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Useful/Useless Baby Items

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Hi folks,

As my nesting surge begins, I am wondering about a few things that I should have for when the baby arrives, and what I can do without. What do you think about the following things?

Diaper Wraps -- we plan on doing CD (through the diaper service at first, until I feel up to the laundry), how many wraps do we need for a newborn? Is it worth spending some extra on the fancy wraps (Bummis, Wool soakers, etc), or do the basic pro-wraps seem to work well? Does anyone have any suggestions about what kinds are the best, and how many we should get.

Cloth wipes -- likewise I would like to use cloth wipes... How many of those do I need?

Wipes warmer -- I read one CD mama said she loves to keep a stack of cloth wipes warm and wet in one of these, but it seems a little endulgent. Anyone use one, anyone think it is a waste of $$ (I am guessing this one may be in the unnecessary stack).

Baby wearing devices -- We have a Moby wrap and and baby Bjorn (for my DH to use, mainly). Is it useful to also have a sling that is easy to get off and on for quick trips? Am I being ridiciulous in my excitement about baby wearing?

Wearable blanket -- These look pretty handy to put baby in to sleep when weather gets cold, anyone have any opinion?

Body products
-- what body products (diaper cream, shampoo, etc) are the most useful to have on hand for baby? I have a tendency to go a little crazy in the product department (especially with the natural stuff), so I am wondering if anyone has any recommendations about what we need. Likewise what products would be good for me to have on hand for myself (nipple cream, sits bath herbs, etc.)

Baby bath tub -- We are planning to live without this one, anyone think having one is especially useful or necessary?

Breastfeeding Pillow -- I am thinking I can live without this as well, anyone find them useful?

I would love other ideas about what we need and surely do not.

post #2 of 33
I can't answer the ?s about the cloth diapers and wipes since I use disposables but I would imagine for wipes you'll need quite a few since some will be in the wash and some will be needed for use at the same time. As far as the wipes warmer, I have friends who really like them and friends who think they are a waste. Personally, I don't have one but I have though t it might be nice even with an older baby. If I want the wipes warm, I just run them under warm water before I use them. I think the wearable blankets are good. I don't have any but I wish I did. Dd still doesn't stay covered up and she's 13 months. Plus with the wearable blanket, you don't have to worry about the baby getting its head covered accidently. Baby bath tub- I have one but I found it was a pain. I had to fill it in the big tub, carry it out to the kitchen table ( we have no counter in the bathroom) and then after washing the baby, carry it all back to the tub to dump it. It generally slopped water and it was heavy. I finally tried just sitting it across the big tub and that worked a little. I finally gave up when dd was 2 months and just folded a bath towel and placed it on the bottom of the regular tub and ran a shallow bath for her or just gave her a bath when I took one. That was much easier. As far as the bfing pillow, I have 2 boppies but I never used them b/c they were in the way and hard to manuver with a squirmy baby. I used them to prop herup when she was a little older and that is nice. I never used a sling until recently and I liked it. Dd did not. I wioll use it for this new baby since I will have 2 small ones to take with me and dd is not big enough to walk all alone. I just use the regular baby products- nothing fancy b/c I can't afford it. I didn't use oil or lotion or powder- just the baby hair and body wash.
post #3 of 33
Diaper Wraps--I have heard good reviews on proraps for newborns so that's what we're using (I CD my daughter but didn't start till she was about 2 months old). Plus depending on how big your baby is they could grow out of the newborn covers within 6 weeks or less so it depends on how big of a financial outlay you want to make. I have 2 Bumpy covers also but one was a gift and the other I got used at a consignment shop. I have 6 newborn covers which I think should be sufficient...especially since there's a decent chance I'll be washing dipes everyday in the beginning between the new baby and DD!

Cloth wipes--I don't think you can have too many. Newborns get changed at least 12 times a day in the beginning and sometimes they poop, a lot, both in quantity and times per day, so you could need more than one per change. I'd say at least 24.

Wipes warmer--I had one but never got it out of the box. When I saw that DD was just fine with cold wipes I returned it. I bet you'll get differing opinons though, I do know some folks love theirs. I think it'd be nicer if you were having a winter baby in a cold climate. We were in Florida so it wasn't an issue.

Baby wearing devices -- wrong person to ask! I think I have 4-5 slings. You definitely can use something easier to put on and off than the Moby though. Slings just serve different purposes...I like my ring sling for nursing and the cuddle hold, I like my mei tei for long walks...I LOVE my hotslings pouch for running errands. I really used my hotslings the most of any just because it was compact and convenient...easy to pack and easy to throw on when going in and out of stores and stuff. The Moby to me looks like something you put on and don't take off (I did get one for this baby though because it looked comfy to nurse in and I will need to be nursing on the run with my toddler!)

Body products -- I have liked everything I've used by California Baby. Their diaper cream and then the calming body/hair wash. I liked the burt's bees diaper cream too, and the buttermilk lotion until DD developed eczema and couldn't use it. You don't need to have much on hand though...a tube of diaper cream would really do it. They only need to be washed with water in the beginning anyway. You might want to have some of that apricot oil by burt's bees on hand because it's good for cradle cap (we never dealt with that) I did NOT like the Burts bees shampoo bar at all. For you, definitely Lansinoh for nipples...you don't have to rinse it off before feeding and if I may offer my unsolicited advice, use it after every feeding in the beginning as your nipples adjust to nursing. I was sort of skimpy with it at first but it reaaaaallllly helps with the soreness. Yes, get an herbal sitz bath...I'm sure you can find one online or in an herb shop. My friend gave me her leftovers and I think it was made by motherlove. And then, I'm going to make a separate post of these AWESOME post partum pads you should make and put in the freezer. They were really lovely in the beginning.

Baby bath tub -- we never had one. When DD moved on from sponge baths we just laid her on a towel in the big tub. worked fine!

Breastfeeding Pillow -- I really, really liked the my brest friend in the beginning and most people I know found their nursing pillows pretty indispensable. I guess I could have lived without it and used a bed pillow or something but it was nice to have some firm support...I also have huge boobs so it took both hands to get things situated in the beginning and it would have been majorly difficult to do that AND hold the baby.

post #4 of 33
oh I forgot one:
Wearable blanket -- yes, I think these are great! I was so paranoid about SIDS and whatnot that it was nice to have something to keep her warm safely.
post #5 of 33
I am going to put in what might be a very unpopular vote (but I thnk youll find the end result confusing anywys -- most items worked wonders for some people and were a cmplete waste for others)..

I just so happen to LOVE my wipes warmer!!!! It worked great for reg wipes and for cloth wipes, whatever i was into...and it made diaper changes a quiet and lovely event.

Try MUSTELA baby products -- their baby wash smells so freaking good - - I still use it on my 5 yo. Expensive, but luxurious and makes ya feel rich
post #6 of 33
diaper wraps - my favourite, though we have velcro pockets for dad to use, and a lot of AI2 snap diapers because they were cheap. But as far as leak-proof, wraps have performed by far the best for us.

cloth wipes - use 'em, love 'em. Fleece backed wipes are the easiest to clean.

wipe warmer - no way. I have a few GladLock plastic container that I put the wipes into. Usually I just get them wet, squeeze out the excess, and pile them in. Then I can just throw a container into a backpack, or move the container in the room to wherever the diaper change is occuring.

baby wearing devices - of course. But I usually don't use them until baby is a few months old because they just seem to get lost in them, but that's me. Baby Bjorns worked great for me as a nanny, but my own kids have had this curious obsession with looking down at my feet while walking, so they either lean to one side or over the front and it drives me crazy. #1 HATED the sling, but #2 loved it, go figure. I do own 3 slings now, but the padded NoJo one is only used as an emergency sling stashed in the car.

wearable blankets - I assume you mean those baby bags like the type that Dr. Sears promotes...I finally bought 2 for this baby. Otherwise, I just put 2-3 layers of clothing/pjs on at night during the cold months, but I don't do baby blankets at night until a year old.

baby products - almost nothing. It took me until my second child to use up the one small tube of diaper creme I'd bought. And it took a long time for them to have enough hair to use the Tom's of Maine Honeysuckle shampoo (which I LOVE the smell of). Almost never used lotions. And ended up getting some Cetaphil instead of regular soap because our pediatrician recommended it and it's much more gentle and non-drying.

baby bath tub - Definitely. But just a plain one, nothing with a fancy seat or no-skid mat. Instead of filling up the big tub, we'd just place the little tub inside the big tub and fill it up there; less water, baby felt safer, and splashing was contained. We used it once they were sitting up on their own. Before that we used a little mesh-backed thing that baby reclines against, and we'd just fill the big tub very shallow and climb in with baby; that was really fun. Baby looking up at you between your legs, splashing about happily.

breastfeeding pillow - gald mine was a hand-me-down because I hated it. Utterly uncomfortable, awkward, and useless. But I know some people love them. I just prefer a bed pillow that I can move around the way I want it.

The other thing we didn't even bother with was a highchair. We just got a booster seat with a tray that attaches to a regular dining room chair. It grew with them until age 2 when they were old enough for a regular chair (though they both have Stokke Kinderzeats because I think they encourage better posture, and they grow with them until adulthood).

- Krista
post #7 of 33
wipes warmer- i dont have one, but used to nanny for a family who did. They used disposables and it dried them out. Had to add water.

baby bath tub- we had one that had a little sling/hammock thing in it. I loved it! Then baby didnt have to be against the cold hard plastic. and it was easier to wash all parts because baby was elevated on it a little and you didnt have to pull them up somehow. It kinda gave me an extra hand. Plus for babies that dont like the water much they can be above the water level.

We put it on the kitchen table, laid towels down on the table and poured a big pitcher of water into the tub. It had a little cork in the bottom, so when we were done i just satit over the kitchen sink or the tub and popped the plug. wasnt too hard!
Here's a pic of it i found on ebay.

I have been around lots of babies in my life and this is my favorite baby bath tub!
post #8 of 33
Diaper Wraps -- I'm no help here, I'm a cd dropout

Cloth wipes -- I do use and LOVE cloth wipes! I had 30 with ds and that was perfect for us, washed them just about everyday though...

Wipes warmer -- I have never used one and don't plan to. Our wipes solution is in a spray bottle and we spray each cloth before we use it.

Baby wearing devices -- We just had a Bjorn last time and that worked great, but this time I'm going for a Peanut Shell pouch too.

Wearable blanket -- We use these and LOVE them! We have 2 Halo sleepsacks and we found that Wal-mart carried them during the cooler months and they were cheaper than online.

Body products -- I used baby wash, lotion, and diaper rash cream on ds. For myself, I used ds's lotion and nipple cream (lanolin.) After ds was born, I became hyper aware of smells esp lotions and such, to the point they made me nauseous - so I only wore the lotion that ds did and usually even used his baby wash.

Baby bath tub -- We had a baby bath and ds HATED it for months. We just found it easier for me to hold him in the tub and bathe him, then dh would take him from me and get him ready for bed while I finished showering.

Breastfeeding Pillow -- I did not like my boppy. I ended up selling it on ebay after 4 months of being stuffed in my closet. A regular bed pillow was much more flexible for me to move the way I wanted and even fold in half if I needed lots of extra support.
post #9 of 33
The wipes warmer would have been useless to me. I just take a wipe or two to the bathroom and get it wet with warm water from the tap before changing a poopy diaper. Every "solution" we ever tried left a residue on Kaya's tush that we'd have to rinse anyway, so we just used plain warm water.

I did like the Boppy for nursing, plus it was good when Kaya was just learning to sit up as well. We'd put it on the floor and sit her within it. It kept her from flopping over backwards or sideways and hurting herself.

I really prefer the long gowns for tiny babies as opposed to sleepers with legs. It's easier to use thicker dipes for nighttimes. I also think we'll be getting a sleep sack or two.
post #10 of 33
Don't have time to read all of the posts, but wanted to add that I ordered Prorap 2nds from the company about a month ago. I have no idea why they are 2nds, the quailty looks excellent! But they were only $4.50 each. The only draw back is that their cheapest shipping is about $7, so it's not cost effective to get just 1 or 2. I wish I would have bought a pail liner or 2 from them while I was at it!

Anyway, if you're interested, their phone number is (800) 397-8594
post #11 of 33
Diaper Wraps -- not as many as you'd think. Unless there's an explosion, you can just use the same ones again and again. We only needed about three in each size. Of course, if you want them to match outfits, it's a different story!

Cloth wipes -- I made my own and if you're doing laundry anyway, they are NO extra work! I made them in different sizes out of regular towel material, and use them for wiping bottoms and noses, and all kinds of other things! Super handy. We have about four dozen, but could get by on half of that.

Baby wash cloths-after a few months I felt comfortable using regular adult wash cloths on the baby, but it was really nice to have a few of those super soft baby terry cloths for that silky newborn skin. We only used a few, though, and had at least a dozen as gifts!

Wipes warmer -- If you do use cloth wipes, I recommend getting some natural gentle baby soap (we use baby bits--ds 18 mos, still working on our first package) I make up the soap a little dilute and put it in a spray bottle by our changing area, and use a little travel squirt bottle for our backpack. I just spray his bottom or the wipe as I use them. It's clean and gentle and easy (I think reg. wipes are irritating on sensitive skin!) and it seems like keeping wipes warm and wet would be a perfect breeding ground for bacteria!

Baby wearing devices --Yes, I use my wrap like crazy for long walks, going to the store, church, socializing, etc, but a nice simple sling is better for around the house, or quicker things

Wearable blanket -- Do you mean a sleep sack? These work fine, but honestly do the exact same thing as a warm sleeper.
There are also swaddling blankets with velcro or ties or other fasteners. We were given some of these, and didn't get as nice of a swaddle from them as from a big receiving blanket. they actually fell off more easily, which would defeat the purpose of the swaddle and make it more sids-risky.

Body products -- soap and shampoo--I found even natural baby soaps and shampoos to be very drying for ds when he was newborn, and water and a washcloth was almost all I needed to clean him.
Now that he's a toddler, however, we definitely use baby shampoo. We have a bar, which we use as soap too for after smeary meals and splashing in puddles, basically all the time.
***baby oil--this is hands-down my indispensable baby product! We put it on his bottom so the meconium didn't stick in the first week, used it for massage from the beginning until now (he asks for it, "'ssage?" and lies down and waits for a nice rub), and it cleaned him much more gently than soap as a newborn (We like Weleda baby oil, or kitchen olive oil) We used oils instead of lotions, which seemed to often be irritating

Diaper cremes: this depends on how you practice diapering. We do ec or change the babe as soon as he is wet and have never had a rash. (using cloth dipes without a cover at home so we know right away) If you have food sensitivity issues, or change at regular times rather than right away, (most of the other moms I know can't beleive how often I changed him) a protective coating is nice.

Baby bath tub -- We loved taking baths with him so much that we returned the baby tub-- when dp or I was in the bath or shower, the other would bring the baby before the water got soapy, and take him away when he was clean. It was such a special, cuddley time, and if we were right with him, the temperature and slipping or being scared of the water wasn't an issue.

Breastfeeding Pillow -- I liked and still use my bf pillow, but wouldn't call it a necessity. It was also nice to just have a supply of comfy pillows all over to help with the awkwardness of early breastfeeding

we also used: a baby fingernail clipper: those nails are so little and sharp! get one that you can hold comfortably. I do not like the kind with the magnifying glass--it made it confusing!

It's so fun getting ready for them to come! Can't wait to set up all our stuff for the new one.

oh, another thing: I think it's really useful to have a beautiful little place for the baby set up in the bathroom. I use a sling all the time, but you really need two hands to get jeans up and down! We lined a wooden box with quilts and had a simple mobile above it-- it was actually a favorite spot of ds's, and goodness knows, a mama does need to be able to pee on a regular basis!
post #12 of 33
Covers: 6 should be enough. I think that's what we had for dd. Personally I live wool so a good chunk were wool. Prowrap work well too. Check ebay or the tp and get them used for less $$. They're not used for very long anyway.

Cloth wipes: they're wonderful. I really don't think you can have enough. When baby is bigger you'll be using them for faces and hands too. We have 40-50 and believe it or not, we've actually run out

wipes warmer: We love ours here. We actually got another one so we can have one upstairs too. We usually just wet our wipes and toss them in there. Sometimes we'll use a soultion but most of the time not. Its nice becuase you can just grab a wipe instead of running to the sink.

wearable blanket: imo useless. especially if you're co-sleeping

babywearing devices: I plead the 5th As long as their getting used no such thing as too many.

baby products: I got a sample of head to toe baby wash from monkeysudz (now I think its naturallu luxe) 8mths or so ago and we've just finished it. Until recently dd was mostly getting just water baths.
The diaper rash cream from jack's magic bean stock works well I think thats really the only other baby product we use

breastfeeding pillow: you seem to either love them or hate them. See if you can get one used. I used mine for the first few months, especially while NAK'ing but that was about it.

baby bathtub: dd took a bath with me most of the time, or a shower with dh. A few times she had a messy poo and needed a washing NOW and dh usually just put her in the kitchen sink. We did have a bathseat, its for little babies and its made of mesh and folds up nice. I used that quite a few times when dd was bathing with me and dh wasn't home. I'd just pop it in the tub with me and when I needed to wash myself I'd put her init and do my thing
post #13 of 33
I don't know about cd or wipes we didn't use them with dd and we're still debating on them for this one.

Wipes warmer -- We absolutely loved ours. Dd screamed everytime a cold wipe touched her. As soon as we had warm wipes diaper time was calm.

Never had a wearable blanket. Dd was a hot weather baby and by the time she was sleeping in a crib we just put a onsie and a blanket sleeper on her and she was warm enough.

Baby tubs-- At first we used a basin I took from the hospital. I just sat it on her dresser. To wash her hair I held her over my arm over the sink. When she got older, I liked the baby tub. I got one of the foam mats to put in it and it was just the right size for our bathroom cupboard. She liked to watch herself in the mirror.

I borrowed a breast feeding pillow. I didn't really like it. I think I'll make do with a regular pillow if I can.

Don't know much about the rest. I'm pretty new to the ap way of thinking and using more natural products.
post #14 of 33
Diaper Wraps - I got some Motherease wrap ones and some bummis ones for this baby. DD used mainly motherease airflow. I tend to have 4-6 in each size except medium but DD was size med from 6 months until 21/2 so they got used alot.

Cloth wipes - get a yard of on sale fleece at the fabric store and cut it into little squares We keep them in an old disposable wipe container.

Wipes warmer - never had one, We kept a bottle of butt cleaning stuff that I made close by and used that so it was room temperature

Baby wearing devices - I have many carriers, it seems that for every stage a different one works best. I prefer a pouch over a sling though.

Wearable blanket - if you are co sleeping it would make the baby way too hot. We like the gowns so that DD had her upper body covered with something but her legs could stay cooler.

Body products - we used just water when DD was a newborn as she got older we liked the burts bees products.

Baby bath tub - we had one and it worked good to bathe DD on the counter, she loved the security of it but we could have lived without it if need be.

Breastfeeding Pillow - I had a friend make me one and I loved it, DD would settle in for very long nursing sessions and I was able to unlatch her and she would sleep on it (still snuggled against me). We used ours for a good year.

post #15 of 33
we didn't use a lot of stuff for ds... I think all we bought were about 5 covers and 2 doz. diapers, wipes (no warmer) a sling, and a boppy. Someone gave us a wearable blanket for the sling but we never used it. We always put him in little fleece snowsuit like things because his legs/feet wouldn't get cold but could be separated.
I always took a bath with him, it was part of our routine (where did that go!) We didn't use much soap on him, just a hair/body shampoo every once in a while, and lotion. Boppy pillow was awesome, I used it all the time!
Oh, and how could I forget bouncy seats! We had one in the kitchen so he could watch us cooking without being too close to the hot stove and one in the bathroom so I could shower. They're like $5 at garage sales and light enough to carry wherever you need to have an extra hand for a minute!
post #16 of 33
Oh about the blanket thing, I guess you meant for sleeping I'd say it's really not necessary... ds slept in those one size dress sack things when it was cold and a onesie when it was hot. And because he was between us, he would have gotten way too hot with our blanket on top of him too!
I guess it would have been comforting to know he was warm if he was sleeping somewhere else, though. I guess it just depends on your situation
post #17 of 33
Originally Posted by BonanzaJellybean
Baby wearing devices -- We have a Moby wrap and and baby Bjorn (for my DH to use, mainly). Is it useful to also have a sling that is easy to get off and on for quick trips? Am I being ridiciulous in my excitement about baby wearing? Baby bath tub -- We are planning to live without this one, anyone think having one is especially useful or necessary?
Well, I have four slings (had five, but I hated my Maya and gave it away), a water sling, and a Bei Bei! I love them all! I really love the slings for when they baby is very new. Especially when they and I are getting our nursing relationship going and aren't necessarily that adept yet! Also, I really love to have a sling for when I KNOW they're going to go to sleep because I can just lay them down with the sling and the wiggle out of it. Very handy! One of my two indulgences with this baby is going to be a new sling! I want a cool looking one!
post #18 of 33
For cloth wipes I use the white washclothes that you can buy in bulk at most stores. I just throw them in with the CDs when I wash. Works great.

I have used proraps from the beginning and still use them. There is an 800# where you can buy Prowrap seconds for discount. The ones my dd are in now we bought from there, and I could not tell the difference bt those and the other full-priced ones I had purchased.
post #19 of 33
Wipe Warmer: I laughed when DH insisted on getting a wipe warmer-- but for a winter baby born in Alaska, I'll admit it was a nice purchase. Makes the boy happier during diaper changes.

Nursing pillow: I never used my Boppy for nursing-- I did use it to "prop" the baby and talk to him before he could sit up unassisted. Luckily, it was a hand-me-down.

Baby tub: We used ours till DS was past one. You can get them in good shape secondhand.

Diaper covers: Four is plenty. I like my Bummis a lot, and have gotten a LOT of mileage out of them.

Cloth wipes: haven't tried them.

Wearable blanket: Not helpful if you're cosleeping, as others have mentioned. We're part-time co-sleepers here, (starting the night out in his hammock and then moving into our bed later in the night) so we did use a "baby bag."
post #20 of 33
Just gotta say I'm amazed at how so many of you got by with so few diaper covers/wraps. You must have done a wash every day!! I'm curious! I only do a load every 3-4 days, so I have more than a dozen wraps, probably 2 dozen, LOL. I use them 2-3 times unless there's been a poop, because that inevitably gets onto the inside of the cover with runny newborn poop.
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