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Posted: 9/12/2010 12:41:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2010 1:11:22 PM EDT by bluefalcon]
Our little girl is due at the end of October. What advice does the hivemind have for us. What have we forgotten to buy? What do we need to know? What do we need to do? What sort of things does everyone obsess about that really isn't important? In short, what do you wish someone had told you? This is our first baby and we're really excited. I think everything is as ready as it can be, but I'd love to hear what advice you guys have.

A month and a half ago:



ETA: I should have mentioned we don't intend to use formula if we can help it. Assuming my wife produces enough milk, we plan to nurse and pump.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 12:41:53 PM EDT
Start saving $ now.

Link Posted: 9/12/2010 12:43:06 PM EDT
set up shifts for sleep so both of you can remain somewhat happy. I used to take shift until 2 am and the wife would go to bed at 9pm and then if the baby woke up between 2 am and am she would get up to deal with it. Im a night person and she is a morning person so it worked out great for both of us.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 12:52:11 PM EDT
I am raising my boy all on my own( 4 months old now) and here are some must haves.

the bumbo seat

for teething time

best swaddling blankets EVER

Also..

Sign up on both the similac and infamil websites(have both you and your wife do this) as they will send massive coupons depending on what route you go. Similac will send 5.00 off coupons, so when you buy the large container at costco/sams, its really helps out.

The thing you dont want to ever go cheap on are Car Seats.. Make sure you get one that will grow with your new angel.

If you ever have questions, email me and I will answer anything I can. This has been the greatest experience of my life.

Congrats and goodluck!

-Dan
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 12:52:39 PM EDT
I always tried to get up with the little ones since The wife was left at home all day with them. And since you are having a girl. It is time to expand your gun collection. Remember it is for the Child
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 12:55:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DanSharp:
I am raising my boy all on my own( 4 months old now) and here are some must haves.

the bumbo seat

for teething time

best swaddling blankets EVER

Also..

Sign up on both the similac and infamil websites(have both you and your wife do this) as they will send massive coupons depending on what route you go. Similac will send 5.00 off coupons, so when you buy the large container at costco/sams, its really helps out.

The thing you dont want to ever go cheap on are Car Seats.. Make sure you get one that will grow with your new angel.

If you ever have questions, email me and I will answer anything I can. This has been the greatest experience of my life.

Congrats and goodluck!

-Dan
on the formula note. make sure you try a couple brands. i ended up having to use the cheap cvs brand formula powder because the good brands gave her gas for some reason and lost us a lot of sleep. all brands are not the same and different babies react differently to them.

Link Posted: 9/12/2010 12:57:56 PM EDT
Patience.....lots of it, the rewards are worth it.
My daughter turns 20 in a few days...and my son will be 18 in Jan.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:03:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By victorgonzales:

Originally Posted By DanSharp:
I am raising my boy all on my own( 4 months old now) and here are some must haves.

the bumbo seat

for teething time

best swaddling blankets EVER

Also..

Sign up on both the similac and infamil websites(have both you and your wife do this) as they will send massive coupons depending on what route you go. Similac will send 5.00 off coupons, so when you buy the large container at costco/sams, its really helps out.

The thing you dont want to ever go cheap on are Car Seats.. Make sure you get one that will grow with your new angel.

If you ever have questions, email me and I will answer anything I can. This has been the greatest experience of my life.

Congrats and goodluck!

-Dan
on the formula note. make sure you try a couple brands. i ended up having to use the cheap cvs brand formula powder because the good brands gave her gas for some reason and lost us a lot of sleep. all brands are not the same and different babies react differently to them.





Almost forgot these. Breastfeeding or not, these are what I have found to be top shelf for delivery without extra gas:

dr browns bottles


I have a medela breast pump that I bought for close to 300.00 that didnt get much use that I will let go for around 200.00. If you are interested.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:08:33 PM EDT
Wipe Warmer
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:10:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By bluefalcon:
Our little girl is due at the end of October. What advice does the hivemind have for us. What have we forgotten to buy? What do we need to know? What do we need to do? What sort of things does everyone obsess about that really isn't important? In short, what do you wish someone had told you? This is our first baby and we're really excited. I think everything is as ready as it can be, but I'd love to hear what advice you guys have.

A month and a half ago:

http://i56.tinypic.com/n2fo5k.jpg


You need diapers, wipes, bottles, and formula..... Everything else just makes it easier.

There are all kinds of Bs baby products out there and you don't need 9/10s of them. You don't even need a crib, a pack-n-play will do the trick and is a lot cheaper. A good changing table is a really nice thing to have though, and when my son was an infant those battery powered swings were a fucking life saver.


So what do you need ahead of time? A good camera, everything else you can get as you need it.

Most importantly, enjoy it. My son turned one last week, and I have no idea where the last year went.






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Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:10:56 PM EDT
I have a 4 y.o., my best advice is SLEEP, sleep every chance you get until the baby is born, you may not get any decent sleep again, til. . .well I don't really know
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:13:00 PM EDT
Get some woombies.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:13:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By victorgonzales:

Originally Posted By DanSharp:
I am raising my boy all on my own( 4 months old now) and here are some must haves.

the bumbo seat

for teething time

best swaddling blankets EVER

Also..

Sign up on both the similac and infamil websites(have both you and your wife do this) as they will send massive coupons depending on what route you go. Similac will send 5.00 off coupons, so when you buy the large container at costco/sams, its really helps out.

The thing you dont want to ever go cheap on are Car Seats.. Make sure you get one that will grow with your new angel.

If you ever have questions, email me and I will answer anything I can. This has been the greatest experience of my life.

Congrats and goodluck!

-Dan
on the formula note. make sure you try a couple brands. i ended up having to use the cheap cvs brand formula powder because the good brands gave her gas for some reason and lost us a lot of sleep. all brands are not the same and different babies react differently to them.



Kirkland brand from Costco worked very well for my son. The best thing about it is that it is $20 for two big cans which is less than half the price of the Enfamil or Similac. YMMV but its worth a shot at least for the price and it compares directly to the major brands right on the back of the can.

Also consider using diapers and wipes from Costco as they are much cheaper since your buying in bulk and I have never had any issues with Kirkland brand stuff.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:14:09 PM EDT
I have a 19 mo old son, and we're expecting number 2 any minute now. Stock your freezer with meals you can throw in the oven now. You want a minimum of 3-5 weeks worth. Get take out menus for every place in your area. Most likely, you'll both be too exhausted after the first few days to run an efficient house until you get the swing of the new pace. Have no illusions, that kid will be the entire focus of your life for the first few months.

Try to limit the number of visitors while you're still in the hospital. It's hard enough as it is for mom and baby to get the whole feeding thing down if she's going au naturel, and having your uncle's 3rd cousin pop in for 40 minutes as soon as they establish a latch is a PITA.

You don't need as many receiving blankets as she's already bought. You do need more pacifiers than you thought. They disappear quickly. If you're bottle feeding, the $3 bottle brush from Walmart or Target works great, but have 2-3 extra on hand. If she's pumping, get spare parts. There's nothing worse than having your wife wake you at 3 am so you can drive 30 minutes to the nearest Walmart for a replacement vacuum nipple because she'll have mastitis by morning.

If you don't remember any nursery rhymes or kids songs, learn em now. Bookmark Youtube for Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Veggie Tales. When the kid is screaming at o dark thirty, and you're just trying to get her back to sleep, it's a life saver.

There's more, but you'll have to see what works for you.


Lastly- Kids Bounce. Don't go rushing off to the ER the first time she bumps her head.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:14:51 PM EDT
As the father of two daughters (now 9 & 10), here's a couple of things I learned...

- Those Diaper Genie devices for disposing of diapers are useless IMO. We were given one and it was quickly decided to be more of a hassle than it was worth. Plastic grocery bags are what you need, are essentially free, and are quicker & easier to use.

- In addition to the diaper bag you will be carrying everywhere with you, always keep the following in each car: at least one bath towel, box of baby wipes, several plastic grocery bags, a small easy to use umbrella.

- As soon as you are settled in at home, start working on a sleep schedule with your baby and stick to it. It will pay off big time in the long run. We've never had any issues getting either of our kids to bed because my wife was very diligent at sticking to a sleep schedule. She always made sure they napped and went to bed for the night at the same time each day.

- Keep in mind that if your baby is crying then something is probably wrong. He/she is probably hungry, wet, or needs burping. As cranky as you will be, take a deep breath and just remember it's just your baby trying to tell you something.

Anyway, congratulations and good luck. It's a wild ride but a very rewarding one, and they will change your life for the better in ways you never imagines. I can't imagine my life without my daughters.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:16:43 PM EDT
9 weeks in for us! Lots of fun and lots of...no.....sleep.

Lots of fun though!
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:19:55 PM EDT
Shoot the first boy that comes over to see her and leave the body.

Let the rest of the boys step over him. "That's what happens when you disrespect my daughter by being 3 minutes late".

Protect her and cherish her at all opportunities. Let her fall down, make mistakes and screw things up.

Those parents that you always said you'd never be like, yeah, well, you'll be looking up to them now. You'll see why sometimes parents just ignore their kids and let them melt down. If I don't ignore my kids sometimes, I will kill them. I'm raising two boys( age 7 and 4) and the fighting never ends.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:21:03 PM EDT
YES!!!

Good advice! Limit hospital visitors. Tell he mom to stay at home, tell your mom to stay at home, or better yet don't tell anyone when you are going to have it.

I know this sounds harsh, but between all the medical test going on, your wife still in pain, and you wanting to double tap anyone who touches your new child, it's better nobody is there until the three of you are relaxed.

I almost lost my shit and threw everyone out, but instead I just took the kid to the nursery where they couldn't go..... Guess it took the fun away from being there, but it let my wife get some sleep.

No matter what anyone says, things calm down after about two weeks. So when you feel overwhelmed just keep that in mind.






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Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:22:17 PM EDT
Ignore 90% of the "helpful advice" other parents give you.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:22:29 PM EDT
They make little freezer bags for breast milk. If the wife makes more than the kid can eat, freeze it.

Those little steam powered baby bottle warmers are the best thing money can buy.

Second best thing is the baby wipe warmer.

Get both.

Congratulations BTW.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:25:33 PM EDT
Thanks for all the advice, guys. Keep it coming.


One of my favorite pieces of advice came from a middle aged lady at the Renaissance festival: "The first hundred years are the hardest."
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:26:20 PM EDT
another note on formula. we broke my daughter in on room temperature formula from the get go. makes getting a midnight bottle a lot easier if you just mix formula powder with water and go.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:27:05 PM EDT


First thing to learn is, you'll screw up. Everybody does. If anybody tells you they never did anything the wrong way as a parent, they're lying. Do your best and don't beat yourself up for not being perfect.

Battery powered swings for your livingroom are a blessing. GET ONE!!! Don't get the hand crank ones that you have to keep winding up. You can put your kid in one of these next to the couch and grab a quick nap.

Coupons are your new best friend. Sign up for, get and use every last one that you can.


Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:33:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Max_Power:
Ignore 90% of the "helpful advice" other parents give you.


X87!!!

The biggest parenting fuckups have all the best advice. I always want to ask them why they didn't use it with thier own damn kids.

EVERY kid is different and sometimes YOU and the WIFE have to figure out what works for the baby and tell everyone else to pack sand..
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:40:04 PM EDT
remember children are little tape recorders you have no control over. my first phrase was "son bitch" needless to say my dad received an irate phone call when that happened
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:49:46 PM EDT
Well, first, congrats on the new baby. We're up to 5 with number 6 due in March, so we've been around the block a time or two.

For the first few days put a little bit of baby oil/gel on their butt when you change their diaper because that miconeum poop is like tar to get off otherwise. If you put a little baby oil on their butt, it wipes right off. Otherwise, you pretty much need some lava soap and an SOS pad.

Don't feel like you have to let everybody who comes at you with arms open hold the baby. She is your little girl and not theirs. You need to keep her from getting their germs and keep her well, so if you don't want somebody to hold her, then don't let them. It doesn't matter if they complain. She's YOUR girl.

If your wife is going to nurse her (good for her, btw), then she's probably going to need to feed her every 3-4 hours at first if she's schedule feeding. If she's demand-feeding, then basically any time the baby starts fussing she should try to nurse her and see if that calms her down. Sure, check for a wet/pooped-in diaper first, but odds are that if the baby's fussing and it's been a couple hours since she nursed her, she's hungry again. BTW, she will likely go through a growth spurt around 3-4 weeks and then again around 3 months. If she's anything like my kids, they'll still be fussing for more even after your wife is "dry" from nursing her. When that happens, just have your wife nurse her again in 1/2 an hour or so and she'll likely let down some more milk. That will be the "hind" milk, too, which is usually pretty calorie-dense since it's a lot creamier than the fore-milk. It should only take a couple days for your wife's supply to catch up to your daughter's new needs, so she'll be fine. Do *not* give her formula during this time because she's fussing. Your wife's supply needs to be increased, and that is done by your daughter. If you artificially decrease the amount she needs from your wife, you'll just make it harder to get your wife's supply up. Breastmilk works off the principle of demand and supply. There is a little bit of lag between the demand and the supplied amount, but it's not that long.

You, as the dad, should be helping with diapers and stuff during the night when she starts fussing for food. Your wife is tired... no, she's exhausted, so you need to help her in the night. Yes, you'll be tired, too, but you guys are in this thing together. It will also allow her to actually get a little rest between feedings, even if it is only 90 minutes or so at a time.

If you're going to get a pump, get a Medela. My wife swears by them and so do a lot of lactation specialists and hospitals. Yes, they're expensive, but if you're going to get one, you need to get a good one.

BTW, since she'll be nursing, her nipples are going to get EXTREMELY sore. If she doesn't put cocoa butter on them after every feeding the skin will get cracked and there's a good chance she'll get an infection. There are some lotions with lanolin in them, and if your family has *any* allergies to wool then skip the lotions with lanolin. You have to make sure her nipples get some sort of cocoa butter on them, though. Mastitis is NOT a good thing to have. You can get pure cocoa butter sticks at the drug store for about a dollar each, btw. My wife will go through a couple at the beginning of each pregnancy until they get "toughened up", but until that happens they're very susceptible to getting cracks in the skin. FWIW, I keep asking my wife to let me help her toughen them up before the baby's are born, but she just rolls her eyes at me... You'd think she'd be up for the help. Oh well... Maybe this time around.

If she does get a *really* sore spot/line that feels hard in a breast, it's likely a clogged up milk duct and she might have to massage the milk out a bit as the baby's nursing. If it doesn't get better in just a couple days and/or gets very hot to the touch or she starts feeling "flu-ish", then she needs to call the doc ASAP because it can go to an infection.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:50:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2010 1:53:44 PM EDT by cmw]
Let me see what can be remembered off the top of my head...some has been said.

Medically speaking do everything humanly possible to breastfeed as long as possible. Read up on how to establish and maintain a good milk supply.

Research the birth process and determine what is important to you to have or avoid -for us there was no history of STD's so there was no need to screw up our baby's vision with antibiotic eye ointment. We also opted to skip the vitamin K shot but allowed them to dispense it orally.

My wife was minimally medicated, almost no pain meds, and in she came out of the process in better shape than most. For example they were telling her to push when it wasn't quite right ~instead I encouraged her to "push when you feel it".

As much baby-mom contact as possible for as long as possible.

Visitors should come to the house later when everything is settled down.

"The Happiest Baby on the Block" -get it, borrow from the library, whatever.

"What to expect the first year" ~and the "when expecting" books are pretty nice to have handy.

Wipe warmer, not so silly after all.
Take everything the hospital offers you, pumping supplies, diapers, etc
Don't let your baby out of your sight for a second -not that something would happen, but wouldn't you rather have absolutely no doubts?
Don't take the advice of any one staff person too seriously -our "nursing consultant" was very nice but knew nothing compared to the couple of nurses who had actually nursed a couple kids.
Pick your pediatrician in advance if possible and get them to do your in-hospital baby checkups.
Swaddle Me wraps are great at first, then sleep sacks later.
Don't register for even half the crap Babies R Us says "you must have". They have 20% off one item coupons almost constantly and the checkout girls will give you several if you are nice/ask.
Dr Brown bottles have been great for us.
Pampers swaddlers diapers are nice. Walmart brand "parent's choice" are really pretty decent. If you have trouble with the fit at any point try another brand.

Will think some more, ours is 7 months now and the time has just flown -enjoy every second -even the late fussy nights- because each step is pretty short.

.

ETA:
"Wash your hands" was the first thing I said to everyone for the first four months
Find a good mother/child consignment shop if you don't have a network of people hooking you up with clothes.

Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:55:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Muerte:
Wipe Warmer


We laughed when one was given to us as a gift.

We ended up buying a second one because they are freak'in AWESOME!

Either you freeze your little one's privates and cause them to lose control of their bladder, or you use a wet wipe warmer.

Link Posted: 9/12/2010 1:59:29 PM EDT
If there are any issues with in-laws make sure your wife and you discuss them and set agreed upon boundaries before the baby arrives and you're both tired and stressed. Don't ask how I know.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 2:05:30 PM EDT
We bought a couple cases of 8-oz bottled water, and dumped the water down the drain.
Those ultra-thin plastic bottles are great for freezing breast milk, and for thawing.
Quick heat transfer through the thin plastic.
And a baby bottle brush will fit through the neck for washing.

We bought a steam milk warmer. We found it to be useless.

I put a quart size pot on the stove and boil water.
With the lid on the pot, I can turn the flame down and let the water simmer for hours.
Not so great in the summer time, so I'm more cautious about when we think we need it.

Using a 12" glass laboratory thermometer to stir the milk in the bottle,
a thawed bottle in the fridge at 35 degrees takes about one minute to reach 100F.

A frozen bottle at -5F takes about 4 minutes, and three burned fingers.

Everything I've read says to never ever microwave milk, especially breast milk.
Not only is there a risk of overheating and burning baby, but microwaving creates
localized hot spots which will destroy the beneficial antibodies.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 2:09:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By dw_duck:
If there are any issues with in-laws make sure your wife and you discuss them and set agreed upon boundaries before the baby arrives and you're both tired and stressed. Don't ask how I know.


Our baby is 9 months old.
We haven't seen my wife's parents for 7 months.
Why?
Because after eating at McDonalds and getting gas, mother-in-law refused to wash her hands before picking up the baby, AFTER I asked her to.
Overall it is pretty small, but her smug attitude was more than I could take.

What is your story?
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 2:14:09 PM EDT
1. Take lots of pictures / video of your kid(s). Time goes by really fast.
2. Be patient. You have to correct them, but be patient. They're kids.
3. Have your wife pump extra milk (or mix up extra formula if that's what you're using) and take turns with feedings in the night. A wife who gets sleep is happier and recovers quicker.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 2:31:08 PM EDT
Not to diaper genie and butt wipe warmers.

Get one of those cloth inserts that goes in the kid's seat on a shopping cart. Those cart handles are nasty.
Pacifer, no thumb sucking. You can take a pacifer away when you wnat them to stop. It's considered child abuse if you take the other one away..

Stay away from Baby Einstein vids. A study was done a while back and found they had no value in child education (although the owner is hawt).

start saying now, 'cause them little girls is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

good luck!
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 2:43:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2010 2:44:20 PM EDT by ScottsGT]
Return to womb, buy a dog......



Good luck. I've got 4. It's been a tough row to hoe, but I wouldn't change it. Only tip I can give is SET GROUND RULES WITH GRANDPARENTS!! The have the tendencys to try and "fix" what they screwed up raising you!
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 2:49:09 PM EDT
titties, lots of big titties, spewing lots of love...

just not for your ass....

Been working for a very long time
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 3:05:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By skink:
Not to diaper genie and butt wipe warmers.

Get one of those cloth inserts that goes in the kid's seat on a shopping cart. Those cart handles are nasty.
Pacifer, no thumb sucking. You can take a pacifer away when you wnat them to stop. It's considered child abuse if you take the other one away..

Stay away from Baby Einstein vids. A study was done a while back and found they had no value in child education (although the owner is hawt).

start saying now, 'cause them little girls is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

good luck!


It isn't always about child education. Sometimes the child gets extremely fussy, but calms down with all of that visual stimulation.

Link Posted: 9/12/2010 3:35:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By victorgonzales:
another note on formula. we broke my daughter in on room temperature formula from the get go. makes getting a midnight bottle a lot easier if you just mix formula powder with water and go.


Yup same here, I was able to convince my wife that whenever she did it it was always too hot..... Lol



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Link Posted: 9/12/2010 3:43:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2010 3:46:32 PM EDT by mktopside]
Like another poster said take everything the hospital offers you. This might violate arfcom morality code, but fuck it......They normally will tell you to take all the milk and diapers in the baby cart with you when you leave. You're paying for it, so start stocking up early. Babies don't drink shit at first so 90% of the formula goes to waste..... Well, each time you take a bottle put one in your backpack. After a few days you'll have a good supply to start with so you can relax your first day back.

Also, ask for a breast pump at the hospital even if you're not gonna use it. The plastic hardware kit is free if you ask for a hospital machine and you can take it with you. If you have to buy it it costs like $80.



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