so. i have a few friends (like, zines friends or internet friends–no real-life in-lawrence friends, unfortunately) that are pregnant rights now, & a few have asked for my insight about baby care or baby gear, now that i have a whopping eight weeks of motherhood under my belt. since i still love nothing more than to talk about my baby, why not blog about it, right? if brand spanking new mothers who really have very little practical experience in mothering writing as if they do is <a href=”http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/18/when-old-friends-meet-the-new-baby/”>good enough for the “new york times”</a>, it’s good enough for me!
(ps–that link? is ridiculous.i like how the author is all, “my baby didn’t scare away my old friends!” when her baby was just born like a month ago. i can hardly claim to be some grizzles mom veteran when my baby is only like two weeks older than her, but i’m not so dumb as to think that one positive visit with baby is enough to prove that my friendships with my childless friends are going to last forevermore. it’s a lot easier to hang out & feel like old times with a tiny sleeping infant than it is with a rowdy toddler who keeps trying to rifle through everyone’s purse, you know?)
anyway. on with the random crap i have learned!
baby clothes. so. even though i feel that i literally BEGGED people while i was pregnant to NOT buy us clothes, but instead to try to honor our gift registry, which mostly listed cloth diapers, people still gave us a metric shit-ton of baby clothes. i theorize that this is because a lot of onesies & other baby clothes are just so unbearably cute–way cuter than a package of green mountain cotton prefolds. people–especially people who don’t have kids–want to buy something cute for a new baby. they don’t care so much about what the baby poops on. but i knew, even before my child was born, that i would be far more invested in having an ample supply of poop holders than i would in another cute onesie with a duck on it or whatever.
this is why i have been telling people not to register for clothes. people will buy them for you whether you register for them or not. so register for the stuff you really need (or want) & hopefully you’ll have a few good listeners among your family & friends that will get you that stuff while everyone else outfits your baby’s wardrobe.
i know, i know–that little elephant onesie with the matching booties is just so cute! & the baby needs clothes, right? what’s the harm in a few cute, matching ensembles? well, there’s no harm–but trust me when i tell you those booties will fall off & get lost under the couch ten minutes after you put them on, & the hat will be too big even while the onesie becomes too small, & once the baby is here, you will have zero time for matchy-matchy bibs with tie closure instead of velcro or snaps. i knew one woman who actually bought soft-bottomed crib shoes to match every single frilly dress she had purchased for her newborn (no onesies for her). i thought it was absurd when i was pregnant & now that the baby is here & i see what it’s actually like to dress these little suckers–forget it. ramona will just go barefoot until she starts school & is legally required to wear shoes.
another thing no one seems to realize: onesies are a pain in the ass. because you have to pull them over the baby’s head. babies don’t like having things pulled over their heads. & if baby is having an especially messy day with lots of milk dribbling & maybe a leaky diaper or two, you’re going to be changing that onesie on the regular. ramona spent the first six weeks of her life in footie pajamas only. we were given a few sets & i never thought i’d use them because they have so many snaps all down the legs, i was really intimidated. but seriously, by the fifth time i was buttoning her back up post-diaper change, i could have done it blindfolded. & her feet were covered & nothing had to be pulled over her head. even better were the zip-up sleepers.
so, if you are pregnant or buying for a pregnant friend: zip-up sleepers for winter babies & kimono-style onesies for summer babies. if you MUST give the gift of a traditional onesie, maybe do the parents a solid & kick in a pair of pants too. ramona has SO MANY onesies–literally dozens. but it’s january & she had no pants that fit. their legs need to be covered too, people.