Sunday, November 1, 2009

must-have items?

I posted this on my pregnancy blog but thought I would post it here too.

I wanted to throw this question out to you guys: What baby items would you recommend? What could you not live without? What should I put on my "must-have" list?

I am finally getting into the mode where I'm keeping an eye out for items that we may need. So far we have a crib, a car seat (compliments of Amazon - they give their employees a free car seat), a stroller and a bunch of clothes that I have been collecting when I find really good deals (usually second-hand). My sister-in-law, Britney, sat down with me a few weeks ago and made a list of the things she recommends and it was so helpful. I thought I would get even more feedback from all of you experts out there. Tell me what I can't live without.

ETA: Also, is there anything you bought / received and wish you hadn't?

17 comments:

jjstringham said...

I'm one of those people that believe that the only must have items are diapers and love.

But as for the things we've used the most: swing and/or bouncy seat, activity seat (we use the exersaucer), big homemade blankets (homemade ones are usually bigger than the storebought blankets. . . you need them bigger in order to swaddle well), and a stroller (one that fits your carseat for those early months). That's about it. As large as the baby market is, babies really don't need all that much stuff.

Mel said...

I think a Boppy is super important. Then you can eat/type/read while nursing. It's so nice;it makes your arms comfy. And lots of blankets for swaddling because swaddling means more sleep. And make room in your closet for the baby (do you have a big enough closet?) After the baby is 1 week old or so if you move him in there you will get hours more sleep because you won't hear all the grunting/waking up noises they do for like 1/2 hour before they actually wake up. I say 1 week old because you'll be too nervous to do it before then.

Then again, as I recall you're a pretty heavy sleeper so maybe those noises won't bother you. But with your baby you never know, you might spring into light-sleep mode! :)

Stephanie said...

I think the essentials differ depending on your parenting style and how your baby is. For example, I needed LOTS of burp cloths because my kids were all pukers. And, I really liked having a compact floor swing because I get really overstimulated for the first couple months and just need something else to rock and hold the baby. I also really like to put onesies under all their clothes so they don't get as cold when you change them. And, you won't need this for awhile yet, but if you're going to get a high chair I would buy one of the compact ones that sits on a chair and folds up for storage. Kids love being at the table with everyone else, it takes up less space in your kitchen and travels well. Okay, last thing I just thought of. If you're going to nurse you HAVE to have a pump. I have the Avent one and thought it was more comfortable than others. Some of them really pinch when you use them (sorry for that imagery). It will be so nice to let the hubby give a bottle in the middle of the night or have milk ready for when you go out. Plus, if you become engorged or have a breast infection the pump can REALLY help. So there you go!

Ginny said...

My daughter was a puker as well & we went through tons of bigs, burp clothes & onesies.

What I had planned on commenting though is a swing & bouncy seat were great. I also loved my Boppy & Exersaucer once my girls got a bit bigger.

I also used the playpen with the bassinet for both my girls. I didn't plan on having more, so all of the big things I mentioned I actually bought for both of my girls.

One thing you want though is to buy as you need it. Each baby & parent is different.

Wendy D said...

oooh i agree onesies are a must...and the avent pump is the best too i think! 2 essentials for me is a wipes warmer (munchkin brand is the best...) because it's nice for the baby....i had one with kyle and sadie and i never used it, but zach born in winter and maddie born up here where it's chilly it has been wonderful...and of course a baby monitor ... i keep it downstairs so i can hear the baby while she is sleeping.

Ashlee said...

I used a hospital grade pump - worked great and could even do two sides at once. :) Because I was in school/working part time with 2 of my 3, I ended up mainly pumping and giving them bottles. Rarely did I actually nurse, just b/c of the timing (they'd have a bottle at the sitter, but I'd be ready to burst when I picked her up, so I'd have to pump, and so on). So a great pump, freezer bags, and bottles were my key things. Other than that - a good swaddling blanket - thinner and bigger than a typical blanket, a monitor (my kids never slept in the same room as us, so we used a monitor from day one), the "boppy" that I used was called a "breast friend" - cheesy I know, but it actually strapped on to your waist and had a pocket to store nursing pads, paper, remotes, whatever you wanted :), I liked it b/c I could get up and walk around if needed and it wouldn't fall off.
Really though - like Jamie said diapers and love! :)

Jana said...

I agree with some of the other comments about holding off with some of the big items. You might want to borrow first if you can and then decide if you really need it. I never used the swing for Gavin, but did all the time for Brandon. What you'll need right away are blankets, onesies, socks, burp cloths, mild wipes, diapers, boppy and nursing stuff (pads, bra, cream, pump . . .), monitor, car seat, and stroller. I LOVE Lansinoh products. Oh, and baby boys require a tube of vaseline :) Happy shopping!

A&M Edwards said...

I prefer the "my brest friend" nursing pillow over the "boppy". I like that it straps on so it stays put, it also has a pocket which is nice and the covers are machine washable. I'd recommend getting at least one extra cover for it so that you have a spare while the other is in the wash.
I used the Medela pump in style breast pump and it was nice to be able to pump both sides at once, since I only had short breaks to pump while I was at work.
I also recommend getting a cool mist humidifier, baby Tylenol, gas drops, etc. and have them on hand from day one. It's not fun to take a sick baby to the store in the middle of the night since you never know when they'll come down sick.

imbritney said...

I really loved the "gowns". Connor lived in them his first 4+ weeks because they're so easy to lift up and change the diaper quickly. Eventually he got too big for them, because he kicks and they end up around his belly.

Now I'm really diggin' the blanket sleepers because it keeps him warm at night. (Otherwise he kicks off the blanket and wakes up because he's cold). Even in the summer, babies have a terrible time regulating body temperature. You may want to look for some lighter-weight blanket sleepers, plus one or two heavy ones just in case...

Brandon, Emily & Sydney Wilson said...

oh gosh....I imagine the feedback you will get here will vary quite a bit...but maybe not, I could be wrong. Just seems like every mom does momhood so differently and every child is so unique in what works for them. However...I think it's an excellent question...so here ya go!
-stretchy blankets for swaddling...I was never a fan of the flannel ones that come undone all the time.
-little hand socks for newborns cause mine always liked to scratch at their face
-both my girls were binkie babies and the mam brand was our favorite.
-a vibrating bouncy seat or swing is a must! they are a blessing during middle of the night moments of crisis when you need some sleep, but baby wants to be rocked.
-swaddler pampers for newborns are the best diapers!
-Lansinoh breast pads for nursing are a must have...if you nurse.
- I love my medela single breast pump...I'm a stay at home mommy so I didn't need a double one.
-oh...something I liked for me were those mesh underwear that they give you in the hospital to wear with those giant pads post birth. (stock up on those while in the hospital for at home, not very attractive, but very comfy)
-stain sticks, biz detergent.
-I also really love our glider chair with ottoman, but probably not a must have.
-oh...and a medela nursing bra does wonders...they're pricey but well worth it!

and as far as the not necessary list goes, I'd say
-a wipes warmer (I found them to dry out the wipes)
-a diaper genie (just use a plastic grocery bag and save money)
-a bassinet (my babies always went straight to their cribs cause I couldn't sleep with them next to me...every noise they made would wake me)
and that's about it...I know the list is long, but hey...you asked for it! :)

Shannon said...

Things I couldn't live without:
-if you're going to nurse, a support pillow is a must. I loved the boppu because I could use it at night without fumbling with a clip.
-a dimming lamp or soft night light. When you start nursing, you kind of need to see what you're doing or it's going to hurt worse.
-a medela pump. They are pricey but you more than pay for it if you pump and store your milk.
-medela storage bags. The lansinoh ones didn't seal well for me which resulted in spilt milk. Loosing breast milk was the biggest annoyance to me since I knew how hard my body was working to make it!
-medela or avent nursing pads. The medela ones have a sticky thing that helps them stay in place. The avent ones are bulky but great for night time. Thinner was not better for this milky mama. I just had to see a baby and my milk would let down.
-the ugly pacifiers the hospital has that are bright green. They are not cute but after being sliced open, a wonderful nurse (not my mom) introduced us to these and I was never sliced again. It KILLS.
-breastflow bottles by first years. These bottles are weird but make the baby compress and suck to get out the milk, just like breastfeeding. We used these when I worked and had no issues going back and forth from breast to bottle like some people I know.
-like everyone else, onesies.
- pampers diapers are the only ones that have worked for us. Specifically the swaddlers and baby dry kind. The sensitive swaddlers have a wetness indicator but you get 4 less per package just to see a line change color.
-a burp cloth to express milk into. I choked Paisley almost everytime we nursed until I learned that I had a strong milk eject reflex. If she sputtered I'd de-latch her and let the milk flow into the burp cloth until it stopped. Eventually the problem went away or she got used to it.
-hydrogen perioxide. A little bit on a q-tip swabbed in the ear helped us stop ear infections.

Man I put a ton of stuff down. You'll figure it all out as you go. What works for one doesn't always work for evryone!

imbritney said...

Emily -- great suggestions! I have a couple of additions --
*I've found that adding ~ 1/4 cup of water to the wipes warmer with each new batch of wipes helps to keep them moist. And, though it's not a must, it is so nice to have warm wipes at night so you don't startle the baby *too* much... Connor actually slept through a couple of diaper changes because the wipes weren't freezing...
*I tried so hard to do the nursing/pumping thing.... In the end it didn't work, but I did learn that you don't have to buy the expensive bra for the pumps, I found an old bra that I wasn't in love with any more, but it still fit, and I cut holes in the front. (Didn't sew or hem or anything, just small holes). I found it held the both pumps at the same time just fine...
*I use a diaper champ instead of a genie -- I like it better because it is so much easer to use. No twisting or fishing... I just throw a regular kitchen trash liner in and flip it back and forth. I will say, though, with the super smelly soy milk diapers, it doesn't contain all of the smell (though I'm not sure a genie would either with those smelly ones!! soy is the worst for smelly poo).d

Marci Coombs said...

Oh I have a SLEW of ideas for you...but it looks like a lot of them are already covered. You MUST own a few Baby Einstein DVD's. My babies LOVED those and they always allowed me like 20 minutes to get a shower in or do the dishes. Butt Paste is a MUST HAVE for diaper rashes. The Bumbo I couldn't live without either.....I could really go on and on...

You have a pregnancy blog? How do I get to it?

Stephanie said...

I love how thorough this list is! What a great resource. I think I ended up with an extra wipe warmer. I'll look and if I find it I'll let you know (if you haven't already found one). I agree that you just have to add water periodically to keep the wipes from drying out. I didn't have one with my first and WOW, does it make a difference. Especially up here because it gets so chilly at night. Also, you might want to buy some comfy underwear for when you come home from the hospital. That sounds weird, but it will save you from having to head out to the store when you get home.

Lori said...

For my babies the most useful things were

1.swaddle blankets that velcro (babies r us)
2.swing that goes side to side and front to back. babies are pretty picky about this.

3.lots of onesies,burb clothes and bibs.

4. Bubzee bibs bought online (kind of pricey, but they are handmade and my kids still wear them at two. I bought them once we started babyfood because I kept having to throw away stained clothes. If you decide to buy them get the toddler size so you can continue to use them. http://www.practicalcreations.com/

5. leap frog plush frog (this helped so much on car trips)

6. medela electric breast pump

Things I didn't need

1.diaper genie (we just used a separate garbage can)
2. changing table
3. baby shoes
4.small 4oz bottles. you will soon need the 8oz, so you might as well get all 8oz
5. bottle warmer. we used a small crockpot since we had two babies, but sometimes we would just use a large cup of warm water and drop the bottle in.

Kristi said...

Hey Ashley! So, I wasn't going to comment... you know how prepared we were when Hannah was born... all we had was diapers...

Then I thought of a few things that I don't think anyone has mentioned yet. When my babies were small I loved my sling carrier - try to borrow one if you can because he'll grow out of it quickly.

I love Signing Time - he won't be into it until he's 9-10 mo.+, but while you have people wanting to give you things, I would ask for the DVDs. The show used to be on PBS and I would redord it - but it hasn't been on for awhile and I'm going to have to get them for Andrew.

When Isaac was born a friend of mine gave me these little tepee like "shields" to keep the little one from peeing on you during a diaper change... I thought it was pretty funny and never used them. I did get tagged a couple of times - you learn to be quick at covering him with the diaper. :)

Jocelyn said...

Amazon gave you a Britax?!? Dang. I am so jealous that they started this incredibly wonderful practice when I was already too late in my pregnancy to qualify :)

Sometimes we Amazon widows have to love Amazon, right?