I’ve been asked a few times about the most useful baby presents, parenting suggestions, etc. so I'm attempting to remember everything and get it down on paper (laptop). Please feel free to comment and add on!
Gifts we couldn't have lived without: sleep sack, Bright Starts chair (pictured above), Diaper Genie.
Did you know formula is sometimes covered by health insurance?WHAT?! Yes, it's true. A 30 day supply for either a $0 copay (with BCBS HMO) or $30 copay (with BCBS PPO, what we have). A big thank you to my friend and co-worker Nancy for this info. I would have never known. All we had to do was ask Jill's doc to write a prescription. It's good until she is 1 year old so we asked Dr. Oh to write it for 6oz a feeding. Jill just went from 4oz a feeding to 6 (2oz breastmilk, 4oz formula). We received a rejection letter from the insurance company and then a few days later an approval letter. It seems like a hush hush insurance benefit but it is there for the taking so take it! Keep after your doc and pharmacy. It may take more than a few phone calls and a couple weeks.
I'm sure all day cares are different but our center (Jack n Jill in Marina Bay) requires Jill's bottles to be mixed and ready to go at drop off. Three weeks in and we just figured out to measure the water and fill the bottles the night before. Now if we could just clean the bottles earlier in the night and actually do it!
Jill has been having a combination of breastmilk and formula from the beginning. I wish she could have been all breastmilk for a few months but I wasn't - and am still not - making enough. Many Moms have this dilemna. I've learned that it's nothing to be ashamed of though. Any amount of breastmilk is a gift. There are actually benefits to doing at least some formula from the beginning as well. It has Vitamin D! Without formula intake, breastfed babies sometimes need a Vit D supplement. It also gets the baby's tastes and belly used to formula early on so they don't have a hard time adjusting when weening arrives.
New parents hear nonstop advice (welcomed and not); this site is not meant to be an advice blog by any means. It's more of a this-is-what-worked- (and didn't) for-us and you can take or leave it. Something I feel we've done a good job with is Jill's sleep schedule. She probably could have been sleeping in her crib earlier but we weren't ready. I don't think there's a good time suggestion for that. It's when the parents and baby are ready. Anyway, I listened to the welcomed advice of several co-workers to start putting Jill to bed at the same time (much earlier) every night and to stick to a solid routine. Dark room with very little light and classical music lullabies. She was going to bed around 9:30-10 and we started putting her down around 8. The first few nights were rough and it took her a bit to fall asleep, but we stuck with it. Now she's asleep by 8 at the latest. I firmly credit our routine of the same everything every night. She got used to it and now falls asleep fairly easily every night. It's awesome!