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What do new parents need?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Having hijacked the thread for seasoned parents with this question, I'm going to start a new thread for us first timers. What is essential? What do you wish you hadn't bought right away? What do you need to buy new? What can you buy used? How do you make economic/environmental choice between plastic or cloth?


I've been looking at this for advice (we no longer live in the UK, but I like the NHS for no nonsense public health info):



Also, have you heard of this:


(my husband has a freakishly large skull, so I'm terrified of our baby's skull)

post #2 of 11

A baby sling

Cloth diapers






That's it! We never used the crib (coslept), neither liked any of the baby contraptions (swings, bouncers, ect.), and we never did pacifiers. We honestly couldn't see a need for anything else, they were content to nurse and be worn all the time.

post #3 of 11

I could never co-sleep, I am such a wild sleeper. redface.gif I am going to have a bassinet right next to the bed though. We are getting it second hand from some really good friends.


Cardigan- Where in the UK did you live? I stayed up near Perth, Scotland. I do miss it quite a bit.

post #4 of 11

Be careful buying a car seat used. It needs to have never been in an accident. You also need to watch the expiration dates (printed on the car seat, usually they last for about 6 years).

There is a fair bit on used crib mattresses. Read and decide.

The only thing I would suggest new is a stroller if you will get hard wear from it. I wore the rubber off the tires on mine in 20 months (we walk like an hour, every day).


There rest is wonderful used. I know more than a few people who made money buying used, really cleaning things and selling them for more when they are done. We hang on to our gear and lend it out to friends.

The NHS forgot diapers, but other that that, it is the basics of what you need.


My husband has a huge skull, my son did too. It was a painful pushing stage, I tore a bit and a few stitches, but we all are fine now.  I tried massage, but did not stick with it enough.


Oh, and a nosefrieda snot sucker. You can not get the bulb things clean and this is nicer for baby.

A thermometer. We have an ear one that works on everyone.

post #5 of 11

This came in the Mothering email, thought you might like it:


post #6 of 11
Originally Posted by LeighPF View Post

Oh, and a nosefrieda snot sucker. You can not get the bulb things clean and this is nicer for baby.



Yes!!!  I second that suggestion.  I'm so glad that's one of the few things we saved.

post #7 of 11

Both my kids felt a strong need for pacifiers. They nursed fine (gained weight quickly, good latches) but just needed more sucking. 


Somegirl my Monkey loves your baby trying to do a somersault. And the 'animal going to sleep carrying an egg'

post #8 of 11

Lanolin cream (we used lansinoh)!! It was a life saver for me during the first few days of nursing before my milk came in. I would also add nursing bras to the essentials list.


Hmmm what else....


  • car seat
  • carrier
  • somewhere for baby to sleep (we didn't get a crib, we had one of those "sleep nests" in the bed and then at about 3 weeks we just laid her in the bed beside me. we did get a crib at about 7 months so I had somewhere safe to put her while I had a shower - she was very mobile by then)
  • clothes (ones that are easy to put on/off the baby - it will be summer for our babes so light cotton onesies or tees/pants, we also found the old navy ankle socks were the only socks that stayed on!)
  • diapers (we did prefolds/covers but someone had given us a package of newborn disposables so we used those for the first couple of days until the meconium phase passed)
  • sitz bath and frozen pads (our doula soaked some in some essential oils and herbs and stuck them in the freezer for me)
  • a breastfeeding resource to call if you need it (my milk took 3 days to come in and I'm so glad I had a wonderful midwife team that helped me get through those hard days)
  • food in the freezer and/or easy to prepare food
  • lots of patience - with yourself and others ;)
post #9 of 11

I have to second the baby sling suggestion - since we're having August Babies, I would suggest a gauze style wrap instead of a stretchy like a moby, unless you are going to be inside in a lot of air conditioning.  I know I liked to just sit out in my backyard with my new babe just to be in the sunshine after he was born.  I'd suggest either a Gypsy Mam Bali Breeze (slightly more expensive for a gauze wrap) or lil keepers peepers on etsy - both are highly recommended for small babes (You'll need something more supportive once they're bigger).  They're similary priced to a Moby though (depending on which type you buy), so I would definitely recommend them over a moby if that's what you're considering for the NB babywearing age.


For baby socks - I find that Target's Hanes socks are the most fantastically awesome at staying on baby.  My 21 mo son still has to really tug to get them off.


As to cloth vs. plastic - I kind of wish I had a cloth-free highchair - plastic or wooden.  DS makes such a mess; it's a pain to clean.  If we have room in the budget to replace the high chair for this one, I want to.


Speaking of cloth, if you are interested in cloth diapers, I highly recommend them.  If you can handle folding a load of underwear and socks, you can handle diaper laundry.  We decided to go with cloth because my husband has very sensitive skin, so in anticipation of my son having similar issues, we went with cloth.  I don't know if we actually saved any money (I guess we will with #2), but my son very rarely had diaper rash; if he did, it was usually the result of a virus, or the ladies at daycare rubbing his poor butt too hard greensad.gif.  And yes, we even did cloth at daycare - it was one of the first questions we asked all providers.


Most of the ladies already gave you great advice on what's absolutely essential.  Some registry tips - register for all of the car seats you think you'll need in the first year.  Those suckers are expensive, and if you have a few generous ladies willing to chip in, that's one less convertible carseat you'll need to buy.  If you plan on returning to work, check with your insurance; many of them now cover breast pumps.  If not, put it on your registry.  The 10% off registry finishing coupon covers things like breast pumps that aren't normally on sale/have coupons.


Also, some ladies like to have a hidden registry at a place like Target where they stock up on a lot of essentials (like diapers & wipes if you're going the disposable route).  Then they can use the coupon to get a discount.


If you're on a budget, forego the infant seat and go straight to the convertible.  I ended up putting my huge DS in the convertible at 5 months, because the car seat insert was so heavy.  I preferred carrying him in my wrap.


Hope some of these ramblings help!

post #10 of 11

I loved my Moby inside target with Bee, but not outside in Summer. A gauze wrap sounds great.


Socks. Nothing stayed on. By a week, both kids could take theirs off. What worked was socks & Robbeez shoes. But you can skip socks and shoes all summer.


High chair. Ikea makes a great all plastic, easy to wipe (I once took the legs off and washed the whole thing in the kitchen sink). I got mine for $7 at a garage sale, but like $20 new, with another $5 if you want a tray. I refused to do any cloth in my highchair since my kids make such a mess. We got a Boon Flair (total splurge) for Bee that this baby will use.


I second NYGB's registry advice. With Bee I registered at Target, BRU and Amazon, all for the completion discount. This time I am setting the due date a month early so I can use the discount on things we need before the baby.


I used cloth from home day 1 with Monkey and from in the hospital with Bee. If they are natural fiber diapers, the mec washes right out. With fleece lined diaper, just cut up some cotton liners (I used a receving blanket)


Car Seat. Bee was in a convertable (Combi Coccoro) from day one, Monkey in a borrowed bucket, which I hated, then a Radian at 4 months.

post #11 of 11

Something else we found essential...obviously not for summer, but come winter.  Babylegs!  We used to keep legs and arms warm, especially when you put baby in a carrier and it pulls up their clothes.

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