Jive Turkey’s Guide To All The Essential Shit You Need If A Baby Is Fixin’ To Come Out The Ol’ Brewster

June 12, 2009 at 5:01 pm 13 comments

Pretty catchy title, no?

It seems the clamoring masses (i.e., the lone commenter Lisa) have demanded my input on what I deem to be essentials when it comes to this whole baby-wranglin’ business. And because I love to share my opinion and behave like an expert on something I’ve been doing a whole two months, I will gladly oblige. Lucky you!

So here you have it! Jive Turkey’s Guide To All The Essential Shit You Need If A Baby Is Fixin’ To Come Out The Ol’ Brewster

A.K.A.

Go Buy This Shit, But Please Don’t Blame Me If You Or Your Baby Hates It. Bitch, I Don’t Know Your Life!*

  • Some sort of swing/bouncy seat contraption: There are a zillion different kinds available at a zillion different price points and of course every baby reacts differently to each one, but for the love of all that’s holy, just GRAB SOMETHING of this ilk, if only to have a place to plop the child when you are home alone and have to poop. Which is a totally hypothetical situation, of course. As Sadie gets older, she’s really started to dig her bouncy seat, and I always know the swing will get a 30-minute catnap out of her. But BEWARE the bouncy seat poops. These poops are the Anderson Cooper of poops, a.k.a. the “360” poop, in which the poop coats the entire diaper, all the way around. It’s a real treat.
  • Cheap cloth diapers to be used as burp cloths: This was not my brilliant idea, but rather one I got from various places on the Internet. And lo, they were right. Those fuckers are nice and big and absorbent, and I always have one slung over my shoulder when I’m at home. Unless I don’t, and then the baby inevitably barfs a nice juicy barf all over my arm. I Sing The Body Electric!
  • Boppy: If you’re breastfeeding, I cannot recommend the Boppy enough (even though I hate its name). Unless you happen to be one of those people who have really long boobs with no nerve endings and can therefore plop the baby any-old-where while breastfeeding, this pillow will make it possible for you to keep the baby in prime breastfeeding position without it feeling like she is going to tear your rack clean off.
  • Newman’s Nipple Cream: This is another breastfeeding must-have, but it’s one you need a prescription for, unfortunately. I got a prescription from the lactation consultant, but my pediatrician said he could also write me one if need be. ANYWAY, this shit? Is magical. It healed my cracked and bleeding nipple (ew), like, OVERNIGHT. The lactation consultant told me it contains antibiotics and steroids, but I’m pretty much convinced it contains leprechauns and unicorns and possibly the blood of innocents.
  • Sweaters and hats for the baby: I assumed that I wouldn’t need too many winter-ish clothes and/or hats for my springtime baby, but OMG was I wrong. First of all, after she was born I became instantly aware of how fucking COLD and DRAFTY this world is for a baby. Not to mention how restaurants and other establishments love to crank the A/C once the first tulip of spring blooms. I finally found a few cute and versatile cardigan sweaters at Old Navy that I always have in the diaper bag so I can prevent her little arms from freezing off. And I also went on a quest for a DECENT FUCKING HAT that wouldn’t pop off her noggin every time she turned her head in her car seat (I found a great one in the baby section at H&M). I’m not saying you need to bundle the child up within an inch of its life, but it is my experience that most babies do not so much enjoy a crisp breeze.
  • A BIG receiving blanket, and/or some kind of special swaddling wrap: Swaddling is something I’d never heard of before having a baby, and something I’m now sure I’d probably DIE without. Swaddling Sadie (that sounds like a Lifetime movie, no?) is the only way to guarantee she will sleep for a long stretch without smacking herself in the face/pinwheeling her arms around and waking herself up. Unfortunately, 99% of the receiving blankets we, uh, received were way too small to swaddle her with, and it’s not like I gave birth to fucking Stretch Armstrong or anything, so I don’t know what the hell was up with that. The only good swaddling blankets we have are the two I stole from the hospital, and one that my friend stole from another hospital. Now that the weather is warmer, we use this, and it’s great. Although peeling open the super-strong velcro tabs to slip her inside after a 3am feeding makes a sound that is akin to a mighty redwood falling over in a dense forest, so there is that.
  • Dreft stain removal spray: I don’t think I need to expound on this one, do I?
  • Soothies pacifiers: I know some people equate pacifiers with evil, but I don’t have a problem with them and neither does our pediatrician, so that brings us to the glorious Soothie. One out of one Sadies approves! It’s the only pacifier she likes, and there’s the bonus of being able to see her cute little sucking mouth through the hole. Hee!

Now, as a special bonus treat, my must-have list for the hospital:

  • Snaaaaaaaaacks: I cannot over-emphasize the glory of having a rice krispie treat or can of Sprite at your disposal at 3am. I can only tell you that some reduced-fat Cheez-Its were the only thing keeping me from starvation while I waited for my sub-par hospital cafeteria food.
  • Camera! Unless you happen to pop a baby out the ladyworks every day, I recommend bringing some sort of device to capture the moment. If you forget, send someone out for one of those disposable ones. And don’t worry about paying them back. You’re having a BABY, for Chrissakes! This one’s on them!
  • Pillow: One of the midwives tipped me off that the pillows at my particular hospital of choice SUCKED. Thank goodness she did, otherwise I would have spent my entire hospital stay trying (unsuccessfully) to get comfortable on the wafer-thin excuses for pillows that were provided to me. Seriously, those fuckers were like an interoffice envelope in a pillowcase. Pathetic. I recommend asking around to see if your hospital is the same way, and then bringing along a spare pillow if so.
  • Meds for your partner: Did you know that if your husband gets a raging headache at 2am and asks the nurse if he can have some Tylenol, she will say no? Well, now you do. Brad learned the hard way so you don’t have to.
  • Comfy clothes that don’t make you feel like a hideous pile of ass: Let’s face it – your body will be making you feel assy enough without you cramming your newly-post-partumed ass into some old, stained pajama pants from a 1998 Old Navy clearance sale. Get yourself something pretty and comfy (and washable) to wear after the baby comes out. People will be coming to visit. They won’t be looking at you, but you still want to feel somewhat presentable (especially because you brought that CAMERA, remember?).
  • Baby Book: I have my sister to thank for reminding me to bring the baby book to the hospital, because I had totally forgotten that the nurses would put Sadie’s footprints on the designated page right after she was born, and missing that opportunity is just the kind of thing that would have sent me into a 5-hour crying jag during that first week at home.
  • YOUR BALLS: Seriously, Internet, you will be tired and delirious and out of your mind, but TRY to remember that you don’t have to do anything just because some asshole in a uniform says you do. Some nurse barged into our room at the crack of 4:30am and said they had to take Sadie to give her a hepatitis vaccine. Some HUH? She was all of one day old, y’all! Seems there was a miscommunication about my medical history and Sadie didn’t need the shot, but I’m so glad I (and mostly Brad) told the nurses NO, BUT THANKS FOR PLAYING. And believe me, we had to tell them “no” more than once to get them to cease and desist. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself, yo. And if you have a midwife or doula or awesome nurse on your side to speak up for you? EVEN BETTER.

And now, because hating things is fun, here’s my list of shit I HATE:

  • GOWNS: They’re cute, I got about ten thousand of them, and my sister loved them, but OMG I HATE THOSE INFANT GOWNS. They are about 57 feet long and made Sadie look like fucking Fruma Sarah. Every time I put one on her, I nearly suffocated her trying to get all that damn fabric over her head, and then inevitably her diaper would always get pulled down by the constant shifting of the gown, which would = POOP EVERYWHERE. Haaaaate.
  • Infant nail clippers: EVERYONE told me these are useless. I did not listen. And – surprise! – they are completely useless. Live [be totally stubborn] and learn.
  • Overly puffy sleeves on infant girl clothes: They make the poor kid look like Ming the Merciless. And no one needs that.

mingAlthough it would make for interesting baby portraits.

OK, so I’m totally drawing a blank on other things to hate on. Help me out here, Internet! You don’t have to have a baby to play! Leave your Haterade in the comments!

*Brad told me this story (I can’t remember where he heard it) about this guy who went to KFC and ordered two whole buckets of chicken. The cashier asked him if it was to eat in or to go, and he responded that OF COURSE it was to go – did she think he was going to sit there and eat two buckets of chicken entirely by himself?! To which the cashier responded, “Bitch, I don’t know your life!” Brilliant.

Oh, did I neglect to post a picture of Sadie in this post? Silly me. Enjoy:

dimple

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Entry filed under: And you KNOW THIS!.

Real Post Coming Soon! “…they are so placid and self-contain’d…”

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Chicago Friend of Said Turkey  |  June 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    “Bitch, I don’t know your life.” My new favorite thing to say.

    Also, Sadie with a dimple…it’s almost more than my heart can take!

    Reply
  • 2. MLE  |  June 12, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    I will totally come back to this post later. In, like, a year maybe. (I hope?)

    Also, from now on I’m making baby sweaters and hats in addition to blankets. I didn’t realize they’d be useful for non-cold-months babies, but apparently they are.

    Reply
  • 3. HoST  |  June 12, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Imagine Sadie in that picture with the adorable dimple thinking, “Bitch, I don’t know your life.” This is what I imagine her thinking about me all the time.

    Reply
    • 4. Sara  |  June 14, 2009 at 3:33 pm

      I was going to write that the look on her face totally says, “Bitch, I don’t know your life.” She’s adorable!

      Reply
  • 5. jean  |  June 12, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    I am trying to remember what I hated but nothing is coming to mind. Those first few months are nothing but a blur now, some 13 years later. I know I loved those cloth diapers, I used them as burp clothes and then dust rags. They last for years.

    Reply
  • 6. Lisa  |  June 12, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Yay! It’s everything I hoped for. Specifically, I’ve been resisting the boppy (and it’s also stupid-named counterpart, My Brest Friend), but you’ve convinced me that I need one. And I had no idea about the nail clippers. Do the nails just go unclipped then, or is there some other way? Tiny scissors? I have so much to learn.

    Reply
  • 7. Sara  |  June 14, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Also, “Fruma Sarah” just about killed me.

    Reply
  • 8. Dan  |  June 15, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    BIG YES on the Bouncy Chair. Beware of swing though, Bubba did not enjoy the swing so much, who knew? Typical man, enjoyed the vibrator of the chair though…

    Swaddling saved his life too, because I possibly could have drop kicked him for only sleeping 10 minutes at a time, until I got the Swaddling blanket. He was only 4lbs and the only thing that kept him asleep was the baby straight jacket.

    BALLS ARE A DEFINATE. Especially in the NICU. Those nurses think they rule the world there or something. One of them actually told me I wasn’t allowed to know how much he ate today and that I couldn’t nurse him. That bitchy comment + PP hormones=WRONG THING TO SAY TO NEW MAMA BEAR.

    Our hospital gave us a camera (with “a star is born” written on the side, so sweet) but we didn’t use it. I do use the nail clippers though!

    Reply
  • 9. Dana  |  June 15, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    For some reason in the above comment I didnt realize I was Dana, not Dan

    Reply
  • 10. shelli  |  June 15, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    http://www.miracleblanket.com/

    Enough said. Little dude is 6.5 months old, and yes, he can houdini himself out of it, but not until he’s slept for SEVEN HOURS IN A ROW. I will use it until the kid is 23 years old, I tell ya!

    Reply
  • 11. J-ROK  |  June 26, 2009 at 2:31 am

    THANK YOU! I’m due in a month and like to blurk on your page every now and again. I need more advice about what products you like and which are a waste! Off to read about the miracle blanket 🙂

    Reply
  • 12. sweetbird  |  June 28, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    After having just spent the last three weeks with my infant nephew, I can definitely agree with most everything you have on the list.

    I would also point out that the Boppy is a MUST even if you’re not breastfeeding. It makes the feedings so much easier without having to support the kid in some awkward ass position so that they don’t swallow like eight gallons of air. Also, if arranged properly it will provide awesome back support for that time you want to watch a marathon of Doctor Who episodes whilst holding said baby.

    Additionally, whoever invented those bouncy chairs should be sainted, given the Nobel, etc… I don’t know how parents whose children don’t like them survive.

    Reply
  • 13. Leah  |  July 13, 2009 at 1:34 am

    I know I’m late to the party but I have to say it somewhere: I…only used the Boppy for about two weeks. (And my boobs are not long!)

    Reply

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