*Don't buy your baby any shoes, unless they are those robeez kind. Once they get old enough to really wear shoes they will either pull them off or eat the rubber off the bottom like Zoe does.
*Definitely buy enough bottles to get you through one or two days. Believe me, you won't feel like washing bottles every night. Another tip I heard about bottles - just go ahead and start your dishwasher every night whether or not it's full. That way you will have fresh bottles ready in the middle of the night or the morning. This will save you much frustration and will keep you from losing your religion when you are ticked about being awake and digging through dirty nipples to try to find the cleanest one to rinse off.
*You definitely need some lotion right beside your kitchen sink. You need to slather your hands every time they come out of the water...and even that won't be enough. My fingers look like they have scales on them. You will do so many dishes and wash your hands so many times that you may need to invest in real lotion, like Aveeno. As we all know, Vaseline Intensive Care does NOT smoothe the healing right in.
*Just go ahead and know that your husband will curse every time he tries to snap the snaps on the baby's pajamas. And you'll want to too, but hey someone's got to get the kid dressed and chances are your scaly hands are smaller and more snap friendly than his.
And now about the whole "green" movement. The way I see it that whole deal doesn't apply to new mothers - at least for the first year. Ian's aunt Susan reminded me that there are so many moms right now who are doing the cloth diaper thing (and she was praising me for being reasonable - thanks Susan!). That's true, though. There are a lot of parents into the cloth diaper thing and that's all fine and good, but I just rationalize that I am saving the earth in other ways during this first year. Like gasoline, for instance. Think of all the ozone layers I have kept in tact this year by basically being homebound for 6 straight months. Don't get me wrong...I recycle with the best of em and I try to remember to turn off the water when I'm brushing my teeth. But I just can't do the cloth diaper thing. Seriously, we produce so much laundry already that cloth diapers would put me over the edge - and does the environment really want to have that on its conscience?
I'm sure there's more to come, whether you want more tips or not. It's just my way of debriefing this past year while trying to help out you ladies who are just beginning the journey. Have I mentioned lately how happy I am that my tubes are tied?