Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Things New Moms Need to Know, part III

I am a big discount-type shopper. I refuse to pay full price for anything, and I will NOT pay shipping in either direction. Period. Thus, here are some sites that all moms need to know about to get the best deals for their little (horribly expensive) bundles of joy.

1) Amazon.com
You can find ANYTHING on Amazon. If you sign up for Amazon Mom, you also get free 2-day shipping for a year. If nothing else, use it for the free shipping! It's also nice to be able to compare Amazon's prices to the stores!

2) babysteals.com
Possibly the most dangerous site I learned of from my sister-in-law. They send emails with 20-80% off very nice, but very expensive baby-or-mom-type items. That AMAZING, large Saranoni blanket that retails for about $160? Find it through baby steals for about $60! That set of Leap Frog books, retailing for $80? Try $30! Robeez socks and shoes? They have them 50% off!! Now if they would only put the Petunia Pickle Bottom bag I'm after on there . . .

3) diapers.com
They have coupons and price comparisons for all that is baby--diapers, wipes, formula, clothes, gear, bedding, etc.

4) giggle.com
Very similar to diapers.com, but it's another resource when you're looking for all the fun things!

Now if we could only win the lottery . . .

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

For Every New Mom, Part II

As promised, this is part II in an unknown-part series. Again, these are my opinions and observations only.

Things Moms Need, II
1) Diaper rash cream.
Specifically, I recommend Weleda Calendula Diaper Care cream. It is more expensive than other diaper rash creams, but I promise this is superior. After my little Peanut had a horrible rash, we tried a different brand of diapers and creams from Aveeno, Burt's Bees, Johnson & Johnson, Butt Paste, etc and none of them helped. We used the Weleda cream after every diaper change for ONE DAY and it was gone. Trust me, you need this miracle cream. I think I'm going to order about 10 more tubes of this stuff . . .

2) A Confidant.
There is nothing I love more than being a mom, and there's nothing that's more helpful than having a friend/relative who is also a mom to cry to when you feel overwhelmed or to smile with when you've had a great day. It's most helpful if said confidant has a child the same age as yours or fewer than 5 years older. These are the same people that can give you a head's up on the best brands of things to buy, coupons, etc. (Thanks, Kristi!!)

3) A Dog.
If nothing else, a dog is good training to be a mom. It's not the same by any stretch of the imagination--dogs can be left alone for a few hours, babies can't. (It's so sad that I have to say that, but after reading the news, apparently it's not common knowledge.) It is, however, preparing you to take care of another being, no matter how exhausted you are. Our dog gets up to pee and barks all night. Our son pees/poops all night and cries all night. It's nice they have each other.

4) Chocolate Covered Strawberries.
A comfort food that also helps to increase breast milk supply? What could be better???? (Something I learned from my continuing education class yesterday!)

5) A Hobby.
Sounds strange, I know. I don't care what the hobby is--shopping, sewing, painting, scrap-booking, playing an instrument, talking, exercising, etc.--but you need one. I will never say that caring for a newborn is anything BUT a full-time job. I eat, sleep and breathe my baby Nathan. However, that being said, it is nice to have something you can relax with that's just for you. I'm still not 100% sure what mine is . . . I used to love taking walks, but that's an ordeal now and I haven't figured out how to control an insane mutt AND a stroller. It's just nice to have something that makes you feel like you're still (partially) you.

6) An Adequate Amount of Maternity Leave
If you are fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home-mom, I am very envious of you--that's my ultimate dream. But, since bills call, I will be returning to work in about 4 weeks. I absolutely LOVE what I do and I love where I work, but having 11 weeks off to just get used to being a mom has been a godsend for our family. (and because our little one doesn't understand the concept of sleeping at night yet, it's nice to know I don't have to make any decisions the next morning that could potentially kill someone . . . )

7) Easily Prepared Meals/Foods
I'm not a small person, nor have I ever been. I love food, even if it's the kind of food my husband classifies as "tree bark" or "rabbit food." That being said, I have noticed that it's pretty difficult to actually sit down and eat . . . anything. I have realized that the second I think I have a second to sit and eat something, someone ELSE wants to eat, needs to be changed, or just wants to be held. I have found my Trader Joe's granola bars (almost out of these! AHHH!) and hand-fruit to be some of my best friends. And chocolate. I can't forget my chocolate!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

For Every New Mom

As you know, I am a first-time Mom, and I love every minute of it--even those minutes that make me want to rip my hair out. I've been a mom for only 5 weeks now (or, 9 months, really), but I wanted to share my opinions of what new moms need to have and/or know. Again, my disclaimer is I've been doing this mom-thing for only 5 weeks and these are my opinions only!

(This is only part one of a part-who-knows-what series)

Thing You Will "Need" . . . Part 1 (in no particular order!)

1) Diapers and wipes. Please don't get 10 boxes of any one size or brand of diaper. I encourage you to get about 1 pack of two different kinds to try out. The reality is you don't know what you or your baby will prefer and you also don't know how big your baby will be for sure. Don't get 3 boxes of Pampers for a newborn only to find out that you just gave birth to a 10-pounder!
2) A car seat carrier. It's so nice to have one item fulfill more than one purpose . . . and it's cheaper, too.
3) At least two halo sleep sacks. Anyone who has had a baby in the last 3 or so years will agree.
4) At least 4 burp clothes. I made the mistake of thinking 2 was plenty since I did laundry so much. Let's just say . . . newborns eat about every 2 hours and spit up often. It doesn't take too many of those spit-up episodes before that burp cloth is saturated with curdled-milk goodness.
5) Granny panties and sweatpants . . . for Mom, obviously. There's no getting dolled up for a few weeks and you don't want to wear anything tight for awhile. Trust me.
6) A breast pump if you are breastfeeding, which I encourage you to do. It may take some time before you and your baby get on the same schedule for feedings and you don't want to waste that precious liquid gold!
7) A Hooter Hider. (See #6). Even if you aren't shy (and you won't be after you've had a baby!), other people tend to be squeamish if they see a woman breastfeeding her child . . . even though you really can't see anything!
8) A good camera--self-explanatory, I know, but you not only want to have a camera, you want to have that camera OUT and ready to go at all times!
9) A baby medical book, a friend in the medical field or medical knowledge yourself. For the record, YES, a baby's poop is supposed to look like THAT.
10) Cute clothes. Let's face it, this one is just so Mom and Dad can show off the cutest thing they've ever seen!

Things New Moms need to know . . .Part 1

1) You will have a monitor with you to keep track of what your little one is doing. This monitor will be the loudest thing you have with you. If, however, the monitor ever goes quiet, you will immediately run into your baby's room to make sure he/she is still breathing.
2) There is no longer something called a "quick errand." As such, please allow an addition 5-45 minutes to get wherever you are going.
3) Do not try on your pre-pregnancy clothes within the first month after giving birth: even if you are at/below your pre-pregnancy weight, the clothes won't fit and you'll just feel depressed. Your body has changed.
4) They call it labor for a reason. I don't think I need to elaborate here . . .
5) You will never love something more than the little bundle you brought home.