My Favorite Baby Advice & Baby Items

by HEAB on July 9, 2011

I often get emails requesting advice on my favorite baby products and what I have found to be most useful. So, I’ve cut and pasted my response into a blog post with updates as things keep changing. She’s growing up way too fast!  

Update: In addition to our toddler, we now have boy/girl twins (born June 2012), and I’ve added a few more must-haves to the list.

1) Birthing Advice. I didn’t really read any childbirth books. Chris and I took natural child-birthing classes together, and our instructor was super knowledgeable and really knew her stuff. She had answers for all of our questions and research to back everything up. The classes were beyond helpful, and I felt totally prepared. If you’re hoping for a natural childbirth, I would highly recommend hiring a doula. Ours was a doula/RN/midwife, and she was awesome. She helped us put together our birth plan and even attended a doctor’s apt. with us to go over the plan with our OB. Originally, we hoped to stay at home and labor as long as possible with her there, but things did not go according to plan (you can read my birth story here). However, it was great to have her there b/c since she was a registered nurse, she was able to unhook all the monitoring equipment so that I could walk around. The nurses at the hospital knew and trusted her, and just left us alone. I would hire her again in a heartbeat.  

C-section: With our twins I had a c-section since Baby A was breech, and it wasn’t that bad.  My advice to anyone who knows they will have a c-section is to walk often that first week after surgery.  It will be painful getting in and out of bed, but the walking will help your recovery.  Also, do not eat solid foods until you pass gas post-delivery and stick with liquid calories if you can.  No one told me this, and the gas pains I experienced after eating those first couple of days after surgery were worse than the pain around my incision.  

2) Food for Mama & Baby: I love love LOVE Nina Planck’s Real Food For Mother & Baby. The book has wonderful dietary advice for pregnant women, nursing women, and first foods to feed baby. I love the author’s philosophy – it just makes so much sense. As far as solids go, we started out doing Baby Led Weaning and have incorporated some purees into the mix.  You can see all my favorite baby food recipes here.

3) Sleep. Oh my goodness, I cannot stress the importance of sleep for your baby. I was totally underestimating the amount of sleep Summer needed, and we kept mistaking her sleepiness for hunger. (Everyone tells you will be able to distinguish between tired and hungry cries after a few weeks. Well, I hard a hard time with that one.) I kept reading that babies need to be up for no more than 2 hours, and this was so true! When she was a newborn, she would just catnap for 20 minutes here and there making for really long days for me, but again, we were feeding here when she was actually just tired. At about 5 months, we started to get into more of a regular nap schedule. From what I’ve read, the first 4 months, you just do what you need to do to get the baby to sleep. After 4 months, you can do some sleep training, but until then the baby will cry b/c he/she needs something – diaper change, he/she is uncomfortable, hungry, just wants to be close to you, etc. There are several schools of thought on sleep schedules/training for babies, and we had great success with Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth. Again, babies need a ton of sleep, and I used to think that if I could keep Summer awake longer in the afternoons then she would sleep better at night. Um, no, the more sleep she gets, the happier she is, and if she is up for longer than she should be, she gets over-tired, and things just go downhill from there. Summer now falls asleep all on her own with little to no crying. Since she was about 5 months old up until now (she’s 8 months), she’s been napping twice a day, usually from about 9 to 11 AM and 1 to 3 PM and then sleeps from about 6 PM to 6 AM every night.

We’ve followed Dr. Weissbluth’s advice with our twins as well, and they are sleeping through the night and napping like champs!

4) If you’re planning to breastfeed, have a lactation consultant help you as soon as you can. The nurses were no help to me in the hospital – they saw Summer sucking and said, yeah that looks fine. Even the LC at the hospital wasn’t much help, and just sent me home with a pump, telling me to pump every 2 hours since Summer seem to have no interest in feedings (she was so small and we couldn’t get her to eat – all she wanted to do was sleep). Anyway, we found a good lactation consultant that did home visits, and without her, I would never have made it as long as I did with breastfeeding. If you’re a Nashville reader and would like a recommendation for a good LC, please email me!

Chris and I always said we didn’t want a lot of baby stuff, but we have found everything listed below to be very helpful…Update: Now that we have three children under the age of two, anything that makes my life easier, I want. 😉

1) For the car seat, we got a Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base.  The car seat is simple to use and is the number one rated infant car seat in the U.S. If you will be using the car seat in two separate cars, you may want to think about purchasing an additional base. You’ll also need a stroller, and although we put a lot of mileage on the stroller that came with the Chicco Travel System, it was a bit bulky and cumbersome.  In hindsight, I would have simply purchsed The Keyfit Caddy for when I needed to pop the carseat into a stroller rather than getting the whole Travel System.  A few drawbacks to the Chicco Keyfit Infant Seat: It doesn’t fit into some snap-n-go stroller frames, and nor does it fit into the front basket of grocery shopping carts.  The straps often get twisted and need to be fixed before buckling baby in, and I’ve noticed all our kids easily get hot in the seat on warm days. None of these things are a big deal for us, but I thought they were worth mentioning.  I really do love our car seats.

Update: We purchased a Britax Marathon car seat when Summer was ready to move into a forward facing car seat, and we love it.  We also ended up purchasing a  Bob jog stroller, and we both love it.  It maneuvers around so well compared to our bulky Chicco.  Another wonderful around-town stroller (for when you’re ready to upgrade from the caddy) is the City Mini.  I have friends who love their City Mini’s, and I hope to get a double one for the twins.  

To keep the babies warm in their car seats and strollers when it’s cold out, I love the JJ Cole Bundle Me.

2) We got this crib from Amazon and I love it. It’s smaller and low the the ground which I like. Plus I love the design – very classic, and it converts into a toddler bed.  For the twins, we purchased two Gulliver cribs from IKEA.  We were looking for an inexpensive but highly rated crib since we had to buy two.  I love how simple they look, they were easy to put together, and you cannot beat the price.  You can see the set-up for our nursery here, including cribs, dresser, changing pad, etc.

Crib Bedding: As far as bedding goes, you don’t need a complete set as you really won’t use the quilt (except maybe for tummy time on the floor), and we ended up removing the crib bumpers for the twins as one of them kept smooshing her face into it – not safe.  So, in hindsight, I’d probably just get a few crib sheets and a cute crib skirt or make my own.  If you need a bumper to keep arms and legs inside the crib, I recommend getting a mesh one.

3) The swing, a lifesaver those first few months. Summer loved it and often fell asleep in it, and now I use it when I need to do stuff around the house and want to keep her entertained.  We purchased a second swing when the twins arrived, and they were lifesavers those first few months with two infants and a toddler in the house.   The twins napped in their swings A LOT their first four months.

4) We didn’t get a bassinet but opted for a Pack ‘N Play. It’s great b/c you can use it as an infant bed and a crib when you travel, but it can also be used as a playpen. For the first few weeks, we co-slept or I had Summer in the Pac-N-Play next to the bed. Then we started putting her in her crib and I slept in the guest room right next to the nursery. So, it wasn’t inconvenient to feed Summer in the middle of the night. However, if I was sleeping in a room far away from the nursery, then I would probably use the Pac-N-Play so she could be closer to me. If you get the Pac-N-Play, I would get two of these quilted sheets for it. Update: Summer loves playing in her Pac-N-Play. We keep it downstairs in the dining room, filled with a few toys, and refer to it as Summer’s Office. She happily sits in it and plays while mama drinks her morning coffee. For traveling purposes, we recently purchased a PeaPod Tent for naps and bedtime.

The twins slept in the Pack ‘N Play for 8 weeks in our bedroom before moving to their own room, and we recently purchased a second Pack ‘N Play to keep downstairs for their naps during the day.  They love sleeping in the Pac-N-Play, but Summer always preferred her PeaPod tent.

5) Baby Monitor – We got this one, and it’s fine. Some people told me to get a video monitor, but for us, I didn’t think it was necessary.

We did end up receiving this video monitor for the twins as a gift, and I have to admit it’s really nice being able to see the baby, especially since we have two.  I also like the “talk” feature for when they are older, and I can say, “Get back in bed” over the speaker. 😉

6) Baths – We got this bathtub. We used it for Summer’s very first bath in the bathtub.

7) Diapers – Pampers Swaddlers. We’ve tried several other brands but always go back to the Pampers Swaddlers. I tried the Bum Genius cloth diapers but was not a fan. They leaked horribly for us. Once all of our babies started sleeping through the night, their diapers would often leak, and so we started putting two diapers on them.  Then when they were big enough, we switched to Huggies Overnights for nighttime (smallest they come in is size 3). No leaks. Love them. We purchase our diapers in bulk on Amazon through their subscribe and save program.

8.) Wipes. I use cloth wipes, and I wrote a blog post about them here. Update: My wipe warmer started to smell funky, even after bleaching it. So, for now, we’re using disposable wipes – we just use the Kirkland brand from Costco and have had no problems with diaper rash.

9) Swaddling blankets. Swaddling is key – really helps calm a newborn down. We use the Happiest Baby on The Block method, and these are my favorite swaddling blankets. We were given a ton of different ones, but I only use the Aden + Anais are they are a great size (really big) and they are made from Muslin which is a really breathable material. If I use anything else, Summer gets hot. We swaddled her a lot in the beginning, but now she prefers to have her arms free, and so I just swaddle her lower half.

Update: No longer swaddling, but still use the blankets all the time – carry one in the diaper bag, car, etc. Great as a stroller cover, etc.

2nd Update: We have now have newborn twins, and I have discovered a new favorite swaddling blanket: The Miracle Blanket. Despite many recommendations, I was too cheap to purchase this blanket when we had Summer, but we got a couple when we found out we were expecting twins.  They make swaddling so easy, and the baby’s little arms stay inside the blanket.  Love these blankets and worth every penny in my opinion! sometimes offers the blankets as their deal of the day, and so make sure you sign up for the site’s daily emails.

3rd Update: Still love the Miracle Blankets, but the twins started wiggling out of them around 12 weeks old, and so we now swaddle in Miracle Blankets, and then zip/velcro the babies up in HALO sleep sack swaddles.  They go immediately to sleep without a peep as soon as they are swaddled, and I am not looking forward to the day when we can no longer swaddle.

10) Bottles. I planned on breast feeding exclusively, but that didn’t work out as planned. So, we use the Medela bottles. I never researched bottles as we had to supplement Summer with formula one night and just bought the bottles our lactation consultant had with her. They’re fine. The only problem I’ve had with them is that sometimes the nipples collapse, but if you loosen the lid a bit to allow more airflow, problem solved.  Many of my friends use the Dr. Brown’s bottles, but I didn’t want to deal with washing all the separate parts.  If you do bottle feed, I would recommend purchasing a bottle brush for washing them and some sort of bottle drying rack.

11) Pacifier. We didn’t plan on using a pacifier as I read it causes nipple confusion, but Summer always wanted to comfort suck, and so we ended getting her a Wubbanub, recommended by the lactation nurses at the hospital. She loves it, and although we don’t give it to her during the day, she still sleeps with it every night. It’s a Soothie Newborn pacifier which you can buy at Target, and I was told that it is good for training the baby how to suck at the breast.  For the twins, we use the Soothie pacifiers as well as that’s what they were given in the NICU, and I attach them to everything with these pacifier straps.

12) Diaper Pail – I have never been a fan of Diaper Genies. I baby-sat a lot growing up, and they just seemed more trouble than they’re worth. We use this diaper pail – it’s small and simple. I empty it once a day and use Target or Trader Joe plastic bags to line it. I threw a few Arm-N-Hammer scented discs made for diaper pails in the bottom, and we’ve never had a problem with smell. I got those at Target.  Still love our simple diaper pail – we now have three. 🙂

13) Bac-Out cleaner. Works great when spit up happens on items that can’t go through the wash – i.e. carpet, pillows, etc.

14) Burp Cloths – You can never have enough of these. We keep them all over the house and use them as towels and wipes when we’re feeding the babies.  They will soften up after a few times through the washer.  

15) Bouncy Seat/Infant Lounger– We never had a good one with Summer, but the twins love this infant seat.  

For the first few months of the twins’ life (and we’re still using them at 5 months old), we often set the babies down in their Boppy Infant Loungers.  WE ABSOLUTELY LOVE THESE, and I wish I’d had one for Summer.

16)Summer had a lot of fun in her Bounce Bounce Baby Activity Zone, and we plan on using it with the twins as well.

17) White noise machine. White noise is key, and we keep it on all night and during naps. We never really used it with Summer, but it has helped tremendously with the twins’ sleep.  We use this white noise machine turned on the highest setting as well as a box fan in their room.  You can never have too much white noise!

18) Baby Carrier. For infants, I love the K’tan, and when the baby gets a bit older, I love my Babyhawk Mei Tai carrier.  We also purchased an Ergo Carrier from  So comfy and definitely my favorite carrier for when the baby is 6+ months.  Great for dads too.

19) As far as clothes go, we were given almost everything. Buy a lot of onesies – don’t get many newborn ones as he/she won’t wear them for long, but do get several 0 to 3 months. We love the sleepers with feet as it’s really hard to keep socks on a newborn. My favorite place to buy baby clothes is at consignment sales, Goodwill, Old Navy, and on Etsy. 

Update: I have discovered socks that will actually stay on a baby’s feet.  Seriously, Robeez are the best baby socks ever!

20) Boppy pillow – this is great for breastfeeding. Mine came with a cover with a hide-away strap that can convert the boppy into an infant holder, and I used to sit Summer in it often. It’s still great for propping her up as she’s not sitting up on her own yet, but it won’t be long!  Update: Summer started sitting up on her own 2 months ago and we no longer use the Boppy that much. I do sometimes place it behind her if she is sitting on a hard surface just in case she should fall backwards.  

Edited to Add: Many of my friends love the My Brest Friend breastfeeding pillow.  Never tried it myself, but I hear great things about it.

21) Bumbo Baby Seat – We have the one with the tray, and Summer started sitting in it at about 4 months. 

Update: The Bumbo was recently recalled, and so make sure to get one with the strap to buckle in baby.

22) Baby shampoo/body wash – Summer has sensitive skin, and we use this California Baby Wash or Dr. Bronners, and they both work great.

23) Books. Look Look was the only book Summer would pay attention when we started reading to her. She’s now enjoying story time more, but Look Look is still one of her favorites. It has something to do with the contrasting black and white images – newborns love it. Also, make sure you look into Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to see if it’s available in your area – if so, your baby can receive a free age appropriate book up until the age of 5. We love our Dolly books!

24) If you plan to breastfeed, here is some info on pumping. I never made enough milk for Summer (tried everything to increase my supply, but not much has helped). Anyway, after 4 months, Summer was starting to prefer a bottle more and more, and since each nursing session was taking up to an hour, I decided to stop as it was just getting to be too much. I’m still pumping, and Summer gets about 1/2 breast milk and 1/2 formula. We rented a Medela Symphony Pump from the hospital, and it’s great. I’ve done some research, and if you need to increase your supply, then a hospital grade pump is definitely your best option. It cost us $75 a month, and your insurance may even cover it. If you simply need to maintain your supply, then I’ve heard the Medela Pump In Style is a great option. If you do end up pumping for some reason, I highly recommend a hands free pumping bra – makes the time go by so much quicker as I could read or email while I pumped. I sometimes even fed Summer her bottle when pumping. I just made mine using an old sports bra. Update: I weaned myself from the pump when Summer turned 6-months old.

25) We opted for this booster seat rather than a high-chair. It was much cheaper, works great, and Summer can sit right next to me at our dining room table.  

And when your little one is ready for solids, I LOVE these bibs.  Great coverage and make clean-up easy.  They also work well as smocks for art projects.

26) One of the best pieces of advice I received was to skip the glider/rocker and purchase a LaZBoy or some type of recliner for the nursery. You will spend hours in this chair and buying something super comfy is totally worth it!  Trust me, if you have a vaginal birth, you will NOT want to sit on a hard surface those first couple of weeks. A recliner is great too, because after feedings you can simply recline back and take naps with your baby. Those quiet moments together with Summer asleep on my chest are some of my favorite memories from her first few months. Plus, you can always use a LaZBoy in another room after you’re done with it in the nursery. I’m pretty sure CD has big plans for ours post-babies. 🙂

27) Best Diaper Bag = a favorite backpack. Easy as that. Tried the Skip*Hop thing, but ended up ditching it after a few months.  We have gotten a lot of use out of our portable changing station.  We purchased one similar to this at Target, and it’s great for changing diapers on-the-go. I just shove it in my backpack/bag and use it all the time.

28) You’ll also need baby nail clippers and an infant rectal thermometer (I use alchocol pads to clean it and make sure to have for cleaning and .  I would also make sure to have a first aid kit on hand.  Also, take home a baby aspirator from the hospital.  The ones from the hospital are the best!

Hope this helps any mamas-to-be or friends of mamas-to-be out there!


Jen July 14, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Hi Heather,

I really liked your list, but the one thing I was most interested in (the crib)has a link that doesn’t work! Would you mind reposting it, or at least telling us what was the brand/name of the crib you liked so much? The way you describe it makes it sound like just what we were looking for!

Thanks! 🙂

HEAB July 14, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Sorry about that. Here is the link, but it is temporarily out of stock at Amazon: Perhaps you can find the same crib elsewhere. I hope so as I absolutely LOVE it!

R @ Learning As I Chop July 12, 2011 at 2:27 pm

This is a great list! Just saved it

Michelle {lively kitchen} July 11, 2011 at 10:10 pm

We had good luck with Bum Genius. As for diapers, I think it’s baby specific. My daughter did best in Pampers, but my son did best in Huggies and Kirkland. I suppose all bums aren’t created equal. 🙂 My advice is to buy small packs of each brand and figure out what fits your kid before buying the Costco pack. I too LOVE the Kirkland wipes.

The only thing I would add to this list is a Baby Bling teething necklace. I wore one ALL THE TIME with my second and it was wonderful for him to always have something for his chewing pleasure. I didn’t have to worry about him dropping it, nor did I worry about it getting dirty in the bag, as it was always on me. I wore him most of the time, so between the necklace and a sling/mei tai, I was set.

HEAB July 11, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Too late…we already bought the Costco pack. Saving them for baby #2 someday. 🙂

Oh my gosh, love my Baby Bling necklace. I hand it to Summer during EVERY bottle feeding. I don’t even wear it, but she loves to hold it and run the attached strings through her fingers while she drinks. If I don’t give it to her, she gets distracted by something else and won’t finish her bottle. Then as soon as she finishes, the necklace goes straight in her mouth. You are so right – they are great!

Lara (Thinspired) July 11, 2011 at 3:29 pm

I just bookmarked this entire post under “Future.” 🙂

Rachael July 11, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I needed this post! I’m getting to the nesting/collecting goods bit a little late in the game (8 months, 1 week) but as a minimalist with a tiny cabin, I appreciate your suggestions!

stephanie July 11, 2011 at 9:42 am

This is a good post Heather.
I wanted to comment because I’ve been making those single-serve muffins you have in your recipes lately. A quick midday meal I throw together when rushed is a combination of egg-avocado-rice salad, yogurt cups, and single-serving muffins. My favorite is buckwheat or quinoa flour. I use 1/4 cup flour with 1 TBSP of any oil. I like them better with the oil than with sauce. Good stuff!

Dea July 10, 2011 at 10:39 pm

I love reading other people’s lists. I also didn’t like bum genius, also found them to be leaky, and the fleece in them was too efficient in wicking away moisture that it left Trixie with a horrible diaper rash from dying her out. I’ll always say, and stand by that the best cloth diapers are plain old prefolds. I find they are just as good as disposables and I rarely get a leak. (unless Daddy did the diaper change!)
Anyhow… I can’t wait to read more! I like that your parenting philosophies are so far, pretty close to mine. I feel like less of a crazy hippy!
Oh yes, I agree on the doula 1000X over! Mine was a life saver in both of my births. She kept me sane!

Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner July 10, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Thank you SO much for this list! Because of this list, when I become a mother someday, I will know what do to! 🙂

Abbey July 10, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Thanks so much for this list! We are expecting our first in December and I’m starting to look at registering for things so this is great! Xo

BethT July 10, 2011 at 8:38 am

great list! Only thing I would add is to borrow a swing/bouncy seat if at all possible in case your wee one hates them…as mine did. SO sad. Mama became the swing and bouncy seat in her case! oh well. At least we didn’t spend a lot of money on two items never to be used!

HEAB July 10, 2011 at 4:35 pm

No swing for Lucy. Oh gosh, that would have been rough. Summer did prefer sitting on her dad’s lap on the bouncy ball. Definitely the best way to calm her down when times got fussy.

Kathryn July 10, 2011 at 6:50 am

What a great, informative list! Did you ever consider trying another type of cloth diapers? I miss seeing pictures of Summer!

HEAB July 10, 2011 at 7:39 am

No, we’re just really happy with disposables. CD and I decided that we wanted to keep Summer’s life a little more private, but I hope to post some updated photos soon. I miss sharing her with you guys! 🙂

Marie-Sophie July 10, 2011 at 4:32 am

Heather, thanks so much for this post!! I am not currently pregnant or trying for a baby but I would love to within the next 2 years and I am already starting to read up on everything! And this post is one of the best collections of advice!! From what to read to what to get …. thanks so much!! My best friend (whom I told you about earlier – she definetely needed to hear your little talk about becoming a mother that you once put out there – and now she feels excited about getting pregnant!) is trying to get pregnant and it will be a pleasure for me to forward this to her! 🙂
have a great sunday!! Sunny hugs from Germany!

HEAB July 10, 2011 at 7:41 am

So happy to hear this post spoke to you. I know it would have really helped me when I was pregnant. And thanks for spreading the HEAB love to your friend. Happy future mama vibes to both of you. It’s an amazing thing! 🙂

Kristen - Anywhere There's An Airport July 10, 2011 at 2:24 am

Love this list. I don’t need it yet… but one day I am sure I am going to read and re-read that paragraph about the lactation consultant. So weird to think about right now 🙂

Eden July 10, 2011 at 2:07 am

I dont get it.
But I love you anyway.

Hannah July 9, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Ohmygolly, babies only need to be awake for 2 hours? That’s amazing! Love how you can make this interesting even for those of us for whom a family life and babies seem an impossible dream 🙂

HEAB July 10, 2011 at 7:42 am

Thanks for saying that. I’m always afraid of alienating my non-mom readers with baby-heavy posts. 🙂

Monica July 9, 2011 at 11:23 pm

What a tremendously helpful post!!!! I have been so confused by the overwhelming number of options to even consider registering just yet, but this is soooooo helpful! Thank you for all the great pointers!

HEAB July 10, 2011 at 7:43 am

Welcome! I know – I originally wrote this as an email for a friend who needed to register and was completely overwhelmed by the whole process. Glad it helped you!

Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance July 9, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Awesome list! I have a friend who just gave birth so this is definitely going to be printed and passed around when buying baby accessories & such 🙂

shannon July 9, 2011 at 9:44 pm

I did homemade baby wipes with papertowells – water and baby soap.
i cut a roll in half, pull the brown tube out. place paper towels in a round tupperware/rubermaid type container. On stove bowel about 1/2 c water with a few drops of baby wash and maybe a drop or two of baby lotion. when water boils take off stove- pur water over towels. allow to cool- place lid on homemade wipes- when ready to use pull wipes from center.
great and cheap

HEAB July 10, 2011 at 7:43 am

Wow, never thought to do that. Thanks for the tip!

shannon July 11, 2011 at 6:17 pm

i just reread my post- haha i said bowel water- I meant boil water. I need to proof read more before i hit submit.

HEAB July 11, 2011 at 7:41 pm

No worries, I read it as boil. Funny stuff – kind of sad I didn’t catch “bowel” actually. I have this thing for “poop” jokes. 😉

Katie July 9, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Oh, and I JUST told Meeker yesterday…”I can’t believe I mistook sleepiness for hunger for the first two months of Adrienne’s life!”

HEAB July 10, 2011 at 7:44 am

Ha – comforting to hear we’re not the only ones. We call that period of Summer’s life Operation Overfeed. 😉

Katie July 9, 2011 at 9:30 pm

SO much good advice!! I am in the same boat right now, so I can totally relate to it all! Thanks for putting it all in one place. 😉

O.C. July 9, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Ahh this post is so great! My aunt is 6months pregnant with her first baby and just found out it’s a boy. We’re all so overjoyed :Dbi will definetly be forwarding her the link to this post!

HEAB July 10, 2011 at 7:45 am

Thank you – I hope it helps and congrats on welcoming a cousin into the family soon. 🙂

Melissa July 9, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Loved the post. My babies are in their teens now but I have several friends whose children are giving them grandbabies so I’m always looking for some up-to-date baby information. I, too, used the cloth diapers as burp clothes everytime my son nursed and then when he went to the bottle. They ended up becoming his “loveys”. Which was pretty great because he couldn’t really tell one from another so there weren’t any issues about washing them. We also used the cloth diapers to semi-diaper him before we put him in the bath. He hated being naked (it seemed) and that little bit of cloth kept him feeling secure right into the water. Plus, for those blessed with boys, it helped prevent the inevitable pee stream when he did get in the water from hitting mom or dad. 😉

Love your blog. 🙂

HEAB July 10, 2011 at 7:47 am

Yes, Summer loves holding her cloth diapers and covering her face with them when she’s tired. It’s so sweet and the more we wash them, the softer they get. I think they remind her of her little lamb lovey blanket we keep in her crib. Good call on the semi-diapering. I always worry about that naked trip from the changing table to the bathtub. Haven’t had any accidents yet, but it’s bound to happen. 🙂

Riss July 9, 2011 at 9:09 pm

I am certainly not a new mommy… and I do NOT see this as even a possibility for quite some time. However, considering my a bit excessive need for planning… I just loved this post. =) Lots of thoughtful and candid advice, Heather!

Kelly July 9, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Oh my goodness – with the exception of one or two things that I never tried (we never bought a swing!), your list and recommendations are EXACTLY what I would choose!! Ugh, and your comments about SLEEP – there are so many mommies that I hear talk about keeping their child up so they sleep longer at night, and I just want to tell them that sleep begets sleep (per HSH,HC by Weissbluth) and that it is so true!

Bravo for this post!! :o)

P.S. Have you made it to Michigan yet this summer?? The blueberries are growing like crazy on the west side, and they are TASTY!!!

HEAB July 9, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Yes, it’s so true about the sleep, and I’m doing my best to spread the truth! We leave for MI a week from today, and I cannot wait. We’re actually going much farther north this year, and you better believe I’ve researched the berry picking farms. 🙂

kathleen July 9, 2011 at 5:59 pm

as far as books go, ina may’s was okay because it really deals with how to bring up and overcome your hidden fears about childbirth but i would recommend, “pregnancy, childbirth and the newborn” as a must read for soon-to-be moms.

HEAB July 9, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Thanks for the recommendation Kathleen. I never read that one but will look into it. 🙂

Baking 'n' Books July 9, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Well – I definitely don’t need this now! – but very informative. Nice to see what other people find useful.

And – bloobs, goat’s milk yogurt and sweet potatoes! Summer is genius – my absolute favorites 🙂

Holly @ The Runny Egg July 9, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Heather thanks for this post!! Tons of good info all together. I may not need it now, but hopefully I will in the future.

And did you write “post-babies”? As in plural? 🙂

HEAB July 9, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Yes. We’re hoping for more. Not sure when, but someday. 🙂

Alyssa July 9, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Very nice! My Boppy pillow saved my neck, literally.
I would also tell moms-to-be to check and make sure the hospital, if they’re going to one, allows mid-wives and doulas. Ours didn’t. If I had it to do all over again, I would have gone to a different hospital (both times) and asked my parents to help with the cost of a doula.
It’s probably a good idea to check what is and isn’t allowed in the hospital: we weren’t allowed to have the our babies sleep with us. They were put in a crib next to the bed, but weren’t able to sleep, having JUST been born and needing the comfort of Mom & Dad. Also, my husband wasn’t allowed to lie in bed next to me (!!!!!!!). He had to sleep on a very uncomfortable pull-out bed.
(Unfortunately, at the time, this was the only hospital our insurance would cover. We thought about a home birth, but we lived in a hot, stuffy apartment, right next door to people we suspected were members of the Armenian mafia and decided to play it safe, lol!)

HEAB July 9, 2011 at 8:54 pm

That makes me sad that your doula wasn’t allowed in the hospital…and that you weren’t allowed to sleep with your baby or your hubby, but perhaps a better choice than dealing with the mafia. Agreed.

What matters is that your baby arrived safe and sound, and I’m sure there was lots of sleeping and cuddling together once you got home. 🙂

Ameena July 9, 2011 at 2:37 pm

I’ve been working on a similar list for my blog but yours is great because it has information for nursing mothers which is something I have no insight on!

I can’t say enough about a swing…we had one and it was literally a life saver! Maya would fall asleep in it and only in it. That thing kept going and going and going…. 🙂

HEAB July 9, 2011 at 8:56 pm

I tell everyone pregnant woman to get a swing. Summer took her morning nap in it every single day for months. Without it, I’m not sure if I would have ever been able to eat a decent breakfast.

Sarah July 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Thank you for posting this! My first baby is due in about 4 months, so your list comes at a great time:-).

HEAB July 9, 2011 at 8:57 pm

You’re welcome. Hope it helps you and take care. So happy and excited for you. Mamahood is an AMAZING thing. 🙂

Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} July 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm

This is a great list! Even though I am on pregnancy #2, I think I may check out Nina Planck’s book. Looks like it could be helpful. Thanks!

HEAB July 9, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I love the author’s sensible approach to food for both herself and baby. Good stuff. Hope you enjoy it and that you are feeling well these days. So exciting. We hope to have a baby #2 someday. 🙂

Erica July 9, 2011 at 12:48 pm


Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) July 9, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Bac-Out…wonderful stuff. Huge fan.
Bumbo, Pack n Play, Boppy, Medela bottles, yep. Check.

“If you’re planning to breastfeed, have a lactation consultant help you as soon as you can.”– I told you that when you were about 20 weeks pregnant and I tell EVERY PREGNANT woman I know to have an LC on Stand-By. You may never need her but if you do, there is nothing you won’t give to have someone show up at your house at 7am on a Sun morning after being up for days and nights with a baby who isnt latching, or supply issues, etc. WORTH the weight in GOLD. Period. And if you dont need her, awesome.

Making your own wipes. Check. I did it.

Bum Genius diapers leaking. Still the best of the cloth diapers IMO but no, not as good as disposables.

Love every piece of this advice and agree with it all.

Well done post, Heather. 🙂

HEAB July 9, 2011 at 8:59 pm

You know you were the inspiration behind probably half the items on this list if not more. 🙂

Kim @ girlevolving July 9, 2011 at 11:49 am

Thanks, Heather! We’re due in 6 weeks, so this was very helpful!

Melissa R July 9, 2011 at 11:47 am

Awesome List!!! i love every single thing/piece of advice listed 🙂

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