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Baby Things---Overwhelmed?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Is anyone else out there completely overwhelmed by the materialism associated with having your first baby? My husband and I live in a tiny, one-bedroom, 610 sq ft. apt and don’t have room for a crib, changing table, etc… much less a nursery! I only have few things for the baby so far—all given to us for Christmas presents and very unpractical. I don’t think we are going to have a baby shower and we are really tight on money. Can anyone give suggestions on what are the bare basics that we need BEFORE the baby is born?
post #2 of 30
YES YES YES!! I hear you, loud and clear. I feel exactly the same way. It is ridiculous all the crap we are supposed to "need" for one tiny person!! We are trying to be minimalist about it, but it's our first as well, so we really don't know what to expect...we are in a small apt. now, and until after the baby is born, so we're trying to keep things to a bare minimum until after we move, at least. And then, I figure, hopefully we'll have learned to live without all the stuff!!!

Mary
post #3 of 30
I really hope there is a response to this! I am asking myself the same question as we prepare to bring home a 7 month old from Guatemala. I think we will have a shower later, but we will be on our own to prepare the basics for when he is first home. It is so hard to know what's needed and what's not!
post #4 of 30
You don't need very much at all...certainly not all of the stuff that you are led to believe.

Some of it will depend on your personal circumstances...for example, some people really need to rely on a stroller but others would hardly ever use one. Some people have babies who spit up a lot so use a lot of burp clothes and some babies never spit up at all.

Also it depends on your baby. Some babies love a swing and it will help calm them down, other babies hate a swing and scream the entire time.

Here is a list off of the top of my head of things they tell you that you need and this is just my opinion, everyone is different.

I didn't use a baby bathtub - I put the baby in the tub with me.

I didn't use baby towels - I just used our bathtowels

I didn't use a changing table, no room. I manage just fine with our bed.

I didn't use a crib, we co-sleep.

I bought into a lot of the commercialism with my son and didn't use most of the stuff. Here is what we had for my daughter:

Clothes (of course ). They can be stored in a dresser, hung in your closet, stored in bins sitting on a shelf, the possibilities are endless. If you are really short on space buy some of those underbed storage bins on roller wheels and store them in there.

Car Seat - a given

Stroller - we don't use it a lot but it is nice to have when we need it. We bought a nice umbrella stroller (a Chicco) and it folds up small.

Sling

Bouncer Seat - I wanted somewhere for my daughter to sleep sitting in an upright position. She got tired of constantly laying down flat. She also like the vibration. When she was able to roll it was nice to put her in it for a minute to take a shower without worrying about where she would end up.

I can't think of much else that we had for her.

Basically they just need diapers, wipes and clothes. If you breastfeed and co-sleep you don't need bottles and all of that jazz and you don't need the crib and the bedding. When they get a bit older some toys are nice but your bowls and wooden spoons work just as well.
post #5 of 30
i totally hear you


i ambeyond over wehlmed...never imagined something so small would "need" so many things
post #6 of 30
Commercialism and babies is crazy, I get really : in the stores

Essentials for us are

Car Seat
At least one Sling
Cloth Diapers
Cloth wipes for baby
Clothes for baby
Towels for baby (although baby could use fmaily towles )
Blankets for baby


Personally we dont use strollers and bouncy chairs as babe is in arms, we cosleep so we don't need a crib. I would love a changing table but we make do with the bed or floor as we can neither afford one or fit it in our house! Baby will be exclusivley bf so we wont need bottles etc but if you plan to express milk them you will need pump, bottles and steriliser. Toys are not needed for a newborn, although a nursing necklace can be nice and even as they get older they only need a few toys.
post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slabobbin

I didn't use a baby bathtub - I put the baby in the tub with me.

I didn't use baby towels - I just used our bathtowels

I didn't use a changing table, no room. I manage just fine with our bed.

I didn't use a crib, we co-sleep.

Clothes (of course ). They can be stored in a dresser, hung in your closet, stored in bins sitting on a shelf, the possibilities are endless. If you are really short on space buy some of those underbed storage bins on roller wheels and store them in there.

Car Seat - a given

Stroller - we don't use it a lot but it is nice to have when we need it. We bought a nice umbrella stroller (a Chicco) and it folds up small.

Sling

Bouncer Seat - I wanted somewhere for my daughter to sleep sitting in an upright position. She got tired of constantly laying down flat. She also like the vibration. When she was able to roll it was nice to put her in it for a minute to take a shower without worrying about where she would end up.


Basically they just need diapers, wipes and clothes. If you breastfeed and co-sleep you don't need bottles and all of that jazz and you don't need the crib and the bedding. When they get a bit older some toys are nice but your bowls and wooden spoons work just as well.
I second what this poster said....my daughter never was in a swing because we held her all the time-so we didn't need one. You don't NEED a stroller, but in MHO, you NEED a quality sling (try Mya wrap)...also, I needed a baby bathtub for the sink because my back went out at birth and not only was I hardly mobile, but I couldn't bend and I would not have been able to bathe her with me. Also, sometimes baby needs a bath and I don't feel like getting wet One other thing, our only leaked one time on our bed (we co-slept) but you might want to get a pad to put under where baby sleeps incase they're big wetters, you won't have to worry about your bed.

Sarah
post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeSpiritMama
if you plan to express milk them you will need pump, bottles and steriliser.
Not necessarily true.. hand expressing worked fine for me, so no pump was needed and I never used a steriliser (just boiled the bottles & nipples etc.).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamatoady
I needed a baby bathtub for the sink because my back went out at birth and not only was I hardly mobile, but I couldn't bend and I would not have been able to bathe her with me. Also, sometimes baby needs a bath and I don't feel like getting wet
You can use your clean kitchen sink or dishwashing basin for this. Most babies will fit lying down as little ones and then sitting up as bigger ones.

Also, if you really feel the need to get some stuff, there's no need to dash out and buy it new... babies only use some of it for a while so TONS and TONS is availble second- or third-hand in great condition for next to no cash.

The essentials for us:
-Boobs
-Warmth
-Love
-Diapers
-Clothes (all second hand)
-Soft baby carrier (likea sling or pouch)
-Car seat
-Waterproof blanket/pad thing or two to use as a changing surface and for under the baby at night to catch leaks

We didn't use: bouncer seat, swing, stroller, crib, bathtub, breast pump.
post #9 of 30
We went totally overboard commercial with our first baby, and we didn't need most of it. What I currently regard as essential (or very desired, as noted) are:

* Diapers (cloth will save you $ in the long run but can be expensive to get started)
* Clothes - real basic stuff for a newborn - ours lived in gowns in the beginning b/c they're comfy & make diaper changes a breeze. Side snap or lap-tees are a good choice too.
* Swaddling blanket (very desired) OR a couple receiving blankets that you can use for the same purpose
* Pouch or sling (I like pouches myself but I haven't been able to try one with a newborn yet - my 2nd dd hated the sling I had when she was a newborn)
* Somewhere safe to set the baby down when you're taking a shower, such as a bouncy chair, infant car seat, etc. (we bought an Amby hammock bed this time around but that's a total $$$ luxury item and we plan to use it in the family room, etc. when the rest of us our all out there)
* Car seat - if you're trying to save $ in the long term, then get the infant-to-toddler variety. Otherwise you'll end up buying another carseat in a few months to a year (my kids have been big and didn't last in an infant seat longer than 4 months, but some kids make it to a year+)

You may or may not want a stroller. It can get hard on your back and/or shoulders carrying the baby all the time. So that's going to be a personal decision. But if you do get one for a newborn you just need to make sure the seat reclines enough so they can lay down almost flat.

And if you don't co-sleep then you'll need a place for your baby to sleep safely.

We did have a changing table with our first and I used it, but I really didn't need it. I didn't end up using it at all with my 2nd and I don't plan to use it with these babies. Other people say they wish they had one b/c it hurt their back to change dipes on the floor, but that has not been my experience. I actually prefer changing dipes on the floor (just easier IMO and the baby can't possibly fall off of anything).

So, diapers, clothes & a car seat are probably the only actual essentials, but the rest is at the top of my list as well. And like a pp said, newborns couldn't care less about toys, so save your money until later for that.
post #10 of 30
What we used/needed for ds:

* Diapers - If you use cloth, you can use clean prefolds as spit-up/burp cloths.
* Clothes - Not a whole lot... I just dug up the 0-3mo clothes from ds and we've only got about 8 gowns, 3 footed sleepers, 6 pairs socks, 3 onesies and 2 pairs pants. We may get a few more things for this babe after it's born, but not much.
* Car seat - whatever you feel like. We used an infant seat (Snugride) until ds was about 6-7mo then moved him to the Britax Marathon.
* Some way to feed baby - boobs, bottles, whatever.
* Some way to help hold baby - we had a Baby Bjorn with ds, I completely prefer a pouch sling and will probably get a mei tai soon.


A few random things in our own house:
*We use a low dresser as the changing table, so once we're done with diapers, voila! Take away the changing pad and it's a piece of furniture we'll keep using.
* The baby bathtub was just stupid. Didn't work for us. I found it easier to just take a shower or bath with ds.
* Even at 4mo, ds preferred my nice soft, regular towels to the thin hooded baby towels. So guess what we use.
* We had a bassinet for ds for the first while, and also used the bassinet basket in our pack'n'play for naps and stuff. After that the pack'n'play was a great toy box and now lives in the closet.
* We do have a crib that we'd use for sleeping, but it was a hand-me-down so we didn't have to buy it.
post #11 of 30
At walmart or any store really you can get a sink mat. ITs a cushy mat with suction cups on the bottom that you put in your sink for washing dishes. this worked great for bathing baby. It was soft and removable and no little bottoms on the basin of the sink. It was 4-5 bucks and in the kitchen accesory isle.

We use gowns for newborn and some socks. Diapers, we will cloth this time so I will see how that goes.
The sling was so great.
A stroller was ok Im glad we had it but it was for walks and not for going to the store or mall or anything. I have a jogging stroller.
We used a swing a little but the sling replaced that with ds2. I think the hammock swings look cool.
Blankets and burp cloths.
Some kind of cloth to catch breastmilk from running out of babes mouth and the other breast leaking.

Cant think of anything else off hand, but you really dont need much. We dont have a changing table or a crib. You change babe where ever you can and the top of a dresser works when you dont want to bend over and you can attatch some kind of rail when babe starts to roll.
~Angela~
post #12 of 30
My list for a second child:

-car seat $110
-cloth dipes $100 (to last up to one year old) I sold my ds's dipes on ebay for same price as new, so now i need new ones
-clothes $10 second-hand and rummage sales
-2 slings $65 one for in the shower, and one for everything else
-bathing items $20 they should last more than a year
-Boppy pillow $0 I have two on hand, these pillows have proved to be the one hyped-up item that I found essential for relaxed breastfeeding.

It's amazing how much stuff you DON'T need.
post #13 of 30
Here is our list of "essentials"


Boobs
Sling
Cloth diapers
Swing (our dd would get overstimulated with us holding her and at 6 mos still loves to swing - espec to swing and watch me cook/do dishes)
Clothing of course
Blankets
Diaper changing pad - tho a towel would work for the big messy ones too
Diaper bag or backpack
A soft fuzzy toy and a rattle DC can grasp soon
A cheap umbrella type stroller - ours was $40 so not bottom of the line - but it also reclines. Great for a long walk if you get tired carrying or in the mall to hold your bags while you carry baby.

That being said, the honest truth is that DD has enough clothing for triplets at least I can't resist all the cute stuff and since I"m not buying me anything til I lose all the baby weight... And I am having a second childhood with all the cute natural toys.

Not much else... We have a crib and haven't used it, a changing table which is in the closet and holds storage baskets (was a hand-me-down and has hardly ever been used). We have a bathtub and used it 2x after which she had a few sink baths - an oval bathroom sink works great with a couple towels folded up in it. Then she "graduated" to hte grown up tub with mommy.
post #14 of 30
Good stuff! most of my gf are sooo into purchasing the Whole Hog, it drives me insane. $150 for ONE SET OF SHEETS for the child's crib? Heck, I wont spend that on ME. :

Anyhow, these are great.... I also think books are essential. But we're big on reading in this family.
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by moosemommy
Good stuff! most of my gf are sooo into purchasing the Whole Hog, it drives me insane. $150 for ONE SET OF SHEETS for the child's crib? Heck, I wont spend that on ME. :


We just hit up the consignment shops ($2 for a fitted sheet which is all we use anyway, $7 for a bumper) and I found some nice and really soft knit crib sheets (again, just fitted) at our local retail stores for $7-$8. It's nuts how much some folks will spend on pretty things.
post #16 of 30
Bare necessities --
a few blankets (wash and wear kind of deal, realizing more than 1 could be needed in a day)
a few spit rags
2 to 3 hats (infant like at hospital, heat is lost through the head and is hard on babies)
a few sleepers
a few onsies or t-shirts (for cloth diapering I prefer the t-shirts)
maybe an outfit for church or outings, sox if buying an outfit without feet

If CD, for infancy to about 3 mo old, 24 nb CPF dipes should do, with 2 to 4 covers sz small. This is a good # if you have access to a washer and dryer daily. If not, more would be needed to keep you from washing and drying at a laundry mat everyday. At 4 mo old most babies need regular sz CPF and sz Med covers. You can spend more on dipes if you want, but you don't need to. I think a good majority of cd mamas start with CPF and graduate up as $$ affords them the luxury -- that is my case.

a sponge to lay baby on in your own tub or on the sink counter in the kitchen (towels will also work, but are HEAVY to ring out when done, BTDT at hotels or visiting relatives)
a few baby wash cloths, more than a few if using for wipes
a baby towel if you want to splurge on softness, they are cute. I've had 1 for each child.

a sling

a bed of some kind is helpful, even for co-sleeping b/c babies need a 'safe' place to nap or if mom and dad are super tired. I purchased a Pack N Play with bassinett. I've gotten the most use out of this, we traveled a lot with ds1.

Baby soap, well... yes, it doesn't burn their eyes and it's not like you are washing them daily (1X every 7 to 10 days should be enough when washing diaper area well at each change, washing is harsh on delicate baby skin) At that rate of washing baby it last a LONG time.

Apricot Oil for babies (like Burt's Bees) -- cradle cap remedy, if you feel the need to remedy it -- I did for my last, my other two were not so severe.

Baby comb and finger nail clippers

Nipple cream for mom, like PureLan 100 or Nipple Butter... Lanolin pure is the best IMO and it has great other uses as well.

HTH
post #17 of 30
I wasn't terribly overwhelmed with my son, and even less so with my daughter.

Things that I bought and didn't need:

bassinet-- I didn't actually buy this, my sister did. It ended up being a repository for dirty diapers. I think BeanBean slept in it twice?

Things that I used a lot with my first baby--

stroller-- initially, I had to walk most places with BeanBean, or take the bus. I used the stroller constantly, and I wouldn't have necessarily been able to sling him safely walking, say, 2 miles in ice and snow.

car seat-- we used an infant carseat/carrier. BeanBean rode in it for 6 months, his sister for 9 (?) or so, and BellyBean will be riding in it, too, until she outgrows it or we get some cash (BooBah moved up not because she had outgrown the infant carrier, but because we had the money to buy BeanBean a new, larger seat and figured it was reasonable to put her into the convertible).

blankets-- BeanBean was born in November, and quite frankly we didn't have enough blankets for him. It made life difficult.

Boppy-- It was work to nurse BeanBean at first, so I used the Boppy a lot. I wish that I had had covers for mine, or another one, because I had an overactive let down and used to drench the thing regularly.

Baby Bjorn-- Used it constantly when BeanBean was small.

breast pump-- BeanBean was a NICU baby; I started out pumping and the thing paid for itself in that week alone.

clothing-- those long nighties with the elastic on the bottom. Holy moly, those things were useful! Also, wrap-around undershirts are a *must* for new babies. After the cord falls off you can use regular snap crotch undershirts, and we used tons of those, too. BeanBean wore lots of clothing because it was freaking cold.

towels-- Again, it was freaking cold. We didn't have a ton of towels for us, so I needed hooded towels for BeanBean. He was bathed rather frequently because of my overactive letdown (constant milk in his hair ). We never had enough towels.

waterproof crib sheets-- I slept on these until BeanBean was 9 or 10 months old and I got pregnant (and stopped leaking milk *everywhere* every night). An absolute must, in my book!

For the second baby

Things I had but never used:

I pumped for BooBah only once, when she was in the hospital having a pneumogram done at about 4 months.

Never used the Boppy, and didn't use the stroller until she was older; My niece liked to take her for walks with it. Now, rather than the big, wonderful stroller, I use an umbrella stroller for her. I would *love* to get a double stroller, but it's not in the budget.

Nursing pads-- I was tandem nursing, so I never had milk leakage at all. I think I wore them for a month before I decided that I didn't really need them anymore.

Things I used all the time with #2:

Slings-- an absolute necessity. I started out with a very simple, utilitarian Maya Wrap (not one of the super cute ones) and it was wonderful. Light weight enough that I didn't cook (BooBah was born in June) and so easy to use and adjust. BooBah lived in it.

Cloth diapers-- I didn't start cd'ing until BeanBean was 6 months old, and he was quite petite, so all I had was medium covers and premium prefolds. I traded here for some infant sized prefolds. Honestly, I wish I'd had more. BooBah was (is!!) an *extremely* heavy wetter for her size, due to a congential kidney problem. Initially, I used the cheap Gerber flats because BooBah was quite mini, which brings me to #3.

Blankets-- She didn't need them over herself to much (just a recieving blanket or a light baby blanket) but I needed three or four to adjust the carseat for her. The straps didn't get small enough to hold her in without blankets between her legs and around her shoulders. It's not generally an issue for babies who weigh more than 6 pounds, but BooBah was nearly 7 pounds at birth and still quite small (my kids, like myself, are very densely built; *very* large bones, and heavy muscles). The carseat checker at the hospital where she was born said she had never seen a baby who weighed more than 6 pounds at birth need the blankets to adjust the carseat.

Clothing-- BooBah had health issues which necessitated frequent trips out of the house. If she had been home all the time, she would have been fine with the zillions of undershirts but we were constantly running around so she needed more clothing than we had. She also had GERD to deal with, so she would often need her clothing changed several times in a day. The long nighties got on her nerves, because she was very physically adept from the beginning and they made it difficult for her to move her legs (and I mean the very beginning-- BooBah wriggled and tried to push up on her arms less than 20 minutes after she was born, in an attempt to find daddy's voice). I had to keep her legs free, otherwise she would get tangled and angry. That meant lightweight pants or sunsuits.

Socks-- these came a little bit later. BooBah was early to crawl, cruise, and walk, so she needed socks with non-skid bottoms earlier. This meant that the cute little one-piece outfits which fit her were all inappropriate (because they were infant sizes, most of them had feet with soft, smooth bottoms).

Spit rags-- while BeanBean hardly ever spit up, BooBah was *constantly* tossing. I used the Gerber flatfolds for spitrags, too. Incredibly useful things, those are...
post #18 of 30
We are not buying ANYTHING for this baby. : Well, that's not entirely true...I did buy a cute sleeper on sale at the Carter's outlet right after I found out I was pg. I couldn't resist.

Other than that, here is what we will be digging out to use again for this one:

second car seat (both are convertibles, we had one in each car, now there will be two in one car)
gender-neutral gowns, sleepers, onesies, socks, hats, etc.
cloth diapers (prefolds, covers, babe will share one-sized Mutts with Livi)
large waterproof pads for nakey time on the floor and to keep the bed dry under us a night (leaky milk or diapers)
small waterproof pads for diaper changing--they always seem to pee on them, so have plenty!
blankets (everyone and their dog made/gave one to Livi, so we have plenty!)
fleece pouch, mei tai, wrap, etc. - LOVE THESE!
pack 'n play w/bassinette - just for naps or a safe place out of reach of Livi, LOL
breast pump - used it for a month just for a "stockpile" and that was it--never used the stockpile
changing table (I'm tall, so this was easier on my back than the bed or floor--it was also a hand-me-down)
baskets for diaper storage
fingernail clippers
baby thermometer & petroleum jelly
baby soap (we love Burt's Bees)
some baby oil for cradle cap
good diaper cream, just in case

Things for later:
swing (Livi never like it, but who knows?)
stroller (didn't use it much the first time, but will probably use it for Livi while wearing the baby)
highchair (for learning how to eat we held her, but this was great for 9+ months)

Can't think of anything else...but we had WAY too much the first go-round, LOL!
post #19 of 30
Hi!

I'm in your situation (not as small as an apt, but limited space and limited money!), and so far, we've decided to get a well-made pack-n-play to use as a changing table/cosleeper/napper). It's not safe for me to have any baby sleep in a bed with me (I'm a heavy, poor sleeper and we have a small bed- I can't imagine a more hazardous situation than me having a family bed), but you can put the packnplay right next to the bed. I was thinking of getting one of those mini reach co-sleeper things, but they are even more expensive than the packnplay which is also portable and does all of the other things. I think the "clover" style was the best one we've found on amazon so far. We want one that has the higher up bassinet and changing table to make it easier on my back.

Diaper pail/bag for the cloth diapers if you are using- we are definitely going to try. A good, airtight, diaper pail lined with a washable, waterproof diaper bag I think is going to be essential in tight spaces!

We plan on using a bunch of super cheapo washcloths that we already own for burp rags, diaper doublers, etc etc. Also hand towels. We used to have a lands' end outlet store near us- I knew, years ago, I was cleaning that place out for a reason .

We are also getting the car infant seat which fits into a stroller that can be used later, without the seat (graco quattro), which I think will be very handy.

We did purchase a few clothes to start out with, including some carter's fleece sleepsacks that are 0-9 months, so should work for some time, and infant gowns to make changing easier.

I think that's most of it, along with eventually a breastpump and bottles when that time comes. Clothes from salvation army, and yard sales when it warms up enough that people start having them around here again! -j
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenny-g
Diaper pail/bag for the cloth diapers if you are using- we are definitely going to try. A good, airtight, diaper pail lined with a washable, waterproof diaper bag I think is going to be essential in tight spaces!
I know that a lot of people prefer airtight diaper pails, but I have to say that I hated using ours (we used regular trashcans). They always stank to high heaven, and if you didn't wash diapers every single day you risked the bottom ones getting mildewy (we lost several diapers this way ). Right now we're using a regular little laundry basket which we keep in the bathroom. Even with BooBah's excessively stinky urine and frequent poops, the bathroom doesn't stink and we only do diapers when we need to (when we run out of covers or diapers). I think it's better for the diapers to get some air.
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