Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Honest Opinion: Baby Necessities 101

I have a friend who is expecting her first child.

While I am expecting our second.

Last week, she posted on Facebook that she was trying to get together a list of things NECESSITIES for her new baby.

And I laughed.

Partially, because I clearly remember doing the same thing.

But mostly because I saved my list. 

I'm weird like that.

And because I am so, so generous, I thought I would share it with you guys too.

Because who knows?

Maybe one of you is looking for the all time greatest necessities of newborn/baby life.

And I shall swoop in and rescue you with my words of wisdom!


I'm like a superhero, only without the cape.

And perhaps with a little more cleavage.

And a lot more utility. 

So without further ado:

1. My most favoritest - I-couldn't-live-without-it-baby-item is my pack n' play.  Mine has a changing table and a “newborn napper”.

(it’s like a tiny hammock that snuggles them – which is HUGE in the beginning) Forget the bassinet.  If you have this thing, your child will sleep nowhere else until you move them to their bed. 

2.  LOTS of onesies sizes 0-3, 3-6, 6-12, 3 packs of each.
My best advice on this is to think ahead and get long sleeved ones for what should be winter months and short sleeved ones for the spring/summer months.  I.e., my child was born in December.  0-3 months should all be long sleeved, 3-6 could be a mix, 6-9 mos - short, 9-12 long, etc. 

And put them under everything in the beginning.

Onesies are your first line of defense against having to use those extra outfits in your diaper bag while you are running errands.

You can thank me later.

3.  A hi-chair on wheels.  I used to say one that attached to a dining chair, but since using my moms and rolling it all over her house became, I have recanted this stance.

As a matter of fact, I will probably be selling my attached to the DR Chair one prior to baby #2's arrival. 

Should any of you be know where to find me.
4. Lansinoh nursing pads.

Ok. So it really doesn't have to be Lansinoh brand, but the most important thing to look for is a sealed edge. 

If the edges aren't sealed, you are going to be a hot (wet) mess!

I refuse to explain this to you, so just trust me. 



5.  Lansinoh Nipple cream.

If you are planning to nurse, stop what you are doing.  Go buy some of this cream and pack it in your hospital bag today.  And then begin using IMMEDIATELY when you start to nurse.  Coat your girls with them and keep it on your nursing pads, as well.  I may be the only person I know who didn't have problems with cracking or bleeding, but I may also be the only person I know who practically bathed in this stuff.


I swore by it!

And you may be wondering, Lansinoh as opposed to other brands? 


Because Lansinoh is 100% lanolin and is completely safe for the baby.  Which basically means, no cleaning off before nursing.  Trust me, you won't want to take the time to touch or clean anything at that point in time. 


6.  A good breast pump.

Mine is an older Medela model, but it got the job done. 

All of my friends have pretty much used Medela models as well, so I can't really speak to any other brands or models....

But what I can say is that I would NOT recommend a manual pump.

Because that's gross.

And messy. 

And uber time consuming.

And just trust me when I say you don't wanna make time to do that in the beginning....

7.  A vinyl/waterproof mattress cover (the kind that is like a big mattress pillowcase).

Because spit happens.

Along with...other stuff....

Need I say more?

8.  No less than 4 crib sheets

See above.

And then think about washing baby sheets 3 times a week....

Says it all, right?
9.  Lively Links.

I swear, you will use these to attach toys of all shapes and sizes to everything you own.

And as far as baby toys go, this will probably be one of your long term best investments.

I am still using them. 

I know, crazy right? 

But seriously, when you have a toddler that likes to throw things from the grocery cart, you will too....

10.  1-2 pack-n-play sheets

I don't want to terrify you, but there will come a day when your child has explosive diarrhea.

Or vomit.

And if your child is in his/her crib, all you have to do is pull of the crib sheet and wash it.

But in the pack n play?  That pad isn't exactly machine washable.

Therefore a sheet is entirely convenient.

And surprisingly, not all crib sheets will fit this sucker.


Save yourself the time and effort of scrubbing that pad with clorox and lysol and buy the sheet already.

11.  Receiving blankets.

Inevitably, you are going to see an adorable set of receiving blankets and want to register for them.

But don't.

Resist the urge and put the blankets DOWN.


You'll get 2 dozen blankets from your 1st shower. 

And they will be filled with meaning and love that no store bought blanket ever could be. 

Because your best friend's granny made it for you, arthritic knuckles and all.

And that means more than any store bought blanket ever could.

Take it from me, there's just no need....

12.  Bottles.

Eventually, your child will take a bottle. 

And there are as many versions out there as their are colors of crayons.  Seriously.  Do your research, but in the end, decide what's right for you.  Maybe you don't want to wash bottles and drop-in's are the way you want to go.  Maybe you like me, are el cheapo and you don't want to have to buy drop-in's all the time. 

13.  Sippy cups

The transition from bottle to sippy cup is iffy, but when it's time, I highly recommend starting with the cheap ones that have a rubber tip like a bottle –Munchkin/Nuby.  They provided the easiest transition for us.

14. Diapers

There is much talk of if you are having a boy/girl you will want to get Huggies/Pampers.  Don't buy it.  It's hooey.  Different diapers will work differently for EVERY kid.  Girl or boy.  (And I have found the Target brand and Luv's to work as well, if not better, than any of the more expensive brands.)

My one major piece of advice about diapers?  If you are having a boy, DO NOT get the ones with the cut-outs for belly button – they’ll pee right out of it!

15. An Umbrella stroller
When your child is sitting up on his/her own, you'll suddenly realize how much easier it is to carry an umbrella stroller than the giant travel system. 

Also, running through an airport with one of these is way easier.  Not that I would know.  Just saying...
16.  A Travel System.

Despite the fact that the umbrella stroller is convenient, there will be times, and they will be quite often in the beginning that that's just not going to cut it.

They are convenient.  I mean, your car seat attaches right in...and then we all know how versatile they can be sans car seat...right?  The down side?  Once your kid gets to be 20+ lbs., they are officially too big for this sucker.  BUT - just so you know, there are several lines that are now offering seats that go up to 35 pounds.

Like this one: 

Not that you want to be carrying a 35 lb. baby around in a car seat, just that you could stretch the life of your infant seat that much longer.

Something to think about....

17.  A 3-in-1 Toddler Seat. 

If you aren't totally feeling the 35 lb. baby in an infant seat, then there is always the option of a 3-in-1.

Yes, they are expensive.  But they are worth EVERY PENNY.  Because you can literally use it until your kid is out of the car seat/booster phase. 

18.  A Bouncy Seat/Swing. 

Here's where the experience comes in handy. 

The first time, I registered for a large, standing floor swing. 

Because it was pretty.  Because it matched all the other baby supplies I had. 

And because I could plug it in rather than buying batteries.

Boy was that stupid. 

The power cord never worked and I had a HUGE swing in the middle of the room ALL THE TIME. 

Lesson learned.

THIS time, I am getting a space saver. 

Like this. 

It swings and vibrates - I don't have to have 2 seats - it's small enough to take everywhere, and I already have enough rechargeable batteries from baby round 1 to power a small industrial facility.  SERIOUSLY. 

19.  A quick charging battery charger and at least 4 of every size battery. 

You will thank me later.  TRUST ME.

20.  A good thermometer.

Make that 2 good thermometers.

Because you will want a temporal for quick checks.

And a rectal for the times when you really need to know an accurate temp.  (The temporal is usually off by 1 degree or so.)

21.  A grocery cart seat cover

Most new moms think they need one. 

But in reality, you (if you are anything like me) will probably only use like 2x. 

Not that they aren't convenient, but more trouble than they are worth. 

Especially since Little Man shopped the first year from his car seat.

22. A nursing cape.  AKA. The Hooter Hider.

If you are going to nurse in public, this is a necessity.  I was never a nurse in public type.  I would seriously go lock myself in the car for 20 minutes before I would allow myself to be seen nursing in public, even with a hooter hider.  It's just so weird to have strangers know what is going on under there.  Even if they can't see it.
And I am just so EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW about it. 

But believe me, for you girls who can rock it, I am completely jealous.  Because I was stuck in my car for far too many hours attempting to feed my ravenous spawn and staring at the back of my seat cushions wondering why the makers chose a star patterned fabric instead of a dot.  I may have gone a little insane during those days....

23.  An awesome diaper bag with plenty of pockets and zippers...I wanted a backpack, but I refuse to pay the price for them – they are ridiculous – but a backpack doesn't swing down and hit the baby!

24.  Itzbeen Timer.

Unless you have a smart phone and then search for baby feeding app’s there are all kinds of free ones out there.

25. Bumbo seat

There are so many times and so many ways to use a Bumbo seat.  Just trust me when I say you want one.

26.  Cool Mist Humidifier

First of all, you should know that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE has a different opinion about cool air vs. warm air humidifiers.  You could read reviews from 25 different doctors online and they would all have a different opinion.  In the end, we chose a cool mist because warm air humidifiers make me think of a warm hot bed of breeding bacteria, but I don't think there is any scientific evidence to prove that.

All the same, I run a humidifier every single night in Little Man's room and have for months.  The sound is soothing to him and he typically sleeps better with it on.  Don't ask me why, but I am a BELIEVER. 

A few things you will want to look for when choosing a humidifier: 
- Make sure it has an On/Off Switch.  Sounds simple right?  Until you realize that several of them don't.  And it's just annoying to refill that often if you don't have to.
- Look for a removable/cleanable filter.  Again with the bacteria.... 

27. Gentle Vapor's nightlight – because your child will inevitably get a cold at like 4-6 weeks and you will worry yourself sick since you can’t give them medicine yet.

Use it with your humidifier and you will feel like mom of the year for being so prepared.

28.  Infant Tylenol.

Because once you get those 8 week shots, you can use it when your baby is feverish and fussy. 

And probably as soon as you get those 8 weeks shots, your baby will become feverish and fussy....

Just get it.  And be glad you have it!
29. Tommee Tippee Rubber Bibs 

AKA. The best bibs EVER.  Made of rubber and have a HUGE pocket.  And once you start baby food, you will never want to be without one. You wash them in the dishwasher along with everything else. Goodness knows I wish that I had known about them way back! LOL.

30.  2-3 Swaddler Blankets

Personally, I preferred the ones with Velcro rather than the wraps. The wraps NEVER stayed for my little guy.

So.  There ya go.

30 of my absolute favorite baby products. 

And the how's and why's that you may not have asked for, but that I was kind enough to give you anyway.

Now, if only I could find my cape...

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