Sunday, August 25, 2013

First Time Mommy FAQ

1. Should I breast feed or bottle feed my baby?

Yes, I highly recommend doing one of the above; otherwise, your baby is going to be very cranky and unhappy. I breast fed all three of mine because I was to lazy and cheap to deal with formula.  I'm pretty sure all three of my children would have starved to death if I had to remember to buy and prepare formula on a regular basis.  Plus, I'm sure my minivan would have smelled like rotten milk all the time because I'm awful about cleaning it out.  That being said, despite what a lot of people will have you believe, there is nothing wrong with feeding your baby formula.  If you don't believe me, walk into a room of successful executives and ask them to separate into groups based on whether they were booby or bottle babies. Chances are most won't know or care.  The ones who do know, will probably be evenly split down the middle.  Also, if formula really was rat poison, I'm sure the formula companies' lawyers would've made them stop making it a long time ago.

2.  Should I use cloth diapers or disposable diapers?

Yes, unless you want to have poop all over your floor.  To decide which one is best for you, I highly suggest you go look at the state of your laundry room.  If all your laundry is done, folded, and put away, then you may want to start browsing the cuteness that is cloth diapers on the Internet.  If you can't see the floor of your laundry room, and the only time your laundry is completely caught up is when your mother or mother in law comes to visit, then disposables are probably going to be your new best friend.  

3.  What should I register for?

A new house because trust me the second you bring your baby home, your house is going to feel like it shrunk in half.

4.  What kind of stroller should I buy?

Buying a new stroller is kind of like buying a new car in that you really ought to test drive several before you decide what to buy.  Before you go out test driving new strollers, I highly recommend that you borrow a baby to take with you.  Not just any baby though.  You'll need a baby that is overtired, miserable, and likely to have a diaper explosion at any minute to truly get the most out of stroller shopping.  I know that when you go to the mall, you see endless babies playing happily in their strollers, and you probably think this is what your baby will be like.  Nope, not your baby.  Your baby will probably scream bloody murder after being in his/her stroller for more than five minutes, which means you'll have to hold  your screaming child while navigating your stroller through the mall stores one handed. This is why it's important to take a cranky baby with you when you stroller shop.  Pick out the strollers you think you like, and then attempt to push them one handed through the store while holding your borrowed baby in the other hand.  

Once you pick a winner, it still needs to pass one more test before you hand over your Visa card.  The next test is best done when its either really hot, really cold, or raining outside.  Have the sales lady show you how to collapse the stroller one time and one time only.  Then make her promise that no matter how much you beg her, that she won't ever tell you how to do it again.  Drive the stroller outside into the blistering heat, freezing cold, or torrential downpour, and attempt to collapse it and wrangle it into the back of your vehicle.  It's important that the sales lady keeps her promise of not offering to help you no matter what, while she watches you have your small nervous breakdown the first time you attempt to collapse your stroller; after all, she won't be there to help you the first time you go to the mall all by yourself. If you can successfully get the stroller you picked into your car without breaking it or cursing its existence, then its a winner.  At this point you can hand over your Visa card and return your borrowed baby to its mother.

5. What kind of car seat should I get?

Here is a little known fact, all car seats have to pass the same set of safety standards before they make it to the store shelves.  The more expensive ones are usually easier to install, have more bells and whistles, and look cooler.  That being said, any car seat you buy is going to be completely useless in a car accident unless its installed properly. 

Before you decide on a car seat, I highly recommend trying them out.  This is best done later in your pregnancy when you are in a crappy mood and really want to ruin someone's day.  Go to your local big chain baby store and find the sales guy, who looks like he truly doesn't want to be there.  Then tell him you are trying to decide which car seat will fit best in your vehicle, and ask him to help you lug your top choices out to your car to see how they fit.  Trust me, late in your pregnancy, when you are so miserable you can't stand yourself, watching the sales guy lug car seats back and forth to your car will be highly amusing and exactly what you need to cheer yourself up.

Once you decide which one to buy, read the instruction manual from beginning to end, watch a YouTube video on how to properly install that model in your car, and then drive over to your local fire station and have them check to make sure its installed properly.  

6.  Should I co-sleep or put my baby in a crib at night?

I say go with whichever one makes your baby sleep the longest.  Babies are little terrorists, and their favorite torture tactic is sleep deprivation.  If your little terrorist only sleeps when he's laying right next to you, then let him do it.  I don't care what your mother in law says.  It won't last forever.  If you don't believe me, head over to your local college and check and see how many freshman need their moms to sleep at night.  Then ask their moms how much they miss the nights when their freshmen were little and climbed in bed with them to snuggle.  

**Disclaimer: Never let your baby sleep with you if you have been drinking or taking any drugs that might affect how soundly you sleep.  Regardless of how you meet your sleep terrorist's sleep demands, crib or mommy's bed, read up on how to do it safely.  SIDS is no joke people.

7.  Is is true that I'll probably poop on the delivery room table?

Probably, but don't worry about that.  At that point you will have already have misplaced your dignity and you won't care.  Trust me.  I know I walked into the hospital with my dignity the night I gave birth to my first son, but I must have left it in the hospital because I haven't seen it since.

8.  What should I pack in my diaper bag?
If you are a first time mother, everything under the sun.  If you are a more experienced mother, you know what happens when you carry a diaper bag.  You're children will begin to view you as a pack mule and insist on filling said diaper bag up with a lot of gross crap.  I once emptied my diaper bag and found:
Fake teeth
One shoe insole
Six smacked fortune cookies
Fifteen little green army men
Seven stinky socks
1 million diapers that would no longer fit my baby
A stack of papers I was supposed to have filled out and returned to my son's school a year ago.
A used diaper
Two nasty sippy cups
And enough half eaten food to have fed a small country for at least a week.

I did not find a single diaper that would fit my baby, any wipes that weren't dried out, or any clothes that would fit any of my children.  At this point, I realized that carrying around a diaper bag was useless, and I threw a handful of diapers and new package of wipes on the floor of my minivan and ditched the diaper bag for a small bag that my kids couldn't fill with useless crap.  It was my Mommy Independence Day, and I haven't looked back since.

Please note: this kind of apathy about child rearing only comes along after you've had your second or third child.  At some point you realize that the only thing that really matters is whether or not you love them.  As long as you love them and they know that, everything else just kind of works itself out.


  1. I'm in tears over here from laughing so hard. So, so true. I'm going to have to share this with my friend who's expecting her first.

  2. I'm on numéro 4 and I can NOT stop laughing. Spot on.

  3. I have 4 kiddos also and you are sooo right about all of it. I needed to hear that about the co sleeping though, because my youngest is 2 and still co sleeps AND nurses at bedtime and naptime. I am catching Hell over it from so many people saying it's time to stop, but he cries so much and it sucks. He won't be this little for long. And I get more sleep if he's in the bed with me.