Collected wisdom

5 Apr

Here’s what is working and not working for us so far, in the form of some thoughts for new parents:

  • Don’t buy a fancy, expensive changing table. Buy one of those little cushions you can put on top of a dresser. Then expect that the dresser will get a little dinged up. And (we have a boy) pee will get on the walls from time to time.
  • Don’t bother with an expensive crib, though it’s worth it to have a sturdy crib. Do bother with a good organic cotton mattress. Some suspicions that SIDS is related to chemicals in cheap crib mattresses. If you just want to use a pack and play as a permanent crib, that would probably work.
  • Buying a swing has been marginally worth it, so far. I wish ours had a smaller profile, I didn’t realize it when I bought it. I’m going to need the kid to start really liking that thing more for it to break even.
  • For diapers, Amazon mom or diapers.com, they’re roughly comparable. We’ve been having success with Pampers Swaddler’s and Pampers Baby Dry diapers. 3.5 months, only 3-4 blowout diapers, if that.
  • For bottles, we have been using the Born Free 5-oz bottles. They work fine. We didn’t buy glass ones.
  • Hand-me-down clothing for baby? Get as much as you can, use as much as you can, give away as much as you can. This is the Kula ring of having a child. Buy very little, and don’t bother buying stuff for newborn to 6 months, it gets used and outgrown in a flash of a flash.
  • Carter’s white onesies were a go-to staple for our kid. Less now, but for the first 2 months, mostly everyday.
  • The boppy pillow is ok as a holding area for the kid on the sofa, but it wasn’t great for breastfeeding. The My Brest Friend pillow is better, because it’s got a flat surface. Wife says this makes a big difference.
  • If your baby has clubfoot, Dr. David Scher is your guy. This guy is highly regimented, science-based, and so far we are delighted with him and his work. Hospital for Special Surgery, rock on you crazy hospital.
  • Mayo Clinic guide to Healthy Pregnancy, and American Academy of Pediatrics’ Baby’s First Year are good resources that don’t indulge the crazy reflex terribly often, if at all.
  • For fathers, Home Game, the essays by Michael Lewis, has been my favorite so far. Haven’t gotten to Michael Chabon’s Manhood for Amateurs yet, more on that soon.
  • This caterpillar
  • This gymini
  • For naps, we’ve been more miss than hit at this point. The Brooklyn Dad Method™ is to hold the kid in my arms, somewhere between prone and propped up. Non-bouncy rocking back and forth. Wait until he cries, then turns towards me a bit, then eyes start to droop. Once eyes are closed, but he’s not quite asleep, place in crib. If he cries, repeat – he gets back to the droopy phase pretty quick quick. My goal is to put him in the crib when he’s on the cusp of nap.

    For the record, this often works, but that doesn’t mean he won’t wake up in 20 minutes. Just enough time to slip out of the house, and leave the carnage to your darling partner.

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2 Responses to “Collected wisdom”

  1. Alan April 6, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    3.5 months, only 3-4 blowout diapers??? WOW! I think my wife and I need to sign up for the special class you took on how to strap those things on. Or maybe your baby is just more considerate than ours, or a less aggressive pooper or something. We’ve had a lot more than 3-4, that’s for sure…

  2. Peter April 6, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    I don’t know, really. I think I expected more your experience, but it’s been pretty benign so far. Maybe we’ve been trained in perfectly correct diapering from when we had the casts? They did show us how to avoid poop on the cast/shoes/brace. The threat of replacement-by-poop…

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