Thursday, August 27, 2009

Too Excited for Cecilia's New Cousin -- An Entry for Cathy

My one and only sister-in-law is due to give birth on January next year. Kuya and Cathy are expecting a baby boy, and everyone in Pasig (my parent's house) is very very excited. Baby Boy will be the first apo with Dad's surname.

This same month last year, I was too excited to have Cecilia, that even when I didn't even know if it was a boy or a girl, I started shopping for Baby Stuff. Once a week I'd visit the baby section of department stores in the mall, and get my then unborn Cecilia her baby stuff. I bought gender safe colored baby stuff such as a Green Safety First Bath Set, Plain White Clothes, Green Rubber Mats, Red Feeding Bottles, yellow mittens and violet blankets. I'm sure Cathy's enthusiasm now does not compare to mine as they have been expecting to get pregnant for quite some time now. She's in the States and taking advantage of every sale they have.

By the time I was near term, I was still buying lots of cute baby stuff, still hoarding every brand of small sized diapers I could have, and still "preparing" for being a mother.

How I wish I knew then what exactly is useable, and what are just cute but useless. Swear, I wasted a lot of money on this.

Here's my own take of the new mom-to-be must haves before she gives birth:

Baby Clothes
1.  Tops should include at least 8 of tie-sides shortsleeves, sleeveless of size 0 or size 1, depending if you have a big baby at birth (or longsleeves, but not as necessary). Cecilia was born on December so I had three sets of each, since I assumed she would be needing the long-sleeved ones. A baby still in your tummy wouldn't say yet if he would spit a lot or not, making you change him more during the day. Cecilia did not spit a lot, in fact she was asleep most of the time during her first weeks. Cecilia's first sets of tie-sides were bought by an officemate.

2.  Burp Cloths. Babies make lungad and you constantly have to wipe and burp them after feedings. Having burp cloths would make your life easier and a lot hygienic. Babies' milk is very nutritious, attracting more bacteria everytime. Bibs woun't be useful until the baby sits up (around 5 months), unless you want to use bibs as burp cloths.

3. Mittens. The ones which are not easily taken off by the baby are hard to find, and would actually take experience in choosing. You need at least 10 of these as newborns tend to just spit up just when you have changed their mittens. It would be hygienic to change this at least three times during the day. You'll know why.

4. Socks. This is where you can get all cutesie. Newborns are usually cold, and you don't want to miss out buying the cute little baby socks on the shelf. Just don't buy too much as babies' feet get bigger by the week. (Cecilia wore her size 0 socks til she was 5 months old -- I have a generally small baby girl.)
5. Receiving Blankets. I should have put this as number one on the list, as newborns want to be swaddled. The first few weeks in the wide-open world can be unsettling for a newborn, who's recently emerged from the closeness of the womb. Swaddling, or wrapping your baby snugly in a blanket can help him feel secure as he adjusts to his new environment. You have to swaddle baby if he is having trouble sleeping, because he is eaily startled, or his own muscle movements wake him up. You have to swaddle him if he feels uncomfortable for no apparent reason. You have to swaddle him if he seems distressed by the free movement of his own arms and legs. Newborns are still not used to the fact that their arms and legs are part of their body. However, do this only for the first month or until your baby has adjusted, as swaddling can inhibit babies' movement which may restrict babies' motor development.  
6. Whether you like it or not, when you are in the Philippines, you have to get a few pieces of bigkis for your newborn. They would say it cures kabag, it would make your baby sexy as it is tied in the waistline, and that you yourself had worn one til you were old enough to remove it. This was one small thing tried to argue but everyone was nagging me on it, so I just had to give in, so I let Cecilia wear it until her umbilical stump fell off. (And occasionally when we have to visit in-laws who would check if she's wearing one.)
7. Shorts, Pajamas, Panties -- These were not as useful for me during her first few weeks as I always let her be on her diapers. Pajamas (at least 8 pairs of size 2 or size 3)will start getting useful on her 3rd to 4th month, when she starts rolling over.
8. Pretty Sets of Clothes for Girls and Little Cute Boy Clothes (At least 3 pairs of size 0 to size 1 would do) As your newborn receives her first visitors, if would be nice to dress her up in pretty clothes. Oldies would say not to splurge on little baby clothes, but, what the heck. It would cost you only one or two cups of coffee from that coffeeshop. (And I don't even drink coffee haha)
9.  Cloth Diapers. I have two dozen bird's eye cloth diapers, thinking I would want Cecilia to go natural, making her use cloth diapers in the day and disposables at night -- not successful even for a day. When newborn baby girls pee, even their backs get wet, making you change her top and the sheet she is on. And you have to change her cloth diaper everytime she pees, which is approximately 10 times during the day. Or maybe I'm just not talented on this aspect. So I have used her cloth diapers as her towel, easy access cloth for anything when she was around 4 months.
Baby Gear
1.  Stroller. I was eyeing on a stroller in Trinoma a few days before I gave birth, thinking I won't be needing one until we go out when Cecilia is a bit older (Mike and I decided not to bring Cecilia to the mall while she's still a newborn). But since she was born during the holidays, 5 days after giving birth via Cesarian Section I was already out and about, Starbucks-ing with the in-laws and Party-ing with the friends, (Cecilia included because I was breastfeeding).  So the in-laws gave us a stroller for Christmas which almost broke my heart, saying goodbye to my beautiful pink stroller in mind.
A good stroller would mean:
-- it is lightweight, you can carry it even without your husband or yaya.
--you can install and uninstall the whole thing with one hand (imagine carrying your baby, baby bag, your bag, and getting the stroller from the trunk of the car by yourself..Anyway who goes out alone with a baby?)
--has enough secured space to put your baby bag, and all other stuff.
I therefore conclude my in-laws gave us a good stroller.
(It's my going home time.. Will continue this tomorrow) 

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