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Hello! I'm early in this pregnancy, but already thinking of things that a baby really "needs". We have a small townhouse right now, and the space is a little limited. I don't like a bunch of "junk and clutter", but would like to know from more experienced moms out there what you found necessary and what you found that society makes you believe you need...

I don't think I need to buy a separate changing table...just a space killer for us. Any insights!?? Thanks in advance!!!
 

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I think what some moms consider essential, others have no use for -- it depends on your baby and your situation. However, we live in a townhouse too, so I can tell you what we felt about the piles of gear we got for our dd when she was born.

Was Great:
-floor mat with stimulating things dangling above it (gymini?)
-Pack-n-play (we had a moses basket for her in our room, but downstairs, it was nice for her to have someplace to sleep and get changed. We have hardwood floors and changing her on the floor would have been uncomfortable for everyone -- and you change a LOT of diapers in those early months, so going upstairs to the bedroom every time was not going to be fun either)
-sling (do I even need to say this here?
We had a padded sling initially, but I was much happier when I got my maya wrap, and will use that from the beginning this time)
-a good diaper bag (comfortable for you to carry)
-special swaddling blanket with velcro to keep it closed
-tons and tons of white undershirts (that's all she wore for a while!)
-our enormous tank stroller which the infant bucket seat fit into (yes, it was bulky, but you can put EVERYTHING underneath -- blankets, jackets for the entire family, snacks, your pump if necessary)
-my pump-n-style traveller (backpack-style medela pump)

Was Useless:
-baby swing (dd hated it, it took up a lot of space, it was ugly)
-front carrier (Baby Bjorn or Snugli -- too many buckles, dd didn't like her arms and legs dangling)
-nursing clothes (I just preferred to wear bigger shirts and lift them up, or button-down shirts and unbutton them -- those nursing tops always looked silly to me)
-lots of toys (infants don't play, really -- did no one know this? we had eight million doodads with contrasting colors, DD played with maybe two of them)

I hope that helps!
 

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We didn't really use a lot of the normal items, including:

~crib
~changing table
~swing

These three items alone can take up your whole house, how I wish now we wouldn't of even bought any of them!
 

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Yup no crib.. (mines been in a heap of dust 6 years now) :LOL
After co-sleeping kids just dont wanna be caged!

Playpen is pretty much a waste of space we use it as a giant storage bin :LOL

Slings yes!! yes!!

Swings? depends on the baby.. we like the small portable ones

Changetable ..no clue never owned one.

Strollers are fabulous if you have multiple children (or plan too :LOL )

Trying to think of what else.. we just do not use alot of baby stuff! we had an Amby hammock and it was liked more by my 2 yo than the baby ever saw it.. hee hee
 

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I have a tiny house too but I couln't live w/o my changing table, it really helps keep things organized and reduces clutter so I consider it to be an excellent investment in space. Our baby swing was a big space hog but also very worth it. For #2 I'm going to try just using a bouncy seat to gently encourage indepencant sleep but won't hesitate to pull the swing out of storage if needed.

I never got much use out of my crib, basinette, or playpen though. Also we never bothered with a highchair, just got one of those booster seats with a tray that you can attach to a regular chair. I mostly used various carriers but really like my jogging stroller for occasional trail hikes.
 

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Something is as necessary as you want it to be.
Like a changing table. I had one with my DD but not with my 2 DSs. I really regretted not having one the last time. It was great for storage and made things easier on my back. I liked everything being in one central location and liked the shelf space.
While I didn't use a swing with 1 & 2, my 3rd child loved it. We had the Take Along Swing, it could fold up and be put away. I really liked it and he used it till he got too fat.
The most unnecessary think I had was a bulky big stroller with 1&2, the swing, one of those front holding baby carriers, a crib for 1, and a portacrib/playpen thing for all 3.

Some babies like swings and bouncers. My first two loved those vibrating bouncy seats, but no.3 hated it.
 

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I would definitely second the crib. They are big, expensive and ds really didn't like his. We had great luck with a cosleeper, because it's also a playpen and a place you can put baby down to nap safely. We had a sheepskin that we would put in there, and ds was happy as can be. For the new baby, I would like to get an organic cotton mattress for the cosleeper.
I also second the toys thing. Ds had a few wooden rattles to start out, and a silver one, and that was perfect. We loved the activity mat, too, with all the toys that dangle when he got older. I think ours was made by tiny love.
It is a struggle to keep clutter down with a little one, and it's great that you're already thinking about it.
 

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I'm on my fourth baby.
We do have a changing table. Really just a low dresser with a foam pad on top. For my second baby we just changed diapers on the bed, and to me this is SO much more convenient.

Let's see... lots and lots of cloth diapers, my baby is wearing 12-month clothing, but I'm still using the preemie size because you have to fold the regular size so it doesn't stick out of the cover, and that is too much fuss and bulk for my taste. So lots of preemie diapers. I have six covers per size, though more would have been nice when she was a newborn (because of the frequent pooing.) I like fleece with aplix and have found that with the polarbabies brand, which makes something like eight different sizes, you can easily get away with only three sizes (which I guess is why most manufacturers only makes S-M-L.) We use disposables at night (so I can get some sleep, because she will NOT tolerate a wet diaper) and for outings.

Larger cloth diapers for putting over one breast while I'm nursing with the other.

Lots of wash cloths.

A good padded sling.

Baby Tylenol, for when she is really miserable.

Unscented diaper rash ointment.

Olive oil for coating bottom in the first days (makes meconium easier to wipe off.)

Several warm soft receiving blankets.

Lots and lots of footed sleepers. (Or, in warmer weather, shirts that snap closed. I've never been a fan of onesies, because they are cumbersome to put on and take off of an infant, IMO.)

Baby hats and socks.

A large bag for carrying changes of diaper and clothing on outings.

A sling chair for resting baby in when I can't hold her (to me, this is ESSENTIAL.)

Comfy car seat with foam insert for around the head and pads for the straps.

I am really wracking my brain, and I am pretty sure that is all the baby stuff we are using this time.
 

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For us,
A crib has been useless.
No changing table.

We have used the swing, but her current favorite is a jumperoo. She loves that thing! I turn off the lights and noise though. Totally unneccesary on that toy IMHO.
 

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The basics:

something for the baby to sleep in, for when you are super tired or just want your space back (a pack n play w/ bassinett options is great for this) -- statement assumes co-sleeping.

something to carry your baby in -- SLING!!! And you need a carseat, there are pluses and minuses to the carrier carseats. My colicky infant was slinged everywhere, carseat stayed in car. My other two liked being in the carrier at the store, so it depends on the baby.

A floor mat like Gymini is nice and not a space taker. A few hand toys, invest in some nice wooden ones like those from HABA. If you have a girl, get her a baby doll my dd loves hers (she like the boys cars and trucks too).

I love our swing, I bought it for ds1. I borrowed a johny jumper for ds1 and bought one for ds2, but dd really loves it best (this is a 6mo plus item dd just started at 9 mo to really enjoy jumping). A friend gave me an excersaucer, it has been great for me working from home for ds2 and dd, but takes up almost all of our office floor space!

My mother just gave my dd the worst Christmas gift ever. I don't even know what it is called. It's by fisher-price and it is a vibrating seat with dangly toys on it which you strap your child into and then it converts to a rocker for a toddler. And since my dh put it together and throw out the box, I'm stuck with it (up to the attic till I get sick of it being there or Granny comes for a visit). I have a rocker all ready, two of them, so that is just what I needed another one b/c she is too old to be strapped in to look at dangly things!!! I don't believe in boucny seats being useful, some parents swear by them, I hate them the floor is soo much better for development. I'm a bit touchy b/c of of that gift.
:

I have a changing table and find it to be invaluable. I use cd and have 2 in cd, I can designate a space under the table for each child's dipes. The table saves my back and the sheets. I was changing dipes for a week on the bed at my mother's house. DD peed on the bed mid-change rolled right off the changing mat and DS2 poo rolled out of the dipe onto the bed!!! I washed sheets 2X that day just so I could go to sleep that night.

If I had to choose just 4 things:
SLING, SWING, CHANGING TABLE, and GYMINI floor mat (I could drop the changing table if my dresser was higher and buy one of thosse curved mats for the top of it or if I were more adgile and could get down on the floor for every diaper change.)
 

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Along with some of things already mentioned, we also never used a baby bathtub. Just put them in the sink! or we co bathed
 

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Needs:
burp cloths
diapers and covers and wipes
clothes (sleepers and socks)
blankets
sling
carseat

Wants:
basket or bassinets for naps
gymini
stroller
toys (I say this because my dd had a lot of fun playing with lids, spoons, etc)
books (because you can always get books at the library)
mini bathtub
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fiddledebi
I think what some moms consider essential, others have no use for -- it depends on your baby and your situation.

Was Great:
-floor mat with stimulating things dangling above it (gymini?)
-Pack-n-play (we had a moses basket for her in our room, but downstairs, it was nice for her to have someplace to sleep and get changed. We have hardwood floors and changing her on the floor would have been uncomfortable for everyone -- and you change a LOT of diapers in those early months, so going upstairs to the bedroom every time was not going to be fun either)
-sling (do I even need to say this here?
We had a padded sling initially, but I was much happier when I got my maya wrap, and will use that from the beginning this time)
-a good diaper bag (comfortable for you to carry)
-special swaddling blanket with velcro to keep it closed
-tons and tons of white undershirts (that's all she wore for a while!)
-my pump-n-style traveller (backpack-style medela pump)

Was Useless:
-baby swing (dd hated it, it took up a lot of space, it was ugly)
-front carrier (Baby Bjorn or Snugli -- too many buckles, dd didn't like her arms and legs dangling)
-nursing clothes (I just preferred to wear bigger shirts and lift them up, or button-down shirts and unbutton them -- those nursing tops always looked silly to me)
-lots of toys (infants don't play, really -- did no one know this? we had eight million doodads with contrasting colors, DD played with maybe two of them)

I hope that helps!
ITA!!!!

Other useless items:
*Diaper genie
*Diaper wipe warmer
(of course if you are using cloth dipes, you wouldn't need these items.)
*Bottles & Bottle Warmer-I used only cups for breastmilk once my kids were eating solids.
*Any cloth diaper covers made with PUL, vinyl or nylon. both my kids got horrible rashes when I used any of these type of covers.

I am sure I will think of more...I will add to this list later

Must Haves (IMO):
*Bi-O-Kleen laundry & cleaning products (for house, laundry & esp. cloth dipes)
*a very sturdy diaper pail x 2 (one for downstairs and upstairs)
*a very comfortable rocking chair (one that is supportive of your arms while nursing)
*cloth diaper rice paper inserts (these are for when babe poops, they are flushable and bio-degradeable
)
*great quality and support nursing bras (like Bravado...love these, I have about 5)
*a supply of hylands homeopathic products (for teething, colic, etc....)
*Mother's Milk Tea (even if you don't have a problem with producing milk, it taste good, doesn't hurt babe and it is soothing for the both of you!)
*Herbal Bath Soak for you and babe

 

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It's hard for me to say, I really think it depends on the baby. With Connor I registered for a lot of stuff that I didn't end up using because it didn't work for him or for us. I had to go return all of that stuff and buy what did work for us. I'm not going to assume anything for this baby! We'll go with what we have and then fill in where we need to.

I do know that we'll need cloth diapers, another booster chair, a car seat and some clothes.
 

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On the changing table, I don't have one and have done just fine. Sometimes I wish I had it to organize CD supplies, but we got a nice dresser from Ikea that has a "lip" on 3 sides and we put a contoured changing pad on it. Works just fine and will be a useful dresser as he grows.
 

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I too am against junk and clutter. (For me. I am totally cool with other people having a separate item for every function if that works for them.) A changing table is an example of one of those things that is designed partly to fill space. If you have the space and the money, it can be a handy surface and a handy storage space. But if you don't, you won't miss it at all. (I had this insight about space fillers after moving from a 2BR apt, where we needed furniture to mold the space and make it useful, into a 1BR apt, where after throwing out a bunch of furniture and half our junk we didn't miss it. At all. And we have a whole new, ultra-conservative perspective on whether it is worth buying something that takes up space.)

There is so little that "everyone" actually needs for a baby. A sling, diapers, and climate-appropriate clothes, maybe. (In that order, IMO!) Blankets are useful. Depending on your individual circumstances, you might also need a breast pump and a carseat. Until you meet the baby in question, I think it's hard to speculate on what else would be nice to have. One thing I found very handy was a reclining umbrella stroller (worked as a "baby seat", portable nap platform, and shower tool), but I could have done without it and may this time. Pretty much everything else people gave us -- a big bulky stroller, bassinet, bouncy seat, and johnny jump-up -- was either entirely useless or extremely easy to do without.

My favorite baby item is our queen sized mattress. It's multi-purpose: works for sleeping, playing, nursing, changing, folding diapers and clothes, cuddling as a family, and probably lots of other stuff I'm not thinking of at the moment. :)
 

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For us, these things have been (or would have been) useless:

- crib - baby is meant to sleep with the mama!

- in bed sleeping devices like a little baby tent - my dd wouldn't have tolerated being even a little bit away from me physically, they want to know they are right with you for comfort. And you won't smother them! It becomes really obvious why not once they're here

- playpen

- cheapo front pack carriers (like from toys r us)

- bucket car seat (I say go straight to a convertible seat, tho there is a lively debate about that somewhere on these forums)

- breastpump (I say know where to get it quickly if needed, but don't buy ahead of time coz you might not need it)

- changetable - instead get a changing pad that is waterproof on one side, a basket of dipes and changing supplies, and you have a portable changing table that can work on the bed, couch or wherever

- lots of newborn size expensive clothes - they grow FAST! Get second hand, and buy 3 mos size and up.

- expensive baby holders that vibrate (like chairs - get a cheaper bouncy chair - they like them better)

Useful items:

- a sling (unpadded is best - Maya wrap rules!!)

- a two shoulder carrier (not necessary for a newborn but as baby grows). Check out www.mamatoto.org for how to make a homemade wrap cheap! Go to www.thebabywearer.com for reviews of different carriers. Apart from mamatoto homemade wraps (which are what I mostly use for my toddler), a carrier is worth spending $$ on imo. Cheap ones suck.

- a stroller for back up (depends where you live... huge 3-wheeler is great in the snow and for long walks/carrying heavy stuff, umbrella strollers are great for public transit in the city)

- a good cloth diaper stash, in one-size, small/med. As with the clothes, don't go overboard on newborn sizes!

- something to put baby in while you pee or attempt to wolf down dinner(portable swing, or bouncy chair)

- boppy/nursing pillowZ
 

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I agree with everyone saying it depends on the baby...

i wouldn't want to do it without:
change table ( I live in a small mobile home)
cotton/flannel pillow cases(I used these as changing pads in the diaper bag) it wasn't plastic I had to disinfect after touching a public changing station, I was always worried Id change baby next time on the side that had touched the station at the last stop lol I could just throw the pillow case in the wash and get a clean one for the diaper bag)
bouncy seat
car seat
good reliable dependable camera

pump (I had good success with an Avent. I also knew in advance I would need to pump for work)
BM storage system (I liked the ease of marking when expressed etc)
floor mat with hanging toys
walker (ds loved it, I had no ceiling for a jumpy thing, I had no stairs in house either for safety, ds could follow me around house, I know these are among the BAD items for kids, but I loved mine and was responsible for DS when he was in it, it folded up and fit in my closet when not in use)

Things I NEVER used:
burp clothes
recieveing blankets (I must have 100 of these
)
really cute baby clothes (they never get worn)
pack n play

I had a swing DS liked but this time I am more limited on room and do not like clutter either. SO I think this time we will try a little portable one.

I can't think of anything else, but if I do I'll chiime in again.

Jennie
Middle Mamma
 

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What we really DID NOT NEED -

Swing
Bouncer
Crib
Exersaucer
Changing Table (never had one)
tons of bottles that took up a lot of cupboard space (only used 3 of the bottles we had and only for a VERY short time)
bassinet (I used the full sized pack n play bassi if I really needed it).
Playmat - he did get good use out of this, but I hated the one we got

HTH

A lot of what we found a waste of space is used readily by most other people.
 
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