That Email That I Send to All New Parents
Take it or leave it. I don’t give a shit.
On Eating & Shitting
Don’t register for a bunch of one kind. Get a mix to see what he likes first. We found that Bea preferred the Mimijumi and the Comotomo natural feel. It took quite a bit of research and trial & error to get there. Don’t let it frustrate you.
To clean up after butt blowouts, get a Puj tub. Bea outgrew it at about the 4-month mark, but even if you only get 4 months of use, it’s well worth it. It won’t fit in all sinks, but it fit great in our bathroom sink and made it really easy to bathe her. It also came in handy when Bea had diaper rash and we were letting her freeball it. We were washing her off in the sink 15–20 times per day. Holy shit was the Puj handy.
Your kid will piss and shit everywhere. These things are a lifesaver. We didn’t know they existed and didn’t actually think we needed them… but we stumbled across them on one of our thousands of trips to Buy Buy Baby and I tossed them in the cart because I figured “couldn’t hurt.” Buy two packs of them. You’ll thank me. You can just toss them in the washing machine and replace it with a clean one without having to swap out various sheets, covers, etc. Note of caution… they need to be line-dried — a minor inconvenience.
For every-day use, we used Butt Paste. We liked the consistency of it and it worked pretty well. They also make a Maximum Strength version. We’d also from time to time put a layer of Aquaphor on top of the butt paste — especially at the first sign of a rash. And he will get rashes. And let me tell you…. diaper rash is no fucking joke. Bea could go from perfectly fine to open sores in a matter of hours. It comes on fast and it can get really bad. The frequency at which they piss and shit is unbelievable — to the tune of 20+ times a day. Try to keep him as dry as possible. When the rash comes on, I HIGHLY recommend Sensi-Care. It’s not that easy to find, but it was recommended by our doc and it’s amazing. And you’ll need to air him out (eg: freeballin’ it) — we bought a bunch of disposable medical pads to lay underneath Bea when we had to do this.
On Going Mobile
We stressed over the stroller situation — big time. There are $100-strollers and $900-strollers. We spent many hours in Buy Buy Baby talking to the “experts”, and every time we were looking at the City Mini GT stroller, some mom would make a point to stop and say “I have that stroller. I fucking love it. Buy it.” So we did. And now we’ve become those advocates. In fact, this Saturday, I might go hang out in Buy Buy Baby and sell random expectant parents on the stroller. We love it that much. There’s an attachment so that you can snap the the car seat to it — you’ll need that too. Also get the rain canopy accessory. The stroller can lay flat, which comes in handy when the kid can’t support his/her own head/upper-body (which is like the first 4–5 months). It maneuvers really well. And the stroller folds up. And when I say it folds up, I mean it folds up. It collapses in half — you can throw it your trunk right next to all the groceries. The only thing about it that worried us was the size and accessibility of the storage compartment under the stroller (actually, I didn’t give a shit, but Nikki was worried). But this has turned out to be a non-issue.
We researched the fuck out of car seats, and we made a selection almost entirely based on various safety ratings. The Chicco Keyfit 30 came out on top. I have absolutely no complaints with it.
This. Fucking. Thing.
In the early months, we were using the Nose Frida twice a day. My genetic offspring is full of snot. You might think “man, that’s gross.” It is. It’s also fascinating. And Bea could breathe so much better after using it. She fed better, slept better, and was happier because of it.
The makers of the nose frida also make the Windi. Yes, we have it, and yes, we used it. But it rarely comes to that. We had a fussiness checklist that goes like this:
1] Is she hungry? If “no”…
2] Does she need to be changed? If “no”…
3] Does she have to burp? If “no”…
4] Is she tired? If “no”…
5] Does she have to fart? If “no”…
6] Does she have a fever? If “no”… start back at #1.
It was rare that we actually got to number 5, but if we did, the first step is to lay her on her back and slowly “roll” her feet up towards her face. Most of the time, if she had to fart, that would do the trick. If that fails, then we would resort to the windi. And yes, it’s funny. But it’s also effective. Sometimes, you may need to leave it in there for about 30 seconds for it to work, but when it does work, the fart is typically followed by a stream of liqui-shit™. So you may want to lay down some tarps and wear raincoats.
Around the 10-month mark… you’ll want to add “Does he want to stand?” Once Bea figured out how to stand (with help), she would get restless when she’s laying in her swing or crib. But that was pretty easy to figure out because she would arch her back and make grunting noises when she wanted to get out and stretch her legs.
For the first couple of weeks, the only “clothing” you’ll probably need are receiving blankets. You’ll wrap him up like a burrito and that’s it. You won’t be leaving the house, so no point in dressing him/her up in “cute outfits”. That and a diaper… that’s it — seriously. You might able to “steal” a bunch from the hospital. That’s what we did.
After a couple of weeks you’ll want to graduate to these things. They make it easy to gain access and are very comfortable.
To sleep in, the Halo sleep sack. We swaddled Bea with a blanket for the first 2 weeks or so, but she hated having her legs immobile, so we switched to this thing. She wore it every night. She slept like a rock. I don’t know if the sleep sack gets all of the credit, but it at least gets some. Bea loved it.
I don’t think it matters which one you get, so long as you get one — possibly even two so you can keep one in the room where you hang out the most. We found that Bea could be sleeping in any one of three rooms and we were always unplugging and moving the sound machine… so save yourself the headache and register for two. We have this one, which is totally adequate.
Well, that’s it. If I think of anything else or if I learn anything else in the next few months, I’ll add it.