Favorite Newborn Supplies - Mothering Forums
October 2010 > Favorite Newborn Supplies
rparker's Avatar rparker 04:27 PM 08-05-2010
Originally Posted by miso_soup View Post

I don't want to thread-jack, but... if anyone has any particularly spectacular recommendations for items that a newborn might need, send 'em my way! There is SO much baby stuff out there, and this first-time Mama honestly doesn't know where to start!
Bodysuits that snap at the crotch in 0-3M/3M size (NB are also nice to have): we went through what seemed like a million of these each day.

Pajamas, tiny socks, little hats...

Diapers and wipes...

Car seat: I like the Britax Companion for an infant car seat.

Flat cloth diapers (either prefolds or the cheap Gerber ones): useful for cleaning up various bodily fluid related messes.

Receiving blankets: swaddling is great! This time I'm going to try out this blanket because it looks pretty cool, but you can do it with a normal blanket with some practice. This is one skill hospital nurses tend to be really great at so get one to show you how.

Boppy/other breastfeeding pillow: not necessary, but really nice to have.

I'll add to this if I think of more things later. Newborns really don't need anything except breast milk (and possibly diapers or at least EC), but there are definitely tools that make living with them easier

hotharmony's Avatar hotharmony 06:40 PM 08-05-2010
I like gowns preferably cotton for newborns
*My Breast Friend nursing pillow, althought it really came in handy between 2-6 months
*Good Car Seat
*Recieving blankets
*super soft washcloths, I hate using wipes on nb butts
*The number to your local LLL leader/ Lactation Cosultant, I would ask for GC to the LC even if you don't have initial trouble they usually can help with things like pumps, bras, tank tops or later problems like plugged ducts
oliviab's Avatar oliviab 08:42 PM 08-05-2010
I am going to add reusable breast pads if you are nursing....otherwise all your clothes get wet....especially at night!

Green_Ma_4's Avatar Green_Ma_4 08:45 PM 08-05-2010
things I wouldnt want to live without...

-onesies...lots and lots of onesies
-sleeper dress things, the ones with the open bottom, no feet , no leg.
- MY SWING: I couldnt live without this
- A sling
- I have about 100 cloth diapers and a million inserts
- receiving blankets
- car seat
- diaper bag

I cant think of anything else right now, but will add to this as I do.
miso_soup's Avatar miso_soup 12:24 AM 08-06-2010
Ooh, thanks SO much for starting this thread, Green_Ma_4! And thanks to everyone for the recommendations - really appreciated!
APBTlover's Avatar APBTlover 02:03 AM 08-06-2010
This is exactly the thread I've been needing... thanks for all the advice so far! This is my first and I'm a tad overwhelmed by exactly what I actually need to start out (besides functioning breasts and diapers, of course).
mistymama's Avatar mistymama 09:29 AM 08-06-2010
Here is my list - not everything is a must have, but it's the stuff I found to be worth it/make life easier

lots of gowns & zipper pj's
bouncy seat (or swing) - somewhere to put baby while you shower, etc.
boppy or comfy pillows for nursing
manual breast pump - I usually need to express a little before nursing in the beginning because i have large breasts & small, flat nipples - helps baby latch & is nice to have on hand "just in case"
cloth wipes warmer - total luxury, but I used our last one for 3 full years. Love being able to pour a little homemade wipe solution over cloth wipes and have them ready to go.
Nursing tops/bras & washable breast pads
Snugglenest for our bed - dh is worried about squishing the baby so this is for his peace of mind
blankets - I like the thin flannel ones best
diaper bag that has room for cloth diapers
sling or some sort of baby carrier
ILovePie's Avatar ILovePie 10:21 AM 08-06-2010
I've had both a boppy and a My Breast Friend. I hate the name, but the MBF is far superior, IMO.

If you're in the hemisphere entering winter when our babies are born, I'd recommend footed pjs over gowns or onesies with socks or pants or babylegs - a lot of newborns are just too scrawny for babylegs, socks come off all the time, and pants make it a pain to get to the diaper (which you'll be doing pretty often in those first days/weeks!).

-Swing and/or bouncy seat


-diapers of your choice

-Chucks or lap pads or something else to protect your mattress that you can easily change out in the middle of the night. Sometimes I wasn't even sure whether I was waking up in milk or if DS's diaper had leaked. I kept pads in, but I usually fell asleep with one boob out and unprotected by the nursing pads! These are also great postpartum if you feel like you're going to bleed everywhere, and they're great antepartum if you are nervous about your water breaking in bed.
EzzysMom's Avatar EzzysMom 11:02 AM 08-06-2010
I got my life back (sort of) once I got a Moby wrap with DD1. I could use the toilet and eat without her being unhappy and I was finally unchained from the bed. So that's my most important item, plus she can be naked in there other than diapers if it's not too cold!
honeybee's Avatar honeybee 11:34 AM 08-06-2010
Overall rule of thumb: Babies need PEOPLE, not THINGS. That said, there are some useful tools that can make things easier.

A good quality baby carrier is a must-have. A stretchy wrap is a good, inexpensive choice for a newborn. Or a Mei Tai works well as an all-around good carrier. Ring slings or a proper fitting pouch is great for quick in and outs.

If you travel by car, you'll need a carseat. I do prefer the infant seats for the first few months, because the convertibles are a bit too big. My babies do much better in a convertible after about 3 months, though. They're more comfortable. Get a good quality convertible that will last for up to the highest rear-facing weight limits, and fit tall children. This will save money in the long run as you won't have to keep buying bigger seats... and keeping them rear facing as long as possible is MUCH safer.

If you have plans to use cloth diapers with wool soakers or longies, I'd actually recommend getting the wrap-around tshirts and long sleeve tshirts rather than onesies, because you really don't want to snap a onesie around wool. Shirts with really wide neckbands or better yet, wraps or buttons are best, as babies often don't like having shirts pulled over their heads, and you do a LOT of changing of clothes with a newborn.

You only need a small number of newborn clothes... get more items in 3-6 and 6-9 month sizes. Get a couple cute outfits if you MUST, but my babies always end up spending their whole day in sleepers... although this time, I think it will be longies and tshirts.

I would just choose one baby contraption to avoid clutter, my preference is a bouncy seat. It's easily portable and can be set on the bathroom floor while you shower. A small portable swing might serve the same purpose, but our huge swing just took up space (not to mention my older ones are constantly pushing the buttons and getting baby going too fast!) and was barely ever used through three kids. We're getting rid of it this time around. A moses basket could also work.

We also do like to have a bassinet in the early days. Every once in awhile I'm able to put the baby in it for a nap... and it works pretty well for a changing table.

Extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil for baby massages, or if they get some flaky dry skin. Wyleda Calendula oil is awesome for diaper rashes.

A large water glass or stainless steel bottle. Stay hydrated. Stay away from plastic. Quart-sized preserving jars actually work really well. Get one good stainless steel water bottle for leaving home with.

Easily grabbable snacks and drinks, a book, nursing pillow (or just a supply of regular pillows in different sizes), comfortable chair with a footrest, books or magazines, a queue of new shows/movies to watch (assuming first baby here... this part is different if you have olders).

Pump, bottles, accessories if you will be returning to work. If you're staying home full time, I've found them to be completely unnecessary. And I take breaks from my babies. When they're really small, dh can entertain them for a half hour to an hour so I can get a break. As they get bigger, I can take longer breaks. By a few months old, I can leave for 2 hours without needing to leave a bottle. My babies never even took pacis (although I tried really hard with my first, and a bit hard with my 2nd), and they did fine.

If you're using cloth diapers, I'd recommend a diaper sprayer attachment to the toilet. Not necessary, but very useful!

Hylands Colic and Teething Tablets, also gripe water (although the teething tablets won't be needed for a few months--stay away from baby orajel)

A vaporizer for those nights baby gets congested, or just to beat winter dryness.

I do use a stroller on occasion when babies are bigger.... like after 6 months. So, if you can get someone to buy you a nice stroller for a shower gift, go for it. They also work really well for carrying diaper bags and shopping bags. And make a great footrest for nursing. You can find really good deals on used strollers, though, and many brands hold up well over time. Just keep in mind your lifestlye. Make sure the stroller fits easily in your vehicle... or get a great jogging style one if you live in a walkable neighborhood.

Best luxury baby items of all: king sized mattress and a rocker... or actually I use our huge double-sized recliner the most.

Things I have found I DON'T need:

--a lot of baby equipment (a lot of clutter to trip over)
--a crib
--baby bath products (stay FAR away from the conventional petroleum-based products.. there is some nice natural options out there like California Baby, but really, you just need a washcloth and warm water... bath products are just a waste of money.)
--changing table (the floor is safer anyways, just get a nice changing pad)
--any kind of noisy or light up baby toy, really anything with batteries (ANNOYING. My babies like to just hang out with me and watch the world. They do not need constant stimulation, they just need to be part of your everyday routine. Play real music for them, not the canned baby-toy/contraption crapola.)
--"baby" videos (I mean, really, WTF?)
--nursery furniture (you just need a drawer or two for clothes and a place to stash diapers)
--baby medications... they keep recalling these, anyways. We really don't know what's safe for babies... except breastmilk. Breastmilk works on just about everything (in the nose, eyes, on the skin, etc.)
--conventional diaper rash creams (do you really want to put steroids and antibiotics on your baby's private parts???)
--infant car seats used as baby transporters... those things are heavy and awkward to carry. And they do not put baby in best ergonomic position, not to mention the flat-head syndrome. And seriously, it is often way easier and faster to pop baby in a carrier than to open the trunk, drag out the stroller, lock seat in stroller, and then try to negotiate your way through a slushy street, or narrow aisles, etc. In many cases, big bulky strollers and infant carriers are just a hindrance. And for God sakes, if your baby is screaming in a contraption, you might want to try PICKING HIM UP instead of frantically shushing, rocking/pushing, and attempting to stuff a rejected pacifier back in his mouth for the 20th time.
miso_soup's Avatar miso_soup 11:43 AM 08-06-2010
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
Overall rule of thumb: Babies need PEOPLE, not THINGS.
I like your style!

(Or maybe I'm just using it as an excuse to make myself feel better because I haven't purchased anything yet )

Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
Things I have found I DON'T need
Just as important as what you do need, is what you DON'T need. Part of the reason I'm not out there buying up everything in sight is because I don't want to buy unnecessary crap that I ultimately don't need. I can't STAND waste.

I think we're going to end up with a couple of items that we don't really want, though - for example, my in-laws REALLY want to give us a crib, which I'm almost 100% sure we won't use, but they're so sweet that I don't want to say no. I think I will just politely accept, and then store it somewhere in the basement for "the future"
rparker's Avatar rparker 12:18 PM 08-06-2010
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
--baby bath products (stay FAR away from the conventional petroleum-based products.. there is some nice natural options out there like California Baby, but really, you just need a washcloth and warm water... bath products are just a waste of money.)
But if you buy bath products, DO buy California Baby! All of their products are so awesome. We didn't have much use for them when Alice was a tiny baby, but they work really well for toddlers and adults. I now use their baby soap instead of regular soap. Their bubble bath is also amazing and one of the only ones on the market without formaldehyde. My absolute favorite thing about that company though is that they sell refills in the gallon and half gallon sizes through their website so you don't use as many plastic bottles.

Their diaper rash cream isn't too bad if you need something with zinc oxide in it although diaper rash cream + cloth diapers is a pain and I avoid it whenever I can. They also make a diaper area spray which is one of my favorite baby "luxury" items... it's totally not essential, but my daughter says it feels really nice. (I used it once when I cut myself shaving and she's right.) It also makes an ok solution for cloth wipes if you dilute it.

The other great thing about California baby is that they have a line of products that are scent free (not unscented). I like a lot of their various aromatherapy scents, but it's nice to sometimes have an option for little kids that doesn't smell like anything. A lot of the "unscented" things on the market though really just use a ton of scents to cancel each other out which is worse for people who are sensitive.
Naomismom's Avatar Naomismom 04:03 PM 08-06-2010
Honeybee pretty much summed it up. You really don't need much stuff. Most of it just gets in the way.

My picks:
clothes (duh)
diapers, I usually wait a few weeks until the cord falls off then switch to cloth (because I'm cheap and refuse to buy newborn sizes for my large babies)
nursing pillow
receiving blankets
bouncy seat (with functioning vibration)
two-shouldered baby carrier

ETA: a huge stack of cloth diapers to use as burp cloths. My kids spit up constantly.
Annemarie42's Avatar Annemarie42 08:36 PM 08-06-2010
Not a whole lot, really, but here are some things that have come in handy for us:
I use big flannel receiving blankets for burp cloths
sling/ carrier
a fleece suit that is okay to wear in the carseat (northern new england here!)
easy to eat snacks for me
I do like a nursing pillow and got a ton of use out of it.

things we didn't need, or that waiting was a good idea for:
later sizes in cloth diapers-- I found it depended so much on the body type/ growth rate of the baby. better to wait unless you get good hand-me-downs.
actually, a swing. Both of mine hated swinging, I was glad we hadn't spent money on one.
breast pump, even if you plan to go back to work-- the warrenty kicks in when you buy it, not when you start using it. If you ever have to exclusively pump a hospital grade pump would be what you needed anyway (at least to start). And, speaking from someone whose good electric pump developed issues when baby 1 was 11 mths-- I was so glad I waited to buy, b/c it was covered and I got a brand new pump (which was great for #2).
FireWithin's Avatar FireWithin 11:18 PM 08-06-2010
calendula tincture: water down to a ratio of 1:10 tincture to water. It does an amazing job helping heal diaper rash, soothe baby rashes.
It doesn't cover up though - it is just an awesome healer.
Ponoma's Avatar Ponoma 05:35 AM 08-08-2010
I'm quite partial to:

Weleda calendula soap, baby shampoo and diaper care cream

Ecover stain remover

A baby health log book ordered directly form AAP. I jokingly call it the children's first lab book (ok, professional humour between spouse and I.)

Moby for early months and Storchiweige there after.

Granted its been six years since last birth and baby coming in October
I'm sure I forgot alot!

This time I bought a few baby apps for iphone to track nursing amounts.
Melly24's Avatar Melly24 07:34 AM 08-08-2010
Camera and lots of batteries! You can never take too many newborn photo's. They uncurl and unsquish so fast, it's great to have stacks of photo's to look back on
mistymama's Avatar mistymama 09:12 AM 08-08-2010
Originally Posted by Melly24 View Post
Camera and lots of batteries! You can never take too many newborn photo's. They uncurl and unsquish so fast, it's great to have stacks of photo's to look back on
So true!!!!
CherryBomb's Avatar CherryBomb 01:02 PM 08-08-2010
I LOVE infant gowns, I think they're really convenient for newborns. And I think a sling of some kind is a must have.
feminist~mama's Avatar feminist~mama 02:35 PM 08-08-2010

I wish I'd ignored conventional wisdom this time around and bought more 0-3 month stuff. For some reason I kept thinking that my DD wasn't going to wear it for very long and that it would be a waste of $$.

She's almost 12 weeks now and still wearing 0-3 month stuff- all the 3-6 is still too big.

That being said, she only wore NB/ up to 7 pounds things for a week or so. I wouldn't buy a ton of that stuff, but the 0-3 fits through 12 pounds or so.

And as long as I'm crashing: We LOVE the pj's from The Children's Place. My sister gave me a couple and I went and bought more right away. They fit great, have zippers, and a bit of elastic or something that actually keep her feet in place. LOVE THEM. My new go-to baby gift!

Also, I LOVE my changing table, as does my babe! We all get the most smiles out of her there- no idea why! I didn't do a changing table with DD1, but I'm so glad I did with this babe! It's also made it easier for grandparents and my preggo sister to change her...
AZgirl2207's Avatar AZgirl2207 02:55 PM 08-08-2010
DDCC--a freezer full of food! Or a fleet of friends to bring dinners. Late afternoons seem to be a difficult time for most kids (big or little), so making dinner rarely happens around here. My goal is to have 20 to 30 meals (or meal components-ie cooked and seasoned meat, etc) plus 10 breakfasts in the freezer.
lach's Avatar lach 08:26 PM 08-08-2010
Another vote for changing tables. I hear all the time about how it's easier to do it on the floor, and I have no idea how anybody's back puts up with that for more than a few days. It also keeps all of your changing supplies in one place.

The kimono style onesies are the absolute best for newborns. It's hard to get newborns with their floppy little heads dressed in things you have to pull over their heads! The kind that snap in the front are harder to find, but worth it. H&M always has a bunch, if there is one near you. They're organic and fairly inexpensive.

My first child would have happily lived in the bouncy seat 24-7, my second wanted nothing to do with it. If you're a first time mom, you'll be really surprised how they come out with preferences of their own! And I think this is also where a lot of people feel pressure to buy everything. Your friend A says "omg I would have died without the swing, it was the only thing that made her happy" and your friend B says "wow, the bouncy seat saved us" and so you think "gee I should get both." But really each baby is different and they like different things. If you have friends offering you hand me downs, I would take whatever you can get and try it all out (you can always pass it on if baby doesn't like it), but I wouldn't rush out and buy everything until you have more of a sense of what the baby likes. That being said, most babies love the swing and if you buy only one piece of baby equipment I'd say get a good swing!

For nursing, you'll need breast pads (I like the cloth ones better than the disposables) and I'd really recommend getting what's called a sleeping bra. It's like a very lightweight sports bra, and it doesn't give much support but it holds the breast pads in place. And they're much cheaper and more comfortable than nursing bras. You can leak A LOT in the first few weeks of BFing and you'll probably need to wear the breast pads all the time at first.

For books, I found The Happiest Baby on the Block (there's a DVD version too if you're short on time... both you and your partner should read/watch this), and the chapter on newborn sleep in Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. They're both popular books and probably available at your library.
lach's Avatar lach 08:28 PM 08-08-2010
Oh, and if you're having a hospital birth, snag a few of their blankets. The big, loosely woven striped ones. They're the absolute best blankets for swaddling. Perfect size and weight. I guess you mileage may vary, but the nurses at my hospital are very wink-wink about letting you take a handful.
MaerynPearl's Avatar MaerynPearl 08:41 PM 08-08-2010
DDCC - blunt-tip nail scissors. Using your mouth is unhygenic, but their nails grow SO fast!

Do not get nail clippers, even baby nail clippers. They do not allow you to see that you are not cutting babys finger. Scissors are easier to tell.
rparker's Avatar rparker 10:25 PM 08-08-2010
I second the Ecover stain stick recommendation. I don't recall having to pretreat most of Alice's clothes when she was a newborn, but I use a ton of them on our household laundry in general. You can buy them in packs of 6 on Amazon.

I wouldn't buy a ton of nursing pads until you see what your supply is like. Some of my friends haven't had to use pads at all. And on the other extreme, my letdown was so crazy the first year that Lansinoh's ultra absorbent disposables (sometimes doubled up) were the only thing that worked. I'd love to find a cloth option to replace them this time but I'm doubtful that one exists. I would soak through prefolds stuffed into my bra and that was only an option if I wasn't leaving the house. (And, yes, I know that wool pads might work as far as absorbency goes but I'm allergic to wool.)
hyz's Avatar hyz 01:47 PM 08-10-2010
Infant gowns--the BEST for newborns--SO comfy, so easy, and great for the million diaper changes. After they start moving around a little more, I like to switch to footie jammies with zippers.

Changing pad/cushion--I haven't seen this one mentioned yet, but we used it constantly when DD was tiny. This is the foam thing with the slightly raised sides that you buy to put on your changing table, and we bought it to put on DD's dresser to use for diaper changes. But we ended up carrying it all around the house for the first 2 months--it was great for her to take naps on outside, on the couch, living room floor, etc. When she was really tiny and slept a lot, I even put it in our clawfoot tub so she could nap there while I took a shower. I liked that it was soft and comfortable for her, kept her and the house clean (no dog hair on the baby, no baby poop blowouts on the couch/rug), safe (it has a fuzzy cover that fits on like a fitted sheet, so it was cozy without being a suffocation hazard like blankets could be), and it kept her from rolling off the edge of the couch, or into the cracks of the couch cushion (where the back meets the seat). She and I took a lot of naps together on the couch like that when she was tiny.

baby bouncer and/or swing -- my DD (and I) LOVED her full sized swing when she got to be about 6 weeks to 6 months old--she could nap in there for like FOUR hours, where she would only nap for an hour or less if she was on her back, and sometimes it was the only thing that could help her fall asleep on bad nights. That big swing was worth every square inch it took up, and more. Bouncers or travel swings are good to help you make dinner or catch a quick shower--but the little swings don't have the power of a big swing, and I wouldn't give my big swing up for anything.

Carriers--I used a sling a lot with DD, but honestly didn't like it much when she was tiny--I had a very difficult time getting her positioned so her head wouldn't collapse on her chest. This time I got a Sleepy Wrap, and I'm hoping it will be better.

Kiddopotamus velcro swaddler wraps--swaddling was essential for DD's nighttime sleep for many months. We tried regular swaddle blankets, and different brands of velcro wraps, but she could escape all of them and she'd wake herself up and be unhappy. With this brand (that our local CVS/RiteAid actually carries), she was snug and secure and slept great!

Bassinet -- she slept in hers, right next to our bed, for the first 6 months. We thought we'd try cosleeping, but it just did not work for us--we all slept better when she had her own space. BUT, I wanted to have her right next to me at first so I could check on her, and so all the nighttime feeds/changes would be easier. It was hard (on me, not her so much!) to move her down the hall to her room/crib at 6 mos, but she had outgrown the bassinet, and eventually it did feel good for DH and I to get some bedroom privacy back.

If you're BFing and going back to work, a good Medela breast pump

The Happiest Baby on the Block book

Breast pads and nursing bras/tanks

Baby monitor with video screen -- we didn't use this a lot when she was tiny, but as soon as she started napping and sleeping in her own room more, this became invaluable. She can be a light sleeper (not all the time, but sometimes), and we have old creaky wood stairs and floors, so I can't go check on her without risking waking her up. Also, sometimes she makes noise in her sleep or will wake up a little bit--if I go check on her then, it is guaranteed to totally wake her up. If I just look at her on the monitor, I can see if she is falling back asleep on her own and I should leave her alone, or if she is actually awake/upset, and she needs me to come to her.

Infant bucket car seat--perfect for removing a sleeping baby from the car without waking her, and also makes a handy travel napping spot so your baby can catch a quick, comfy nap at a restaurant, friend's house, etc. if the need arises. Also good for keeping baby warm during winter travel without having to bundle her up in a snowsuit--just pop her in the warm seat in the house, cover her in a cozy blanket, put a hat on her, and she's good to go.