Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Time to Share all those Secrets, Mommies!

So, I went into Baby's R Us last week to get a couple gifts for baby showers I had this past weekend, and let me just tell you....that place can be VERY intimidating to a first time mommy-to-be. I've been in there thousands of times before, but this time, as I strolled past all the bottles, car seats, lotions, bedding, etc., I thought, "Oh my gosh! I've got so much to get! How do I know what's the best and what I need for Baby Keene?!" There are at least a thousand and one different types of bottles, with just as many nipples; two hundred types of strollers, pack-n-plays, and car seats; and a million and one of everything else! To avoid a feeling of complete despair (and I'm not even registering yet!), I quickly grabbed a few items off the registries I had and bolted. WELL, almost that is. Of course Baby Keene HAD to have a couple items (see the picture). And, yes, Baby Keene picked those items out, not Mommy. Mommy was heading for the door!

So, after that experience, I thought who better to ask than you great Mommies out there who have been there already! PLEASE! Share your wisdom. I'm completely open to advice in this area! What are those "must have items" and those "total waste of money items, I never used it more than once?"

For example, what are the best bottles? And what makes them the best? Are drop-ins better? (I plan to breastfeed.) And speaking of breastfeeding, what about a pump?! Those things definitely range in price!!! Is the $400 one really worth it? (Keep in mind, I will be returning to work after 4 or 5 months and will need a pump that gets the job done quick, fast and in a hurry!) Or, does the $150 one do the job?

What about bottle sterilizers?? Is that a necessity or will the sanitize function on the dishwasher do the same thing?

What about a pack-in-play? I've heard people swear by them, then I've heard people who didn't use them at all... What about a changing table in the nursery? Those of you who have been to my house know Wes and I hang out a lot in the basement. I don't see myself running up to the nursery every time a diaper needs changed.... Is a changing table something that can be skipped? Maybe just use a changing pad on the dresser for when the bambino is little?

A bumbo, my sister swears it's a must have, as well as a boppy.

And what about those diaper genies? Did y'all use those? Do they really work? When I babysit for family and friends, I just use a good ol' grocery bag and have Wes take the stinky diaper immediately to the garbage in the garage. :)

Anything I might not think of, or any little secrets y'all know of?
Help a first time Mommy out! :)


katie said...

LOVE my boppy:) I use the playtex ventair bottles ,they seem to work great. I change cadens diaper everywhere and i do mean everywhere;) i have found that when people tell you "babies are so expensive...and they NEED so much..." its just not true. maybe caden is just going to grow up a deprived baby but babies are only as expensive as you make them! ps when i went to babies r us i had to take a friend because chris and i were just SO overwhelmed.

Stover's site said...

omg - I had the same reaction when I went to babies r us as a mommy to be.  When I went to register, we had bought the consumer reports book (nerdy, yes, but also quite helpful) and it helped us pick out a car seat, stroller and high chair.  :-)  I'm happy to make you a list of the must haves... that's what my best friend did for me.  Changing tables - cute but NOT necessary.  We never use ours anymore.  Diaper genies - waste of money... kroger bags work best (and a husband who carries them out.)  Bopppy - a must have for breastfeeding - take it with you when you go out and about.  Yes, the pump will be worth it.  Don't try to "go cheap" on that - mine saved me literally hundreds and hundreds of dollars on formula in the long run.  Me and "george" had quite a bond after breastfeeding both my boys for 10+ months.  Yes, I named my pump George - have no idea why..

Marsh Family said...

Oh, Tiffany, I can relate to every single word in this post. I was overwhelmed too. I have to second almost everything that the previous posters said...diaper genies are a huge waste of money but we did use a diaper champ and they are like $25. It kept the house from smelling like a pile of diapers and did the same trick as the diaper genie. I never used a Boppy that much. The pump - we rented...my milk never came in fully so I was only able to breast feed for 2 months. I took meds and everything. Anyway, the other thing I rave about are sleep sacks. Oh my heavens...couldn't have lived without them and Sarah Kate literally wore them until she was 2. No joke. It's a big anti-SIDS thing. No blankies in the bed. They have their pjs and they have the sleep sack on top of that. It keeps them warm without the worry of blankets all over their little faces. Bottles? We used Dr. Browns. They were a gift. We loved them...but it all depends on your baby. You may have to go through several to find the right kind for you guys. OH and the absolute most imporant thing in the world...a swing. Heavens...you must have a swing. They are complete and total life savers! You'll get so much at showers that it won't seem like such an overwhelming expense. Don't worry...you'll have plenty and you'll do fine!! :)

Marsh Family said...

Oh the steralizers...never used them...I plopped those bottles right into the dish washer! :)

Anonymous said...

Great question and already some valuable comments. I would echo Sherri's sentiments that you want to splurge on the breast pump. I promise that you won't regret it one minute. Personally, I did not use a diaper genie or bottle warmer. I do suggest zip up sleepers - which they sell at Wally World, Target or just about anywhere you find babies clothes. I swear by Dr. Brown bottles (wide neck). They are the most like the breat (MUST be wide neck kind) and are what lactation consultants recommend b/c they have a system that mimics the reverse pressure that babies get at the breast. This also helps to reduce colic and gas. They arn't cheap and take longer to clean but IMHO, they are worth the work, esp. when Baby Keene is little and will need to be able to get the hang of going back and forth between breast and bottle when you return to work and will prob. be more likely to have gas as a tiny dude or dudette. As for pacis, I know that Walker, Jonathan and Caden all use Avent. For what's that worth...LOVE YOU! Rachie

Jeanne said...

yep....I agree with almost EVERYTHING on these previous posts!! soooo true!!! no to diaper genie a plastic bag and a trip outside or near the door is fine (lol), yes to boppy, I put the bottles in the washer, I used Avent (bottles and paci's), I love my pack n play, but ours was a hand me down and I like ours bc I take it to grandma's, friends who dont have anything for him to sleep in, work, etc. I put our changing pad on Mark's dresser instead of a 'changing table', still using it, but your right, you will be downstairs and wont be making that trip upstairs just to change his diaper! (oops! i just typed his....a slip or am i use to my son....we will have to see!!! lol!!) I am full of opinions on this matter, we will talk soon!! lol!!

Mr. Mutt said...

I always like going to see registries of first time victims... Err... Mommies at Babies R Us. It is always a testimony to how well the marketing and hype works.

It seems I am the only man posting here, and I've never used a breast pump, so I'll offer what help I can. For the baby bath, save yourself the $30-50 on a plastic tub and just get a $5 foam thingie for the tub. We did that for both kiddos.

If you get a Genie as a present, make sure you save the gift receipt and then go find something useful, like a good blanket for swaddling.

The hypochondirac mommy may get peace of mind from a bottle sanitizer, but you're do fine with a dishwasher and a $5 bottle brush. And you're probably want both kinds. The regulars for milk used within a day or two, and the bag kind for storage. We used normal Avent bottles, and they were dandy. No need to spend extra $$$ on bottles to prevent colic if you have a baby who doesn't need it.

Pack and plays are handy. You won't need it too much until wee-Keene can move, but they serve as a handy bed if you are on a trip. And when you have a mover on your hands and need to take 10 minutes to clean the kitchen, you will know the kiddo is safe (and so is the house).

I know you are a decorator, so baby furniture might be something of a taste issue, but truly there is no difference between the $400 crib and the $125 crib aside from looks. Put the $275 in a CD at the bank and buy a future toddler bed with the interest you accrue.

Baby carriers for "front mounting" the baby while you do stuff were never any good for us. We tried two different models with two different kids, and neither Dawn nor I really liked 'em much.

And finally diaper bags... Do Wes a favor and get one that is gender neutral.

Tiffany Keene said...

Thanks for all the wonderful advice guys! And, thanks to those of you that sent me super informative emails full of wisdom!!! This is exactly the kind of help I was hoping to get from this post!!! Any additionaly thoughts are always welcome! I love y'all (you too Mr. Mutt! :)

Wendy Chesser said...

-Boppy pillow for breast feeding.
-Breast Pump - I use Ameda Purely Yours ($150 at Ameda.com). And take it with you to the hospital, you may need it.
-A good nursing bra - not an easy thing to find either.
-Lots of support during those first few days of breastfeeding. Someone to encourage you when you want to quit! (but no pressure either)
-Frangrance Free lotion (those smelly lotions are nice but during the first few weeks baby's skin may be more sensitive).
-And if it's a boy you'll need some neosporin (for circumsision care).
-Extra crib sheets and a couple water-proof matress pads.

I like the diaper genie, no smell, easy to maintain!

I also like the pack n play.

I use the changing pad on top of a dresser and it works perfectly.

Love Dr. Browns bottles even though they are a pain to wash. And you don't need a steralizer.

Another thing you don't need is a wipe warmer. My kid has never had it and he doesn't know what he's missing!

I guess you don't need a lot of things but somehow we always seem to buy into the advertising ploys!

Good luck!