    swing
    grandma

    You can pack a diaper bag to the gills (fish?) and you might not use half of it...

    food
    change of clothes
    diapers
    wipes

    this pretty much covered me. You will find a few things on your own that you absolutely have to have, but the basics work great :)

    congratulations!

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  5. You really seem to have everything you need. Everything else is just fluff.

    Although I loved our boppy. It was really helpful to hold the baby and also when nursing.

    If you want have like 3 bottles on hand and a small bit of formula if you just want your bases covered. However I wouldn't go crazy on buying stuff yet because it has always been my luck that whatever I buy large amounts of things my daughter won't like it so I have to buy something else.

    See what she likes and go from there.

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  6. You pretty much have the same basics we had in the beginning. My MIL bought us a Diaper Genie and it's been nice, but not required. Here are some things I've used/enjoyed the hell out of:

    Regular BoppyBoppy Newborn LoungerPamper's Sensitive wipes
    Medela Pump in Style Advanced - I'm ebf and pumping while at work. I store fresh milk (to be used within a day or so) in clear plastic bm storage bottles and use bm freezer bags for the rest.
    Dr. Brown bottles - Not required, but good for babies with gas. You should have a few bottles on hand just in case.

    The one thing I couldn't have lived without: A swaddle sleep sack. Our child went from waking every two hours to once, then sleeping all night at 10wks. I HIGHLY recommend it!

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  7. Oh God- horrible formatting... sorry!

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  8. Yeah, one sage piece of advice would be DON'T get your advice from The Atlantic, Dr. Oz, Oprah, or anyone else. Want to know why breastfeeding is preferable to formula? Try the aap.org. I don't know anyone who has been villified or given the Hester Prynne treatment because they don't breastfeed, either.

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  9. I'm also expecting and have been enjoying following you through your pregnancy. Thanks for asking for the list of must-haves - I too get that 'what am I forgetting?' feeling at times.

    Also, thank you for posting that article on the other side of the breastfeeding story - I have two close friends that recently had babies and the stress level surrounding this issue is insane! While I'm planning to give breastfeeding a go, it was nice to read something that made me think it'd be okay if things don't work out.

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  10. I am surprised that I am the first one to mention this, what with all the breast feeding talk, but you are going to definitely need some nursing pads so that you don't leak all over the place, and Lansinoh nipple cream, just in case you get a wee bit sensitive.

    Also, with my daughter, the swing was her favorite place to sleep. Ever. She was probably using it for wayyyy too long, but she was so content in it.

    You are totally my kind of mom. I love your laid back attitude.

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  11. Also. I hate HATE HATED the diaper genie. They are JUNK in my opinion!!!

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  12. I'm glad someone mentioned nursing pads...very important. No one tells you before hand that the slightest anything (baby cry, mention of the baby's name, random thoughts, anything!) can make your milk let down and sometimes it is a lot! And it can spray! Far!! So, have the bra stuffed :) On the same note, in the diaper bag, yes absolutely bring a change or two for the baby...but don't forget to add a shirt for yourself. Shopping with two wet spots over your breasts is not a good time.

    *I came out of lurkdom for this! Extra shirts for mom = very important :)

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  13. Thanks so much already!

    Sara: Thanks for the links. What do "ebf" and "bm" stand for? I'm usually pretty internet-abbr. savvy, but I have REALLY tried to stay away from this subject online...

    Anon: I updated my post in response to your points.

    Mrs. F: Did you hate the Diaper Genie in particular (I updated the post to mention we have a Diaper Champ, which in some cases rates better than the Genie) or the whole concept of one?

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  14. Get the Lansinoh nursing pads; the others suck. And I would have even a small can of formula on hand, just in case. This is why: When my first was little, I came down with the flu. So as I was sitting on the toilet, with a bucket in front of my mouth, my husband informs me that my baby needs to eat. Yeah, it would have been a really nice time for a bottle.

    By the way, I nursed my first two, formula fed my last two. Totally no difference that I can see so far. Do what is best for YOU and YOUR baby.

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  15. I was one of those women who wasn't physically able to breastfeed. And I did get harassed -- so everyone has different experiences ...

    Anyway, I also bring that up because the first thing I regretted was buying a pricey pump -- and then opening it, using it, trying to will my stupid breast to produce something that wasn't there. My advice if you decide to give BFing a go? Rent a pump from the hospital. That way if it works, yay, you can eventually buy a pump, but if it doesn't -- then the pump isn't sitting in your closet mocking you every time you go in to get some yoga pants.

    I think you have everything else covered -- agree with the lots of onesies and burp clothes advice, and nursing pads and cream if you BF.

    I would also recommend a sling or a Bjorn to give yourself some much-needed free hands if you have the sort of infant who only wants to sleep on you ...

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  16. I believe ebf = exclusively breast feeding and bm = breast milk.

    I agree with your post and other comments, and would add 2 more thing:
    1) If you do breast feed: My Breast Friend. It helped me a lot more than the Boppy.
    2) Some sort of carrier: I like the Ergo best but my sons didn't like the infant insert, so there's also the Baby Bjorn when they're really small. Or there's tons of types of slings.

    You could also see if you want a pacifier on hand, should you decide to go that route.

    I also want to reiterate that unless you live way away from a BabiesRUs or other store, do give yourself a couple weeks and see what you really want, as you can always go pick it up. Baby Bargains did seem to be pretty on with their recommended prep list.

    To add my unsolicited opinion on diaper pails, I love our Diaper Dekor because it's smaller than the Genie and you can use the footstool, instead of turning that thing on the Genie when you have a baby in one hand and poopy diaper in the other.

    Love your blog and good luck!

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  17. I'm a non-mom, but I cared for my sisters infant for its first 3 months when she had major surgery right after birth. I also have many friends with kids. My uterus and ovaries went on strike a long while ago. So, take my advice at face value. :-)

    diaper bag - immediately. What to put in it? Diapers, wipes, powder, bottles (of pumped milk or formula) num-num/binky if you choose to use one, infant rattley toy, 2 blankets (one for changing, one for wrapping), extra baby clothes. Stuff for you - snacks, wallet, keys, phone, etc. It's going to become your purse.

    My opinion on a pump is that it's something you can wait on. You won't really be going anywhere the first few weeks and during that time you can decide what your take on breast feeding is. If it's something you enjoy and can physically do, I would get one. You will need nipple cream. Get it, buy it, love it. Nursing pads and the nursing bras will be helpful, too.

    Bottles - even if you have 100, you'll never have enough. My mom friends are fond of the ones with the bags you put inside to keep air out and reduce spitting up, with the flat, pretending to be realistic, nipple top.

    Buying 0-3 month stuff now will save you some time and stress venturing out as a new mom trying to buy things you need. Prep for the first 6 months as much as you can. You will be exhausted adjusting to your new life.

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  18. One of those sling thingies? Like a papoose but in the front? Some of these baby creatures never let Mom put them down without making a horrible screeching noise, the little dictators. With one of those you can carry the baby and still have both hands free to blog!

    Also, I see no mention of a nice Cab-Sav.

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  19. Definitely keep snacks and a bottle of water in your diaper bag. It is very important that you take good care of yourself or you won't be much good for the baby.
    Expensive diaper bags are not a necessity. I bought one and ended up using the Tom Binh knitting bag instead because it kept things organized better. A tote bag works fine too.
    Make sure to have a changing pad in the diaper bag that can either be washed or wiped down.

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  20. I always kept a fully loaded diaper bag in the car, and carried the essentials with me in a little backpack sling pack since I am not a purse type of gal. By fully loaded I mean, several changes of clothes for you and the baby. Diapers, wipes, blankets, burp pads, bottles, binkys, socks, toys. I then replenished the diaper bag and didn't have to lug the gigantic thing everywhere.

    If you do go the BF route, and you find that you will have to pump. I totally recommend a pumping bra. It looks silly, but having your hands free for those 20 minutes is a life saver. That's when I had my meals.

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  21. Totally dropping in from lurking. Anyways, my big suggestion would be to have at least four bottles on hand and some liquid formula (Similac or Enfamil have good ones I think this is what most hospital use)on hand for when you get home. I really thought I would be breastfeeding my son exclusively but he was a teeny little guy (5 pounds 3 ounces)and needed supplementing from the get go.
    Except when we got home from the hospital we realized we had no way of feeding the little guy and boy was he pissed. It took three hours to get our act together and find the supplies while he screamed the entire time.
    It worked out in the end though, he would take both breast and bottle so we were ALL happy campers.
    BTW so excited for you and Ish. I can't wait to hear how the name game plays out.

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  22. Yeah, anonymous who claims that no one has ever been villified for not breastfeeding? Can bite me. Just sayin'.

    I recommend a couple of other things for you based on our experience with the first kid: a decent breast pump and a couple of bottles (Avent worked really well for me) so that other people can feed her and you can, you know, maybe catch fifteen minutes of sleep at a time. A no-frills battery-operated swing. And a few white cotton flour sack towels (they're in the kitchen section at Target). They work really well as improptu burp cloths, a nursing cover, a general clean-up aide.

    And for you--a couple of nursing bras, nursing pads, and some meals that are easy to throw together and eat one-handed. Also, t-shirts and comfy underwear for after giving birth.

    I'm due right around the same time as you are, but this is my second one. Best of luck to you! The last few weeks feels like a sprint to the finish line run at the speed of a tree sloth.

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  23. I 2nd the boppy and swing (glider) suggestions. My niece would ONLY sleep in her swing for like a month of her "baby-hood." And I have friends that replaced the bassinet in their room w/the swing because of the same reason. Not that all babies are the same but, you never know.

    And the boppy is awesome and versatile. It can be used as a baby proper-upper-helper, for breast feeding and even though not its intended purpose.....can make a comfy pillow for you to nap on (feels good on the neck)....BONUS!

    Enjoy your last few weeks!!!

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  24. DEFINITELY get the breast pads. (Ew, I hate that name, but they're essential.) Also -- do you have shirts that make breastfeeding easy? I am in love with the "nursing tanks" from GlamourMom. I have a very small chest and they provide enough support for me -- but I'm not sure they would work as well for someone better endowed.

    Don't forget nursing bras, either -- so not sexy, but SO much easier than trying to feed otherwise -- and newborns eat a LOT. Maybe get a "Hooter Hider" too? They make feeding in public really easy.

    I wouldn't worry about getting formula just in case. We got about five billion containers for free in the hospital (and then in the mail) and we never used them. You'll probably get some of them, too :) If you need them, you can buy them later.

    Also, one thing that we loved (but you can get it later) was a sling, like the ones from Moby. I carried the boy around in there forever. When he was really little, he liked it way better than the stroller for going around.

    I think that's it -- good luck! It's so overwhelming, but so much fun! I know you'll be a fantastic mom!

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  25. Dude, I wish I had thought to buy a couple of bottles! I just assumed breastfeeding would be no problem and didn't plan for it not working. And of course that's exactly what happened. D'oh, hubby had to run out for bottles for teh starving babe.

    I used a big old camera bag instead of a diaper bag and it worked great! Anything with lots of pockets is fine.

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  26. You seem to have the baby stuff pretty well set (although I would skip the newborn size anything, for full term babies).

    But for *you*, a Boppy or My Breast Friend (whether or not you bf), 2 nursing nightgowns (so much easier than pulling a t-shirt up all the time, since you will be living in them, one clean and one in the wash), and stock up on coffee, all food staples and put a bunch of casseroles in the freezer. And you will need some maxi-pads and mini-pads for home.

    ~ Victoria

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  27. I was one of those moms with a bad, bad breastfeeding experience. I pumped every 3 hours (24 hours a day) for 4.5 months. One of the absolute best things I bought was a hands-free pumping bra. This is the shiznit! Could can read books while you pump, email, paint your toenails--anything! Here's the link: http://www.easyexpressionproducts.com/
    Plus, the picture on it (of a woman "working" is priceless) is worthy of it's own blog posting and good laugh among any well-wishers who stop by.

    As for all the onesies....my baby wasn't all that messy and we actaully have had too many! Some she never wears or wore once before she outgrew it. The bump cloths were the best. You really do wear them a lot.

    Did you get boppy pillow? I used that while breastfeeding, pumping (propped the book up on it), and for lying the baby next to me on the sofa. It is also a great tool for tummy time.

    I said screw it to the crib bumpers, she's been just fine. One of our best-buys-can't-believe-we-waited-so-long was a mobile. She adored looking at it. Now that she's older (14 months) she turns it on herself and stays in bed a little while longer and we giggle listening to her play with it.

    Finally we used one of those blow-up exercise balls to calm her. She had reflux and the ball worked to lessen the burn (keep in mind infant chiropractics before putting her on meds for months), and she was colicky and the ball was a lifesaver. We would take 20 minute shifts on it!

    Bottles-if you're going to wash them every day you'll want a new one for each feeding (8-9 of 'em). Same with pumping, or you can just wash em'. My hubby bought me pump wipes. They were good for wiping out the phalange and it was ready to use again.
    good luck!

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  28. Turns out that babies are tiny and don't actually need much stuff, so I think you're all set. And after you have the child, stores will still take your money, and you might even want to get out of the house run an errand at some point, so you'll be able to figure out what else you want/need.

    I exclusively breastfed, so I never used formula or even bottles. That happened to work for me because I thought breastfeeding was super convenient and easy (don't have to pack anything--just carry the food with you at all times!). But I also thought the Atlantic article was useful and I enjoyed it. You're on the right track there, too, with your try-it-and-see-what-happens attitude.

    Hottest tip ever: This is for mom, not baby, but it is crucial! Buy a package of Depends (or other adult diapers) for after you give birth. The hospital will give you some nasty nylon panties with lumpy pads that will leave you perpetually messy. Don't accept them. Pull out your own Depends and sleep cleanly.

    My word verification is "unmother."

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  29. WET WIPES!!! The poop goes everywhere, so a couple of changing pads that you can put on your bed are good, too.
    Lanisoh is great. I never had a problem with milk let down, but i know a lot of people do.
    With my second child he wasn't getting enough with breastfeeding for the first few days and I had to supplement with formula (I felt so bad that he was starving for a couple of days. If the baby cries and cries the first couple of days, try a bottle of formula.) But if you are in the hospital, they'll help with this and probably give you some free formula.
    BTW- sign up for every free sample/coupon/etc you can for diapers and formula. I ended up getting 2 or 3 cans of very expensive formula and then coupons for my daughter.

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  30. OK, I'm totally not reading all the other suggestions first, sorry!

    My suggestions:
    -waterproof flannel pads... get a few! Really.
    -nipple pads. I suggest the cotton ones, because the disposable ones feel gross and sweaty... get several sets or you'll be washing them constantly. Even if you only breastfeed for awhile, they are serious lifesavers
    -that little kit with the teeny nail clippers and the nose sucker and the thermometer
    -lullabies set to a heartbeat
    -everybody loves the boppy pillow, but I just used a regular pillow. worked just as well and it was already on my bed. Just don't use one you like.
    -did anyone mention a damn camera?

    I totally didn't read the breastfeeding article, but I'm giving you advice, anyway. Hi! I breastfed my two exclusively because it was easier. Always ready, always the right temperature, nothing to sterilize, and a good excuse to continue eating wellish. If you're concerned about whether or not you'll be able to or be good at it, contact your local La Leche League now so you are familiar with them if you need them. Also, I totally won't hold it against you if you quit or anything. I'm just saying. You and I seem to have a similar track record of breezy elegance (I refer to it as being "suave"), so the less complicated route should definitely be thoroughly investigated. ;)

    Happy baby!

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  31. Honey.

    Deep breaths, babe. You're fine.

    I have two small children, I'm a preschool teacher, I've seen all kinds of moms doing everything known to man. The first baby, everyone's a little wacky, worried, stressed...it's ok. I promise.

    Do not get bogged down in the breastfeeding/formula debate. You and your baby will work it out, one way or another. It may take a few days, with my first the milk was slow to come in and I had to supplement because she was dropping weight, but she went back to the breast with no issue. The second, I left my husband when she was six months old and the stress wacked out the milk supply and I moved to formula. She's fine. Food is food, it's not the end of the world.

    The only thing that matters is you.

    If you love that baby, and do the best you can for it, you will be fine.

    The diaper bag MUST contain these things:
    diapers
    wipes
    change of clothes
    some form of food

    Everything else is gravy. Those things will get you through almost anything.

    There are lots of things that are nice to have, but each family and each baby is different...you'll find there are "essential" items you don't use and random items you can't live without. It's ok.

    Random thing I wished someone had told me with my first: new babies are slippery as HELL when wet. Proceed with caution. :)

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  32. Kathleen Fisher10:08 PM, May 26, 2009

    How exciting. The ladies have mentioned a lot of the items I would get.


    -nursing bras (and ones that are comfy enough to sleep in because early on, you might need some cat naps with all those night wakings)

    - nursing pads. I second the lady who mentioned re-usable ones- they're more comfy.

    - boppy/my breast friend plus a few covers because those things get dirty in a flash with spit up

    - Holla to the Hooter Hider. I would glady sell my soul to whoever invented it. I'm not a huge fan of flashing my boobs to every visitor in my house when I'm nursing, LOL

    - changing table pad covers. A few of them because like another lady mentioned, those poops can travel. BTW, is it bad of me to look forward to your traveling poop stories when you become a mom? LOL

    - a couple extra sheets for the bassinet because of possible spit ups or diaper leaks

    - A pump, whether you rent or buy. I would have one right away. Your body really works up its milk supply early on. I used to "trick" my body into supplying more milk by adding a pump session first thing in the morning, and then stored the milk in the freezer for later on down the road when I felt like bottle feeding. It helped a few times in a pinch on those rare days when my supply dwindled towards the end of the day and the baby still wanted to eat. It also came in handy when I might have inadvertently eaten something too spicey for the baby to be able to handle in my breast milk.

    - 1 4oz Dr Brown bottle just in case the baby doesn't take the breast. Later on, if you see that you'll need more, you can always buy more.

    - 1 or 2 pairs of loose granny panties. I bet that sounds like fun- haha. In fact, maybe consider packing one in the hospital bag for the ride home. I didn't know that I'd end up getting a c-section with my first. There's nothing more painful than to have tight low-riding underwear rubbing against a fresh c-section incision. Most likely you won't need a c-section (hope I didn't make you nervous), and I bet your birth experience will be great. But the fugly granny panties were a godsend for me when I had my c-sections.

    - receiving blankets (for swaddling)

    - 1-2 pacifier/binkies just in case the baby feels soothed by them

    - a large purse can double as a diaper bag :-)

    - Someone mentioned a small amount of formula just in case the baby doesn't latch on to the breast right away. I loved that idea.

    - book that goes over health and development of babies for those questions that will pop up. I have the American Academy of Pediatrics Birth to Age 5. It was a great reference to me early on when I needed a quick health related answer at odd hours. My pediatrician was awesome, but I had so many questions as a first time mom. Most times this book answered them before I needed to call the pediatrician.

    - a little kit with nail clippers, nasal bulb syringe, and thermometer. Someone else mentioned this and I think it's a great idea

    Looking forward to the big day. :-) Good luck with everything.

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  33. People have said pretty much everything. I agree on the Diaper Champ.

    I do want to say that I think renting the best pump you can right away is a good idea. I had trouble breastfeeding and we had latch problems, so since milk is a use it or lose it deal, it dried up more quickly than I wanted. If I had had a powerful pump, I could have at least bottled the milk for my daughter and kept her on breast milk longer.

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  34. My knee-jerk response is- the ONE thing I'd rather not have done without from my last pregnancy is my baby... but that's just depressing as hell...

    From my first pregnancy:I totally could not ever live without my diaper genie, or a breast pump. If you ever want to leave your house again- and are planning to breast feed, a good breast pump will be your breast friend!!! oh.. and baby gates- they provided me HOURS of entertainment watching my daughter try to defeat them!! :D

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  35. The most important thing to remember is everyone is different.

    If I had one recommendation if you are wanting to give it a real go with breastfeeding is to request to not leave the hospital without feeling confident about baby's latch and your abilities. BECAUSE IT IS HARD TO GET IT RIGHT - at least I found as a first time mom.

    If supply is not an issue, I would say plough through. It will likely be PAINFUL - enough for me to cry on multiple occasions - but it will be worth it for so many other reasons than "because breast is best" - which is obviously a good reason. Money saved, time saved, energy saved - all of it. It didn't click for us 100% for 3 weeks - which feels like a year - but then once you get it, it's the most convenient convenience around.

    The one thing I couldn't live without was a soother (or 6). Others will tell you haughtily "BUT WHAT ABOUT NIPPLE CONFUSION!?!?"

    Our lactation consultant told us, "You need to do what you need to do to get sleep and babes need to do what they need to do to get comfort. Trust me, they figure out pretty quickly the nipple that gets them food vs. the nipple that gets them nothing but comfort."

    Best piece of advice I ever got and we weaned him off the soother at 13 months.

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  36. I tried to breast feed but my milk never came down and after much research with La Leche, oodles of hysterical sobbing and painful pumping I finally gave up and switched to bottles. I was positive I was THE WORST MOTHER EVER and I beat myself up over it for weeks.

    My son is now 13, taller than me and smarter than a whip. Don't sweat it either way, it will all work out eventually.

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  37. Oh, also? DESITIN! Get it now so then you don't have to run to the store. Later, you can use it on chafed little folds, too.

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  38. I'm glad someone translated for me... ebf= exclusively breast feed and bm= breast milk.

    Since we're recommending nursing stuff, this is THE BEST NURSING BRA EVER. I lived in it while on maternity leave- morning, noon and night. I traded it for a regular looking nursing bra when I went back to work so the straps didn't peek out. It's so comfortable and perfect for the hospital and to sleep in. Seriously. (I found them cheaper on Ebay for what it's worth.) Also, I know sizing is confusing when you're lactating, but I was a 38DD while pregnant and got a Large... perfect for me.

    Also, some women don't leak terribly (me) or spray (me), so I find the washable pads (Gerber, I think) the most helpful. They also look AWESOME under a teeshirt (sarcasm alarm), but what can you do?

    Breastfeeding is hard, I'm not going to lie. It's stressful and painful (when done wrong) and you will definetly want to quit at times, but it's also the most rewarding, awesome thing I've ever done. Feel free to ask questions and do not hesitate to find support. I belong to some awesome forums who have helped me tremendously. Kellymom.com is a great resource, too.

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  39. Another vote for the waterproof flannel pads for the bed. Get the largest size you can find, because it sucks to have to strip a wet (or worse!) bed in the middle of the night. Diaper leakage? Just replace the pad and go back to bed.

    Go ahead and get a bottle of Mylicon gas drops. I listened to all Mother Earth types and tried all sorts of natural gas remedies. After weeks of hell, I gave my son three drops of Mylicon, he stopped screaming, farted like a jackass and we all got some sleep.

    Once the kid needs to be bathed in the big tub, make some version of a tub side kneeler and pad for the edge. You will spend a lot of time on your knees leaned over the tub. Those rubbery garden mats work great, your knees and your rib cage will thank you.

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  40. Hi Kristy,

    I was a low-maintainance mom, by force with my first child (I was poor) and by choice with my second.

    My best suggestions:
    - pack up a diaper bag to leave in the car. In this diaper bag:
    - diapers
    - change of clothes
    - 2 receiving blankets
    - changing pad
    - travel pack of wipes
    - travel tube of diaper rash cream
    - travel pack thermometer, nail clippers, nose syringe
    - an extra bottle
    - breast pads
    - a plastic grocery store bag, to store messes of all varieties (aka, poop/puke on clothes)
    - baby medicine
    - a toy/binky

    If you keep this bag in your vehicle all the time, you need only pack a few bottles and your purse when you go out somewhere. It's much handier to run out to the car to grab something, than it is to drag a big, bulky, overstuffed diaper bag everywhere you go.

    As for breastfeeding, my first was formula fed and my second was breast-fed, and neither was/is any healthier or happier than the other. My breastfed baby drank instant formula (the pre-mixed kind you just pour right from the can into the bottle) when whipping my bazoombas out wasn't convenient. As most babies do, I'm sure yours will decide what she likes.

    As for all the other stuff you can buy, I'd say buy it if you want, but you don't need it. Pillows are pillows, regardless of what brand they are or what feature they might offer, and kitchen sinks make great bathtubs. I'm a very modern woman, but I didn't let consumerism turn me in to an impractical one.

    Best of luck, I'm sure you'll do great!

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  41. After about the 5th time you've changed your baby's diaper, you'll probably start wondering who invented onesies and dammit, why hasn't my baby learned to put her arms through the little arm-holes yet?

    Sleep sacks are essential. So are separate tops and bottoms for daytime.

    Really soft washcloths are nice, the kind with velour on one side.

    Hooded towels are great, especially the kind with the animal ears. These are for you, so you can be in awe of your baby's incredible cuteness.

    Otherwise don't buy too much stuff now. It's like when you first move into a house and you need to live there for awhile to know how you use the space and then you'll know how you want to decorate. Also your family and friends will give you so much stuff, and you might be shocked when you discover how different your taste is from that of some of your very best friends who you thought were perfectly sane, and then you'll want to go out and buy some cute stuff yourself.

    I breastfed. I was lucky because my baby latched on and never let go, kinda like a barnacle. But I was 41 years old and exhausted and didn't produce enough milk, and after 3 weeks of taking my baby out of the bassinet every hour and a half in the middle of the night and trying to hold onto him while I sat up in bed to breastfeed, I finally just let him sleep in the bed with us. He nursed, I slept. And voila! I produced more milk because I slept more.

    I wasn't concerned about rolling over on my baby because my cat Tiger had slept snuggled up next to me for 18 years with her little head on my arm and I'd never rolled over on her. And my pediatrician said it's safe, that the times when a parent has rolled over on the baby it's been shown to be because the parent has been drinking or something else that would cause the parent to have reduced sensitivity. [Note there is now a product on the market called the Co-Sleeper, a bassinet for parents concerned about the rollover risk.]

    The very best book I can recommend is Your Baby & Child by Penelope Leach. It is full of common-sense advice, and the back section comprises a detailed medical reference. Importantly, it's not written in that stupid What To Expect When No One Is Asking Exactly The Question That I Need To Know The Answer To format. She supports your intuitive mothering responses - if it feels right, it probably is right. Do yourself a favor and read the first two chapters, "Getting together" and "The first days of life" now, before your baby is born.

    One last thing. I was dismayed at the hospital to discover that my belly did not automatically go back to pre-pregnancy size after delivery. And then the nurses gave me super-long maternity sanitary pads to use, and the only thing I had with me to attach them to was the thongs I wore when I was pregnant [note to any pregnant women out there who are wearing "maternity panties": do yourself a favor and go out and buy yourself some thongs] or the now three-sizes-too-small string bikinis I wore before I was pregnant. I had to send my husband out to buy super giant size grandma panties. You might want to spare your husband that embarrassment and buy them yourself ahead of time, along with two nursing bras.

    Oh and I don't know if nurses in maternity wards still teach the "football" hold, but this will be easy to remember: Your baby is not a football.

    That's it. I think you're going to be a great mom.

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  42. don't forget the things you'll need for you like witch hazel pads to put on the ginourmous menstrual pads you will be wearing for a week or so. No one really told me about what I would need at home. And the first time I needed one of those hernia donuts because I had sooooo many stitches. Also breast pads because whether or not your breast feed you'll leak at the beginning and boyhowdy will you be sore so you need some lanolin for you.

    I was really unprepared for my needs when we brought our first son home, I was so focused on baby stuff that I forgot ask questions like, if my baby is on the floor and i have TEN THOUSAND stitches how do i get to him, because bending over didn't work.

    That was where the bassinet came in handy...

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  43. I'm not going to read all the comments so this might already have been said. And it might be controversial. But I recommend a soother. Babies need to suck, but they don't always need to suck on their mothers. It would be a shame for you to get worn out by her need to suck and you confusing this need with needing to eat. If they need becomes too great for a child, she'll go for her thumb and that's a hella lot harder to break than the soother. TRUST ME!

    And if it doesn't work out, the bfing, well then it's no big deal. My kids were bottle fed and they've always been very healthy. Too much so in my opinion, but that's neither here nor there...

    ;-)

    Also? Has anyone mentioned to you that after the birth you'll have the worst period of your life? That lasts for WEEKS? Don't forget to include maxipads in that diaper bag is all I'm saying...

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  44. All the diaper bag suggestions are awesome, I will 111th the EXTRA CLOTHES advice.

    Also, lots of little bibs as babies are mess, messy eaters.

    And a camera. Because you can never have too many pictures!

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  45. My little monkey is a month old now and after a few bumps, she's doing well as an exclusively breastfed baby. A month in, I can tell you that being a mom is exhausting and sometimes frustrating, but already it has provided the absolute best moments of my life. If I'd known how much I'd love it, I would have had 10 kids by now.

    The things I wish I knew about breastfeeding before she arrived is long. First of all, and I don't mean this to be discouraging in any way, but it CAN be a lot harder than it looks. Get the number of a lactation consultant in your area just in case you need it.

    I bought nursing bras in advance thinking I was oh-so smart with my planning ways. And then when my milk came in, and my already large breasts became fucking watermelons. I did not know that bras came in a double-G, but they do and the boobs that fill that cup are really heavy, especially when they're loaded with milk. A trip to a specialty store for a proper fitting and some (very expensive) high quality nursing bras is, in my opinion, best left until baby is a few days old. The bras I bought in advance were OK in the interim, but not nearly supportive enough for the goddess orbs I have now. On the plus side, the mammoth melons DO detract from the oh-so-sexy postpartum abs!

    I'm glad I have a pump because it's nice to know that I can have a few cocktails this weekend while baby gets some booze-free milk that I pumped in advance. However, when I was having supply issues (she had a growth spurt, my boobs took a while to catch up), I really wished I'd shelled out the extra bucks for a double pump like the "Medela Pump in Style", however it's twice as much as the "Medela Swing" that I did buy, so I'm managing with pumping one boob at a time and it's fine. If you do have any trouble getting your milk in or boosting your supply, don't fuck around. Go straight to a hospital grade rental for a couple of weeks. Worth every penny and then some.

    You'll hear that you can use regular cheapo sandwich bags for milk storage. The first time you're crying as you watch the milk that you worked so hard to pump wash down the drain as you defrost it because "the stupid, cheap piece of shit bag sprung a goddamn leak", you'll wish you spent the extra few bucks on proper milk storage bags.

    Alpha-Mom has started a weekly postpartum column, and this article in particular is bang-on: http://www.alphamom.com/postpartum-mom/2009/04/breastfeeding_10_things_i_wish_somebody_had.php

    Good luck! Savour every minute, they grow so fast!

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  46. My sister who is the mother of 5 offers this advice...

    Mylicon infant drops are a must.

    Nursing your baby is a wonderful thing but you should try to supplement the feedings with formula for this reason...if you breast feed then you are the only one in the world who can feed your baby. Don't wait until an emergency comes up to try to have Ish or grandma or a baby sitter try to feed her because chances are she will not respond to them or a bottle and all hell will break loose. You and Ish could rotate or take turns from the very beginning so that she is accustomed to both of you feeding her.

    The best advice anyone ever gave her was "Sleep when the baby sleeps". Yes, there will be laundry to do and things to clean but the good news is it will still be there to take care of after you are well rested.

    And lastly...finger nail clippers are a very tricky thing. Only clip their nails when they are sleeping otherwise it is very easy to cut the baby's finger tip.

    Now, my advice..as someone who is unable to have babies...Cherish every moment of this new adventure in your life. There will be rough spots and laugh riots. Cherish every moment.

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  47. As a mother of 2, 3rd on the way, here are the things that I think you can't live without:

    A small baby bathtub (not sure kind matters)
    Lots of onsies (baby diapers tend to leak)
    Baby laundry soap (I like Dreft, launder all baby stuff in this. My 2nd baby was allergic to everything else!)
    baby nail clippers
    my babies both loved their swing and it was a nice relief sometimes

    Diaper Bag is a must with:
    diapers
    wipes (prefer the sensitive skin kind)
    diaper cream
    the small one serving formula packs, just in case
    bottle of water (for you or baby's bottle)
    extra bottle
    a couple extra onsies or sets of clothes depending on the weather

    I nursed both my kids for at least 12 months. It's tough, especially in the beginning, and takes up all your time in the beginning. It does get much easier and much less painful after the first couple weeks, then it becomes rewarding. It's at least worth a try. I'd have a can of formula and bottles, though, just in case things don't work out!

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  48. Immediate needs: a Fully stocked fridge of food, that does not require cooking. (for you)
    More diapers than you think you need.
    Lots of blankets

    You need SO MUCH LESS than you think you do. The baby industry is a huge marketing ploy.
    I never used a changing table. I have never understood that one.

    I think a diaper bag is probably helpful to have right away. Get a cheap one, use it for a while, then figure out what you really need/want/use. They can get pricey and it's really a pain buying one that's awesome for someone else, but a pain to use for yourself.

    Breastfeeding: I was grateful that I was able to, not because of the health effects, but it was a really nice bonding time with my kid. There are a million ways to bond with a baby, but that was our special time and I was grateful for it.

    Leaky boobies are a pain in the @** tho. ;)

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  49. Just want to ditto the people who mentioned having a bag in your car with extra stuff - clothes, diapers, bottle, FOOD for you and a few extra dollars.

    K, you will be very surprised, but you will spend a lot of time those first few months driving around to get your baby to sleep or keep it asleep, if she does not transfer well. And you will get hungry and have to pee - so you'll learn where the decent food drive-thrus are and where you can dash in to pee - I once had to drive to a trailhead, run in the woods (near the car) and pee. Our house was up 35 steps and I could not leave my son alone in the car for that long!!

    Also - you do need a baby monitor and wait on the pump and all the breast feeding gear - what if you only do it for 3 weeks and stop - you'll be stuck with stuff.
    And do have bottles (10) and formula on hand.

    And tiny clothes - newborns are smaller than you think :)

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  50. Forgot to add:

    Anon was correct - have a lot of food in your house that you can prepare easily. If anyone wants to help - have them 1) wait 10 days before visiting and 2) just drop off some food in the first few weeks.

    WIPES - and lot of them.

    Diaper bag - use anybag you like. A Timbuktu bag would be great.

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  51. Babycenter.com has a bunch of posts about what you need. And a bunch of other mindless posts too. But it is a good resource.

    For the bumper thing - I agree with you. But.. the thing is, you don't need a bumper. Unless your newborn is bumping their heads why take the risk? The car is more of a necessary risk, unless you can walk everywhere...

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  52. A word on the boobs. Because I'm tangential like that. I"ve seen your boobs, you've seen mine. They're huge. Guess what the day after you give birth when your milk comes in? they will start at your neck and end somewhere below you belly. It is horrible they are really really big. I struggled a lot with breastfeeding because I had a hard time with the logistics and not smothering my baby.

    Seriously. I was terrified. I also made my own shirts because yeah like bras and everythingelse there just aren't a lot out there for those of us in the DDD crowd especially when those DDD are engorged with milk. I recommend a tank top that you cut the neck out of ...cut down to you belly button, then wear another shirt over it so that when you lift that shirt to feed the tank covers your belly and other dangling boob...

    seriously the boobs, its like a whole thing.

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  53. I wore my babies in a sling until they grew out of them. Everyone likes different kinds -- Ergo has good support but I also liked the cross-front pouch sling kind for tiny babies. Dads like to wear babies, too.

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  54. These are just my suggestions...
    A boppy. Makes breastfeeding easier and you cna use it later to help the baby sit up. I also LOVED the vibrating papasan (sp?) it put my daughter to sleep every time. (Go to consignment shops for that sort of thing...much less expensive and most of the stuff is barely used). You also need burp cloths or cloth diapers. Trust me on this one.
    As for the diaper bag...at first I just carried around individual serving of formula (I only breastfed for a couple of months), bottles (dr brown are the best) burp cloths, pacifiers, extra diapers, wipes and a mini bottle of vodka. Kidding. I also kept an extra onsie in there, too. Not to worry....all of this stuff can fit into a fairly small bag. You don't have to look like the garbage lady in Labryinth.

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  55. One other thing... This is the only advice I give to EVERY new mom:
    SWADDLE. (or at least try swaddling.)
    My daughter has never had sleepgin issues and started sleeping through the night at about 3 weeks. I swear it is because of the swaddling.
    Then again, it isn't for all kids.

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  56. My daughter is 28 years old and I don't know what any of this stuff is!

    I had crib bumpers and put her on her stomach, how's that for crazy? Its a wonder she survived! :)

    I didn't breast feed, she'd only take one side and totally ignored the other. So she got a bit of milk that I pumped but mostly formula and she is fine. Smart and beautiful.

    I didn't get bugged by anyone about not nursing her but my sister-in-law mentioned to my mother-in-law once that reason my daughter needed braces on her teeth was because I didn't nurse her. Well, she nursed three kids straight through for 71/2 years And they still needed braces! Watching her nurse all those kids just wore me out!

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  57. jumping out of lurk-dom for this one...

    my sister just gave birth (seriously, my nephew is like 5 days old) and she called me begging for cheap comfy larger-than-she-usually-wears terry or cotton drawstring shorts. and maxi pads.

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  58. ok i have TWO children 17 and 13 and you MUST have a bottle of MYLICON blue/green bottle with a dropper...MUST HAVE THIS..I was up with Kadie (oldest) for 46 hours until my saint of a mil showed up with the mylicon...I put it in a bag or basket at every shower I go to....sweats, baggy shorts, tshirts and tank tops...easy on easy off...not constricting...

    you can get a cutesy diaper bag with all the bells and whistles or you can invest in a good tote that looks like a purse and you can carry it everywhere...backpacks work great too...

    You MUST have a swing...my kids lived in theirs even at that early age...get the one that runs on batteries and reclines all the way back for a newborn....

    i would suggest for baby? tshirts...and diaper covers...2 piece all the way around...at home they will never seem to be in any clothing but a tshirt and diaper and you are goign to get SO many cute clothes before and after she is born...

    I dont know if you have had a shower yet but be prepared for a mother load of clothes that dont fit or clothes that you would never dream of putting on your child because they are hideous...lol...

    Bottle warmer is a good idea even if you BF because if you have to express and freeze? it will have to get to room temp before baby can have it...my two were not bf (because i was one who could not bf)and they loved cold milk/formula - not all babies do...


    buy the big girl granny panties...not so much attractive but comfy and you wont care if they get stained cause you wont ever want to wear them again....buy stock in overnight maxi pads...I did not but most women have a period for at least 4 weeks after...I had no period at all after either kid for 3 months...it was GREAT :)

    WIPES - can i shout that?? you must have WIPES in every corner of the house - car - bathroom - kitchen - living room = bedroom - they take the smell and the stain out of EVERYTHING...again my kids are teens and I still buy baby wipes...I still buy the sensitive skin wipes..

    ANything (lotion - baby wash - baby oil) that smells like lavender is good because it seems to relax the baby...

    Cloth diapers...must have for burp rags and other various messes...receiving blankets are great for this too after you realize they are useless everywhere else...we used receiving blankets for towels when we started taking baths after the 3rd day at home..

    grab some bottles (your choice - we used glass bottles cause they were easy to sterilize)and some formula JUST in case and you will come home with some from the hospital too...

    Ok so this is really long...I cannot wait to have a grandbaby so i can buy all this stuff in twos...for my house and theirs...lol...

    Kelly

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  59. ok and one last thing...I will probably get blasted with hate mail for this but this goes along wtih the do whats right for YOUR baby - go ahead and buy a SMALL box of RICE cereal...you pediatrician will tell you no...all your friends will tell you no..all the baby militia will tell you no...when she wont quit crying at 3 weeks and she is not dirty hungry gassy or wet? she may just want a little more to eat...and if you put a tablespoon of rice cereal in her formula or breast milk in a bottle at her last feeding before bedtime? she will sleep all night long...ask a lady over 50....they will tell ya...mine were having 1 tablespoon of rice cereal in 4 ounces of formula (just enough to give it substance) at 3 weeks and sleeping for 6 hours at a time at bedtime...and they are both perfectly healthy happy no allergy having babies... :)

    Kelly

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  60. From a father of two, although it's been a few years:

    You sound pretty well set. Jen, up top, has the advice I'd flag -- you'll need more towels, burp cloths, diapers, and clothes (for baby AND you) than you'd imagine. They're messy little things!!

    A boppy does make feeding easier (even for the dad, with a bottle) & definitely makes it easier to watch TV while feeding.

    A baby carrier (sling or similar contraption) made our lives easier, It can make your back hurt, though.

    Oh, and - if anybody offers to make you food, take them up on it! That pre-made lasagne or casserole in the fridge can seem like a godsend, even if it only lasts a couple days.

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  61. For the very beginning I loved those onesies that had the thing that went over their hands.

    Lots of wipes and burp cloths.

    The thing I will never understand anyone using is a wipe warmer, especially for a child born in the Spring or Summer.

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  62. Haven't read all of the other comments yet, (my adderall wore off hours ago) but you need a swing. Swing is good. Swing is nice. Swing takes batteries so get some extra ones cause when the swing dies you'll want to die too. Unless you have the extra batteries..

    Swing.

    Did I mention a swing? Good.

    I loved those little baby nightgowns that have like a drawstring or elastic at the bottom? They are great for night time so you don't have to fasten 84 buttons on a sleeper.

    Mylicon drops - they make a generic kind that is just as good and much cheaper.

    Little baby bathtub. The bathtub is just too big and the baby is too slippery and if you have one hand holding the baby then you only have one other hand to get the washing done and put soap on rags and stuff. Its easier if you use a baby tub.

    We had a wipe warmer, but my daughter was born in December and in the middle of the night when you are changing the diaper, trying to keep little sweet muffin as much asleep as possible, the surest way to wake her right the eff up is with an ice wipe right to the tush. You may not need one in California in the summertime. Just sayin.

    You can never have too many of those thin little receiving blankets. Cause even though you'll have burp cloths you'll be wiping up bodily fluids with whatever is available, which is more often than not a blanket.

    I didn't use Dreft detergent, I just used Cheer Free (what I use anyway) but some people swear by it for newborns. Whatever floats your boat.

    Have some pacifiers around. Just in case.

    My first daughter had some serious colic and the only thing that would make her stop crying was the vaccuum. Yep. You read that right. The vaccuum. I hear they make a white noise machine though that probably works well.

    Speaking of white noise, its loud inside your body, but then the baby comes home and everyone is all silent and the baby is all "WTF?!". So make some noise. I'm sure my baby was crying because it missed the sound of the tons of vaccuuming I normally do. Seriously. Me and the vaccuum are likethis.

    Diaper bag.....A little portable wipe holder thingy that you will always forget to refill and then you'll be screwed. But when you do remember its better than the big ole box of wipes. Or a ziploc bag.

    If you decide to do formula, they make a little divided container to carry it in so you don't have to wag a can around. Handy.

    A change of clothes for when the baby spits up or has poop go all the way up her back into her hair. It will happen. Its pretty much the awesomest thing ever.

    I'm sure there's more and when I think of it you'll be the first to know.

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  63. If you plan to pump any, get one of the hands-free bra thingies that the suction cup part of the pump fit into. Nothing is less fun than trying to balance a dual breast pump and take a sip of water or read a magazine with one free hand. It makes pumping go faster when you can have both hands free to read, drink, use the remote, type on the laptop, etc. They sell them most places that sell nursing bras.

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  64. You have lots of great suggestions already...

    I second the website kellymom.com - it is full of helpful articles, even several that break down the color of your baby's poo. Cause you will be wondering about her poo.

    Speaking of poo's, the first poo's are sticky tar stuff that seems impossible to get off. Put a little olive oil on her tushie when you change her and the next poo will come off much easier.

    As far as bottles go - by a few of different 4 oz kinds. You just don't know what kind of bottle (nipple) she will like.

    The hospital will send you home with a sample diaper bag and formula. Should also have a sample of wipes and some creams etc.

    Diapers - we use cloth and love them way more then disposables. The cloth/disposable debate is just as heated as the breast/formula debate. If you are curious I recommend www.cottonbabies.com and www.pinstripesandpolkadots.com .

    Laundry - we use Planet for the whole family. You don't need special baby detergent.

    Diaper Bag - I have a simple Land's End Canvas Tote that can take a beating, looks great, is washable, and they last forever. Lots told you what to put in the diaper bag, but not how much. A good guideline is 1 diaper for every 2 hours, plus one extra. I use cloth wipes as well, so my guideline is also 2 wipes per diaper. Clothes - 2 changes, one for cool weather and one for warm weather.

    For you - All bathrooms supplied with you postpartum needs - pads, peri bottle and a change of underwear (just in case). I totally had a melt down after ending up in the downstairs bathroom while everything was upstairs. BTW - your hormones are crazy and you will cry. Often.

    I lived in my nursing tank top from Target. Not a ton of support but oh so comfy. And, when I lifted my shirt to nurse, no sneaky glimpses of my post partum belly showing.

    Carriers are a bit overwhelming, there are so many choices. I was able to go to a local (non chain) baby store and try on all sorts of carriers, while they helped and answered questions. I ended up with a Maya Wrap Ring Sling and I love it! No back pain and I can carry my daughter in it for long periods. She is 10 months old now and we are still going strong.

    Breast Pump - I have the Ameda Purely Yours, and I like it a lot. I use breastmilk freezer bags that stand on their own when you pour milk into them - I think they are Dr. Bronner's.

    A good book for those first few weeks is Happiest Baby on the Block.

    At the hospital you are going to be given a TON of paperwork, I suggest packing a folder of some kind.

    And as a bonus - Dolly Parton has a reading program set up called Dolly Parton Imagination Library. It's free and they send you a book a month until your child is 5.

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  65. Oh- you don't need the diaper bag for the hospital - they have everything for you, diapers, bottles, clothes and blankets.

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  66. Have a couple pacifiers around. Some babies have a strong sucking need that can leave your nipples sore. And I second the suggestion for a good ring sling or pocket sling. Babies love being held close and tight in them. My daughter (2 mos) usually falls asleep in the sling and will sleep all the way thru grocery shopping, cooking dinner or vacuuming.

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  67. and thebump.com is a great site of message boards. The ones designated for trimesters can be a tad (okay, a lot) snarky, but the local boards are great. It's nice to be able to get in touch with other new and experienced moms in your area, and often you can just lurk and find the answer to your question.

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  68. Is there a local group of new mothers you can hang with IRL? Sort of get you out of the house and drinking coffee in someone else's house from time to time. (to keep you planted in the real world a little)? I loved this when my first one was small and my second was on the way. Course we were all expats and desperate to speak English to SOMEBODY, but it was nice.

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  69. I'd like to add regarding the breastfeeding that you research and not fall for false info from docs or nurses. Many women are lead to believe their baby is starving because he drops weight or her milk didn't come in for 5 days, etc.

    The truth is that a 10% drop in weight right after birth is normal. And your body will produce milk when your baby needs it, nature knows what it is doing. She will only need .5 to 1 oz of colostrum at a time during those first days.

    Kellymom.com is a wonderful wealth of information. Another good thing to read up on is 'cluster feeding'. It's a normal thing babies do to get mom's supply where the need it.

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  70. Okay, I have an 18 month old (and another on the way!) and she was my first foray into anything baby. First of all, you don't need nearly as much as all the books and advertisements would tell you. Give them food, keep them warm and let them sleep. Tada! As long as you have those bases covered before she comes home you are in good shape. That said, the first week we had our little one home, I think we probably made a trip almost every day to the local Target or BabiesRUs to pick up some little odd or end item that had never occurred to us as being necessary (don't ask me what - I can't remember, but you will probably see what I mean once she's here) - but these were not things that we absolutely had to have before she ever came home. As far as baby safety...cover your light sockets, put gates across any point where there is access to stairs and if you happen to have a brick fireplace (or a sharp coffee table) put the padding across the edges. Done. Babyproofed. Our motto is as soon as they are mobile, you teach them what they can and can't get into. While all our friends lift their glass knickknacks etc. to the ceiling, we never bothered to move ours. You will be amazed at how quickly they learn. And as far as breastfeeding vs. bottlefeeding...it really irritates me how nasty women can get about this subject instead of just being supportive of each other. Seriously? You do what is right for you. Sure, breast is best...but it doesn't work out for everyone. Thank goodness we have the technology available to be able to still feed our babies on our own even if we are unable to give them breast milk. Congratulations to you and Ish, I can't wait to see the pictures of your little one when she arrives!

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  71. My first just turned a year and he survived.
    As for breastfeeding--it is your baby and your body and your life--you are the one who decides. I was only able to for 3 months cause I could not produce enough for him.
    An essential that I feel you need: infant tylenol and gas drops. Nothing is worse than at 2 am you need some medicine for her.

    Go with your gut on everything. You are the mom and mommy instincts will kick in. Advice--do not open everything cause you may find that you dont need it and then can't return it and you are stuck with too much stuff.

    There is my advice. Good Luck!

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  72. I apologize in advance for any repeats, I didn't read all of the comments. :\

    I second the advice on not opening everything, or taking the tags off all the clothing... it's really hard to know what you'll need or want until the baby is born. (My son was a June baby, and a puker... he wore onesies for the first 3 months, barely wore any of those teeny-tiny outfits his closet was full of). Also second the recommendation on Lansinoh nursing pads, they were the least conspicuous and came individually wrapped which was great for the diaper bag. Babies R Us has a great little "medicine" kit with tylenol, thermometer, nail clippers, etc. The commercial gas drops never worked for us, we loved Gripe Water though for colic/gas/reflux.

    May want to grab a couple pacifiers (I was anti-binky and didn't have any... however my son was pro-binky and someone had to go grab some while we were still in the hospital or I think he would have been attached to my breast 24/7).

    Last bit, Lansinoh and Gerber make some kind of breast feeding ointment for if your nipples crack from breast feeding. I never had this happen but I found it irreplaceable when I went back to work and started pumping. I found pumping hurt way worse than nursing; I figured it was because my nipples were dry in that big plastic cone, slapped on some ointment and it made a huge difference. I suppose vaseline would have worked just as well.

    I am so excited for you Kristy! Can't wait to hear what name you guys pick out for Peanut.

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  73. I'm not a breastfeeding nut but I did manage to breastfeed for 17 months, and the one thing that I used every single day was the boppy. That little pillow made it easier on both of us for all of the hours we spent nursing. Plus, you can blog or read blogs while the baby is nursing. NOT THAT I EVER DID THAT THOUGH. Nope.

    I am so excited for you!!

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  74. My baby is almost five months old, and these things helped us the most through the early times:

    Itzbeen (from Target/Amazon). It really is an essential. (You need to buy the batteries, too.) I promise. You won't have a brain for several months, and this will be your brain for you.

    Baby tub ($7 from IKEA)

    Towel for baby

    White-noise machine (or downloads from Be Prepared website)

    Baby carrier (i love the babyhawk and Ergo)

    Point-and-shoot camera

    Video camera

    Desitin Clear for diaper rash

    Natursutten BPA-free sculpted pacifier

    Good luck!
    leila

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  75. I love this:

    http://www.knockknock.biz/catalog/categories/pads/classic-pads/new-parent-checklist-for-leaving-the-house-pad/

    Not only some good reminders, but some laughs as well which you may need from time to time!

    ENJOY your precious new baby each and every moment, they pass quickly!

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  76. The one thing I wished I had when I got home was some sort of sling to carry the baby around in. I ended up getting a chic papoose (awesome) Also I breastfed and love a product called lily padz(sp?)
    they are these silicone-ish breast pads that are reusable and prevent leakage and don't look like you are wearing a maxi pad in your bra.

    Good Luck, and many blessings on your addition.

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  77. Oh i forgot to say, I second the Medela Pump, however you may do just fine with a hand held manual pump...I had limited milk production and knew this would be the case going into it so I got an electric pump, but my girlfriend bought an Avent hand pump and loved it.

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  78. The Baby K'Tan is awesome for newborns and up. I've used it since my youngest was 3 days old and at 6 months still use it almost daily. (You can get it for $30 at target.com).

    Buy extra pads for after the baby is born, trust me, you will need them and you don't want to run out. The ugly mondo-Granny ones work the best.

    And if you do end up breastfeeding, a cute bracelet that is easy to get on and off is awesome to help you remember which side to nurse on. Sounds weird now, but with sleep deprivation sometimes it's hard to tell.

    Good luck! Find a good support group of other new moms around you, even if you aren't the baby-talking type they will be your lifeline to the world.

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  79. You should be able to rent a breast pump at the hospital if they have a lactation consultant on staff there; my son never was able to latch on, so I had to take a pump home with me. I pumped for a few weeks and then switched to all formula. Also someone said you can never have enough onesies and I want to second this -- onesies, or enough of some kind of simple clothing item so that you don't feel like you're having to do laundry every day. There is no need to do laundry every day. People will tell you that you have to, but this is a lie.

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  80. I don't have kids, but a friend of mine told me the best tip she ever received was to put multiple layers of bedding on the crib. Put down a pad & sheet and then another pad & sheet, etc. So that when the baby messes up one set in the middle of the night you can just rip the top set off and not have to make up the bed again.

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  81. I thought of another bit of advice--- don't by tons of the teeny tiny little cutesy baby bath towels--just a few. Your baby will grow out of them FAST and you will feel like you are trying to wrap her up in a washrag.
    Get bigger towels--or if you know a sewing genius--get a big towel and have them sew on a washrag that functions as a hood--does that even make sense?

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  82. You have a world of good information from so many great moms and one dad. My daughter in law had one of those little plastic tubs for my grandson and that was one cool thing! Bathing was not a fun time for my poor children who are now in their 40s.
    However, they seem to be ok and are
    doing well.

    She sang the praises of Mylicon and Desitin, too. My grandson, now 7, had colic and my son walked him all night sometimes. They gave me one of those picture collage things and the central theme was sleeping parents, sleeping kid, and combinations of all. Sleep was of major importance and heed that advice from one mom who said sleep when the baby sleeps. Believe me all the housework will still be there later. Maybe, someone to help with the house for a while would be a nice luxury.

    My first thought when I read your request for what you would need was that a nanny would be great.

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  83. I loved, loved, loved the Moby wrap. It takes a little getting used to (we practiced with a teddy bear before my daughter arrived), but then feels totally cozy and "natural"? We've now switched to a Beco (similar to an Ergo).

    Our daughter was very colicky - not super fun, but you get through it. We used the Miracle Blanket swaddler - it really was great. We used it long enough that we wore holes in it.

    I always sucked with the whole diaper bag thing. I do not have a big purse and just had 2 diapers, wipes, and a new t-shirt. I agree that a t-shirt for you is good.

    I am a larger-busted mom, too, and I've loved the Bravado Supreme nursing bra. Not underwire, but no uni-boob either. I've worn that bra night and day for almost 3 years.

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  84. wow... thanks for posting this list! i'm due in october so it was good to read this post and all the comments. i don't want to have all the unnecessary "stuff" either. can't wait to hear your mommy stories!

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  85. I highly recommend nursing pads for your bra if you do nurse. I used some from Johnson & Johnson. The thin ones (I can't remember what brand) just weren't enough! Also? Lanolin. For your nipples. Sorry, there's just no other way to say it.

    You can get milk storage bags from Lasinoh (which also makes lanolin) and they work well to store in the fridge/freezer. You won't really need them unless you plan to go out a few hours w/o the baby. And then you'll want to pump.

    Prep a diaper bag. Even if it's just a reusable grocery bag. On the way home from the hospital, make sure you have an outfit or two, and some diapers. And wipes. Just in case. Also? A couple of receiving blankets in the bag in case you need to put them next to the baby to help fit her in the seat properly. My hospital made us use them to tuck the little guy in nice & snug.

    I got a really cool bag at Target that has little straps that let me hang it from the stroller. Awesomeness.

    I do not recommend a cheap pump. I had a dual from Evenflo and it was okay, but not as efficient as the Medela I used at the hospital.

    I had a free sample of formula on hand but never used it. I think it'll depend on your milk supply.

    (Sorry if there are any repeats - I didn't scroll through all of the comments before posting.)

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  86. I thought of another thing that was super helpful when the kids were babies. A thermos filled with hot water for warming up bottles of formula (or making it) or bottles of breast milk. For the longer outings I also had a cooler with Ice packs to keep the milk cold until it was time to use it.

    BTW- my guys didn't/couldn't latch, so I pumped forever and bottle fed them breastmilk.

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  87. I'm sorry if I'm just repeating what others have said but I don't have time to read all the comments.

    SInce I have a two and a half month old at home, I can tell you what I needed most when I got home:

    good supportive sleeping bras / nursing bras - The best one is the "Yes Maternity nursing bra." they are not expensive (buy them on ebay) and they are the BEST and they have large sizes.

    My Breast friend pillow and lots of receiving blankets (to cover the pillow in since you WILL get lots of breast milk on it and you don't want to have to wash the cover all the time)

    Lansinoh (or some other brand lanolin) for sore nipples and breast pads. I like medela brand pads personally. I tried to use reusable pads but found that I leaked through them a lot.

    nursing tanks and shirts that allow you to nurse fast and with ease. I still live in the Target brand (gilligan & o'mally) nursing tanks that I ordered on line.

    Medela pump n style pump - mine is the shoulder bag which has the motor separate from the bag which is nice and extra pump parts for the times when you can't wash them. Medela bottles and size 1 (slow flow) nipples to use with those bottles.

    Soothie brand pacifiers

    "Miracle blanket" swaddling blanket for when they first get home from the hospital and sleep sacks with the sleeves that you can cover their hands with for sleeping in later.

    Disposable Changing table pads in addition to the changing pad cover since she will pee or poop mid-change and you wont want to have to change/wash the cover every time.

    swing - we have a fisher price one that she spends a fair amount of time in and has since she got home.

    As others have suggested, check out kellymom.com which is a good resource for bfing.

    you're going to be a great mom! I can't wait for your little one to get here! Enjoy these last few weeks though! Your world is about to change big time!

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  88. Alcohol wipes or cotton balls and a bottle of alcohol for the "stump".

    Burp cloths, burp cloths, burp cloths

    If you end up breast feeding: nursing pads-I liked the medela cloth ones

    Also--I wish I had brought my Boppy to the hospital

    and I found it helpful to have 2 Boppies--one for upstairs and one for downstairs

    Hit or miss items: a swing (my daughter will only nap in her swing), sound machine, swaddle me swaddles (I never could master swadling with a receiving blanket)...you do not need this yet, but I love the Bumbo!!!

    And freeze some meals or line up someone to come feed you. Not a necessity, but so nice to not have to deal with meals.

    RE: Breast feeding-I had no idea that it was SUCH a time commitment. I'm glad I am doing it, but I honestly was not prepared for the commitment, responsibility and at times stress, that come along with it.

    Good luck!

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  89. I haven't read the other comments, so I may be repeating advice here. Don't buy a pump until you're sure you want to nurse. If you do, go for an electric model. I was far too clutzy to do both boobs at once, so my advice, go for the single boob model.

    I'm a large girl, so I didn't do well with the Boppy-style pillows. The "Breast Friend" pillow was a GOD-SEND, but please expect to cringe mightily while purchasing it and referring to it in conversation.

    Last but not least, do not worry if breast feeding isn't for you. It'll be fine. And don't be afraid to do both formula and breast milk. MUCH better for mom to be calm and relaxed.

    Okay, that wasn't last. I invested in a portable "nap-mat" when my last child was born. It was a collapsible, soft-sided rectangle and worked until he could crawl. Much easier to cart around and set up than the pack n play. I ordered mine off of Amazon.

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  90. A boppy was great for breastfeeding, alittle extra support so you can eat while she is, or just not get arm cramps. Plus you can prop baby up in it so she can look around and feel snuggly.

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  91. Hi Kristy, just checking in to see how far along you are----you look fantastic!

    have more diapers than you think you'll need on hand, and a nice stack of food delivery menus on hand.

    and for when you're up to it? a crockpot. ;-)

    xooxox steph

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  92. Well let's see I'm 3 months post partum and a breast feeding mom. Let me give you some pointers...Pretty much ever hospital has a lactation consultant on staff. Find out if yours does. If not...go to la leche league's website and find one. Without the help of the nurses and the lactation consulatant you will possibly end up doing what I did...which is sitting in the room in the middle of the night crying your eye's out because the baby just will not LATCH on correctly. The nurses are (at least at the hospital I was at) pro's at this.
    For formula. I actually got two can's of Enfamil lipil with Iron. This came to me via Enfamil as a sample they are small cans but if you plan on breast feeding I wouldnt go crazy buying this.
    For a breast pump...I waited till I got out of the hospital. The first one I bought was a Evenflo double breast pump..it kinda sucked but not really good. Then I got a Medela...and I fell in love with that pump. It works awesome I pump twice as much with it than I ever did with the Evenflo so if your going to breast feed, don't go with a cheap pump you'll regret wasting that money.

    Now for the hospital. Take a few newborn outfits. I hated that they had my daughter in HUGE shirts that looked horrible and fit horribly (they were 9month size) because they kept getting stolen by the patients..duh..so... you will want to take those. You will also want strechie pants or maternity pants because you will not want anything tight against your stomach..and more then likely you won't fit great in pregnancy or pre pregnancy clothes.
    Make sure you take the baby car seat with you...here's the kicker.. my hospital made me take out the after market head support for the baby because the seat was not accident tested with that in...and thus...they had me take it out and they put baby blankets around her head for support instead.

    Get a diaper bag. You will need diapers, wipes, a baby thermometer (I carry mine at all times because when your baby is an infant if the temp goes above 99..you call the dr immediately!) You will also need a few changes of clothes (because believe me they will either spit up...or their diaper will explode :)

    Oh for the hospital...take some snacks that you may want after delivery because my husband could not figure out what I was talking about when I asked for certain snacks I wanted..

    Hmm what else...OH! utilize the heck out of that nurse call button if you need to :) when you get home...you won't have one on your bed LOL :)

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  93. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  94. Oh and if you have a boppy..take it with you to the hospital. I wished and wished I had mine (I had a c-section so stayed for four days) But I did not enjoy having to beg/steal/borrow a dozen pillows so I could get comfortable with the baby while trying to nurse.

    Also..always always carry a second shirt for you ( actually carry two t-shirts for me)! because you will either get spit up all over you or you will end up with your boobs leaking all over. OH and get breast pads. I prefer the by Avent and Lasnioh Oh and get some breast cream..cause they do start to hurt! Oh and if you can buy some of the "ice" packs' for your bewbs too ...because they will become engorged!. Somethingelse you can do if you dont want to put in the ice packs though is take a diaper and put water in it (like a half cup to a cup depending on size) and put it in the freezer adn those work well too.

    Good luck :)

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  95. My friend was also physically unable to breastfeed, even after help from the lactation nurse and various other consult-y people. She was devastated because she thought it was the special bond that only she could have with the baby, etc. Even her MOM gave her the "maybe you didn't try hard enough" junk.

    So she didn't nurse, and her two-year-old is now happy and healthy.

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  96. Ok - realizing that you have nearly 100 comments; and not reading through all of them, I hope I'm not a day late & a dollar short.

    Here's my diaper bag must have list:
    Extra clothes, diapers, wipes, burp cloths, rec'ving blankets, pacifiers, bottles and formula.
    A baby bath kit. You can get packs of mini-bottles of baby shampoo, lotion, powder, etc. You never know when you'll have to bathe your baby in a strange place.
    A container of the BEST diaper rash cream secret in the world (recipe to follow).
    Baby Tylenol or Motrin
    Homeopathic teething tablets

    Here's my sister's recipe (probably not hers exclusively but she'd tell you otherwise) for the best, no fail diaper rash cream.
    One part regular diaper rash cream and one part plain liquid Malox. Store in a little plastic container with a tight fitting lid and in the fridge. The Malox kills any acid from the pee / poop and protects her little bottom from huring. The diaper rash cream has the obvious medicine in it and the coldness will sooth them in the event that the rash gets nasty.

    The best advice I can give you? Do what seems right for you and your baby. Seriously.

    Good luck!

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  97. I recommend getting a pump if you are planning to breastfeed.

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