Thursday, January 26, 2012

20 wks & Feeling Clueless

I’m half way there! Half way to a bouncing baby girl. Well, she’s already bouncing--she moves a lot--but I’m half way to meeting her, and I’m starting to feel those nerves. I don’t know much of anything about raising a baby. I’m the youngest child, growing up I only babysat older kids... in other words, I don’t know much about this baby bidnaz. 
This is where I’m coming to you for help. I have a few questions on my mind that I’d love your insights on:
  • Diapers: What brand is a good brand? I’d like to start buying those now (a great suggestion made by a Facebook friend), but I don’t know where to start. 
  • Cradles/Bassinets: Worth the investment? I imagine it’s nice to have that bitty babe close by while they’re newborns, which would require such a bed, right? 
  • Clothes: Is the month thing on clothing accurate? In other words, I’m due in June. Does this mean I should be buying winter clothes in the 6-9 month size?
  • Birthing Classes (eeep!): Is that something I should start looking into now? I have to admit that ignorance is currently bliss, but I’m going to have to face the childbirth music sooner or later. Is it sooner? Or is it later?

  • Best Baby Sites and Stores: When it comes to baby furniture/bedding/etc., do you know of any good websites or stores? Babies R Us and Pottery Barn Kids are about the only big baby stores around here that I know of, though Buy Buy Baby is coming soon (yay!). 

Any ideas you have to share about these or other topics would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks, my baby-wise friends. This clueless mama-to-be greatly appreciates your wisdom.


Miriam Prantner said...

Here are my thoughts:
Diapers - Most hospitals use Pampers swaddlers. I wouldn't but any newborn size. You don't know how big your baby is going to be, but they grow out of those pretty quickly and the hospital sends you home with a bunch. Diaper sizes overlap (for example, and I'm making these numbers up, Size 1 might be 7-15 pounds and Size 2 might be 12-20 pounds)....I always think it's better to go with the bigger size when you're on the bubble. We used pampers all the way through, but know people that used different brands because they just fit their kid better. I've also heard that some brands led to more diaper rash for different kids. My point is that it's tempting to buy a bunch of diapers to start off with, but you don't know how big your kid will be when they come out, how quickly they will grow, etc. It's more of a pain to have to return a giant box of diapers that doesn't fit than to just get them delivered to your door through Amazon or If you want to defray the cost, just start putting aside $10-$20 each week in the diaper fund.
Cradle/Bassinet - Borrow one. Every kid/mom is different. I had high hopes for this, but my kids weren't great's tricky and stressful, and feeding in the middle of the night was never a roll over, feed, roll over and go back to bed thing for me, so I had to get up anyway or the hubby would be awake too. Also, my kids are loud sleepers and moms are light sleepers. Couldn't get any rest with them right there. It might work out for you, but it usually only lasts a couple months anyway. If at all possible, just borrow that.
Clothes - Just depends on the size of the baby. My best friend's baby is three days younger than my daughter and is a full size larger. Oh yeah, a lot of times cute is the enemy of easy to get on and off. Ease of diaper changing and dressing should be the goal when it comes to clothes. Dunno why people makes stuff with buttons instead of snaps for little ones.
Classes - We weren't into this. Took the 1/2 day speed class and that was good enough for us....if you want to do the natural thing you'll need more than that.
Baby Sites/Stores - Target is another place a lot of people register. Buy Buy Baby is good, lots more selection, but also more expensive. But, they have the 20% off coupons you can get (like at Bed Bath and Beyond). You can also try ebay for things like car seats. As long as what you're getting is new and it's a reputable seller, you're OK. We were able to get our seats at about 50% off that way.

Hope this helps...I remember those days when all I had were a lot of questions!

Jamie said...

Congrats again!! I have 3 kids and my youngest is 7 so it has been awhile since they were that small but I loved using pampers diapers. I had a bassinet beside my bed and loved having my baby close by when they were brand new. I did not take any birth classes and did just fine, I do recomend drugs but it is a personal choice. And as far as clothing I recomend a size bigger than the babies age but that is a hard one because it really does vary. Good luck and a HUGE congrats:)

Beth Hallgren said...

It's been a long time since I did the "Baby thing" but I can tell you to look into birthing classes as soon as possible. You want to get in sooner than later, finishing at least a month before your due date in case you go into labor early.

I'm good for all manner of pregnacy and labor questions though. This is my 25th year of labor and delivery nursing :)

Anonymous said...


We used Huggies.

We had a playpen ith bassinet attachement. Kids slept in it in our room for 6 weeks then transferred to their cribs. Then you have the pack & play to take when baby needs a nap at someones house.

We took a evening childbirth class for couple nights a week - it was put on by the hospital I delivered at. Highly recommended. Didn't do it until 8 months though.

Ashley Horton said...

Megan, I can say I definitely felt the first way with our first!! I was pretty much a nervous wreck!! :) We started out using about every brand of diapers out there, because our church at the time did a diaper shower for us and I don't think we had to buy diapers for half a year. If you have any friends planning a shower for you, this is a great one to have!! We did use Huggies a lot, but now that we have made it to the 3rd kid, we have found that the Sam's (wholesale stores affiliated with Wal-Mart) brand diapers work just as well as the more expensive ones, if not better. We did keep a little basinet in our room and it had a changing station on it. Very convenient for those night time wake-ups. We took the birthing classes and it wasn't anything too bad. They gave us a tour of the Labor & Delivery area, we learned baby CPR, and she went over some of the breathing techniques and things. Unfortunately, we ended up having a C Section, because Maddie was a chunker and I couldn't have her naturally, so none of that ended up applying to us!! :) But, all in all we survived. It is scary and unknown, but once you see that sweet little girl's face, your mommy instincts will kick in and having a helpful, supportive husband is a BIG, BIG plus too!!

Smitha Katti said...

Diapers: I have tried all brands, and my kids like all of them. Pampers are the best though. Baby clothes, you never know.. if you ahve a 9 pound baby, you will probably use 0-3 month sized clothes to begin with itself and completely skip newborn size. Always try to buy clothes in atleast one size bigger. So in september, you baby would be 4 months old, but could easily be wearing 6 to 9 month sized clothes. Also, clothing sizes vary by brand :(
I loved having a bassinet and changing station in our bedroom... The frist few weeks there are a lot of midnight wakings.
Do the child birthing class. It isn't really gross, but you learn a whole set of new words- its the terms they will use in the labor room , and you will feel more empowered just knowing what is happening... Hope this helps.

Oh, and most important. SLEEP NOW!! sleep in every chance you get, sleep early and sleep on the couch while watching a movie.. .Your life is going to change after that baby comes, and she wiill be pushing all the buttons not you anymore :)

candice stringham said...

Okay so I'm going through all of this right now with our 6 month old so I think I can help!

Diapers...the very BEST thing anyone told me was about amazon mom. You can sign up for Amazon Mom and order diapers (they have all different kinds) to come every month. Its called subscribe and save. You set it up to come as often as you want and you get 20-30 percent off diapers and wipes. It is free shipping. You can turn it off whenever you want so you aren't stuck with it and you never have to worry about running to the store for diapers! I figured it out and it is cheaper than buying them from Costco. I personally love the Pampers swaddlers sensitive diapers and lanosil wipes. Sebastian had really bad diaper rash at first when we were using the normal wipes and diapers and my doctor suggested these and it helped so, so much! Also for diaper cream I use Burts Bee's Diaper cream. You can get it from Target or from Amazon and I like it so much better than all the others.

Also with amazon Mom for every 25 dollars you spend you get a month of amazon prime for free up to a year. So from then on you get free 2 shipping on anything else you order. I know I sound like an amazon commercial but it is seriously so nice!

I'm really glad that we had a bassinet. We kept it right next to our bed and that way middle of the night feedings weren't such a pain!

For classes just call the hospital you are going to deliver at and they will tell you when to sign up!

Clothing- sizes really depend on the brand. I find that Gap is pretty true to months for our guy. What I wish I would have known is that Carters sizes mean upto...not the actual month. So a three month outfit really means they might be able to wear it at 1 or 2 months but it won't fit at three. I think its so weird that they do that but, it is what it is. So if you are buying anything carters I usually go up two sizes. For example Sebastian is wearing 6-12 months right now from the Gap but 12-18 months from Carters. Hope that helps!

Seriously if you have anymore questions I'm happy to help! Email me.

Cindy Tobey said...

Well, it's been a while for me so my brain is a bit fuzzy on all the details, but I read "What to Expect When You're Expecting" by Heidi Murkoff and it looks like it is in its 4th edition. So it has been updated since I read it. :)I learned a lot from that book!

Clothes are tough because you don't know how big your baby will be or how fast she will grow. Moya was tiny and wearing newborn size for a looong time, and Elijah was right on track with the age/sizing.

We didn't have the babies in our room. They slept in their crib in their own room. We did have a portable pack-n-play set up in the living room that they would sometimes nap in during the day. We also had a comfy rocking chair in the nursery for late night feedings.

A birthing class is a must! We took ours through our hospital and learned so much. It took away some of the apprehension.

We shopped mostly at Babies R Us. We might have gotten our baby furniture from JCPenny online. It was very reasonable, but still stylish.

I think we used mostly Pampers, but I would try several brands to see what you like best.

Enjoy the time before your little cutie arrives - sleep lots and go out on lots of dates with your hubby. :)

*Paula* said...

Huge congrats Megan! That's awesome!

jengd said...

Phooey. I was going to paste in an email I sent to a friend of mine detailing our good/bad/ugly items but it's too long for this space. If you send me an email, I'll forward it along to you.

Mary Jo Rhoda said...

Ooooh, fun! I remember those days as a new mommy. And the second time around felt much more confident with my daughter about what we really needed :)

Diapers - we learned that Huggies Ultratrim worked best for us. Pampers leaked with our son for some reason. It seems it sometimes depends on the baby! Kind of one of those learn as you go. But it is definitely a good idea to start out with packs on hand!

Cradle/Bassinet - I have to say we did co-sleeping with my daughter and I got so much more sleep. But that is not for everyone! I would definitely recommend a bassinet at least to have the baby close by. I worked for Parents as Teachers for a number of years as a Parent Educator. And one thing I know is that baby's do not develop long term memory capabilities until at least four months. So you cannot spoil a baby those first few months. Whatever it takes to get them to sleep, do it. But after that, you want to try and make sure baby goes down to sleep at least drowsy and not falling asleep in your arms or rocking etc...Because then they will need that as a way to go back to sleep. The tricky thing is though, I am a firm believer that parents need to do what works for their family, so let the guilt go about what others are doing and just enjoy that time. Babies are small for such a short time :)

Clothes - another just wait and see usually. I find Target and JCPenney's clothes to run a little small. Gymboree and Old Navy pretty on Target. Children's Place, small. It also just depends on the child. I never had "chunky" babies. You know the ones with the sweet rolls. So clothes fit them differently then some of my friends babies :)

Classes - the only one I took was the epidural class because required and the lamaze with my husband. I was very glad to have the lamaze. I actually ended up using one of the breathing techniques that dh and I laughed at when I was in labor. So pretty grateful for it later on. With the second child, no classes at all. But I also have a degree in Early Childhood, and like I said, worked for Parents as Teachers. So had a lot of background baby knowledge. Although nothing quite prepares you for your own baby! :)

If you do have Parents as Teachers available to you in your "school district", I would recommend taking advantage of it. It should still be a free program. Although with some states cutting funding :( I had heard there might be a fee going in place. Hope not! Anyway, I was a parent educator and actually still participated in the program to get another set of eyes looking out for us. Lots of good developmental information and free screenings provided :)
Good luck!!

marissa said...

no advice from me I just want to say you are super duper cute prego

Stefanie said...

I had no experience with babies either, so we just made it up as we went! As far as diapers, I stocked up for the first six months. Zach wore Pampers, and Bailey wore White Cloud. They were built differently, so the Pampers I thought Bailey would use didn't fit. Clothing: we got a ton of baby clothing for gifts, but it seems like all the kids wore was onesies. Zach ran true to size, but Bailey was a peanut, so we stayed in 0-3 for a long time. I would suggest not buying ahead too far until you know how your baby grows. Classes: we took Lamaze, which saved me during my 26 hours of labor. We also took a "how to take care of a baby" class. Bassinet: I bought the most beautiful bassinet with white eyelet bedding. We never used it. Sigh. Both kids hated it and went straight to the crib. What we learned was that you can't predict anything!

Melissa said...

You look fabulous, Megan!

Diapers - we're planning on using cloth diapers, which we're so excited about! They're definitely different than they were when we were babies. I will tell you, I've been entering giveaways for some, and we have a nice little stash going. They're not right for everyone, but let me know if you want more info. :)

I agree with others on trying to get your birthing classes in soon!

Brandy J. said...

Megan, I'm sure all mothers will agree it's best to take everyone's advice and then decide what's best for you and your baby. That being said...

Diapers: I followed the advice of my two sister-in-laws who between the two of them have 10 kids (boys and girls). They suggested Pampers Swaddlers for newborns and Huggies for everything else. We buy our Huggies at Costco when they are on sale. I haven't found a better price and Costco has a great return policy. The generic diapers work, but they have to be changed more often so you end up going through more of them and not really saving any money (or time).

Cradle: We have a pack-n-play with a newborn insert that Cooper slept in for the first few months (just outside our room). We've also taken it with us in all of our travels so I'd highly recommend it over a cradle or bassinet.

Clothes: You are going to get oodles of clothes at your baby showers. I wouldn't buy anything bigger than a 6 month outfit and only buy it if you love it. I think it's better to get clothes once you know how your baby will grow. I love Carter's clothes, but if you wash them in cold water and dry them they will shrink so always go up a size.

Birthing class: Ask your doctor when your hospital offers the class. They usually spread them over a few weeks at one night a week or you can get it all done in one long Saturday class. We took the Saturday class and while we didn't learn anything earth-shattering, I was glad we went.

Baby stores: We got our furniture from Target and love it. The quality has been great and Cooper's crib transitions into a toddler bed (which we're using now). We got our bedding from JC Penney online (they have a much bigger selection than the stores). We registered at Target and Babies R Us. Try to price match similar items. My brother and sister-in-law registered for a play mat at Babies R Us and Target sold the exact same one for $30 less. Babies R Us has lots of stuff, but it’s typically more expensive.

Julie Chin said...

After 3 kids, I found that buying a few at a time first to see if it works, worked best for my family. That worked for diaper brands, and clothing brands. Then once I found what brands worked, I bought a lot and stuck to them. It was different for each child. I had the crib next to me, then moved it to the kid's room. Being the first baby, it's neat to hear the baby breathing at night. Beware, babies make a lot of noise when they sleep. I do suggest investing in a very comfortable rocker/glider chair and ottoman. One that you and your husband can feed baby in. I found that I spent a lot of time in the glider. And midnight feedings weren't that bad when you're in a comfy chair. I have 2 June babies, so they wore a lot of simple onesies during the warm months. Congrats,again!!!

Cynthia B. said...

You look awesome!
I haven't read through all the other comments, and considering that my youngest is almost 10 (*gasp*), I'm not sure how much I can help. But here's my 2 cents anyway:
Diapers - we've used Huggies, Pampers, and a local store generic brand. I started w/ the Huggies because they offered "points", where you could get products or toys if you collected a certain amount of proof-of-purchase tags. Don't know if companies still offer that, but they were a good deal at the time. Eventually, we went to the store generic brand, which were just as good, and the price was right. We always always got the kind with the gathers at the legs. Don't know if they come any other way now, but they're very preferable when it comes to containment leaks!

Cradle/Bassinet - We had a pack & play that came with a changing table + bassinet attachment. Worked great until we sent our babies to their own rooms (with a baby monitor) after a while (can't even remember how long - maybe a couple months?). And then we used the pack and play when we had to traveled overnight to other places.

Classes - the hospital/birthing center where you're having your baby should offer them?

That's prob'ly all I'll be helpful with...but one more piece of advice. Trust your instinct. Do what's right for you. If people make you feel guilty about using pacifiers, or store-bought baby food, or nursing/formula, or whatever...well, that's their problem. YOU are the mom, and don't let them upset you because of their opinions. There was a world of difference between my first-born and second, because I trusted myself more with my second child. You're going to do GREAT because you love your baby and will do what's best. Congrats again!

natalie said...

I'm not going to read the comments before adding my two (worthless) cents.

We only use pampers. Always have. With our 6 yo girl, we eventually moved to Sam's Club brand, but she was probably 2 before we did that. With our 14 mo boy, we're still using pampers all the time. I tried (and loved) cloth diapers, but I work full time and hate doing the laundry. I was doing fine staying on top of the diapers, but nothing else was getting washed. Not good for the rest of the family. :) I would start buying size one and size twos. Newborns won't stay in newborn size very long.

Clothes...really depends on the brand and how big your baby is. I wouldn't buy too much too far ahead before you actually meet her and see how she's growing. My girl was always right in the month range for her age. My boy--he was a big boy, so he was ahead of the game. I also find that brands REALLY are different for sizes.

We loved having a bassinet for the boy. He had horrible reflux and would stop breathing in his sleep. I was able to get a little more rest because he was right beside me and I could tell when he stopped breathing. I also nursed him and it was so nice having him right beside my bed. With our girl, she went into her crib the night we got home from the hospital. (They share a room--that was another reason we put him in a bassinet in our room.)

Our midwife told us when we should start our birthing classes. I'd definitely suggest it, even if it's only to meet other moms who are due around the same time. It was nice to have someone to share the experience with. If you want to go natural, I definitely suggest classes.

There are tons of etsy shops that make baby bedding. We bought all of our furniture used and have loved it.

Good luck! I'm going to read other comments now to see what they are saying! :) SOOOOO excited for you!

Jule said...

You are too cute, Megan.
I will try to find words in English, which is not my language.

Diapers: We used and still use Pampers all the time. Our little girl is a bit on the thinner side, they work great for us. Do not buy the newborn ones, because they last for a week or so. Size one works fine.

Cradle: Borrow one, but you really should have sth. like that.While breast feeding it is a great time saving thing. Furthermore there are some rules to prevent SIDS, which say that your baby should sleep in your room for the first year. Many of my friends did not do that and we moved our daughter into her crib at the age of ten month, because that is the time the breathing centre in our brain should be working. But if you decide to follow those rules, than a little bed is really great.

Clothes: Do not buy too much. We got a lot of presents in different sizes. In Germany, the clothes are often a bit to small for the actual age of the baby, but as always that depends.

Classes: I don not know, how your classes in the USA are. We learnt a lot about preparations and strategies for the natural birth, help against back ache because of the growing belly, breast feeding, the first weeks at home(not only the needs of the baby but also of the woman), organization, medication, which meals, breathing techniques and so on. It was a 12-hour-course for couples.
But what was more important to me was meeting other moms-to-be. We developed great friendhips and are still meeting and our kids play with each other. You can share your joy, your sorrows and your fears. And you should take a look now, because time flies. 20 weeks would be too late in Germany.
As for shopping: See above. Try ebay, flew markets. Do not buy a car seat at ebay, because it could have been in an accident, without any damage. Think of getting an Isofox car seat, it is great, very secure and it does not disturb your sleeping baby. Ajnd think about getting a sling, a manduca or Ergo carrier, or sth. lake that. I really liked that and my daughter too. Puuuh, I could go on and on.:)

Nicole said...

Hey Meg, I'll throw in a few tips.

Diapers - Buy in bulk at BJ's or Costco. Always look for coupons. Huggies and/or Pampers.

The lamez classes were great, I recommeded taking some (my hospital gave them for free). I say you should take them cause the classes really prepared us and caused me to understand what was going on with my body and the baby during child birth. I knew what the med's would do to not only me, but to my baby if I took them (which I didn't). I developed a birth plan that I stuck too as well. I feel some women are nervous about the pain and the birth because they dont understand whats happening to your body. I was pretty calm during the birth of my baby girl well beside the throwing ice chips at the hubby (lol) we laugh about it now.

The good thing about doing in the hosp was that we had a tour before hand so knew where to go and my lamaz teacher visited me in the hosp after I gave birth.

:) I hope this helped alittle

Just Us said...

Congrats!! I am just a little ahead of you with my first as well. I have done tons and tons of research, and it can be overwhelming!! I looked into partial cloth diapers (disposable insert) but then my doc told me about some diapers that biodegrade in 90 days and are scent/dye free. I am not so much into clothing for the environmental needs as it takes more water, but because of the harsh chemicals in babies diapers (cancer causing chemical is #1 ingredient)-I have not decided what will work best for us, but it did cause me to do a little research when I had heard about that. As for crib we registered online @ babiesrus and We live in a little town and that works best because everything from friends and family can deliver right to my door. Clothes I have been buying at thrift stores or getting from friends-but sizes really are different. I figure if I buy it a little big they can grow into it (we live in a cold area so I would rather have a big snow suit that was brand new 2nd hand, then a right on size expensive one). We haven't done or looked into a birthing class yet...need to soon. Don't know if you are thinking natural but my doctor recommended "Birthing from Within" for me as I am. I was more worried about finding a doctor who would help me and respect my wishes on a birthing plan. From there I think the doctor will help my body do the work. There are a lot of great tools online and videos to help with birthing. I was there with my sisters first 2 and have been around babies my whole life so I am not too intimidated, but know it will be harder than I thought with little sleep. I love the caribou foldable bassinet-but can't get over the 300 price tag so I am going to have my dad help me make one. That way we can fold it up and store it for the it takes up way less room that traditional ones or pack-n-plays. Good luck and if you have any more questions I can share with you all the "research" I have been doing on cool baby products :0)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!! My 2 cents is too get a really cool stroller one you're really going to love. Check out how easy it folds and how heavy it is. Then get a really cool diaper bag, you're going to be attached to that thing so get a nice one that you'll enjoy carrying. I found I like the smaller ones better so I didn't feel like I was carting a suitcase around.