I used to think the greatest thing about being far away from home during pregnancy is that I've been able to keep to myself and avoid unsolicited belly rubs, judgments, and advice. In truth, I've managed to avoid all of the above (except quiet judgments from the man at the cupcake shop). After yesterday's blog, I was inundated with advice, and ... it was fabbo (UK for fantastic).
Truthfully, I've absolutely loved reading your comments, emails, suggestions, wisdom. I love that most of my friends are crazy greenies who don't laugh at the thought of cloth diapers or wipes. I love that the most common response to what "stuff" I need was: you don't need all that crap!
On that note, I thought I'd compile a list of some great advice I've gotten so far:
It's not only okay to ask for help, it's important for your sanity. I'm pretty sure this will be the most challenging for me, but I'm game to try.
Newborns don't need shoes. Baby shoes are adorable, but babies can't walk.
Rent or borrow if you can. I've actually come across a few women who "aren't into hand-me-downs," and I think they are insane. Most of the advice I've gotten suggested renting breast pumps and borrowing clothes or other accessories. I'm into anything that avoids a shopping mall or a landfill. These avoid both.
Boppy pillows may not actually be a waste of money, as I'd previously thought. I'm still hesitant on this one because, well, can't I just stack a couple of pillows up and stick the baby on that? But so many smart women have said they couldn't have survived without theirs, that I'm beginning to question it. A great friend loaned me hers, so we shall see.
Even if you get one of everything, your baby will probably never touch most of it. Who knew that babies are incredibly simple and easily amused? Some love the swings and some hate them. Some never once slept in their fancy cribs, favoring their carseats instead. So maybe it's best to start with nothing and work up from there.
Babies are portable. Throw them in a sling and go on a trip around the world. Okay, so this one didn't actually come in any sage emails, but it's a theory I'm working on. I'll keep you posted.
Sometimes "stuff" is okay, if it makes your life easier. As much as I hate to believe this, it's probably true. We haven't accumulated much in Scotland, but I imagine when we move back to the States, we'll start collecting things that make our lives easier. I guess if I can have a KitchenAid Mixer, my kid can have a few toys, right? I mean, sure the only things you need in the kitchen are a pot and a wooden spoon. But ...
Anyway, I promise not to write about babies forever ... if it becomes a problem, I'll just start a separate blog for all-things-baby. I do have a lot of thoughts on health care systems and a few other differences between Europe and the US that I'll share at some point. For now, though, thanks so much for sticking with me on this blog as it morphs from wild music tours to gardens to diapers.
And thanks for sharing your wisdom -- keep it coming. Only one request: no bad birth stories, please. I'm keeping it positive on that front.
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