On July 16th, I gave birth to our amazing daughter, Clarabella. See picture below, she’s super cute. It’s been a little over three weeks since she was born, and in that short time I have accumulated a wealth of knowledge regarding stuff* I registered for, pregnancy in retrospect, and a couple of things about baby in general. I wrote the list below for a friend of mine who is currently pregnant and thought I would share it here.
*I am sadly not getting paid for any of these endorsements.
For heartburn, water with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar helps.
Embrace the nap
Buy an electric fan if you don’t have one. You’re going to be warmer than everyone around you. This remains true after baby arrives, sorry to say.
Download a contraction timing app before your due date. Comes in handy.
Prenatal chiropractors are super worth it.
The best thing we did for the birth of our baby was hire a doula. Honestly don’t know how it would have gone without her. She is a support, a resource, and an advocate. Find one!
Before baby gets here, prep maxi pads with witch hazel and freeze them for use the first couple weeks after you get home. They feel so good you wouldn’t believe it, and will help you heal faster.
Pregnancy pillows are worth it.
Pack shampoo and conditioner in your hospital bag.
For Your Registry:
Get bottles that are compatible with your breast pump. You’ll thank me later.
We go through about 80 diapers a week at week three. Just for some perspective. You can’t buy too many.
The “Becoming Baby wise” book is pretty good. Lots of info about getting baby to sleep through the night.
Get an audio baby monitor. Video is nice but not as helpful. Get one that doesn’t use your phone in case your battery dies.
You can’t have too many burp cloths.
Get a rocking chair with arm cushions.
Baby carriers and slings are awesome.
If breastfeeding, nipple shields are helpful.
Get a diaper pail or trash can with a foot pedal.
Halo sleep sack swaddlers are the best.
Car seats that transfer between a base and stroller are super nice. Graco is a good brand.
Even better? A hands free wireless pump! I loved Freemie as it let me pump during my long drive to and from work.
Register on Amazon so you can get their free baby welcome box. It’s got some good stuff. Target does this too.
Not For Your Registry:
You can get a breast pump for free through insurance. I recommend the Spectra model.
You don’t need a bottle warmer. A cup of warm water works fine.
Diaper genie is unnecessary. Trash can works fine and holds more.
Swaddle blankets are dumb. Don’t get them.
You don’t need baby powder. Not supposed to use it anyway.
You don’t need as many onesies as you think.
General tips from the first month with baby:
Write the date, time, and amount of milk on bottles with a dry erase marker.
Pillow cases work great as changing table sheets.
Having a book to read on your phone will keep you from getting as impatient with baby to fall asleep.
Highly recommend the Parentlove app for tracking feeding and diapers. Can share with more than one user, helps both parents keep track of overnight feedings without having to wake each other up.
Writing notes of encouragement in sharpie on (unused) diapers makes for a nice pick me up when you read them later.
Accept all offers of food from people looking to be helpful.
Create an online photo album to share with close friends and family. Facebook doesn’t need to see every baby picture you take. Grandma does.
You will not get anything done on parental leave. Do not plan to complete any projects during this time.
It will not hurt baby to cry for a while. You can finish your dinner/going to the bathroom/whatever else you’re trying to do.
Steal everything you can from the hospital.
I’m sure there are things I have missed or forgotten, but that’s all I could remember during a 4am feeding.