Baby post – edit me, Ivy- OK, said Ivy.

Heather says:

Fellow blogger Amy is expecting her first rugmonkey and is looking for suggestions on baby paraphernalia.

She says she plans on breastfeeding, prefers plain to battery operated toys, and doesn’t want a lot of plastic crap strewn about.

Well, Amy, I hate to break it to you, but the plastic crap arrives whether or not you actually purchase any. Well meaning friends insist on passing along their unwanted much loved cast offs. Grandparents and other family members scour every garage sale within a tri-state area (yes, even if you live in Hawaii) to procure every battery operated piece of garbage to give the new darling. You can’t stop it, just have the Kidney Foundation on speed dial, as they will often pick up large donations.
Baby Necessities:

  • A Swing – Even if you are the most devoted attachment parent ever, there will be times where you have to use the restroom, answer the phone, cook a meal, or walk away before you pull your hair out. My son had colic undiagnosed reflux that left him screaming for hours every day. The only relief was his swing and yes, I wore him in slings and packs all the time. Ivy says: I cannot agree more. Get the kind of swing you can plug in. Batteries are ‘spensive.
  • Onesies – If you aren’t going anywhere and the weather is warm, these are perfect every day outfits. Your house is not a fashion show, don’t stress yourself out with expensive outfits that will get just fall victim to bodily fluids. Ivy says: When they’re really tiny, I love those little baby gowns. No unsnapping, just pull up the bottom. Theyr’e fab.
  • A sling or carrier – for tiny infants, I had great luck with a Maya Wrap and with older ones I prefer a Mei-tei (thanks Bramble, you’ll get it back eventually) Ivy says: I had a front pack carrier I used with my kids. They say they’re bad for their developing hips or something, but I loved mine.

For Mama:

  • Good nursing bras – Make sure they fit you properly, get measured.
  • Lansinoh
  • Ivy says: Get you a diaper bag that makes you feel cool. Go ahead and spend the extra bucks on it. Make sure you put yourself an extra shirt in the diaper bag, your baby will leave spitup stains on you, and if you have an extra shirt, you can change.

Here is the best advice I can offer you from the bottom of my heart. No matter how protective you are of this child, let Dad help. I mean this. Even if you have to leave the room because you can’t stand to see how he fastens the diaper, let him help from the beginning. He may not do things your way, but that’s OK you aren’t perfect, either. He is equally invested in the well being of your child and the more hands on he is in the beginning, the easier things will be for all involved. If Dad is a little standoffish, hand him the baby and go take a shower anyhow. They will both survive.

Ivy says: Seconded.  Do whatever it takes to get some “me” time. Even if that means (and this is totally Heather’s trick) leaving and going and sitting in your car in a Target parking lot reading a book, get some alone time.

Happy babying!


  1. robin on April 14, 2007 at 11:28 am

    a swing rec: fisher price ocean wonders ( the aquarium one) it goes side to side and front to back. Different babies like different things and has a variety of sounds and lights or a mobile you can use depending on the child as well as different speeds. as well as 2 different reclining positions. We have had ours for 2 years and used it for 2 kids with no problems ( and no several other parents with the same swing and it has worked for all of them).

  2. Bramble on April 14, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    two words- amby bed

  3. Freedonian on April 13, 2007 at 10:50 pm

    Thank you all for this— My girlfriend and I are planning a June wedding and talking about starting a family right away— So I’m loving this advice.

    I’ll wait another day or two, let the good advice pile up more, and make a PDF out of this page.

    Thanks again.

  4. sbk on April 13, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    I’ve only been nosing around here for a short while, but I just got to say the “let daddy help” advice is about the most brilliant suggestion a new mom can get. Mr. sbk is even allowed to *think* he’s as good at many of the child care tasks as I am. My girls would wear their clothes backward all day because I wouldn’t tell him that he had done anything wrong when he dressed him–nothing like telling them they did it wrong to stymie further assistance.

    A dozen years later it may have been the smartest thing I did…ever!

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  6. conseula on April 13, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    I want to give a heary second to all the advice offered here. Definitely a swing or a bouncy seat. My first daughter loved sitting in her bouncy next to me while I was typing my dissertation. She got to be with me and I got to get my work done. And my second daughter didn’t particularly want to cuddle as a small infant, so carrying her around in a sling or a backpack (like we did with my first daughter) wasn’t really an option. She loved her swing though. And my living room was also full of crap, but 18 months later it’s all back to normal (except for the plastic blocks and cars and uno cards strewn about).

    Also, let Dad help as much as he wants to (and maybe more). It’s great for everybody involved.

    And cheap diaper wipes work as well as expensive ones. And if your baby’s not allergic 9our second baby is) they are a godsend. You can use them for everything.

    And a last piece of advice (which you can take with a grain of salt), take your friends and family seriously when they offer to help. If people offer to make you food or go on grocery runs, take them up on it. If people give you free babysitting as shower and baby gifts, take them up on it. Even if you use that babysitting to take a nap.

  7. sista smiff on April 13, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    Purchase crib. Put crib in Baby’s room. Put Baby in crib or you will be sorry later.

    As for plastic stuff and not wanting it….HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA…

    Yes…let Dad help. Important for Baby and Dad.

  8. Heather on April 13, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    My husband rewired our swing, but he’s an electrician.

    Ivy, you totally forgot the part about digging for loose change so I could have an icy Dr. Pepper while reading!

    Oh and Amy, take every piece of advice with a grain of salt, I say this as I’m ready to hand out another chunk. No one is a perfect parent and anyone who swears by strictly adhering to one parenting method, whether it’s strict scheduling or APing is either fooling themselves or you. You’ll figure out what is right for you and your child and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.

  9. Angela on April 13, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    I was one of those people that had many things in the LR…I must explain though and maybe this might have been the case fo your friends too. My children loved for me to hold them, can not be done all the time and well what worked one time would not work another and well things gathered and my LR became full.

    For Example…I would need to go to do laundry, pt baby in swing and he would cry, take out and put in bouner OK this time, but then the next time I would try the bouncer first and well I hope you get the point.

  10. amy on April 13, 2007 at 9:55 am

    By the way, I didn’t at all mean to sound snobby in my post–I definitely planned to get a least one thing to put baby in for me to shower, etc (a swing or a bouncy seat)…just don’t want my LR to look like friends I know: swing, bouncy vibrating chair, play mat, exersaucer, etc etc etc…does the kid ever get held or do you just transfer him from container to container? 🙂 Wasn’t sure whether swing or bouncy seat would be best but a lot of people are recommending swing.

    Any specific suggestions on WHICH swing you prefer? I didn’t even know they made plug-in swings–makes sense though!

  11. amy on April 13, 2007 at 9:51 am

    thanks for all the advice! 🙂

  12. robin on April 13, 2007 at 8:50 am

    Great advice! Try and get a swing that goes back and forth as well as side to side.

    A few other things though. Buy lots of wipes ( and the cheap ones work just as well as the expensive ones, diapers bags are a waste of $ (I am sure you already have a bag that you like that will work just fine).

    Oh, and remember to give yourself some time to enjoy the new baby and don’t fret on getting your old body back (it took you 9 months to gain the weight, it will take at least that long to lose is safely while breastfeeding.

  13. knitaddict on April 13, 2007 at 8:44 am

    Ugh, I’m really tired, that post is FULL of typos!!!! Sorry!

  14. knitaddict on April 13, 2007 at 8:42 am

    My daugther is now 21 months…and the best thing that I learned was to have a high chair AT BIRTH. Now, to explain this…my daughter was nearly 9lbs at…she’s not even 2 yet and weighs 35 pounds…she’s also over 3 ft tall. Those of you who know me, realize what an AMAZING anomaly this is, as my husband and I are both SHORT. I swear she’s not the milkman’s baby!!! Ok, she was a hefty little bugger…since she was growing so fast, the doc wanted us feeding her @ 4mos. We didn’t have a high chair. We fixed that one, and I quickly realized what a GREAT burden had been lifted at mealtime!!! You can just strap them in, poke a little food in their mouth, and ACTUALLY somewhat ENJOY A HOT MEAL YOURSELF!
    I was kicking my self in the butt for not getting one sooner, I kept thinking of ALL the headache I could’ve spared…by having a high chair. That said, it’s also pertinent to add that we went the swing route, I thought that since I had a swing, I didn’t need a bouncy seat. GET BOTH!!! You can plop that bouncy right up on the table and feed the kid while YOU EAT A HOT MEAL! I am SOOO doing that next time.
    I’m w/Ivy on the batteries, our swing ATE batteries, but my kid our grew it so fast, it was a mott point anyway. Hope this helps!