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Tuesday, March 20, 2007


In the next two months, we hope to report the birth of Aunt Sharon and Uncle Pat's baby, Cousin Savannah. More babies are on the way.

This seems like a good time to talk about the little tips and tricks we've bought along the way, as well as things that parents should, and most importantly should not, buy. Here in random order are some random thoughts:
  • Lansinoh, a strong buy. Because the mom and the baby will be learning about breastfeeding together, the first few days are a little rough. And by "a little rough," picture a high-speed crash onto a rough field. Lansinoh is your friend.
  • Baby powder, a strong sell. Return this at once. Inhalation of the powder is supposed to be bad for babies, anyway. Creams can be better, but you're supposed to note that keeping warm areas moist means bacteria can grow quickly, meaning that nice little spot of diaper rash is really something else altogether.
  • Crap that dangles from above the car seat, a strong sell. Picture that stuff in an accident, attacking your baby at high speed. Get rid of it. Your kid's probably going to nap after 22 seconds in the car, anyway, so what is the point of entertaining en-route?
  • In-car baby mirror, a strong sell. Are you going to drive or are you going to baby sit? Pick one. Ditto for the "flying objects" attacking your baby.
  • Car-seat head rests, sell. If your car seat wasn't tested with 'em, your car seat wasn't tested with them.
  • LATCH tie-down system, sell. As a cop put it to us: You can have a system approved for 22-pound babies at 35 mph, or you can use a regular seatbelt tested with heavier full-sized people at highway speeds.
  • Vaseline, maybe in a squeeze tube, strong buy. In tiny doses helps prevent irritation from the diaper rubbing on baby's thighs, and helps moisturize patches of skin that are drying out.
  • and NetFlix, strong buy. If you've already subscribed, add a couple more movies per month. Even though you'll only be able to watch 3 minutes, 22 seconds at a time, you'll be grateful for the distraction.
  • Extra changing-pad covers, buy. Figure out how many you're likely to get dirty. Then doule it.
  • "Free and clear" laundry detergent, buy. That Dreft stuff has perfumes that can irritate some babies. Skip the fabric softener for the baby's load, because it can remove the fire-proofing additives in baby clothing.
  • Camel Wides, sell. Baby shouldn't be smoking yet.

Other things worth noting:
  • Car seat inspections. They're a pain in the ass to get arranged, but do it anyway.
  • Hospital receiving blankets. Somehow the hospitals seem to buy the only hospital receiving blankets large enough to actually wrap a baby in. Hospitals frown on these walking away with the parents, but some parents have been known to introduce their children to a life of a crime.
  • Extra pillows. If baby gets fed and rocked around the house, you may even need more regular pillows than you needed during pregnancy.
  • Visitor protection. Put a message on the answering machine -- we're all healthy, just tired, blah blah blah. Encourage visitors to bring food.
  • Food. Stouffer's makes a very large frozen lasagna. Domino's delivers. Nearly all restaurants offer take-out options.
  • Baby wipes. You've probably already got 21,204 packages of them. Use them liberally. If you put a couple layers underneath your kid on the changing table, chances are the next diaper change might be slightly less repulsive.
  • Doctors and nurses. You've got plenty of access to them in the hospital, and they all want to help. You hire them; use them. Get all the advice you can on breastfeeding and infant care while you can. Your insurance may cover visiting nurses and certified lactation consultants at home, too.
  • Support groups. A nurse said mom should get in a parenting support group, but the nurse said she says that about every mom. You can also get groups like the La Leche League to help.
  • Organization. Before you sit down with the baby, think about what you're going to need. Gonna be there for three hours? Get some water or a soda next to you. Have the remote control at a fingertip's reach. Remember a burp cloth and pacifier.
  • Phone stuff. We used the Bizon phone card from, which offers relatively inexpensive international rates and, most importantly, an automatic refill option. We also came up with a big phone list, which gave us easy access to relatives' phone numbers in the hospital, hospital and home phone numbers and addresses, taxi phone number, etc. Worth its weight in gold.
More later. Tired now. Sorry.


  • Thanks so much for all the great tips... I'm happy to say we haven't bought any of the things you urged new parents to sell.
    Pat was just talking about getting a Netflix subscription so we would have something to entertain ourselves with during the first weeks Savannah comes into the world.
    Send more tips when you get the chance... we could use them!
    Aunt Sharon:)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 20/3/07 22:22  

  • Mike,
    this is a funny subject!
    In the end of this year it is my turn. So this subject it is very intersting thing to me!
    Thanks a lot!
    Send my wishes for all!
    Aunt Marselle ;)

    By Anonymous Marselle, at 21/3/07 05:42  

  • What about all those parenting books from, strong buy or strong sell?

    By Anonymous UncleRod, at 21/3/07 09:19  

  • Some of the books are must-haves. One that we strongly recommend is the one you, Unclerod, gave us: "Great Lies to Tell Small Kids". That will be a live saver when Bella gets too inquisitive =D

    By Blogger mom n dad, at 21/3/07 15:44  

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