A buyer’s guide for new mothers

GA Voice - - Outspoken -

A friend of mine in Cal­i­for­nia is preg­nant, and the first thing I told her was not to buy a thing. Why? Be­cause it would be a waste of money.

I was not a woman that dreamed her whole life of be­ing a mom. The thought ran through my mind a few times and re­ally took hold af­ter my trans­plant, but I was hon­estly OK with the idea of liv­ing my en­tire life without be­ing a mother. So when the op­por­tu­nity came giv­ing me the chance to be one, I was amazed at this new world and all the ma­te­rial goods that came with it. Most sur­pris­ingly, most of it I never used.

We had three baby show­ers – one from my co­work­ers, one from Katie Jo’s col­leagues and one hosted by com­bined friends and fam­ily. We did our best to cre­ate a reg­istry and or­ga­nize ef­forts to make sure noth­ing was du­pli­cated, but I soon learned most women like to go rogue and give you what­ever they ei­ther think is cute or what they them­selves used the most as new mothers. I have also learned that each child comes equipped with its own per­son­al­ity, and what­ever was good for one mom is not nec­es­sar­ily good for an­other.

When my West Coast friend an­nounced she would be a first-time mother this fall, I im­me­di­ately pulled out some boxes and started pack­ing the items that a now 2-yearold Mr. Carter has no use for. And to my sur­prise, so many of what I put in these boxes still had the tag on them.

Here are some guide­lines to fol­low, in case you are ever in the po­si­tion to have to buy for a new mom:

You know when the due date for the baby is, so do the math on what clothes you buy the lit­tle one. I placed sev­eral warmer clothes in my do­na­tion boxes be­cause sev­eral of the coats and sweaters given may have been adorable, but would have fit Mr. Carter in the mid­dle of sum­mer. On the op­po­site end, no swim­suits or swim shoes when the only wa­ter a baby is go­ing to see in

Do the math.

its first few months is in the tub.

Ba­bies are home most of the time.

Par­ents of new­borns are ex­hausted for sev­eral rea­sons. The baby is up through­out the day and night, they are stressed at the new idea of tak­ing care of a hu­man be­ing and they can’t do any­thing without the baby and baby items in tow so their en­tire day is like a work­out. Thus, most items should be for home use, in­clud­ing clothes. That ruf­fled dress and small suit can bring an im­me­di­ate smile, but it isn’t prac­ti­cal. Plus, the kid will likely out­grow it be­fore the par­ents get a chance to re­cover from fa­tigue and ac­tu­ally use the for­mal at­tire.

My son was a big baby, so he started with big­ger di­a­pers. If you plan on get­ting new par­ents di­a­pers, you are bet­ter off get­ting a gift card for them, so that once the baby has ar­rived they will know which ones fit. Baby wipes, how­ever, fit any baby and are some­thing par­ents of­ten for­get.

I haven’t solved the prob­lem. My mul­ti­ple boxes, taped and ready to ship, only per­pet­u­ate the is­sue of too many baby things float­ing around. It will be in­ter­est­ing to see which things she ac­tu­ally uses and, re­peat­ing the cy­cle, which ones she se­cretly do­nates to some­one else.

Not all di­a­pers are the same size.

Melissa Carter is rec­og­nized as one of the first out ra­dio per­son­al­i­ties in At­lanta and has been heard over the years on B98.5 and Q100. In ad­di­tion, she is a writer for the Huff­in­g­ton Post. Fol­low her on Twit­ter @Melis­saCarter.

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