I was one of the first of my girlfriends to have a baby. So, I somehow became the go-to person for advice. As most of us moms know, no one knows everything. No matter what anyone tells you, they don’t have it figured out either. But, trying to be the best friend possible (and of course loving the fact that I get to give my opinion), I decided to give my friends some useful advice. Here are my tips on getting through that first pregnancy and having that baby.
1. Books – “Baby 411” – is phenomenal. I personally don’t like to call the pediatrician for every little thing, so this book answers your most common doctor questions. You can put this on your registry since you will not need it until the baby comes.
“What to Expect When You’re Expecting“, “What to Expect the First Year” (put it on your registry), “American Academy of Pediatrics:Caring for Your Baby and Young Child – Birth to Age 5“, “The Happiest Baby on the Block” (A MUST), and “Pregnancy Week by Week” – only fun because it tells you how big your baby is each week! If you have a second-hand book store I would recommend going there first.
**Note – books are only for first time moms. Once you have more than one child you will have no time to read.
2. Clothes – don’t buy much, you will get a ton at your shower. I ended up returning a bunch of clothes (everyone got my lil guy 3-6 mo) and I used it to buy a pump (cat’s out of the bag now, sorry guys). Other good places that I have used are thred up, Goodwill or any second-hand store, since most used baby clothes are in pretty good condition.
Also, look at the Buy/Sell/Trade groups on Facebook within your community or neighborhood. Look for ones that are tailored towards parents. They always have great deals! Also, zulilly and target (you can find clearance items and double up on coupons). Childrens Place and Crazy 8 also have great deals and typically free shipping online. I try to buy things a size up for the next year once that season has ended (so when summer ends I will buy summer clothes for the following year at a great price).
3. Advice – you will get a ton from everyone. Just listen to your doctor and do whatever makes sense to you. Try not listen to everyone because everybody “knows best”. Also, please don’t ever compare your kid to someone else’s kid. It is true that every kid is different in their development. Same goes with pregnancy.
4. Pedicures – They are so needed in the last trimester! No joke, save your money for these!
5. Maternity Clothes – Target, H&M, Old Navy, and Gap all have a great maternity line! Also, try to buy things that will fit you when you are not pregnant like dresses, cardigans, leggings, etc. I bought 2 pairs of maternity jeans and 1 pair of black pants when I was pregnant with my first. I wore a lot of dresses with leggings and boots in the winter.
Also, shop second-hand. I bought a lot of items at Goodwill since pregnant women are not to hard on their clothes (most of the time you just want to wear pajama pants anyways). Second hand stores, groups on Facebook, and friends are also some great options.
6. Diapers/Wipes – I make my own wipes and I will post the recipe here soon. Super easy – just paper towels, baby oil, and baby wash. I also do cloth diapers and disposable diapers. For cloth I used the Gerber “burp” cloth diapers for the first month or so since they don’t move around much. You will need to also get a diaper cover. Once they get a little older you can switch to pocket diapers. They are about $17 each but a good investment if you are going to have more than one kid.
The disposable diapers I use are – Seventh Generation, Babyganics and Honest. Honest is at Target now, yippee! I order seventh generation on Amazon or diapers.com. The subscribe and save option on Amazon will save you money plus free shipping, truly a deal saver! Target will have great deals from time to time at their stores. If you have the Target Card you will also get an extra 5% off.
7. Food – I make my baby food, but occasionally I will organic baby food if we travel. I just steam my food with my steamer and then purée it in a food processor or blender. I also have the Vitamix blender and sometimes just blend it all in there without steaming! You don’t have to buy the baby food processors, they are pricey.
If you are wanting to start making your home a little less toxic start with Healthy Child, Healthy World. I have it on my night stand but have not read it yet, just lacking in the “time” department right now. The author,Christopher Gavigan, is the co-founder of Honest.com.
Another great book is Jessica Alba’s The Honest Life (which I did read) as there are some wonderful tips and ways to start making your home a little more natural. Also, some great DIY beauty recipes!
One last thing to remember is to always ask questions and try not to Google everything unless you want to be terrified of the worst possible scenario. Just remember that you don’t need half the stuff you think you do and you don’t need to spend a lot on baby items. Look at second-hand options, makes things yourself and look for those deals!
This can all be overwhelming, because there is just so much on the market now a days, but, always believe in yourself and your ability to be the best Mom or Dad ever (you are/will be better than you will ever give yourself credit for). That is what truly counts!