A first time mom's guide to a BABY

UPDATED: 06/11/2014. now that I'm expecting our second child and been a momma longer than a few months, I thought this post needed some updating. I've been overwhelmed by the amount of response this post has generate! Thanks for stopping by! I hope this all helps!
First things first-Breathe in. Breathe Out. You got this. You're going to be a killer mom. Well not a mom that kills, but you know what I mean.
So, I know I've only been a mom for 3 months  2 years, but I feel like I've learned so much I wanted to jot it all down before I forgot. That way when baby numba 2 comes along, I can remember what I learned and loved the first time. 

I was so blessed with numerous friends who have babies. They filled me in on all the things I would need and love. I don't know what I would have done without them! (probably would've lost my mind by now) I wanted this to be able to help some of you who may not have numerous baby making friends to fill you in on all things baby. So here is the ultimate guide to being a first time mom and not having a CLUE what to do. HA!

Preface: You may not agree with some of the products or methods I've used and that is okay. Actually it's awesome, because every person/mom is different. Do what feels best for you and your baby. Just because I used them or did something a certain way does not mean that other ways are wrong by any means. This is just what worked for me:) So now that that awkward part is out of the way...

Below I talk about Products, Apps, Books, Workouts, and "let's get real" stuff
I'll start with products. My top ten favorite.

1. Wubbanub
Yes, it is made of rainbows and lollipops and all things excellent. It also must taste like pure sugar the way C devours it. I love it because I never lose it in his car seat or at night. The little animal helps keep it from falling or being thrown.

2. A nursing cover with boning
I bought a nursing cover that did not have the support bar at the top. So basically I ordered a piece of fabric with a string. It was awful. I then had a stroke of genius and thought I could make millions by putting a support bar at the top to hold it up so I could see. Turns out... about a million other moms had that idea first. Awesome. But I ordered one nonetheless. Life saver that little bar is.


3. Summer Video Monitor:
I love love love that my sister's sweet MIL upgraded the monitor I registered for. I LOVVVEE having a video to see C. He is a pretty light sleeper at night for some reason. This allows me to see him without having to open his door. Best invention. Kinda creepy but he has no idea:)

4. Medela Nipple Cream and Shield:
Use the cream after every nursing session. Use the shield if they get cracked. Trust me. Your lady friends will be oh so thankful. If it really starts to hurt when nursing, go run to a lactation consultant. Ask them for the special sauce prescribed cream for cracked lady friends. Use it accordingly. My gosh it makes all the difference. Nursing isn't supposed to hurt if your doing it right. email me if you've got questions. I've been through the pain and overcame! You can too. promise.
5. Moby Wrap
C loves to be in his MW. I wear it around the house when I need to get stuff done or out and about. It even keeps him warm when it's freezing outside. I love that it has multiple ways of wearing it so that when he gets older, it can grow with him.

UPDATED: I only used this when C was very small, once he got a few months old, we used the Ergo baby carrier. The moby wrap was also kinda annoying to wrap around me. For baby number two, I'll be looking into slings or easier wraps. 
 Moby Wrap UV Turquoise

 7.  SwaddleMe
I love me some good swaddling and so does C. Buy it. You will be so thankful. If you don't have fun trying to get receiving blankets to work. They are of satan. 

Update: THESE look amazing. I may order some for baby number two. A zipper? yes please!

8. Body Pillow
Your husband may hate it because it takes up some room, but your preggo belly will jump for joy. And so will your lady friends once you've had the baby and are nursing. I can't sleep without it now. It's my BFF. There are so many different kinds of body pillows so be sure to research which shape you'd like.


9. Diaper Bag: 
I wanted a diaper bag that didn't look like a diaper bag but was still super functional. Meet my bag. Ain't she pretty. I'm in love! You can get one here
Monterey Bag Large Diaper Bag Set - In Grey Chevron and Yellow - Adjustable Strap and Elastic Pockets

 UPDATE: While I did love this bag, once C got older, I switched to a back pack from target that had pockets on the side and front. Bottles fit in the side pockets & I could just throw the whole thing over my shoulder. I'll be using this bag again for baby number two, but I know for sure I'll be switching to a back pack once the baby reaches 6 months. The back pack is the way to go! This bag was just so great for newborns because of all the compartments.

10. Cozy Cover
If your going to have a small bebe during winter. You will be so glad you got one of these. It keeps C so so so warm. Like he sweats. It also blocks out light so it keeps him sleeping. Love it. 

Okay. So those are some fab products to invest in. Remember you can use them for other babies if you go gender neutral. I also really love the bumbo but haven't used it yet with C. 
Next up: APPS

I'm sure most of you have a smart phone of some sorts, and there are some great apps to invest in while your preggo! 

1. Sprout!
This was my favorite app by far! It gives you a 3D image of your baby at every week. Plus how they are developing that week. SO fun to see him grow! It also had a kick counter and a weight counter.

2. What to Expect: 
I liked this app okay. Sometimes it gave really dumb facts, but other times it was really useful. Definitely one to invest in... but i think it might be free. 

3. Baby Log
I use this now that I'm nursing C. It has a timer so I know how long I've nursed. It has a tracker for just about everything. It's super useful. The graphics are horrible but the functionality is so worth it!
 iBabyLog 1st iPhone screenshot
 Next Up: BOOKS

1. What to Expect.
I kinda skimmed through this book. Most of the information my girlfriends had already told me. However, if you don't have that resource this is a GREAT one. It literally talks about everything imaginable that has to do with a baby. love it!

What to Expect When You're Expecting

2. Baby Wise
 I'm aware there is controversy over the methods of this book. I suggest reading this with a dose of common sense. I pulled bits and pieces out of it that would work for me. I didn't stick to it exactly. I certainly wasn't as hard core with it as it suggests. I did love the scheduling. It REALLY worked for C. At 3 months, he sleeps completely through the night (11 hours straight), and is the happiest baby all the time.

this is all I have for on books at the moment. I plan to read several more in the coming future. I'll update when I do. Tell me on this post if you've read some mom books you'd suggest. 

So I've always loved working out. #bragalert I once did it for 264 days straight. yes, that's ridiculous. I know. So after I had C, I really wanted to fit back into my clothes, because I honestly don't have the money to buy new clothes. Plus, who doesn't want to return to their pre-preggo size. no one. exactly. 

Most of the time, women just think they can jump right back into their normal exercises. They couldn't be more wrong. I did a lot of research on the best method to return my body back to normal. 

Here's what I've found (at 13 weeks I was back to my pre-preggo size, fitting into all my clothes, and the mom "flap" was gone, but also note, I have hypothyroid. The medicine I take daily has a side effect of weight loss, so this is probably one reason I bounced back so quickly).

WORK OUT DURING YOUR PREGNANCY!!!!!!!!!! Try to work out 3-5 times a week. Research safe methods! This is the best advice I can give for bouncing back quickly. I didn't do the best job with C, but with this second pregnancy I'm working out 3-4 times a week (about to increase to 5) and I feel better than the first go around! 

After baby: 

one, NO CRUNCHES. and read this article.
two, start out easy. Try light yoga around 3 weeks.
three, wait for the clear at your 6week check up to start really working out. (I cheated and started at 5 weeks. don't tell)
four, do LOTS of cardio! 
five, do this DVD. (while the baby naps) you will thank me. Your abs will not.
six, BREASTFEED. I seriously can't say enough about it. There are so many benefits. It could seriously talk about it forever. Just do it. Just do it.
seven, take in enough calories to breastfeed, but don't over do it. Also, watch what you eat. I didn't go on any special diet. I just tried to make conscious decisions to eat healthier.

That's it. That's all I did to get back to my regular size. Which was my goal size. I know it may take some people longer. Just have DISCIPLINE! YOU CAN DO IT! I promise.

UPDATE: Don't let this mislead you, my journey will be totally different than yours. Your body went through changes for 40 weeks. It's going to take time! Stick with it! Also, once I was done nursing, I did the DVD series INSANITY. Ummmmmm it will kill you, but it helped me tremendously. I highly suggest investing or borrowing from a friend and sticking to it!


If you're a man and reading, I suggest stopping. Don't say I didn't warn you. 

Okay ladies, can we just get real for a second? There are some things that I would like to share that no really shared with me. I found these out the hard way! 

1. Take stool softener a couple of days before you may have the baby & immediately (IMMEDIATELY) after you have the baby. Pop them like candy every couple of hours. Just trust me on this. YOU WILL WANT TO DO THIS. I'll spare you the details. 

2. Hemorrhoid cream. It should be your best friend immediately after having the baby. I mean like the first time you can get up and go to the bathroom to pee, apply this stuff. For real girls. Just do it, and continue every single time after. 

3. Bio Oil. Go buy this miracle in a bottle right now. I can only find it in Target. I started using it about halfway through my pregnancy and only once a day. Next time I'll use it in the first trimester and twice a day. I have only 3 tiny stretch marks. Not even a 1/4 an inch long. You honestly can't see them. I didn't even notice them until a few weeks ago. This oil is miracle stuff! 

4. my gosh. make sure you take home that squirt bottle. You'll learn what I'm talking about. It's heaven to your lady parts. 

5. Please do yourself a favor and buy a maternity sports bra to sleep in. Also, breast pads. If not, have fun washing your sheets every night.  

6. The first two weeks are just plain hard. You learn real fast how selfish you are. You hormones are raging like a mad man. It's okay to cry. a lot. I cried every night at 6pm on the dot. Not sure why, but I did.  During this time, just love your baby. Hold them. Cuddle them. That tininess passes so fast. I promise everything will work itself out. They will live. You will live. Just breathe.

I honestly felt like having the baby was pretty easy. I did have to get two epidurals. That SUCKED, but ooooohhhhhh so worth it. I honestly felt like it was all the after care of having a baby that was harder than having the baby itself. I just wasn't prepared for the constipation and hemorrhoids. They aren't pretty to talk about so no one really mentioned them... Next time around, I'll be way better prepared! Don't worry, all of that passes so quickly. The baby is TOTALLY worth all of it. Now that I know those things, I think with the next baby it will be much easier!

UPDATE: I've had hundreds of people email me for my registry list, so I decided to post it below. You can print the images off if you like. My sister created this for me when I was pregnant with my first and it was extremely handy. Even if I didn't go with certain brands, it gave me and idea of what I needed. I hope it's useful for you!

NOW, do a happy dance. You're about to have the best thing ever happen to you. Babies are literally the best. ever.

Update: Somehow I failed to mention the most important thing you will need in preparing and becoming a mother (super shame on me)- it's Jesus. Honestly, when it comes down to it, He is all you need, not any of the stuff I mentioned above, just Him. He is it. He is enough. email me if you have more questions about Him. I'd love to share!  


Whitney said...

Send me everything you got, girl!

The Missus said...

LOVE this post! I wish I had known about some of this stuff 2 months ago when my little girl was born!

I appreciate your honesty about some of the things that we moms have to deal with. It's not always sunshine and roses to be a mother, especially those first couple of weeks when you're trying to get everything figured out and hormones are running wild. And YES, breastfeeding can be so very difficult! I cant' count how many times I've wanted to just give up on that in these last two months, and still struggle with it daily.

Love your blog and your adorable little family!

Valerie Griffin said...


SO much good info here!

You're the best :)

MarshMellow said...

Hi there! I am new to your blog and would love to email you a question...completely unrelated to this post, but a question nontheless. But I am not seeing a contact button or your email :( Is there any way I could get that from you??

Kate Kubler said...

Katie dot Kubler at yahoo dot com

Kate Kubler said...

Katie dot Kubler at yahoo dot com

Kate Kubler said...

Don't give up!!!! I promise it will get easier. Hang in there!! So worth it

Laurie @ The Rookie Wife said...

This is a fabulous post! :) I'm a new follower!

Just an FYI. The nap nanny has been recalled:(

Kate Kubler said...

Yes, I mentioned that, I believe. Thanks though! Glad you found it helpful!!

Amanda said...

Love, Love, Love this post! I am 31 weeks pregnant and have been stressing about some of the things you talked about. New follower now. :)

PS...I agree about the Nap Nanny. I found one, out of state, because I wanted one so badly. If people use common sense it is a great product!

Patricia Noriega said...

Can I get a copy of your registry please?? It's been the biggest thing I've been wondering about! Pattinoriega@gmail.com

Emmy_J0 said...

Love this blog!!! So great! Would you send me a copy of your registry? Emmyjogrose@gmail.com

Emmy_J0 said...

Love your blog, and your photography is wonderful. Would you send me a copy of your registry emmyjogrose @ gmail? Thanks!

Tabatha Crespo said...

Thank you so much. I just found out im pregnant and I have helped raise my nephew who is now 8, but now that im having my own child I have to really be prepared. This was so helpful. Thank you again.

Valerie Ventura said...

Registry please! Vnventura009@gmail.com

Skylar Southall said...

I LOVE that diaper bag! The etsy dealer is on vacation right now, but I will definitely be ordering it as soon as she is back! I will also look into the baby wise book!


Anonymous said...


Sara Yonker said...

I'm due in 2 1/2 weeks and just went on Amazon to buy that workout DVD! My abs may hate you later, but I'm glad to have a plan!



Erica {let why lead} said...

Hi Kate! I'm visiting from the linkup. Glad to find you! I just had my third baby, and I agree with so much stuff on here. Lately I've actually been telling people that I think I'd rather deliver a baby than recover from delivering one. :) It's just not a pretty process. Good thing it's well worth it!!

tmack said...

great great post!

I too am a babywise mama and someone who loves to work out.

Thanks for your honesty... I wish I knew about that cream pre pregnancy.. Will need to get some before baby number 2~

Tara said...

Hi! I'm right at 6 months and would LOVE a list of things to register for. I've registered for a few things others have said that we'll need, but am completely clueless!

Kconner99 said...

Registry please!!! Great advice also .thank you

Jessica Gayle said...

I am 22 weeks with our first and honestly its been real easy ( which scares me for the rest) Today we toured L&D at one of the local hospitals and now I feel its all real. I love your honesty and I immediately started downloading the recommended apps. Thank you for someone who pinned your page and thanks for writing a helpful and honest post!

Jessica Gayle said...

Thank you for your honesty. I am 22 weeks with our first and I want to be as prepared as possible. I am also blessed with lots of mom friends around me ( which is also not always the best advice).

Heather Leigh said...

Love this post girl!! :)

Jessica Leyva said...

i would appreciate it if you emailed me your registery please:) jessicaleyva88@gmail.com

Cavecat said...

Please email me a list of your registry! allircat23@gmail.com Thank you!

Layci said...

Great advice!! 24 weeks tomorrow! Would love to have a copy of your registry. peerirby@cableone.net

Jamie Knotts said...

Please email me the registry link! jamieknotts58@yahoo.com

Jamie Knotts said...

First baby! Please email me your registry list to jamieknotts58@yahoo.com

jessahawki said...

23 weeks along here with our first. Would love anything you want to send! Great info! Thanks !

KAM Photography said...

Your post was so wonderful to read! I appreciate your humor and knowledge. I would love for you to send your list of items to register for. My e-mail is ckmier@gmail.com Thank you!

Carrie Barfield said...

Loved this! Registry please? cbstorm57@gmail.com

Kate Kubler said...

Thanks for the info! Id love to get your registry list as well!

Kate Kubler said...

my email is sophia.com@gmail.com

Kate Kubler said...

Loved your post, we are 31 weeks and officially freaking out, lol. I'd love to get your list. becomingametaphor@yahoo.com

Kate Kubler said...

I would love your registry list too! Thank you for the great post. I haven't heard the nitty gritty stuff yet but I'm sure I'll appreciate that later. Only 16 more weeks to go!! reaching10@gmail.com

Kate Kubler said...

This is awesome!!

Kate Kubler said...

Thank you so much for the after care suggestions ;)

Kate Kubler said...

Can you email me your registry recommendations? Kristinaganderson@gmail.com

Kate Kubler said...

Great information!!! Thank you!!! I would LOVE your list but unsure how to email it to you:/ my email is krystle_44@hotmail.com if you could send it I would appreciate it solo much!!

Kate Kubler said...

Amazing post, I've read a lot of things but this one was the best. I just found out I'm pregnant with our so I'm a little nervous but this post was great!

Kate Kubler said...

Hi! Great post. Could you email me your registry list?! That's something I'm definitely stuck on and need help. My email is stephylioness@icloud.com ...thx a bunch!

Kate Kubler said...

Starting registry soon and would love to have your list! Email is purplebutton03@yahoo.com :) thanks!

Kate Kubler said...

I'm a first time mom so this post was fantastic, I would love it if you e-mailed your registry to me. There's so many things out there that look like you need them and you really don't. Thanks so much :)

Kate Kubler said...

Will u email to me the registry candice.despain@yahoo.com. Thanks for the advise.

Kate Kubler said...

This is great! Given me so much info & such a peace of mind.

Kate Kubler said...

Wow. I just found out that we are expecting our first and this is super helpful. I will be taking note of it all. Thanks!