Noah is just about seven months. Let me tell you, I am wayyy better now at the crazy balancing act that is motherhood then I was in those first couple weeks of his life, but I still feel like I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. I don’t know that I will ever feel like I’m “on top” of things. Maybe. But probably not.
One thing I do feel decidedly more confident about are certain baby “things”. I was a complete numbskull before Noah was born. One wipe couldn’t possibly be better than the other, right?! OH. ohohohhhh, Kathryn. One is most certainly better than the other. Most certainly. So here is the list that I wish I could have seen before Noah was born in order to avoid seven months of trial and (a lot of) error.
1. Diapers: Pampers. PampersPampersPampers. I just love their diapers so much. There definitely may be better on-line, organic, HMO/GMO/Plastic/whatEVER “free” diapers out there – but for what’s available at Walmart (really, the only option here in South Dakota) these guys know what’s what. For one thing – their diapers smell lovely. Baby powdery awesome. None of the other diapers I’ve used smell at all. I can see how that smell may bother some sensitive bottoms, but they do have a sensitive swaddler option that we actually used for the first couple months of Noah’s life. He didn’t have any issues. Then switched to Huggies, the Walmart brand, and, for a hot second, Luv’s. He had endless blow-outs and diaper rash, and I would get so frustrated because the stupid little straps to secure the diapers were hard to use, or the diaper wouldn’t fit right, or blah blah blah. I did not have a good experience with any of them. Huggies diapers weren’t terrible…but if I’m going for the pricier diapers I would rather have that fresh and pleasant baby powder smell.
2. Wipes: Pampers, for the win! We use a wipe warmer (yes, that is going to be number 3 on my list) and Pampers perform beautifully in them. Huggies, if they sit for longer than a day in there, pretty much disintigrate when you try to pull them out. There is nothing more frustrating than having a huge blow-out in front of you and grabbing at a wipe with one hand while you hold legs up in the other – and the wipe rips into a teeny tiny little piece. UGH. It happened way to often with Huggies. I have only used the “sensitive” and “natural” versions of wipes with Noah for any amount of time because if I tried anything with aloe or a smell he immediately got a diaper rash. If you’re not using a wipe warmer, I’ve found Pampers, Huggies, the Walmart brand, and the Target brand to work decently well – but again, my favorite is Pampers.
3. Wipe Warmer. So the bomb! There was only one brand available at our Walmart. So we bought it and have loved it. It is on all the time and I can grab warm wipes 24/7. Especially when babies are brand new, it is so hard to use cold wipes on their little bodies, so a wipe warmer made me feel much better about changing his diaper. Bear in mind, not all wipes perform well with a wipe warmer (Huggies!).
4. Baby bath! I actually bought that one from a garage sale for $2 and cleaned it REAL good before using it. It even had the infant attachment. For the first couple months of his life we had invested in this guy…and while I loved it at first, I didn’t know any better. :) I realized I could keep him much warmer and more comfortable in this reclining bath tub. Plus, the new one grows with him. He can sit up in the blue tub but the mesh seat is not very practical now because he would just pitch himself forward into the water (not that I wouldn’t catch him first, but it would make for a lot of catching and not a lot of bathing).
5. Socks. I had maybe one or two pairs of socks when Noah was born. His newborn feet and even his seven-month-old feet are always freezing. So, my suggestion to you almost moms is to invest in a lot of socks. I wish I had a stock pile of them before Noah was born so I wasn’t freaking out about both pairs being dirty and having to run to the store to get more. I have a gazillion socks now. Good luck finding a matching pair though…
6. Blankets. I am a huge fan of those Aden and Anais blankets everyone is raving about right now. But, I actually use my fuzzy blankets a lot more. When I’m rocking, cuddling, wrapping Noah up, I think about what kind of blanket I would want to be in and I always go for the super soft and cuddly blankets people bought for me.
7. The hospital nasal aspirator. Keep it! The ones they give you in the baby hygiene kits are a joke. Noah had a couple of colds while he was really little and that hospital aspirator was the only way I got his nose clear enough for him to sleep. We still use it sometimes.
8. Get a good pair of finger nail clippers. Those puppies will grow like crazy and you definitely want to be ready. I use these:
9. Okay…I can definitely understand why some mommies might disagree with this one, but I would have a couple of bottles on hand before your baby is born. I was planning on exclusively breastfeeding Noah, but things did not happen like I planned. He was extremely sleepy and refused to eat for hours after he was born. So much so that he became jaundiced and had to stay in the hospital longer. To get him the nutrients he needed (because he was too sleepy to breastfeed, even after the help of 3 lactation consultants) he was given a bottle of formula. My pediatrician suggested I continue to supplement with formula. I did. But I didn’t have any bottles at home. So that made the transition from hospital to home a little more hectic. Of course I had a lot of family support and they bought us some bottles but it would have been nice to have a couple ready to go, just in case.
10. One of the best gifts we got was this guy:
Noah slept in it for two or three months, right next to my side of the bed. The “rocker” part can be stabilized and the toy bar can be removed. Since he was so stuffy all the time, the fact that it kept him from laying flat was GREAT. It was also small enough to fit into our tiny room without being a bother aaannnnd it had a vibrate option (which was the only way he would fall asleep for awhile). I had that vibrate button on all night sometimes.
So those are the things I wish I knew about before Noah was born. There are so many little drops of wisdom I have learned since Noah came into our lives…but this list would have helped me feel more prepared to bring a baby home, as far as “things” go. I hope it helps you! Please feel free to add other things I missed, mommies!
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