#babyprep: What I used, what I didn’t

I’ve heard people say you’re never truly prepared to have children.

After having a baby, I say: “Fair statement.”

I did try to prepare some things — if not myself completely — for my baby’s impending arrival, such as bedside snack and diaper stations, freezer meals and smoothies. I also stocked up on diapers, wipes, burp clothes, pumping and milk storage supplies and coffee.

Lots and lots of coffee.

Here’s what I found useful and what I didn’t end up using:

Diaper, Snack and Other Stations

bedside-diaper-station-snack-station-nursing

My son sleeps in our bedroom in a bassinet next to our bed. Why? Because our bedroom is on the second floor of our house and the baby’s bedroom is not. I’m not walking up and down stairs in the middle of the night, half asleep and sleep-deprived, to change a baby’s diaper or feed him.

Danger is not my middle name.

I knew I would need diapers, wipes and burp clothes nearby in the middle of the night — hence, bedside diaper station, replacing the Ansel Adams print and handmade decorative bowl I put bobby pins and hair ties in that I forget to take out before bed.

Now, it doesn’t really matter what’s in my hair before bed — bobby pins, baby spit, barf — nbd.

I originally included diapers, wipes, burp clothes and nursing pads. I actually use diapers, wipes, burp clothes and a changing pad.

The changing pad is necessary. Trust me.

Guess what you don’t need in the middle of the night? Nursing pads. You won’t care.

While I also have a drawer full of water bottles next to my bed, I don’t have a bedside snack station. That’s downstairs where the majority of the feeding and pumping occur. I’m not sure if you know this, but breastfeeding (and pumping) is hunger-making.

I am hungry all. the. time.

Snacks are required.

My favorites include Cashew Cookie Larabars, trail mix and string cheese. The cheese stays in the refrigerator, of course.

snack station for breastfeeding moms

I set up a diaper station here, too, but I ended up never using it — just took the baby to his changing table in his room when I am downstairs with him.

I also set up a snack station in the nursery thinking I’d be doing a lot of breastfeeding in there. Turns out, I don’t do any breastfeeding at all in the nursery because the television is in the living room and, sometimes, mommy wants to watch Law & Order while baby eats.

With an extra basket floating around, I was able to set up another needed station: bath.

baby bath time station

Add a Command hook and we have here a space-saving bath time storage solution!

One station I hadn’t prepared but definitely needed is in the kitchen: dishes.

baby dishes station in the kitchen

Between pacifiers, bottles, droppers and pumping supplies, we’re scrubbing dishes two or three times a day.

Bottles

Speaking of bottles…

I purchased the Kiinde Twist Feeding System Starter Kit and an 80-pack of storage bags because it was so cool. I loved the idea of what it offered: a system for direct pumping to storage bag to bottle to baby without the need for milk transfers.

Perfect!

Except for just one thing…

The baby.

My son didn’t like the Kiinde Twist Feeding System bottles or nipples. He didn’t seem to care that they were designed specifically to reduce air intake and gas (so maybe his tummy troubles would be less troublesome). He didn’t seem to care that I had purchased the starter kit, pre-washed the pieces and was unable to return any of it.

Eye. Roll.

So I put the bottles and nipples into storage, filled all the bags (and ran out of room in my freezer so I can’t use the storage shelf anymore) and, now, all I use from this system is the bottle/bag/jar warmer that I purchased separately.

kiinde kozii warmer

A friend of mine warned me not to buy a bunch of bottles for the baby because the baby might not like the bottles I pick.

I should have listened instead of being sucked in by the cool-ness of this product.

We use Munchkin Latch bottles now. The baby loves them.

Sigh.

Clothes

Babies, turns out, don’t stay small for very long. ALL my newborn clothes got maybe two wears and only got those two wears because two things got worn each day (sometimes three, babies are gross). I now have overflow of newborn clothes that will never again be worn by my son.

(Including his lamb-y jammies, and I’m not OK about that. They’re still in his drawer so I can look at them.) <– This. This is why mom’s are weird.

newborn clothing hand-me-downs

A friend of mine told me the sizes on baby clothes are bonkers anyway…

If you’re OK with buying adorable things your child won’t wear more than once — unless you have a normal-sized baby, I guess, mine was large — go ahead and go crazy with the newborn outfits. They’re so small and precious and the pants are so tiny omg it’s not ok.

Smoothies

The baby requires a lot of attention early in the morning — he’s hungry.

Well, mommy is hungry in the morning, too, and smoothies are easy to spin and sip while caring for an infant.

I prep fresh or frozen berries, spinach and bananas and add extras like frozen juice or milk cubes, Greek yogurt, chia seeds and ground flax. Then, I mix them up in plastic bags and blend as needed.

smoothies in the freezer

Right now, I have Strawberry-Avocado with berry juice cubes, Blueberry-Spinach with coconut water cubes and Peanut Butter-Banana with oats and flax. I’ll add orange juice, coconut milk or almond milk to these when I blend them for breakfast or lunch.

breastfeeding breakfast
Blueberry-Spinach Smoothie featuring coconut water, coconut milk and Greek yogurt

Sometimes, they’re consumed alongside a cup of coffee and a bagel or toaster pastries. (These aren’t the Pop-Tarts brand so I’m calling them toaster pastries. These are organic toaster pastries so I feel less bad about eating them. I do not feel bad at all about drinking coffee.)

Freezer Meals

I am not emotionally prepared to tell you about the freezer meals I prepared, but I will try, and I will also try not to use a bunch of words not suitable for ears or eyes.

Here goes.

freezer meal prep ingredients

In December, I prepped 13 crockpot meals and stored them in our deep-freeze. These freezer meals were to feed my husband and I without requiring us to go to the grocery store, cook or order pizza.

crockpot freezer meals

I cannot tell you how many times we ordered pizza.

Honestly, I don’t know what I did wrong.

So far, every chicken meal has been bland or… just… wrong. If the freezer didn’t ruin the food, the crockpot did (and the crockpot is 9-1 against the freezer). Some food, such as the tomato-based soup with Italian sausage and tortellini, was OK. Other food, such as the chicken noodle soup, Mexican chicken soup, turkey chili and chicken pot pie, among almost all the other ones, either could not be consumed or tasted so bland no one wanted to consume it anyway.

When I read about crockpot meals, when I see my friends and family talk about their crockpot cooking, when I see entire cookbooks dedicated to the art of the crockpot… I just want to know the secret.

What’s the secret? Tell me, world!

I am occasionally successful at a crockpot meal, but nine times out of 10, I made something so inedible that we end up ordering pizza, takeout or subs to go.

While waxing woefully about my crockpot culinary challenges, a few of my friends shared their own.

Remember the Lampoon’s Christmas? How the turkey was so dry it kinda poofed into dust? Did that with some chicken in the crockpot. — K

I liquefied cheese. And before you say cheese is already liquid… no. No, it’s not. Not like this. — T

I’m glad I’m not alone.

I forced a few of the chicken soups and chicken chilies down my face. Hunger and sleep-deprivation are great motivators for eating whatever you have. Some of the meals, though, I just… couldn’t.

*hork*

One of the roasts turned out OK so I’m hoping my other two roasts also turn out OK. I also have a Honey Dijon Pork Loin I’m not confident about, but we’ll see.

One thing is for sure: I am never doing that again.

(I’m also never doing pregnancy again or childbirth so hopefully I won’t need to! Ha!)