A Guide to Baby Clothes for New Moms-to-Be: Learn from My Mistakes

Listen. One thing no one ever tells you before you give birth is: baby clothes sizes are strange and confusing. I think it is important for me to write this guide because I never had one while I was struggling with mountains of onesies. Just looking through baby clothes can get overwhelming. First of all, there are newborn and 0-3 month sizes… Like, wouldn’t “zero months” be the same as newborn?? There are 0-3 months, 3-6 months, and just “3” months… Are these special clothes that can only be worn for one particular month when the baby is 3 months old??

I’m here to help you out. I already made all of the mistakes so you don’t have to.

1. Newborn Clothes

Before my daughter was born, everyone told me that I wouldn’t need very many newborn size clothes for her because: 1) babies grow so quickly, she’d be out of them in no time 2) 0-3 month size clothes fit just as well as newborn size and 3) there’s a chance she wouldn’t fit in them anyway if she was a big baby when she was born. So, all of that advice… totally NOT true. I did have several newborn size outfits for her, but I wish I had had more. Briella was not a tiny baby when she was born; she was almost an 8-pounder, weighing in at 7 lbs 15 oz. Yet, when I put her in 0-3 month clothes, she was swimming in them. Newborn size clothes fit her so much better and she didn’t actually outgrow them until she was probably about a month old. And that first month is when everyone comes to visit and take pictures of the new little baby, so you want her to be dressed cute, right? And not like a half-empty potato sack (not that any baby could really look like a potato sack!). If I had to do it over again, I would definitely make sure I had more newborn size clothes on hand.

2. 3 Months, 6 Months, 9 Months, 12…

This was probably the thing that confused me the most about baby clothes. Weeks before I even gave birth and as I was getting things ready for my daughter’s arrival, I had hung all of her 0-3 month clothes up nice and neat in her closet, but didn’t really know what to do with the clothes that were labeled as just “3 months.” I just figured, “Well, she probably won’t be able to wear those until she’s 3 months old…?” so I kept them packed away. It wasn’t until several weeks after she was already wearing her “0-3 months” clothes that I found out that “3 months” were the same size! I’m so glad I found out when I did, otherwise I would have pulled out all of these cute outfits when she was 3 months old only to find out that she’d already outgrown them. SO… if an outfit is labeled “3 months,” it’s the same as “0-3 months.” Similarly, if it’s labeled “6 months,” it is the same as “3-6 months.” “9 months” is “6-9 months” and so on and so forth.

3. Sizes differ depending on the brand

Nothing is more disappointing than pulling out clothes for the next size up and finding out that some of the outfits don’t even fit before your child has had a chance to wear them. This is what I discovered the hard way about a few certain brands. Gerber Onesies are the first ones that pop into my mind. We bought some really cute 0-3 month onesies for her when she was about 2 months old, and when we went to dress her in them, they were already pretty tight on her. The same thing happened when we got out her 3-6 month clothes when she was 3-months-old, and she was already outgrowing the 3-6 month Gerber onesies. I can’t think of any other brands that tend to run small that I’ve had experience with, yet, but I know Gerber is a popular brand. Also, Garanimals tend to run large. My daughter is a rather little baby, and at 6 months old, her 3-6 months clothes are just now really starting to fit her well, but the Garanimals are still pretty big on her.

4. Take inventory before taking off tags

I get it: nothing is more exciting for a mom-to-be than to take all of the tags off of your expected little one’s clothing and washing them and hanging them in the closet or folding them and placing them in the drawers… but just slow down…. because I sure didn’t. I was an eager beaver to have everything prepared, so whenever someone gave us a gift or after our baby showers, I automatically ripped the tags off of everything and washed them all up. Having done that, though, we ended up with about 20 0-3 month sleepers, maybe a couple 3-6 month sleepers, and none for 6-9 months or older. If I could do it over, I would have waited to take inventory on what we had, so I would have realized that maybe I should take a few of those 0-3 month sleepers and exchange them for larger sizes so we wouldn’t have to buy them later down the road. Yeah, I wasn’t very smart about it. Don’t be like me.

I hope this guide helps somebody out. For other moms who may be reading this, did I leave anything out? Are you aware of any other clothing brands that run small or large??

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Why I Don’t Care if My Baby is “Spoiled”

You know what really aggravates me? When people talk about babies being “spoiled” or claiming that my child is “spoiled” in any way.

I ABSOLUTELY HATE THAT WORD.

And here’s why…

Some common synonyms for the word “spoiled” are: “rotten,” “corrupted,” “ruined,” “wasted,” and “bad.”

By calling my baby spoiled, you are insinuating that there is something wrong with her… that she is less than perfect… that she is not as worthy as other babies.

Here’s the thing; our pediatrician, as well as countless other esteemed and reliable sources, have claimed that you CANNOT spoil a baby by holding her too much, interacting with her too much, or loving her too much.

If my baby wants to be held more than she likes to be sitting alone, does that mean she is “ruined?” If I am quick to respond to my baby’s cries by comforting her and calming her, does that mean I am “corrupting” her?

My baby is four-months-old. These four months have already flown by as I know the rest of her infancy will. If I don’t mind holding her, bouncing her, rocking her to sleep, showing her attention while she plays, then what is the problem? My baby is not “spoiled;” she is loved. She is cared for and even if no one else wants to hold her as often as I do, at least she will always understand the amount of love her mother has for her.

People always say “they’re only young once,” and that’s 100% true. I know the days will be coming soon when she would rather be toddling around on her own than sitting on my lap. I’ll probably be a little sad and wish that she’d let me hold her more, but I’m certain that I will NEVER look back at these days in hindsight and wish I had held her less.

Battle with the Baby Blues

Almost everyone has heard of postpartum depression (PPD). All of the pregnancy and childbirth books or classes advise you of the signs to look for so you can get help and get treated if you think you are experiencing symptoms of PPD. There is usually also a brief mention of the “baby blues” stage which is more common for postpartum women to experience. While a small percentage of women will suffer from PPD, nearly all women who recently delivered will have a spell with the baby blues, usually lasting anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. As I was preparing for my own childbirth, I couldn’t quite imagine what going through the baby blues would feel like, and I didn’t know what to expect. Now that I’m a childbirth veteran, here’s what my own battle with the baby blues was like…

Personally, I didn’t have too many noticeable times where I felt emotionally distraught. I usually only felt depressed when I was away from my baby.

The day we brought my daughter home from the hospital, I went to lie down and take a nap while my husband and mother-in-law looked after her. As soon as I got into bed, though, I immediately started sobbing as I placed my hand over my now flat (yet kind of flabby) belly my baby had previously occupied for 40 weeks. I couldn’t help but feel like part of me was missing, even though that part of me was just in the next room, swaddled in a pink blanket.

That feeling of having a part of me missing is what had me most depressed multiple times over the next few days as it kept occurring to me that I would no longer feel little kicks and jabs on the inside from my growing baby.

The first day I left the house and the baby stayed behind, I felt lonely. I was so used to having her company (even though it was from within) everywhere I went. I used to imagine her listening to me singing along with the radio in the car, getting to know my voice and developing a love for music. But once she was born, I would find myself singing along, only to stop and grow sad when I realized she was no longer there to be my audience.

I worried that I couldn’t keep her as safe and happy as I could when she was living in the womb. I didn’t want her to ever be cold or hungry or scared. I was afraid I couldn’t protect her as well as I could before she entered this crazy world.

These are things I still worry about at times, but it only took a few days for me to get out of the baby blues funk. My baby girl is still my little companion as we run errands to the grocery store or post office (even if she’s not quite as easily portable as she was in the womb), and she still has to put up with me singing along in the car. Also, I now look forward to the (very rare) moments I have just to myself.

For other women, the baby blues stage may last a little longer. Our hormones are so out of whack after delivering a baby, and on top of that, most of us suffer from extreme exhaustion and lack of sleep which can add to the distress. If you are suffering from severe depression, though, or it doesn’t seem to be going away, do not hesitate to contact your doctor for help. While the baby blues tend to take a hike before too long, postpartum depression is not something you should try to handle on your own–especially when you’ve got a newborn baby to care for as well!

So, for you women reading this, what did the baby blues feel like for you? Did any of you suffer from postpartum depression?

Baby Items We Love (0-3 Months)

Between 0-3 months of age, babies don’t really do much. Mostly, they do a lot of eating, pooping, and sleeping. Still, there are several items we’ve found to be lifesavers over the first few months of our daughter’s life. Some are things she loves, some are things we love, and some are things that are just necessary to have around.

Here is our list of favorite baby items (ages 0-3 months).

INFANTINO GROW-WITH-ME ACTIVITY GYM AND BALL PIT

81Aa678BEjL._SX425_First, we scanned this activity gym onto our baby registry because we like the fact that she can still play with it as she grows older. Even so, Briella has loved playing with this gym even since she was about 2 weeks old. The colors are bright and vibrant and capture her attention quickly and easily. She can spend a significant amount of time kicking around on this mat, which is great to buy a worn-out mom some time for a bathroom or snack break!

BOPPY PILLOW

Not only is the Boppy Pillow a nursing essential, but Briella loves to “sit up” on her Boppy. She loves to talk to me and listen to me sing songs or read books to her when she’s propped on the Boppy. Also, she’s got a touch of reflux and needs to be kept upright for a while after she eats and the Boppy is perfect for that while she’s still a little too small for her Bumbo seat.

FISHER PRICE MY LITTLE SNUGAPUPPY CRADLE AND SWING

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I wish we had this swing earlier when we brought Briella home from the hospital, but we didn’t get it until she was about 2 weeks old. Still, she loves it. It has 6 speed settings, several different music/sound options and can swing in 3 different directions. It also has a mobile that spins around a mirrored dome, which Briella is absolutely mesmerized by. She will stare and smile at that mobile forever. The swing has also put my baby to sleep on several occasions, which is kind of a big deal because she likes to fight her sleep and has to often be coerced into sleeping/napping.

 

MUNCHKIN LATCH BOTTLES

We received a free sample of these bottles from Target when we created our baby registry. Once we had to start introducing Briella to a bottle, we tried 3 different kinds and this was our favorite. Briella took a bottle pretty early when she was around 2 weeks old, so we were a little worried about “nipple confusion” as they preached about in our breastfeeding class. She really didn’t seem to have any major problems switching from bottle to breast, but it seemed to go much more smoothly after she had been given the Latch bottle. The bottle’s nipple is wide and encourages the baby to suck more naturally as they would on the breast. It also has an anti-colic valve in the bottom which is easier to clean and assemble than the ones in other anti-colic bottles, like Dr. Brown’s.

FISHER-PRICE KICK AND PLAY PIANO

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During the 0-3 month stage, babies don’t really play with a lot of toys. There seem to be a select few that have actually captured Briella’s attention and kept her entertained for quite some time. This piano happens to be one of them! Ever since Briella was born, she has seemed to love music… and kicking those little legs! So, naturally, this would be her favorite toy since it combines her 2 favorite things. The “piano keys” can easily be triggered by baby’s kicks and she sure loves the flashing lights, as well!

BIG FLANNEL BURP CLOTHS

When we first brought Briella home, the only burp cloths we had on hand were the narrow terry cloth ones. As soon as I found the larger flannel ones, though… I stocked up! They cover a lot more surface area which is handy when you have no idea where spit-up might land.

PHILLIPS AVENT TRANSLUCENT ORTHODONTIC INFANT PACIFIER

715Rqk3RlHL._SY450_We received several of these as gifts (in addition to a ton of other types and brands of pacifiers). We’ve given Briella at least 4 or 5 different types of pacifiers and these are the only ones she seems to like. She will spit the others out in a matter of seconds, but will keep these ones in long enough to actually pacify herself.

“They Grow So Quickly!”

When you are expecting a baby (and even after the baby is born), you will receive endless amounts of advice–some useful, some that can be blatantly ignored. There will also be a few things you will hear over and over again. Just above “sleep when the baby sleeps” is the frequent exclamation: “Enjoy every minute because it goes by so quickly!” or “They’re only young once. They just grow so fast!”

I heard this time and time again, and it was just one of those things I kind of let in one ear and out the other. Yeah, yeah, I get it… I’m going to blink and she’ll be off to college. Yadda yadda yadda…

If only I had realized how incredibly accurate those claims actually are.

My baby just recently turned two months old, which may not seem like much to anyone else, but…. WHAT?! Literally, I still feel like I’ve only just healed from the delivery and she’s already TWO WHOLE MONTHS OLD???

Two months doesn’t seem too long in any other case, but in retrospect, I just keep thinking about my now smiley, sassy two-month old baby who is the light of my life and how different she is from that tiny, sleepy newborn I met in the hospital and first brought home with me.

It’s such a joy to watch her grow and to notice the subtle day-to-day differences as she learns new things. But it’s so true. It’s *SO* true! They do grow extremely quickly! I nearly cried when my baby first fell asleep on her own without needing me to rock her to sleep. Or when she could entertain herself with some of her toys for a while and not need me to keep her engaged. Before I know it, she’s going to be completely independent. I will be proud of her, but I will know I will also be kind of heartbroken.

I am excited to watch Briella grow up and see who she becomes as her personality and interests continue to develop. I know I can’t keep her little forever, but I plan to cherish every moment with her snuggled in my arms or giggling at my silly voices. The future seems so far away, but so did two months from when I gave birth. Now we’re here, and if I can’t slow time down, I promise to make every minute with my baby count.