Shower shouts- January 21, 2013

This weekend I went to the baby shower of a first-time mom.  Amber is a girl I grew up with and one of my sister’s best friends.  (See picture below. That’s Amber.) Julie is my little sister, but Kristen and Amber made up their gruesome threesome.  I feel like the other two are sort of “little sisters” too.

Amber had a mountain of gifts, thoughtfully wrapped and checked off her registry.  Many other young mothers, me included, talked about different gifts.  You know, how no Americans knew who Sophie was 5 years ago, unless you had a baby in the last 5 years.  Now like, OMG everyone’s baby LOVES them!

I sat there with my two-year-old but I found my mind running.  I wanted to shout out, “Oooh!  Let me tell you how to best use that!” or “I used that this one time when…”  I chatted with the mom-to-be about childcare and other things, but I wanted to say more.  I found myself bubbling up with advice that I had to consciously bottle up at the shower.  I didn’t want to be like, “I know it all because a person came out of my birth canal and I kept it alive for two years!”  No one likes that woman.  Then I thought, “Oh that’s right.  I have a blog.  I can write whatever I want to there.”

So here it is.  For all the Amber’s out there with your big bellies and glowing faces. My advice.  Take it or leave it.  I give it with love.


  • Get a really good breast pump.  DO NOT cheap out on a breast pump.   It pays for itself as much as you use it.  Oh!  It pays for itself anyway.  For working mothers, breast pumps are now tax deductible.  Go ahead and warn your husband they are like $300.  But, save the receipt!  Again, TAX DEDUCTIBLE!  I did not rent one from the hospital because of this.  I had the Medela one that looks like a purse.  It was great.
  • Get a hands-free pumping bra.  Looks hilarious, but extremely handy.  You’re welcome Bessie, now hook on up to that there pump and get yourself milked!  That’s  a good girl!
  • Get on a waiting list for a day-care NOW!  If you’re not already on one by your baby shower, you may be screwed.  Sorry.  It’s true.  We were on five and only one could take us when I needed to go back to work.  Oh, it’s $150 to just get your name on the list at each one.  No, it’s not refundable.
  • Wrap up those Dr. Brown’s bottles and take them back to the store.  They are a gigantic pain in the ass.  You will spend the next year of your life with a tiny bristle brush washing those stupid parts.  I’m not convinced they are any better than any other bottle and now I will have to use them for the next kid because I have about 25 of the damn things.
  • Take the Brest Friend pillow to the hospital.  For me, it is the greatest breastfeeding invention of all time.  When I was shopping for Amber I saw the new Born Free pillow and got very excited.  It looks really great too and may have some features the Brest Friend pillow doesn’t have.
  • You may have to buy more than one nursing pillow.  I had a Boppy at the hospital.  A friend brought me a Brest Friend.  Boom!  That worked.  Find the one that works.  For me, the Brest Friend worked when she was little, but the Boppy was better when she was older.  Like I said, the Born Free looks phenomenal.  You’ll have to adjust as you get more comfortable with nursing and your baby grows.
  • Find a pediatrician.  We toured ours before the baby was born.  I didn’t know it, but having a lactation consultant at the pediatrician’s office was WONDERFUL for those newborn visits. Yep, I whipped out my boobs for the nurse at the peds office.  I needed advice and I knew she could give it.  Be weary of peds offices that don’t have them and be weary of peds offices that pump out formula samples.  Formula is fine, but advice that helps you keep nursing is even better.  You CAN do it.  It’s just hard at first.
  • Buy a boxes of unscented maxi pads before you go into labor.  No one tells you you’re going to have a heavy period for 6 weeks after the baby is born and you can’t wear tampons.  Use unscented.  Trust me.  You’ll thank me later.  Use the big ice pack ones they send you home from the hospital with while you’re still sore.  But, you’ll run out and be with 8 extended family members who came to see the baby and you be all like, “Ah!  Someone go to the store!”
  • Get your FMLA and maternity leave stuff lined up.  I was in a panic because we got a new HR rep at my old job when I was 8.5 months pregnant.  Fortunately, I got some of the necessary paperwork earlier.  MAKE SURE you know how much time you’re taking off and what’s paid and what’s unpaid.  My husband and my daughter were on my insurance so right after she came home from the hospital I had to get on the phone and make sure she was covered.
  • Fill out paperwork for the cord blood banking now.  I totally didn’t and have no cord blood saved.  Not the end of the world, but it would be nice to have.
  • Take everything from the bassinet at the hospital.  Diapers, wipes, everything.  It’s yours.  You paid for it with insurance.  Ask for two bulb syringes and two squirt bottles.  Get the nurse to grab you extra ice pack pads and that numbing spray to take home too.
  • It’s okay to cry a lot.  You will.  You’ll cry at every freakin’ commercial with a baby, or when your mom leaves after staying with you that first week.  You’ll suddenly be afraid that EVERYTHING will harm the baby.  Ugh.  It’s a little rough sometimes.  You’ll get it together, but you cry a lot in the first few weeks.
  • This is awesome.  It’s great.  Not all the time.  Sometimes it’s really hard, but it’s also amazing.

Phew!  That’s all I got today.  I may have to do a Part 2 of one of these posts.  Okay, other moms, what did I miss?  What did you wish you had known?

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28 Responses to “Shower shouts- January 21, 2013”

  1. This is all excellent advice and too funny! Must read for new mamas. And yes to the nursing pillows. I had them everywhere!

  2. Suz says:

    Try 10+ weeks of bleeding after giving birth to my multiples. And maxipads were on my to do less that didn’t get finished. Took bunches from hospital then kotex unscented were my favorites.
    Ditto the mybrestfriend pillow. Love my twin plus one.
    And the pump & the hands free bra – both why I have hands free to type now. :)

  3. Heather says:

    Great advice. Never had the breastfriend thing, but certainly had boppys everywhere!
    One thing I thought of – don’t forget that your new baby will need health insurance. Although I didn’t forget – I made a HUGE mistake when dealing with it post-baby. Fortunately I got it all worked out.

    • Amy says:

      Yep, C was on my insurance so I was on the phone right after we got home from the hospital, making sure she was covered. Boppys are just like extra throw pillows after awhile.

  4. Ashley says:

    wow! I’m not a mom and haven’t birthed a child but sounds like great info and advice Amy!

  5. Anita says:

    There are lots of things you will need many more of than anticipated like burp cloths- just go on and double them! You never have them where you need them and if you have a spitter they dont last long, get absorbent ones or youll end up changing your shirt just as much.
    Swaddling: they sell blankets with the Velcro or wings for wrapping…much easier than learning origami at night.
    Clothes: white is not in your future unless you want to see poop stains!
    Carriers: get one and borrow another….these are great but kids do seem to prefer different styles

    Amy- love your blog. After just having our second I feel like I could go on for days!

    • Amy says:

      Thanks Anita! I think I’m going to have to do another one of these. I like the burp cloth tip. I forgot about swaddling! I need to get on that.

  6. Dana Davis says:

    That numbing spray is called dermaplast and can be ordered at the pharmacy…we still use it on cuts, abrasions, anything that needs to be numbed so it can be attended to.

    Chandler just turned six and I finally threw out the last of the two bulb syringes I brought home from Rex. Great job on keeping your little person alive for two years. Tell Greyson I said hello.

  7. Amber Hacker says:

    Amy – thank you SO much for this blog and all the awesome advice!!! I’ve done some of these things but some I haven’t, so this is an amazingly helpful checklist. It was so awesome to see you at the shower and visit with Charlotte – she’s so adorable!

    Thanks again for all the pearls of wisdom – passing this along to my pregnant friends!

    Much love,
    Amber

  8. Andrea says:

    Yep. Yep. And yep.

    And definitely if you plan to nurse finding a ped with an LC is awesome. And a huge help for you and your sanity! And your boobs!

  9. Katie says:

    With the hands-free bra, you can spend $30 for the official pumping bra, or you can cut holes in the nipple area of a $8 sports bra and achieve the same purpose. I chose option B. One sports bra lasts for the nursing of one baby. Speaking of which, I need to go buy another one to mutilate (bra, not baby).

    Also, every baby’s different. What your first baby loved, your second may hate and vice versa. Will had no use for any kind of toy, Sophie or otherwise. Even for teething, he’d turn his nose at it. John loves toys, teethers, and Sophie. Who knows what this third baby will prefer? With Will, I swore by the baby swing. It was a guaranteed 2 hour nap. John screamed every time I put him in it.

    Neither John nor Will ever spit up. I mean, Will literally never did. John did maybe three times. Therefore, I have all these burp cloths and I’m like, who uses these things anyway? Watch this third baby channel Linda Blair in The Exorcist and projectile vomit constantly. Also, neither John nor Will would use a pacifier. Will sucked his fingers from the moment he came out of the womb until he was about 2.5, then he stopped. John has never sucked anything to soothe himself. I fooled him with a pacifier for a span on maybe one week, then he started spitting it in my face. Watch Baby #3 accessorize with pacifiers when she goes to her senior prom.

    You just never know. But yes, screw Doctor Brown. The cheapest bottles they make are sufficient. Just make sure you can easily read the ounces on the side. I personally use the Medela now.

  10. April says:

    I absolutely agree with everything you posted. I wish someone had told me about the pumping bra sooner! I would fold laundry and do chores while I pumped. :)

    The Dr. Brown bottles were a pain in the butt to wash but unfortunately Mia got a lot of gas from other bottles so Doc Brown it was.

    Definitely take everything you can get your hands on at the hospital. Take 3 “snot suckers” is you can…they’re the best you’re gonna find by far.

    And crying does come with the territory…crying because you’re sad, scared, exhausted… But you also cry from happiness which makes it all worth it in the end.

    Oh and as far as burp clothes, someone told me to get disposable diapers and use them as burp clothes. We used those things all the time for everything!

  11. April says:

    I found some lady selling a ton of unused cloth diapers on Craig’s List so I just put a bunch in every room in the house and I’d always have one whenever I needed it. They were great for spit up and really any other mess because they’re so absorbent. :)

  12. Lauren says:

    Along with the extra long maxi pads buy 2 sizes too big cheap (ones you are ok throwing away) granny panties to hold the ginormous pad & ice pack. They give you ‘sexy’ mesh underwear but it was nice to have real underwear.
    I second the investing in pump & nursing pillow to the hospital.

  13. katharine says:

    your new blog is awesome amy!!! love.it. i will also take mental notes of these lovely little words of advice from mamas. uh, can’t wait… ;)

  14. […] Lists- In a previous post about giving advice to pregnant women, I mentioned you have to get on the waiting list at a daycare, pronto!  Like, in your second […]

  15. Lisa says:

    Perfectly written, I love your blogs!!!! Where in the heck was this when I needed it, lol! I hated my Dr Browns and ended up using them on Aiden too cause I had so many!!!!!

  16. Amaze, unbelievable website arrangement! Just how very long will you be writing a blog regarding? you have made running a blog search quick. An entire glimpse of your web site is wonderful, let alone the material!

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