Friday, April 20, 2012

Part 3: Items 23-27 Must-Have Items for Moms or "Baby Shower Registries are supposed to be fun, right?"

Continued from previous post...
It's the day you've been waiting for: baby registry day. A store clerk hands you the scanner wand, a folder of miscellaneous papers about child rearing, coupons for already overpriced items and a list of recommended things the store says you should add to your registry. All the good moms add these items; you're a good mom aren't you? So you take your wand and your enormous prego belly and with a false showing of confidence you pretend to know what you're doing. You scan the shelves trying to remember what your sister/mother/best-friend-who's-a-mom told you as you scout out what you think could possibly maybe be something like what you heard was good that one time. Half way through the first aisle you're totally overwhelmed, and underfed. As you reach into your purse for a granola bar to power yourself through to aisle #2 you can't quiet the questions swimming through your head: Why is a butt thermometer 50 dollars? How many gadgets do I need to accessorize my stroller? Do I have space for a play mat, play walker, exersaucer, bouncy chair and automated swing in my home? And who is this Bjorn guy and what makes him so great?

I can't promise that I have all the answers. No one person can pretend to have all the answers to our mom-related questions. But I have a list of items that I wish I would've had when I was registering. And if not when I was registering, I just wish I would've had them in general as I was starting out in my infant-care quest. And so, I bestow it to you. Hopefully this will help. 

Now where were we... right.

Find Part 1 and Part 2 of this post here.

23. Board books

Being a writer, perhaps I have loftier expectations of children's books. And maybe I wasn't thinking sensibly about the grabby-handiness of babies. But let's just say, I didn't get the whole board book phenomenon at first. For starters, the story selection was terrible. "Guess How Much I Love You" and "Goodnight Moon" were the best of the bunch. But then the other miscellaneous titles with stories that literally went like this: "Cake. Sun. Butterfly. Apple." Um, I don't need a book to randomly call out names of unrelated items. And will this be my son's new standard for stories? As a writer this is a potential disaster. I had visions of his school projects coming home: "Bird. Hat. Shoe. Snorkel."

Dear Mrs. Mom, Your son's thoughts seem to be a little disjointed this week. Please work on reading real stories that don't suck. Love, Teacher

So for his first few months I only read him stories from real books like "Diary of a Wombat" and "My Mommy Hung the Moon" or whatever that story by Jamie Lee Curtis is. But then something started happening with the kid. He got a case of the Grabby Hands with an acute case of Is This Food? Let's Taste It and See! He would literally lunge toward the books we were reading, grab the pages and try to tear them off and shove them in his mouth.

The result? He's currently being punished by being forced to read board books. I just can't have him grab-handing these beautiful books and tearing them apart. Clearly he just wants to eat the stories anyway. So, "Pear. Cow. Grass. Fart." it is. My advice, register for some real books, but definitely get the board books too for your kid's grab-handy stage. You'll be happy you did. Here is a link to all the board books available at Babies R Us. They're much easier to see and choose online than they were in the store.

24. Boppy Pillow
Surely someone has told you this before me, but you need this. You'll attempt various ways to prop your kid up off the ground, laying down with his head elevated, sitting up but not quite stable, napping in your presence while congested, etc. This is what you need to do all of those things. I can't tell you the number of times we've used this thing and are still using it.

Apparently many mothers use this as a pillow for breastfeeding as well. My thoughts on that: hahahahaahahhahahahahahahha. You want me to fit my deformed post-prego belly in that little circle? That's funny. Is this a campaign to make me feel worse about my new less-than-awesome body? A technique for helping me yearn for my once pretty spectacularly flat-ish stomach? A partnership with Weight Watchers? Well aren't you a big jerk. Again, just an opinion. This pillow may fit around your post-preg waist just swimmingly in which case, You also are a jerk. Just kidding. Kind of.

Oh, so how many accessories do you need for you boppy pillow? In truth, you need exactly one Boppy pillow cover. At most, you can do two in case one is in the wash. Do you need the plastic lining cover for it? Maybe this could possibly be useful if you do use it for nursing, but honestly, again, probably not. I had one Boppy pillow cover. It never got dirty, spit up on or anything. I washed it, it was clean again within the same day. The pillow itself is still in like-new condition. We got this set, Boppy Pillow with Heirloom Lamb cover (pictured here is the Heirloom Tree design). The Heirloom covers are very, very soft and awfully adorable. I would highly recommend them.

25. Changing Kit

I'm just going to the supermarket for an hour, why am I packing like I'm taking my kid to Guam? Sure, you'll register for a diaper bag. My diaper bag was adorable and it actually came with a changing pad, little pouches for diapers and wipes, a bottle cover thing... And that's great. But what I realized after 6 months is that I didn't want to haul this enormous diaper bag around everywhere with me. Even the fancy pants expensive ones that look like an oversized Coach purse... UGH. No. I wanted to leave it in the car in case I needed it.

I wanted to progress to using just a really cute tote that I could put my purse items in along with just enough baby supplies to get me through a single shopping trip:

  • I don't need 4 diapers. I need 2 at most. 
  • I don't need an 8 oz. bottle, I need a 4 oz. at most in case the kid decides to have a spontaneous growth spurt.
  • I need a single extra outfit in the event of a pooplosion. 
  • And pacifier wipes (oh, we'll talk about those next). 
And that's it. Plenty of room now for the rest of my stuff.
I found the solution to the short trip from another mom I saw at Easter mass. I had forgotten an extra diaper and asked her if she had one and she handed me this awesome Carter's changing pad. It had pockets that wrapped up into the pad and a ziploc cover for wipes that folded flat. She had the whole thing stuffed in her purse tote. It was magic. And it's here for you to enjoy: Carter's Changing Kit

I'm sure there are several other brands that offer a similar convenience. Doesn't matter which one you get, just get one.

26. Paci Wipes
No-brainer on these. When your kid drops her pacifier on floor, or between the seats, or under her butt in the carseat... you're going to have to de-germ and de-fuzz it. If you're me, you're not sure running it under the sink is really exercising the demons. As a mom you'll ask yourself a million questions: what's a safe way to clean it? Can I just use a baby wipe? Is that like feeding my kid butt cream? What if I put it in my mouth? Do I have a trillion germs in there? Finally, all that's left is your coffee cup, and one quick plunge in there and your kid will be awake for the next six weeks.

Solution? Paci Wipes. They're safe. They're food grade. They don't leave you asking questions about whether the paci can safely go back into your kid's mouth, they don't leave fuzz on the paci and they kind of taste like apples (I always taste test the stuff that goes into my kid's mouth to determine whether or not I'm going to allow him to reject it). Questions, answered; crisis averted. I bought these ones.

  • Safely cleans pacifiers, bottles, cups, and teething toys
  • Natural cleaning for items babies put in their mouth
  • 100% food grade

27. Swing
Meet landing spot #3 for baby. The path of your baby will go like this: Arms. Bouncer. Arms. Mat. Arms. Swing. They love to be rocked and cradled and swung and swooped. It's nice to have help doing that. Kid loves this thing. It is SO soft. And now that he's older he really likes to grab the little rotating lambs and clouds. Recommended to me by my sister of three kids. Only drawback is that it makes a sort of hee-haw donkey sound as it swings. Kid doesn't mind, so neither do I. We got this one: Fisher-Price Papasan Cradle Swing - My Little Lamb

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