Monday, April 07, 2008

Back off - I'm pregnant, my ankles are swelling, and I have a credit card and I'm not afraid to use it.

The nesting instinct is hitting me pretty hard right now. As we speak, I have a painter attacking all the trim in my house as well as painting a few rooms from top to bottom and carpet installers finishing up what will soon be the new baby's room. If I was physically able to move furniture you can bet your bippy I'd have that room set up the way I wanted by this evening. The fact that I can't is only heightening my need to get everything finished. Finished like five minutes ago, not a couple of days from now. And the fact that everything isn't done and ready to receive a baby tomorrow is really freaking me out.

And, yes, I know the baby probably isn't coming tomorrow. Details, details. Does that really matter to a pregnant woman?

We were more prepared for Chicky's arrival. By this time in my last pregnancy I had had my baby shower and her room was painted and almost ready to go. It's of little consequence that she never actually slept in that room until four months after she was born. It was finished and that's what mattered to me. Pregnant and postpartum women don't make any sense and I see it as my duty to continue being as irrational as possible this time around. How often in my life will I get a free pass for being bat shit crazy?

This baby is coming in seven weeks, give or take a few days, like it or not. I don't have even one pack of newborn diapers so that puts me firmly in the not liking it column.

When preparing for Chicky, I relied heavily on the advice of family. However, I was not, unfortunately, completely happy with the choices they made for me when it came to baby gear. Baby stuff is so much cooler than it was 30 years ago. More expensive, but way neater. I won't go out and buy a whole new cache of stuff for this kid but I do want to supplement what I have with a few key pieces that will make my last experience with an infant (as a mother) better than my experience with Chicky. When I ran around like my head was on fire, trying to find just the right baby sling to carry my colicky, high needs infant.

I never did find that sling, just a host of crappy ones I forced myself to use. Because running back and forth to baby stores with a colicky newborn? Not my idea of a rollicking good time.

If you were buying a gift for a good friend's baby shower, what would you buy her? What type of sling would you recommend? Was there anything you just could not live without when raising your own babies? Dammit, I'm 8 months pregnant and I have a credit card and my husband knows I'll bite his head off if he even dares look at me sideways for using it. I'm never going to get this chance again, so help me out.

What favorite item of baby gear would you recommend to me?

34 comments:

The Estrogen Files said...

Great sling: hip2bebaby.com - pouches and other carriers. I know the lady personally and she's awesome!

That's my best advice. A great sling makes life SO much easier! Good luck.

jen said...

a stroller so fine it glides on wings, that would be my rec to you. not that i know which one that is b/c mine was a piece of shit, but still. a stroller that glides on wings.

Mayberry said...

I never could figure out the damn slings either.

I like Jen's stroller idea. If you can't find one of those, the snap-n-go is so nice. car to stroller and back again, easy peasy.

Hannah said...

I didn't use a sling, I had the Baby Bjorn carrier and I LOVED IT. Very comfortable for both me and my husband to wear, and we carried Isaac around in it from the time he was a tiny infant until he was about a year old.

Oh, and a Medela electric breast pump. I nearly cried when I saw the price but it saved my bacon - I had low supply and pumping by hand would have taken freakin' hours. As it was I felt like Bessy the Cow but at least I was done pumping in about ten minutes.

Here endeth the product endorsement.

SoMo said...

I love the Mamma's milk slings. Just remember the baby's butt goes in the seam and the seam goes in front of your stomach. http://www.mammasmilk.com/

As for strollers that glide, you are talking a lot of bank, YO! However, I got a lot of use and still do out of my Joovy Caboose. It is a smaller sit n stand. I found it lighter than the regular ones and much easier to steer. Just check to see if it goes with your infant carrier. Baby in the front, whiney toddler in the back. There is even a jump seat, but it is hard to use with the infant in a carseat.

Good luck.

Mackenzies Momma said...

I could not have lived without our swing, we got a crappy hand-me-down one, but it saved our lives. I got a small travel one for the road(which I then proceeded to forget on EVERY-SINGLE-TRIP) but a swing that is soft, cushy, and easy to use.

Grim Reality Girl said...

Get an awesome jogger stroller with the bike wheels. It is worth the investment -- we used it going to the park when my kids were 4 and 5! My neighbor STILL uses mine and my kids are 11 and 12 (I had the double). My mom got it for me and it was the best gift EVER!

Never found a sling that didn't suck.

Get an extra carseat base for his car so you are not switching back and forth.

A small decent digital camera is a must have. They have come a long way baby!

The swing and bouncy seat were crucial.

I never got a glider rocker but SHOULD have (yes, with an ottoman). They were really ugly back then...

Go little bird... spend like the wind!!!

motherbumper said...

Baby Bjorn - I tried them all and it always came back to that one. Bumbo, loved it and wish I had gotten it sooner. And that's about it. Yup, that's it for now... I'll probably send you a massive list later because I'll go OH OH OH OH AND right after I click publish.

Avalon said...

Ummmm, maybe not exactly sold in Babies-R-Us, but howsa bout a pack of ear plugs and a vat of wine?

Anonymous said...

We got a big, overstuffed rocker recliner chair. So on those nights when baby won't sleep without being held (stuffy nose, etc) We could be comfy and possible drop off to sleept together (Walking the baby was not an option due to back disability)

Gwen said...

Well..there are several things I have that I love. An Ergo carrier, good for little ones and toddlers. A white noise machine (I had twin girls with colic). A hands free bra if you're going to pump. Adiri bottles if you're going to need them. (super-safe, BPA free, very few parts to wash.) If you really want to do some damage on those credit cards, check out the website www.coolmompicks.com. It's a blog devoted to finding stuff that you never knew existed, but now you NEED it. :) I found it when my girls were like 6 months old, and there are already some things I wish I'd known about sooner.

mamatulip said...

You said "you bet your bippy".

I love that.

The one thing I couldn't have lived without, with both of my kids, was an Exersaucer. Yeah, they're loud, but they bought me time. And time is PRESHUS.

Day Dreamer said...

I breastfed all of my kids and used an Avent pump and bottles. All three times. LOVED. THEM. Also, someone gave me a Sassy Powdered formula dispenser for "just in case that breast feeding thing didn't work..." ha! But honestly, that thing came in soooo handy! I put cereal in it for trips so I wouldn't have to carry the whole box...I put cheerio's in it later on. What a great (mistake) gift that was!

Heather said...

Great list for me too!

I couldn't have lived without the Sit and Stand stroller when #2 was born. This time, both other kids are too big to need a stroller for them otherwise I'd be using it again.

kittenpie said...

My lifesavers were my GOOD Medela pump (because I pumped the whole year, so I needed a good double one that had power but could travel), my cradle swing, which would hold pumpkinpie pretty happily while I pumped, and a nice stroller. I bought ours used, so it came to about $120 instead of $500, and was fine.

and I'm looking for a sling for this time, too, because I'm hoping it will be a good help, and a better breastfeeding pillow, because I didn't love the Boppy. I'm also looking at wool breast pads, which reportedly don't stick to you, have some natural lanolin to them, and breathe really well to help your poor nipples.

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

These ideas are great! I'm actually surprised at how many of them I already have.

The Bjorn didn't work for me (bad back) but my husband wore it constantly. There is nothing sexier than a big man carrying a wee baby in a Bjorn. He was a total chick magnet.

Oh, Kittenpie! Yes, the wool breast pads! If anyone has any info on this I would love it. I'm tired of buying the throw away type.

Hannah said...

I used cotton breast pads, not wool - but yes, good point, I can vouch that they are AWESOME. Kooshies brand are lovely and soft, and readily available just about everywhere.

I noticed a huge improvement in my comfort when I switched from the yucky disposable ones to the Kooshies.

Blog Antagonist said...

All the stuff I used is osbolete now, so I'm not the best one to make reccomendations. However, I saw a swing the other day that I would have killed for when my kids were babies. Both had reflux and had trouble sleeping lying flat, so they slept in their swings quite a bit. I know, I know, but it was the only way for any of us to get any sleep. This swing was DA BOMB.

http://mysweetpeace.com/#

I second the suggestion of a good breast pump. Avent is THE best, aside from a hospital grade electric, which you don't need if you're not a working mom. Avent stimulates the areola and facilitates a natural let-down response, rather than forcibly extracting milk by suction. You'll get a higher volume of milk without causing soreness and trauma to delicate breast and nipples.

And I loved my Over The Shoulder Baby Holder, but I'm sure there are more advanced slings out there now.

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

Have you seen my jog stroller? It was BY FAR my lifesaver.

http://www.joggingstroller.com/Schwinn-Safari-TT-Double.pro

A front swivel wheel is key.

Carmen said...

Hey, I might have a sling I can send your way. Interested?

Had I known, I would have brought it this weekend.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

My favorite sling was fleece but you'd sweat like a trucker wearing that this summer.

I went for the hospital grade pump---depending on your insurance, you may be able to get your doc to write a prescription for the rental, thus costing you only for the tubes and such. It isn't portable (well it is, but it is UGLY), but it worked really well.

The only other thing I'd suggest is making sure you have some really great videos for Chicky to watch while you lie on the couch with the baby. And, make sure she knows how to refill your water glass, fluff your pillow and answer the phone.

Velma said...

That's funny that FOM recommended videos for Chicky, because I was going to say the same thing. It's time to find some favorite shows you can live with and get her hooked before Baby arrives, because you really will need the distraction. It's not forever, but if you cultivate a Blue's Clues/ Thomas/ whatever obsession now you will have a lot more ammo for the summer.

Baby stuff? I'm useless - it's been 5 years since I had an infant and it's like I had a baby 20 years ago. Everything I loved is obsolete!

Redneck Mommy said...

You are so making my uterus cry for mercy.

Damn I want a baby.

Wanna let me adopt yours???

Backpacking Dad said...

Either a Deuter Kangakids, or Keilty backpack for dad.

Not too useful until after 5 months old or so. But I haven't needed to use a stroller in about half a year.

Mandy said...

I read that the Bjorn didn't work for you which is too bad as I found it indispensable until my kids hit about 20+ pounds.

I cheaped out on the stroller and that was a BIG BIG BIG mistake. We walked everywhere and I put so many clicks on that puppy. It now barely works with number two.

So, I'd invest a huge amount in one that is light, steers like a dream and is easy to collapse, get in and out of car, etc.

sweet cheek's mom said...

for me, i couldn't have survived my colicky baby if it wasn't for a sound machine! she now, at 3, still sleeps with a fan in the room and it really helps omit the outside noise.

i read your post occasionally and it seems like not that long ago you were a mom of a single, like me, debating on a second. wow- you are so close now to having another!

Eleanor Q. said...

I have a Moby sling that Im really liking . Also a Babby Jogger stroller with a bassinet. Easy to push and the kid seems comfortable. Happy Shopping!

morethanmom said...

I loved my diapee and wipee container. I could toss it at my husband when he took the baby and didn't want a diaper bag. http://www.diapeesandwipees.com

I let loose with major nesting right before my first child and bought a Little Castle glider and round ottoman. We still use it today to read bedtime stories.

I loved Weleda diaper cream. It cured any rash overnight and it's all natural.

The only baby socks that actually stayed on were by Hannah Anderson.

And something I just saw that I wished I had is a band of fabric that looks like a layered t shirt so when you pull up your shirt to nurse your belly isn't hanging out. http://www.toplessundershirt.com/product-everyone.html

mo-wo said...

I especially need lots of picture books. We made nursing time for baby, storytime for the big girl. (and maybe the scholastic big box of storybook classic dvds)

I also found sticker books a great time waster when I had my mother of 2 trainee button on. Unless you have a bigger bandaid budget than me say.

baby gear? it's a baby, likely it'll just be looking for boobs and arms.

mo-wo said...

oh but the stroller. I think Chicky is old enough to walk everywhere...? but for a couple months I loved our crazy expensive stroller (phil and teds)... I told my husband. Hey, it was cheaper than a nanny

Toni said...

I would have died without the Bumbo once my son was 3 months or so and a good nursing pillow. And a nanny would be nice, too....

Veronica Mitchell said...

I've used the Avent Isis breast pump for three babies and I like it better even than the electric ones. I'm not sure if its plastic parts are BPA free though.

And I love big plastic bibs, especially the ones with sleeves.

jen said...

i have two girls just about the same age difference...(did that make sense...it's late and i'm tired).
love my stroller - sit n stand (one step ahead??). it has much more room than the joovy in the back. (practiced in the store with big sister and when baby was in recline...she couldn't sit...better named stand and i'll sit when my sibling gets bigger). i can check on that if you are really interested.
and would have died without my sling this time! i have a maya wrap. it has allowed me to carry baby from less than a week old to now at 11 months - while holding the hand of 3-4 year old big sis, groceries and walking the dog.
i didn't use it much with big sister...but use it ALL THE TIME now. it was also great when i had virtually no idea how people got through a store with two kids. i didn't know what to do with the oldest if baby was in the cart or vice versa. much easier with baby in the sling...and i've figured it out since. gets easier!

Lawyer Mama said...

Let's see, I second the Sit n Stand. I still use mine. Hollis is older than Chicky and perfectly able to walk, but it's nice to have as a threat for good behavior. (-; Even though Holden is 27 months, I still have to strap his butt in to keep him from bolting.

I have a maya wrap. I really liked it but Hollis HATED it. So I ended up using the Bjorn all the time. I never even tried out the wrap on Holden. Not sure why....

Ooh, if you pump for extra supply & freezing, I had a Medela. But I also got a hands free pump called Whisper Wear, I think. It's not as efficient, but you can actually walk around the house and do stuff - like chase a toddler. It was a friggin LIFE saver.