Your belly has barely grown, but the advice for what you “must” have and do as a mom-to-be is rolling in faster than your mood swings. As if worrying about popping out a kid and subsequently being responsible for his survival is not consuming enough, you are also supposed to find time to attend a baby shower and shop for useless baby paraphernalia. Every mom should decide what she wants to do or not do. Here's what I ditched:
I never had a bridal shower, wedding shower, or baby shower. The only showers I take involve me and a bath tub. Let’s face it, most of us prefer brunching over playing baby Bingo on our Saturdays, so moms-to-be should think carefully about their final baby-free days. A dinner or a movie may be better alternatives. Or taking a long shower – by yourself. Once the baby arrives, there are only two scenarios for taking a shower:
A) You shower while the baby is crying, which is the opposite of a spa-like experience.
B) You shower and keep thinking you're hearing the baby crying, prompting you to abandon the tub before you even shaved your legs.
Go to a baby clothing swap or a consignment store instead – you’ll need an excuse to get out of the house and meet new moms with whom you can discuss sleep deprivation and poop color. If people really insist on getting you something, suggest gift cards for your favorite online store. I can’t tell you how many items I ordered at 4 a.m. on my phone from Diapers.com while contemplating whether I will ever sleep again.
There is no need to buy stickers and slap them on your offspring every month. You don’t need to go all Etsy, but get just a little creative. One mom I know takes a photo with her baby holding up the corresponding number of balloons. Another puts her boy beside the same stuffed animal, so you can see his growth. Another mom uses objects like fruits or a string of lights to write out the month number beside her baby. Skip the stickers – it’s not cute if everyone is doing it.
When was the last time you took a picture, printed it, and glued it into a book? Exactly. Baby books that allow you to record your baby’s firsts are fine, but ditch those that mostly consist of space for pictures. Even if you still live in the 90s and own a film camera, you’ll mostly be snapping photos on your phone. Non-phone cameras require two hands, but one of your hands will always be holding a newborn, a breast pump, or a fistful of whatever food you are shoving in your mouth for dinner. Sifting through pictures, printing them, and gluing them in the book will not be nearly as attractive as napping, chugging coffee, or drooling on the couch.
You know what’s another way to warm a bottle? Put it in a bowl of warm water, or run it under warm water. And – voilà! – warm milk! As for the wipes warmers, having one child hardly makes me an expert, but her precious buttocks have survived just fine even when a cold wipe came in contact with them. I’m pretty sure you made it through infanthood without your own behind benefiting from heated cleaning supplies, and so can your child.
Baby feeding is not about sticking a certain amount of rice cereal down my baby's throat to fill him up; it’s about introducing him to a world of new flavors and textures.
It takes a village!
Join ours. Before we were parents, we were people. Sign up for tips and stories from parents who get it.