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Advice from the experienced mamas, please?

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 

We want to avoid getting a lot of stuff for babygirl that we don't really need. I would love to hear your advice on absolute must-haves, nice-to-haves, and not-worth-its. Right now on my must have list is: good quality diaper covers, a Beco carrier, a quality pump. Nice to have: an in-bed co-sleeper (so we don't worry so much at the start), bouncy chair or swing and a Woombie. Thoughts?

 

Not worth it? I can thing of a million marketing ploys for baby things, but would love to know what seems like a good idea but is really a waste. :) Please, share your wisdom!

post #2 of 43

I would skip the pump unless you know you will need to pump (and I wouldn't do that until your supply is evened out or you return to work)  - plus your insurance company or WIC may cover a pump if you need one. You'd be paying a good amount for a nice pump, but you may never use it. 

 

I wouldn't get the in-bed-cosleeper, personally. 

 

I would get a used Beco  also go to a babywearing meeting, if possible, to try out many kinds of carriers so you can figure out what you really like to use so you can avoid spending a lot on something you won't use much.

 

 

post #3 of 43

We loved our in-bed co-sleeper! Also, Mother-Ease One-Size diapers and prefolds in a variety of sizes, Thirsties covers, also fleece covers and wool soakers. Cloth wipes and a wipe warmer (we keep them damp and ready-to-go in the warmer).

 

A woven wrap is great for all kinds of carries and more versatile than other carriers (can be used for a nursing cover as well). However, we also loved and got great use out of our Ergo.

 

A good pump, and I used Avent bottles when I started pumping and going back to work. Get good nursing bras! I didn't use any at first and was amazed at how much they improved my nipple pain, engorgement, etc. They also made NIP much smoother.

 

At first I didn't think I would use my pack-n-play or changing table (both given to us by our parents). However, the changing table was at just the right height for changing and really saved my back. The pack-n-play ended up being handy if I was alone and desperate for a shower, and DS ended up preferring it for naps.

 

Finally, I absolutely loved having a rocking chair and a large exercise ball for bouncing. Some people take care of this need with babywearing, but my DS only liked being worn when he was already content. Hated it right after nursing, or when he was pooping or peeing. I would also bounce and rock with him in the wrap, and it was nice to be able to soothe him with movement while sitting down.

 

post #4 of 43

Ditto about the pump, unless you are going back to work full-time and aren't on WIC. I know flex spending plans cover the cost, so you may need to wait until the first of the year if you're doing that. I never used a co-sleeper, but if you feel like it would make you more comfortable, then go for it. As for the carrier, maybe I'm wrong b/c I didn't babywear, but it seems like most people I know use a wrap or sling for newborns. I loved the bouncy seat, I used that a lot when I needed to use the bathroom or cook. The Woombie- I actually had to look that one up. I personally never swaddled. It seemed unnatural to me, and I read an article that said that babies wave their arms to help cool themselves down, and overheating can lead to SIDS. Swing- our babies didn't like the swing until they were older, to me it wasn't worth the space.

 

A lot people say a nursing pillow is a must have. I never cared much for the Boppy though. Other must-haves: cloth nursing pads, plenty of light weight receiving blankets, exersaucer (starting at about 5 months- you can usually get one at a garage sale). Sleepers- that's pretty much all my kids wear when they're little. I was going to say a Nekkie Blankie, but it looks like they aren't in business anymore :(

 

Things I never found a need for (these may vary person to person though):

changing table, pacifiers, teething toys, bumbo seat, any special nursery furniture or decor, baby einstein DVDs, onesies. I'm sure there's more, that's all I can think of.

post #5 of 43

DDCC.  The one piece of advice I wish someone had given me is that you can buy just about everything you need when you actually need it, because there's a really good chanc eyou won't need it.  That said,  here are a few things:

 

Bedside cosleeper:  shoulda skiped it.  Baby just wound up in bed next to me.  "Within Arm's Reach" just seemed too far away.  So, the cosleeper is now a very expensive, clunky bedside table.  The in bed ones?  I dunno... I still probably would have wound up sleeping with my little cuddle-monster.

 

Car seat:  We got a Graco 35 and love it so far.  It's good until he's 35 lbs, so it will last a while.   Avoid getting whatever carseat you use used; they aren't supposed to be used again once they've been in a collision, so you dn't know whether yours is 'good' if you get it used.

 

Glider:  No, we didn't really have room for it, but it was awesome.  Yes, it's tucked in a wierd spot and looks out of place.  But I lived on my "throne" for the first month.  Even now, my favorite place to nurse, DH's favorite place to watch the game.

 

Stroller:  Don't have one.  Carriers work for us right now.  As DS breaks the 15 lb mark, we're probably going to get one, but I'm glad we waited.  Now that I have a bunch of "mommy friends" I've gotten to try out a bunch of them, and have a better sense of what features we want.  Also gives me time to look on craigslist.

 

On carriers:  we got a bunch of them.  In retrospect, I wish we had done what the PP said and gone to a baby wearing group.  I went to one recently, and I would have spent a lot less on this had I gotten to try them out and heard what they thought.  That said, my favorite carrier turned out to be a Moby.  Gives you some of the versatility of a woven wrap, but is a lot easier to start out with.  Don't be intimidated by the fancy wrapping as I was.  It took a 10 minute tutorial and I was off to the races.

 

Toys: I woudn't buy a single one right now.  First off, people are probably going to give you some.  Second, it's hard to tell what you're baby will like before you meet him or her.  Once your baby appears, you may find s/he likes loud noisy toys with lots of lights and sounds, or just gets overwhelmed by it all.

 

Diapers:  Depends on if you're starting in disposables (some people do this to avoid investing in cloth for just the newborn stage, others because they don't want meconium stains on their diapers).  We got 3 bummies newborn size and 2 thirsties duo wraps, 24 newborn prefolds and 24 infant prefolds.  And 3 small bummies for when he grew out of the newborn size.  In retrospect, I wish we had just gotten four thirsties duo wraps and the prefolds -- you only need two sizes from birth to potty training, and they really did fit my small newborn.  I've borrowed one size diapers from friends, but they seemed really huge on him when he was a NB.  If you're going with disposables or a diaper service for the first month, though, it might  make sense.

 

Pumps:  Some people say not to get one until you need it and I see where they're coming from, but I got a Medela Pump In Style a few months before I birthed, and I'm glad I did.  I had a clear head as I approached the set up and how to, had time to order a different flange size if I needed to and so on.  If you know you are going back to work, it doesn't hurt to start pumping early on, either, to make yourself a good stash.  I felt really comfortable going to work with 200 oz in my freezer... and I'm not oversupplied.  I just pumped twice per day starting from about 2 weeks until I went back to work.   In that line, I love the Medela storage bottles (they are 2.5 oz each and sell in packs of 12) -- just the right amount of milk to thaw in an emergency.  And you don't have leaky bag problems.  That said, once I went through 3 packs of them, I started using Lanisoh bags, which are also nice, but I have to thaw them in a container so if they leak I don't lose the milk.

 

Nursing clothes:  Skip them.  Just wear two piece outfits so you can hike up your shirt.  With nursing bras, I'd get at least 1 for when you're engorged, but don't go crazy until you actually see how big your nursing boobs will be.  I had a bunch of bras in the wrong size.

 

Other worthwhile things: a bouncy chair or other place to set your baby from time to time is important.  You're a good mom, so you aren't going to leave your baby in it all day, but when you want to take a 30 second shower... you put the baby in it and pop your head out repeatedly.  Would get used if possible.   Clear shower curtains so you can see your baby and your baby can see you when you are trying to take said shower.  Another option is to take baths.  Frozen meals (homemade or bought).

post #6 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnkaJones View Post

DDCC.  The one piece of advice I wish someone had given me is that you can buy just about everything you need when you actually need it, because there's a really good chanc eyou won't need it.  

 

If we were on our own, this would be our plan. Craigslist and thrift stores have SO MUCH baby stuff. But we have a TON of family who want to celebrate and expect showers. So, I don't know about molls, but I definitely appreciate this thread! I have been "warned" repeatedly to have plenty of "stuff" on my registry. I'm lucky and feel loved to be in this situation, but I'm sure I'll end up with some things I won't ever really need.

post #7 of 43

I would hunt down stuff on freecycle also, if you can :)

post #8 of 43

People like to buy stuff for babies.  It's definitely possible to put together an AP-friendly registry that mainstream people can do their normal thing with, thus satisfying their desire to shop for you and take care of the things you actually need, rather than say "we don't need anything" and end up with a bunch of light-up plastic toys when they buy for you anyhow.  :)

 

First off, I'd recommend putting a list together on Amazon... not only is it the cheapest place to get most big necessary stuff, but you can also use it as a universal registry and add stuff from your favorite Etsy shop or cloth diaper store. 

 

As for necessary stuff.... for me, it consists of:

-a highly-rated carseat (suitable for my car, and I skip the bucket seat... my girls hated it)

-breast pump (I work at home, but need to pump sometimes and I am SOOOOO prone to clogged ducts it's ridiculous) and collection bags

-nursing bras (since it's your first, I'd suggest something like a Bravado Bliss or Bravado Body Silk so you don't have to know your exact size to fit it.  You will probably go up in cup size and down in band size shortly after birth, but you can probably figure out basically what size you'll need since their ranges are wide. Get at least one bra to wear while you're waiting for your size to even out those first couple of weeks.)

-cloth diapers (go ahead and ask for all sizes NB-M if you know what you'll use, or for a variety of styles in NB/S if you don't.  They can be pricey, especially if you don't end up liking prefolds, so might as well have others buy them) plus accessories... cloth diaper safe rash cream, pins and/or snappis, wet bags.

-Lansinoh lanolin or natural nipple butter

-nursing pads... I like nice cloth ones and find disposable ones uncomfortable.  Etsy's a good place to get them!

-something to swaddle with (I've heard good things about wombies, but haven't used them.  I like huge swaddling blankets a lot)

-somewhere for baby to sleep... cosleeper or bassinet for us since our bed is too small for full-time bedsharing

-simple, comfortable clothes--sleepers, nightgowns, onesies, cotton pants, socks, no-scratch mittens, t-shirts... you'll get cutesie outfits, no doubt, but most of the time you'll want your baby comfortable and easy to change!

-ring sling for first few months, 2-shoulder support carrier for later.  This is my personal preference.  I used mei-tais before, but I'm going to try a soft structure carrier this time for when I want to go faster.

 

For not-necessary stuff, but I like having it:

-swing--there were plenty of times my girls would sleep no other way. 

-stroller

-nursing pillow

-high chair, travel seat or something like that

-natural toys

-burp cloths

-feeding stuff for when she's starting solids... bibs, utensils, cups, bowls, etc  The good non-toxic stuff is pricey, so also good to plug onto a registry.  She'll be using it before you know it.

 

She'll grow fast, so think ahead to what you'll need when she's crawling, teething, walking, starting explore outside, getting cold next winter, etc.

post #9 of 43

Pick out your favorite diapers and baby carrier.  I also wouldn't worry about a pump unless you know you're going back to work.  Babies pretty much want to be with their mommies, and if you need to express some now and then, you may find that you're fine hand expressing or with a cheaper pump.  (I do, however, recommend getting the LLL's flier on the Marmet Technique of hand expression for relieving engorgement.)  I wouldn't recommend a cosleeper of any kind since baby will be most comfortable nestled in the crook of your arm, up against your chest, and with your arm above his/her head and legs curled up underneath, s/he will be well protected.  Look into cosleeping recommendations for setting up your bed.  Swaddling is not recommended for cosleeping babies.  I'm not a big fan of a bouncy chair or swing.  They are overused, and they promote flat heads, and they are really mother-replacements.  I'd rather be the one holding my baby, and in a sling, I'm promoting good head and neck development.

 

I would also not buy bottles, pacifiers, etc.  You may not need them, and they can be a hindrance or a temptation as you are trying to develop your milk supply.  Toys, you can buy later if you need them, and people will give them to you.  People will give you the bath products you need (and you really don't need them at first), and you won't need to buy many clothes for a while.  Something that can be used as burp rags are great.  People will give you most of the receiving blankets you need... like that's the thing you generally get from random people who find out that you had a baby.  Skip the baby bath.  Babies don't like them.  This time, I'm getting a water sling and taking baby in the shower with me.  (It's amazing how difficult it is to shower as a new mom.)

 

I really like the advice to wait until you need it to get it.  Diapers, wipes (I made a solution that I carried around in a peri bottle to spray on wipes rather than keeping a wipes warmer), clothes, a baby carrier, burp rags, blankets, car seat... that's really all you absolutely need at first.  Most other things are mother substitutes, and you may not need them.  If you do find yourself in a place that you do need to have something that allows you to put the baby down from time to time, you have the advantage of knowing the baby you're trying to put down and knowing what s/he might enjoy.

post #10 of 43

I agree that if you don't have a lot of resources, freecycle and used clothing and furniture stores are lifesaver. We got a lot of wonderful items from freecycle. However, if you have family and friends who want to buy stuff, give them very detailed registries and wish lists, or you will end up with things you don't want or need, like a diaper genie or a bunch of useless ugly outfits. Also, IF you have the resources, I actually found it easier to have a little too much (even though we live in a tiny cabin) and gradually give stuff away or sell stuff online that we don't need, than wish I had a something with a new baby on-hand and an inability to go shopping. While it's true that many, many wonderful, amazing women on this forum do without any kind of furniture, cribs, strollers, pumps, bottles, etc., every LO and every mother is different.

 

For those with limited resources, I would simply invest in a good wrap (Moby or woven) and a good set of cloth diapers. While both of these items are a bit pricey, they can be found used in good condition. I feel that while cloth diapers cost us a bit upfront (we spent about $200 for our whole stash) we are still using them today, will use them with our second baby, and have we saved thousands of dollars on disposables.

 

ETA: I hear again and again that you don't need to put the baby down and should not have anything on hand for doing so. However, I found that my DS would sometimes prefer to be put down. He would fuss and cry in my arms or in the wrap, but be more content on the floor or in his pack-in-play or car seat. I did babywearing about 50% of the time, but put him down quite a bit as well. I did not think of any of the devices that kept him safe as "mother substitutes." However, EVERY baby and mother is different. I'm just pointing out what did and didn't work for me.

post #11 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by alittlesandy View Post

ETA: I hear again and again that you don't need to put the baby down and should not have anything on hand for doing so. However, I found that my DS would sometimes prefer to be put down. He would fuss and cry in my arms or in the wrap, but be more content on the floor or in his pack-in-play or car seat. I did babywearing about 50% of the time, but put him down quite a bit as well. I did not think of any of the devices that kept him safe as "mother substitutes." However, EVERY baby and mother is different. I'm just pointing out what did and didn't work for me.



To clarify a bit on this.  I also had a baby who loved playing on the floor, etc, and would be happier there than in my arms at times.  It was a big "aha" moment for me when I realized that I could get her to stop fussing by setting her down in a place that she could see me.  I'm not saying that you shouldn't set your baby down or have something to set your baby on (like a receiving blanket).  It's that most of the baby entertainers out there (bouncy seats, swings, etc) are great substitutes for the times when a baby would rather be held because they mimic the motion of a mother's body, and they result in babies being held less.  In some cases, that's exactly what a mother needs to keep her sanity, but they need to be used with care if at all, especially since they can contribute to flat spots on a baby's head.  My point was mainly that not all babies/mothers need them, and I think it's better to wait until you know you do than to have a bunch of stuff that never gets used or gets misused on hand.

post #12 of 43

Yeah, I should clarify too -- I use a bouncy seat because it allows my baby to see farther (because he's slightly upright and elevated off the floor a bit).  So, if I'm in the bathtub, he can see me easily the whole time.  I also use it when I'm cooking, because wearing him wouldn't be safe.  Again, it's one of those situations where he can see me a lot easier.  Now that he's enjoying sitting "all by himself with just a little bit of help" I'll often put him in a Bumbo seat for the same purpose.  Most of the time, though, he prefers a blanket on the floor or being carried or worn.

 

Anka

post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ View Post

To clarify a bit on this.  I also had a baby who loved playing on the floor, etc, and would be happier there than in my arms at times.  It was a big "aha" moment for me when I realized that I could get her to stop fussing by setting her down in a place that she could see me.  I'm not saying that you shouldn't set your baby down or have something to set your baby on (like a receiving blanket).  It's that most of the baby entertainers out there (bouncy seats, swings, etc) are great substitutes for the times when a baby would rather be held because they mimic the motion of a mother's body, and they result in babies being held less.  In some cases, that's exactly what a mother needs to keep her sanity, but they need to be used with care if at all, especially since they can contribute to flat spots on a baby's head.  My point was mainly that not all babies/mothers need them, and I think it's better to wait until you know you do than to have a bunch of stuff that never gets used or gets misused on hand.


The distinction you make is excellent, and I thank you for the clarification. However, some mothers cannot leave their LO on the floor while going to the bathroom, showering, etc. because of pets, toddlers, general anxiety, or other reasons. I know many AP mamas who have gone a little crazy from not having a secure place to put their LO on those rare occasions when it is necessary. The OP wanted recommendations on things that are "nice to have" and I'm offering up what worked for me, which was having an in-bed co-sleeper as well as a pack-n-play. I was glad I had them ahead of time, even though I though at the time I didn't need them. I can't imagine shopping for such things postpartum and exhausted.

 
post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by alittlesandy View Post

The distinction you make is excellent, and I thank you for the clarification. However, some mothers cannot leave their LO on the floor while going to the bathroom, showering, etc. because of pets, toddlers, general anxiety, or other reasons. I know many AP mamas who have gone a little crazy from not having a secure place to put their LO on those rare occasions when it is necessary. The OP wanted recommendations on things that are "nice to have" and I'm offering up what worked for me, which was having an in-bed co-sleeper as well as a pack-n-play. I was glad I had them ahead of time, even though I though at the time I didn't need them. I can't imagine shopping for such things postpartum and exhausted.

 


Good point about the need to think ahead about having a secure place to set a baby down.  I also think it's good to get some differing perspectives on what to have/not have.

post #15 of 43
Thread Starter 

Wow, thank you all for the many and varied opinions! I know it is really an impossible question to answer since each of our families and children have such a variety of needs. I do appreciate all of your perspectives, however, and have some things to consider. 

For my specific situation: I will definitely be pumping since I will be returning to work part-time at around 3 months. I wish pumping didn't have to be such a necessity for us, but as long as I am not able to breastfeed full-time in person, I am going to try and make my pumping experience as positive as possible. I feel like investing in a good pump will save me many headaches. Also because of a permanent shoulder injury and limited range of motion I have pretty specific needs for a carrier. The SSCs with really good waist belts have been the best for me so far, my faves of the bunch have been the Beco Gemini and the Angelpack LX. I will definitely try to seek out a meet-up in order to peruse more options though. Thanks for the suggestion Jenga!

 

It's funny how our family and friends' desires to be loving and helpful can cost so much more than us just taking care of things ourselves. :) We have created an Amazon registry which emphasizes that we love used things and that they needn't feel pressure to buy new. Since we have found many of the things we will likely need available on Craigslist for cheap, we may go ahead and purchase some items ourselves and leave the registry for just a few specific items plus a link to the diaper service we would love to use. Gift certificates from there will be very exciting and are something that won't run out on the registry. 

We're also trying to buy only things for the house that we can transition over later. A dresser with a changing pad instead of a changing table, a rocker/glider that will fit with our decor afterwards, etc. And we were thrilled to see the carseats that go from newborn to 65 or 70 lbs. Great!

Anyhow, thank you all again...I've got some thinking to do. ;)

post #16 of 43

Well, if you know you need a pump, try to see if you can get one for free or at a reduced cost from your insurance company or WIC. Getting one for free would be a lot better than buying an expensive one! :)

 

I would also try a car seat out in your car before you buy it, if you can. Unfortunately no one really carries Radian/Diono (my personal favorite for newborns if you're also going to ERF - if it fits in your car that is) but I'd try a few out (many stores will let you test drive it in your car) to see what you like. I have a Raidan 80 and we used it for our  last newborn until she could fit in the Britax seat we had, then we put our preschooler in there. He was rear facing until 41 months! He's got a long torso, or he'd still be in there I think :) They don't fit in all cars, and have a rather tall shell, but if you can get it to fit I really recommend those seats. Narrow, tall and heavy duty! You'll get your money's worth out of it and use it for a long time, maybe even for more than one kid! 

No, I don't work for SK/Diono, hehe.  It's good to see if you can get a  good install and whether or not a seat really fits before you buy it. 

post #17 of 43
I'm re-evaluating for going from 1-2. For ds, it seemed we used the pack n play in the living room with the bassinet insert (nt sure if they all have that?) for naps, diaper changes, and some hands free time, otherwise on the blanketed floor or bouncy chair (used particularly for showers).
I like the pack n pay insert because it was a great height to work from.
Never used crib, or the actual normal pack n play, or the mini bathtub, changing table,
We had way too many clothes I think, particularly because he was9.8 lbs so didn't fit into 0-3 months really. And we didn't hardly ake him out of the house for 3 months so didn't need much for wardrobe til about 6 montg plus size.
I had pump before born.I wanted t work on building up freezer supply before I needed it and I'm glad I did. I didnt have any leftovers.
This time, I'm going to get a swing. I was trying to read around for recommendations for 2nd baby and saw it mentioned a few places as semi effective when in a tight spot.
Some sort of shhhh noise maker we used for helping ds transitionto sleep. Have to find that thing...
Used a boppy but once I got used to nursing I never bothered.
Oh yeah! Most important for first months is comfy nursing spot. We initially had a rocking chair in ds room we never used. Didn't realize it squeaked or kept moving itself to hit the wall with me using it and that it's quite boring sitting by myself every two hours with no radio, tv, etc, just some random sales mags from around the house to look at. So I quickly moved to the living room which didn't have a station so I just made do, but I wish I would have set myself up better to begin with. It's slot of work figuring it all out and you'll appreciate being nice to yourself in advance. I advise having snack storage, bottles of water or brit a or something, better yet mini fridge :P (would be nice though..), magazines or radio that you can reach, footstool or rest, pillows etc you can use to get a system figured out, nipple cream/ointment, towel or tissues for other side leakage, notebook and pen, whatever so you'll be happy spending what feels like slot of your time there.
I apologize for grammar ot normal keyboard..
anyone have advice for 1-2? Kinda nervous about the change. Maybe I should start a thread..
post #18 of 43
Oh yeah ds had no interest in toys for forever so kind of a waste of money for awhile.
post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by megame View Post

Oh yeah ds had no interest in toys for forever so kind of a waste of money for awhile.


I always wondered why people bought newborns  toys. They don't even know they have hands yet, why get them a toy? For the first few weeks they're finding all of their body parts and really into  Mama and Papa (mostly Mama) still.  It isn't as if they can really use that shape sorter! 


I'd get them if you can find a good sale though. I found stacking cups and a bead maze for super cheap on clearance and I got them for the belly baby, but then I also tend to buy birthday or Christmas gifts when I find awesome deals and I just hoard them in a box until the right time. 

 

Oh but I did get her a Pie Chan, and my toddler has a Sophie. Even my nearly 4 year old likes to play with Sophie. 

post #20 of 43
Thread Starter 

I wish our insurance would cover it! Sadly they only cover pumps due to medical necessity (ha.), ie baby is in the NICU. And we don't qualify for WIC.

Good tip on taking the car seat for a test drive or fitting. Thanks! We will have to trade in DH's car before the babe comes anyways, so when we shop we can keep in mind the additional space we'll need for a transitional carseat.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenga View Post

Well, if you know you need a pump, try to see if you can get one for free or at a reduced cost from your insurance company or WIC. Getting one for free would be a lot better than buying an expensive one! :)

 

I would also try a car seat out in your car before you buy it, if you can. Unfortunately no one really carries Radian/Diono (my personal favorite for newborns if you're also going to ERF - if it fits in your car that is) but I'd try a few out (many stores will let you test drive it in your car) to see what you like. I have a Raidan 80 and we used it for our  last newborn until she could fit in the Britax seat we had, then we put our preschooler in there. He was rear facing until 41 months! He's got a long torso, or he'd still be in there I think :) They don't fit in all cars, and have a rather tall shell, but if you can get it to fit I really recommend those seats. Narrow, tall and heavy duty! You'll get your money's worth out of it and use it for a long time, maybe even for more than one kid! No, I don't work for SK/Diono, hehe.  It's good to see if you can get a  good install and whether or not a seat really fits before you buy it. 



 

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