I'm not interested in buying half of babiesrus but also would like more than some folks that are super minimalist about it all.
Problem is the list of things are usually 5 pages long (probably because they are put out by stores wanting you to buy it all) or folks say they need like 6 things and a boob and the rest is silly.
I'm not really sold on either of these stances.
I know there has to be some balance in between. I just would love to read a few list that do really put things in perspective and give some priority to the difference of really useful as compared to just fun to get once you already have the rest.
Thanks for your help, if there is threads already talking about this, I could not find them, but would love to get pointed to them so everyone won't have to repeat themselves.
I few choices I have made that will help folks understand my needs a tad better:
-—Remember I will have twins
----They are due in January in the mid Atlantic coast, so weather can certainly be really crappy.
----Being twins they could come out on the very small side of sizes.
----I will be getting a stroller, since wearing two will often be somewhere between inconvienant and impossible
----I plan on using disposable diapers unleash until I get the rest of motherhood figured out and the first timers panic slows down.
----I totally plan on nursing, but plan on having one or two bottles and a breast pump around so I can work on supply and have some help with feeding if needed.
----We will be using an Arms Reach Co Sleeper, i want them close but for many reasons do not feel my bed is the right place for them.
So what if I don't fit cleanly into a defined parenting style, my kids don't fit into a personality archetype either!
There was a thread a couple months ago, but I can't remember what it was titled to find it and it must be lost many many pages back, so I doubt anyone would be able to find it.
So do you just mean things to buy before the baby is born, right? Like just to get through the first three months or so? Because I notice as the baby grows we always need new things (*sigh*). For example now we are looking for a highchair, but obvoiusly wouldn't have needed that until he was 5-6 months old.
My list will be incomplete but others will chime in:
changing table - some people don't use but I find it's very handy to have all the supplies right there, and it would kill my back to always do it on the floor.
A small size wardrobe, chest of drawers or closet for baby's clothes
glider or rocking chair
nursing pillow (we have Boppy and My Brest Friend, I prefer the Boppy)
loads and loads of burp cloths, they are good for every little mess, plus we use them for the baby to lay on on the changing table
swaddle blankets - we liked Swaddle Me and Aden & Anais but any cloth in the right size square will do
a little flashlight for nighttime parenting - indispensable! We keep under our pillow and use every night as we put him to bed in the dark, and when he wakes up at night
if you're ECing, a bowl (we use a cheap plastic mixing bowl) for pottying....kept by the changing table is easier than going into the bathroom each time.
A bassinet, baby hammock or cradle for naps (we cosleep so this was only used for naps, and he outgrew it by about 3 months)
a white noise machine
a little baby bath -ours was used in the bathtub, with a big, flat baby sponge thingy that goes on the bottom of it to prevent slipping. It came with a stand which would've been better for my back but we didn't have room. Some people don't use one and just go into the bath or shower w/ the baby, but at first it felt safer for us to use the baby bath.
A bouncy chair to put baby in while you cook or clean or whatever. You can also snuggle him into the nursing cushion or use a swing, or just wear him, but we found the bouncy chair was nice while DH and I both were busy cooking.
which reminds me...a baby carrier of some sort! Another indispensable item! We used the Moby wrap a lot the first few months, and since then we use the Ergo mainly...but even with the infant insert the Ergo did not fit our newborn quite right. Definitely a wrap or sling is best for such a tiny baby in the first months.
A car seat. Even if you don't have a car, can be useful for taxi rides or if you ever ride in friends' cars. Some people really are never in cars though so don't need one.
...and of course a set of clothes (that's a whole other list) and diapers and wipes
I found our baby had zero, I mean zero interest in toys until 3 months, so as tempting as it is, you really do not need any rattles or toys right at first.
There must be more things I'm forgetting, but you'll see what other people have to say. Good Luck!
Mama since 2010
Multicultural living in Europe
My first is almost a week old. So far I am most thankful to have gotten a Boppy pillow. I use it all the time when nursing and he sleeps on it in my lap for much of the day. I'm getting another one so I can have one in the bedroom for night nursing and one in the livingroom for daytime nursing without having to carry it around. It has really saved my arms and makes it so much easier to get DS into position for nursing.
Another thing we use a ton of is prefold diapers. I have 2 dozen newborn, small, and mediums and use all 3 sizes for burp cloths or changing pads, catching drips from leaking breasts, etc. We are actually diapering with sposies currently cause DS is small with skinny legs and the NB covers I have don't fit yet. So even if you don't plan to cloth diaper, get some prefolds anyway cause they are VERY handy!
My personal experience? You never know what you won't be able to live without until the baby gets here, and you'll need more than you think. I was fairly minimalist before DS was born and boy howdy did DH and I spend some $$$$ once he got here (thank god for online shopping).
A swing: my son is 4 months old and the only way he takes more than a cat nap is in the swing, still.
Something for the baby to nap in that is fairly portable. We had a rock & play sleeper that was lightweight and great because we carted it all around the house & to the grandparents. A moses basket or similar will accomplish the same task.
A boppy. You could use a regular pillow but as a first time mom I would highly recommend it.
A baby carrier/sling, or both. Multiple styles. I would never have gotten through grocery shopping for the first 8 weeks of DS's life without our Ergo, but I could never get him out of it and have him stay asleep. However, I could wear him in a sling until he fell asleep and then put him down. Also, be sure you have a baby carrier that your partner feels comfortable using. My DH won't use a sling or Moby - he says the just make him nervouse - so that's why we bought the Ergo. He felt more secure with something that has straps & buckles :) It was the only way he could calm DS when the almighty boob was unavailable.
A bouncy seat. For the first six or so weeks, this was used primarly in the bathroom as a place to set the baby when I had to pee!
A stroller, sort of. I wouldn't really classify this as a must have, but there have been a few times it's been a life saver - times when I couldn't babywear for whatever reason and had to walk far enough that carrying his infant car seat would have killed me. Being able to just pop him in the stroller was nice. And I know a lot of people are very anti-bucket seat and anti stroller, but the fact of the matter is there will be some occassions when you need a safe place to set the baby. (Doctor visits are a classic example.)
A swaddle blanket, such as the Swaddle Me or similar. I had a friend tell me they were stupid, but if your kid pops out at 21.5 inches long and is too long to be swaddled in receiving blankets by the time he's 3 weeks old, you'll find the swaddle blankets are QUITE handy. This is assuming your baby responds well to a swaddle. DS is 4 months old and still sleeps swaddled, but not all babies are the same.
White noise machine, or similar. We didn't need this right away as the AC unit in our bedroom provided plenty of white noise but we have been using a white noise machine since it got cold. Assuming you live somewhere that gets winter weather, you probably won't want a fan running. Your baby has been listening to your heart beat, your breathing, your digestion for it's whole life and it's LOUD. White noise is very comforting and helps them sleep.
And don't forget nursing wear for you! I'm a big fan of nursing camisoles vs. nursing bras. It's nice to be able to keep your post-partum, strech mark covered cottage cheese belly covered up when you nurse, especially in public. I have 5 and wish I had more.
Plenty of clothes. You can never have enough onsies, in my opinion. Gowns were great for nighttime diaper changes. Basically, think comfy & easy for you to get on and off. Lots of recieving blankets and a few bigger blankets.
Here's a list of stuff that I own that I DID NOT find useful:
Arm's reach co-sleeper: when he was a newborn he didn't like to sleep flat on his back. Now that he's older, I can't move him into the cosleeper without him waking up.
Pack n play: Somebody gave me one. I thought it might be good for naps but again, DS wouldn't sleep flat on his back.
Baby tub: I just hop in the tub with DS. I find that's the easiest.
Mumma to DS July 2010 and expecting another baby boy late July 2012
I do really appreciate the advice though!
Swings are something we are currently up to our eyeballs researching, so hard to know what makes a good one and all the while just hoping beyond hope that both our babies like them, I can see how ey can be a lifesaver.
I guess I just need to make my own checklist, I was hoping to not to do this willy nilly. I will definitely wait for the holiday weekend to be over so maybe more moms will chime in.
So what if I don't fit cleanly into a defined parenting style, my kids don't fit into a personality archetype either!
I consider myself pretty minimalist, but here's my list.
Diapers (do your research if you're going cloth.. if you're using disposables, Luvs are pretty good)
Wipes (a couple dozen flannel wipes or a few boxes of hypoallergenic disposable wipes)
Half a dozen onesies (we don't bother with actual clothes until 4-6 months.. onesies are much easier to deal with)
A dozen or so receiving blankets (Good for all kinds of stuff.. burp cloths, rolled up to support baby's head in carseat, as a carseat liner to protect against diaper blowouts, as a liner when changing diapers on public restroom changing tables, etc.)
A couple of waffle-weave blankets (To wrap around baby on top of the onesies to help keep him/her warm)
Nursing bras + nursing shirts (better than the nursing tanks if you have big boobs, otherwise nursing tanks w/built in bras may be more convenient)
Sleep/nursing bra (to hold nursing pads in place and avoid boobs from getting squished, especially while you're engorged)
Nursing pads (preferably flannel or fleece lined cloth ones)
Swaddling blanket (the snap or velcro kind is really convenient and seems to help young babies sleep quite a bit better)
Hats, socks, and baby legs if you live in a cool climate or are due during the winter
Diaper bag or messenger bag to carry diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, etc.
Some kind of mattress protector.. I like quilted cloth incontinence pads made for adults (to prevent diaper blowouts, leaked milk and spit up from making you need to wash your sheets daily)
Some kind of heavy-duty protection for lochia (I personally use Depends underwear for overnight especially)
Somewhere to put baby's clothes, receiving blankets, cloth diapers if you're using them. (An empty drawer is fine, but a small dresser or chest of drawers is nice)
Easy meals so no one has to cook for a while (make and freeze, or buy frozen food)
Disposable dishes and silverware (probably only necessary if, like us, you don't have a dishwasher)
Baby bathtub (some people don't find this necessary, but we definitely did)
Very mild baby soap, shampoo, lotion
Nice to have/extras:
Baby carrier (personally, I've never been able to make one work -- maybe because of my giant boobs -- and simply carry my babies in arms, or carry my toddlers on my hip)
Good quality breast pump (I like the Ameda Purely Yours)
Bottles, nipples, etc. if you plan to pump for whatever reason (e.g., to leave baby w/dad while you take a long nap.. make sure to get nipples compatible w/breastfeeding or consider cup-feeding instead)
Swing (Some babies nap really well in swings)
Bassinet, crib or sidecar (convenient for naps, if your baby will let you put him/her down while asleep)
A cute outfit or two for dressing up baby for photos and whatnot
Changing table (convenient, but we just used the bed for diaper changes)
Rocking chair or glider
Something to produce white noise, whether it's a white noise machine, loudish fan (pointed away from the baby), or whatever
Cool mist humidifier (warm ones harbor bacteria and fungi too easily) if your house tends to have low humidity
Saline drops for congestion (you can make your own and some people just use expressed breastmilk for this purpose)
Thermometer of some kind (rectal or ear) if you're not confident determining whether baby has a fever by touching him/her
One note about clothing sizes:
Most of the advice I have read recommends buying clothes in larger sizes, like 3-6 months. For ME personally, this was a really bad idea -- I have small babies (6 lb 14 oz and 6 lb 15 oz) and even newborn sizes were too big (preemie size fits best), 0-3 months swallowed my babies and 3-6 months would have been a joke. Since this is your first baby, you might be able to get a general idea of how big it'll be based on your own birth weight and maybe your husband's birth weight. So clothes size is definitely tricky.
Things we *didn't* find useful:
Baby carrier (but I still recommend one since most people seem to have a lot better luck with them than I do.. I blame my enormous boobs)
If you're picking up stuff for later on, you might want to also buy:
Larger sizes of clothing (although my DDs pretty much lived in onesies or pullover knitted dresses until they were 1+ y/o)
High chair (not necessary but definitely convenient)
Tarp (to put under the high chair if your floors are hard to clean)
Teething toys (I've heard good things about Sophie the Giraffe)
Johnny jump-up (my older babies LOVED this thing)
Play mat (if you have hard floors)
So what if I don't fit cleanly into a defined parenting style, my kids don't fit into a personality archetype either!
Because I'm bored - I'll post my list too and try to make it compatible to twins...but I don't have them!
Moby Wrap - so secure, you will be able to have one in there hands free while you tend to the other baby
1 Swing and 1 Bouncy Seat - a spot for each baby
Receiving Blankets and Burp Clothes/Prefolds in a basket in the living room - awesome for grabbing easily for spit ups, spills, leaks, etc.. Take as many as people give you (And baby wash cloths, I got so many I had no idea what to do with them all...but now they are all in use)
Baskets - you will find all sorts of baby items to stuff in all sorts of baskets
Onesies and Sleepers - my newborn babies lived in these. I'd say 10 of each for each baby.
Breastpump - I have a Medela Pump In Style that I really like.
Bottles - no idea on how many, we use our rarely and I have 3 Medela ones
Pacifiers - we have 4 for one baby
2 Carseats - we really like our Graco Safeseat, but it is heavy
Double Stroller - we have a side by side Combi that I really like. I used a Graco DuoGlider once and it was so hard to push and turn - comparatively.
Diaper Pail - We use ours for cloth, otherwise we put sposies in with the kitchen trash. You should be fine doing this with newborns/young babies poo.
Diaper Bag - I like having two. Sometimes I leave the fully packed one in the car and take the small one in. Small just has one or two diapers and a sleeper.
Bottle Brush - for cleaning bottles and nipples (we don't have a dishwasher)
Bottle Drying Rack
Medela Sterilization Bags
Baby Monitor - we rarely use ours, but it's nice to have for when we need it
Diapers and Wipes - tons! (Pampers gave DD a rash)
other stuff: anal thermometer - good for getting baby to poop if constipated, baby nail clippers, oil for softening up cradle cap, bottle of baby tylonel (up & up brand) - you don't want to have to run to the store the first time you need it
Boppy - it can be comfy, but I was fine just holding the baby or propping up on regular pillows
Glider - I labored in it, but rarely nursed or rocked the baby in it
Baby bath tub/sling - I just take baths or showers with them
One of those mats the baby lays on and stares up at the toys dangling in their face
Mama to three
It's so hard to know what is really going to work for you guys before hand, I've worked with moms with twins before though and this is some of the things I've learned from them.
You do not need two of everything. For instance, one family had two pack and play's because they'd have the babies sleep there in their room and then they'd have two changing areas and two area's to sleep. Only on rare occasion did they need changed at the same time and you had two people available to change them. Also one baby would sleep anywhere, the other, only with people. So as much as they didn't want a baby (or babies) in their bed, they conceded that for sanity's sake they would have them in their bed for a little bit. After you've been tag teamed for a week in a row at night you do pretty much anything for sleep.
Two bouncy chairs came in handy for almost everyone that didn't have a carrier, to set them down somewhere safe to use the bathroom. It is really nice to have a carrier because it's pretty hard at first to handle two at a time (and there will be times when that's necessary) without having something to put one in. I'd suggest the Moby because it's very easy to do a twin carry, also to pop one in and out as needed. It's really not that complicated, having someone show you in person is best, but youtube will work! If you have two crying and only one set of hands they are a life saver.
If you have two levels think about having a set of essentials (some clothes, diapers, wipes, burp cloths, bottles/nursing stuff, place to put at least one baby down) in a central location on both floors. That might necessitate two of somethings you hadn't thought about.
Clothes and burp cloths/swaddle blankets and that sort of thing depend on how often you want to be doing laundry. They make a lot of laundry, not just baby clothes, your clothes, your sheets, your towels, etc.
Really think about your list in terms of logistics, which I understand that you don't fully realize yet but if you think about the help you'll have in the beginning (the more hands, the less baby holding stuff you'll need right off) and also how your house is laid out (would you have a place to store/mix/wash bottles upstairs?) it will help you with what might be handy. The reasons list vary so much is that babies vary so much! If you look at a lot of lists and keep seeing a common theme (for instance burp cloths, on everyones list) you should definitely get that item. If you see something like a swing that's only sometimes there maybe get one, see how it works and if it's awesome and you need more than one get the second.
Jessica, wife to Greg since 7/04, mama to the Gman 7/06, 3 , Asher 1/11 and a wonderful surprise due in August!
We have an almost 5 month old baby. Here are a few of my ideas:
1. Sleep bras from Motherhood Maternity.
I'd recommend 3 sleep bras, since you'll be wearing them 24-7 and will have to wash them frequently. Wait to purchase fitted nursing bras until your milk level regulates, which is about a month after the birth. Sleep nursing bras hold the nursing pads in place.
2. Disposable Nursing Pads
Lansinoh Brand is the best. I'm using cloth pads now, but for the first few months, I leaked so much that I'd soak through the cloth ones in about 20 minutes.
3. Cheap Cloth Diapers to use as Burp Cloths
They work so much better than pretty burp cloths. I also use them folded up and stuffed in my sleep bra (for around the house and for night-time)
4. Burt's Bees Diaper Cream
Our favorite diaper cream. Much thicker and smells better than other brands.
5. Car Seats
- Infant Car Seat - Graco SnugRide has good safety ratings and they aren't too expensive.
- The First Year True Fit Car Seat - (after they grow out of the carrier type car seat, which is at about a year old, depending on baby's size.)
6. Infant Swing
The front-to-back swinging type, rather than side-to-side, is much more popular with our baby. Easily found on Craig's list. (If you purchase it on CL, you'l save money, and if your babies don't like it, you can sell it and get your money back.) If having twins, I'd be tempted to buy two, especially if you can find a good deal on them - (ie Craig's list or a hand-me-down from a friend.)
7. Ergo Carrier and Ergo Newborn Insert
Hands down, our #1 favorite baby item. We use it for walks and hikes, of course, but we also use it all- day-long inside the house. It is the easiest, most reliable way my husband can get our baby to sleep, and it is the easiest way to get anything done (cooking/preparing a meal in the kitchen, doing laundry, eating, talking on the phone - while walking through the house, vacuuming, etc.). It's well made and will last from birth to 35lbs. If we had twins, having 2 Ergos would be at the top of my list. If you have a fussy baby, some type of carrier is a god-send. The Ergo is great because you and anyone else (dad, grandma, friend) can use it, and the buckles make it user friendly. We used it A LOT when our baby was a newborn. Our baby is teething now, and the only thing that seems to help is putting him in the Ergo and walking around the house.
8. Waterproof Mattress Pad to protect your mattress
Even if you don't plan for the babies to sleep with you, there will be messes.
9. Waterproof Pads
You can cut them to size and put them under baby (ie Co-sleeper, changing table, crib, your bed, etc.)
Prevents spit-up, pee, and other leaks from getting the sheets wet. (Tip: Line dry rather than the dryer - they will last longer.)
10. Cloth Diaper Recommend
We used disposables the first 2 weeks, until his cord area healed. The disposables leaked A LOT and they were expensive. If you ever decide to switch to cloth, I'd recommend Mother Ease Sandy's Diapers - they are the BEST EVER - We've never had a leak or a blow out, and he's only had a very minor rash once while teething. The resale value is very good. You can purchase them used, and then sell them when you are done. There is a Forum on their site, with info on cloth diapering twins.
11. Cloth Swim Diapers - 2 - Size Medium
If you take your babies swimming, you'll need swim diapers.
Cotton Sleepers with zippers - maybe 6-8, or 3- 4 per baby in each size. Warm and Easy. (I'd skip onesies if you are having babies in Jan.)
Hats, Fleece Booties, Sweaters
13. Baby Nail Scissors
Work much better than nail clippers.
Our choice: Temporal Artery Thermometer. Totally AWESOME!! Place on the forehead for an instant temp reading. Costs about $30, and so much better than rectal.
15. Good Quality Breast Pump
Medela Pump in Style brand.
You can purchase this on Craig's list, and either purchase new tubes or sterilze the parts.
Nice to Have:
1. Diaper Bag for Twins
We don't have twins, but we use a diaper bag that is made for twins and we LOVE it. It holds everything we need, has plenty of pockets, and is well made.
Skip Hop Duo Double
2. Car Seat Bag for Airplane Travel
If you plan to fly with your babies, this back-back style bag is very nice to have through the airport.
3. Drawer Unit from the Container Store
This works really well to store baby's clothes. It's well made, so you can use it for a long time. Ikea sells a less expensive version, but it isn't as well made. A friend of mine told me that when testing out baby furniture, put one hand behind your back when opening up the drawers (you'll be carrying around baby with one arm.)
4. Changing Pad
We placed our changing pad on top of our dryer. It's worked out really well.
5. My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow for Twins
A nursing pillow, while not essential, is nice to have.
Our choice: Nosefrieda Baby Aspirator
7. Sophie the Giraffe Teething Toy
Our baby LOVES Sophie
8. Robeez Shoes
They don't fall off easily. Soft leather.
9. MIracle Blanket
Fancy Swaddle Blanket. Makes swaddling a breeze.
Baby Registry Thoughts:
1. You can register at Amazon or on a free registery site like findgift.com or wishpot.com
2. Register for a lot. You will be surprised how many people want to give you stuff. :)
3. Register at Babies R Us, even if you don't use it. They have a policy that makes it easier to return items to them if you are registered with them. (If you get things you don't need/want, you can take it in to BRU to get store credit on things you need - like a new car seat for down the road.)
Thoughts on Twins:
1. Our area has a support group for parents with twins. They have gatherings and play-groups.
2. The twin group sponsors a Consignment sale several times a year. Great way to purchase things for less.
Some additional thoughts:
PP Care Ideas:
1. Placenta Pills and Placenta Tincture
I had my placenta encapsulated and they made a HUGE difference in my recovery. Totally amazing. I wouldn't want to have a baby (especially twins), without my "happy pills."
2. DH stayed home for the first 6 weeks. It was FMLA, unpaid, but totally worth it. Have your partner stay home as long as you can afford.
3. My MIL came for the first 2 weeks to help. She cooked, did laundry, and helped with the baby. She also gave me, DH, and the baby a massage every few days. Massage is highly recommended in Ayurveda to heal from the birth and to prevent PPD. I followed the Chinese Medicine teaching of staying in bed for the first 2 weeks after the birth, and my recovery went very well.
Wishing you all the best. :)
I second the suggestion for two Miracle Blankets (are you really going to have time practicing a perfect swaddle with twins?) and a playmat (babies can lay on it together and stare at the toys).
The only other useful thing I have to say is that you will probably want spare breast pump parts. That way, if you don't have time to wash, you have a clean set. The steam bags would be good too. I'd also get the Medela wipes. Basically, as many ways for you to clean your pump with as little effort as possible would be good. Also, they told me at my breastfeeding mom's group that you can put the pump parts in the fridge for 24 hours and they're ok. You don't want to have wash every time you pump.
A lot of women here seem to use Medela Pump in Style, but I have the Freestyle, which I like. It's got the hands-free option that might work for you. You don't have to buy that bra and use the ridiculous straps. Just take a Bella Band and cut nipple holes in it. It holds everything in place very easily and acts like a sort of tube top.
Finally, could you afford a maid service? Is so, I'd go for it.
It's hard because knowing what you need beforehand is really really tricky. I can't imagine how much harder it would be with twins. Best of luck.
Since you're having twins I would recommend making a similar thread in the Parenting Multiples forum, asking what equipment you definitely need and what you just can't use with twins, and what can be shared between them. It really is a totally different story with two.
Mama since 2010
Multicultural living in Europe
I think the above lists are good, and the only thing I would add is a good diaper pail. Trash cans just don't contain the stink. And get a good thermometer or be ready to go to Walmart at 2 AM to buy one when you think a kid is sick.
Don't forget to register for toddler stuff you know you will want down the road, like sippys, plates, potty, and utensils.
Good luck with the twins and happy shopping!
Having a swing with an A/C adapter is a LIFESAVER. My daughter is small for her age-- just 16 lbs at nearly 8 months-- and her swing can hold a baby up to 25 lbs. She takes most of her naps and starts her night's sleep in the swing. I also love that it goes both side-to-side and back-to-front; I never would have discovered that she prefers to swing side-to-side had we not gotten a fancy swing! We got ours on Craig's List for $70, and they retail for $150-ish. Ours is the Fisher Price papasan swing in Butterfly Garden (way girlier than I would have gone for, but we couldn't beat the price!! I wanted the Starlight pattern personally).
bedsharing, knitting, toddler-nursing, nerdy, babywearing mama!
As my dh and myself, both pretty overwhelmed at this point and feeling behind read this thread, it is helping a ton, thanks gals!