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Week 22

Jun17

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week by week pregnancyYour Baby:

  • Is about 11 inches long, which is just about one inch shorter than your average 12-inch ruler.
  • Has likely crossed the one-pound mark in weight.
  • Is getting more defined facial features every day, and already looks unmistakably like himself or herself on a 3D ultrasound.

You:

  • Are gaining about a pound a week now, if you happen to be one of those rare creatures whose weight gain lines up with the books and calendars.
  • May find yourself ravenously hungry at odd times during the day — the middle of the afternoon, after dinner or even in the middle of the night. Blah blah nutrient-rich protein-heavy snacks like nuts and things blah. Me, I’m going with calcium-rich milkshakes, thanks.
  • Continue to be that pregnancy-patented mix of moods and emotions. Blissfully happy and belly-rubbing one minute, wracked with anxiety and worry the next. Affectionately hoping your baby looks just like your partner one minute, hating their damn guts and ass face the next. Rawr.

I went to the baby store today (they were fresh out of babies, dagnabbit, but they had just gotten in a small shipment of the coveted and hard-to-find BPA-free Dr. Brown’s bottles), and was amused to find that I am NOT the only woman who cannot keep her yap shut whenever she spots a pregnant woman contemplating a useless and/or essential baby item.

First, I lectured a kindly and confused grandmother about BPA and why the Dr. Brown’s bottles are just like, the freaking greatest bottles ever, oh my God, while I frantically dumped gift set after gift set into my cart. (Seriously, those bottles sell out in a second and online retailers are charging three times the suggested retail price.) Then I got a drive-by rave from another mother while I inspected a Hotsling, and then we ganged up on a nearby first-timer to express our shared dislike of the Baby Bjorn. She timidly chose a Hotsling and quickly backed away from both of us.

If this is your first pregnancy, you’re probably ready to start registering for gifts. And you’re probably feeling pretty overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. So…allow me to boss you around for awhile then.

There’s obviously no shortage of baby paraphernalia you can register for, but so much of that stuff is best if you pick it out later, once your baby is here and you’ve gotten to know his or her likes and dislikes. And no matter what that crazy wild-eyed blonde woman said to you at the store about which bottle/pacifier/diaper brand is the Best Thing Ever, resist the urge to register for multiple identical items, but instead register for one or two of multiple brands and let your baby make the choice.

As my registry dwindled, I felt obligated to add more stuff and crap to it. And that’s how I ended up with 434 receiving blankets and at least 10 of those sleepsack things– and only three of the blankets were actually big enough to swaddle my linebacker of a newborn, who hated the sleepsacks with the heat of…well, a thousand fleece sleepsacks. He hated the Avent wideneck bottles and pacifers I’d stocked up on, preferring Dr. Brown’s standards and Soothies. The vibrating bouncy seat (which I’d gotten in place of a swing, because “everyone” told me their babies hated swings) pissed him off like nothing else. He loved, loved, loved the swing we went out and bought out of sleep-deprived desperation a week later.

I discovered that I hated those elastic-bottomed gowns that “everyone” raved about, preferred co-sleeping (which I’d been deadset against) to lifting him in and out of the Pack-n-Play bassinet attachment, and kicked myself for not getting a sling. And don’t even get me started on that freaking awful stroller.

So. If I could go back and do it again, I actually would have registered for a lot less, and resisted the urge to keep the list stocked with low-cost gifts that ended up getting donated to charity basically unused. (Because OF COURSE I ripped the tags off ALL 434 blankets and washed them BEFORE Noah was born. Because OF COURSE I DID.) I should have politely requested more gift cards for use later — there’s just no way to know how many diapers you’ll go through, or whether breastfeeding will work out the way you plan, or what kind of exersaucer you’ll want six months from now.

I’ve waffled back and forth on including any kind of actual specific checklist here, since it’s all just so subjective and varies by person (AP? anti-plastic? devoted worshiper of the battery-powered baby-raising gods?), living situation (suburbs? city? mcmansion? 500-square-foot studio?) and of course, BABY. What worked for us and our kid might not work for you. Hell, it might not even work for US a second time around.

But what the heck, I will include some checklists — spread out over a few weeks, because good GOD, this is giving me a headache and taking forever. First up: baby gear, or your big-ticket items, divided into (very) rough categories of BUY NOW and BUY LATER, just to help you prioritize what you’ll need from day one and what you can wait a bit on.

 

BABY GEAR

Buy Now

- infant car seat*
- Compatible lightweight stroller frame
- Extra car seat base for second car
- Bunting/rain cover for car seat
- Pack-n-Play, bassinet or co-sleeper(plus 2-3 sheets and a waterproof pad)
- Sling, wrap or infant carrier (or all three, if you are me and can’t decide)

Buy Later

- bouncy seat**
- baby swing**
- floor gym
- Baby Gates/ Play yards
- Lightweight Stroller or full-sized stroller
- Jogging stroller (check Craigslist, these are probably the most-purchased and least-used things out there)
- Exersaucer (or Bumbo or bebePOD, etc)***
- convertible car seat

*Obviously, if you live in the city and/or don’t have a car, a stroller would definitely be in the Buy Now category. If I wasn’t part of the suburban drive-everywhere set, I’d sooo spring for a Bugaboo or Quinny or other super-fancy stroller with a strong frame and real tires. The stroller will be as good as a car for a good three or four years, so make sure you love it. The wrong stroller will make you hate life, believe me.

**But don’t buy these MUCH later. Get both right off the bat if you’ve got the room, otherwise wait and see if your baby seems to calm down while bouncing or swinging. Noah LOVED to swing (we figured this out after Jason was only able to get him to sleep by swinging him around the room in his carseat) but we did end up using the bouncer enough to justify its purchase as well (great for taking into the bathroom and for early solid-food feedings).

***Never had one of these. We used the bouncer most of the time and then I propped Noah up with my Boppy pillow for a couple days…and then the next thing I knew he was sitting up unassisted. But I have been told that we be done plum crazy for not using one. I’d argue, but how would you know it wasn’t just the crazy talking?

Here’s a complete online version of our Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist and here’s the downloadable & printable version of our Baby Registry Checklist in case you’re going to the store (like they did way back in the 90s).

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If you’re considering an online baby registry, we recommend our affiliate Amazon’s Baby Registry, which offers free 90-day returns on baby store purchases. You can even add items from other websites onto to your baby registry.

About the author

Amalah

http://www.amalah.com
Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy's daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it's pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.


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12 Responses to “Week 22”

  1. Archivist Alison Jun 18 at 12:42 pm Reply Reply

    You know, if you have a bunch of those old 8-ounce polycarbonate Dr. Brown’s bottles…the vents themselves are BPA-free and fit on the cheap-old Gerber BPA-free “Essentials” bottles.
    You just have to chop off the bottom of the skinny part of the vent so that it ends maybe three-quarters of an inch before the bottom of the bottle (I used a sharp kitchen knife–be careful!!!–and maintained the slant of the bevel).
    Just sayin’ for all of you who are having #2, you can probably get away with reusing a lot of the old parts. Reduce, reuse, recycle!

  2. Archivist Alison Jun 18 at 1:12 pm Reply Reply

    Oh…and I should also mention that the vent system actually includes the collar and the nipples…so you have to use those too.

  3. Aimee Jun 18 at 2:24 pm Reply Reply

    Great list. I’ll have to remember this 3 years from now when I’m wandering around the baby store looking for babies.
    Quick question, though. What is a “co-sleeper?” I’ve had my fair share of learning about baby gear taking care of my sisters’ little ones, but I can’t even guess what a co-sleeper is. Huh?
    I should get credit for knowing what a Bugaboo is, though. You can’t miss them walking around trendy neighborhoods in New York. Apparently a fully-loaded Bugaboo with all the bells and whistles is like buying a car. They’re one fancy set of wheels!

  4. denise Jun 18 at 3:34 pm Reply Reply

    The Chicco Key Fit car seat is fantastic for preemies (if they can pass the car seat test) and small babies who are around four pounds because strap pads and head rest are part of the seat. Adding anything to the seat is a big no no in the NICU. Now that baby has caught up in the weight category we removed the padding so baby has room to grow. Only downside is the seat is HEAVY!

  5. qwyneth Jun 18 at 5:21 pm Reply Reply

    Great list–thank you! I’m only 8 weeks, but when it comes time to register I will study your lists and recommendations. :)
    Question: what do you use a pack-n-play or play yard for, in the early days? My husband and I can’t quite figure it out. It seems so heavy to be something that travels with you.
    Also, we will probably end up registering for some of the “Buy Later” things anyway, since we’ll need the help from our families. Do baby stores not accept returns?

  6. Shaunna Jun 18 at 7:35 pm Reply Reply

    This advice is really helpful, especially the checklist. I’m only a few days behind you with my first and I was just gearing up to register, which has me feeling just a tad overwhelmed. The advice to try a couple of several brands is really great!! I look forward to more checklists in the weeks to come…

  7. MrsHaley Jun 19 at 7:25 am Reply Reply

    I’ll pinch-hit on answering questions for a second …
    @Aimee — a co-sleeper is a pack-n-play looking thing with only 3 sides. It slides next to or clips on to the side or end of the parents’ bed so the baby can sleep right next to the parent. The surface were the baby sleeps is about the same height as the mattress so mama (ususally) can just roll over and hold / comfort / nurse the baby without having to get out of bed.
    @Quyneth — we did not use our pack-n-play until about 10 months with #1 because she was not mobile enough to need to be confined in it. Now I use it every day when I shower. We don’t travel so I never needed it as a travel bed — but many people use it that way. When #2 arrives in Sept. I will be putting the bassinet attachment back in it and using it as his crib until #1 is ready to move to a big girl bed (6 months or so). Also, baby stores (BrU, at least) do accept returns along the same basic parameters as everybody else. Keep your receipts!

  8. Olivia Jun 19 at 8:42 am Reply Reply

    Question from a non-mother:
    Why is it necessary to buy an infant car seat if the weight guidelines for convertable seats start at infant weights? Is it just the snap-in capability of the infant seat?

  9. Liz Jun 19 at 10:58 am Reply Reply

    @ Olivia: for many infants, the car seat is a magical, magical place where infants actually sleep. W/ the snap in infant seat, you can just leave baby in the seat and allow him/her to continue to sleep while you’re doing whatever you’re doing. You can also stick it on shopping carts, keep baby in there at a restaurant so you can actually eat, use it as your stroller w/ a snap-in frame, the list goes on and on. I’m getting ready for #2, and knowing all that, would never consider getting one of the convertible forward-facers for an infant, even though I do like the theory of buying something that will last longer than a year.

  10. Frema Jun 26 at 7:55 am Reply Reply

    Olivia: Infant car seats are also safer for babies that size, as babies are supposed to be rear-facing in the car for most of the first year (there’s a height/weight requirement babies have to meet before you switch them, but the numbers are escaping me now).
    I second Denise’s vote for the Chicco seat. My daughter Kara was 11 pounds, 4 oz when she was born and at six months, she tips the scales at 21 pounds. Since the Chicco goes up to 30 pounds, we are getting more bank for our buck and are able to keep Kara rear-facing for a longer period of time.

  11. Emily Jul 18 at 9:59 am Reply Reply

    Help me, Amy! First time mom to be at 22 weeks….just registerd 2 days ago. Holy crap, it’s like packing for a vacation in which you don’t know where you’re going, how long you’ll be there, or what the weather is! Want to try to talk me into Dr. Brown’s?? The helper lady at Babies R Us said there are a million parts to clean and that didn’t sound like fun so I went with the Mum’s BPA free instead. Bad choice? Is the Dr. Brown’s really that great in reducing cholic? Any advise will be appreciated as it’s not too late to change it on my registry….thanks!

  12. meg Oct 06 at 9:54 am Reply Reply

    A website that makes fun of the fruit vs. fetus comparisons AND uses the term “ass face”!?!?! I feel like I’ve finally found my pregnancy home page!

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