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Expecting Our First Baby, Need ALL Sorts of Help!

My husband and I are expecting our first baby at the end of January. I just feel at lost for what to expect about anything and everything. We are so exciting about our baby, especially after trying for a while to get pregnant. I know there are so many moms out there with great pieces of advice, especially based off their own experience. Any advice or tips or suggestions for a first time mom to be would be greatly appreciated. Advice on how to prepare, what to expect, supplies or things I will for sure need vs things that are truly a waste of $$, when to have a baby shower (my pregnancy is considered slightly high risk), tips on what to have ready in the home before the baby gets home to make for smooth transition, what I need to have for the baby at the hospital???? Any help will be so greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance. Thank you, Thank you!

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Thank you all so very much for the helpful advice. I know that it is not possible to be completely prepared for the baby before arrival, but I definitely feel better about the whole thing. Thank you all for being so caring and thoughtful to be willing to share all your advice with me. I will continue to breathe and try to relax, but at least I know at little more about what to expect, thank you all again.

Featured Answers

K., you've gotten tons of great advice although I didn't read them all. One thing someone told me that was excellent advice is to hang up all the baby clothes. That way you can easily see what you have. If they are in the drawer the baby will have outgrown the outfits before you know it. In fact, put them in the closet by size and you'll make more use of what you have. Also buy some Dreft detergent to wash the baby's clothes in. Regular detergent can irritate the baby. I used it for about 6 months for each of my kids. One last piece of advice......listen to everyone's advice and then do whatever you think is best. You will know best, even if you think you don't. Good luck!

Congrats! The best book ever is Baby 411! I carried it everywhere when my little guy was tiny. I even recently bought the Toddler 411! Two other things I couldn't have lived without were the cradel swing and the velcro swaddles! Oh another wonderful DVD was THE HAPPIEST BABY ON THE BLOCK. My boy cried a lot and this gave us tips that really worked! Good luck and enjoy.

Costco (kirkland brand) diapers are great (made by huggies, i think), they don't make a newborn size, they start at size 1-2... Costco (kirkland brand) wipes are great too!
Good luck

More Answers

Congratulations!!! You are embarking on a journey for which you can in no way can prepare. I cannot emphasize the impact that this little squirmy thing will have on your life, and it is different for everyone, but the same for all of us, somehow.

We were told before our first about all of the things that we just "HAD to have" because they were so useful and we used most of them one time. With our second child, we had moved and downsized and gotten rid of most of the stuff, and we were just as happy getting her through baby-hood with almost nothing.

So my advice to you is to enjoy these last moments of being a grown up - go to movies, make a list of your favorite restaurants and go to all of them, Just be carefree, and not worry about anyone else for another month.

Enjoy and congratulations again

K.,
Congrats! Babies are a lot of effort but worth every second of it! I have 2 a 8 year old and an 11 month old. The things I think are a waste of money are nursing pillows (I have bought 2 and used each one twice) regular pillows work great and you don't waste time putting them on and off. Wipe warmers, and such I would suggest waiting until after you have had the baby for a few weeks to see if you feel you could actually use these. The one thing I would highly suggest getting is a baby bjorn. It is worth the investment and will help so you can keep the baby near and be able to do things that require 2 hands (you would be surprised) they are so worth the money! Sleepers are great and a couple of cute outfits but the sleepers are easy to get them in and out of as you will change the little one several times a day at first (spit up poop and pee) Those beautiful outfits are great for showing baby off and for pictures but a pain to get them in and out of. I would also recommend diapers.com fast delivery competitive prices (on diapers only, I am all about finding what you need at the lowest price even if it is name brand. Pampers diaper rock and I hardly have any issues with rashes with them) Cloth diapers are great for burp rags and you can dye them pink or blue if you feel the need. Swings are a big investment and you baby may or may not like it. See if you can try one out if you have a friend with a baby or buy a gently used one in case your baby doesn't like them (I spent $140 and my baby hardly used it and is now grown out of it. Everybody is different but hopefully some of this helps you.

First of all CONGRATULATIONS!! I hope you are feeling well as this is truly the most magical time of your life. Enjoy being pregnant and feeling that little baby inside of you. I miss the those big kicks!

There is too much information to give your here, so I will condense it!
*Get connected with a supportive community now! This is especially important after baby comes and you don't know where to go!

*Look into a birthing class right away and a good Pregnancy book. I recommend Bradley Method or Hypno Babies as their success rates are higher than regular Lamaze or hospital birthing classes. Ina May Gaskins Guide to Natural Childbirth book is a must and will not only give you birth stories but actual statistics on how we birth here in America.

*Rent the Business of Being Born from Netflix. It will blow your mind and think hard about the type of birth you want!

*Sign up for a Yoga class as it is truly the ONLY exercise class that not only prepares your body to birth, but teaches you how to breathe properly. It is our breath that births the baby. Remember that.

*Take a breast-feeding class NOW! This will help you tremendously when your baby is in your arms!

*Eat as much fresh, organic, un-processed foods as possible. This is not only for your health but for the health of your baby as well.

*Get a MOBY wrap to wear your baby as soon as baby is born! This will save your life and give you 2 extra arms to do things. It is THE most comfortable, non-stuctured carrier on the market.

*Consider cloth diapering. It can save you up to $2,000! Enough said.

*You don't need that much for the baby, so don't get overwhelmed with STUFF! They are mostly in onesies and long P.J.'s and don't need toys until closer to 6 months (teethers actually). Go to www.healthychild.org to get important information on how to raise your baby non-toxic. Do not use commercial products on baby's skin! I recommend Weleda or Earth Mama Angel Baby. Please get Dr. Feders Book, Natural Baby Childcare. Hands down the best baby book on the market!

I had an amazing home birth with my second boy and he weighed in at almost 11 lbs! It was an easy, fun, joyful birth. although I know not everyone is comfortable with home birth, I do feel women have more enjoyable hospital births when they are empowered! Do your homework now. It is well worth it.

Please visit my website, www.bellysprout.com, to read more articles about everything from pregnancy through motherhood. Belly Sprout is an actual store in Fullerton and we not only carry products like baby carriers, cloth diapers, non-toxic toys, skincare and makeup, we have a packed calendar of classes, workshops and events. We are THE hub for all things related to natural mothering!

Feel free to ask me any questions! I LOVE pregnant mamas!

Oh! You should come to our Red Tent event on November 14th. This is where we gather under an actual tent in the store and share our birth stories. Pregnant moms are welcome and it is such a lovely experience! The mamas LOVE it!

Take care!
www.bellysprout.com
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I teach Supported Birth birthing classes and am a labor/postpartum doula. Contact me if you are interested in learning more about classes.
www.supportedbirthclass
relax and trust in yourself
L.

It's always in hindsight where we, moms, are like, "Gezz, we really didn't need all this STUFF." But as a first timer and since you and your hubby waited some before having this baby, the excitement is intense. I am certain that family and friends will shower you with all kinds of "stuff". I would like you to check out my blog regarding the issue of blessing the expecting mother. It refers to blessing the mom without gifts. So, once you have the practical side down with cribs and such, it's nice to "honor" and prepare the expecting mother by blessing her with encouragement, support and love. Please go to www.thecedarreader.wordpress.com. Also, I have a personal website if you get the chance to check that out too www.cedarbirthservices.com Congratulations and good luck to you!!!

The best advice I got about having a baby is Don't Be Quiet During Naptime. Get the baby used to noise so s/he can go to sleep anywhere and you don't have to tiptoe around. We purposely stayed at the same volume when the baby slept and it worked. The biggest mistake I made was not making a schedule for feeding and sleeping and sticking to it. Now we're trying to set one up and it's harder. Check out Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby.

Hi K.,

The best advice I ever got as a new mom was from my pediatrician on how to get baby to sleep through the night. My doc said that babies don't sleep through the night for two basic reasons: they're hungry and they're not tired. Consequently, she encouraged me to feed baby every two to three hours from the time I wanted him to wake up in the morning (about 6am for us) until the time we wanted him to go to bed (about 7-8pm for us)...even if we had to wake him up from a nap to do this. By doing this, my doc said, we would make sure baby was well fed and would never sleep long enough to drop into a deep sleep. It seems nursing is tough work for newborns! She also said that once baby hits bout 12 pounds, baby no longer needs the nighttime calories.

Being young and new at the mom thing, I followed her directions to the letter. By six weeks, my son was 15 pounds (he was 9 pounds at birth, so we had a head start) and sleeping through the night. I thought this was just beginner's luck, but it worked exactly the same for my second son. I was a true believer after that.

As for things you need, I was at a baby shower recently and I was stunned at all the gadgets that were out there for babies. I managed just fine on a baby swing, a bouncer, a car seat and a simple (very simple, one click-up-and-one-click-down) stroller. I just about died laughing when the mom-to-be, in all seriousness, tried to explain to me why a diaper wipe warmer was essential to baby sleeping through the night. But, I'm a simple person and have never been caught up in the materialsim that some people mistake for good parenting.

Good luck, relax and have fun!

K., you've gotten tons of great advice although I didn't read them all. One thing someone told me that was excellent advice is to hang up all the baby clothes. That way you can easily see what you have. If they are in the drawer the baby will have outgrown the outfits before you know it. In fact, put them in the closet by size and you'll make more use of what you have. Also buy some Dreft detergent to wash the baby's clothes in. Regular detergent can irritate the baby. I used it for about 6 months for each of my kids. One last piece of advice......listen to everyone's advice and then do whatever you think is best. You will know best, even if you think you don't. Good luck!

It looks like you have a lot of good advice. One thing to start thinking about if you are not going to be a stay at home mom is childcare. I am a home daycare provider and will have a spot in March. I am located in Lakewood/Long Beach border.

M.

K.,

Breath!! That is the first thing you can do. From reading your request you sound a little worried because of the high risk part. I know exactly what you are feeling. MY pregnancy was high risk too. DON'T WORRY.

You will need basic things for your newborn. Crib, diapers wipes, diaper rash cream (I suggest Bordeaux's Butt Paste you can get it at Target the also have Butt Bath it is awesome) blankets, sleepers. As far as furniture and those things go yo won't need that much. Everyone told me to get a swing but if you are trying to save money I wouldn't get one If someone gives it to you as a gift that is different. I had one and I used it for maybe a month. They can grow out of them so quickly they become useless. I suggest a Boppy Pillow. They are great for nursing and they can also be used for the baby when they are trying to sit up. I suggest a Pack N Play. They are a fold up crib but they come in handy when traveling to other peoples houses. I had a changing table on top of the dresser but I don't suggest getting a separate changing table because I found that I really didn't use it. I ended up using the couch or the bed. Well I hope this helps !!! Good Luck!!

S.

Hi K.,
Congratulations! There is a lot of baby info out there and it is hard to figure out what you really need. The first month or so with a new baby is like culture shock but then you ease in. The best thing to remember is that every day gets easier and all your baby's "phases" will pass with time. Also, no matter how much you are prepared ahead of time, your baby will have it's own personality, likes, dislikes, etc. and may not follow the "standard rules" of behavior or development. That's ok (as long as there is no medical reason). You may have certain ideas about how you want to do things but the baby may have his own ideas... so try to be flexible and it will make for a happy mom and baby. (For example - all the books said you have to swaddle the baby - my son HATED swaddling so we stopped immediately and we were all much happier.) There is a lot of "winging" it involved until you figure out what works best for your family.

Read as much as you can about infants, watch the tv shows on TLC about pregnancy and birth, take classes in baby care, baby cpr, etc. Tour the hospital so you know what to expect. Sign up with Babycenter.com if you haven't already. They give weekly updates during pregnancy and after the baby is born and are a great source of expert information, lists of things you need, questions to ask the doctor, etc. Buy the Baby Bargains book. It will tell you how to save money on common baby items and tell you which are the best products to buy. It will also (along with baby center.com) give you lists of things you might need and things you don't really need. Consumer reports.com give you safety ratings as well for car seats, etc.

When you receive gifts/clothing for the baby - don't take the tags off of anything until you are sure you are going to use it. Keep all receipts because many times you wind up exchanging or returning things you don't need.

I hope this helps! Good luck!

Hey K., congratulations! I would get the Baby Bargain Book. It's a great resource that tells you not only what you should get (right down to the brand) but also what you can skip. Also definitely look into swaddling. It can be really helpful!

Well first congratulations!!! God is Good All the time to everyone.

Second, I had my second boy in July and the Hospital gave me a book called, "What to expect when you are expecting". Wow I had forgotten so much stuff with my second child that book helped my a whole bunch. My kids are 6 1/2 years apart. It basically tells you what you and your body and your baby's changes are going to be like. Definately get it. Also it has a list of items you need at home to receive baby. From Bed-Botttles. I would also go on line in your spare time to Google.com type in "take home baby list" in the box and it will also give you a list of what you need to have before baby is born.

That's pretty much what I did when I had my second child.

You've received all kinds of good advice already. I'll give you my 2 cents: just remember to be prepared for anything and to be flexible, both for the birth and after. Things seldom go as you plan or imagine they will, so expect the unexpected. I think in hindsight that those first weeks were harder than I had ever imagined, but in the end they were more rewarding than I ever imagined. And it just keeps getting better and better. Good luck and Congratulations!

I packed for me and baby but I never thought to pack clothes for daddy.
I was supposed to be a home birth and on the Friday before the Monday I was admitted I found out we were doing a hospital birth.
I hit the internet for what to do and I got a great list for me and baby. One thing it did not say was stuff for daddy. I was there for a week and i ended up having my mom buy him some clothes at target because he only had time to go home once the baby was born and once before.
Also plan snacks and pack them including drinks. there is awful food in the hospital and it is expensive. we spent a ton of money on drinks. Also figure out what places have filtered water and refill your bottle. I would buy one every day and then refill all day. change the bottle daily for bacteria.

You should also scout out restaurants and delivery in the area so you can place orders and either have them delivered or get someone to pick them up. Also see if you can charge the food over the phone or even set up something with the restaurant ahead of time so all someone has to do is pick it up.
good luck.
T.

First, take a deep breath. Second, I would suggest focusing on preparing yourself for the birth. Do you have a birth plan? Otherwise, have you looked into your birthing options? This will help you choose a childbirth class, which I highly recommend. Third, do you plan to nurse? If so, either take a breastfeeding class or attend La Leche League meetings which are free and held monthly at various places in San Diego.

Then, you can focus on preparing for the arrival of the baby. Newborns don't need much - the carseat, diapers, wipes, ointment (Desitin, A/D), washcloths, and a gentle cleanser like Johnson & Johnson's Head to Toe. A sling is a nice thing to have as well, and a stroller frame like Baby Trend's Snap n' Go if you want to take baby for walks. Clothing wise - get a week's worth of T-shirts with snaps on them since they can't wear onesies until the cord stub falls off, a swaddling blanket, and since it will be January, get some warmer clothing like a fleece hoodie and fleece pants. Are you co-sleeping or using a crib right away? I recommend at least spending the first three months with the baby sleeping in the same room since they eat so often. YOu can use a bassinet or co-sleeper if you don't want them in the bed with you. Baby Bargains is a great book that tells you about baby gear.

If you are nursing, have a tube of Lansinoh's lanolin and some nursing bras. I would not get a pump until you need it - LLL does not recommend bottle feeding until 4 weeks so that your milk supply is established and your baby is latching on well. If you are not planning to nurse, then buy your bottles, sterilize them, etc.

I didn't have my baby shower until after my 8th month. Also, I highly recommend you reach out to family and friends and ask if they can set up a food rotation for the first two weeks. You need to eat well, but it's impossible to find the time to cook when you have a newborn!

Congrats! The best book ever is Baby 411! I carried it everywhere when my little guy was tiny. I even recently bought the Toddler 411! Two other things I couldn't have lived without were the cradel swing and the velcro swaddles! Oh another wonderful DVD was THE HAPPIEST BABY ON THE BLOCK. My boy cried a lot and this gave us tips that really worked! Good luck and enjoy.

Congratulations! Being a mom is the greatest gift in the world and you will be very blessed in just a few months. There are so many books and so many great sources to turn to but it's a lot of information to take in and a lot to think about that can stress you out so take a deep breath and just enjoy your time before the baby comes because when the baby is born that's all you will have time for (in a good way :) recommendation #1 - enjoy your free time, seriously take baths and relax as much as possible. recommendation #2 - don't freak out about NOT Being prepared enough, your natural instincts will get you through anything. recommendation #3 - if you are a planner, then check out babycenter.com and what to expect when you're expecting.com websites, they get you prepared through each stage of your pregancy and sign up for every emails - they will send you what you should know, be concerned about, etc on a daily basis, it's a nice check after you have the baby to make sure you're on top of everything. Baby # 1 can probably get spoiled with "things" because you don't know what to buy and there's so much out there to buy but my suggestion is to go on a registry site, like Target because they will tell you the essentials to get prepared. If you are considered high risk, have your baby shower earlier than later, you don't want to miss out on yummy cake and presents! I wish you the best of luck with everything! It's such an exciting time in your life!

Hi K.!

I recommend the book "Operating Instructions" by Anne Lamott. The other books recommended are a great source of data and info ("What to Expect When You're Expecting", for example). However, "Operating Instructions" is an autobiography written in diary form, and gives you a raw and honest look at the emotions involved in having your first baby - something that women forget to talk about. It's a great and easy read.

I also have an email that I've sent friends who are expecting for the first time with a "top ten list of items to get before giving birth" if you're interested.

Best of luck!

Julie

You have gotten some great advice to go through. One thing I would suggest is to join a moms group. Check yahoo groups or meetup or MOPS. You will make friends with moms with babies the same age and older than yours. If you plan on staying home, they will be your lifeline!!
Also, talk to your husband and decide if you guys are going to be AP parents (attachment parenting) or not. Tons of books on the subject. You have gotten a lot of advice on books to read, one more to add is "Babywise." It will guide you in getting your baby to sleep through the night- a real life saver! Have fun!!

Hi K.,

I would suggest having meals prepared or someone to make you food (I had my mom for a week and my mother-in-law for another week, but sometimes that doesn't work for people). You can prepare meals ahead and freeze them or get a list together of take-out restaurants so your husband knows places you like and he can pick up food for you. Also, if you can afford, I recommend a cleaning lady in the beginning. It will help out so much! Good luck!

Congrats! Your life is about to change in so many wonderful ways. The list of things you need for baby can certainly be daunting but there is a lot of great advice on this site. In regards to necessary baby "gear" I own a baby store in san clemente (OC Travel Tykes) where we consult parents on strollers, baby carriers, high chairs and other baby gear. Our consultations are free and if you aren't in our area we can even consult you right over the phone. There are definitely items you can't go without and many that you can! Our goal is to help you figure out, based on your lifestyle, which ones you need and keep you from wasting money on those that you don't. Give us a call, we would love to help you out!

There is also a great service out there called Safety In Motion. They will come to your home and install your car seat for you and educate you about car seat safety. Great Service! You can reach them at: ###-###-####.
Best of luck!
K.
www.octraveltykes.com
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Many congrats, K.! I am almost 30 and we just recently had our first. Let me tell you what has been great for us:

If your baby does not take to his/her crib right away, get a co-sleeper or Amby baby bed (unless you want the baby sleeping with you)

Go for the bouncy seat with music and toys rather than the swing

We prefer the Baby Bjorn or Snuggli to any of the slings on the market. Our little boy was too crowded and uncomfortable

If you plan to breastfeed, get a good strong pump, such as the Medela Pump In Style. It's worth the money. You can pump after every feeding and still get milk out, and then once you return to work (if you have to) you will be able to pump throughout the day

Don't listen to anyone when they say to not get newborn sizes! My little guy is almost three months, is bigger than average in his percentile, and is only now moving out of newborn sizes. Buy a good assortment for about 2 months of newborn, then move slowly up thru 0-3 months, 3-6, etc. They don't grow as fast as everyone says.

Use a sleep sack. Babies have a strong startle reflex that will wake them up. The sleep sack keeps them contained and helps them to sleep better

Best diapers - Pampers Swaddlers! Target always has terrific deals on them, and they work better than any other brand. No leaks at all.

Generic (Target) brand wipes, unscented or sensitive. Work great and save money.

My dipaer bag has the following: 10 dipaers, wipes, gas drops, baby tylenol, a sleeper outfit, a regular change of clothes, a small blanket, a changing pad, small thing of formula (just in case), and a bottle

If you have a colicky baby (which I pray you don't), get Gripe Water and put it in EVERY bottle or before every feeding.

If baby is colicky or just hard to put down, give him/her 1 ounce of chamomile tea. Make sure it is cooled to room temp

We don't use a baby bathtub. We either take him in the shower with us if we have time, or I give him a bath on a bath sponge in our bathtub (we use the Aveeno baby nighttime formula - relaxes him for our nighttime ritual)

Try to get a ritual going right away or as soon as you can. Helps the baby get regulated.

Our little guy loves his Baby Gym (the kind with all the sounds and lights and toys and stuff). Worth the money for a few minutes of time without holding the baby

Buy nursing bras if you are breastfeeding. Destination Maternity has great ones that are cute, can be worn with just about any shirt, and work great. They saved me on our recent vacation!

Good luck and best wishes to you. Having a baby is so wonderful. Relish every minute of it, even those late night feedings. When you wake up and get frustrated because you can't sleep through the night, watch and cuddle your baby while you are feeding or rocking him and just take in the beauty of the new life. It's wonderful. Hope some of this helps!

Congratulations! My son is almost six months old and I find myself going back through the highlights of my pregnancy, his birth, and his life so far. I just want to do it all over again! Definitely enjoy the end of your current lifestyle and don't be surprised if you find yourself missing it later on despite your joy at becoming a mommy. It is like a 'culture' shock afterwards.
I think everyone has given you great advice. Someone already mentioned a doula, but I thought it was worth mentioning again. My mother and mother-in-law were my doulas. I had to tell them that is what they were, but they were so supportive in every area, from helping me with the baby, to recovery, to cooking and laundry. My husband also took six weeks off from work. Even with all this love and help I was still so tired!
The greatest help was that my two moms had so much experience but were very open to newer ideas, such as making sure to put the baby to sleep on his back, but having him play every day on his tummy. I found that I was often way too tired to even look in the many baby books I had. So whenever I had a question, one of them would look through the books for me and read aloud to me while I nursed the baby. We found that there were so many contradicting pieces of advice. So then we just went with what seemed to work for my baby. Which reminds me: Some things might not work the first time you try them. But then a few weeks later, when your baby is just a bit more mature, the same thing might work.

Lanolin if you are going to nurse. Start applying it in December.

Ask for "more" at the hospital: those weird underwear they provide, their thick pads, the numbing spray, and there were some medicated pads too... I came home with almost enough to get me through, but we did need another can of that numbing spray.

Skin to skin just after the birth if possible.

I love those little shops that sell 'gently used' baby items.

Anyway, enjoy every moment! People always say they grow so fast, BUT THEY DO! My husband and I can't believe how big our son is...

-E.

Hi K.,

My best advice:

1. The Mom Police don't exist. They will not come to your home and tell you that you are doing the wrong thing. Relax. (Your friends and family might tell you that you are doing the wrong thing, but you know what? They don't live in your house! Only you have to live in your house with your baby. Be confident and do what makes sense and is reasonable to you).

2. Don't make too many hard-and-fast decisions ahead of time--for example, my husband and I said that we'd never use a pacifier or formula--but when the baby came, he actually needed both for a period of time. We could have saved ourselves a lot of anxiety if we would have just accepted that all babies and parents are different and that our child might have different needs than our friends' babies.

3. It has helped me to embrace the fact that with a child, I have to be prepared to leave a place whenever. For example, it might not be possible to go to the zoo or the mall or a friend's home for hours at a time--but so what? Babies grow up. There will be times in the future when I will be able to go somewhere again for as long as I want to. :-)

4. Don't be afraid if you don't feel super-excited about the baby right away. Not all moms do. It took me four months before I was crazy in love with my baby. Baby blues are real, and babies are a lot of hard work without much reward (it's so great when they can finally smile at you--but that takes about two months)!

Best wishes to you! Parenthood is awesome! You're going to love it (the vast majority of the time, anyway).

:-) D.

A really great book is "What to expect when your expecting" it tells you everything you will want to know!

Congratulations!!!

The one thing I made the mistake of with my first, was thinking that I had to do it all. I didn't take people up on help. Let people help you. I don't know if you have family close by, or even friends, but take them up on help. Meals for you and hubby are really wonderful. I know with my first I wanted everything new. I found that it was nice to be able to borrow a bassinet, because those are used for such a short period of time. Diapers and wipes are a must. Just don't buy too many newborn sizes. They move up quick. My mom had my house cleaned and a crockpot meal cooking when we got home from the hospital. That was really nice. Three kids later, I have learned to take up anything offered and graciously accept all offers of help. Good luck to you. Enjoy every moment, they grow fast.

Something I wish someone had told me when I was having babies... If you choose to breastfeed (and you certainly should for the baby's sake), when your nipples start to get sore, red shiny skin, and crack, also if you have shooting pains in your breasts, you have a "yeast" infection either on your nipple or in your milk-ductd. Many moms stop breastfeeding because of this, they are unaware that it is extremely easy to treat either herbally (probiotics & grapefruit seed extract) or medically (rx from your doc). I went through this 5 times! We didn't have internet for my first 4, but for the 5th I got online and figured it out - the web is a GREAT resource for first time or seasoned (but not so informed) moms. I know you were not looking for exactly this type of info but I truly believe that the best thing you can give your baby - more than all the stuff and equipment - is a healthy human milk diet and will really encourage you to breastfeed - and pray that it goes well for you (it should, just keep asking those questions!)

Since its your first, you'll porbably feel unprepared no matter what (because nothing can prepare you for a new born). Since I just had my first 11 mo ago, here are somethings I was glad I had on hand.

a set of bottles and a bit of formula (even though I was planning on breastfeeding)
a bassinet (even though I was planning on cosleeping)
a robe and slippers for the hospital stay

Two things I was not planning on but ended up having to deal with were a C-section and trouble breastfeeding. I couldn't hardly lift my self out of bed let alone an infant from a lying position. I wish I had not even open my cosleeper, since I couldn't use it.

I found that I wish I had had the sink insert tub so I could bath and stand at the same time. Those little recliners that come with the baby tubs don't work. Also, the moniter we didn't end up needing because our house is small enough (2000 s.f.). I didn't have enough burp cloths (newborns are messy eaters) and you want really good sized swaddling blankets. Not the dinky ones that come in the three packs at target.
I left some organizing projects undone because I thought I'd have so much down time with a newborn. Ha ha, it took me 6 mo to finish them! Also read up on new born eating, sleeping books (like baby wise) before baby comes, you won't have time to research once the baby comes.

Wow! You have a lot of advise already... But the one thing I can say was wonderful to have are Flat Gauze Cloth Diapers. (http://www.doodlestextiles.com/)I couldn't find anything like it in the stores and I used them for everything! burp clothes, messy clean ups, sheet savors, under the baby's head every time they layed down. He would go through about 3-8 a day. My baby still uses them (just not as much) and plays peek-a-boo with them over his head - later I know they will make great rags for house cleaning too.
The amount of products that are out there to replace this simple item is incredible and it is really unneccesarry to spend all the extra money. I originally bought 2 dozen and ordered another dozen becuase that wasn't enough since my baby spit up a lot.

Another thing I did to save money and space was use a bath spong instead of those bath tubs the size of sleds. The tubs can only be used a couple months and then need to be stored, while the sponges ($1 at baby's R us) sits in the bathtub and can be replaced if it starts to get icky. It's disposible.

Don't worry so much. It is frustrating in the beginning because you don't really know what to do. But You will find your way and instinctly know how to keep your baby happy.

congrats!!! with my daughter i had her room done by the time i was 7-8 months along so if she came early i was ready. the things i had that i thought were important were - bassinette (because she slept in our room for 3 1/2 months), crib, swing, bouncer, tummy time mat, car seat (duh there lol), and stroller. i also had a front carrier that i didnt use much. i would have a variety of clothes ranging in all sizes. to prepare for my daughters birth my husband and i took a birthing class through the hospital we were delivering at it was very informational!. packing for the delivery was easy. i packed one change of clothes for myself (loose fitting ones), and basic toiletries (soap shampoo etc) and for the baby i packed one outfit (that was warm because she was born in march), socks, a few diapers, wipes, a paci, and a few blankets and well of course the car seat lol... just pack what you feel you need to bring. i had my baby shower when i was 8 months pregnant in fact it was 2 weeks before i went off work. so plan your any time. i hope this helps good luck!

K., congratulations!! Welcoming a first baby is one of the biggest and most important transitions of a life cycle. Totally understandable that you are feeling a bit overwhelmed.

I can't strongly enough recommend researching post-partum doulas! They are worth every penny for doing everything that family members and communities used to do when a baby arrived. They help with household tasks, keep you well hydrated and nourished, and empower you to become deeply attached and confident in your mothering.

Also, look into support groups for moms offered through hospitals, community centers, and counseling centers. It is wonderful to be in the same room with others who are going through the exact same challenges and changes.
Blessings,
N.

Hi K.,
My piece of advice will provide you with a resource to lots of other advice: if you haven't already, look into finding a birth doula. If you know what that is already, great. If not, a quick summary of a doula is a woman who offers childbirth support. She will meet with you during the prenatal phase to answer any questions and help you prepare for labor. She will be there with you while you are in labor to help you find what works for you to cope and help you stay connected to yourself, your partner and your baby during the process. She will also help you establish breastfeeding immediately after birth and provide some postpartum support. Postpartum doula services are also widely available, usually on an hourly pay schedule, to assist with breastfeeding, do light house-cleaning, cooking and whatever else needs to get done so you can rest and be with your baby.
I admit a bias here, I think every woman should have a doula, but that may just be because I am a doula. But do a little research to see the benefits: shorter labor, less epidurals, less cesarean births, less pitocin...
Also, in Santa Barbara, the #1 resource for finding a doula is: www.centralcoastdoulas.com. There are bio pages for every doula who is a member, including contact information. I myself am available for the end of January, so if you would like to contact me, we can see if it is a good match. Hope that helps, and I'm wishing you the best, no matter what you do.

Now is the time to be doing the research on what you want to do about vaccinations. Read Read Read. You need to know what is in the vaccinations that your baby is going to get beginning on the first day in the hospital and you do have the right to say NO to any and all of them.

Dr. Stephanie Cave, "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Childhood Vaccinations"

Dr. Robert Sears, "The Vaccine Book"

Dr. Kenneth Bock, "Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies"

This is not to scare you but make you become aware and to have knowledge to make the decisions that are best for YOU and YOUR baby. A doctor is there to offer advice and their knowledge but they can't and don't know everything so you need to be the advocate.

J.

Hi, I was a newbie too! My favorite books are "Happiest Baby On The Block", "Dr. Sears: The Baby Book", and I loved the book "Ina Mae Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth" for natural birthing. "Happiest Toddler on the Block" is great too for later. I'm a total natural but modern mom. Here's some ideas:
~Carseat: You do want to buy a carseat NEW. I'm sure some of the other moms already told you why.
~King sized bed: My husband whined when we had to go to the trouble of trading in our Queen sized, but now that there's 3 of us in a King size he still complains that he doesn't have enough room!
~A waterproof mattress pad: We got the Simmons Beautyrest Cotton Blend it's great. Our baby has spit up, peed and even pooped on our bed many times. Very glad I thought of getting it.
~A Boppy pillow: I used this so much. For breastfeeding, for back support after the birth, the baby slept on it the first month, and in between my knees while sleeping.
~Disposable diapers: We now use G-diapers mostly (I don't like cotton diapers because of the water use), but I can't imagine not having disposables for those first days when the baby has mirconium and for trips away from home when they are still messy, breastmilk poopers ;).
~Cotton diapers or cloths of some kind: We didn't use them for diapers but we use them for everything else! There just handy to have around.
~Breast pads: for leaking boobs (I used a cotton diaper when at home).
~Camisoles with shelf bras: I literally have about 20 of these now and I think I've worn one everyday for the last 11 months!
~A sling: I recommend the Over The Shoulder Baby Holder for the first few months and then also the Ergo once baby's legs will straddle.
~Baby wipes: Gotta have 'em. I like the Tushies unscented.
~Special detergent: We use Seventh Generation unscented.
~A tummy binder: If you're not using one already, start. Your stomach muscles need all the help they can get. I used one post-natal but wish I would have used one prenatal as well. I might of avoided split stomach muscles. I have a Belly Band and a traditional girdle.
~ A peri bottle to "wipe" for just after the birth.

I can't think of anything else I NEEDED. Although here are some other things I used: A swing (the side-swinging Fisher Price kind), a rocker, a portable bouncer, a stroller, raw Coconut oil (for thrush/baby can eat, also I use for all-over lotion), a cheap baby monitor (since you are sleeping with baby it will only be for naps), an Auto Mirror (makes car rides a lot more fun), and I LUV my JuJuBe diaper bag (luxurious, but I bought the Be Changed for $20 on eBay). Oh yeah, and my crib (that my friend bought for $5 at a garage sale) makes a good baby stuff holder in my living room ~ haha!

One of the most helpful things my baby ever learned was to open her mouth when I asked her to. Once she began to self-feed, or even chew on biscuits, I could check to make sure she didn't have too much food in her mouth. I could also take things out that weren't food (or she learned to spit them out) such as small rocks in the backyard or dog kibble for example. My daughter is now 19 months and has never had a choking experience. I say either, "What's in your mouth?" or "Show me your mouth." Now she sometimes says "Too much!" and spits out her food on her own if she's taken too big a bite.

I have three "babies" (9,4,3 in ages now) and the one thing that I had to have was an extra blanket from home and pillows! It gets cold, at least you feel cold =]. If you have a Csection these pillows will be your best friends! Dont be afraid to make changes in your birth plan on an as needed basis, you never know what might happen, so be flexable about what you want! And ASK all the questions you want and get answers! Do not hesitate about anything. Bring the snacks, if you have a long labor (my first was 26 hours then an additional 3 of just pushing) you will be very hungry =]( She was a big baby and got stuck in the birth canal) If you are having a boy and plan on a circ with him you will need alot of qauze and vasaline (get the kind that you can squeeze out and not rub on) diapers and wipes and onsies, and I agree with the recieving blankets (you can never have too many) Comfy jammies and a GOOD nursing bra for you too. Depending on you comfort level a small shower that you can sit and enjoy is good, my first baby was high risk and I did nothing at that shower, I was driven to the party, placed in a rocker and served! This is how any pregnant mom should be treated anyway. You are working on a miracle! God bless you and your new baby, what a joy this is! Be blessed always.
One last thing, have a small can of formula and some bottles handy - I never did get milk in with any of my kids, and I was not prepared for that with the first one (I had to go from hospital to store before I could go home)

I haven't read all the other posts, so some of this might be redundant. I am a first time Mom and my daughter is now 15 months old. I had her baby shower when I was around 7 months. I would have her room set up and finished long before your due date, so you don't have to worry about it. At the hospital I brought way too much! Things that were great: coming home outfit for baby, comfy outfit for you to come home in, robe/slippers and socks for yourself, your pillow, your toiletries (soap, deoderant, etc), camera, dad's overnight bag. Whatever personal items you like such as magazines, videos etc. I can tell you that I didn't use any of this. I did not light candles or play music like I thought I would, all I did after giving birth was sleep and eat a little : ) The baby will have diapers, etc provided by the hospital. Bring way less than you think.

I can tell you that my daughter had tons of clothes when she was newborn to 3 months. The baby will mostly be comfortable in onesies and 1 piece rompers, etc. Fancy clothes are a burden and uncomfortable (except for a picture or special occassion). Shoes are not neccessary, but good tiny socks that stay on are great and when a little older robeez are great for cold whether and they stay put.

I loved the book: The Modern Girl's Guide to Motherhood (Mod Moms Survival Kit) by Jane Buckingham.

As for gear, my daughter loved her swing when she was first born. She also loved her boppy bouncy seat and tiny love musical mobil (she really loved this). A baby Bjorn was also a lifesaver. She had/has her own room and crib, but I also kept a bassinet in the living room when she was tiny. That came in very handy. I didn't breastfeed - so bottles were important. I use born free bottles. They are great at any age (newborn to toddler). My daughter also liked/s Baby Einstein DVD's. They have them for every age range. Oh yeah - also a great gadget was a wipes warmer. Basics: some bibs, burp clothes, wash cloths, towels, fragrance free wipes, natural shampoo/body wash, talc free baby powder, natural diaper cream, pampers swaddlers, a good fragrance free lotion.

Things I didn't use: bumbo baby seat, special tummy time mat (she did tummy time on the floor in her play area without a special mat), fancy sterilizer (I used it in the very beginning, but can get the same effect with washing or boiling), bottle warmer (my daughter drank cold or room temperature bottles), baby bath robe.

Now, of course what worked for me might not work for you and your baby might like/dislike completely different things, This was just my 2 cents. : ) Good luck

Feeling overwhelmed is to be expected on the eve of a major life change. You're perfectly normal!

I read every pregnancy book out there and there are three books I would recommend that will tell you everything you need to know. They are:

The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy (Vicki Iovine)
The Girlfriends Guide to The First Year (Vicki Iovine)
The Baby Whisperer (Tracy Hogg)

If you don't get a chance to read the books, let me give you the most sensible, productive and helpful piece of advice I got from them: "Start as you mean to go on." In other words, if you don't want your child sleeping in your bed when they're two, then don't put them there when they're a baby. Basically, don't start any bad habits that you will just have to work hard to break later on. Babies only know what they are taught. Teach them how you run your home and your life from day one and they will follow.

Best of luck to you!! I wish you a quick and painless delivery and a healthy baby!!

Hi K.,

Congratulations on a long-anticipated arrival! Please check out my book - What Haven't They Told Me? Practical Tips for Surviving and Thriving During Baby's First Year. It is available in stores across the country, on Amazon and through our website at www.OffRampPublishing.com.

Best of luck. Enjoy every moment, even the sleepless ones!

L.
www.OffRampPublishing.com

Sleep as much as you can. Enjoy your last couple of months with your husband- this is the last time you will be alone. As for preparing do what you feel you need. As others have said- the hospital has everything you need, and find out exactly what options they have. We never spent any money on food or snacks. Be sure you do tell them if you want drugs, how you feel about c sections, and if you will be breastfeeding. Everyperson you talk to in the hospital needs to know what you want so they don't make a choice that goes against your wishes. Also enjoy your first days with your new baby and husband- don't be afraid to tell people not to visit. I found with each child my needs were different. Diapers, wipes and a carseat are a must. If you want to have a pre- birth shower I would go for December it could be a holiday celebration as well. Don't rush into registering a bunch of stuff (maybe just a carseat and stroller). Let others pick (you will get a lot of great things)then when you have the baby you can weed through what you really want- and send out your hubby to make returns. All things can also be found on craig's list. (personally I have never had a diaper genie or trash item, a swing, a pack and play and until my 3rd I never had a crib.) I have never spent a lot and always relaxed and enjoyed the constant changes. Holding your little one is the best part of everyday. Good Luck! p.s. if you are having a boy you can choose to have him circumcised up until the day you leave the hospital.

The best advice I can give is, trust yourself! What worked for another child may not work for THIS child. What another mom does may drive you crazy. For the first few years, you will know your child better than ANYONE else. Trust your instincts, relax and have fun!

I just had my first baby too, and it is a lot of fun! I had a hard time at first though, especially when my husband went back to work. I had a c-section (which isn't as bad as people say, just in case it happens to you) and although I loved my baby I think I felt like oh here's a baby rather than MY BEAUTIFUL LITTLE GIRL. That faded fast thought and now she is the love of my life. Also babies don’t react at first obviously right, but hours and hours of one sided conversations is hard. I was pretty lonely. Even with that slight feeling of detachment I still never wanted to put her down. Everyone will tell you that you shouldn't hold her too much, but don't listen you can never hold a baby too much from birth to 6 months. Touching improves their IQ; it's the easiest way to improve your child's intelligence.
Prepare Dad my husband was excited for the baby as well, but seeing his little girl hit him hard. He could hardly speak when she came out. Also, prepare yourself for an emotional outpour. Your husband is not going to want to see you in pain or scared, and he going to show more support than you might have ever thought. It will make you emotional when you think about it for months to come. When you see how much he loves that baby you will also be blown away. It doesn’t hit men until the baby is here; no matter what they say. Breastfeed, it does make your boobs sags but it is worth it!!!!!!! It is hard very, very, very, very hard; and even harder at night when you can’t keep your eyes open. It was probably 4 months until it became second nature. People are going to tell you that it must be done a certain way but my daughter never followed the rules. She ate every hour for 10 minutes instead of every 2 hours for 30 minutes. I knew that she was getting enough because she was gaining tones of weight. Also after you milk supply has been established don’t be afraid to give the baby some formula every now and then. Like when you are going out, breastfeeding is hard especially in public plus a bottle can be a time saver. Baby shouldn’t have trouble switching back and forth if it’s been a month or so. Your bond with your baby is intensified greatly when you are breastfeeding. Have your husband take photos of it; black and white are beautiful!
Get one of those co sleeper bassinets; you will be up all night worrying if you don’t. I would fall asleep with my hand on my daughter so that I could feel her breath. Save yourself a lot of trouble and get the Happiest Baby on the Block follow it and you will have an easier time with getting your rest. Pamper swaddlers are the best diapers for newborns; they are worth the price!
There are tones and tones of things I could tell you but you’ll learn as you go. Everything gets easier and more fun; just ask for help when you start to get tired.

**CHOOSE who will be your Pediatrician BEFORE you give birth. If you don't already have one, research it, ask around, ask your friends for references. Then you can do a "visit" with the Doctor and speak to them, see what their approach/philosophy is. ALL Pediatricians are used to this... they all have "interview" appointments with "new" parents who are pregnant.

1) Take the maternity classes that the hospital offers.
2) Do a tour of the hospital before you give birth.
3) Get a book "What To Expect When Expecting" and, "Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer- how to calm,connect,and communicate with your baby" by Tracy Hogg. I believe these can be found at any bookstore or on amazon.com I LOVED these books when I had a baby and it is VERY useful.

4) Do NOT feel pressure to be the "perfect" Mom and know it all. NO Mom knows everything, we all learn by the seat of our pants. It's okay.
5) Do NOT expect your baby to be "quiet." They WILL cry, they WILL have problems sleeping, they WILL be babies. Babies WILL wake up at all hours, in the middle of the night, and need YOU. EXPECT that you will NOT be getting sleep. So, talk it over with Hubby, and you BOTH will need to wake up at nights to feed baby.
6) Clean your home before baby gets home....but don't use a lot of chemicals. Use baby friendly cleaners.
7) Get a box of "Dreft" baby laundry soap
8) Buy diapers before hand, the "newborn" size. And keep it on hand at home. Also buy a few "onesies" so that you have them on hand. Prepare your baby room, or decide where baby will be.
9) Get a Baby Registry: At your baby shower, you will get lots of things... perhaps, sign up with a store you like, and have a "Baby Registry" so that this way, people will provide you with what you want or need. ALSO... don't worry about buying all sorts of "baby toys" because you will get TONS as gifts and toys quickly accumulate. LOL Just concentrate on "necessities."
10) **Initially, most babies don't like cribs... for both my kids, I used a "Moses Basket" or bassinet to let them sleep in for the first 3 months at least, until they grow out of it. THIS was my FAVORITE thing to have, as a new Mom. It is also portable and you can put the baby in the Moses Basket, and take it with you anywhere in the house, keeping baby next you as they sleep.
11) Set up your crib beforehand. It takes time to put it all together.
12) Get crib sheets and get at least 1-2 extra sheet sets... so you can change them out when you launder the other one.
13) Decide if you will breastfeed or use Formula. Keep in mind, that breastfeeding is arduous... a baby MUST be fed "on demand" ... whenever THEY are hungry, not by a clock. A newborn and baby must be fed at least every 3 hours or less. Some even feed every hour. KNOW what "hunger signs" are in a baby... the books I mentioned will tell you that. Be prepared for baby's needs...
14) Get a "blank book" to use as a "journal" so that you can write down things about your baby... they grow and develop so quickly, and this will be a great "diary" souvenir for yourself and for your child when he/she gets older.
15) Make sure you have a camera and camcorder.
16) TALK with Hubby about the whole process and what will happen after baby comes home... YOU will need rest too... and he will NEED to help you. Decide if he will take off work after baby comes home, to help you....or have someone come to help you. You will need this.
17) A Baby will be life changing... tell Hubby whenever you need help, and that your hormones will also be fluctuating... a Man cannot expect "Wife" to be all pretty and smelling like roses all the time when she had a baby. "Wife" will be tired too...the house won't always be neat and tidy, and the extra time you have, will be fewer to spend time with Hubby. Hubby NEEDS to change too... in that he will now be a Hubby AND Dad. Help him to understand... that the thing that WON'T help.. .is to feel pressured and expect "Wife" to tend to all HIS needs either... as the new "Mom" you will now have dual roles as a wife as well... sometimes Men get "culture shock" about it all.. .and get surprised that their "Wife" is not all focused on them. But there is now a baby... so you BOTH need to make sure you connect and make time for each other when possible. Make sure Hubby can help clean up the house too... and cook, or run the errands for baby that you need. This will really help you, and ease your mind.

There are soooo many different things and tips. Just find your groove, and enjoy. You will be fine.
Congratulations and all the best,
Susan

a wipes warmer is a waste of money.

I bought new jammies to take to the hospital. I wanted to feel pretty.
well, I didn't realize that after a natural delivery, you still have some bleeding for a while.
not a good time to try out pretty new pajamas. bring something comfy but not precious.
something you would be okay just throwing away.
come to think of it, I pretty much just wore the hospital gown until it was time to go home.

Hi K. and congratulations! I'm so excited for you! I wasn't high risk at the time, but had my shower at 7 months. Turns out I quickly went "down-hill" from there and ended up delivering four-weeks early and was thankful I was "ready." Try not to stress too much. When you get home from the hospital if you feel you need something, Dad can go out and get it. The thing I was most grateful for at the hospital were my nursing nightgowns. The thing I wish I had taken to the hospital was my Breastfriend pillow to help with positioning the baby for nursing. The things we used most when we got home were swaddlers (receiving blankets didn't work well for us; the store-bought ones with velcro worked wonders), his bouncer (I swear he lived in that thing until he was four months old), his sling (for when he didn't want to be put down - you CAN NOT spoil your newborn by holding him/her too much) and cloth diapers for spit-up and we (still) change his disposable diaper with a cloth one underneath in case poop gets away from us. That way, we don't have to launder the changer cover every time. The plastic tub we used for baths came with a mesh-type ramp that we continued to use for months because we could position it in the sink for inclined support. If you're not planning on co-sleeping (a very personal, family decision) some place quiet to sit and nurse (or bottle feed) in the night is also helpful (I love my glider). As others have mentioned, take some classes if you can. For me, feeling well informed was key to keeping the stress level down. Things I wish we hadn't wasted money on include a monitor (our house is one-story and I can hear my son from any room), a positioner for the crib (the parenting class even recommended against those for potential suffocation reasons), a special sterilizer (things that specify sterilizing before using can be boiled in a regular ol' pot on the stove - hot water and soap are fine for everything else), and lots of toys (because they apparently accumulate without even realizing it). Since my response has already gone on and on, I'll stop. But if you'd like someone to talk to who just completed their first year for the first time, please feel free to contact me directly. Have fun!

Here are my tips:
* You don't need to bring much to the hospital (especially if you're only there one night.)
* Buy diapers now. Don't buy more than one or two "newborn" sizes, because babies grow out of them very quickly. Buy your diapers at Costco or Sam's Club, because they last for about a month that way. I've been to showers that have a "diaper drawing", where everyone brings as many diapers as they'd like (sizes 1-6) and their name is put into a pot. At the end of the shower a name is drawn for a prize. My friends who've done this haven't had to buy diapers for a very long time. :)
* Sleep when the baby sleeps. If the baby goes to bed at 7:00 p.m. you go to bed too. If the baby naps from 1:00-4:00, you sleep then too. After about two months, a sleeping schedule will start to emerge, and you'll get more sleep.
* If you're formula feeding, buy the store brand (I liked the Costco brand). It's the same as the other brands, but much cheaper!
* Don't buy a bunch of 0-3 month clothes! Babies grow out of them very quickly.
* Ask your husband for help! He won't know what to do, and you need to tell him EXACTLY what you need.
That's about all I can think of for now. Congratulations! Have fun with your new baby! :)

Hi K.!

I am a mom of 2 little boys, and I have been there. First of all, I would suggest you make sure you attend a childbirth class, and if you can find one that is not done at the hospital you will actually get much better and more info. I would also suggest you hire a doula for your labor, as she can help not only you but your husband through this time, and help him feel involved at a comfortable level. It is like having a childbirth proffesional there with you the whole time, even when the nurses go in and out and there is a shift change. You can find one by checking around on the internet, on this site, craigslist, or go to www.dona.org
Secondly I wouldn't worry too much about the "stuff". You need some clothes, and diapers, and if you are breastfeeding, a pump. Otherwise, the baby can even sleep with you in your bed if you don't have a crib yet. Newborns don't need much "stuff" yet, and you will discover what you need as you figure out the needs of your child. My little guys loved the swing.
Good luck, and I hope you have the best birth experience possible. :-)

Hi K.,

One of the best things I ever did was joining a MOMS Club when my daughter was about 18 months old. That was 5 years ago and I have gained so much good advice, support and friendship through the years from the other mothers in my club. I would look for one in your area when your baby is old enough to join a play group (about 4-6 months old.

Here is a link if you need some help getting started.
www.momsclub.org

Best Wishes to you.

M.

Hi K., I haven't read other responses yet, but here are my opinions on baby equipment;
We were really broke when my daughter was born, so we had to do with the bare minimum... First of all, we bought a crib second hand off craigslist (you could buy a new mattress for it if you want - would still be cheaper than buying all new - that's what we did). Also, we decided to go without a changing table (for lack of space mostly) It is just as easy to change baby on the bed, or on the floor using just a changing pad (many diaper bags come with one). Diaper pails can also be very expensive, so we bought (from wal-mart I think) a small tin garbage that had a cover - worked perfectly and because it was small it forced us to take it out often so our room didn't get stinky! lol. One thing that we got as a gift and was a life saver was one of those baby play mats (or baby gyms? whatever they are called...) It was great to use before she could roll over becuase I knew I had a safe/fun place to lay her down for 5 minutes while I went to the bathroom, got a drink, made/ate lunch, etc... So for us that was really worth it! (we had tile flooring so we just put at thick baby blanket under it to make it more cushioned for her...) A good stroller is also a must I think. It doesn't have to be expensive, just something you like. And a good car seat of course! And baby carriers can be very useful too! I had the bjorn and loved it - other moms I know didn't like it so much, you just have to try it out. But yeah, craigslist can be a great place to get good deals on used stuff - especially baby stuff because no one uses this stuff for very long since those kiddos grow up so fast! ;)
Good luck to you!! :)

Hi K.,
Congratulations! When my children were infants, I found information, great support and an important sense of community in Mommy and Me groups. Should you be interested in connecting to a group like this for new mothers in the Jewish community, I can help. Feel free to contact me anytime; the Concierge service is complimentary.
D. Markovic
Concierge for Jewish Education
Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater LA
###-###-####
____@____.com
http://www.jkidla.org

Congratulations!! It's so exciting to experiencing all the firsts of motherhood! May your lil' one be a happy & healthy one. I am sure you have received great info and advice and it is up to you as to what you decide to go with. I agree with the other moms: "Breathe!"

One of the best books I recommend for you to look at in regards to items and baby stuff is "Baby Bargains." I like to tell new moms that it's like the Consumer Reports of baby stuff. You will find practical info as well as ratings from not only Consumer Reports but other moms. In fact you will sometimes see to-be parents carrying this book around when they are registering for their baby items. Good luck & enjoy!

Costco (kirkland brand) diapers are great (made by huggies, i think), they don't make a newborn size, they start at size 1-2... Costco (kirkland brand) wipes are great too!
Good luck

Congratulations! An important thing I can pass on -I had my son at 36 and chose not to have an amnio. Consequently, I was given all sorts of "percentages" for risks and every tiny blip when the docs did ultrasounds and it caused a ton of fear and stress during my pregnancy. They have to inform you of any obsure possibility but my son was just fine in the end. Don't let any odds and averages take the joy of having your child away from you! I regret that I took everythiing so literally at that time.
As far as what we used a lot of..burp cloths, swaddling blankets, onsies.
It all sort of falls into place. The first week is a little crazy but then you start to get into a rythm. Have fun and enjoy!

Hi K.,

I would make sure to attend baby classes through your hospital... I took breastfeeding, baby basics and becoming a parent. All 3 prepared me pretty well but it's really your natural instincts that kick in.

You will be a wonderful mother... it is truly life-changing and amazing.

Good luck!

Lisa

This is such a beautiful time in your life. Enjoy the last few months of pregnancy...I also had a January baby last year and it is very special to be able to celebrate the holidays with a little one in your belly and share the anticipation of her near arrival with friends and family.

You can have a shower anytime between now and your due date...I think it is easier to have it sooner than later since you may have her early. Also, with the holidays coming up..things can get hectic for everyone. You want to be able to build a "nest" of things you need when she arrives and it is nice to have some time to get her nursery organized, clothing washed and make a list of things you did and didn't get at the shower so you know what you need to purchase.

These are the things that I found necessary with a newborn.

Stroller
Carseat (preferably an adaptable one that comes out of the car and onto the stroller)
Swing (this bought me countless hours of time while she napped..don't be afraid to use it often..it was the only way my daughter would nap)
Baby carrier (I liked the Moby Wrap)
Diapers (Newborn size and size 1)-Wipes - Buy a few different kinds..my baby was allergic to a few of them. Try sensitive.
Tons of BurpCloths
Onsies/Pants/Socks/Hats - you won't believe how many you go through. Having a Winter Baby, I invested in a few sweat outfits for baby that she wore a ton over her onsies to keep her warm.
PJ's with feet to keep her warm. I also used the Sleep Sack because my baby wouldn't swaddle.
Blankets for swaddling and just for keeping baby warm.
Boppy
Bottles - we love Born Free
Breast Pump with storage containers for freezing - and Lansinoh for sore nipples.
Pacifiers
Baby Wash
Washcloths
Bath Tub
Pack N Play - this can serve as a crib and changing table the first few months
Crib - bedding
Changing Table
Triple Paste and Aquaphor are my essentials for rashes/dry skin.

I know it seems like a lot...but it's nice to have it all in the beginning so you don't have to run out of the house to buy things right away.

It is totally normal to be overwhelmed in the beginning...I felt like a crazy person for a few weeks...but it will all come to you in time and you will be a great mom. Trust your instincts and build a good network of friends with kids. It is really helpful to have people that are going through a simliar experience.

Good luck!

The Baby Book by Dr. Sears is great for expectant parents.

Less is more - all you really need is some clothes, diapers and your boobs! LOL!! Oh, and a carseat of course!

Congratulations!
M.

My first piece of advice is, BREATHE. Just relax and remember that every mom out there was a first time mom at once, and all of our children are alive and well :) What to expect? Expect to love this little person like you have never loved before. You think you love your dog? your mom? your husband? All of that pales in comparison to what you will feel for this baby - it is indescribable and wonderful, so enjoy every moment! I would make sure to have a good camera and practice using it to get good close ups BEFORE the baby arrives, because you're going to want the best pictures possible in the very first moments and days because they FLY by and your baby will change unbelieveable fast.
As far as stuff, it's hard to say what you'll need. My son never slept in his crib, but our daughter uses it nightly. My son would take a bottle of pumped milk from anyone (even me) but my daughter acts like you're gagging her with poison, she only wants to nurse. We use both disposable and cloth diapers with both kids, our changing table has come in VERY handy but I have friends who just change the baby on the floor no problem. My son HATED riding in the stroller but my daughter is content as long as we're moving - but they both HATE the car seat AHHHH! What I'm getting at here is that you just have no idea what this baby's personality is going to be like until they arrive. So get what you know you'll need, like clothes, diapers, wipes. And wait on the rest, an expensive crib (buy cheap or borrow one for a while), a swing (they shouldn't go in it until 6 weeks anyway), the highest priced stroller (I would just buy a travel system with car seat and stroller combo - Graco or EvenFlo seem to be favs with me and my friends). Remember, what you pay for things doesn't equal the quality of love and care you can and will give your child. The 100 dollar crib is as good as the 700 dollar one, and your child will sleep the same (either great or terrible depending on what kind of kid you get) in either one.
As far as the hospital stay goes, I found that they had EVERYTHING I needed for both myself and the baby during the stay (both deliveries, different hospitals). Just take a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and an outfit for each of you to go home in.
Remember this little saying (which I saw here on Mamasource from someone else a couple months back) - So quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep, I am rocking my baby and babies don't keep.
MOST IMPORTANTLY - do whatever you need to to stay home with your baby and raise him/her yourself! Move out of state if need be, your baby needs you more than (s)he needs to live in a certain town or state - (S)he needs your influence, your love, your values, YOU. No one can love your child the way you can, and no one will put in the time, patience and dedication to him/her that you will. I worked in day care for years (crappy ones, awesome ones, and in my own home) and I'm telling you from experience that even the BEST daycare out there CANNOT compare to being home. Just read some of the questions on this site about all the stresses and complications that come with daycare (for mom and baby alike). You may feel like it won't be that big a deal now, but wait until the day you have to leave him/her with a stranger and spend the whole day away from your precious little one. It will be agonizing for a reason, moms and babies were meant to be together - biologically! That's why your body was created to carry and birth the baby, you are given the ability to feed your child exclusively for six whole months and another six beyond that for increased health, and your hips spread to carry that toddler around with you! :)
Being a mom is HARD and about SELF SACRIFICE, but it is also REWARDING and you will receive the biggest payback of your life - a mutual love beyond what you have ever known! Enjoy your baby, (s)he will be the most incredible person on earth to you!

Congratulations K.! Isn't it amazing how much we mothers like to share our personal experiences with other moms out there? You've had quite the response so I'm probably duplicating some responses you've already had but hopefully I can help a bit too.
I don't see the big deal with wipe warmers. I really wanted one when I had my first son but I didn't get one and then I soon realized that I wouldn't have used it very long. You want to pamper your little one's bum, but you can just hold the wipe in your hand for a second and warm it up.
Speaking of wipes, my hospital (Kaiser) didn't have wipes, they had little paper towels that we had to moisten with water. That was a challenge when my son had his first bowel movement. It was kind of funny watching my hubby try to reach the sink to wet the towel while holding my son's feet to keep him from kicking his little dirty bum. The hospital will have plenty of diapers, but bring some sensitive wipes just in case. That will make those first sticky diaper changes, a little less messy.
A few things that I've found to be helpful:
-Bouncy seat (great while you take a shower)
- Booster Seat with tray instead of a regular high chair. With my first son we had a high chair. They take up so much room and for the longest time the tray was practically up to his chin. He seemed too small for it. A booster seat that sit on a chair is way better in my opinion. It takes up less space and your child can use it for a few years. My boys also seem happier in it because they can sit with us at the table instead of being off to the side in the high chair.
- Pampers Swaddlers are awesome in the beginning.
- Luvs diapers are my favorite after they grow out of the swaddlers. I've tried a lot of brands and I've had less leaks in these than any brand I've tried and they aren't to bulky either.
- Kirkland Brand wipes from Costco are great. I was hesitant to try them since you have to buy them in bulk. I didn't want to buy a huge box and not like them. But I'm glad I did.
-Bumbo seat I'm sure are great if you have a skinny baby. However, I had a baby with chunky thighs so he kept getting stuck in it and his little legs would start turning purple. So unfortunately, the bumbo seat didn't last long.
- Lastly, the pacifier. Some babies love them, some don't take them at all. I'd have a few ready to go and see what your little one wants. You might be creating a "binky baby monster" and a year and a half down the road you'll have to wean him/her off of it but I figure it's easier to take away a pacifier than a thumb (if they become a thumb-sucker).
Anyway, I hope some of this was helpful. My biggest thing when my babies was holding them as much as possible. Now my 19 month old is over 30 lbs. They really don't stay tiny for long, so soak up that tiny being while you can. Also take lots of pictures. I loved taking a picture every month for the first year on the 14th (his b-day). I took it in a special chair but you could do it with anything that shows the baby's growth (with the same stuffed animal each month or wearing a size 12month outfit). I know this isn't the advice you were looking for but it's a fun idea.
Good luck and cherish every moment!

So exciting for you! I hope all is well. What you need all depends on how you want things to work. Our daughter slept in her crib from day one, so we NEEDED a positioner. Also, because it will be January and colder, the sleep blankets - the zip up ones are a must. My daughter was very loud when she was cold. Also, a humidifier - we just did a vicks humidifier with the seperate water tank - It was around 20.00. We found it made her room a bit warmer and helped with the stuffy noses. People go both ways, be we used the papasan swing - fisher price. When we needed a break from holding her, it cradled her and gave her the sense of being held. Ours has lived through 4 children - one of mine, my friend's and my niece and nephew.

As for the hospital - take what makes you comfortable - loose clothes, slippers, toothbrush, comb. I know it sounds shallow, but the next day when people were visiting, I wanted to feel good about how I looked - which was pretty bad and swollen, so I did want to do my hair and add a little makeup. You should only need one outfit for the baby - maybe a blanket or two for the trip home, and that is all. Be sure to follow the previous instruction to raid the baby cart - it is all helpful!

Be sure to have your husband help you with diaper changing right away in the hospital. You will need the rest and you might not want to be on your feet right away, so get him involved. It helps make them feel important, especially if you are going to nurse.

Some crazy things may happen to your body ... share them with your husband and nurse so they can reassure you. You will probably get the shakes right after the baby is born ... sudden change in hormones. You also may not have the best bladder control for a few days - lots of stretching going on there .... nothing to be nervous or embarrassed about. Remember that no matter how your labor goes, it is fine .... you will have your baby at the end. Rarely do things go according to plan ... just go with it and enjoy this momentous experience.

Good luck! I wish you all well.

Just wanted to touch on interventions during deliver like pitocen or induction or whatever. Just keep in mind that its a domino affect. You have one intervention and you are more likely to have many more. Here is my example, I had a normal labor up till 9 cm then my dr gave me pitocen. I wanted a natural child birth with no meds and having pitocen made the pain so unbearable that I could not do it. I ended up having an epidural. As a result my baby was a bit groggy and breastfeeding went horrible. Not to mention I had a reaction to the epidural and all sorts of complications. Its not to say that if you have an intervention this will happen for sure but Im just saying its good to be aware of the possibilities.

The things that I could not live without when I got home from the hospital were: gas drops, receiving blankets (they are the best bump clothes since they are so large)& comfortable PJ's for breast feeding. My son had a bit of jaundice when he was born and the stupid doctor didn't tell me to expose him to indirect sunlight. I had a very scary trip to the emergency room before I was told about the indirect sunlight. At the hospital, I needed comfortable pj (I had a C-section), warm socks, boppy pillow (it made trying to learn to breast feed a bit easier), snacks (after I had my son I wasn't too thrilled with the hospital food) and a robe. For the baby all you need is a set of warm clothes to take him/her home in. Get the carseat in the car BEFORE your husband comes to pick you up and learn its features. This way you will feel confident when you put your baby in for the first time. Raid the "baby cart" (the bed that they sleep in)at the hosptial. All the things in it are useful and if you don't take them they have to throw them away for sanitary purposes. I had my son sleep in the room with me the whole I was there and kept the TV on to expose him to noise early on. If you feel tired or overwhelmed, ask for help. The hospital staff is there to help you and once you get home if you need help ASK! Don't fell as though you are not a good mommy if you need help. It can be a bit overwhelming. If you ahve trouble with breast feeding, ask for the lacation speacilist at the hospitals help! Thats what she is there for! Also buy clothes that are a bit big for baby. He/she will grow into them and out of them before you know it. Since you have a hig risk pregnancy, have a very low key baby shower so that you can feel relaxed. Again, make sure to ask for someone to do it all for you. This the time to ask for peoples help and not feel shy about the fact that you need it. Ask any questions that you have of your doctor, baby's doctor or the nurses at the hospital. Take the advice that works for you. If you are having a natural child birth, take the classes. I did and they were great, even though I ended up having to have a c-section. Also, if you have to have a c-section, they are not a big deal. I was freaked out for no reason! If you have any other specific ?'s feel free to send me a message. Good luck mommy!

Hi K., Boy I wish I had been on Mamasource to ask this question when I had my first!! I'm sure you'll get a lot of great advice. I have a couple of things I would like to add that I could think of right away...
1. If your Doctor approves, I would highly recommend doing pre-natal yoga for as long as you can thru your pregnancy! It is not only good for your mind and body but I met one of my now very best friends in there and our sons were born just days apart. SO very helpful to have a friend in the same boat as you especially that first year!
2. If you are planning certain things you'd like to avoid and/or have happen during your birthing process I would say learn as much as you can about them now so that you have all the info you need when the time comes to advocate for yourself in the delivery room (This goes for hubby too and anyone else who may be present) Ditto for breastfeeding! If you are determined to breasfeed (Hard at first but once you get past that the most rewarding experience I've ever had!)you must be informed on the topic so you know what to expect, what is normal and can stand up to people if they have any negative things to say. (including, possibly and surprisingly, the nurses at the hospital!)Yes it is supposed to be a "natural" experience but we don't always have the support systems around us nowadays to help us learn these things. Some great books on both of these subjects: The Birth Book, Dr. Sears; and a book I could not have lived without for breastfeeding: The Nursing Mother's Companion, by Kathleen Huggins. If you have a friend or even an aquaintance who is breastfeeding now, by all means spend some time with her, watch, ask, learn! Attend a breastfeeding class at your hospital if possible.
3. For the hospital, all I can say is bring your own pillow! They use those plastic coated ones and they are so uncomfortable and sweaty. Oh and I had one of those herbal heat packs that you heat in the microwave I would use for under my back during labor and for after the birth in the hospital for cramping. It worked great!
4. When you come home, nobody told me this, I was bleeding for so long after, like a never ending period! Which my Dr. said can be normal. So you may want to have a lot of Large pads and lots of one size up than your normal size "granny panties" that can get tossed after without worry.
5. As for equipment, The best thing I received as a hand-me-down was a Co-sleeper bed/bassinet that attaches onto the side of your bed, it is level with your bed. Wonderful for those first months to breasfeed and just keep an eye on your baby. It can go up to 30 lbs. I think, so we actually used it until almost a year old for both my boys. They have them at Target and other stores here is a link to it on Amazon just so you can see/read about it: http://www.amazon.com/Arms-Reach-Original-Co-Sleeper-Azur... Next best, the Baby Bjorn infant front carrier...absolutely highly recommend this. Don't go for a cheaper version, the baby bjorn is the best. This is for when baby is a couple months old so you don't need it right away however. Wait and see if you get some money or a gift card for your shower, you can spend it on this item! Next, instead of buying a stroller right away wait and shop around on that when baby is a bit bigger. All you really need right away is something to transport the infant carrier/car seat from car to wherever you are going. This product is the best thing since sliced bread, it is just a "frame" that you snap the car seat onto and go! Super light weight, it can stay in your trunk, has a big storage area underneath. I would highly recommend this item. Again I found a link so you can look at them and shop around: http://www.greatbeginningsonline.com/store/index.asp?DEPA...
6. Last thing, I don't know what your home is like, but we have an upstairs which is where the nursery/bedrooms are. I had set up this whole beautiful diaper changing area in the nursery with baskets with everything I thought I'd need. Did I ever use it? NO! I am never upstairs during the day and at night we changed baby on our bed since he was sleeping right next to us. So think about those things. I ended up getting an extra diaper changing pad (the thick one that goes on the changing tables)and put it on top of my clothes dryer and set up a downstairs changing station there. Worked great!
Sorry this was so long but I hope you find some of it helpful! If you have any questions about any of it feel free to contact me!! Best wishes to you, Janet

Hi,
Buckle up...you're in for the best ride of your life. It's very bumpy at times, but you will NEVER be happier, I can say! I'm sure many moms will tell you exactly what you'll need at the hospital (don't forget little glovies because their nails can be very sharp and you don't want those scratches on baby or you!), and at home, but one thing I wanted to tell you that no one told me, and I wish they had! There is def. an emotional change, as you probably know. There could be a bit of depression (but I didn't have that with all 3 of mine!), but mostly pure happiness! When I first had mine, and while still in the hospital, I started feeling very inadequate and almost helpless, so before we left for home I started crying and crying because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to take care of him, and the nurse had done such a beautiful job (for 4 days). I wanted everything to be so perfect for him, and knew I couldn't! So, just be ready in case you feel this way, to say, "hey, it's ok to not know everything...I'll ask questions and I'll make mistakes...". All you really need to know is that your baby just needs YOU. It will already know you by your voice and your smell, and as long as you are there, he/she will be just perfect. Also, don't listen when people tell you you'll spoil your baby if you attend to every cry. That's BS. It's just the opposite. If you DON'T attend to each cry, your baby will begin to "mistrust" you and the world really. It's in the psychology books, and well-studied. If you attend to him/her, that child will become calm and secure knowing you (or someone) will always be there to help, and therefore there's no need to worry or panic. It's just all about love.
Have a wonderful, wonderful time.
M. C.

The following books were very helpful to me:
What To Expect When Your Expecting
The Girlfriends Guide to Pregancy
Baby Bargains: Secrets to Saving 20% to 50% on baby furniture, gear, clothes, toys, maternity wear and much more! (Baby Bargains) by Denise Fields

Enjoy!

I'm sure it's been mentioned, but a must have is the book "What to Expect the First Year." It goes week by week on what to expect and how to prepare. They have What to Expect When You're Expecting" too which I highly recommend for new moms, even if you're almost due-I would read the last few chapters from what week you're in now through the labor and delivery section. Congratulations and realx. The best advice I ever got was to sleep when the baby sleeps in the beginning.

Congratulations! This is an exciting time for you and your husband it can be really overwhelming. I did not read any of the other responses so excuse me if I repeat something someone else said. My biggest tip if you are going to breast feed be sure to see a lactation specialist because it isn't always as easy as you would think. If you are not going to breast feed don't let others make you feel bad about it, sometimes women just can't produce enough to feed the baby. Don't let people make you feel you have to do what they did raising their children, listen to what others have to say but don't feel compelled to do it. Believe me everyone will put in their two cents when you weren't even asking. Don't compare your child to other children. They all develop their skills differently. I always have to remind myself of that. Be sure to discuss with your husband what you expect of him as far as helping with the baby. My husband and I rotate bath time duties and all other household chores. If someone offers to watch the baby while you nap or run errands, let them. Throw all your expectations out the window, every baby is different and everyone has different experiences. Enjoy the quite times cause it won't be that way for long. As far as products go the most useless things we had was the diaper genie.

Congrats! I am a mother of four and can list the things I found of value:
1. Crib - like other's said check Craig's list and Children's Orchard stores for use ones.
2. Crib Bedding: while it's nice to have a matching set you really only need a few fitted sheets and a good blanket. Your baby is usually in warm cloths anyway for bedtime and wrapped or swaddled initially with receiving blankets.
3. Stroller is a life saver. The infant carrier that snaps into a stroller or a "snap and go" would suffice. These can be bought used too. Sometimes babies outgrow their infant carrier car seats fast, but I found them the easiest to use with sleeping baby and errands to run.
4. I too like the floor gym that has toys hanging over their heads.
5. When your baby is older (so this can wait), I LOVED the stationary entertainers - the thing your baby sits in and can bounce, turn around, and eat snacks off of the built in tray.
I'd do my kitchen chores or take a shower when my babies would be in this. I knew they wouldn't crawl off anywhere.
6. The bouncy seat was of value too - it started off as my feeding chair.
7. The space saver high chair that goes on a chair is fabulous because it can accomodate a baby and toddler.
8. Don't buy a bottle sterilizer, you can boil water and do it yourself. Buy the evenflo pastel bottles, they're affordable and don't leach bad chemicals from the plastic like other bottles do.
9. The baby Bjorn baby holder is great, like someone else said you have to try it to see if you like it. Follow the directions closely and make sure you baby is secure. If heard of some who don't and had their baby fall out.
10. Pacifiers - if you decide to use them are GREAT! Buy plenty as they get lost easily. Buy the teather too to clip it to your baby's clothing or bib. Oh Yes, Bibs and burp cloths are a must! Burp cloths are good for both breast fed and bottle fed babies ... I bought the big bag of cloth diapers - it worked out GREAT!

Those are my top ten musts!!

Gest of luck, S.

Take a breastfeeding class through your hospital. It is THE BEST thing you can do for your child. Read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Le Leche League International, What to Expect When You're Expecting, and Baby Wise. Rest, eat very healthy, do moderate exercise daily. I swear by prenatal pilates & yoga to help your body go through pg. easily and recover smoothly, also aides in an EASY birth. Blessings!

Hi K.,
Here's my list of good things:
>the book Baby 411, a wipes warmer, lap pads, and those easy velcro swaddling blankets
>practical and comfortable baby clothes
>if you're nursing, a comfortable place to sit while nursing, with back support (I didn't plan this out very well and I suffered for a while as a result!)
>also if nursing, don't buy a pump right away. Rent one from the hospital for the first month or so. (I didn't do this and I'm stuck with an expensive pump I've never used.)
>Lots of frozen food and toiletries so you don't have to think about going to the store for about 2 weeks
>Some snacks for yourself and husband at the hospital and comfortable clothes to wear at home for the first few weeks
>And, if possible, for the first few months, arrange for a cleaning service to come periodically to help with stuff, at least the bathroom and kitchen. I finally did this and it was totally worth the money and it made me extremely happy to have a clean bathroom and kitchen.

And know you will be OK!! I had zero experience with babies and was very anxious about coming home with a newborn, but managed just fine. Mamasource has been very helpful as well. :)
-R.

Congratulations! Breath! The baby has everything it needs in you. Sometimes too much preparation means too much stuff you don't need. You have time,go to the library or borrow some books here are some that I read;what to expect when expecting, what to expect the first year, your pregnancy week by week, and a pregnancy journal. The pregnancy journal was great in the beginning of your pregnancy, you can document what your feeling, and doing on one page and the other page counts down your pregnancy and tells about your baby's growth and what they're doing in the womb.
The hospital really provides the basics for you and baby, so when it comes to packing you need only a take home outfit for baby, I recommend Clear Desitin (apply to baby's bottom before the Meconium (tar-like poop)comes out, that way it wipes right off and you don't have to scrub!)you need a Pediatrician and if it's a boy, set up circumcision. My Dr. Rocks!!! Dr Bertha Gee-Lew or any of the other 2 Doctors Tel.###-###-#### located at 2850 6Th Avenue,Ste 101-downtown.
When you bring baby home. I was freaking out when I was going through all this too and it really depends on your philosophy. Women have been having babies in huts in third world countries-that always calmed me down : )I'll have to finish later-baby calls!

Hi K.,
You have received lots of great advice. I was in your spot as well 4 years ago (High school sweetie and I married and nervous about what to expect). Here things that saved me from losing my mind the first 3 months:
The Happies Baby on the Block and The Baby Wisperer DVD /
Don't worried about keeping the baby dressed in "cute" clothes / You need to remember to put the baby down when he/she naps so you can start working into a nap routine / Sleep when the baby sleeps (don't worry about housework).

Here are things I wish I would have done differently:
Had my mom or sister-in-law stay with us the first night home. Worked with my husband on what to expect. He had my sole attention for over 12 years then suddenly he had to share me. It was quite an eye opener for him.

The best peice of advice is don't worry about what you can't control. Remember to just breath and relax so you can enjoy every moment with your child.

Best of luck to you and your family.

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