First Time Mom-to-be Overwhelmed with All the Products!

Updated on July 23, 2010
D.N. asks from Cary, NC
42 answers

Hi Moms,

I am a first time mom-to-be (14 weeks) and have been researching the many products out there for babies. I am basically seeking advice about any and all products that you feel were necessary/useful for a baby. I don't have a lot of space and really want to avoid registering for items that you found to be unnecessary. Were there any products you got that you thought you would love and just ended up never using? Or, on the contrary, an item that was just a total lifesaver? I am also curious about the recommended strollers, bottles, pacifiers, bath tubs, breast pumps, etc. Also, as far a crib mattresses go, do you prefer foam or inner spring? Advice on any products based on your experience is welcome!

Thanks!

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T.L.

answers from Denver on

There were lots of products years ago but nowadays it is unreal the number of products and gadgets out there. I think if you stick to the simple basics you can't go wrong.
My favs were: swing, boppy pillow, umbrella stroller, diaper genie.

Things I had or tried that I feel were useless or unneccessary to me:
wipe warmer, big bulky stroller, high chair, bassinet, pacifiers, baby bath tub.

Huggies were my favorite diaper, evenflo were my favorite bottles, crib mattress - inner spring.

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M.G.

answers from Chicago on

What helped me a TON was registering with a girlfriend that already had kids. She came with me and explained all the products. We walked through every aisle, and she told me what items were and if she found them useful.

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N.R.

answers from Lakeland on

Oy - so many responses. As an older first time mom - having my one and only at 40 - here are my experiences. I know that this is long - but I think that you will find some things here that other's don't think about.
1) LOVED loved LOVED - our travel system / car seat & stroller. I recently passed them to my niece for her baby, and she loved them, and when she was done - gave them back to me and I consigned them for $100 and they sold right away! The rear facing car seat that I had not only locked onto the base in the car - but onto shopping carts as well! It drives me crazy when I see people with their babies balanced up on the seat in their ill fitting car seats - and it made me love that mine latched on. It hooked on and released with the same mechanism on the back of the seat approx under the baby's head that you release it from the base with. Ours was an Eddie Bauer set up from Babies R Us - and the person working when we registered was very knowledeable - and showed me how some of them tip very easily when on the strollers - vs the one that we bought. Loved him for that! ALSO - my husband builds race cars - and safety is something that he is very away of. Some of those baby seats only lock onto their bases by a little plastic cap that is essentially over a spring that pops that cap in and out of a hole in the base - if that makes sense. Ours - had metal jaws underneath that actually opened (receaded) and closed around a metal bar in the base - or shopping cart.
2) Pack and Play was a waste of $ for us - dragged it out like twice - she ended up sleeping with us instead.
3) little basket for pacifiers, bottle nipples, small toys etc in the dishwasher.
4) mesh zippered lingerie bags - great for washing socks and small items - makes sorting and folding laundry much faster. Don't bother with the draw string ones - they either come untied - or it takes too long to pick the knot. Dollar tree has 2 & 3 packs for $1 !
5) Boppy pillow - must have. Did not use it for nursing - but found it invaluable for holding baby burrito in our bed, or on the floor etc..
6) We travel alot - and found the Snuggli to be great too. When it was cold - and we were at a race track - my huband actually had the baby in the snuggli inside of his jacket with her face poking out like a kangaroo! She loved it!
7) link a dos - or whatever they are called. I had several sets. They are plastic rings that you can snap together and hook small toys, pacifiers etc to the car seat, stroller, snuggli etc.... Keeps these items from hitting the floor especially out in public, and they are dishwasher safe! (put them in the previously mentioned small basket on the top rack)
8) baby tub
9) extra crib sheet, and waterproof quick change pad for over the sheet.
10) baby monitor
11) We loved our big stroller. To me it wasn't hard to set up or break down, and we found the extra room on it to be invaluable. We frequent alot of race tracks, and amusement parks, and other public places. It was important to me that my daughter be comfortable in it. I liked that I could recline it if she was sleeping, it had a shade canopy and a weather boot - and when used with the rear facing infant seat - the shade canopies could both be closed so that they met - and the baby could sleep undisturbed and not getting sunburned. We are very tall - and I find the umbrella strollers to be in a pain in the back - literally, and the kids always look "hunched" and uncomfortable in them, and there is no place for cargo. We tried them all out and picked one that was taller that suited us so we didn't have to "hunch" to push it. Ours had 2 drink holders up top for mom and day, a little closed compartment wich held sunblock, sunglasses, park passes, a little $ or whatever, 2 drink holders for baby, and a tray. The whole tray / cupholder assembly was removable and dishwasher safe. The 2 cupholders for baby seemed funny at first - but actually - little baby snack bowls with lids fit in one - and don't fall off very easily as opposed to sliding around on a tray etc. Bottles, sippy cups etc.. in the other, snap a do links and toys can easily be attached to one of the seat belt straps. I'm a bit of a germaphobe - and didn't like the idea of changing my baby on those dirty baby changing stations out in public. I mean - have you ever paid attention to what some people do on those or how grubby some of those kids look? No thanks. I would just put the foot rest up, and the back rest down in the stroller to make that area larger - and lay her down in there to change her. I kept a small receiving blanket on hand for putting under her - just in case there was spillage or leakage if you get my drift. Our stroller - had 4 front wheels - 2 on each side, it sounds funny, but was easy to push through almost anything, and turned on a dime!
12) Inflatable baby booster. I think that it was by "First years" and I paid less that $20 for it at Target. It was blue and black, and looked like a small briefcase. You unclip it, it opens up to a seat with a back, you pull a little cap open and it self inflates. You strap it to the seat and back in a restaraunt, and then the baby sits in and is strapped in with a Y shaped yoke and seat belt system. Very secure and sanitary. Have you ever noticed that in restaraunts - they turn those wooden high chairs upside down to balance the little infance carriers on, and then for the next customer with a toddler - flip it right side up and want you to sit someone who is going to be eating with their fingers in the part that was just and hour before upside down on the nasty floor? Uh....can you say gross? I can't tell you how many people approached us to see where we bought that when we would use it in restaraunts.
13) Disposable, vinyl placemats. No matter what - toddlers put their food all over the table - even when served on a plate when they are first starting to self feed. The Dollar Tree has packages of thin plastic placemats - just give the table a wipe with a baby wipe and while still damp - smooth it down and it will "cling" to the table until you are done, then you can wad it up and put it in the middle of a plate that it being removed from the table as you leave.
14) Baby wipes - don't go anywhere or do anything without them, EVER.
15)The "Floopy Seat". It's the big fabric thing that goes over shopping carts for your baby to sit in. Don't fall victim to the cheap wannabees - they don't fit. The original Floppy Seat at Toys R Us / Babies R Us - fits ALL of the carts. I've had mine in Walmart, Publix, Home Depot, Lowes and even the big big double carts at Sams. They have loops on them for attaching those handy link a dos, pockets inside for keys, sippy cups, baby wipes etc and they are MACHINE WASHABLE. I had the cheapo wannabee from Burlington - and A) it didn't fit any shopping carts, not even the small one at Burlington, B) didn't have sides - first thing that happend was that my daughter tipped to the side and banged her head on the wire edge of a cart, then turned and started chewing on it C) "spot clean only" SERIOUSLY? Also handy when my daughter was a toddler- if she was asleep when we pulled in somewhere - I could put this on the seat of the shopping cart, fold a blanket or towel to wedge in the corner, and I would lay her in the seat with her feet hanging over the other side and often times she would sleep through and entire trip to walmart. MUST HAVE.
16) Please don't put a value on your baby's head. Check out these websites when selecting car seats, and as your baby grows choosing a car seat vs booster, and read the fine print on those weight limits on car seats!
They usually say big "Up to 85 lbs" and then small "as a belt positioning booster - 40 lbs as a car seat". Belt positioning booster = bad. :-(
http://www.kyledavidmiller.org/
http://www.vimeo.com/2994502
If these links don't work, then go to youtube, and search "5 point car seat" and watch the first thing you see posted by kcmillerfamily. I have no connection to them, but after seeing this very informative video I can tell you, my now 6 year old, 48lb daughter will be in her Britax seat until she is 85+ lbs! There is only 1 Holly, and I couldn't bear it if anything were to happen to her. What this video tells you about seat belt failure - I can attest to - as I had a Cougar that would come unbuckled for no reason at all while I was driving down the road! Watch them, and think about it. I hope that this helps. Good luck, and enjoy that baby!
Oh yea - a digital camera if you don't already have one! I'm a picture taking maniac.
Oh Oh - I forgot one more thing. SCOTCH GUARD! I scotch guarded everything, and when the inevitable happened - I washed it, air dried it, put it back on (high chair, car seat, stroller, snuggli) I sprayed it again. I truly think that is why my niece was so delighted to get our 5 year old stroller car seat combo - and why I was able to sell it for so much when she was done with it. Everything looks (ed) brand spanking new, and we used the heck out of them!

2 moms found this helpful

H.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

One thing is for sure, you will buy some things that will not be useful, and others you will love. It varies so much per family and baby. The swing was a lifesaver for me, others find it a waist of space. The baby reclining bouncer was a must, would even purchase 2 if you have a two story house. Large swadlers (40" x 40"), or even better yet, velcro swaddlers. Muslin swaddlers for summer babies. I enjoyed the Bumbo, but could have lived without it. You can get by without a high chair for the first 5 months. I bought a snap and go stroller to get me by until I researched the everyday stroller I wanted. I'd invest in a baby travel sleeping system to get them used to it from an early age (we have to travel with a portable crib because my daughter never took to a pack n play.) Though I hear those little baby pod tents are the bomb for light weight traveling. I personally loved using a bassinet, but you save money to just use the pack n play as the bassinet and then just use it for travel when they move to the crib. I waisted a great deal of money on baby slings and carriers and wish I had found a way to try them all out before hand (places like that do exist). Keep in mind that you can still get out and about even with a baby to purchase must have items. I found myself scrambling for more burp clothes, postpartum clothes for me (high waisted, was not planning on that emergency C, but it happens to 1/4 births). I had way to many clothes! keep the clothes cozy (onzies and baby kimonos) because you pretty much just hang at home with newborns and don't bother with more than 2 photo opp outfits per size. As for breast pumps, don't stress about it yet. Take a breastfeeding class close to birth and you'll get great recommendations there. As for me, I'm buying the Medela Symphony hand pump to get me through engorgement. Then if for some reason I need the commercial grade pump, the attachments for the symphony will work with that pump. But seriously, don't invest in the expensive pumps until you know you will use it. I rented mine and ended up failing at BF in the end. So glad I didn't buy. The best advice I ever got from a mom was to invest in a really comfortable nursing chair, you spend hours a day in it. Also, I bought a nice dresser for baby room and placed a change pad on top. No need for change tables. totally used the clean diaper storage sack you hang on the wall, but thew out all wipe warmers, and all diaper disposal systems. They all stink! If your house is small, you will not likely end up using a baby monitoring system. Its nice to have, but I'm glad I only spent $20 on mine. I only use it at Grandmas house (its big). An activity matt (the ones where you lay them on their back and they look at the toys). Stuff it easy, you can send husband out to get just about anything or order on Amazon. Time however is a luxury you will not have, so arm yourself with knowledge and contacts on Breastfeeding. Its often the biggest challenge you encounter those first few weeks. I also went through a variety of baby bathing devices. But for new born, get the reclining inserts that go in your kitchen sink. leaning over a tub not great on your knees and back.

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

I personally dont like to buy a ton of stuff; stroller I did an umbrella that fully reclines as I dont like the bulky travel system, evenflo comfi bottles at first then classic evenflo later, got a paci from the hospital and that is all we used, I prefered a bath sling until baby sits up, we preferred an inner spring that was very firm (best for baby), we didnt buy any bottle warmers or wipe warmers (we thought they were a waste). I couldn't live with out my ERGO Baby carrier and our changing table. Also get a high chair that will recline, they are live savers.

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M.T.

answers from Memphis on

I loved the Boppy pillow. My son and I got the point that we used it for all feedings. I used Playtex dropins bottles for daycare which also fit the lansinoh storage bags. We got teh inexpensive Fisher-Price playmat as a gift and my son LOVED it from the very beginning. At 14 months I finally rolled up the mat but left out the attacmant animals. A stroller - we have both the travel system and an umbrella. We use the diaperGenie. We put a changing pad on top of his dresser and that is fine (I can't stand changing on the floor - too akward). The hanging diaper holder that my mom said was a waste - we use. I have a stack of bankets that we hardly used. My son adored the swing and the bouncy seat. A bumbo seat was a gift and turned out to be great. We took the bumbo with us when we went out but he was not steady enough for a high chair. For the most part you probably won't have to buy clothes since they are common gifts. We made sure that we had 7 sleepers/size. Once we started using Pampers I think we have had only a few diaper accidents (we changed ~1 month old and he is now 14 months). So clothing changes were the same as now day outfit, night outfit. I feel better getting dressed so baby and I had CLOTHES on not a new sleeper. Personal preference.

The one thing I would really put on your registry is baby proofing. Put the drawer latches on now because by the time you realize baby is already getting everything you don't have the time to supervise baby and do the installation.

A digital camera and baby book. Write in it at least every month. We had picture day on the 8th of every month and I now have a collage of pictures. We also have a video camera. It is not used as often but it was pulled out a special times and the first year tape ended with him eating his cake.

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K.H.

answers from Huntington on

Couple of things....

Things to skip:
Wipes warmers - waste of money!!!
baby towels-I didn't like them, can a baby not be dried witha normal towel??
portable swings (they don't swing hard enough)
sleep positioners
Moses baskets
Fancy diaper pails (newborn breastfeed diapers don't smell until you introduce solids, then after that, if you are the kind of person who will toss them in a plastic bag, then the garbage, DON"T BUY. If you really think you will use it, I would recommend a DIAPER CHAMP over a diaper genie)

Things to borrow or buy used (really because you only need them so short of a time--seriously, my 7 mo doesn't use any of these now!!!):
bouncy seat
swing
baby tub
bassinet (but if you plan to go right to the crib, then you can skip)
Bumbo Chair

Absolute musts:
Car seat
Boppy
Good breast pump (if you plan to nurse)
blankets the right size to swaddle
newborn gowns
pack n play (for sleeping when traveling - you can buy used, though)
onesie in size for winter season

Hold off on bottled until the baby arrives, if you nurse. My first didn't like the ones I thought he would, so I wasted all that $$$.

Changing tables are iffy...I skipped w/#1, but got one w/#2 and I am glad I did. Ikea makes a really nice one that converts to a bokcase when you are done and it was not super expensive.

I used my stroller alot w/#1, so I got a nice one. You don't really need a matching travel system..you will only use the carseat/stroller together for a few months, so get what you want. Keep in mind, you will only use your backwards car seat for about a year, so you need to weigh how much you want to spend on it. You may opt to save and spend more on the next one, which you will have for a couple of years.

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S.K.

answers from Denver on

I remember going through the same thing with my first and it was very overwhelming. Don't worry about stockpiling EVERYTHING before you have the little one. A carseat, clothes, bottles if you plan on formula, and a breast pump would probably be nice. Be careful with bottles and pacifiers though because the baby may not like that particular brand. A stroller that goes with your brand of infant seat will work just good since they are compatible with eachother. As far as baths I just used the foam bear with both my kids until they could sit. I know they have those big plastic tubs which you can probably find at a consignment store depending on your location. A lot of stuff out there is just stuff, not a neccessity. Don't stockpile on the premie, or size 1 diaper they grow out of those quickly and you need more size 2 and 3. Depending on the season some warm blankets. A nasal sucker and little noses is good because they usually get stuffy when their sinuses dry out from being out of the womb. Madela breast pump is awesome I used that for my first and second. I prefered the inner spring crib mattress but I wouldn't spend a ton on one of those either. A baby swing is nice and if there are no dogs (well depending on the dog and its behavior) bouncer is a good thing to have. At your baby shower don't take everything out of its pack until you know you will use it I did this with a few items and I wish I could have returned them. I loved the baby aveeno body wash and the aveeno night time lotion nothing like snuggilng up to a clean smelling baby. I'm sure you will get a lot of responses with stuff I didnt think about since its been a few years. Good luck with the little one.

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C.P.

answers from Albuquerque on

Ha! I thought I'd stick in my 2 cents, but you already got a lot of suggestions. So, after reading several of the responses, my suggestion is this: All you need to get baby home is a carseat, mama (if you're breastfeeding) or bottles & a few different formulas (if you're not), and diapers. Get baby home, relax for a few days and you will very quickly figure out what you really need!
I bought a lot of stuff second-hand and was given some great gifts, so all we had to buy was the carseat and crib. I went with a 3-in-1 convertable carseat that is rated for birth (5lbs) to kid (100lbs). I knew we'd have a biggish girl, so I wasn't worried about needing a tiny seat (she was 8.5 lbs). And, we got a spring mattress for half-price since we bought the bed at Babies R Us (keep an eye out for that coupon).
If you're looking at a registry, stick with things that you know you will use (now or eventually): various size diapers, wipes, blankets, crib sheets, clothes of various sizes, towels, soap, lotion, tylenol/motrin, ear thermometer (pick one that can be used for adults too!), nose sucker, etc. That way, people have a large variety of fairly inexpensive things they can buy for you, you're not stuck with a bunch of stuff that you won't use/don't have room for, and YOU can have fun shopping with/for baby stuff!
Good luck, and congratulations!!

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R.C.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi D.,
I will give you some thoughts that may help you put things into perspective. When I was due with my first child I was so completely overwhelmed with all of the "must haves" and "must do's" and "must NOT do's". Whenever I got overwhelmed I would keep in mind that plenty of generations (and most other cultures on earth) did/do with very little and the children turn/ed out great. I drove myself crazy with all of it until I remembered that fact.

Every Baby and every Mom are different. Enjoy all the advice but you will have to find what works for you!

Now, that being said, as a working Mom I can tell you that there are tons of things that make my life easier and I am all about purchasing things so that I can spend more time with my kids (for example, I had several sets of pumping parts so that I could always have one clean set, and one in the dishwasher). I think a bouncy chair is a necessity (very inexpensive) because it allowed me to take showers and leave the baby in a safe place entertained (I like ones with music and something hanging they can look at and eventually bat at). My first son LOVED the swing- my second son would hated it. I couldn't live without a pack n play as a safe bed when traveling and a safe place to leave baby and toddler while I cooked (both my boys were climbers so it was safe and I didn;t have to worry about them climbing up and falling off the couch).

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N.G.

answers from Fayetteville on

I LOVED our baby swing! It's a necessary piece of furniture that you need to choose soon. Congratulations!

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W.C.

answers from Lexington on

Congrats! I feel your pain :) I was a single mom with NO $ with my first and with the last my MIL bought every single little thing on the registry. I'd rather err towards less, even tho the latter seems like a huge blessing, having been in both positions.

Things we needed:

diapers - do research and figure out what you want ahead of time. CD v. disposables is the first decision and everything is based from there. IF you go CD, check out diaperpin.com for ALL of your diaper helps, including reviews and recommendations. I highly recommend Cottonbabies.com if you choose CD, esp the bumGenius! line.

car seat: buy new. I've actually started seeing car seats at consignment stores but there's no way to know if it was in an accident or not. If it was, it's no longer safe. Consumer reports recommends Chicco Keyfit 30 for an infant carseat. Or you can get one that grows with child until they need a booster.

Sleep: pack n play. Our kids have always slept the first six mos in a pack n play for two reasons: 1. A crib wouldn't fit in our room and I;m not running up and down the stairs to the nursery after a c section to nurse 3 times a night, or during the day for that matter, 2. you can put a SIDS motion monitor (like the angel care) under the pack n play mattress but not a crib mattress. Crib mattress - as hard as possible so probably inner spring. Foam seems like it would be conducive to SIDS.

Carryall: backpack instead of a diaper bag. These are WAY easier to carry, more to dad's taste, and can have so many organizational tools already incorporated that you don't need all the the other items. Plus they save your back v. a shoulder bag.

Equipment: cheap umbrella stroller, Boppy (i loved this, but did just use a pillow with my eldest), baby gym, exosaucer. The last was a LIFESAVER with each child, if only bc it allowed me to shower without worrying about if they would wake up, what if I didn't hear them if they did, etc.... plus both my kids LOVED the exosaucer as a play toy.

baths aren't really a necessity often until they're crawling... a springy seat and then a bumbo seat? the bumbo can also act as a mealtime seat later.

If you're planning on nursing, get a hospital grade pump. NEW. They are WAY less painful, take way less time, and wont harm your body. I went through FIVE cheapos before I settled and finally bought a Medela hospital grade pump with my last child. I also preferred lily pads or lansinoh disposable breast shields, medela freezer bags (you can pump directly into them, seal and freeze them immediately!), and used playtex drop-ins bottles any time we had to be away bc you can put the medela bag directly into the bottle without risk of contamination. If you plan to nurse longterm, you'll also want to go get some good nursing and sleep bras (like Bravado or other) from a specialty store (NOT Motherhood or like) several weeks after delivery once your milk supply is regulated. A good nursing bra should cost around $50-$60. Be prepared! LOL You'll need a minimum of three.

layette: longsleeved onesies with mittens, pants, socks. BW diaper blowouts, spitup, and mealtimes, plan on at least three wardrobe changes a day. we tended to just stock up on snap shut footied sleepers with mittens. They're really easy. Most of the foo foo clothes my MIL bought in bulk never saw the light of day. Think comfort and easy diaper changes. But don't buy alot. Babies grow QUICKLY. and don't buy ahead - if you see a cute 6 mo sun suit be aware baby may easily be in 6 mos clothes at 2 mos. Also, two or three washcloths and towels will do ya. I used el cheapo cloth dipes from walmart as spitup cloths and old towels as changing pads. My DD loved the SwaddleMe (we had two) but my son HATED being swaddled. and that's something you can tell AT the hospital so if they like being swaddled there, then you can buy some....

Things you will need:
Vaginal deliver: disposable panties, LOTS of overnight pads, preparation H wipes, a sitz bath, spray bottle to keep episiotomy moist, lansinoh nipple cream, ice packs for the vaginal area as well as your breasts, heating pad for your breasts, cabbage leaves for your bra if you plan to dry up quickly.

C-Sec: disposable panties, overnight pads, firm travel pillow to hold against the incision site, a Belly Bandit postpartum support belt, medela or C-Mama healing salve for the incision site, or other as long as it doesnt contain comfrey (which would provide FAST healing but also damages one's liver), help for at LEAST 2 weeks, altho you probably wont be allowed to drive for 6-8 or carry anything including the baby.

Both my kids hated the bouncers and jumparoos, tho they loved the Fisher Price glider - which you could use before the baby is big enough to be in the exosaucer so ultimately they serve the same purpose and use the same space at different times.

Good luck! sorry so long :)

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V.G.

answers from Portland on

Great website to research the safety of products:
EWG.org

For me, I tend to stay as simple and organic as possible. We use Dr.Bronner's mild baby soap for skin and hair, and almond oil as a lotion (once your baby is old enough).

Congrats!

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V.S.

answers from Flagstaff on

I never used a baby bath tub, just used the bathroom sink with a washcloth in the bottom for softness. Also a changing table for me was not necessary. I really liked using the sling after my third son was born because it was easier to control the twins with my hands free. And I used the swing alot with the twins, i could put one in it so I could deal with the other. I had bottles but never used them, since I breastfed. i did try pumping later on and had a bottle for the few times I left the kids at home for a couple of hours but I don't think it ever got used. I never could get my kids to use a pacifier until they were about 4 and then they now like using them to play with but I take them away because they are two big and will chew the nipples off.

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D.K.

answers from Washington DC on

The items that I found I had the most use for were:

Pack n' Play, (but we traveled a lot and that is the only thing we used it for)

Exersaucer (for when baby can sit up well)

Avent Isis manual breast pump/bottle system and Gerber breastmilk storage bags (couldn't live without these!)

I didn't use a stroller much except when we were traveling, so I don't have an opinion about that, but I hear that a jogging stroller is just really the all around way to go as far as that goes, even for daily use. They are sturdier and will last through several children.

I mostly wore my babies, so a good baby carrier for front (for when they're teeny tiny) and a good backpack baby carrier for when they're bigger (I like Chicco's, available at Babies R Us online).

Get a high quality (and yes probably expensive) diaper bag. I went through so many cheap ones with my first and am still on my first, expensive one with my second who is almost three yo. I recommend Eddie Bauer or a similar brand.

As for crib, we have a convertible that is now actually a toddler bed. We have an inner spring mattress in it, but it really doesn't matter since we co-sleep so my son is still spending about half of the night in bed with us.

Baby bath-tub, just get one of the ones that has the sling for baby to rest on when they're little. Don't get the ones with the sprayer etc... the sprayer rarely works or doesn't have any kind of water pressure so it's useless.

Monitor, we have a video and sound monitor and I still love it. Now that my little one is a toddler, I've moved it to the play room and use it as a surveillance tool. My kids still haven't figured out how I always know what they're up to! lol!

Some items I wish I hadn't wasted money on:

Swing (most parents can't live without one of these, but it was a waste for us since my sons both hated swings) However, if you're going to get one, get one that has an A/C adapter and can plug into the wall, or you're going to be buying your weight in batteries every month if your baby loves it.

Bassinette (totally not necessary, even if you don't co-sleep)

Co-sleeper (totally not necessary even if you co-sleep, we never got one, but I thought about it)

floor gym (nothing you can't do better with a baby blanket and your own face for stimulation)

Wipes warmer, (totally useless and promotes bacterial growth as well)

Sterilizer (not necessary these days, every dishwasher sterilizes, just get one of those cheap plastic racks that shut on top for the small items and put it on the top rack of the dishwasher)

baby detergent (waste of money unless your baby actually has very sensitive skin)

Ummmmmmmmmmmmmm, I know there's more, but I just can't think of them right now.

HTH!

__________________________________________________________

OH YES!

Boppy (couldn't live without it!!!)

Changing table (waste of money. I have a perfectly good floor)

high chair (so-so at first, mostly they sat on my lap when they were little, but when they got a little older the high chair was important! so it can wait, but you'll want it later)

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D.W.

answers from Indianapolis on

Our youngest is 2, and our kids are 21 months apart - even in that short time frame, things changed drastically, and I have to admit that "Must Haves" with baby #1 were different than with baby #2.

My staples were:
1. Pack-n-play
2. Sturdy stroller (look at reviews [email protected]____.com/target.com)
3. Swing (especially early on)
4. bouncy seat
5. Bumbo (~4 months +)
6. High Chair (~6 months +)
7. Bobby
8. Lotion, infant tylenol, Mylicon, safety swabs (Q tips)
9. Receiving blankets
10. Blankets

Bottles will really depend on the baby's preference and whether or not you breast feed. You'll want to be cautious with a breast pump. I'd wait to purchase when you have the baby pending how they respond to nursing because once you buy, you can not take it back (but you can rent them). Medela is the market leader and widely regarded as the best. Pacifiers are the same. I'd recommend getting 1 of several brands until you find what works best.

NEVER used a changing table. NEVER used baby oil or baby powder. Loved sleep sacks and gowns with baby #1, never used them with baby #2.

If possible, have a friend who's recently had a baby go to BabiesRUs, Buy Buy Baby, etc. with you and give you some advice on good and bad experiences with products. Or, have a few people give you different points of view. For us, space wasn't a concern, but my sister is getting ready for baby #2 with 800 sq ft.

Good luck! Hope you have a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby.

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J.S.

answers from New York on

Whatever you do- DO NOT get a travel system car seat/stroller! We got one thinking we could use it later w/o the car seat part as a regular stroller and we were so wrong. They are bulky and heavy and a total pain. Get a "snap & go" frame and buy the car seat separate.

Things we (& baby) could not live without:
-crib soother (has lights and music to help soothe and lull baby to sleep)
-get paci's that you can use in either direction (i.e. up or down) not one way. You won't want to have to worry about which is the right side up.
-Born Free Bottles don't leak. Didn't try many other types tho, Playtex leaked a lot.
-a good swaddle ("123 swaddle" is really nice, warm but lightweight & it has a handy tag w/instructions sewn on it)
-floor play gym. we have the bright starts one the sides which is good b/c once they start to roll, they can still be in there safely.
-Bumbo

Things we got/bought that we didn't like or need or outgrew too fast:

-baby bjorn carrier (we really used it a lot at first but baby quickly outgrew it in about 4 months) wish we had gotten the "Ergo" carrier instead which has better support and will last much longer.
-Full size cradle swing. It takes up too much room and baby only used it for a few months & for over $100 it wasn't worth it. Get one that sits on the floor instead - bouncy seat.

Clothing wise, you won't need very much for baby in the very beginning so don't go nuts. They grow so fast and depending on the season, there were many things we got as gifts that baby never got to wear once! She was born in winter so wasn't taking too many trips outside anyway at that age. Invest in long sleeve onesies WITH built in mits (so baby doesn't scratch face) The little shirts that the hospital uses that snap in front and doesn't need to be put over the head were awesome, you can ask the nurses for extras. In fact, we got free bottles, wipes, nipples, hats, swaddles, BF supplies, and all sorts of things from them before discharge.

As for the mattress, we have a spring one, firm is better.

It's seriously overwhelming the amount of products out there. I felt the same way at first. Just remember that they really don't need very much at first at all. Congrats and have fun shopping!

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C.A.

answers from San Francisco on

The bobby. In fact, I have three of them. One downstairs, one upstairs, and one kept in the car. But one would really be alright. It is great help to breastfeed with. I even took it with me when I gave birth so right from the start I was comfortable when I was breastfeeding. It places the baby off your lap and closer to your breasts.

Now my 11 month old will crawl to it if it is on the floor and place her head on it, kind of giving it a hug. Clearly, she thinks it is as great as a device as I do.

Congratulations! Enjoy this time...it goes soooo fast!

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K.E.

answers from Jacksonville on

We brought our beautiful baby girl home to a cramped 2 bedroom apartment and lived there until she was 1.5, so I know what you mean by not having the room for the millions of baby items out there.

Here are some things I NEEDED:

Playpen -best part is you can fold up when not in use, multiple purposes

High Chair SEAT -it goes on a regular dining room chair, loved not having to crowd our small kitchen/DR area with another large piece of furniture. This worked great and didn't take up any more room

Co-Sleeper -I bought the small one that goes in bed and can fit between the parents. Since it went in the bed, there was no clutter in the bedroom from a bassinet or floor model cosleeper. We used it for the first 3 months because I wanted her close for feedings and I wanted to wait until I thought she was big enough for the crib and to be in her own room.

Baby Monitors- Yes, you can live without these when you have a small area, BUT I loved being able to wake up and hear her breathing as well as being able to hear right away when she would start to fuss. I'm one of those checker moms (I think most of us are, lol!), so it was nice to have this to be able to "check" that she was okay without having to disturb her by going into her room.

Crib- We got the 3 in 1 and were pleased with the size.

Baby Glider- I loved this and it was smaller than a swing (which I NEVER had). I would put her in this and talk/play with her and let her sleep in this for her daytime sleeping. It's shape is comforting since it's almost like a nest that the baby rests in and it plays music and glides front-back, or side to side. MY FAVORITE!

Ok, here are some things I didn't need:

Regular High Chair

Swing- I know people say they can't live without these, but we did and our daughter did really well without one. I used the glider and it did the same job with less space taken up. Though there is a new glider/swing combo that has just come out that doesn't take up much room.....I'm thinking about that for any future blessings...:)

Changing Table - we had one, but I rarely used it. It was so much easier to change her on the floor, we had the dresser/table combo piece so it didn't take up more room than a reg. dresser thank goodness!

Jumper/Bouncy seat- We didn't have the small vibrating bouncy seat and we didn't have the large bouncer/jumper seat (look like walker but don't move).

Walker- We had one, but I got rid of it because it didn't move well on our carpet. She learned to walk at 10 mos without it.

Lots of Toys- There are so many toys out there. Babies only need a few toys, some soft, some harder. They are more interested in everything that isn't a toy! Our families flooded our apartment with toys and I took most of them back to the store and used the refunded money to buy diapers/formula which is what my daughter needed.

Congrats on your new addition. I hope you can take all your answers and gather up a good list of what you want. It's hard to make all those decisions and it is hard when everything looks like it's a necessity! We had very little and we did just fine. Just think, many people raised children before a lot of this stuff existed and they made it through! So will you. :) Take care and blessings to you and yours!

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J.H.

answers from Lexington on

ok. you're asking a loaded question here :) everyone has tons of opinions, myself included. i would suggest starting with consumer reports best baby buys guide, the most recent edition you can find. i personally think a carseat that is an infant carrier is of utmost importance-- you can get multiple bases for multiple cars, and it's so easy to just pop a baby in the car, out and into the stroller, out and into a grocery cart, etc. i have always used graco products (not the cheapest, not the most expensive, but good, safe, reliable products) for "gear" and have not been disappointed. chicco is pretty good, too. you need a good crib, one that is gonna last and withstand some jumping :) i would say a convertible is good, but some convertibles, once you break them down, they don't recommend using it as a crib again, so if you're going to have more children, think about that. i think a pack n play is a great item, let them sleep in your room for a while, and then it's great for travel after that. i feel very strongly that if you are going to breastfeed and pump, you need a GOOD breast pump... and you can't get much better than the medela pump in style advanced. (i'm a labor and delivery nurse/ mother baby nurse, so if you have any questions about breastfeeding and stuff like that, send me a private message!).

ultimately you have to look at what you need, what's going to fit in your life, and try to narrow it down from there. let me know if you have more specific questions! good luck and congratulations :)

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S.R.

answers from Greensboro on

If you are having your baby at Women's Hospital in Greensboro, they have breast pumps for rent that may be covered by your insurance. As far as bathtubs go, you can give your little on a bath in a large dishpan or the kitchen, until you are ready to try the big tub. For bottles, I used Dr. Brown's and didn't have any problem with gas or reflux. One thing I did find that was a lifesaver was a wall-mounted nightlight that was bright enough to see to change a diaper by. We used a foam mattress in the crib and an innerspring one on the toddler bed.
Also, keep an eye out for consignment sales. In Greensboro, several churches do them in spring and fall. And www.weeruns.com --that sale is huge!
Good luck!

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J.C.

answers from San Francisco on

My daughter loved her bouncy/vibrating chair (it was a lifesaver), Ergo carrier, Swing (she loved it, my friends daughter hated it so try one out first and buy it after the baby comes if he/she likes it), BOB Revolution stroller, and/or Maclaren Quest are our favorite strollers.
Those were the necessities, don't even bother with the HEAVY travel system strollers, they are so big, and my daughter never liked being in hers, as soon as we got a BOB she loved the stroller. Also, don't buy many clothes to begin with because they grow sooooo fast that it is a waste of money. I had my daughter in those snap front long sleeve tees and very soft pants, and body suits when she was little and then moved her on to onesies when she was stronger. Jeans and anything that isn't stretchy and soft are really pointless at the beginning too!

I could go on.... get a good quality breast pump if you are planning on pumping at all... the extra money is worth the frustration later...

we co sleep so I don't know about the crib, but we did love the basic baby bathtub because it could go on the counter and save our backs!

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L.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Yes: Swing, bouncer, Diaper Dekkor (absolutely no dirty diaper smell and I did ALOT of research), Medela breast pump, Lansinoh for cracked sore nipples (I still use it on my lips, it's one of my favorite products), swaddling blankets, Baby Bjorn backpack, boppy pillow for nursing (w/ removable, washable cover), co-sleeper for the first few months (esp. if you are nursing). We bought a Graco Travel System and loved it; then moved on to the Britax Roundabout carseat, loved that, too.

Skip: bathtub, pack n play (too big if you have limited room), wipe warmer (actually breeds bacteria, yikes!), baby sleep positioner (never recommended by pediatricians), changing table.

One thing I wish I'd known about while I was pregnant is Craigslist. Anything you don't get from your shower, look there. People sell brand new or used-very-little baby items and it's a huge money saver. Esp. the big items -- swings, co-sleepers, backpacks, etc.

M.R.

answers from Rochester on

For a first baby, our lifesavers were a swing, bouncy seat, place for the baby to sleep, and clothing for the most part. I have a hand-me-down stroller that is pretty junky and ugly but it works and I simply do not care enough to try to find a nicer one. I also really liked have a Jeep pop-up or umbrella stroller--pretty inexpensive but compact and great for keeping in the trunk. Our swing was a hand-me-down Fisher Price which rotated side-to-side and front-to-back, which was great. The bouncer lets you shower, cook (chat with the baby on the table), and work out while the baby is soothed or watches. I breastfed for almost a year with my first and over a year with my second and leaked a lot for almost the whole time, so I highly recommend Lansinoh nursing pads if you need any. I also loved my Avent Isis manual pump (as much as one can love such a necessary evil) and pumped full-time at work with it. Don't stock up on bottles yet because some babies are very particular. Some babies also hate swings, so if you can borrow things like that until you know if you will need them, or even borrow so you can spend more money on something else, that can be nice. I froze breastmilk and love Lansinoh bags and the First Years Storage container--kept things much tidier. I think steamers are overrated--I hand washed everything and once a week or so boiled it. A play mat or gym is a nice idea, but my kids were always happy just hanging out on a blanket with a few things to look at, like the Sassy toy Me-in-the-Mirror, or a play arch I bought at a yard sale with some swinging toys on it (like a gym, but cheaper and they used it when learning to stand up). I loved having a baby sling with my second so I had free arms for my toddler, but a lot of women love them for their first, too. I never used nursing covers, just threw on a cardigan so I could be a little more modest. Nursing tanks are also a lifesaver--you can sleep in them, wear them on the weekends, and layer them under other tops so you can hide your belly in public, too. That's all I can think of off-hand. Less is better--you can always add to what you have. :)

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J.V.

answers from Chicago on

Get yourself The Wonder Weeks book. It is the only real essential thing ;-)

If you are planning on having more children, and only having a 2-3 year or less gap between them, I highly recommend buying a Phil and Ted stroller --you will save money in the long run by buying the doubler stroller now, rather than buying one now and then another stroller later.

Then, get yourself a nice sling or wrap. It's the best way to grocery shop, and when baby gets bigger, get a carrier for bigger kids. Seriously, you don't really need something to carry the carseat, you just need something to carry the baby in --it is much easier! Babys love to be near mommy, and it helps them quickly get their days and night straight.

I also loved my floor gym. I highly recommend not registering for swings, gyms, etc. Waste of money. Craiglists has an overabundance of such stuff for sale, as do resales, etc. Kids are expensive. Save anyway you can. I asked for cloth diapers for my shower, it was great. You will receive lots of worthless clothing gifts too, so if you can figure out a way to let people know that they need to buy for season, 3 months ahead of baby's age, you might get some stuff you can use. I literally filled a garbage bag with cloth gifts my daughter never wore!

Also, consider cloth diapering. You will save a fortune and help your kids potty train faster.

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S.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

What we found essential was our bumbo (a seat that holds your child in a sitting position before she/he can actually sit up).

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V.C.

answers from Wheeling on

I became 'Mom' for the first time over 33 years ago, and at that time what was considered a baby 'layette' (stock of necessities) was MUCH smaller than it is now. When I was born (53 years ago) I'm sure it was even smaller!

What do you need? A place for the baby to sleep, play, and eat (which should always be on your lap or next to you until time to feed solids @ 4-10 months -- which age is largely a matter of opinion. When my babies were little, they said introduce juices and cereal @ 6 WEEKS. Now they say 6 MONTHS). A few seasonal clothes and blankets, diapers, 6-10 bottles (less if breastfeeding), and maybe a baby towel & washcloth or two (I don't like them very well).

My babies (4 of them) all slept in a bassinette for 4 months, then we moved them to a crib (which only need consist of a frame, mattress, sheet and blanket. No pillows, toys, bottles, etc. Bumper pads optional.

In my opinion, less is more. Americans are notorious for giving their kids everything that they (the parents) want them to have, and we now have an awful lot of selfish/greedy, ungrateful kids.

The love you give and the values you teach them are much more important that the things you provide!

Happy parenting!

P.S. When baby does start eating real food, a small electric chooper is indispensable for making their food! Easy on the salt and sugar when feeding home-cooked foods, tho!

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H.L.

answers from San Francisco on

GIRL, I SO feel you! Totally felt the same way. It helped me talk to other moms, which was a little challenging since I didn't know that many. But moms love to help other moms (as you can tell on this site) so even the few I was able to talk to were really helpful.

We live in a really small space, and I am kind of a minimalist anyways, so from that point of view - there a very few things you actually NEED. Most everything else is for convenience rather than necessity. I also just chose to focus on what I needed immediately. I was already overwhelmed, I couldn't even begin to think about what baby would need in a year.

The Baby 411 book helped me a little.

Things I tried to focus on:
Where will baby sleep?
For us that meant Pack n Play for the first few months (which we now use as a travel crib) and then a crib in her room later. Baby 411 helped me pick out a mattress.

What will your transport baby in?
You'll need an infant car seat. We went with the Graco Snugride, a highly rated car sear that is easy to use, but there are others. Think about if you will need a 2nd base. Worry about the convertible car seat later. Baby will be in the infant car seat for about a year (give or take).

What will baby wear?
Newborns outgrown stuff really quickly. I was all about hand-me-downs and used clothing where I could get it. You'll get tons of stuff from your shower as well. The easiest things were onesies and gowns. You'll change baby a lot in the beginning, so easy snaps and things you can stretch over baby's head were helpful.

What will baby eat?
If you plan to breastfeed and will be going back to work, definitely invest in a good pump. I liked the Medela Pump in Style, an electric double pump. If you plan to bottle feed, you'll only need a few bottles in the beginning. You can even consider skipping the smaller bottles altogether and just buy bigger bottles, even if baby is only eating a small amount in the beginning.

Where will you bath baby?
Some people just use their sink, you can just use a plastic tub, or you can buy a baby tub.

Other than that, I think it's just diapers, wipes, baby detergent, baby shampoo/wash for basics.

Things that were nice to have:
Koala Baby waffle weave blankets - best swaddle blankets for us
Cloud 9 sleep sheep - totally helped us put baby to sleep, we still use it for naps
Snap on top sheet saver - easier than taking the mattress sheet on/off every time there is a leak
Ergo baby carrier - pricey, but a very good carrier in my opinion. we used it from when she was a newborn and are still using it now (she's 14 months). you'll need the infant insert for when baby is less than 3-4 months.

Babies don't really play with any toys for the first few months.

Feel free to send me a message if you have any more questions, sorry for the long post!

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C.D.

answers from St. Louis on

I used a book called (I think) Baby Bargans. Is sort of like a Consumer's Guide for everything baby. I bought the [email protected]____.com's too soon or you to buy stuff yet but def do ur research. They have a website for you to use if you buy the book. Good luck and congrats!!

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A.T.

answers from Pittsburgh on

The one thing I never had and I didnt miss was a changing table. There is nothing wrong with changing a baby on a blanket on the floor. I did have 2 strollers. A large one and an umbrella stroller and I have gotten lots of use out of both. A boppy is something I didnt have for my first child, but received and LOVED with my second. I don't know how you feel about them, but I wanted a sling for my daughter so badly, and it turned out that I didnt use it as much as I thought I would. Also, a baby carrier, or baby backpack is nice, I just didnt use mine all that much. Then again, I have babies that grew very quickly and got WAY too heavy for me to carry that way. Anyway, I hope this helps. If I think of more things, I will post again.

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K.T.

answers from Provo on

There are definitely things you get that you think you will need and never end up using, and things that after you use them you REALLY wish you had gotten somethign else. I'll tell you my experiences with a few.

I hunted around for a glider rocking chair FOREVER and finally found one after like 2 months of searching. I thought I was going to use it all the time and be in my baby's room with him nursing him and rocking him all throughout the night and day. Well, we almost NEVER used it. I chose to breastfeed, and it was always much more comfortable to be in my own bed under my blankets with him at night than in the other room, especially since he started out in a basinette in our room instead of in his own. Also, once I learned how to nurse laying down, it was the BEST and there was no way I was going to be sitting in that chair when I could basically be sleeping while I nursed him at night. The glider sat in his room for almost 2 years before we finally sold it to make space.

Another thing I don't reccomend is the big travel system (stroller, infant carseat, and base). If I was going to do it differently I would have just gone ahead and gotten a convertable carseat (although I will say the infant on is nice while they are small to be able to take them in and out of the car while they remain sleeping). They grow out of the infant carseat SO FAST and you need to purchase a convertable carseat anyways later, so I wish I had just gotten it from the start. I would have gotten a convertable carseat and a jogging stroller, instead of the HUGE stroller that came with the travel system. It took up my ENTIRE trunk and so we barely ever even used it because we never had it in the car when we needed it. I also like to run, and I wanted a jogging stroller anyways so I couldd take my baby running with me. I now have 2 kids, and the double jogging stroller that we have takes up LESS room in my trunk than the single travel system stroller did! Another thing I hated about the travel system was that the infant carseat that came with it did not have ANY way to buckle into the car without it's base. What a HUGE design flaw!! I steer away from the Evenflow brand because of that and a few major issues we had with the stroller (straps too short to fit around your child, seat would not go all the way verticle). But yeah, It's great to have the base for getting it in and out of the car easily, but it needs to buckle into the car ALONE as well, especially if you have two cars. My hubby was always acidentely driving off with the base in his back seat and then I would need to go somewhere and not have any way to buckle my son in safely. We also found that with one child it was easier to just wear them in the front carrier sometimes instead of going through all the effort to use the big stroller. We probably have used that stroller less than 5 times.

Hmm, one product that we just LOVED is my boppy pillow. If you are nursinig it is INVALUABLE for the first few months of your babies life. It gives your arms a break while nursing and anyone who is holding the baby can put it on their lap with the baby on it and hold them hands-free. It great later too, since you can put their little bum in the crook of it while they are learning to sit up and then if they fall they just fall on the pillow and don't hurt themselves.

Another product we LOVED is the papisan seat/bouncer. It's so nice to have a cozy place to set the baby down to sleep in during the day. It was nice to have it downstairs so I could have him nap where I was in the house instead of all the way upstairs. Some play music and vibrate too, and that helps as well.

We loved our baby swing... sometimes the swinging motion was JUST what the baby needed to keep them happy just a little longer while I tried to finish getting dinner on the table, and with my first child we called it the "magic swing" because he would be asleep within 5 minutes of putting him in it... every time!

We like using the changing table (some people just like to change diapers on the floor). My best reccomendation for a changing table is to make sure you get one with DRAWERS instead of shelves. The shelves are great...until your baby gets mobile and starts tearing everything out of them every single day and you can no longer keep ANYTHING in there that you dont want your baby to get into, but that you often NEED during diaper changes (thermometers, diaper ointment, lotions, all that stuff). We just switched our changing table out for one that had drawers so we could put the child safety locks on the drawers and actually start USING our changing table again without having to hunt all over the house for all the items he moved on us.

I also reccomend getting a high chair that has one of the removable tray inserts in the top. We got a highchair without one of those for free and used it for our first baby, and finally just got so fed up with it that we jsut got another one to replace it now that my second baby is starting solids. I could NOT be happier with the new one! It's a Eddie Bauer wooden one that is REALLY pretty to look at, takes up a lot less space in our small kitchen, and has the tray insert on the top. It is so nice to be able to bring the tray over to the sink to wash it off without having to remove the WHOLE big clunky thing, and its nice to be able to quickly swipe the food away from the baby if he starts making a mess with it. Our toddler likes to throw food and we try to take his food away whenever he does it and this is SOOOO much easier! It also fits right in the dishwasher for easy washing. The only thing this high chair doesn't do it fold up, but we never used that feature on our other one anyways.

I almost would recommend not even getting a baby bathtub, unless you always plan on washing the baby in the sink. The tub's say 0-6 mos on them but our children both grew so fast that they were too big for it by 3-4 mos old. I found it was easier just to get into the bathtub with my baby and use my legs to hold them and support them while I washed them. That is what I had to end up doing anyways when they were too big for the tub but still to small to sit up on their own in the tub. A lot of the tubs don't fold up and it takes up a LOT of space as well to store it.

On thing I also recomend is to get a playpen that has a basinette too (i read a LOT of reveiws online before choosing the one we got). We use the basinette portion for the first few months while the baby sleep in our room instead of getting a separate basinette. It's nice to have the baby close by but not right in your bed (I can't sleep when they are in my bed). A baby gets too bg for basinettes after just a few months, and its just not worth purchasing something fancy when it will last them only a few months at the most. My first son used it in our room for 2 1/2 mos and the younger one is still using it at 7mos, but only because we have been waiting as long as possible before moving him in with his brother. If we had had a third bedroom we would have probably moved him to his crib by 3 mos as well. The nice thing about having the basinette be part of the play pen is that later you can still use the play pen even when your child is a toddler, so it grows with them.

For a breast pump we got the Avent Isis and it's great for someone who only needs milk once in a while like me. I'm a stay at home mom so I barely ever pump, but it sure is nice to have the option if hubby and I want to go on a date or for when I leave the kids with a sitter for a few hours. The Isis pump is a small manual pump and costs 40-50$. Mine came with three bottles and nipples and that actually has been plenty to serve my needs since I am never gone for very long. Obviously if you are going to be a working mom you will want a much bigger, fancier breast pump and a lot more bottles.

My very favorite pacifier is called a WubbaNub (look them up online!). They are AWESOME, especially while you have a newborn!! It has a cute stuffed animal attached to it, and it makes it stay in the baby's mouth SO MUCH easier!! You can swaddle the stuffed animal into the baby's blanket with them and it helps to hold it in, or you can just prop it up however they are laying and it makes it a lot harder for the pacifier to constantly fall out of the baby's mouth. They are about $12 each so a bit pricey, but it's totally worth it, and it was an absolute life saver for my second son. It cool as well because when they are little they can grab onto the stuffed animal and control the pacifier much better on their own than they can when it is just a pacifier alone because it doesn't take as much fine motor skills.

Well, I know this post is HUGE but I hope I gave you some good advice!! I'll poast again if I think of anything I missed!

PS: Just read a few of the other posts that broight two more things to light...

Our stroller got messed up on an airplane trip too!! I don't know what they did to it down there, but the wheels bowed outwards when they gave it back to us...

Also, for bable blankets, dont get a whole bunch of those REALLY small blankets...they will be too small for your baby in about a month! The blankets that we used a whole lot more were the larger ones of the ones we were given. And I agree, the waffle weave is great to use to swaddle, as long as the blanket is big enough. My very favorite blanket is a thicker cheniel-type blanket that was SO GREAT in the winter because it was nice and thick and cozy, but I still bring it out with us now that it summer too because I can put my baby down on it on a hard floor and they have some cushion. Don't get one with a silky back though - the blanket we have like that, although its cute, is probably the most useless out of all our blankets, and we have like 30 or so because I got so many as gifts.

One other tip - Don't buy anything til after you have your baby shower, so you know what you have and can just fill in the gaps on your own. And with baby clothes, make sure you wash them before your baby wears them. Babies have really sensitive skin so it's good to wash the chemicals out of new clothes, as well as to pre-shrink them. If you dont pre-shrink them, you will wait til your baby get's big enough for it to fit, then wash it once and it will most likely end up too small. I washed and organized all my baby's clothes before he arrived, so it was all ready when he was born.

And, lastly, don't buy too many diapers to stock up on before your baby arrives. My baby's were born between 7-8 lbs and each gained 3 full pounds in their first month!! If I had stocked up on newborn size diapers I would have had SOOO many left over!! Just get one normal-sized package and then wait to see how big your baby is at arrival before going out to buy more. I also reccomend either costco-brand diapers or huggies. The diapers that do not stretch across the back (like pampers) will leave you with a LOT more blow-outs from the poop shooting up the baby's back. Baby's go through enough outfits as it is.

Also, I reccomend buying some simple cotton cloth diapers. I got a package of 12 and I used them ALL over the place... as burp rags (the burp rags with the cute prints cost $12 for three, and the diapers were just as good, but $12 for 12) and I would lay one on the changing table under baby's bum for diaper changes, so any loose pee or poop would get on that and it saved me from having to wash my changing pad every other day. We also like to to just keep one handy around the living room for wiping drool, spit-up, and even runny noses sometimes.

A.B.

answers from Dallas on

I agree with Amanda about the changing table.... I could have done without it for sure. Loved my Medela breast pump and I would also recommend "My Breast Friend" to help with breastfeeding...so cool! I had a boppy too, but liked the breast friend thing way better. I loved Pampers Swaddlers when he was a newborn. Congrats!

M.P.

answers from Provo on

Inner spring. I unfortunately have to use my sister's kids old mattress and it's foam. And my son hates it. I have tried my friends mattresses just to see if that is why my son wont sleep in his crib (we spent a weekend at my friends house and we used her sons mattress) He slept like an angel. BUT every child is different. If you do get a inner spring get one with at least 150 springs so that it is nice and firm to prevent sagging.
I got by with the bare minimum. I had a bouncy chair (LOVED IT! Get one. You HAVE to) and then when he was older I got a jumper for him to be in since he out grew the bouncy.
Then we had a swing which I didn't get till he was 2 months and wish I could have gotten one sooner. But money was an issue. My other friend came over and saw my swing that I did have (it was one from the 1980's that a friend donated to me, but I never used because I did not trust it) and she took one look and said Luv, I'll let you borrow mine. And that was the only way my son would sleep for a month while swaddled (I also suggest a swaddle from the get go. So that you can get a semi decent night sleep from the get go).
I wouldn't buy a lot of bottles becuase you baby might not like the nipple that is on it, so buy two or three on one type and see if he/she will like it. Bath tub is a bath tub and the more bells and whistles on them the more expensive they are. I did love the one that was elevated so that a newborn fit nicely in there. Or you can get a flat one with a positioner of sorts that is slanted.
I love my Combi and Peg Perego Pliko P3 Stroller. The car seats are both equally good. They are European brands which have higher safety standards than we do. But if you do get an American brand, the only one I trust is Graco because they are trying to meet the European standards. I like the Combi stroller because it's nice and small, but my huge son grew out of that stroller by 4 months (he is 28 lbs and is the size of a 2 year old at 9 months) But my Peg he will have TONS of room to grow. Both fold nicely and not flat and bulky like Graco, Evenflo, and other strollers like it. Combi is fairly inexpensive, while Pegs are around $300 BUT I got mine on ebay for $170 which is a REALLY good price. And it was brand new.
I have to go and get my son, but if you have any more questions you can message me. I used to work for babies r us so this question was asked at least once every half an hour.
M.
http://largebummies.blogspot.com/

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N.D.

answers from Houston on

What you actually need for baby is not nearly as mysterious as it seems at first - you need the obvious (OK, obvious to me, now): crib, car seat, diapers, wipes, onesies . . . if you are going to nurse, invest in a good pump - trust me, pumping is not a fun thing to do, so you might as well get one that gets the job done and minimize the "fun". Spend $100, not $50 (I bought the Lansinoh Double Electric Breast Pump, BPA Free).

We have two very different car seats (one for each car). One is part of a "travel system" where you can remove the base and put it in a stroller so you don't wake up a sleeping baby. We actually used the base more often to take Jennifer places (church, out to dinner, the grocery store before she could sit) instead of in the stroller, although it was a nice concept, we just didn't use the stroller that much back then. It has a limited lifespan since it only is rear facing, but we both agree it was worth it. The other one is one that can switch from rear to forward facing. That will save us having to buy a new carseat for one car in the next couple months. We convinced one set of grandparents to buy each one - they felt very useful and then we didn't have to pay for it ourselves!

There are a ton of cute baby clothes. But, once they hit the crawling stage (somewhere between 5-7 months), the cuteness gets in the way - if you have a girl, dresses really don't work until they can walk - they get caught under the knees and are very frustrating! (I don't really know about boys . . .) The other problem is if they have pants on, they can figure out how to pull them down and play with the diaper (read: take it off) around that same crawling stage. We stuck/stick with onesies except for special occasions. If it's cold, they actually have long sleeved onesies and matching pants - which still hides the diaper from prying fingers!

Those are the necessities - but a changing table is VERY nice to have - we use it for almost every change - and a baby bathtub is really helpful with a squirmy wet baby! But at the beginning, you really don't need much. They really do eat, sleep and poop. Make sure those three areas are covered and you are good for the first 3-4 months. By then, you will have a clue what you are doing and will make "obvious" decisions about what else you need.

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K.H.

answers from Detroit on

I may be the only person in the world to say this, but the two things I never used were a baby swing and pacifiers. My oldest hated the swing - she cried every time I put her in it. Pacifiers made all three of them mad because they would suck and no food came out! (They were soothed more by sucking on their fingers.) However, you do need some kind of baby chair (cheaper than a swing!) when they're little - not sure how I would've washed a dish or gone to the bathroom without one. Also, I had a stroller/car seat combo which I never used for my first but when numbers two and three came along, I wouldn't leave home without it, even though we live in a rural area.

Small things I thought I would use and didn't: bottle sterilizer (after #2, dr. said don't bother - dishwasher was good enough) car bottle warmer (too slow!), diaper bag (ended up liking the free ones from the hospital better). I would also suggest skipping a bassinet if you can use a pack'n'play instead since many come with a bassinet feature. I also have a hard plastic bathtub with one side for babies that can't sit up by themselves and one side for when the can. I had an anti-mildew bath pillow which I liked until it got mildewey. The other thing I can recommend is a digital monitor with a receiver that can be cordless so you can take it with you anywhere.

A.G.

answers from Houston on

i always thought, wipe warmers, diaper genies and changing tables always rendered themeselves useless. The wipe warmers always dried out the wipes, i liked having at leat 4 portable wipe holders (the kind that hold in moisture) across the house, and one in each bag (gym bag, purse, baby bag....etc..) reusing those plastic grocery bags for dirty diapers, keeps the smell from getting bad. plus baby poop doesnt really smell that bad till you introduce solids. Plus the safest place to change a baby is the floor, plus if you have a crib that just happens to have a changing table on it....fine, but a whole separate peice is a waste of money....and space. Also, i always found myself with wayyyyyyy too many 0-3 months clothes, i very much appreciated the people who gave me 3-6, even 6-9 and 9-12 months clothes, because for 0-3 months (which is only the first 2 months for big babies) i stayed mostly inside., so all those cute hats, jackets booties and jumpers were rendered completely useless. baby monitors are pointless is you plan on bedding with baby, or storing them away in a room all day., Boppies are nice, but i find a nice down pillow, with an egyptian cotton or silky case works great. It can be soft, or harder, (with your hand propped up under it), it can be molded into almost any shape.

these are some things that are completely important, and often overlooked

for breastfeeders~lanolin for the sore nipples, soft heating pad for sorness and letdown, an airy blanket, or hooter hider, for feeding in public,breastpads, and thick shell bras (no flimsy ones anymore for mom). be sure to have water delivered to your house for convenience. youll be very thirsty. and keep a breastfeeding consultant, or experienced breasfedding friend only a phonecall away.

onesies- they live in them
medicine- get homeopathic and regular, for all the things that pop up and let you lose your precious sleep in the middle of the night
diaper rash cream- splurge on a good one
diapers- pampers or walmart brand for girls, huggies seems to only work on boys.
baby book/scrapbook- there are things you want to record, that you will forget,those first 4 months will be like a blur, i promise.
camera- well u know why
infant swing/ bouncer in one- this will save your sanity (if it also vibrates, even better)
space saver high chair- it clips onto one of your regular chairs, you will up to ears in plastic devices.
racing stroller (the kind that have 3 bike tires on it),- for your workout, for your self esteem
umbrella stroller- unless you have a truck to carry the world, and those clunky strollers

thats all i can think of for now. and remember, babies get fevers, dont freak out unless its accompanied by a rash or diarreah/ vomiting (you will anyway)

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R.U.

answers from Nashville on

i liked inner spring. really all you need is (DIAPERS, MILK AND WIPES!) the rest is just stuff. don't get cought up in all the fancy stuff out there. oh , you will need a CAR SEAT too.. you will find that you kinda of find your own little ways to handle everything. i always used a play pen after the children were a few months old. it keeps them safe like when you have to leave a room to go to the bathroom or check on supper,etc. also from family pets. i don't care how good a familys dog or cat is they still have a wild animal instinct. i am not a animal hater. i have a dog and cat and work a our local shelter. i love them. anyway, with a small area you might want to get the basics and deside what you want(need) after your baby has bee here for a little while. good luck and god bless. mom of 7, R.
p.s. all my kids loved their swings. they could have stayed in there all day. my youngest didn't even have to have it turned on. she would swing herself. she loved it. ( AWAYS USE THE SAFETY STRAP). all of mine liked it from the start.
p.s.s. you should go to wal-mart and buy the book WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOUR EXPECTING. it is wonderfull. and then once the baby is born you can get WHAT TO EXPECT THE FIRST YEAR. and so on. it goes month to month. the one for when you are pregneant is so neat. it goes by themonth too. it tells you about the baby and all the stuf you body is doing. give it a try. i don't think you will be sorry.

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C.C.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Things I used a lot:
Boppy Pillow. Nice for BF, especially newborns, also used for tucking around a baby who can't quite sit up alone.
If you're tight on space, a highchair/booster seat that you can strap to your kitchen chair. That way, if you go somewhere you know doesn't have a highchair, you can take it with you. I love the one we use for my 9 month old. It's The First Years brand, reclines for infants, can be used without tray for a booster at the table, has reversible seat cushion/easily removable for washing. Purchased at Target for $20-25.
Graco car seat/stroller travel System. Nice to not have to unstrap your baby from car seat to put in stroller. Also an umbrella stroller is nice when they're a bit bigger for a quick ride or if you don't have room for a bigger stroller.
Pack n' Play. We don't use it a ton at home, but let me tell ya, it's nice when you go somewhere and you need to put baby for a nap or need a safe play area. Not everyplace is baby proofed like your home will be.
We had a monitor with a video camera. We don't use it anymore, but it was really nice and prevents you from having to go in the nursery a million times like new moms do!! You can just look and see that he/she is fine and not risk waking baby (or dragging your butt out of bed!). I think ours was Safety First brand.
You'll need a good thermometer - Rectal/Oral/Aux. We had a nice Safety First one with detachable probes (one for oral, one rectal, one underarm) but we lost the oral probe and they do NOT provide spare probes, so pass on that one.
Probably don't need a changing table. You can change baby in the crib or floor or on your bed just as easy. We have one but barely use it.
Baby tub! You'll use it a lot! Make sure you get one that turns into a toddler/sit up one.
We passed with this baby on the Diaper Genie and just got a nice trash bin and use scented garbage bags and occasionally "Diaper Sacks" for poopy diapers. And you can put a package of "Diaper Sacks" in y our diaper bag for easy cleanup when you're out and about.
I'm a slight germaphobe so I still use and used with my other two the Floppy Seat. It's a cover thing for shopping carts and makes it comfy for a baby and you can hook toys to it and it has a built in seatbelt and folds into a bag. It's nice, but not necessary.
Bottles - use glass or BPA free. I think most are these days. We used Avent and never had a problem. The mouth is nice & wide to put formula in if you will use formula at all.
If you do use formula, the storebrands have the same stuff in it as name brands. Since we're done BF we use Targets.
Good luck! there are a lot of unnecessary things out there. I could never understand the diaper wipe warmers, but whatever floats your boat!!
Best wishes to you and your baby!

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W.M.

answers from Nashville on

with my first child we registered for the typical high chair. with our second child we received a feeding seat which sits and is attached to the actual chair. It raises as the child grows so you can use it until they are 4! I preferred the feeding seat b/c the high chair took up space in my kitchen whereas the chair did not.
Triple Paste or Butt Paste is the best for diaper rashes
most kids don't like swings, only a few do so you may not want it, they take up space....
definitely want a bouncer seat for them to sit in and play with the toys, they are great for you to wheel into the shower and have a few mins of 'me' time.
I would not buy more than one paci or two, some kids don't want them
do NOT wash all the clothing until the baby is born. It will be hard but they grow SO fast that many clothes are wasted....plus, they grow out of them so quickly that they will be wasted. You can always return for larger size if you keep tags on.
did not care about foam or spring mattress but wanted a firm one
get a comfortable rocker b/c you will be in it a lot
get a boppy, they are not only good for holding baby in your lap but are also good for letting baby sit up or lay on it
get a noise machine for baby's room, get them on Amazon called white noise machine. They help baby keep a constant lull of noise and sleep through anything...phone, door bell, etc we all have one in our rooms
lay baby down to sleep on its own, let it learn how to sleep instead of you putting it to sleep, you will benefit later....
get an umbrella stroller, once baby is old enough to sit up those are way easier! they are lightweight and very easy for being out and about
don't buy a lot of bottles either b/c nipples are different and baby might not like what you buy....
you will need a baby bath tub, maybe the soft kind but you will only use it a few weeks so don't invest a lot. You can buy a big one to fit inside your large tub....they even have seats now to put into the tub

congrats! email with any specific questions!

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D.M.

answers from Denver on

I LOVED our vibrating chair - both my kids slept in it, played in it, hung out in the bathroom in it while I took a shower... etc. My friend (a grandmother) has it now and said she can't imagine how she ever raised her kids without!!! I think fisher price makes the one I had.

A swing is hit or miss. My daughter loved it - Son hated it... so maybe borrow one or skip it.

Medela breast pump is AWESOME. However, you may consider renting one... just to make sure all goes well w/ breastfeeding before you invest. You can rent them from the hospital - usually medela as well and even better...

You can get really expensive strollers, but I really prefer the Graco travel system. For the money they are by far the best.

Remember you can always get more - or exchange as you find what you need... which really isn't much. If someone could sell extra sleep or energy - stock up!!

Congratulations!

C.H.

answers from Dallas on

I know exactly what you mean! That is the biggest headache/panic attack ever! My son is 3 months old and when I was pregnant I spent so much time stressing about how I had no idea what I actually needed and didn't need. I think when we went to register at Babies R Us I had a melt down. So many products out there!!! Unfortunately you really don't have a clue what works best for you and your baby until your baby actually gets here. We have so many things that we never ended up needing.

I think the top 3 lifesavers we had are the bouncer, the boppy, and the itzbeen. All of those were lifesavers. I don't think it matters what brand of bouncer you get, just have one. Pick one thats in your budget. The boppy made breastfeeding more comfortable and I could set him down on it for a few seconds every now and then. And the Itzbeen was awesome. I was so sleep deprived that I couldn't keep track of how much time had passed since the last feedings. It times it for you, so you just check it and go from there. It also has an option for diapers too. I love that thing!

As for bottles, I accidently only registered for the Playtex VentAire advanced ones and they work perfectly.

When you are looking for a stroller, make sure its something you can handle on your own. Easy to fold up and stick in your car without help from anyone else.

Good Luck! If anything ask for a lot of gift cards and those will come in handy right after baby is born. Thats when you discover what items you really need around.

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L.H.

answers from Detroit on

Get all your safety stuff (outlet covers, etc.) that are appropriate for your environments - yes, environments, including grandma's house, etc. Don't skimp on baby gates. I didn't discover swaddlers (like Halo and Summer brands) until my first was 3 months old and wish I would have. My boppy is also something I love because you use it for so long. Crib teething bars were needed, too. And a formula dispenser. A GOOD and LIGHT diaper bag with wipes holder. A wipes warmer. Side-snap shirts. I'm sure I could list a bunch more things.

I think (for the most part) that we've used most everything we were given. I've always had too many clothes for my kids.

Big items: I recommend Britax for carseats. I had a high-end Graco stroller that was trashed on our first airline trip, so I'm not so hip on those.

Pacifiers: you'll probably have to see how your baby takes to them. He/she may not at all, or prefer a certain type.

Congratulations!

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