I’ve gathered lots of baby tips over the years, and it’s time to pass them along.
By Ella Rosenberg
Birth order is an amazing thing. I consider myself blessed to be the youngest. Growing up around my supportive married siblings, my matured, softened parents, the adoration of nieces and nephews…it’s molded me to be…well, me.
Every youngest has many moms. The advice is endless, unsolicited, and most of the time, under appreciated. But I hereby, publicly (hiding behind my penname of course) give thanks to all my Mama Bears. The greatest sisters-in-law, a one in a million aunt, and to the best sisters on Earth.
I’m writing this article to symbolically accept the torch and be the big sisters you were to me. Only I’m being the big sister to your daughters and you’re about to become GRANDMAS.
The darling little girl who turned me into an aunt is about to make me great aunt, and so begins the barrage of advice.
I take no credit for the tips, it’s a mere passing down of info to the next generation. I categorized these tips into 4 neat lists, so you can find the info you need, whether you’re packing that hospital bag, or whether you’re little package is already snuggling in his/her bassinet.
- Tried-and-True Reading Material
- My Hospital Packing List
- My Favorite Baby Products (soaps, toys, books, and more)
- Stock the Baby’s Drawers
Tried-and-True Reading Material
- The Wonder Weeks is a movement more than a most brilliant baby book. The authors take us into the world of your baby, showing you their perception leap by leap. Once you have an understanding of what is going on in their little head you can help them through the cranky and clingy and crying phases and into the wonderful world of discovering. I can’t adequately encourage you to get on board – safe to say I’m obsessed! If you don’t enjoy reading please get the app, it’s almost as good. The app explains the week’s fussy signs as well as the magical leap forward and what we as parents can do to help. A diary section allows you to log your baby’s development and record his or her budding personality.
- Twelve Hours Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old by Suzy Giordano. I did read this book cover to cover before I had my baby a year ago. I loved the whole concept but did not put it into practice. I’m including it here though because so many women I know swear by it. I truly believe knowledge is power so I’m glad I read it. Attention Moms who did put this book to practice, please please leave your comments for all to know how it went.
- Boy Oh Boy by Beily Paluch – if you’re gebentched with a son (or 3!!!) this read is worth your time as soon as your baby is born (or prior if you know the gender). Every part of the simcha is understood from the chickpeas on Friday night to the garlic at the Pidyon. Once you’re going through the motions why not understand each detail, including the honors doled out at the Bris. It’s a “mother’s guide to the wonderful world of boys from Bris to Bar Mitzva.” Thank you to Rebbetzin Dina Fink for this most thoughtful baby gift.
In My Hospital Bag (Do not wear any jewelry to the hospital)
- Siddur (be sure it also has Shabbos prayers) and Tehillim
- Insurance card and ID
- Phone charger (for hubby as well)
- Snood and a change of clothing (zip-ups or wraps are the coziest and most practical)
- PJs and sleeping socks (you need a robe or skirt for when visitors come or you need to leave your room). I love the Gap Maternity black t-shirts and long skirts – I live in that till my baby turns six weeks – at least!
- Ear plugs and eye cover to help with the hospital “sleeps.”
- Shower slippers are a must. A towel from home is something I’ve never schlepped but regretted it.
- Something to read (in case it’s Shabbos and you have no phones or visitors – speaking from experience)
- I take 2-3 bottles of water along – it’s just something I can’t live without.
- Cosmetic bag – The hospital does provide nursing pads, Tylenol, sanitary products, Colace, and Balniol but I find it annoying to have to ask for it and then wait. Taking my own things from home makes me feel more civilized. I like the Lansinoh cream and their nursing pads. From the travel aisle at CVS I pick up a dental hygiene kit, soap, shampoo, deodorant, hand cream, and painkillers. Your glasses, lens case, and solution can also go in here.
My Favorite Baby Products
- PUJ baby towels come in two sizes. The infant size worked for us until my baby was about 8 months old and then we switched to the toddler ones. They’re practical, cozy and survive the laundry wonderfully.
- I like GAP undershirts the best for my chubby babies. For the first few weeks, they wear mittens or carters undershirts that have attached coverage on the hands so they don’t scratch themselves.
- Phillips Avent BPA Free Translucent Orthodontic Infant Pacifier
- Aden + Anais Swaddles and wash cloths – they have many choices of patterns. I’ve gone through phases where I preferred solid white and they have those too.
- Baby Zen YoYo Stroller – this folds and unfolds easily and can be brought onto an airplane to stow above. The stroller folds up to be worn as a shoulder bag which allows me to hold my baby and stroller together (in times of need, lol). It also wheels very smoothly and is a breeze on the stairs.
- Play mat, mobile, swing, jumper: I have found that the uglier they are, the happier the baby is. I used the Tiny Love Classic Development mobile, Fisher Price Rainforest mat, and Baby Einstein Activity Jumper. I know there are some that are much more aesthetically pleasing but I opted for these with baby number 3… Please note that all flashing lights are detrimental to the baby’s development. Please do not buy any toys like that or disable the lights feature.
- Keeping a baby journal is so enjoyable for me. My big boys love reading their months as I fill in our baby’s. There are so many choices… I’m enjoying this one a lot (C.R. Gibson First 5 Year Memory Book—Under The Sea)
- I read to baby from infancy… Some favorites are Eric Carle’s Brown Bear, The Very Busy Spider, Ten Tiny Toes, and The Going to Bed Book.
Stock the Baby’s Drawers
Here are some items that might be helpful, depending on your preferences or your baby’s specific needs.
- Overnight Pampers by Pampers (these start at size 3. For newborn diapers, start with these or these).
- Sensitive Wipes by Pampers
- Triple Paste (because I don’t like the scent of Desitin or A+D)
- Infant Tylenol
- Baby Q-Tips
- Infant Vitamin D drops (a drop a day for a healthier baby)
- Alcohol, gauze pads, Bacitracin for a baby boy
- Baby nail file and scissors
- Baby brush
- Diaper Sacks
- NoseFrida – I know it may look gross but it’s the only way to keep baby’s noses clean easily
- Hand sanitizer
- Mustela body wash and moisturizer
- You’ll also need burp cloths, bibs, a bottle sanitizer and drying rack (I bought both from Phillips and not a must)
All right all you Mommies and Bobby’s, what did I forget?
Ella is a mom of three boys. With lots of nieces who are newly married and having their first babies, as her sisters’ become grandmothers, she is looking forward to sharing the advice she enjoyed over the years.