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Advice for New Moms: Emily A. Clark

Today's sage advice on motherhood comes from Emily of Emily A. Clark, interior decorator, mommy of three, and DIY-genius. I'm particularly grateful for all the "what not to waste your time/money on" advice that's been featured in so many of these guest posts (including this one!). In fact, I'm off to delete some more items from my registry now.

* * *

I'm so happy for Averill and her husband on their impending new addition.  It's hard to believe that in six short years, I've become the mother of three.  Watch out, Averill!  While I still don't feel like I exactly know what I'm doing, I have learned a few things along the way that I'm happy to share. 

My favorites:

Baby Gap's "favorite bundlers" are the absolute best, softest gowns I've found.  My babies lived in these for the first few months of their lives.  They are extremely washable and so easy for those middle-of-the-night diaper changes.  I would highly recommend stocking up on these.

I started off with the deluxe, super-padded highchair for my first baby.  By the second baby, it was a nasty mess and so bulky that it was always in the way.  When my third baby was ready to sit and eat, we ditched the big highchair and went for this small, sleek model from IKEA.  You can buy the padding, if you want it.  I use it without so that it's even easier to wipe down.  It's lightweight and small enough to tuck away in the corner. 

Let me start by saying that not one generic diaper or wipe ever touched my first baby's bottom.  Name brand all the way.  Fast forward to my third baby, and I'm not sure she's ever seen a real "Pamper."  It's definitely an individual decision, but for me personally, I can tell absolutely no difference in the generic vs. name-brand diapers--except for the price.  I'm still using Parent's Choice (Wal-Mart's brand) diapers and wipes with my third, and it hasn't seem to slow her down :)

Bumbo Baby Sitter Aqua #B18-A - High Chairs & Booster Seats

The "Bumbo" seat was a lifesaver for me.  As soon as they could hold their heads up, I popped them in one.  We kept it on our kitchen counter (this is technically against the rules!) while they were really little (always supervised, of course) and even took it out to eat with us.  The baby is happy because he feels like he is up and a part of what's going on.  Mommy is happy because she actually has both hands free to eat/cook/etc.  It's a win-win!

While sippy cups won't come into the picture for a while, these by Gerber are my absolute favorites.  We've gone through lots of cups in our house, and these are the only ones I've found that don't leak and hold up during lots of dishwasher cycles.

I Could've Done Without. . . .

I was adamant that I had to have a $25 wipe warmer on our first baby registry.  In truth, I used the thing for two weeks and threw it out.  It dried out the wipes and the baby didn't seem to care either way.  I think he just wanted a clean diaper. 

While some moms swear by a changing table, I never had one. I just felt like it was another piece to take up space and I honestly ended up changing my babies on our bed, the floor or (gasp!) our living room ottoman.  If you feel like it's necessary, I would go for one of the covered, contoured pads that you place on top of a dresser so that you could remove it later.

My best advice. . . .

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I thought it would be a great idea to pre-invite everyone from work, neighbors, friends, etc., over to see the baby as soon as we got home from the hospital.  Little did I know, I would be a hormonal, emotional, nervous wreck.  I was exhausted but felt like I had to clean the house, put on make up, and wash my hair every time we had another round of visitors.  Oh, and did I mention I was also struggling with feeding the baby?  I was a mess and definitely learned my lesson.  With my second and third babies, I turned off the phone, stayed in and spent the time getting used to our new family.  It's a precious time and one that you should cherish with your husband and baby. 

Best of luck, Averill!  You'll be a terrific mommy.

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