When it comes to baby, the recommendations to have ALL THE THINGS can sometimes overwhelm a new mom. The latest, greatest gadgets can seem great – but often, after baby comes home, you may find yourself using it to hold laundry rather than help with baby. Sometimes, you may need items downstream, but right after your little bundle is delivered into your home is not the right time. Here, our CEO Andrea Berry talks about her Top 10 things that you may be able to avoid in the beginning.

FORMULA
For those families choose to breast-feed, “free” samples of formula are something we refer to as booby traps. Throughout your pregnancy and in the hospital if that is where you choose to give birth you may be offered “free” formula. This may seem like a nice gift. However, this “gift” might cost you more than you think. That formula can start to look irresistible at 3am when you are struggling through the night feedings of a new born baby.

However, there is a reason for why they get hungry so often…in the beginning your baby’s stomach is no bigger than a walnut! If you do choose to formula feed your baby, try to be cautious about how much formula you give and read the ingredient list on the formula you use. Many of them are full of oils and sugars and, well, things I cannot pronounce. Not to mention, formula costs about $1,700 within the first year, but breastmilk is free.

An added bonus is that breastfeeding burns about 500 calories a day! That is  almost more than a Zumba class.

FIVE MILLION BLANKETS
This is Florida, it’s just not that cold!
Receiving blankets are an easy and inexpensive gift for folks to give and often they do bestow these upon our newborns. I still have blankets from my first baby… and he is now eight. Remember that the safest way to put your baby down to sleep with without any blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, etc. A few blankets are good to stuff in your baby bag for when you have to put baby on the floor to play when you are out and about (a park, the library, family’s home). If you are asking for blankets ask for the ones that you can use to swaddle. This means they are a bit larger.

WIPE WARMER
Again, this is Florida, it’s just not that cold. If your child finds the wipes particularly shocking, warm them on your wrist before you put them to your child’s tiny heinie.

STROLLER
This one falls under the category of —  good to have later but for now, you will be fine without it. Strollers are bulky, hard to manage, cumbersome to store, and generally expensive…I recommend opting for a ring sling. Healthy Start offers free classes to teach caregivers how to “babywear”. We also provide a free ring sling to those who attend these classes.

Slings keep your baby close to you where they feel safe. The slings are light weight and can be tossed into any baby bag or purse. The ones we carry also have a packet for your keys, phone or whatever you need easy access to. Baby wearing helps caregivers who have more than one child because it allows you to be hands free while keeping baby comfortable next to his/her caregiver.

VISITORS IN THE FIRST WEEK
The first few weeks are wonderful for bonding and resting. Don’t forget that you and your baby have been through a lot. Your baby was in a warm and dark secure place for 40 weeks and now
there is a lot more happening in his/her world. Your body organs have been completely rearranged, along with the birth of your baby you have a large wound inside of you from your placenta. To the degree that it is possible, rest and get skin to skin with your baby, bond, get to know each other and discover your new family.

If someone wants to come by, create an expectation that they are welcome to come but you are not acting as a host right now. They are welcome to come to hold the baby while you shower. Or
even better bring you a meal and fold clothes while they are there.

NURSING COVER
These are glorified and expensive scarves. My advice is to nurse proudly, but if you are intimidated, judged or modest …no problem, a scarf will work great. Or one of the five million blankets
you will receive.

CLOTHES
This one is hard because baby clothes are so darn cute. However, you never know how big or small you baby will be. So if you have 45 posh size newborn outfits, your baby might be 9.5
pounds at birth. Then they will not fit in any of those awesome swag.

At the beginning you are changing often and staying skin to skin is best – if grandma, aunties and friends are dying to buy some adorable outfits, then graciously accept, but leave the tags on. Opt for gift cards instead. Then try to plan a time to go out once the baby is born to go shopping together.

BASSINET
Good news! If you give birth and Indian River Medical Center, Healthy Start will send you home with a Baby Box. This acts as bassinet for you baby for the first three months. It is also extremely
easy to leave at family’s homes so baby has a safe sleep space there.

TOYS
For the first few months all the at baby needs is you. There will come a time where toys can be helpful for development,  but for now opt for books you can read to him/her. These can come
free from the library. If you give birth at Indian River Medical Center, Healthy Start will be give you baby’s first reader which is a story for baby but also walks parents through how to engage
with baby while reading.

FANCY LOTIONS AND POTIONS
Grapeseed oil or coconut oil work great for babies as a lotion or even to coat tiny heinies after a change to prevent diaper rash. These oils are gentle on the skin of newborn babies. Also,
breastmilk can be the best solution for diaper rash or nipple skin issues.

SELF-DOUBT
Girl, you have got this. No one knows your body and your baby better than you. You can do this. Lead with love, and if you need us Healthy Start is here.

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