Preparing for a first baby

In this article you’ll find information you’ll need when preparing for a first baby, like what gifts to register for, when to return gifts, naming the baby and where to find good materinity clothes.

Registering and gifts

A couple of months into my first pregnancy someone asked me where I was registered. Heck, I wasn’t even sure what I needed!!! Don’t feel guilty about registering. Everyone wants to give you something and the more useful the gifts the less you have to buy (and/or return).

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It took me a while to figure it out, but this list is great. Not too much, not too little. The list gives recommendations and real life experience on each product.

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List in Excel -or- PDF format

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These are the checklists I used as reference, but they are large and bloated and most people end up buying you the “cutesy” stuff you’ll never use.

Babycenter

Pregnancy Checklist

Target Top Registry Items

Babies R Us registry lists

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Returning gifts

Do it while your pregnant. Once you’ve had the baby you won’t make it out of the house for a long time and by then either they won’t let you return it because the receipt has expired or it will be out of stock and you can’t even get store credit. Let me tell you, for people who don’t leave the tags on, it can be a chore to figure out where they bought their gift. Do it now.

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Information on the baby while it’s still inside

I found it fun and useful to register for Babycenter . They send a weekly email update on what stage your pregnancy is in. Then after the baby they send regular updates as well.

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Naming the baby

The hardest part for us was choosing a baby name. There are just too many choices… books, web sites etc. Just Google “baby names” and you’ll see.

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Here are a couple of sites

What to name your baby nerd

Unusual, Unique and Creative Names

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Tips

DRINK LOTS OF WATER! If you don’t drink enough it can make you have contractions.  This happened to me and I ended up at the hospital a couple of months early.  Luckily they were able to stop them!

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Try out Parents Magazine too. They have lots of fun stuff and I think a maternity magazine sometimes too! Martha Stewart has a seasonal baby magazine too (or at least they did) that had lots of fun stuff.
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Maternity Clothes
I hated the regular maternity clothes (try Motherhood in UTC or Grossmont) and found that The Gap had some cool clothes. I think Old Navy does too. Don’t forget outlet malls. Who wants to pay all that money for clothes you’ll only wear for a couple of months??? And Target has fun new maternity clothes that the didn’t have when I was pregnant. If you want to splurge try the Pea-in-a-Pod store at Fashion Valley.

Maternity Clothes

 

Don’t forget about California State Disability Insurance. And don’t feel guilty for taking the maximum time off (like 4 weeks prior to due date and 6-8 weeks after). Your employer has been paying for this insurance so use it. It’s not welfare. Also remember it’s not taxable so when you file your taxes you don’t need to include this money as income (check current laws and regulations)!!! I wished I had taken the maximum amount of time off allowed. Why pass up free time!?! Start early since they won’t pay you for the first week anyway!

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The aches and pains of being pregnant

If you feel like you want a massage, make sure you get someone that is familiar with pregnancy (or pre-natal) massage. Pressure in the wrong places can bring unwanted results. It also takes special pillows and what-not the farther you are along. You’ll find that laying on your back (or stomach) for a massage just doesn’t work anymore. During the first pregnancy I went to a lady who worked at Milkmade At Home.
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During the first pregnancy when I worked 40 hours a week at a desk, I had back pain! Someone recommended an exercise ball to sit on and it worked wonders! If you do this, make sure you ask someone (like at Milkmade at Home) about how to use it when pregnant (as opposed to doing the regular exercises recommended in the booklet that comes with it). I got mine from Dr. Angela Hee, 16776 Bernardo Center Drive, Rancho Bernardo. Her phone is 858-673-1733. Just tell her you were sent by Birth Resource Network (which is what Gerri belongs to)- and you’ll get their discount (this worked for me in 1999).
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Childbirth Classes

By the time I decided to sign up for child-birth classes everyone was full. I ended up going to Milkmade At Home for classes and it was fine but, I heard that Lisa Simpkin does the best birthing classes in town 619-444-7164. She fills up fast so call WAY in advance (yes, now) to see if it fits your schedule.
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Donating Cord Blood 

Consider donating or banking the babies umbilical cord to the blood bank. The blood in the cord is actually the babies blood stem cells (NOT the same as the stem cell research controversy) and in some cases is used instead of bone marrow transplants. You do have to plan in advance though by filling out an application, being approved and picking up the kit that you have to bring to the delivery room with you. You can also choose to bank your own babies cord blood (at a cost) and it will be a perfect match in case the baby/child develops any diseases in which they would need a transplant. I donated the cord both times. 619-296-6363 x 161

San Diego Blood Bank (might not be accepting donations

Life Bank (I have no personal experience with this, only found when doing research)

 

Click HERE for information on Preparing for the Birth.

Click HERE for information on After the Baby is Born.