Help! New Mom to Be Looking for Advice.

Updated on March 16, 2008
M.B. asks from Archbold, OH
84 answers

I'm looking for any advice and recommendations from all of you moms out there. This is our first child and I'm not sure which items I should buy or avoid. I'd particulary like info on:

Bottles & Breastpumps
I plan on trying to breastfeed and pump, since I will be returning to work. I know I was a baby who was prone to colic, so I want to make sure I get some good bottles that help to limit this.

Strollers & Carseats
I've been eyeballing the Graco Quattro travel system. I have a big SUV, so getting the stroller in and out of the trunk is not a big deal. I am also looking on advice on carseats for when they reach over 22lbs.

Cribs & Other nursery furniture
(where can I get the best bang for the buck)
I would prefer to get one of those transitional cribs. I don't think I want to do co-sleeping with the baby in the room. I'm afraid that the baby will become TOO attached and when older, will not sleep in his / her own bed.
Any other product advice is welcome!!!

Thanks

M.

4 moms found this helpful

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WOW! WOW! WOW!

I cannot thank you all enough for all of the advice and tips. I really appreciate hearing everyones opinions and advice on these things. You're a great group of ladies and I know I'll be back with more questions!

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K.K.

answers from Cleveland on

Congrats! Breast Pumps-Medela pump n style no doubt is the best choice. If you are working a pumping-get a Medela-that is a double breast pump-DON'T cheap out or you will be sorry.
Also, if I can offer any advice about strollers, I don't know what the graco one looks like, but don't buy one that is big and chunky b/c in the end you will probably look for a feather lite or something aluminum. I have 3 kids and the best one I have is a graco lite-a car seat does fit in the top and it is easy to close open and has a great basket underneath.

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J.C.

answers from Detroit on

I have a 5 month old, and she's breast-fed. I had one regret, and it was not investing in a nice electric pump. If you happen to have any blockage issues, it is a must-have!! Also, if you are working, it is the most efficient way to pump at work without using up too much time.
For bottle feeding, my daughter as loved the AVENT collection. They have different sizes and nipple holes, and the switch from breast to bottle was seamless. I would definately get their products again.
good luck!
J.

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M.W.

answers from Dayton on

I would look at once upon a child for things. It is a small store but they do have bargains. I was also asking on the internet about a carseat for babies over 22 pounds. I was told by a Child Passenger Safety Technician to get the Cosco Scenera which is between 40 and 50 dollars. I also learned with having a baby that sometimes it is good at first to co sleep especially after having a baby. My son slept with us for the first month and then we moved him into his room with no problems. Hope some of this advice helps.

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M.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi M.,

I'm in Cincinnati, but we have family in Archbold! :)

Warmest congratulations on expecting your first baby! Such an exciting time, sooo much information out there that it can be hard to wade through it all, and so many different opinions (because life isn't one-size-fits-all). I'm only sharing what I've stumbled across during my mere 41 months (that's just under 3.5 years) as a mother.

Bottles & Breastpumps
---------------------
I just wanted to throw in my 2 cents because I see that a lot of the moms who replied here did not have success breastfeeding, and I definitely had struggles too. That's REALLY common, so don't be surprised, and even better, start building up your support system and local breastfeeding resources NOW, before life gets crazy with your newborn's arrival. After my first baby was born, I took my maternity leave (6 weeks) and then some Family Leave (a few more weeks) before going back to work. I will say that those first 8 weeks after my daughters birth were TOUGH, and I had some issues w/ breastfeeding that took a TON of effort, good support and encouragement (from my parents and my husband), accurate information from a good lactation consultant and from a breastfeeding moms support group (there is soooo much bad information out there about breastfeeding, even from well-meaning pediatricians unfortunately, so find people who specialize in breastfeeding if you need help). And oh yeah, scrape together all of your personal determination to breastfeed, because that certainly helped me get through those times when it was SO tempting to give up or want to try a bottle so many different times! But I am soooo glad I didn't give up (thanks to the support system to help carry me through - did I mention SUPPORT is key?).

So... with the right support, info, and determination, the odds ARE IN YOUR FAVOR that you can breastfeed. If you can commit to giving breastfeeding at least 6-8 weeks to really get established, it it could be really hard work for those weeks, you will very likely succeed (less than 10% of women are physically, medically unable to breastfeed - the rest is lack of support, lack of accurate information, etc. - NOT faulting other moms or guilting - our culture just isn't very good at supporting moms through breastfeeding right now, even though everyone says "breast is best" our culture doesn't do anything to really encourage breastfeeding/pumping or make it easier to do in public or at work).

I found that after 6-8 weeks, breastfeeding started to feel truly natural and easy and effortless, and I only then started to really relax and enjoy and understand the glorious convenience of breastfeeding, the excellent health benefits to both mother and child, and the simple sweetness and unique bond that comes from a mom nourishing and nurturing her baby at her breast.

So yes, I did go back to work 45+ hours a week, and I did pump every day, 3xday at first, then 2x, then eventually 1x a day (your body & milk supply adjusts if you do this gradually). I *definitely* agree with other moms who replied that you need a GOOD, QUALITY double electric pump if you're returning to work! And I'd get the pump *before* the birth, too. Even if it runs you $300, you'll EASILY save that much in just a few weeks by not having to buy formula (uh, formula is super expensive, and if you have to switch from cow's milk formula to soy formula to hypoallergenic formula because your baby has colic or an allergy to dairy & soy? well, you'll be shelling out TONS of cash for the special formula).

I don't know if you've read the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that babies be fed breastmilk exclusively for the first 6 months, and then a gradual introduction of solids w/ the majority of nutrition still being breastmilk from age 6months-12 months. If you both want to nurse beyond 12 months that's fine, too - the World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding to 6 months and then solids + nursing until *at least* the age of 2. So let's say you nurse for 8 months or 1 year, you'll save $$$ literally thousands of dollars by not having to buy formula. Trust me when I say a good breast pump is worth it's weight in gold! I love my Medela Pump In Style backpack (it's black, does NOT look like a pump), and it was under $300 new, and I'm even using it now with my 2nd baby who was born this past January (he's already 6 months old, and we again had a difficult first 6 weeks to establish breastfeeding that took a lot of work and determination and good help from a lactation consultant, but things smoothed out and now it's effortless, very 2nd nature to nurse).

My top picks for looking up reliable, accurate information on breastfeeding - very thorough, really well done:

KellyMom
http://www.kellymom.com

Dr. Jack Newman's Visual Guide to Breastfeeding (online videos!)
http://www.drjacknewman.com/index.php?option=com_content&...

Two great forums where you can ask questions about breastfeeding in general, breastfeeding challenges, etc., from other moms who've successfully breastfed (some who have had no problems at all, it was easy, and some who have overcome MAJOR obstacles to breastfeed their babies - a good range of experiences):

Mothering.com's Breastfeeding Forums
http://www.mothering.com/discussions/forumdisplay.php?f=23

La Leche Leagues Online Forums
http://lalecheleague.org/vbulletin/

For in-person support, and I think it's REALLY helpful (or it has been for me at least) to have face-to-face time with other moms who have successfully breastfed since we rarely see this in our society anymore, I highly recommend going to the monthly mother-to-mother breastfeeding support meetings. And *start while you're pregnant* so that you can establish a good support system BEFORE the baby arrives/just in case any possible nursing issues do come up after you're home with your newborn. Your local group meets:

--> 1st Monday of each month at 10 a.m.
--> call the group leaders with any questions
--> Chris ###-###-#### ____@____.com
--> Natalie ###-###-####
http://www.lllusa.org/web/ToledoOH.html

Strollers & Carseats
--------------------

OK, I went around and around about this trying to decide with each of my kids - infant seat or convertible seat? A lot of people rave about the infant seat + stroller travel systems. They can certainly be nice. But the babies grow out of them quickly, and you're out that $$ for the infant seat. Why not put that $$$ towards a longer lasting alternative? There are convertible carseats that go from 5-65 pounds (birth to 4, 5, 6 yrs old?) and these are by far your most economical choices. With my first, I did just the convertible car seat, and it went from 5-40 lbs - she just outgrew it in height and is almost at the weight limit, and she's almost 3.5 yrs old. For my second baby, since he was a January/winter baby, I decided to go with a travel system because I thought the infant car seat would keep him warmer, etc. I got a Britax Companion seat + Preview stroller system. Ha! He outgrew the seat within 5 months and we're still using the stroller now and then. But WHOA, those infant seats w/ the handles are HEAVY just by themselves (even the light ones), and then add your baby -- even heavier! Plus, I see some babies who just LIVE in those infant seats. They're barely picked up - mom puts baby in car seat, clicks that into the base in the car, drives to destination, takes out carseat and puts into stroller, then pushes stroller around. For lunch, baby remains in infant seat, perhaps up on table or maybe still in stroller. Mom bottlefeeds baby in infant seat. It makes me want to say, "What about holding, cradling, snuggling your baby once every 20 minutes or so?" OBVIOUSLY, there are moms recovering from childbirth and c-sections who are trying not to carry too much, so I know there are extenuating circumstances sometimes and strollers can be indispensable then. But often there aren't any special medical issues, and even so, to even haul those infant seats in and out of car to stroller to car again... hmm. That's WAY heaver than just carrying your baby around, so if you're recovering from c-section, you definitely should NOT be lifting the travel system thing! Seems simpler and more cuddly to just take baby out of seat, pop them into a nice cloth baby carrier and be on your way together without having to lug a carseat out and back into the car, a stroller out of and back into the car, etc. So - I recommend a good baby carrier, but NOT the BabyBjorn carrier...

A good baby carrier supports the seat & thighs of your baby, allows parent to safely carry baby hands-free (so you can get more done!), may even enable discreet nursing in the carrier, and is a wonderful way to help sooth your baby (especially during that super-fussy age of 6-8 weeks old!). Babies who are "worn" in a carrier cry significantly less because they hear your heartbeat, are able to see the world from a safe place, and the mom/dad usually knows very quickly what her baby needs since the baby is so close. So yes, skip the Baby Bjorn carrier - instead, put your $89-100 bucks towards a really versatile, comfortable carrier that will last you and your baby for years - sling, wrap, mei tai, ergo carrier, etc. Here are 4 places to look at for more good info on baby carriers and baby wearing:
http://www.theportablebaby.com
http://www.peppermint.com
http://www.wearyourbaby.org/
http://www.tummy2tummy.com/

Please note: I have, and DO USE regularly, my 2 strollers! I sometimes want to let my sleeping infant stretch out while we're out and about, or sometimes I need to corral my 3 yr old in the stroller and I wear my little 6 month old. I repeat: strollers and infant seats are not evil! And I'm certainly not advocating that you wear your baby ALL the time or never put them down. It's all about balance, and I just think it's really easy to form a habit of leaving a baby in a infant seat all the time, but that's not necessarily the best place for them developmentally. There are TONS of benefits of babywearing that just can't be duplicated by long periods of awake time in the infant carseat carrier:
http://www.instinctiveparenting.com/flex/43_reasons_to_ca...

So my summary of carseats/strollers:
To save money, get a convertible carseat that will take you from 5-65 lbs w/ a 5 point harness. The Britax Boulevard has excellent side impact protection, a great knob that allows easy adjusting of the harness and side impact head wings without having to disassemble and rethread the harness straps, and has fantastic safety ratings. The harness straps don't tangle, they're easily buckled and threaded. You can get a Boulevard for $239 on sale (online, free shipping), and that should last you for at least FOUR YEARS (likely more) - so, you'd be paying LESS than 16 CENTS a day to have a really solid, top-rated-in-safety car seat. IMO, that's money well spent. Skip the fancy crib or expensive linens or cutesy lamps and carpets, and go for the safest carseat. If you travel a lot through airports, treat yourself to a GoGoKidz Travelmate which converts the carseat into a stroller: http://theportablebaby.com/gogokidz.html

And even with Britax + GoGoKidz you'd still be getting a good deal if you consider how long it'll last you. Otherwise, you buy the travel system, then they grow out of the infant seat and you buy the next seat up which may go to 40 lbs, so they outgrow that, and then you need a booster seat... And that all adds up over time.

For strollers, we got our Graco MetroLite for a very reasonable price, LOVE that it folds easily w/ 1 hand and stands up on it's end, is lightweight with a few nice features such as fully reclining seat, side snapping snack tray, and a generous sun canopy and underneath basket. It has been a great stroller from birth to toddler for us. The Britax Preview stroller is ok, but there are other better slightly souped-up umbrella strollers out there (MacLaren, Inglesina, Chicco, Peg Perego). If you're planning on having more than one baby and they'll be less than 3 yrs apart, check out Phil & Ted's E3 buggy - seems really pricey upfront, but it's VERY versatile and is even EXPANDABLE w/ a toddler seat to become a DOUBLE STROLLER! I wish I'd known about this stroller when my daughter was born - I don't own an E3 because I have 3 strollers already and just can't justify another stroller especially at that price, but the truth is that the E3 could replace ALL 3 of my strollers because it is so flexible. Hmm, maybe I should sell my 3... ;)

Cribs & Nursery Furniture
-------------------------
You said, "I would prefer to get one of those transitional cribs. I don't think I want to do co-sleeping with the baby in the room."

I don't know if you are firmly decided against having your newborn share the room with you, but studies show that this is THE SAFEST place for a baby to be. The rate of SIDS goes down drastically when a baby sleeps in the same room as the parents, and the SIDS rate drops even MORE when mom breastfeeds her baby. The bottom line is that many parents swear they'll never have the baby in their room, but then the baby comes and the parents find that EVERYONE sleeps better when the baby is in the room (either in a co-sleeper or sidecar arrangement, or in bed w/ the parents). Just as you need to make sure your crib or co-sleeper is safely assembled, not being recalled by the manufacturer, etc., you would also need to make sure you were practicing safe bedsharing!:
http://www.attachmentparenting.org/idealsleep.shtml

Once your baby is born, you and he/she will soon be able to tell what arrangement works best for all of you. Some babies sleep better in close proximity to mom, others thrash around a lot and need their space in their own crib, and some are even such loud sleepers that they need their own room, and there are some babies that won't sleep unless they're touching mom or dad. The key is being open to your baby's personality and needs as well as your own. If something isn't working, change it - don't be restricted by "person A says baby should sleep with us" or "person B says baby needs his own room." A lot of new moms get into this cycle of "I *should* be doing this" - trust your mama instincts and trust your baby to let you know what he/she needs.

You also said, "I'm afraid that the baby will become TOO attached and when older, will not sleep in his / her own bed." This is a common cultural myth that babies can get TOO attached, will never sleep in his/her own bed. Our family is living proof that babies who sleep in their parents' room and/or bed can and do peacefully transition into their own room and their own "big girl/boy bed" - ours did at age 2 because we were preparing for the arrival of another baby, and it was pleasant and painless. The truth is that when a child feels very securely attached, they act MORE independently because they're operating from a strong foundation of feeling secure, safe, attached, and loved. Yes, children need boundaries! It is undeniably important for us to create safe boundaries and help our children learn these boundaries. But our infants? You certainly CANNOT spoil an infant, so please don't fret about "spoiling" your baby for those first 6-12 months by keeping them sleeping close to you. Think about every other mammal on the face of this planet - ALL breastfeeding mammals keep their young CLOSE to them, sleep very near them, carry them around, nurse them, are securely attached. We are just mammals, too, albeit very high functioning humans, but our babies come into this world and expect to be BABIED - carried close, nursed, slept near. It's best for their development, both physical and emotional. Again, once your baby is here, you'll have a better sense of just what type of personality your baby has, what they're telling you they need (different cries mean different things, different babies want different levels of touch, etc.), AND what your mama instincts tell you is the best thing to do for your baby.

As for transitional beds, an Arm's Reach Co-sleeper or a Pack 'n Play are great - our cosleeper is upstairs in our bedroom and the pack 'n play w/ changing table is downstairs in the living room. Crib is in big sister's room. He sleeps in all 3 depending on time of day - at night, he's in our room because we're breastfeeding and this allows all of us to get the maximum sleep possible. Plus, those teeny babies are *so* soft and warm and sweet to cuddle in the middle of the night as you both drift off to sleep whild nursing! Other options? Some moms really love Moses Baskets. And a crib can easily be placed in mom & dad's room OR in a nursery... I like the idea of a crib that converts to a toddler bed (our crib is a hand-me-down that doesn't convert).

As for diaper genies, etc. Many moms love them, but I personally think they're a big waste of money. People want you to believe that you need tons of STUFF to have a baby. Babies just don't care about stuff - they only want a warm, loving body from which they get food, love, and security. They don't care about diapers, diaper genies, cute little nursery gadgets (aside from an interesting mobile). I just kept a small garbage can w/ a bunch of plastic grocery bags as liners and emptied the garbage often. Who really wants a big pail of diapers stewing in the room for a week a la diaper genie? Plus, if you breastfeed, on average breastmilk poop is a lot LESS smelly than formula poop. Of course, once your baby starts solids, any poop is SUPER smelly... so I recommend just learning your baby's poop habits and recognizing their "poop face" (red face, grunting, farting, bearing down) and offering the potty. I thought that was crazy when I first learned about it, but I was a convert after I saw it happen in person. Babies are usually pretty predictable poopers after those first 4-6 weeks, like first thing in the morning, and then again after a good meal of breastmilk or solids in the mid-afternoon. And babies *love* going on the potty (this is gentle, loving, not at all pressuring - most of the world does it this way), and the clean-up is SO much easier than scraping poop off of a wiggly baby butt with 3 or 4 or 5 wipes. Plus you save on diapers. You can read more about this here:
http://www.diaperfreebaby.org/PottyingPositions.htm
http://www.diaperfreebaby.org/Articles/GettingStartedBobr...
And in the long run, you baby will potty train easier and sooner. I can't tell you how many 3 yr olds I know who only want to poop in their diapers and they and their parents are so stressed out about this. I could have easily been in this same position because as a culture, we teach our kids to go in the diaper every day for years and then at age 2 or 3 we change the rules ("no, we use the potty now"), and parents wonder why potty training can be challenging? It doesn't have to be. It's all avoidable. Pottying your baby is way more fun for both baby and parents than cleaning up newborn poop blowouts and solid-food toddler poops! Again, I know that sounds crazy, but truly, it's how the majority of the babies on this earth are potty trained - and how ALL babies were potty trained before the age of disposable diapers and cloth diapers where each home has personal washers and driers or a close-by laundromat. Alright, shutting up about that now. ;)

I'll end this incredibly LOOONG reply with some random recommendations:

* loved the wipes warmer!
* agree that a birth and/or postpartum DOULA can be *fantastic*
* a soft, not-too-bright night light was really helpful in all bedrooms, too - enough to see, not enough to wake the baby
* LOVED our mobile that has a sweet song AND rotates the mobile characters around in a circle (interesting for baby) AND that has characters that your baby can see when he/she is on the back, looking up (a lot of mobiles have characters hanging in such a way that baby only sees the belly, not the face of the character - how boring!)
* a good, solid nursing pillow can be really helpful - forget the boppy!!! Instead, go for a firm pillow, and if you really want a pillow specifically designed for nursing, check out these brands first - My Breast Friend, LittleBeam, Boston Billows, Nurse-EZ, Nursing Nest, or Pollywog.
* bottles - tried Avent, Playtex Disposable Nurser w/ Natural Latch slow-flow nipple, Playtex VentAir. For some reason, both my kids ONLY wanted the Playtex Disposable Nurser w/ Natural Latch nipple, but I'm sure this varies greatly from baby to baby - I've heard good things about Dr. Brown's and the Adiri BreastBottle
* microwave steam sterilizer for bottles & breastpump parts (Medela offers microwavable bags that are super portable, Avent has a plastic system for at home) - these save you LOTS of time, especially if you're pumping at work and using bottles and parts on a very regular basis

Favorite books for pregnancy, birth, parenting:
* Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth (by Henci Goer)
* The Birth Book (by Bill & Martha Sears)
* Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way (by Susan McCutcheon)
* Maternal Fitness (by Julie Tupler)
http://www.bookcloseouts.com/default.asp?R=0684802953B
* The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers (by Jack Newman, MD)
* Breastfeeding Your Baby (by Sheila Kitzinger) - has *great* pictures!
* Diaper Free! (by Ingrid Bauer) and Infant Potty Training (by Laurie Boucke)
* Good Nights (by Dr. Jay Gordon)
* Parenting From The Heart (by Jan Hunt) http://www.naturalchild.org/book

Overall, my biggest recommendation to moms-to-be is to BE AN INFORMED CONSUMER - whether that's as a pregnant mother deciding how she'd like to give birth (research the pros and cons of all of the possible interventions FAR before you're in labor, and don't rely on your OB to tell you everything - look up the studies and statistics yourself!), or as a parent taking your baby into the pediatrician (again, understand that most pediatricians don't know much about breastfeeding or sleeping arrangements, but they'll give you their opinion anyway, even if it doesn't match up with current medical studies!). It's *so* important to do your own research and not just blindly leave it up to your doctor. Doctors are wonderful AND they are human. They make mistakes, they have personal biases, they are not always up-to-date on the latest, most accurate studies. Its up to us, the mothers, to figure out what are our choices and hire the doctors to work with us as a team to get the healthiest outcome.

If you've made it this far, I'm amazed. You may think me nuts, and that's ok! Why? Because if you would have told me 4 years ago that my future held having 2 babies, each without medication (one at hospital, one at home in a birthing pool!), and that I would breastfeed them into toddlerhood, carry/wear them around often in a sling or sutemi/ergo carrier, take them to the potty regularly before 12 months of age, sleep in the same room and/or bed with them, etc., I would have laughed and laughed!

But here I am - and it's because Childbirth & Parenting are such an unbelievable journey, the most extraordinary education I've ever received (and I'm only 3 yrs into it!). There's so much out there that no one tells you about, that doesn't come up in "What To Expect When You're Expecting" or during those quickie prenatal visits with your OB or at the 2-hr weekend hospital childbirth class. I am so grateful to all of those mothers who dared share these less common parenting approaches with me when I had no idea these options existed.

So, please treat my reply as a buffet - take what looks good, and leave the rest. Best wishes for a fantastic pregnancy, a beautiful and peaceful and powerful birth, and a magnificent babymoon! And now I am REALLY going to stop typing. -M

3 moms found this helpful
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M.P.

answers from Toledo on

If you are planning to return to work full-time and want to maintain your milk volume...a personal, electric pump by Medela or Ameda (Hollister) would probably work best for you. The pumps cost between $200.00-$300.00...but that is cheaper than 1 months worth of formula. The pumps I often recommend to moms are Medela Personal Double Electric or Ameda Purely Yours. Some employers have hospital-grade pumps at work...that you are able to use..and only need the kit for. If you are willing to spend more money...you can invest in a top-of-the-line pump like the Medela Symphony or the Ameda Elite. They are considered hospital-grade quality pumps. Talk with a Lactation Consultant in your area about how to use the pumps properly, etc. Hope this helps!

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H.G.

answers from Columbus on

Congratulations! We gave birth to our first 2/27/06-its been a lot of fun and a lot of work!
Assuming you're going back to work at some point after the birth-a breast pump is a must-In that case I would consider renting or buying one from the hospital you deliver at. Hospital grade pumps are so much more efficient at pumping (and when you're working off of 4 hours of sleep and your nipples are still sore-you'll want efficiency) I used playtex nursers for bottles. Because I did not return to work full time (and have now quit entirely) I no longer have use or need for a pump or bottles.

I have a graco stroller/car seat combo which I like-allows the car seat to snap into the stroller-handy when they are sleeping!

As for beds-something I never even considered was that I might not be using a baby bed! I assumed I would use the bassinet for the first couple of months then transition to a baby bed. If I had it to do over again, I would have saved my $ on the baby bed and gotten an Arm's Reach infant cosleeper to attach to our bed, as our daughter now cosleeps (something I swore I'd never do!) I found that with breast feeding and the sheer exhaustion I experienced from nursing every 2-3 hours the first couple of months-having her in the bed was the only way I was able to manage any sleep.

Hope this helps-I know you may have been looking more for advice on specific brand names-for that you might want to get the Consumer Reports book of baby products-we found a copy at Babies R Us. But thought I'd share what I learned worked for me.

Good Luck!

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S.S.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi! M.. Congratulations on your new addition. I am a stay at home mom of 2. My daughter and son are like night and day so I will fill you in with the best info that I have.

Avent bottles are the best with colicy babies. My son had colic and you may have to try different types of nipples to fit your babies needs. As for beast pumps, everyone has a different need. I needed a portable one that I could travel with. There are some very pricey ones out there.

Carseats: We had the stroller/infant carseat combo. The best. Our stroller folded up with one hand and is very lightweight. As for when the baby got older, we used the Eddie Bauer car seat, which is very nice. It also tunrs into a booster.

Cribs: We used just a basic up to date Jenny Lind. But I wouldn't hesitate getting a safety net that attaches to the top. I used this so my son wouldn't try to climb out. We purchased that www.onestepahead.com

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J.

answers from Detroit on

Hi,

Congratulations on your pregnancy. How wonderful that you are going to breastfeed your new baby! Have you attended a local La Leche League meeting? It would be a great thing to do so you'll have contacts in case any problems or questions may arise. You can find out more at http://www.lalecheleague.org.

As far as breastpumps, I'd recommend the Ameda Purely Yours Pump or the Medela Pump in Style. Both of these pumps are near-hospital grade, which is what you'll need if you're working full time. I have both and prefer the Ameda Purely Yours pump as it's easier to clean (it's also less expensive).

I use the Playtex bottles with collapsable liners. Also, get the ones with the NaturaLatch nipples - they are designed for babies switching back and forth between breastfeeding & bottle feeding.

I don't use my stroller too much. I have a sling and a Baby Bjorn carrier. It is so much easier to just put my son in there. The slings are great because you can breastfeed with them too. Here's the link to the one I chose: http://www.sleepingbaby.net/index.php

Best wishes to you and your family!

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N.W.

answers from Detroit on

M.,

Congrats! If you are going to breast-feed an electric pump is an absolute necessity. Go with a top of the line pump-- the others will burn out and you will spend the same amount replacing them. I bought mine right at the hospital. (You must buy a new one-- due to health concerns they should not be borrowed or re-sold).

The one thing to watch for with cribs is chipping. We bought a wood crib that was stained-- not a venier or painted. Kids will bite and eat everything!

The two investments I really did not use were the pack and play and the baby bjorn. I though I would use the pack and play-- but it really is hard and uncomfortable. I only used it as a changing table and it is so low it hurts your back.

A great stroller is a must. Get one that comes with the carseat-- it's cheaper. Practice in the store-- some are hard to get aparat. We had the eddie bauer version and although it is one of the most expensive I love it. Make sure the stroller fits in your truck. We have a Jeep and a Cadillac CTS and it is a tight fit in the CTS.

I would avoid Avent bottles. They have an extra rubber piece it the base that is just one more thing to clean and lose-- and you can't buy replacements.

Baby's R Us has lots of sales...keep you eyes open.

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C.P.

answers from Cincinnati on

I would NOT waste money on expensive pumps. The avent isis is GREAT it is effortless and works wonders. I share this opinion with many other mohters who have also tried many other pumps expensive or not.
Good luck!
You can get this at target for around $40
or on ebay if you ebay...just sterelize it wehn it comes in : )

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L.

answers from Detroit on

Hi M.,

I nursed my daughter for 14 months and I went back to work after 3. I used the Medela pump in style pump. Worth every single penny. It runs on the $300.

Been a mom is lots of work, but also lots of fun.

As far as furniture, I received a swing along swing and it was great. Very compat for travelling and for the house, you can put it just about anywhere.

Good luck to you.

L.

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L.B.

answers from Detroit on

Hi M. and Congrats!
This is the BEST job ever!! As my husband says, "The pay and hours are awful but the benefits are FANTASTIC!"
First things first, I commend you on the decision to breastfeed. Do everything you can to make that happen.
A little about me...
Married 3 1/2 yrs. I have a 12y.o. step-son and a 2y.o. daughter. My husband owns his own business and I work f/t.
I breastfeed my daughter for a little over one year. (weaning began at 1 yr when I could give her whole milk)-I was able to be home w/ her for the first 16 weeks. After that I went back to work f/t. My job requires me to also travel via air and car. It can be done. I am proof. I pumped milk in all sorts of places. :o)

My advise...
Spend the money--Don't buy a so-so pump. I used a couple different ones but my favorite was the Medela Pump in style-Dual pump w/ car adaptor and battery pack. I could anywhere and pump/store. Its pricey (about $230) but worth EVERY penny. It pays for itself in a matter of a couple of weeks. (Think about how much formula cost.) With this pump you have the option of dual or single pumping not to mention speed.

When it comes to bottles, I wouldn't settle on a stock of any one brand/type. I bought a half dozen different types and my daughter decided which she liked best-I suppose it was which one she felt was more like me. For her it was the Advent bottles. A co-workers son liked the Playtex. Let's face it it really is the babies decision. Once you give the baby a few tries with a few different bottles TRUST ME you'll know which the baby prefers. :o)

I also have an SUV and found the Graco Quatro wonderful. We still use the stroller. I got the Navy blue pattern. (Shows less mess.)

Make sure you have plenty of Receiving blankets. We used them for everything--as a blanket, rolled up as a bumper, burp cloth, portable changing pad, rain shield over the stroller,etc. (We had ALL the gear too but we got to the point of just wanting a few things when leaving the house. After the first few trips you'll get tried of packing the kitchen sink to go out. HA HA !!) Bonus, now my daughter uses them to play. Not to be to personal here but the receiving blankets also helped me in the early days of breastfeeding. My breast got so big that it was difficult to position. A nurse suggested I roll up a receiving blanket and tuck it under my breast. It worked wonders! I used that along with a Boppy Pillow. Another must have for the nursing mom. :o)

Another good one is one pack of cloth diapers. Again, a million uses. In the event your baby gets a bad diaper rash its nice to use them for a day or two. Helps clear things up quicker in 100% cotton. Oh and on that subject get Balmax not destin. Balmax works WAY better!!

Sorry I really can't help much on the furniture. Mine was a family crib set.

I hope this info is helpful! Feel free ask - thats what we're here for :o)
Take care!
L.

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H.H.

answers from Cleveland on

Hello M.!
Last year we too welcomed our first and I was exactly in your shoes! We didn't know where to begin! I relied on advice from everyone. We spent so much on alot of unneccesary items that we NEVER used!!
My daughter was very gassy so we were told to purchase Dr. Brown's bottles. They are great for colicky babies. They helped our situation immensly. I too breastfed and the nipples on the bottles were an easy transition for her. We also tried the Avent bottles, but due to her gassiness, we switched.
I have the Medela electric double breastpump. It's a little pricey, but worth it. It comes in a very professional black carry case, so nobody has to know the contents! Great for moms going to work.
We too have the Quattro travel system by Graco. I love it. My husband thinks the stroller is too bulky, but since you have an SUV, it would be great for you. It's really nice for days out shopping or walking. It has plenty of bag space.
My advice to you for convertible car seats is to talk to a knowledgable sales associate. This was one of the toughest decisions we made! We bought ours from Babies R Us and they were so helpful. If you have a Babies R Us close to you, by all means go and talk with them. As you know, your baby's safety is key.
We spent a little more on a furniture set because we figured she would have this set for years to come. We got the conversion crib/toddler bed. And then down the road, it converts to a full size headboard and footboard.
I hope I helped you out! Congrats and many blessings on your pregnancy. What a great Christmas gift!!
H.

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A.W.

answers from Detroit on

First, have you bought the book Baby Bargains? It is fabulous. We took it with us to register!

My son is 7 months old and here were our favorite items:

Cradle swing (goes side to side) - best invention ever! He didn't really start liking it until he was 5 weeks old, but after that it was the only way we got to eat! At different stages this swing was the only thing that made him happy. It was much better than the front to back swings!

Soothing Motions Glider (also goes side to side) - worth its weight in gold! This was the only thing Noah would nap in for awhile. It is pricey but fabulous!

Ultimate Crib Sheet (snaps around crib over crib sheet so when the diaper leaks or you get spit-up or whatever on the sheet it is easy to change) - saves lots of time!

Baby calendar with stickers (I know that Hallmark has them) - I didn't get one of these and wish I had. It would be so easy to just write down things he is doing, or just place the stickers onto the calendar.

Dr. Brown or Avent Bottles - We started with Avent, but they seemed to leak a lot for us, so we switched to Dr. Brown. However, none of my friends have had the leaking issue with the Avent bottles.

My little one is awake so I better go! I will reply with more later! Good luck and God Bless!

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K.S.

answers from Detroit on

Hi M.-I'm sure you will get a ton of advice! I have a 4 month old and the single thing I recommend is a swaddler blanket...My daughter has slept through the night from 6 weeks on (down at 8pm, up at 730-8am) and I swear by this thing! Babys R Us sells them, as I'm sure Target and other places. It's kind of a funny little contraption, makes the baby look like a little burrito:) When I told my peditician she sleeps through the night she was (as is everyone) VERY suprised and told me if that's the case swaddle her til she's 2! Look into it or register for it-I'm sure lots of people tell you this but sleep is a WONDERFUL thing as a new mom!

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A.T.

answers from Columbus on

I would like to respond to the first time mom asking for advice on
> what she needs to purchase for her baby. I strongly suggest that all
> new families purchase a sling or other babywearing device. This is
> also true for the mom with 3 children and one other on the way.
> Wearing a baby in a sling or other carrier keeps baby content and
> happy, makes breastfeeding easier and lets hands stay free for other activities.
> Also, grammas and dads can babywear and give mom a break. Babywearing
> promotes bonding while carrying baby in a car seat does not. Babies
> carried in sling see people's faces. Babies carried around in a car
> seat see feet and legs. I recommend the book by Dr. Marie Blois
> "Babywearing: The Benefits ands Beauty of the Ancient Tradition."
>
> Thanks, A. Twiggs
> Ohio WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator -
>

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H.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi there and congratulations. The best bottles I found to prevent air flow and gas was Dr. Brown bottles. There is a lot of parts to clean but well worth it.
The best place to find a good transitional crib is Berg's in Mentor. They have a wide array of everything and VERY helpful.

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S.R.

answers from Detroit on

Hi M.!

We just had our second baby last Sept. The things that I really loved was a bouncer. I would move it into the bathroom so that I could take a shower and still have my son close. We actually have 2 pack n plays. One of them had the bassinet and changing table, which we loved having in the living room. I can tell you I wish I had a carseat that had the handle that you pushed down on to move the handle instead of the buttons on each side that you have to push. There are times it is difficult to reach both of the buttons like at a restaurant in a booth. Unfortunately I cannot remember the brand that has that. I know that we have had 2 Graco's and that was not it. If you are planning on breastfeeding/pumping it is best to invest in a decent pump. I got a nice Medela electric dual off of Ebay, and it was brand new. You might look there. Good luck and if I can be of more help, let me know!
S.

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T.W.

answers from Lima on

M., I am the mom of two grown children with our first grandchild on the way. My advice to you would be to turn your home into a place where baby and the rest of you can live in a totally toxic free area. Two years ago I stumbled across a company that produces products that are totally free of toxic chemicals. And yes, most of the ingredients are organically sourced. I would suggest visiting this site as it will give you the information you need to create the type of atmosphere we all want for our children. http://www.ahealthcafe.com/wood

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A.G.

answers from Cincinnati on

M.,
Congrats and welcome to the world of Mommy. It's an exciting place that has room for everyone! Just a few ideas, if you are traveling alot (visiting family, etc) look into buying Graco's travelite crib, it's a smaller version of the pack 'n' play which has a great bassinet, and my son (who's 16 months now) still sleeps in it. He's my third so I knew not to buy a bunch of stuff that wasn't worth the money and we go on road trips every couple of months. He was able to sleep in our room along the far wall until he was three or four months old then we moved him to his own room...very wonderful for the middle of the night nursing sessions. Every baby is different about sleeping...if you start out always laying them down (which is very difficult with that beautiful newborn breath on your face) they tend to take to sleeping in their space well.

As far as breastfeeding, do research...be prepared and ask for help whenever you are concerned...it's so worth it! I didn't go back to work so my pump needs were different but I love Avent Isis pump, which is hand operated but i saw a battery operated one advertised. They were the only brand that enabled me to "let down". If you know of anyone who has a pump, ask to borrow it and try some first. The Medela ones I've heard are wonderful but you'll want to check and find the best one for you.

As far as carseats/strollers, go to Baby R Us and you can actually pull them off the display and wheel them around, pick them up, fold them, snap the seat on...that way you find the best set for you. I love my Graco Quattro stroller and Travel lite car seat. I bought them separately for the same price as either of the sets. Graco has a great convertable and then boosters. Look for carseats with the strap tightener in the front...that way you can always tighten it to what the baby is wearing (great for wintertime). Always buy carseats new! always. Anything else you can check out yard sales or consignment shops.

Travel swings are great, I loved my Evenflo swing. It folded in half so it was pretty flat and the bottom part (for the legs) was extra long so his legs didn't bend weird.

Again, anything that you can borrow and try out is a great plan. Even bottles and such. Buy a fresh pack of nipples for the set you're borrowing and you can find a good match. Hand me downs are wonderful and a fun way to stay connected to family/friends. Most of all, accept all offers for help at face value...take all the help you are offered, especially at the beginning. And never be afraid to ask for help about anything. There are no stupid questions, it's likely that at least 50 other moms just on this website have had the same question. Find a good pediatrician that you are comfortable asking any question, this is the third most important person in the baby's life after mom and dad b/c they are the ones who know what to look for and check. Be comfortable with them.

Lastly, trust your judgement, good luck and again, welcome to mommy world!

J.C.

answers from Columbus on

I used the second nature bottles when breastfeeding. They were the ONLY bottles I have ever found that when the baby is drinking, makes the same suckling sounds, takes about as long as bf too, not like other bottlesthat are gone in just a few minutes. You can find them at babies r us. They are more expensive and harder to find, and nipples need replacing more often, but I can't say enough good things about them.

A travel system IS good for about the 1st 6 months. After 22 pounds, I would recommend a convertible carseat, you can find ones that go all the way from 5 pounds to 100 pounds.

I have never had a transitional crib, but also have never heard good things about them. If you do decide to get one, GET ALL OF THE PARTS NOW!!! I have known 3 people to have transitinional cribs, and none of them ever got to use the big bed because when they were ready to transition, the siderails were no longer being sold, and they hadn't bought them to begin with. I did have one friend who was able to find the rails, it only took 3 months and looking in 4 different states!

I know you did not ask about this, but if you are going to pump on a regular basis, I would recommend going for one of the high end, probably more expensive, electric double pumps. With a single pump, pumping will take twice as long as BF, and with a manual pump, your arms will be too tired before you are halfway thru.

Also want to add, for sore nipples resulting from breastfeeding, use pure lanolin, one tube is prob all you will need. with my 1st, my nipples became too cracked/sore to continue breastfeeding, but with my second someone recommended lanolin-AMAZING!! I bf my last 3 babies with no trouble, and now recommend lanolin to all moms to be I know.

GOOD LUCK!!!

I am a mother of 4, by now all I know for sure about being a parent is that you should ALWAYS have questions, but try to trust your instincts :)

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T.W.

answers from Cleveland on

Congratulations. We just had our first in April and it has been exhausting, exhilirating, and extremely fun. Just a couple of comments regarding your questions: as far as bottles go, I would recommend the Dr. Brown's natural flow as they really seemed to work the best for our son (especially when trying to introduce a bottle after having been breast fed). I borrowed a Medela Pump in Style pump from my friend and it works o.k. My sister actually has a Gerber massaging hand pump, and I think she's had greater success with that than I have with the electric pump. I have also returned to work part time and the advantage of an electric pump is that it goes much quicker. We bought the Graco Quatro stroller system and I don't have anything but good things to say about it. The only bad thing is that the stroller is a little heavy, but if you have a SUV that really shouldn't matter.

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K.

answers from Cleveland on

Ok about bottles etc...I used the Avent system, my son did great...but I have heard wonderful things about the DR Browns. For a breast p8ump I think the medalla (sp?) is one of the best. I pumped for a short while with the isis.

I used the Graco Quatro system and LOVED it. SO very very nice and easy to use. I would also recommend registering for a convertible car seat like a Britax, time really goes by fast.

Also as far as a crib and co-sleeping...look on Craigslist and see if there are any good deals. They are expensive new, but a crib is wood an dcan be cleaned up nice. We kept our son in our room until he was about 5 months old. A bassinet is wonderful, as is a pack and play.

Good luck, my due date was 12/25/04, and DS was born 12/14/04!

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M.K.

answers from Cleveland on

First of all you have to be in the mind that breastfeeding is your only option, if you just try most than 75% of the time you will stop. A good bottle for breastfed babies is playtex nursers, you can push out the air. They are really good bottles. You just have to play around with the types of nipples. There is one that is really weird looking it's a flattened one that has a hole at the top of it so that the milk would come out and hit the roof of the mouth instead of the back of the throat.
A product to use in case you have troubles with pumping, it's a herbal product found in vitamin stores, I can't remember the name but they should know what it is.
Co-sleeping is really not a problem, I did it with both of my children and they are fine with sleeping in their own beds. However it just depends on what the parents want.

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N.D.

answers from Cincinnati on

I wholehardely agree with getting the book Baby Bargins. that was SOOO helpful for DH and I when we went to register. i read the book for the things we would need before we registered and i had notations every where in the book so i'd know what to do when we registered. (and i took the book with me when we registered) it tells you what types of things to look for in addition to ratings by consumers on each brand of product. it was featured on Oprah once, which is how a friend of mine heard about it.

For bottles, without a doubt (for us at least), Dr. Browns. They are more pricey than other bottles. But after 2 weeks, we used those exclusively and got rid of all the others.It was amazing how much less gas our daughter had with these bottles. I recommend them to everyone. A friend of mine had a baby with colic and she started using Dr. Browns and said the difference was amazing after she started using those! we wont' use anything else, ever.

good luck!

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J.

answers from Detroit on

Hi M.!

My name is J., and my husband and I are blessed with Austin, almost 10, and Katie, who just turned 4 this past week. We are new to Novi and are originally from Plano, Texas!

I wanted to address first your issue of cosleeping. Let me tell you that your baby will let you know very quickly if he or she *needs* to cosleep with you or if he/she will be fine in a crib. Our son went down in the basinnett and crib just fine, enjoyed time in his crib with his mobile and such, and slept beautifully once he got his days and nights figured out. (He had them mixed up at first, like many babies do.) Little Katie, however, would cry anytime she was out of a set of arms and she nursed constantly, so in order for me to be able to get some sleep... she coslept. We had no problem transitioning her to her own bed when she weaned at two years old. Believe me, it's a lot easier to give your baby what he or she needs and then transition them to their own bed than it is to fight against their need to be with you until they give up trying and stop crying. I promise. Just do what your heart tells you the baby needs, and you'll be just fine. Mommy instinct is a wonderful thing, and you'll do great just following that once you meet your baby and get to know him/her.

As far as bottles... I used the Avent brand with Austin because he was my first and I thought more expensive was better. Katie used the Playtex nurser. No matter what kind of bottle you use, you will want to get a sample pack of different-shaped nipples, which is sold by most of the bottle brands. The baby will decide which nipple he or she likes and will let you know quite loudly if you have the wrong one! Personally, I like the good ol' Playtex nurser. The reason for this is that you are never having to sterilize bottles like I had to do with Avent. You use a sterile insert sleeve each time, which you just drop in the bottle and throw away when the baby is done. This plastic sleeve also collapses as the baby drinks, which leads to less swallowing of air, which leads to less gas, which will be a MUST if you have a colicky baby. They're also less expensive than the Avent, with which I also had a problem with leaking.

Also, buy some Mylicon drops. Austin had terrible colic (probably because I was using the wrong bottles!) and the Mylicon was a Godsend. It's basically Tums for baby. It's simethicone, a very safe anti-gas agent, that you will use like crazy with a colicky baby. You don't have to buy the name-brand Mylicon either, if your baby isn't too picky. I'd start with one bottle of the name brand and then try to move to the generic or store brand and see what Baby thinks. The generics tend not to taste as good, but Austin never fussed about it. (Of course, our picky little Katie did, so we stuck with the name-brand stuff for her.) When they do the very irritated-sounding cry and pull up their legs to their tummy and you can feel or hear the bubbles in their tummy.... get out the Mylicon and you'll have a happy baby before you know it.

Breastpump... Please don't try using one of the manual or battery-operated pumps. They're terribly ineffective and frustrating. I recommend renting or purchasing an electric one from your hospital where you will be giving birth or going to the Medela website and choosing one of their more high-powered pumps like the Pump n' Style. Medela is the Cadillac of pumps and will give you the best results in the shortest amount of time. Remember to take a picture of your baby with you when you try to pump, it will help with letdown. Buy the book "So That's What They're For..." by Janet Tamaro. Breastfeeding can be difficult at first if you don't know what to expect. I thought it would be easier than it was, and a lack of knowledge led to me giving up with Austin by two months. This book is a must-read for any mom who wants to nurse. (Katie didn't wean until she was two, so the success difference after reading the book was incredible!)

Carseat: Can't go wrong with Graco! We also used the Quattro system and loved it. Buy that sucker! :)

Cribs: Can't help too much there, because Katie never had a crib since she coslept and then went right into a twin bed from there. But if you decide to give cosleeping a try, or if your baby insists on it like Katie did, the Arm's Reach cosleeper is fabulous. Pretty like a crib, portable, and reasonably priced... but you can keep the baby close if that is what he or she needs.

Okay, I will shut up now... This is really long! Ha ha! Email me anytime. The best way to describe the experience of having a baby is that it's like having your heart and soul running around outside your body. It's amazing. Welcome to the adventure!

J.

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T.F.

answers from Detroit on

Hi M.,
Do you live in the Port Huron area? We are just moving here with our new baby! I found this site, and signed up with my new zip code.

Anyway, as the mom of a new baby, I have a few suggestions. First, everyone will tell you to buy a Pack n Play, I have already returned mine, and my little girl is only six weeks old. I returned it for a basinet, we did an Eddie Bouer one at Babies R Us, it is wooden with a teddy bear, it is great for having your baby in your room, for just a few months. Then we have a crib, bought on eBay, it was a great deal, we just found one where we could go pick it up vs shipping to save a few bucks. I also would recommend a three wheel stroller, we LOVE ours. It is the Xpedition by BabyTrend (again at Babies R Us). It has a front wheel that turns (key) and can be locked (for jogging). It holds up to a 50 pound kid, and weighs not too much. Some of those big travel systems weigh a ton, and don't hold big kids. Plus, this one reclines flat so you can put your infant in it. I would really suggest both of those items as a new mommy. For a carseat, we have started shopping for our "bigger" seat and am thinking of the Brittax one that has changeable seat covers, so we can put a U of Arizona cover on it (our alma mater)...not sure though.

Good luck! It is wonderful.

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J.S.

answers from Lansing on

I was in the same situation last year! When I went to register for baby showers, I stood stock still in the feeding/bottle aisle and had NO IDEA on what to get. I turned around and went home.
Take all the advice you can get but then remember to ultimately do what is best for you and your child. Advice is great, but don't let anyone try to convince you of something that wouldn't work for you. Every mother is different and every baby is different too. Even your babies will be different from each other.
That said, here is my advice, take it or leave it:
Bottles: I use Avent bottles and haven't had any problems. I honestly have no idea why bottles can claim to reduce colic when the medical community will tell you that they still do not know what causes colic or what exactly colic IS, let alone how to treat it. Just keep that in mind. Colicy babies are just fussy babies and there is no reason why they are fussy. They just cry. Now, there are some bottles that can reduce gas and air intake so the baby will not swallow too much air and, therefore, cry - and cry a lot! Some bottles allow you to drop in a lining and some bottles are curved at the neck for easier feeding and less air-swallowing. It's really up to you and your baby. I was a colicy baby and I have a baby that has acid reflux. THAT made him cry a LOT until we figured it out and got him on Zantac. Could I have had reflux as a baby and gone undiagnosed? Probably. I was just labeled as "colicy" and then grew out of it.
Breastpumps: This will depend upon your schedule and lifestyle. I have had a lot of girlfriends get by on the hand-operated breastpumps but they say that these do not work as well and take a terribly long time! They were also stay-at-home moms. I have a Pump In Style electric pump from Medela and I also work full time. I believe that I was able to give my baby breast milk as long as I did because of that easy, quick and beautiful contraption! If you are going to buy a Medela, make sure you search all options online for the best price. I was able to find a pump for a lot less by searching around. Never buy a used pump - especially from someone you don't know. You want everything to be new and clean for your baby. Not knowing the former owner will be a bad thing when it comes to cleanliness and germs.
Carseats: Our big baby is already over 22lbs and we just bought a rear/forward facing car seat from Britax. These car seats are great because of all of their easy features like adjusting the straps with a one-button touch and the plush covers are nice. The real selling points for our family was that these reversible seats exceed the US regulations because they are tested in parts of Europe where there are no speed limits. The seat we bought also goes all the way up to 60 lbs. so our boy will be in that seat for a long time. The US-made seats usually just go up to 40 - 45 lbs. I will say, though, that we had to buy ours on sale and with a coupon because these seats can be pricey ($165 - $299) but well-worth it in safety features as well as longevity.
Cribs/Furniture: I only have two things to say about these. Be careful ordering these online. The price may be right but the shipping costs are outrageous. Also, we never did co-sleeping, nor did we let the baby sleep in our room too long. Babies are loud sleepers and every little wimper, movement and cough had me wide awake and up before I could realize that my baby was just fine and still sleeping. Every parent will differ on this issue, but we just did what was right for us. Now, our baby loves to sleep in his crib and is well-adjusted to sleeping on his own.
My last bit of advice is to go ahead and register for items. Get things even if you think you aren't sure if you're supposed to have them. That is what I did and then, before I told everyone so they could go buy things, I contacted a couple of good friends of mine to look over my list online and give me their opinions/feedback on the items I selected. This was GREAT! They not only gave me great insight into each item, they also gave me info on items I was missing that they enjoyed or what worked for them. This helped me get over the fear of the bottle aisle in Target/Babies R'Us. You'll be fine too! Don't freak out and just enjoy your baby. If you don't have the latest and greatest contraption ... you'll be fine! Good luck.

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C.N.

answers from Columbus on

One of the best things that I can tell you to do is to buy a $20 or whatever is comfortable gift cert to target, wal-mart or where ever you shop the most because it make the task of buying diapers, wipes, formula ect seem like not as big as deal when you discover that there are still 500 others things your forgot about.

Also when it comes to car seats over 22lbs. We just transition my duaghter into the big girl seat and we got the Britax Decathalon, it is great!

I nursed for the 1st six month and pumped as well. (I went back to work when she was two month) The platex nursers were really easy to use and was very easy to go back and forth with.

GOod Luck

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C.

answers from Dayton on

Hi Mindi -
I can't give you anything definite about stuff, but some generalities.

I've seen bottles out there that are advertised specifically for babies that switch between breast and bottle.

Me and most of my friends did not use the convertible cribs. I've been happy with the toddler bed that my little girl is in (it was a hand me down, so you can't beat that). I've heard really good things about co-sleeping, I have an adopted child, so was not able to do this (she didn't live with me then). If I have a natural child, I probably would, especially for the first little while.

I don't know where you live, but around Dayton, if you're shopping for stuff, I would avoid Babies R Us. I've found that they are really expensive. Walmart is my best friend. Also, in looking at strollers, etc, Once upon a child and other re-sale stores are great. I think some of them are a little expensive on the clothing, but I've found a good stroller there, as well as some good toys, books and videos reasonably priced. If you find a car seat there, be very careful, due to the number of carseats that have been recalled over the years.

Good luck -
If you need anything, feel free to email me! ____@____.com

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A.

answers from Cleveland on

Well, I tried so many different bottles because they all sounded so wonderful. But I guess it's all in what one person needs exactly. The Avent bottles were suppose to be wonderful, but they weren't. They leaked a lot, as does every sippy cut that says Spill Proof. The Playtex disposables worked really good, obviously you just couldn't microwave them, which sometimes was annoying at 3am...I would suggest to buy one of each, not every bottle, but maybe 4 or 5 different kinds and see which ones fits you best.

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M.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi! My name is M. and I am a first time parent of a 21-month-old boy. I made the decision to breast feed and although I was able to stay at home, there were still times that I needed to pump to have those occasional nights out with my husband. The best suggestion I can give you is get an electric or battery operated pump. They are much more time efficient than a manual pump. Do as much research as you can about the different models to see which one you think is best for you. I also read that you are worried about colic. Some research says that breast fed babies are less likely to be colicky. Most of my friends that decided to bottle feed had colicky babies, but mine was always content. It might also have something to do with their temperment. But that's just another surprise of having a baby. And feel free to ask me any question about breast feeding. I've been through almost all of it!! I wish you all the luck and joy with your new baby!!

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Y.M.

answers from Cleveland on

i used the avent pump and i liked that alot. i've tried other brands that were battery powered and didn't like those.

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M.G.

answers from Detroit on

We have 2 boys aged 3y and 4m. We bought all of the typical "BRU" stuff for #1 and ended up selling most of it off. My essentials list for number 2 were:

1. Arm's Reach Co-sleeper instead of a crib. We co-sleep so having the arm's reach was a must. With nursing babies who wake frequently it was a waste of energy getting up, going to the nursury, getting baby out of the crib, nursing, getting him back to sleep and then going back to my room. Now i just pull him out of the co-sleeper, nurse, and fall asleep. When he is done I put him back in the co-sleeper.

2. A sling. We don't use the "bucket" car seat and we use a sling instead. It is much better for the baby to spend time next to mommy then in the bucket. Plus the bucket gets so dang heavy. We sold the infant car seat at about 6 weeks since we never took it out of the car and just moved him into a convertable seat (Britax all the way!).

3. Cloth Diapers. Save money, time and have fun with diapering. Check out Fuzzi Bunz... easier then sposies and much cuter!

4. Boobs. No need for bottles unless you are pumping/working. Breastmilk is best!

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L.M.

answers from Dayton on

Congratulations! I have a little girl who is almost 7 months old so I thought I would respond with some things that I found helpful.

1) I use the Avent bottles however sometimes I find that they leak if the top is not screwed on properly. My sister-in-law likes the Dr. Browns bottles and a good friend of my likes the Platex drop-in kind. You may have to experiment to find the bottle that works best for your baby.
2) For breast pumps I highly recommend an electric one if you plan to pump frequently. I have a double pump made by Medela and I'm very happy with it.
3)My daugher had colic and I would definitely stock up on gas drops. That helped a little bit along with her swing and bouncer.
4) Travel systems are good. We have one from Graco. Can't go wrong with that. We just moved our daughter into a Britax Marathon seat which is expense (about $250 I think). For my husband's car we got the Britax Roundabout (about $170). Britax makes very good car seats for when your baby gets bigger.
5) We got a pack-n-play that we put in our bedroom when our daughter was 0-3 months. Then we moved her to her crib. We haven't used the pack-n-play since. Some of my friends have used cradles or used the crib immediately.
6) Make sure you register for a munchkin container to wash the parts of the bottle (caps and nipples). It works great in your dishwasher.
7) My daugher also loves her bumbo seat. I know Target sells them.
8) We got our furniture from a company called Forever Mine. It's solid wood and not as expensive as the furnite you'll find at BabiesRUs.
9) Consider buying the Baby Bargains book. It's kind of like the consumer reports version for baby products. It describes the high and low end of various products. I found it helpful since I knew nothing about this stuff.
Good luck!
L.

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K.P.

answers from Columbus on

Hi M.! I hope I can help you, here's my thoughts and opinions.

Breastpump

I LOVE my Medela Pump In Style. I decided to buy that one after a friend recommended it and I've never heard anything bad about it... I've talked to SEVERAL people who have used it. (I'm on my 2nd child with it.)

Bottles

We have used the Playtex Nursers (with the liners) and the Avent bottles. I got tired of the expense and extra work needed with the liners, so we switched to Avent for our 2nd child. I've heard they are good for breastfeeding and reduce colic. Another brand I've heard great things about is Dr. Browns... supposed to be good for gas/colic. I don't have any experience with them, but I do know there are extra pieces to wash and that can be a pain.

Stroller/Carseat

I LOVED my Graco Quattro travel system! (We had to trade up to a double stroller and I miss my Quattro.)

Cribs... don't have any advice. We paid a lot of money for both of our cribs. They are both transitional cribs and we knew we were going to be using them for at least 18 years so we didn't mind spending money on them. We got the first one in Amish Country (northern Ohio) and the second one at a store in Grandview Heights called "My Own Room." We couldn't find sturdy cribs/dressers at Babies R Us or Baby Depot.

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V.K.

answers from Saginaw on

M. ~

Well from a relatively recent new mom, I'll tell you what not to do, how's that? LOL. As far a bottles, from my experience, just buy a couple to get you started. Whatever you feel the most comfortable with. I bought several of what I expected to be the best. They ended up not working for my son for various reasons and we went through just about every brand of bottle on the market. Some brands had stage 1 nipples that were too fast for him, others were too slow, some nipples were too big, and so on. Best to buy a couple and just try it. If it doesn't work for your little one, then try another. Every child takes to something a little different, and you'll soon end up with a favorite. This is a very personal choice for your baby and yourself.

Breast Pump: I loved my breast pump. It was by Medela. They make several versions. Whatever brand you choose, definitley an electric one opposed to manual, and one that will allow you to pump both breasts simultaneously to save time. I didn't have enough breast milk for my son, even with pumping, so I had to pump and also supplement with formula.

Strollers/Car Seats: We purchased a Graco Travel system which was fantastic. The infant car seat and stroller come as a set. The infant car seat snaps right into the stroller so there's no need to get a tiny baby in and out of his cozy seat. Then when the baby is older, the stroller functions as a regular stroller.

Cribs: No advice on brand, but here is what I found I liked & disliked... I originally picked out a couple cribs that were a sliegh style. One had solid ends (not the traditionsl spindles/slats) and the other had a solid front a back. After talking with another mom, I changed my mind. Any crib that has any sort of solid panel for a side, whether front & back, or ends, doesn't allow you to properly tie a crib bumper down. Without the slats, you'll have long sections that aren't tied which isn't safe for baby. Not a big issue if you're not planning to use a bumper, but I did, and still do. Also from personal experience, I like the slats now as it allows me to lay down next to my son's crib and reach in and rub his back or tummy if he needs soothing. I don't have to stand over the crib since I can reach thru it. Also from experience, I personally prefer cribs without a drop side. Many of the cribs that have a side that drops down are noisy and clumsy to operate, especially around a sleeping baby. They are nice at first, but after using them day in and day out, they don't operate as smoothly. I know this because we have one of these at my parent's house for my son that he uses when we visit. I much prefer our crib at home with the stationery sides. The draw back to the stationery sides, however, is that as baby gets bigger and you have to lower the matress, you end up having to reach farther down into the crib since the side doesn't drop. This hasn't been a problem for me and I'm not very tall. Our matress is now at it's lowest position and I have no trouble with it. But again, it will be a personal preference. Everyone has their favorite.

On a side note, we started our son out in an Eddie Bauer bouncy seat on a stand at the foot of our bed. Not the typical bouncy style seat, this was a little more like a cradel/bassinet. The crib just seemed too big and it wasn't in our room. I believe we moved him to his crib at 2 months. So don't feel like I did and think you have to have an actual crib before the baby arrives. You many not even use it right away. Also, pack-n-plays (or portable cribs) are a necessity! Or at least it was for me. These also have bassinets as accessories for the little ones which I highly recommend!

Finally, one thing I have used almost since the day our son was born and was a staple for us is the Halo sleep sack. When he was first home we just swaddled him in receiving blankets since he did't move around much. But after a little while the sleep sacks were awesome. No fear of him getting tangled up with blankets or pulling them over his face, and no having to canstantly check to make sure he's still covered up & the blanket hasn't come off. At first I thought they would be a pain. I thought he'd get twisted up in it and stuff, but that was never an issue. He will be 2 on Friday and still wears one to bed. He even walks around in it in his crib.

That's all I have for now, sorry to write you a novel. I just know what you're going thru. And the more research and reading you start doing the more confused you'll become and the more quesitons you'll have. Just know it will all work out just fine!

Feel free to email me if you have any other question...
____@____.com

Good Luck and congratulations!

~ V.

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R.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi M.!
I found the least expensive place to buy really cute nursery items is IKEA.com , They have a store in Pittsburg, Pa.
As for pumps...I found that I like a combination of the pump from Ameda and th breastshield and milk collection part from Medella. I needed a larger breastsheild and Ameda doesn't offer one....I just hooked up one to the other...I am sure they don't recommend it!
Bottles...that is tough. I found that I liked the nipples from Second Nature...it is most like breastfeeding. I thas a valve in the nipple so the milk doesn't come out unless the baby sucks it out. They will onlly get as much milk as they want based on how hard they suck. Check them out on the web...I found that it was wonderful...especially if you are going to go between breastfeeding and bottle feeding. I also used the Second Nature nipples with the Avent bottle system...but I used the ones with the bags. That just made sure that my babies wouldn't get any air in the bottle...I had twins and this system worked wonderfully! They never really latched so I was pumping for twins and then bottle feeding them. With the bags I didn't have to make sure that the bottle was tipped to keep the air away from the nipple.
Car seats....I love the Evenflo Triumph (http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/ref=br_1_12/602-###-...) That is a link to Targets web page...The reason I really liked this seat is after the baby is out of the carrier seat...which I also liked the evenflo system the best, is easier to tightn down the straps. This particular car seat is what they call convertable. This will face rear and forward. It will last up to 30lbs rear facing and 40lbs forward facing. The way you tighten the straps is a dial on both SIDES of the carseat...it is not on the front!!!! You don't have to pull anything to tighten. I suggest that you go to a Babies R us or Target and check them all out....take a doll and practice tightneing the seat belts down. You should be able to put two fingers under the belt at the babies chest....do not tighten too much and DO NOT leave it too loose!
Strollers....Pick a light wt stroller car carrier travel system! That will help you tremendously! I really liked the evenfo travel system. My sister in law purches a PegPergo and it was so heavy....she could hardly pick it up! I love the easy release of the carseat from the base in the Evenflo....I don't work for them...I just really like the prodcuct!

Other product advice....DIAPER CHAMP!!!! It uses regular garbage bags and you don't ever "open" it to put a diaper in! I doesn't smell up the room (unless you are changing the bag). It is wonderful! I had received a diaper genie as a shower gift and I used it for a bit with my first...then I had to keep buying refills...I was at Babies r us and saw the Diaper Champ and purchased it. I am using it now for my twins and it is wonderful. I have to take the bag out twice as often...but it really would have cost me alot more had I kept using the diaper genie!

Oh...one more thing, Don't know if you are on a tight budget or if you are returning to work...but I found that shopping at Children's Orchard or The Growing Years (Hudson, Ohio) really keeps the cost of things down....on clothes. These are resale shops. They also sell gear like swings and bouncies and walkers...jumpers! They will buy your items when you are done with them too!
That made me think of something you didn't ask about...the swing. I had two different kinds. If shor on space the Fisher Price travel swing is great...if not short on space the Fisher Price Cradle swing is the best!
You should also get a Graco Jumpster. I put an eye hook in the middle of my ceiling in the living room and hooked a carabeaner to it (you can get those at Home Depot) and then hooked the jumper on to it....not in a doorway... this gave the babies so much room to jump and develope leg strenth!

I hope this helps! If I can help in any way...just email me!
R.
mom of a 3.5yr old and 15month old twins!
____@____.com

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G.L.

answers from Cincinnati on

My advise to you about a crib and all the other items needed for for your upcoming blessed event would be check it out on consumer report Dont buy used like car seat, crib, high chair,
Not even a mattress. Good luck its a wonderful being a MOM.

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J.E.

answers from Toledo on

M.,

CONGRATULATIONS! I just had my first baby last December. You can't imagine the love you'll feel for this baby once she's born. I thought I was completely in love when I could feel her inside me, but that bond gets even stronger once you hold her. I'm excited for you!! I purchased my car seats through my hospital's Kids in Safe Seats department because I knew absolutely nothing about car seats or how to properly install one! They installed it, taught me how to install it and offered the seats at a better price than retail stores. They even mailed in the registration for me so I would be notified of any recalls.

My daughter slept in a bassinet next to my bed until she got too long for one (she's a tall baby) and then smoothly transitioned into her crib in her own room. If you don't want to do that, make sure you get a monitor for the baby's room. I would still put her in a bassinet until she was 3 months or so - but that's just me.

Oh, one thing the hospital's car seat program taught me was expensive isn't always safer in car seats! You should see if your OB or your hospital has or knows of a similar program. I hated the infant carrier - it adds so much weight to what you're already carrying. I left it in the car most of the time & just got the baby in & out.

Good luck & congrats!!!

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D.L.

answers from Lansing on

Hi M.,

Congrats on the little one. I read all the other posts and know that mostly everything was covered. The best nipples that I found for the bottles were the platex ones that had the curved shape they are suppossed to help with baby not developing teeth problems later on. I would advise you to either rent or purchase a Medela breast pump. One that is hospital style or similar. My daughter did not want to nurse and I was determined to give her breat milk. I bought a first years electrice pump and the second day I had it it quit working so I contacted the lactating consultant at our hospital and she gave me information on were I could rent a good quality pump. Any ways I bought a Medela breast pump and I pumped for a whole year. (yes I know it was a long time but to me the benifits outweighed everything else) They even had a smaller powerfull one that we rented so I could use it away from home. I used a co sleeper for the first couple of months then because my husband is gone for his job my daughter slept with me on the bed using padding so she wouldnt go all over.(Because I was on bed rest for the last 4 and a half months of my pregnancy our bed had been put on the floor so it was easier for me to get out of) It really helped that I did it that way because at 12 months she was sleeping in her toddler bed no problem I think she has fallen out of it once and shes going to be three in Oct. The transition was really easy. I dont know if this will help or confuse you even more but I just wanted to really give you a good breast pump. Good Luck!!!!
D.

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T.K.

answers from Detroit on

M., I have some suggestions for you. I went back to work after 3 months (my son is now 5 months old). Unfortunately, I do a lot of traveling with my job and my office is the most inconvenient place to pump (so, pumping and storing was a must; I breastfed for 4 months - we are trying for another one!). I would suggest that as soon as you have the baby, you think about pumping. Granted, this will be the last thing on your mind because breast feeding is not easy to begin with (don't give up, though, it will pay off), but just keep thinking that it will help you in the long run and it will increase your supply so your baby will always have what he/she needs! I used the Medela, but I hear that any electric pump is good (don't settle for anything but the expensive one; you won't regret buying it...it will be the best money you spend). I use Advent bottles, but I suggest on buying a couple different ones before the baby's born, because you never know what will work for him/her until the time comes! As far as the carseat and stroller: we have the Graco Quattro and we love it. We did something very smart too and that was to get an extra base for my husband's car. It saves so much time and those bases are not easy to get in. We bought our crib at Baby's Room, but we paid dearly for it. It's a nice crib, but we probably should have shopped around. The only suggestion I have is get one that converts to a toddler and single bed and one that has levels of how high the mattress goes. Our crib that allows the mattress to be about 5 inches from the top is very convenient and you don't have to bend down to get the baby. We had a bassinet that is similar to a crib in the room with us until our son was about 2 months old. The crib was just too big and I didn't have the heart to put him there right away. It is very hard not to want to have the baby in bed with you, but stick to your guns! My sister in law is still trying to wean her 8 month old out of her bed! Its hard at first but just remember, the baby doesn't know any different if its always kept away from your bed (don't start something that will be harder to stop later). My husband and I put the bassinet in the room with us and set up the monitor so we could see the baby in the bassinet just by looking at the night stand. Even though the baby was in the room with us, it gave us peace of mind to just glance at the monitor on the bed side rather than having to get up every minute to look into the bassinet (which will drive you crazy!). Our son loved his nursery so it was easy to transition to the crib. I played with him in his crib daily and did great things in there like singing and dancing etc. to get him used to being there. This way, he got a sense of security and wasn't lonely or scared when we first put him in there alone (also, it will help him/her sleep through the night - when he/she wakes up he/she will be less apt to cry for you and may just look around, know where he/she is at and go back to sleep).

Hope this helps!!! If you have any other questions, I'd love to help: ____@____.com Good luck! This is the most amazing experience in the world (I get teary eyed just thinking about it!) HAVE FUN!

T. K.
White Lake, MI

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A.B.

answers from Dayton on

Hello!
Congratulations! My daughter turned two in April, and just to let you know, it gets better and better every day, month and year!

I breastfed my daughter, but I still kept bottles on hand because,, I wanted my husband to enjoy feeding her once in a awhile...I love the Playtex Nursers with the larger nipple. My daughter never minded going back and forth.
Breast pump wise, I had a whisper wear, and I LOVED it! Its hands free, it slides into your bra and the pump does the rest of the work. It also put the breast milk into bags rather than a bottle. I liked the bags because of storage and thawing convenience. I tried many other pumps and the whisper wear was my favorite.

I purchased a stroller and car seat package. The car seat would fit into the stroller, so not to disturb the baby if it’s sleeping. I bought my stroller about two years ago so I'm not sure if they even make it anymore, but its the Greco ultra light. It’s very nice and I still use the stroller (my daughter has long grown out of the car seat :))

I also, carried my daughter a lot (and still do), I used a Maya Wrap (baby sling), and she loved it. Now I use a carrier called a Patatum, and she loves it too.
For diapers, I liked the Pamper Swaddlers in the beginning, but now I love Parents Choice…They’re the Wal-mart brand, they work better than the name brand and my daughter acts like they are more comfortable…oh and, they are very cheep, $5.94 for a jumbo pack!

For your labor and delivery, have you considered a Doula (childbirth assistant)? Doula’s are excellent for you, baby, and everyone else who is in the delivery room with you. Doula have been know to reduce the need for a cesarean section by 70%, reduce the request for an epidural by 60%, shorten the length of labor by 20% and much more. If you and your family think that you might be interested, let me know, as I am the director of Dayton Area Labor Support and would love to set you up with a Doula for your birth.

I am also the only 'active' Natural Family Boutique consultant in this part of Ohio and we sale wonderful things that you can not always find in the mainstream baby supply stores such as, HABA toys, slings, cloth diapers, baby and mother care supplies, Whisper Wear breast pumps and much, much more! As a Natural Family Boutique consultant I can do, individual orders, home parties, catalog parties, baby shower along with cloth diaper and baby wearing classes. If you or some one else you know host’s a party in your honor, you can earn up to 40% off your product. If you think that you would be interested, I would be more than happy to send you a catalog and some more information about Natural Family Boutique. Just let me know! Oh, and you can check out my website at www.naturewisefamily.com .

I hope all of my information helped out and that your pregnancy and birth goes smoothly!
Warmly,
A.

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J.

answers from Grand Rapids on

We use Dr. Brown bottles and have been very happy with them.
We have been very happy with our Graco travel system. The next car seat that we bought for our son is a Britax.
There is a wonderful baby furniture store in Holland called Sweet Dreams Baby Boutique. It is on Riley just west of US31. We bought both of our cribs there. Very good quality furniture. A little bit pricey but our sons cribs turn into full size beds. It is worth the extra money for good quality and they will use these beds for many years. Hope some of this helps. Good luck!!!

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K.D.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi M.! Congratulations on your first baby!
We bought our transitional crib from Babies R Us. It is a Babi Italia crib, pecan color and converts from crib to toddler bed to double bed head/footboard. We have used it with both of our children and love it. Very good quality for the amount we paid for it, about $300.
As far as stollers go, we received the Graco TravelLite travel system and LOVED it. We now use a double stroller with 2 children, but used our Graco with our first child and loved the fact that it was so lightweight and easy to use. The infant carrier seat was very easy to install in our vehicle.
As far as bottles go, I have used them ALL! Literally. My first born was colicky for 4 months and I went through every bottle on the market at the time (she is now 3 years.) We ended up using a bottle that they do not make anymore, but one thing that I learned was that every child is different on the type of nipple that they will use. She needed a wider, more rounded nipple to get a good latch on. Anyway, I would HIGHLY recommend the Dr. Brown bottles. We have used those with our second child (she uses the skinny bottle) and definitely recommend. I only wish they had made the wider Dr Brown bottles when my first born was colicky! :) They are kind of a pain to wash just because they have the extra parts, but they are worth it, I think! Anyway, hope this all helps you! Best wishes!

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D.H.

answers from Cincinnati on

My big things were the baby Bjorn. I liked the Bjorn better then the others but it was more expensive. It was easier to get on and off. The baby mitts don't work...infant socks are hard to find but that's what we put on her hands. They have a little spandex to them the mitts don't. The breast pump..go with the most expensie Medea you can find...the cheap ones burn out. I went through two before I bit the bullet and bought a expensive Medea. I can only find it on line but Sassy makes this Warn Tub Cuddler that is great for infants to about 6 to 9 months. The first few months you'll be mostly be sponge bathing at the sink and this thing is great for insulation and floats well for when you're ready to add more water and transitions to the tub. By the way on line maternity cloths is the way to shop. You can find things in your sizes easy and don't have to run to twenty store to look at three racks of items that have been picked clean. Just breast feeding bras if your are planning on breat feeding. You're regular bras can be extended by going to JoAnn Fabric and buying an extender...they'll do to you are about 4 to 6 months pregnant. And because I'm in video and work with a lot of photographers...don't choose a busy or plain white outfit for the first photo...solid cloth looks best with white accent...the newborn cap the baby may wear is also a good accessory. Oh and I didn't think I would use a bassinet but thank goodness my neighbor let me have hers...for the first six months, because I breastfeed, my daughter was either in the bassinet or a snuggle nest in our bed.

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A.T.

answers from Lansing on

Great questions...I have one kiddo 9 months and I'm huge on investigating everything and did before I had him. I too breastfed and pumped. For me I just used the cheapest pump...Evenflo..but may I suggest that if you have the finances of want to register for one go for an electric Medela pump. I've used both and for me it made no difference. I had an abundance of milk so any pump worked! Also...freezing milk is fantastic. Use the zipper bags for it though...don't try to twist tie any. I did that for a while and it's just messier and not as safe from bacteria. As far as strollers and carseats we used the Graco travel system and it was fantastic for puting him in the stroller or even just taking him in in the seat while he slept and he was very comfortable. Now...he's 23 lbs...a huge boy but very long and I was misled by my former pediatrician about carseats. We bought a forward facing one and I didn't feel right about it so I returned it and went on the hunt...at 20lbs they make fantastic rear facing seats that will convert to forward facing until they are 40lbs..and then you can buy a booster after that. As far as investing...it's not really worth buying one that converts from 5-100lbs...they aren't as safe and you can find one that goes to 40lbs and then a booster that both will be around the same price and safer. What you absolutely need in the seat is when you lift the cover underneath it should be a thick white stirafoam type material around the head of your child.. tons of them do not have it. I really don't care if the seat looks good or the cover takes a while to come off...they need to be safe. So we have a Graco ComfortSport and we love it and so does Malachi..the seat is cushioned for when he gets bigger! As far as cribs go...we used the pack'n'play for our son with the crib on top and then when he could sleep at least 8 hours at night without needing to eat at around 2 months we moved him into his own room. We NEVER ever put him in bed with us for any reason because he could suffocate or be smashed. Now he sleeps in the bottom of it because of his weight and that he can stand up...but we love it because he's comfortable and if we needed to take it with us, even when he is small we can. We now will probably get a crib that converts because we are trying for another kid, but if it takes a while to get pregnant we'll keep him in it and then get a todler bed with side rails. It's just thinking ahead to him waking up in the early hours and getting out and walking around. Monitors are awesome...definetely register for one!! If you pump and breastfeed the best bottles for colic are Dr. Browns. They are special for that and you really won't need any other ones. As far as other bottles if you don't get those stay away from Aveno...they always leak..and some of the evenflo leak too. I've worked in a daycare and these bottles do it all the time! If you want any other advice...I'd love to talk too! I love talking about this stuff...it's my life..email me at ____@____.com.

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C.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I did not breastfeed my baby, but I used Avent bottles and had good luck with those. We purchased our crib and changer/dresser from Walmart on-line and have been pleased with our purchase. There are many different styles to choose from. Good luck!

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J.H.

answers from Columbus on

Hi M.,

I highly recommend Dr. Brown's bottles. We tried a variety of brands before happening upon Dr. Brown's and I couldn't believe the difference. Because of it's shape, my daughter stopped ingesting so much air and therefore ate more and spit up less. The difference was substantial.

I was unable to nurse but during my attempts, I was told that the very best option for a pump was a professional one. Since they cost an exorbitant amount to purchase, you can rent them (fully sterilized) from the Elizabeth Blackwell Center at Riverside Hospital. Your hospital should provide you with a lactation consultant who will be able to make recommendations as well.

As for strollers and car seats, I don't really have any preferences. I reviewed user comments on Amazon.com to make my choices. One thing I would suggest though... in addition to your nice stroller with all the bells and whistles and drink holders, purchase a $20 umbrella stroller. They are life savers for quick trips because they are light-weight and easily collapsible (but lock tightly when your child is riding). You'll be surprised at how quickly you get tired of lugging around the big, clumsy stroller. It definitely has its advantages but it can be inconvenient too.

We had a crib in the nursery -- we bought the kind that converts into a daybed and then, later, a twin bed. It's great except that you cannot use bed rails with it. That made the transition from crib to daybed a little scary because my daughter fell out of bed several times. We also bought a bassinet that attached to our bed. She slept in our room for her first three months and then we moved her to her own room. It was more difficult for us than for her to make that adjustment. The bassinet though, in addition to strapping on to our bed for those first few months also served as a free-standing crib that was great for travel. When we visited hotels, we felt better using our own crib than one provided by strangers and when we visited relatives, they simply didn't have cribs so we had to bring our own.

I hope I helped.

Congratulations!

J. H.

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S.M.

answers from Cleveland on

About the sleeping, I felt with my daughter, a bassinet in my room was best. I kept her in my room but in her bassinet for the first month. If you can, borrow one from someone unless you are sure you are going to have more children. The reason I felt this was best was because the baby was so close to you for 9 months, the baby knows your sounds when you sleep. It is a great way to make her comfortable but still have distance. I learned to try to avoid holding the baby until he or she is sleeping because then you will for time to come. My daughter is 2 month now and I still have to hold her until she sleeps for the most part. Try to avoid letting her fall asleep in a bouncy chair or swing at bed time. They get too used to sleeping sitting that it is harder to lay them down. I hope this helps out, I am a first time mother also but had advice from so many friends and family that have had babies within the past 2 years.

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T.

answers from Cincinnati on

M.,

The medela automatic double breastpump (Pump in Style Advanced) is the way to go if you are planning on pumping. You can pump twice the milk in half the time. I found a website that is a medela direct dealer and a lot cheaper than babies r us. http://www.lactationcare.com/index.cfm You just call them and they will give you the price and shipping is free. Plus they have support 24/7 for breastfeeding questions. Medela also has a great warranty if anything were to happen to the pumps. I have tried the avent bottles which are great if you can figure out the nipples (they can leak if you don't pull on all sides with putting it in the cap). Also have tried the platex nursers and they are great, just have to keep buying the drop in liners.

Well I hope this was helpful.

T. (Mother of Madison 2 1/2 and Kaitlyn 9 months)
As far as a good priced crib, Walmart & Kmart have 3-in-1 cribs for a pretty good price. We actually bought our nursery furniture off ebay and got a great deal. We kept our daughter's in our rooms while they were in bassinets because you breastfeed all through the night. Plus, you check on them 100 times to make sure they were alright. We moved them into their own room and cribs about 3 months.

I bought a graco travel system and love it. The one I bought was 199.99 from babies r us and had the bigger wheels. Very smooth ride and easy to operate. Avoid the cheaper strollers.

We have the alpha omega car seat for both my girls and they are front facing/rear facing. They can go in them at 5lbs., but we waited until they were about 9 months.

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A.

answers from Cleveland on

Congratulations on your new baby. I too was aMom returning to work and wanting to continue breastfeeding. I pumped into bottles so everyone who cared for my son was able to feed him. The pump I used was one that I rented through the hospital. It was great. There is nothing on the market I felt that compared to it. Most hopsitals will have someone they can recommend the rental from. In Akron, there is some local medical Supply places near the hospitals that arrange the rental. It was $50.00 per month and was a dual pump. Also, you noted that you were collicky. My second child was collicky. We actually had to stop breastmilk and put her on soy formula at around 4 weeks because she was vomiting. That and Mylacon drops did the trick to get us through her 9 weeks of collick. So, if I had another bit of advice, make sure you have some Mylacon drops for gas. Every mother I know who used them will swear by them and they are safe.

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C.

answers from Cleveland on

I have lots of advise so be ready! My son is 10 months old today, my first. Number two, is on the way, due Feb. 1 :-)

Breastpump, depends on your size. I am now 40D and used the Ameda Purely Yours. This was given to me and it worked well. I also tried the Whisper Wear. Can't give you a good/bad opinion as I started using it when my supply was slowing down. It would be convenient for car drives so I don't have to sit and feed my son with a blanket over us while my husband went in the store. It isn't everything the ads make it out to be but I did like it. The bags cost extra as they can not be reused and it takes care to pour them into a bottle. They are made special for this pump so you can not buy the storage bags sold in the store. The tubes that connect to the bags are supposed to come out the bottom of your bra. Because of my size that didn't work well so I ended up cutting a hole in the bottom of my nursing bras. Some people find this outrageous but as I bought nuring bras from Walmart I really didn't care.

I highly recommend a breast pump band. This will hold the breast pump for you and makes you hands free. I used a brand Made by Mom's that you can search the internet for. It is also sold at stores that sell breast pump accessories.

Store as much breastmilk as you can, as early as you can. You will be amazed at your supply early on and I was amazed at how fast it dwindled. If you are working and plan to return, having that mild stored early will relieve the stress as you get closer to going back. My supply went down once I returned to work so I only fed my son for 5-6 months. Also, don't be afraid to introduce a bottle before the "recommended" time. My doctor (a male) encouraged me to start an occasional bottle so my husband and I could enjoy a dinner out alone. Also, I really stressed about being the sole food supply for my son and didn't even want to go to the grocery store for fear that my son would get hungry while I was gone.

Oh yes, everyone will tell you this and you won't follow it but, sleep whenever the baby sleeps. Forget about dusting, vacuuming, etc. Both you and your baby will be better if you get as much rest as possible. It's amazing how much getting up 2-3 times in the middle of the night can take out of you!

Also, make sure to change your breast pads frequently and wipe your breasts after each feeding to help ward off thrush (yeast infection in the baby's mouth and on your breasts. Sounds like common sense but I had never heard of it until I got it. My breast got so painful I almost cried when I had to feed my son.

I'm so glad you mentioned colic. We thought my son had colic. It turns out what he really had was reflux. He wouldn't vomit, just spit up after almost every feeding (not huge amounts but more than I thought was normal). At first it didn't seem to bother him right yet we spent hours walking him around the house trying to comfort him. Right about the time we had him diagnosed he visibly became bothered by it, doubling over and crying when he burped. Keep this in mind. He became a totally different baby after we stared him on prescriptin pepcid.

Same advise as others on the strollers.

We used a bassinett for the first 5 months next to our bed and then my son went into a crib. Do not co-sleep!!! The person that mentioned no problems with their children is by far the exception. Also, do you really want a baby in between you and your husband? Relations are strained as it is by time and sleep deprivation. My own experience as a child... my dad worked 3rd shift so my mom let me sleep with her. I cried well into first grade when they wouldn't let me sleep with them. I swore I wouldn't do that to my children.

If you have any Burlington Coat Factory (baby depot) has good deals.

I'll stop there. As you can tell I have lots of advice LOL. Please feel free to email me personnaly with any questions.

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T.

answers from Cleveland on

First off, Congratulations!

Bottles:
we had the best of luck with the Avent

Breastpump:
I bought the Pump in Style advanced, though bf'ing didnt work out, and it was a waste of money, so I suggest making sure that bf'ing works out for you before spending the money on a breast pump!

Stroller/Carseat:
Best bet is to get a travel system that has stroller and infant carrier in one. Graco makes great ones.
Since you are having a winter baby, get those infant carrier covers that you put over the seat-those were great!

When the baby is about 4-5 months and they are outgrowing the carrier, we bought an Edie Bauer Elite 3-in-1 carseat, and we love it.

We got our nursery furniture at Bergs Baby, which can be pricey, but they have sales all the time. Another place for baby furniture is JCPenny online. We bought a bookshelf and changing table, and were happy with the results, plus they were on sale.

Another great product that we loved were the Halo sleep sacks-perfect when the baby wouldnt stay swaddled in blankets, we'd put the baby in a dressing gown with hand mittens and then put him in the sack for bedtime. Helped to keep him warm, and no blankets to worry about.

check out BabiesRUs.com and read reviews of products from other moms out there!

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Y.N.

answers from Detroit on

M.,
I had my daughter Dec. 9 and motherhood is great. I used the Medela pump and loved it. It was very portable and easy to use. I used the bottles that came with it for awhile then switched to Playtex drop-ins once she was on formula. Some people hate the drop-ins but they are great. People try to squeeze the bags but you don't have to do anything with them. One of my friends uses Dr. Brown's bottles and hates cleaning them. It's very labor intensive and she gets frustrated. We have the Eddie Bauer carseat and stroller and love them. Our carseat can be used a little longer then the Graco models. We swaddled until she was 4 months old and it helped a lot. She was sleeping 5-6 hours by 2 weeks and 7-8 hours by 5 weeks. Good Luck and enjoy.
Y.

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C.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Congratulations! We had our first in Januarty & I did a ton of research on all of this stuff.
The book Baby Bargains is awesome for telling you how to get the best bang for the buck for everything you need to buy. It was a great source of info & I even took it with me when I registered!
Pump/Bottles: I have an Ameda Purely Yours pump & love it! I had a lot of trouble with BF so I started using this the first week & still use it 3 times a day (I'm working full time). it's cheaper than the Medela & is supposedly better because milk can't back up into the tubing which is safer. I bought it online for $171 with free S&H. I just did a Google search for it & multiple med. supply places came up which were cheaper than the actual Ameda site. Just check the return policy. Most were 30 days unopened. I literally ordered it when I went into labor so I would have time to see if BF was even going to work.
Bottles - Avent. She took these without a problem right from week 2.
Strollers/Carseats: I got the Graco Metrolite travel system. I believe this one is supposed to be lighter than the Quattro (I loaned my book to a friend). Believe me, the lighter the carseat the better because right now I have a 7 pound seat & a 19 pound baby to haul around. This one goes to 22 lb & 29 in so she will be out of it soon. We haven't gotten the next one yet, but are planning on the Britax Roundabout.
Cribs were hard for me. that book has tons of info. We didn't get a convertible one. I didn't want to spend a ton of money on a furniture set so I picked natural wood & got random pieces & in the end you would never know that they were all purchased at different stores. The crib is a Child Craft from Target. We got a chest of drawers at Art Van. I think the brand is University or something & they have a whole line so later we can get a regular bed or bunk beds or any other piece that goes with it, & I got a changing table at a consignment shop.
We put the pack & play in our room for baby to sleep in in the beginning. Actually my plan was in the crib from day 1 which of course didn't work so then the P&P in our room which also didn't work. The only way she would sleep was in the bed snuggled against us. HORRIFYING!! That was the one thing I was sure I would never do! You get so sleep deprived that it doesn't even matter. At one point we had the P&P, swing & carseat & we would try them all every night. It truly was a nightmare. She was in the P&P at about 4 weeks & in the crib in her room at 6 wks. so it ended up ok.
Hope this helps. If you have any other questions, just ask!!

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A.

answers from Detroit on

Well, as a mother of two (a one-year-old and a three-year-old, girl and boy respectively) my advice is this:

Avent bottles and avent pump. Electric pumps cost $150 more and are not faster, no matter what anyone says (though I think Avent now makes an electric too). When I switched to formula, we used Isomil Advance, which is formulated for gassy stomaches. Neither of my kids would use any other bottle, and they never suffered from gassy stomaches.

One of the safest car seats on the market is the Britax Roundabout. It costs about $200 but safety is worth it. It fits newborn to 40 pounds. Though for our newborns, we always used the Graco carseat because you can lift it out of the car easily when they are sleeping, but most kids can't fit in it after about 6 mos.

Sleeping: We had both our kids in our rooms till they were about a month old. Not in our beds necessarily, but it made for easier breastfeeding and they really need to be near mommy's body during those first few weeks. Both our kids made the transition to their own rooms very easily. It is when you wait till they are 6 mos. or older that moving them to their own room becomes difficult.

Also, don't worry about letting your baby sleep with you during those first few weeks or in a car seat. Our second loved sleeping in her car seat at night. I think her stomach got upset after a feeding if we laid her flat. She did this for about six weeks.

A great book to get regarding sleeping is "Healthy Sleep Habit, Happy Child." It is our bible.

Lastly, right now I'm wishing I had gotten a crib that converts into a toddler bed. You might want to check those out.

Last bits of advice, if you have a boy, always keep a burp cloth or cloth diaper over him when you change him. It is NO fun getting pee and poop in your hair at 2 a.m. And lastly, take all advice here and otherwise with a grain of salt. All babies, kids, are different. There is no perfect fit for all, which is why there are so many different products on the market, especially regarding bottles.

Good luck!

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J.F.

answers from Dayton on

A book that really helped me alot was 'What to Expect When You're expecting'

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H.M.

answers from Cleveland on

Congratulations!! I had my first baby in November!
I used the Dr. Brown Natural flow bottles, they are made for babies with colic and for breastfeeding moms. http://www.handi-craft.com/ You can find them at any baby store, Babies R Us, Target, etc.

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R.

answers from Detroit on

I am a mom to twin girls - 6 months almost! I can't help you with a stroller... because I had to get the double, but the other stuff I can lend an opinion. I love my Medela Breastpump. I went with the tried and true... a friend of mine got the new playtex and it didn't work very well. She ended up renting one from the hospital. We tried several brands of bottles... we hated the Avent... they seemed to leak a lot. We ended up going with the Playtex Vent-Aire b/c our girls had a lot of acid reflux issues and gas. The vent-Aire's seemed to cut the problem in 1/2.

We just bought carseats b/c we will need them in about a month... the Alpha Sport 3 in 1. It's a rear, forward, and booster seat all in one... you never have to buy another one. We haven't tried the girls in them yet, but they came highly recommended.

We got our nursery furniture from JC Penney. Nothing fancy... but sturdy and a good price. The cribs convert to toddler beds and then convert to a head and footboard for a full size bed later on.

Hope this helps!

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L.O.

answers from Detroit on

Hello M.

Congratulations on your upcoming blessing. Babies are truly a blessing. My daughter was born 12/20/05-- so she is 7 month old now..

Here are my tips/advice.

Breastfeed. breast is best. Dont say you plan on trying to breastfeed.. Say you are going to breastfeed. It is hard in the beginning. it gets easier. Dont give up. I had to see a lactation consultant when my daughter was 4 weeks old. The $40 for the appointment was so worth it. I am still nursing my daughter. It is the best thing for her health now and for the rest of her life.

I have a Medela pump in style breast pump. It is great. It cost $320 but it is pretty quick and it isnt painful.. I highly recommend the Medela pump. I bought the "advanced" pump. which pumps lightly for 2 minutes and then switches to normal pumping.. the advanced was $70 more than the regulare medela pump in style.. I dont know if the advanced was worth it.. I bet the regular would be fine.

I started my daughter on bottle at 4 weeks. she got one bottle from dad a couple days a week. she always took a bottle she never refused. I bought Gerber Premium bottles...They work fine and are easy to clean (wide mouth) they do not leak.. alot of internet sites say Avent bottles leak. Dr. Brown bottles have a lot of parts to clean and put together. I wouldnt worry about colic. If you breastfeed your baby will not have "colic" from the milk. What is commonly referred to as colic is a fussy crying baby in the evening starting at about 6 weeks of age. My daughter did this it lasts a couple of weeks and it goes away. It was not related to milk it is developmental.

I love my baby bjorn pack- I wear my baby when I grocery shop. At first she faced me and fell fast asleep- now she faces out and looks around and smiles at everyone. The baby bjorn is 80 but well worth it.

Find a kids resale shop.. They have great deals on kid stuff. There is a great kids resale in Sterling Heights. Lots of baby equipment is used for a very short time so an item used by 1 child is practically brand new.

Car seats... Britax is the cadillac of car seats. very expensive. But they have seats that go from 5-65 pounds.. so 1 car seat would last until your child is at least 5 or 6 years old. If you are going to get the britax eventually- you might as well skip the cost of the infant seat- and just use the britax from day one.

My daughter is still riding in her infant seat at 7 months. It is handy to take in restaurants so she has a place to sit.. she is finally strong enough to sit in one of those wooden high chairs they have in restaurants.

Sleep with your baby. That brand new little one needs to know mommy is right there next to her. I slept with my daughter unitl she was 6 months old. She had half of the king size bed- I had the other half. Daddy moved to the guest bed for a while. It is much easier to breastfeed if baby is in bed with yuu, I moved my daughter to the crib and she was fine. She loves her crib now. You will not roll on or squash your baby. I was careful about pillows and blankets I had one light blanket for me and only 1 pillow. Dont worry about baby getting to attached...attachment to mom is the foundation for all attachments in the future. The baby needs to be attached to you.

Good luck and dont be afraid to ask questions - I got lots of advice from friends..it helps.

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L.

answers from Cleveland on

I would also recommend the Dr. Brown's bottles as Holly did. Good luck and congrats!

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H.

answers from Columbus on

Hi M., I am a first time mom too, my lil girl is 13 months old. So far, Wal-Mart was the best place to buy a breast pump... I believe it was around $80.00 for an electric double pump. I unfortuantley could only use mine for about two weeks as my daughter couldn't keep down my milk and had to switch to formula. If you would like, I can arrange something with you and sell you mine for a lesser cost. Also, I think that the health dept. or family services rents out breast pumps but I am not sure what kind they or or what condition they are in. As far as strollers and car seats, I reccomend getting one that allows you to put the car seat on top of the stoller. Mine is a Graco, Winnie the Pooh. I have never had any problems with it. It's hard to pick one spot as being the cheapest. You kinda have to just watch for sales. Target sends you a ton of coupons when you register with them. Another thing to keep in mind is not every body carries the same brands so that may be a deciding factor for you too. I love Avent bottles and pacis... my baby seemed to take to both quite well. You will know more of what works best for you and baby once baby gets here... I know you want to get prepared, but reality is they baby is going to make up your mind for you... One more tip.. every mom that I know including myself has had problems with leaking when using Huggies diapers. I suggest Pampers. :-)

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A.W.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Congrats on the new baby! I'm due Jan 10th with our second. I'll bet by the end of your pregnancy, you'll be sick of all the advice from people! It doesn't stop after the baby's born, either :)

In regards to which products to buy, I did a lot of online shopping and I relied on Customer Reviews. The major online stores like Babies R Us/Amazon.com, Walmart and Target all included Customer Reviews if you scroll down the product page. You can just use these websites to research the products, and then you can just walk into the store to buy most of the products. I don't buy anything without reading the reviews first, and I don't regret a single purchase I've made so far. Fortunately we're able to reuse everything we had for baby #1.

My husband also has an account with Consumer Reports (consumerreports.com), which was great for finding a carseat and crib with the highest safety rating. I would definitely recommend trying that as well.

I have heard wonderful things about Dr Brown's bottles in regards to less colic and gassiness. I never pumped on a regular basis, so all I can tell you is don't get a manual pump!!

You should check out the book "The Girlfriend's Guide To Pregnancy" by Vicki Iovine. It's hilarious and really helpful. She gives tips on everything from pregnancy to her opinion about which baby products you can't live without.

Good Luck!

-A. W.

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S.P.

answers from Joplin on

M.,
Granted, it has been about 12 years since I was last breast feeding, but I think my advice is still valid. I would recommend either renting an electric breast pump or at least purchasing a battery powered pump. (Check Ebay) I breastfed my firstborn for 14 months and used a hand pump the whole time. Exhausting! I worked 3 days a week and pumped at work on all of my breaks. I worked at the hospital so when I had the time, I was lucky enough to go down the the L&D unit and use thier pump.
As far as brands, I tried several, but found that Medela was by far the best. Get in touch with the La Leche League in the area. They are the true experts on breast feeding! www.lalecheleague.org
Just remember, pumping at work isn't easy, but I am so glad that I did it. For a year I took breaks by myself and pumped, but I would do it all over again in a second! It is truly a labor of love. When the day is long and you are missing your baby, you know that you are doing something for him. Keep a picture of him in your pumping supply bag and take that time to pray for him.
Regarding other items, hit the garage sales now! It doesn't matter that the clothing won't fit him right at first, they eventually will. As far as buying a car seat at a garage sale, be leary. Many car seats have recalls out on them for various reasons. As cheap as I am, I would definatly purchase new when it came to the car seat. It's a good investment. If you have to go used, check with the car seat's manufacturer to see if there are any recalls.
God Bless you!
S.

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C.

answers from Columbus on

I know how you are feeling. I am also a new mom (my daughter is 5 months) who when started all the research and found out that there are a million things out there. Luckily, you do not need all of the things that Babies R Us thinks that you need. I hope that I can help you with what I have tried, lived, and learned.

Bottles:
I would suggest the Dr. Brown bottles. I need to tell you up fron that they are pricey, but they are worth every penny. They have all these parts, but they help out with collic and REALLY cut back on gas. My daughter was a preemie, and these are the only bottles that would fit the special preemie nipple that we had to use for a while. After the preemie nipple was gone, we stuck to the bottles and found that they work great. I would suggest getting the large bottles in any type though. They will be outgrowing 2 and 4oz. bottles before you know it. The 8-9 oz. bottles are the ones that you will use the longest. It saves some money.

Carseats and Strollers

I also had my eye on the Graco Quattro Travel system. It is durable, safe, and really well rated. I subscribed to Consumer Reports and was introduced to the Brittax line through there. It received the top rating through Consumer Reports. The Brittax Infant carrier goes from 4-22 lbs, and up to 30 inches I beleive. The stroller that completes the travel system, the preview, is sold seperatly. I must warn you again. They both are very expensive. It recieved the top rating for safety. I broke down and went with the Britax. It was the best choice that I made. Mt daughter loves her carseat. It is very padded, and has some extra safety measures that the others did not have. The carseat will fit in the stroller to complete the travel system. It does come with a base, and you can purchase extra bases for other vehicles. The car seat went in and out very easily, and my daughter was able to sleep on her car seat. The stroller is aluminum and is very light. Although light, it is sturdy. It holds up to 50 pounds, so this will proboly be the only stroller that you will ever need. Following 22 pounds, we are going with the Britax Roundabout. It goes to 40 pounds.

Nursrey Furniture

I found that Babies R Us had the best selection. They tend to have the collections. I also always checked the newspaper for ads, and I know some employers have an online classifieds. These are also a great place to find nursrey furniture.

I used a bassinett until my daughter was 6 weeks old. Instead of the traditional bassinett, I purchased the Graco Travel Crib. It has a bessinett top that holds a child up to 15 pounds, and a travel crib in the bottom, that holds a child to 35 pounds. It kind of puts you in mind of a pack in play. Worked really well.

A couple of things that I could not live without.

A bouncy seat. My daughter took naps in the bouncy seat, still does from time to time, works as a great place to set the little one down dor a second, and it is very mobile. We received one as a present. It was great.

I also had the Fisher Price Pampason Cradle Swing. Once my daughter was heavy enough to be in motion in a swing, this worked great. It has music, a mobile, and will swing in 2 different directions. The cradle portion really helped her with sleeping when she was so tired and fighting sleep. I started calling it her magic swing. It is also really easy to clean. The fabric parts come off and you can toss them on the washer.

I also would suggest lap pads. I used these on my changing table. They tell you about little boys peeing, but so do little girls. I was washing my diaper pad cover everyday! I found some waterproof pads at babies r us and they really saved the day. I would suggest the babies r us brand that are waterproof. I also tried the carters, but did not care for them.

I hope this helps,
Best of luck on your new addition.

C. C.

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M.R.

answers from Toledo on

Hi M.....It's M.! Welcome.

Hey one must have in MY book is the Evenflo carseat with the knob to tighten and loosen the straps. Conventional carseats that you have to pull the strap in front...those don't last. The straps get harder and harder to pull over time and we went through probably 5 carseats with Cameron. I purchased this Evenflo one with Alexis and used it almost 4 years and it still is working, she just grew out of it ! Totally worth the money.

I would also highly recommend the swings that both cradle and swing from front to back. Much better than the old style swing I had with Cameorn, that their little legs hang down and get soooo cold.

By the way I have a whole wardrobe of baby boy clothes...Cameron was born in late Novemeber...so the season might work for you. I am looking to sell as pretty much the entire wardrobe. A lot less than you could buy at the store. And I actually have everything of his up to NOW. If you are interested let me know. I am going to organize them someday and sell them on ebay, I hope.
_________________________________________________________

I was reading some other responses and I see others did not like sleeping with their infants...but I thought I would say that I LOVED IT. We got so connected and it made nursing at night a snap. I even invested in a Bedside Co-sleeper with my daughter. But she would only sleep ON us the first few months. Hey looking back I would totally take that quiet snuggly time any day of the week! Let's face it most of us are sleep deprived anyway no matter where the baby sleeps. A book I found very helpful was "The Baby Book" by Dr. Sears. Just wonderful. M....you can borrow it if you like... I don't need it anytime soon. :-)

Blessings!!!!!!!
M.

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E.S.

answers from Detroit on

Hello... I am also a first time mom to my wonderful 13 month old son! It is very overwhelming having to prepare for this new little life coming so soon!

I have a graco touring system, and I love it. It worked great for our family! I also have a larger SUV, and have had no problems getting it in or out. It is fairly light as well!

I breastfed my son, using the ADVENT system. It worked great, and he has had no issues going from breast to bottle!

A few carseat tips though! I once read that 85% of all carseats are installed incorrectly in one way or another. Call your local police, or fire department, and most should have a trained officer to teach you the proper ways to install your carseat! Also here is a very touching, and sad link to a video that I think every parent should watch! I saw it, and have already changed how I look at the importance of car seats!!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=azgBhZfcqaQ

Good Luck!!

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S.

answers from Columbus on

M., Congratulations.
I think your on the right track. Items are personal preference. I like the gerber breast milk bags because after you pump you can pour into these and they will lie flat in the freezer, helping save space and keeping a supply, easily transportable to the sitters or on an outing in a cooler. A double electric breast pump is wonderful, quick for pumpimg at work to build up your supply, brand excapes me, sorry. Get yourself some lansinoh ointment (purple tube - not cheap but wonderful) for your nipples because they will get sore from breast feeding and it doesn't hurt the baby. I had trouble with underwire bras while breast feeding too.
I liked the avent bottles, however when my son was an infant, he had trouble sucking because they can be a little more stiff than the gerber. They also have different nipples that allow variying amounts of fluids through for different stages of infant development. I'm not sure the bent bottle or one that have tubes make much a difference in colicy babies. I too was colicy but my son wasn't.
I like graco strollers that accomidate the infant car seat, that fold easily, easy to manover in stores and fairly light weight to pick up.
Carseats, (graco or cosco - I think) I prefer the 5 point harness system (clasp at chest and comes to point between legs). I feel they are safer. We bought car seats that were both toddler and booster seat capable so we didn't have to buy more than 2 seats. I bought an extra base so we could transfer the infant car seat to each car and the with toddler/booster seat - bought 1 for each car, this eliminated having to place it each time, which was wonderful. My son is 4 and still uses the 5 pt harness. The pediatrician recommended if he stays in the harness to continue to use it even if he weighs more than 40 lbs and is 4 yrs old. He is more safe. Local firemen can show you the proper way to install them, they were very helpful to us. Free of charge.
The bed - excellent choice. We have a convertible bed that was crib with a small fold down front, to toddler- one side open, to full bed. Best money ever spent and will get another if I have a second child. I would buy the side rails to make the full bed at the time you buy the crib. Ours, we waited on since we didn't need them right away to save some money at the time and they discontinued the model, but luckily found a set. My son also slept in his room from day one. So much easier than having to switch them later. They make great baby monitors that you can hear the baby breathing or even video monitors but I was just happy to hear him and its more cost effective.

I hope this wasn't too much info. I have great teething tablet recommendations too when the time comes. Feel free to email me if you would like to ask anymore questions.

S.
____@____.com

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J.

answers from Cincinnati on

Medella breast pumps are great and very reliable. I used mine for over 9 mos! Brittax car seats are very nice and are top rated. One other recommendation is a travel swing. They are really handy to take to a baby sitter or when visiting others. Good Luck!

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A.

answers from Detroit on

Congrats! Our son (an only child thus far) is 16 months so it hasn't been too long since I was in your shoes...
as far as pumps go, don't bother with a manual pump, if you are serious about breast feeding, electric is the only way to go and most models are pretty easy to travel with...modelo is the brand most hospitals use and they sell accessories at many stores (including Target)... in retrospect i would have gone with DR. Brown's brand of bottles, they have a 'straw type' set up that allows you to prop the baby up while feeding (as opposed to lying back which can trap gas in their tummies)... as far as furniture goes we were given a crib but would definetly have gone for a convertable if given the choice... we did however, use a cradle in our rooom for the first month (they don't sleep through the night for a while if breastfeeding so it helps to have them nearby)... 'Ikea' has some really great (and reasonable) baby/ toddler furniture...and 'Crate and Barrel Kids' makes really soft low maintenence changing pad covers...
Other favorites of ours to register/ look for: SAFETY FEEDER (small mesh bag with plasic stopper/handle that you put Ice chips or fresh/frozen food into so babies can gnaw on real food without risk of choking) *get the ones that have replaceable mesh bags as they can get tough to clean out after many uses- BOPPY PILLOW- you will definetly want this for breastfeeding- VIDEO MONITOR- worth the extra bang for your buck during those first few months when every whimper sends you scrambling to the nursery... DIAPER GENIE...HOMEDICS SHIATSU MASSAGE PAD (around $100 at bed, bath, and beyond) I keep mine on the rocking glider in the nursery... hauling that little treasure around inside for nine months and outside indefinetly while take it's toll on your back so having a place where you can get pampered while feeding/ holding your child will be something you will really appreciate... EXERSAUCER...VIBRATING BOUNCER (mine was by 'leap frog')DIAPER BAG ACCESSORY MUST HAVES: Bath and Body works moisterizing hand sanitizer lotion, diaper disposal bags and dispencers, burp cloths ( i got a few yards of baby themed flannel cloth from Joanne's, cut it up and fringed the ends... works great and much softer/more absorbent than store bought cloths)...IF your baby is collicy, get gripe water from nutri-foods or whole foods(both of which also carry some baby care products called 'common sense'*I highly recommend the diaper cream,

When he or she is older: get a travel high chair that attatches to the table and a rubber suction cup placemat...and the disposable bibs are excellent, especially when they start self feeding...
I am sure you will get all sorts of good advice at mamasource... hope this helps a bit too!
best wishes,
A., che', and jarrett

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M.

answers from Detroit on

Hi M.. Congrats!

I can share some advice about pumping and breastfeeding. No one told me to make sure I had a pump from day 1. I figured I didn't need it until a few weeks before I went back to work. You definitely need it early on. Also, I was very hesitant to spend a lot of money on a pump, but my husband convinced me to just bite the bullet and shell out for one of the hefty Medela pumps. Absolutely worth every penny. I've been pumping 5-6 times a day for almost 11 months now, and the thing is still going strong. Bag is falling apart, but it gets the job done.

We're fans of the Playtex bottles. It's very easy to clean them, and their special anti-colic design seems to work well.

Take care -
M.

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D.G.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi M., me and my husband were in your shoes about a year ago and this book help us alot. its worth the $$
Baby Bargains: Secrets to Saving 20% to 50% on Baby Furniture, Equipment, Clothes, Toys, Maternity Wear, and Much, Much More.
You can get it from any book store. Good Luck

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E.C.

answers from Cincinnati on

Please pick up the book Baby Bargains by Denise and Alan Fields. You can find it at any book store (BN, Borders or Amazon. Run to get it. Gives up to date advice on just about everything, also includes safety info regarding car seats and strollers. Most of the info is collected from other 'Moms'.
We purchased just about everything recommended in the book, most of the items got us through two kids (then passed on to family & friends). Try out the strollers recommended, the one you're looking at is a back breaker, see how easily they fold (with one hand :) and check the weight! The Britex car seats are the best for children pass 20lbs/one year. Good luck!

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V.S.

answers from Cincinnati on

Looks like everyone has great ideas and advice. Just a few of my must haves.
Bottles -- Dr. Brown exspecially if baby is gassy. i also like playtex ( you can buy replacments online at www.teebop.com) Avent has the least parts to wash

I agree on renting the Medela pump from the hospital to see how things go for a few weeks

Aquarium cradle swing from fisher price

Flutterbye for the crib ( it play's music and shines light on ceiling) some like the Aquarium one also but i like the flutterbye better

Formula--Makers Mark from Sams club if your breast feeding doesn't work out or you need to supplement.

I have been very happy with Graco Quattro system and we just ordered the Alpha Omega convertible booster seat .( i think someone else mentioned this already). Its kind of middle of the line if u can't afford Britex. but we read a lot of good reviews on it.

Crib--i did get the kind with no slats on the end and wish i hadn't. You are limited to what u can hang on the bed and putting the sheets on is really hard. I didn't do the convertible route in case we have another child sooner than later. i figure i will put the new baby in the crib and buy a toddler bed for my other baby if she is old enough.

Enjoy your pregancy!!

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L.F.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I have this AWESOME car seat stroller my grandmas friends got it if qvc its $200 but its worth it the baby can use it right away up to 35 lbs. you put it in the car as a car seat and when you get out you pull the thing that makes the wheels come out and pull up the handle and your ready to go..
http://www.strollerdepot.com/moreinfo.php?SKU=0012&lo... go to that if it doesnt work write back.. Yeah i know you have to but the sun protector and the bag that fits on it but like i said you only need one car seat and stroller till the baby is 35 lbs i beleve.. i love it its so easy... if you do get it the handle is kinda wobbly but its so you can turn it with only one hand..... also i found out that target and walmart have the cheapest stuff for babys.. also if you go to sears they have alot of clothes 40-50% off right now.... I just had my baby in may so if you need more advice i know alot already feel free to email me. Oh and i persoanlly have the 3 in one crib that grows with baby. instead of having to buy bed after bed you only need one!!!!

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J.

answers from Detroit on

Hi M., first of congrats! My daughter is now 19 mnths old and my due date was dec. 23 '04 I went into labor that night and had her the next morning on christmas eve. The best decision I ever could have made when I was pregnant was to switch from my doctor to a midwife. It was much easier and less stressful for me, I had a huge room in the hospital and a queen size bed we celebrated christmas with my immidiate family htere in the room that night, there was plenty of room for the family it was great. I breastfed for six mnths and then went back to work. I am a single mother her daddy left me the night i went into labor so when it comes to deals and saving money i am queen. When your child grows out of a car seat take her/him to a car seat check they will give you a brand new car seat that is the safest for your baby this has saved me hundreds literally. Also a transition bed would have been a blessing to me but i could not afford it now that my daughter is ready to be in a toddler bed i wish i had. If you have any questions feel free to ask me good luck to you!

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J.H.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi! I was a 1st time mom about 4 months ago.
A couple of suggestions...
I really like the Medela Pump In Style. DO NOT get a manual one. The Medela ones are the best and worth the big $
I would suggest not getting many of one kind of bottle. Different babies like diff. kinds and I would try several diff ones and see. Dr. Brown bottles are expensive but are supposed to be the best for colic.
Make sure your stroller folds easily and is not too heavy. I like ours, but I think it is pretty heavy.
I actually found THE cutest crib at a thrift store. I cleaned it really good and therefor didn't feel guilty about spending more for the Pottery Barn bedding! :)
Good luck!

C.F.

answers from Lansing on

Congrats M..
Well I read what some of the other moms said and there are some really good recommendations in there. I don't think you could use more info on carseats, stroller, cribs and diapers so I'm going to tell you about something they haven't mentioned. A Wipey Warmer. I got mine at Babies 'r' Us and it was fantastic. I didn't know about them for my first(boy, 6y) but a friend of mine told me about them before my second(boy, 3y). You will be getting up a million times in the night and you will be changing those poopy diapers. My son always 'went' after the feeding when he was nice and sleepy and then I'd change him and...bam! freezing wipey on his warm little tush it would wake him right up!!. So I would recommend a wipey warmer, and when they get older you just stop plugging it in. Also for my second one I had him sleeping in his bouncy seat that was put inside the 3-way pack n' play. I had it pushed right up to my bed so when he woke up I could stay in bed and just reach over and get him, also when his reflexes would make him jerk the bouncy seat would rock him back to sleep, it also helped with burping and thowup I never had to worry about him choking. Also if you end up bottle feeding I would also recommend a bottle warmer. I couldn't breastfeed because if medical problems and so that helped alot. I lay in bed snuggling the baby and my darling husband would get up and warm the bottle, I know he really appreciated that warmer. Just some suggestions. Hope everything turns out great and you don't feel like you are going to explode from all the advice/info.
Good Luck!!
C.

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J.C.

answers from Columbus on

the quattro stroller is wonderful. it folds up easily and a lot better from "new" moms. my daughter is 4 now and i wish that stroller was around when she was born. the best breastpump is made by medela. they have one that is helpful form "working" moms as well. i liked the playtex bottles w/silcone nipples. my daughter did have probs w/colic and such like i did as baby. for the next size up for carseats, i would spend the extra money and get a britax. they are very safe and about the best out there. i hope this helps and congrats on your new edition :)

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J.D.

answers from Dayton on

Hi M.! First, congratulations on your pregnancy! I'll try to give useful, brief advice in the order of your topics:

Bottles/Breastfeeding: I highly recommend a little book called "So That's What They're For!" by Janet Tamaro. I think it costs about $12 and you can get it online and at Barnes & Noble. You could also check the public library. She gives evidenced-based information with humor and it is easy to read. She covers all the basics of breastfeeding. Another breastfeeding favorite of mine is "Breastfeeding" by Dr. William Sears. The Le Leche League website (www.lalecheleague.org) has a ton of information and resources. Consider attending some La Leche League meetings (breastfeeding support group run by moms) even before the baby is born, if you can, and definitely after the birth!

Stollers & Carseats: I tend to only use a carseat for riding in the car (not as a baby carrier - it's awkward and not safe) and then I use a baby sling (www.mayawrap.com has my favorite) to carry the baby in stores, etc. until they are old enough to sit in a stroller/grocery cart unassisted. I recommend going to www.consumerreports.com to get research-based ratings for car seats.

CRIBS & FURNITURE: I strongly recommend a bassinet or co-sleeper for the first few months. The American Academy of Pediatricians as well as many mother/baby organizations, including Le Leche League International recommend that infants do not sleep alone in their own room as it increases the risk of SIDS and can impair successful establishment of the breastfeeding relationship. Most bassinets have wheels (with locks) so that if you put the baby down for a nap you can move the bassinet to another room without disturbing the baby. All babies wake to eat during the night for the first several months - and speaking from the perspective of experience, it is sooo much better for you and the baby if the baby is in the same room with you (bassinet, co-sleeper, or crib at the end of the bed) because as your baby begins to stir and awaken, you will hear the infant in your sleep and begin to awaken naturally and be able to breastfeed and help both of you get back to sleep much more peacefully and easily. With the infant in another room (even if you use a baby monitor) the baby usually ends of crying before you are jolted awake and stumbling down the hallway to find a baby who is frantically hungry and upset and who takes much longer to settle back down to sleep.

I don't believe there is such a thing as a "too attached" child. Security for a baby is having it's needs met - lots of holding by its mother/father, warmth, cleanliness and food. A secure baby is happier, calmer (less colic - which I think is a concern of yours), cries less, sleeps better and grows better. Once the baby begins to "sleep through the night" (which in pediatrician terms is about 6 hours) OR outgrows the bassinet, you can transition to a crib, even in another room, if that is what works for your family. In most cases, the baby makes an easy transition.

Other Pregnancy/Baby/Parenting Resources that I like:
There are a series of books on pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, babies, parenting, etc. written by Dr. William Sears. They can be found at the public library, online and in bookstores. Some of my favorite websites are www.breastfeeding.com, www.askdrsears.com, www.lalecheleague.org, and www.birthsource.com

I hope this information is helpful! Best wishes to you and your expecting family!

J. Steinbach, PCD(DONA)

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R.

answers from Detroit on

Congratulations M.,

The best advice I can tell you is following your instincts 9 times out of 10 they won't steer you wrong. You have to have the car seat to leave the hospital, you need some where for the little one to sleep, breastmilk or formula, something to wear, and diapers (everything other than that is gravy-really). I spent all kinds of cash on every little thing on my first, now that i'm on #4 I can see that by the time I need it 2 weeks later they've out grown it). To get the most bang for your buck I highly recommend the store -Once Upon a Child-(For all your shopping needs).
The best piece of advice that I wish people would have told me is- if you are planning to breastfeed rent a Hospital grade pump for the first couple of weeks from the hospital you give birth at, or one that has one (lactation consultant can help) you will understand if you get engorged (I pray you don't). Don't waste your money on anything less trust me they will only make you upset and uncomfortable. Other than that enjoy your Baby and remember that it really does go by so fast.

Relax you can never know it all, read it all, get it all done you'll do just fine.
R. mother of 3 age 4, 2 and 1 with one on the way.

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S.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi M.,
I've been out of town so if you already have all the input you want, please accept my apologies.
I would avoid as much plastic as possible, especially where milk/food is concerned. Also colic can be an indication of too little good flora in the intestines which can easily be solved with the right nutrition. One of the best things you can do for your baby is make sure you're as healthy as possible. Let me know if you'd like to know what the latest science says about an expectant mom's nutritional needs.
S.

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M.

answers from Toledo on

M.,

Congratulations! I'm a working Mom also and now have 2 kids (3 1/2 & 19 months old). Here are a few things that I found very helpful during my pregnancy: I tried to breast feed but it did not work for either child. I ended up using Dr. Brown's bottles for both my kids. My kids had acid reflux for almost a year(until solid foods). If you run across the same problem, Nestle Good Start with the comfort proteins worked wonderfully with the Prevacid that they had to be on for the acid reflux. The bottles worked great and held up good and they have the different nipple sizes you can buy as they grow. Both my kids also loved our portable swing that played music and had flashing colored lights. When they got older they also enjoyed our exersaucer. That was a life saver sometimes when I wanted to prepare dinner or do laundry. One thing I would recommend would be to buy two bases for the baby carrier for your car. We had it where my husband dropped off the kids and I would pick up and it was easier to just snap them in our base in each car instead of having to remove it each day. We used Graco carrier that snapped into the stroller also which was a nice light unit. It was navy blue with tan plaid with a bear on it. That was a nice stroller. For sleeping when we brought the kids home, I intended to use a bassinet then transition them into a crib. Neither used the bassinet though because of the acid reflux and laying flat. So, they had to sleep in the swing or their car seat until 7 months. I don't know if you know about the store Once Upon A Child or not, but they have some nice slightly used items if you don't get something for your shower and don't want to pay the big store prices. I sell all my stuff back to the Perrysburg store. I have sold back my high chair, portable swing, upright swing, exersaucer, boppy,clothes etc. My kids also loved their boppy with the things that hung down from it when they were around 2-6 months along with their fish music box in their crib. My 19 month old still plays with it in his crib when he wakes up from his naps and in the mornings. It's our alarm clock every morning. I hope these things help you out I know it can be overwhelming.
Good Luck to you!

Kim

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