This was written to a friend last night... just thought I would share for all the new moms and soon to be moms out there... BTW: Addie ended up sleeping almost 9 hours last night!
Because Addie is asleep (in her big girl crib!) and I have time, I'm offering some unsolicited new mom advice. Just to keep in mind... take it or toss it. I don't mind. It's all stuff I found out on my own.
The mittens shrink. Addison always went for her face when she was first born - so we just kept her nails trims. (Easier to do that after a feeding when they're in a twilight sleep.) Plus, I didn't like the little rings that the mittens left around her wrists. She's a big baby though, so that's probably why they didn't fit.
Sleepwear: Go with the sleep sack-style either cinched at the end or the sack that you zip up. At least for the first three months, anyway. The snap-style jumpsuits are difficult to snap up every two hours after a feeding at 2 a.m, 4 a.m., etc.
Check out this bottle warmer. http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2403657 Comes with a cooler (to hold two bottles!) and has an easy warm up feature.
Bottles: The ladies in my baby massage class and I agree. To reduce gas and spit up: we use the Playtex VentAire bottles. Make sure to get extra slow-flow nipples for newborns.
BabyBjorn: excellent choice for carriers. Wish I had known this. I bought the Infantino one from Target and it sucks for when baby is facing in (up till then can hold their head up)... then they face out. Everyone in baby massage likes their BabyBjorns.
You will find that some toys and swings have great music or music that sucks and sounds monotone. We like our papasan chair - http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2864758 - it vibrates and has great music. THe bottom is curved so I can rock it with my foot.
This crib music box - The Fisher-price waterfall soother is the BEST. Love the music, the settings available, and the monkey! (BTW - even if something doesn't go with a color scheme or theme... don't be afraid of it. If the item does the trick of soothing, comforting or entertaining baby- by all means.!!! - I didn't like the swing at first... now it's a lifesaver!)
You might get a lot of baby bath care kits - don't return 'em. You'll use em. I've found that Addison got a little case of cradle cap though and we are using the Weleda Baby Calendula Bath Soap/Shampoo. It's great, chemical free, and smells good. You can find it in the baby aisle at publix.
Instead of a diaper stacker, consider getting some nesting baskets. I got a set of three from Walgreen's for $9.99. It was one of our best investments yet. And they're in espresso -matches our furniture. Then you can insert diapers, wipes, and room for creme. You won't always change baby on the changing table. You might be upstairs, downstairs, in bed or on the couch. Way easier to have a little baskets with all of the goodies together like a caddy. Get a box or two of the disposable changing pads. They are basically oversized water-resistant napkins. But - again - at 2 am - they are easy to lay out, put baby down, change baby and protect your sheets, too.
The SwaddleMe wraps - hated 'em. A lot of these are Velcro and a pain in the ass. Much easier for us, we found, to use a blanket. But - you might feel different.
For bath time - you're first week or two home you will give sponge baths. We brought the changing pad out to the kitchen and did the wipe down right on the counter. Now we have graduated to the countertop bath tub. We also use a little foam bath mat type thing for when we are prepping baby for bath. It's a cushy place to lay, to take clothes on/off, diaper, etc. It's small enough too that when we are done, we stick it in the tub to store.
Register for more towels and wash cloths then you think you will need. We don't typically re-use a towel or wash cloth before washing. (Towels you could probably use again... wash cloths, not recommended.) You should get a baby care guide from the hospital which outlines the process. You'll get quicker in time but your first couple of tries will be 20-minute adventures!
Pacifiers: ask the hospital for more before you leave. For some reason, babies really like hospital-issue paci's.
OK, that's enough for now.
Time for bed!