Must Haves for Baby
As a first time mom, I would like to know what you think is absolutely essential for a baby as far as items go?
I'm hoping that I can weed out the non essentials with this list and start prioritizing since all I have are some cute onesies, socks, etc.
Portable Baby seat of some sorts(bouncy seat, infant rocker etc.)
Burp cloths(I use receiving blankets)
That's all I got for now :)
Place to sleep if you are not co-sleeping (separate space is good to have once they are mobile and can roll)
Wrap (which can double as a nursing cover for those who prefer to use them - any baby head can hide my little boobs, so, none necessary here! Lol). Plus, some babies need a 4th trimester snuggled close to mama and a good wrap gives that to baby and your hands/freedom back to you.
Gentian violet should thrush arise or yeast diaper rash (it's about $5. Kind of a better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it and end up at the pedi with a scrip).
All Natural Diaper Rash Salve by Northern Essence. The.best. IMO. Heals irritation quickly and is cloth diaper friendly.
Booties - little irks me more than seeing a tiny baby in the freezing grocery store with bare feet. Senseless. Remember your baby needs 1-2 layers more than you do. Boys and Girls Booties by Louisa Harding. Knit these for my son and they stay on.
Hats - for the same reason as above
Shearling - my son slept on his for the longest. When you can't use covers, it's comforting to know baby is warm wearing his/her woollies and laying on a fleece. With wool's wonderful antibacterial properties, you also cut down on laundry. And it's got great cooling properties for warmer weather. (I know this is a nice to have, as I did not have one for dd.)
Mother Love nipple cream - if you are extremely sore, Lansinoh is too thick to comfortably apply. I got mine at WF.
Car seat - hospital birthers can't go home without it!
Diapers/diaper bag or big enough purse
The awareness that the peak fussiness period is at 6-9 weeks. It's not you. You are not a bad mother unable to meet your baby's needs. It's your baby. And s/he will get through this. I had no clue with my first and we were both miserable. With my son, if I popped him in a sling and went for a walk during his morning fussy period, often times he was calm by the time we hit the foyer having walked down 3 flights of stairs. His evening fussy time was longer and responded better to bouncing and rocking.
Help during the early weeks to give you much needed breaks. First time, type A moms: let your partner help. Let your partner learn to soothe the baby. You will be happy you did when number 2 comes along, or sorry you didn't when you find yourself backtracking to try and undo some patterns you created. Talking about myself here.
A good resource if you have any lactation issues. For working moms, be clear what your job may offer - or your partner's for SAHMs. With my former employer, a lactation consultant was offered through our insurance carrier. Many employers have great EAP (employee assistance programs) and you'd be surprised at what you can get help with.
For working moms - an excellent breast pump.
It depends on your situation.
1. Are you going to be at home full time or back to work in 6-8 weeks? Part time or full time?
2. If you are at home, do you plan to leave the house daily? Weekly?
3. Do you believe in baby wearing or do you want the baby to be separate? (Sometimes the baby decides this one for you)
4. Are you doing disposable or cloth diapers?
5. Are you breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or both? And, if BF, are you doing it at home or at work?
6. Will you co-sleep? For how long?
You have to answer these questions to know which items you will absolutely need.
It's going to differ for everyone, unfortunately. What is essential for some people is completely unnecessary for others.
A good example is honeybunmom's talk about baby needing more layers than you. That's not always the case. I once was at church in the middle of winter, and my oldest son, a preemie who was finally past his due date, started screaming his head off. I finally realized he was HOT. I had him in a sleeper inside our heated building. He was too hot. I changed him into a cooler outfit, and he was happy again. I got some nasty comments from older women afraid he was too cold, but he was comfortable. So be careful about judging other moms you see in the grocery store. Maybe their babies are hot natured like mine was. ;) Babies will tell you if they are not a comfortable temperature. My babies rarely use hats past the first few days after birth unless it's winter and they're outside. Being barefoot in the summer would be normal here. Socks get kicked off. If it was cold, I used a footed sleeper, usually a lightweight one that I could add a blanket to if necessary.
DSQ prefolds for burp cloths (my babies have all been heavy spitter uppers due to my overactive letdown)
Diapers (cloth or disposable)
A cheap manual breast pump for those times when baby sleeps all night for the first time and I wake up engorged and don't want to wake the nicely sleeping baby (hand expressing does not work for me)
Cheap bouncy chairs - just a safe place to put baby when I can't hold him, where my dogs and other children can't run over him
Good baby carriers (what you like will be personal preference, so attend a babywearing meeting and try some out)
A place to sleep (co-sleeping didn't work for us, so I use a pack-n-play with bassinet insert in our room the first two months, then move to crib in baby's own room when sleeping through the night... there is a wake-up period around 4-6 months usually, but I don't mind going upstairs for that)
Since baby is in it's own room at some point, a monitor is necessary to wake me up (or rather my DH nudges me, because I could sleep through a tornado)
A boppy type pillow makes nursing easier in the beginning, and DH uses it for napping with baby in the recliner
Oh yeah, a comfy recliner! Around 3 or 4 weeks old, my babies usually start getting reflux and need to sleep upright on my chest in the recliner. That usually lasts about 3-4 weeks.
Breast pads (cloth ones worked best for me), especially in the beginning
Cloth menstrual pads for the beginning (disposable give me rashes if worn more than 3 days or so)
Plenty of baby clothes, as you might have to change baby a few times during the day :D
A big enough purse or bag to hold diapers, wipes, and a change of baby clothes (always bring a change of baby clothes wherever you go!!! My oldest exploded all over his clothes and car seat on our very first outing, which was thankfully to the LC at the hospital, so they have me a cheap gown to change him into)
Car seat (I like infant seat for winter babies, because I can bundle them up inside, then run them out to the car and click it in... once it's warm, I leave the infant seat in the car)
That's all I can think of off hand. Those are all things I'll be getting for #4 , as I gave away all my baby stuff except my Babyhawk Oh Snap SSC. I plan to get maybe a shorty woven wrap as well.
2. Not sure if this applies since I'll be working.
3. I would like to do baby wearing so I can get more stuff done and I feel like it will help me bond with the baby more. :)
4. Disposable.. if I was staying home I would take a shot at cloth.
5.Breastfeeding if at all possible. My work allows us to take pump breaks so that's what I will have to do when i go back to work.
6. We are not planning on co-sleeping but we were thinking of getting a bassinet or something smaller to keep in our room for the first little while.
I saw a bassinet at Walmart the other day for only $30! That will get you through at least 3 months in the bedroom, then you will want a crib or playpen (which can also go in the bedroom as long as it fits). Something that is comfortable for them to sleep in, but that they can't climb out of while they are still crawling, not walking yet. Cribs are also less second hand, but you can find them for $100-150 new and the mattress is slightly less than that.
You should take boscopup's advice and try to find a place in town that sells baby carriers/wraps and try some on to decide which one you would want to use. That's another somewhat large expense unless you can find the one you want on eBay or some other second hand place.
And finally, the best thing I have heard about is to ask for diapers (disposable) at your baby shower. Just ask everyone to buy a box and you should have enough to make it for a while if there was a decent turn out. And there usually is with the first child. :)
And clothes, burp clothes, a diaper bag and a car seat. Besides the car seat, everything else is just little things.
My daughter ran hot and frequently got heat rashes. Over heating is much more likely in a heated car or heated building. Much less likely in a air conditioned space. I should have qualified my statement to apply to the cold as that was what I meant.
For me, as a SAHM and bed-sharer -
Diaper stuff (we do like 75% cloth, 25% disposable)
Carrier(s) - wrap, SSC, ring sling...I collected several during DS's babyhood; I found different carriers worked better at different stages
Bouncer/swing - something to put baby down in now and then
Pump - for me just in case of engorgement or plugged ducts, I have one of the cheap manual ones
Breast pads - at home I just stick a rag in my bra; going out I use the Lansinoh disposables because they don't show through my clothes
Prefolds - to use as burp cloths
Coconut oil or some kind of nipple cream - (don't use lanolin on broken skin - my mom is an IBCLC and she and her colleagues both say they see lots more secondary infections like thrush or bacterial infections when mom has been using lanolin vs coconut oil or an oil based nipple butter)
Clothing, obviously...DS lived in white organic Gerber onesies for the first couple months :)
There are tons of little extras, of course, but there was so much we had for DS that we never used...cute hooded towels, a bathtub, wipe warmer, receiving blankets...
The advice for how to clothe babies must be regional. I live in Texas and the advice I got was - dress the baby how you think they should be dressed, then take off a layer. I was also told they didn't need more than what you're wearing, and to just check their hands and feet to see if they're cold.
I have to have a nosefrieda. Not sure about that spelling, I'll double check and get you a link. I have found it to be invaluable for stuffed up baby noses! So much better than a syringe.
The only thing I would add would be swaddle blankets! I splurged on the Aden & Anais for DD2 and I AM SO GLAD. They are soft, breathable, super-stretchy, and they wear and wash beautifully. I bought pretty colors, and in the early days I would wrap and twist one as a scarf. I had an instant BFing cover if I needed one, a soft place to lay the baby down, and a handy burp cloth all in one. She still sleeps with hers, and DD1 took one for herself. Really, any swaddle banket it awesome, but I wish I would have had those for DD1 as well.
And you'll need bibs. Lots and lots of bibs. I needed more than I could have imagained, but maybe my babies are extra drool-y.
And, this isn't "essential" but I love Gerber kimono style shirts. I would, without fail, bungle a diaper change then have to pull a soiled onesie over baby's head. Ten times a day. Those shirts were great. Also, I think baby MUST have a sore head after all that squeezing coming through the birth canal so I handle it as little as possible. Like I said, far from essential. :)
I think your list is going to vary by your location and individual needs. I used my swing the most with my oldest baby. The other two didn't really use it. I never used a bouncy seat. While I might have liked a nursing cover with my first, I didn't use it with baby #3 . I have also lived either and a small home or had baby near enough that a monitor was not necessary. My kids did not enjoy being swaddled, but I have always lived in either Texas or Califormia desert. It gets too hot for that and lots of clothing. Mine only wear hats wen going outside in cold weather.
Check with your insurance to see if you can get a free breast pump. I believe it is now required under the Affordable Care Act for insurance companies to provide moms with a free pump. I'd talk to your insurance company now to find out what the process will be (could be some paperwork involved) but I'm sure you'll be able to get one since you are planning to go back to work.
I never thought of using a teething necklace to slow down the drool. What a good idea!
Just in case any new mommies don't know!!!
Amber teething necklaces are not actually for chewing on. They are worn under the clothes next to the skin. You can get them on amazon or through co-ops or through other retailers. Look into it for sure if you have a baby with reflux!
Like saraknavy said, but I just wanted to add something. I was recently trying to find one for my cousin (I had purchased in town previously) just in case she can't find locally where she lives and found that almost every single one on eBay was a fake. And, they can be fake from other reputable websites. If you do get one, there are ways you can test it, just look it up. It's important that it's real amber and unpolished from Lithuania, otherwise it's of no benefit. The succinic acid is what relieves pain, so if it's fake, there is none. And it's really hard to tell the difference, so you have to do the tests. You should expect to pay at least $20 if not more to get a real one.
Must Haves for Baby
For my family, essentials are:
-A ring sling (and eventually a wrap; I have yet to master wrapping a nb, but I'm going to try hard this time! I do a lot of back wrapping from a few months old until well into toddlerhood). I would suggest a ring sling that is a woven wrap conversion.
-Car seat. Buckets are nice for taking baby in and out of the house, but that's about it. If you bring a sleeping baby in the house in one, and intend to keep him/her there, make sure the seat is at a 45 degree angle, and do not loosen the straps. Also, they should never be put on top of a cart, under any circumstances. Just my little PSA. ;)
-Thin felted wool blanket for us both to sleep on. I am leery of mattress chemicals, but since I can't afford an organic or wool bed, this barrier makes me feel better. It also helps protect my mattress somewhat from leaks, and it helps keep us comfy, no matter the temperature.
-A&A swaddling blankets. Seriously awesome.
-Swaddling blankets that can be used in the car seat. I think Summer Baby makes them? They were a lifesaver with my third baby! They have a slit in them for the buckle to go through.
-Comfy pillows for nursing. I don't care for the Boppy nursing pillow, so I just use a lot of other pillows. Some moms like My Breast Friend.
-Nursing Pads. I prefer wool.
-Wooden teething toys for later, and a pacifier clip to attach them to your baby who will throw them every five seconds.
-Baltic amber teething necklace. The kids and I wear Inspired by Finn (I wear it for inflammation). Hazel wood necklace for a baby with reflux.
-Snacks for you. Lots of snacks! I make and freeze lots of protein bars before the baby comes. One handed snacks are the best. A great idea is to have a basket that you can either post at whatever becomes your regular nursing spot, or you can move around with you. Fill it with one-handed snacks for the day, your water bottle, some reading material, and the remote.
-A post-partum doula.
-A freezer full of meals. I'm going to start doubling a meal or two a week around 25 weeks, and freezing it. These have been great post-partum for me, when the meals stopped coming, but I was in no condition to preparer anything (my DH cooks when he can, but he works long hours). They were also helpful while waiting around for my last two babies, who were each considerably "late", since we never knew whether or not we needed to buy many groceries for the week or prepare a meal for the next day!
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