What Do You Really NEED for a New Born?

Updated on June 18, 2008
E.B. asks from Cold Spring, NY
113 answers

We're trying to plan and be as prepared as necessary for our first born who is scheduled to arrive in Sept. We do not want to have lots of unnecessary "stuff". We are going to try for a family bed and see how it works, but should I have a back-up crib? Bassinet? Without being wasteful, what are the most important things to have as far as furniture and supplies for a new born?
What would you recommend I buy new & what can I get second hand(craigslist has great baby/kid stuff)?
Thanks for your time:)

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So What Happened?

I received so much helpful information, thank you for all your time and thoughtful responses. We have created a modest baby registry(@ felicite.com) with some basics & essentials(as far as I can tell). And for the rest, I have been surfing craigslist and dropping in regularly on favorite local secondhand stores. Most of your responses proved to me that everybody has a different idea of what is important to have; I believe that as I experience childbirth and raising a baby, I will probably change my opinions too. Right now, we're going to use our best judgment with some of your guidance.
An extra special thank you to those who encourage the family bed and(what I now know as) attachment parenting. It's nice to have some positive reinforcement.
thank you all.
xoerin

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S.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Well, I'm one who has every gadget under the sun for my kid, and I have enjoyed having many options of places to put her for naps, playtime, etc. 3 different strollers (the jogger, the "travel system" one, and the tiny collapsable one) to choose from... So I'm not the best person to tell you what to get and what to cut!

BUT, in college I nannied for some people who were extremely minimalist in their baby accoutrements. They did the family bed thing, so no crib, no changing table, not even very many baby toys. They had a stroller, car seat, and high chair. I think that was it. We changed him on the floor next to his shelf of clothes. They didn't even babyproof the house (no gates for the stairs) because he was just constantly supervised. I personally thought it was kinda weird that he had no bed, nowhere to set him down to nap- mom would feed him and then hand him off to me to hold him while he napped. It was great, I was able to catch up on my sleep and nap myself while holding him (which I needed after late nights of studying or partying!). I always thought they should just invest in a crib- mom worked from home, so I was just getting paid to hold him while he slept a lot of the time!

You'll make it work for you however you wanna do it. Congrats and enjoy!

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I.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Diapers and t-shirts are a must for September baby. Family bed is wonderful...I did it with all 5 of my children and it worked out great. As they got a little older I bought a crib, took off one side and moved it up against the side of my bed. When they went to sleep, I moved them into the crib but they were close by all the while. This is especially good for a baby that likes to sprawl. Good to see someone not getting sucked into the proposed 'necessities' of having a baby.

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M.W.

answers from San Diego on

We did the family bed from the getgo. The babies don't want to be anywhere but on my chest at bedtime. Especially when they were sick at any age, they like to be close to mom.

And I nursed 2 kids from the start and the bed worked for that. We used the swing for the first 3 months for both kids because it's the only way they could get solid sleep by experiencing the rocking motion they were accustommed to in my womb.

If you are going to nurse, you need the courage to comfortably nurse when you're baby is crying for it or is hungry, you need to find a place where you feel comfy in public with ease and be able to project that it is your right to do this in the state of CA. I would nurse at the zoo bench, in restaurants, car, but never in a bathroom because it can be unsanitary. So get nursing shirts and bras, sleeping bras, at Motherhood at your local mall.

Back to the swing, So we put it next to the bed and nursed through the night for the most high maintenance 3 months.

We got one on craigslist for $60. Any swing at a 2nd hand will do and high chair at a second hand will do. I wouldn't spend more than 60 on both if I had to do it again. I spent 140 and it doesn't make a difference in a utility sense.

The FP Aquarium was cool for the bells and whistles. But I would get one that plugs in to an AC outlet because you might use it a lot. And who needs to spend more money on batteries every week...only thing that i would really look for.

So we didn't need 30 bibs or hats that we got. We did need a lot of new onsies that snapped on the side at(babies r us)because some babies don't like it when you pull stuff over their heads.

We did need one really good swaddling blanket that was stretchy enough to go really tight. (Bought cotton material with cool design at fabric shop) We used ace bandages to secure it. I am quite creative with home products :O)Some babies sleep better when they are wrapped up tight like their in moms womb. I had a high maint. 1st baby. The 2nd was easier so you'll have to shop as you go along. Which is the best advice since they are each very unique on their own.

We needed a new plastic matress protector sheet for co-sleeping pee accidents.

We needed baby fever reducer you could give thru the butt. A glass rectal thermometer.

Baby Motrin 6 hours.

A baby/toddler developmental book. used books.
"Happiest Baby on the Block" buy used on Amazon for cheap.

We needed a Shhhher machine for the car ($15 new) or white noise from the tv at bedtime free!.

We needed to get in the tub with our first baby for bathtime. We wanted new for our 1st but used would do with our 2nd and our 2nd one loved the baby tub with the net. But didn't actually fully bathe with soap for a few months. Just used water, they don't get dirty at first.

We needed coffee. We needed sleep, so I slept when the baby slept, napped when the baby napped. We needed paper plates, we fogot about cleaning so much. Diapers,new diaper covers cloth and disposable.

A new or used changing table, diapers. BALMEX for diaper rash is the BEST.

One good stroller with sun shade for long days out and one new or used umbrella stroller with sunshade a new car seat. Now that we have 2 a great double stroller (A BOB) worth every cent everyday.

We needed a baby carrier, 1 sling one baby bjorn both second hand, new car seat,2nd hand play mat where baby lays on her back and tummy for neck strength for the 1st 3months, a baby bouncer chair with vibrating seat and songs and hangy toys, 2 lullaby cds,1 video that showed other baby faces all 2nd hand or from Salvation Army has a lot of cheap videos/dvds/books.

We are active and for the days we needed to get outdoors we got a backpack carrier used for 60. And the BOB is good for off roading hikes and the beach.

A new good breast pump (Medela pump in style for working full time 260 at Babies r us or online)and accessories to keep it clean and storage baggies (freezer ziplocks will do. Medela nipple cream. LLLeague phone number. A bottle drainer, mircrowave steam cleaner bags.

Friends family and enjoy this time. It's just the beginning. :O)

And the knowledge to not feed solids before 6 months, keep trying to breastfeed, hang in there, it's worth it. If you can't then the other stuff will work too. And count to 10, you' will get sleep it will get easier and it does pass. Be proud!

Blessings and good luck.

PS We got a new crib and bassinet and port a crib. We only used the bassinet 10 times with our 1st. The rest went unused so we sold it or gave them to friends. The queensize bed is still where the 3 of us sleep and nurse 3 years later. But beware, my husband sleeps in another room most nights and I have no idea how I'm going to get the kids out of the bed, but we like being so close since we are apart now that they are in preschool/daycare. But sometimes we play musical beds and he joins us in the bedroom. We have a matress on the floor for whoever ends up there next to the big bed. Which we at first had on the floor so no one fell off. My friend got the expensive organic baby bolster things from Motherhood mag. Many ways to do it. She had a water birth at home, I was stuck in a navy hospital but we both were committed to safe natural healthy experiences for all, so as long as you have that you can get to where you need to go on what ever money or most places you find yourself in. IMPROVISE! :O)

GET a Boppy if you nurse or 2 bobbys if you need it for height, and a rocker. We got a 25 dollar small old soft brown ugly but we love it and still use it to play with the kids on it rocker to nurse and nap in. A nursing stool from Medela for 25 at the store or online to bring your knees alighned with your baby.

A long pregnancy pillow for propping and a backrest pillow support. Lots of pillows.

A little notebook to keep track of feeding times was useful with our 1st with nursing.

After 3 years, nursing is the only thing that has benefits that stay with the child into adulthood. It's going to help your child develop well because of the nutritional and medicinal content,(can nurse during the stomach flu) it's going to help you throttle down and relax, and if you nurse long-term it's going to serve as a way to connect emotionally and physically in the early toddler phase into and maybe even through toddlerhood.

They get 2 brand new boobs, new milk designed specifically for just for her at her very moment in time. Milk contnet changes as the baby grows according to her point in development. Learn how to wean responsibly with respect for her needs. Please discipline (teach and redirect)without hitting and screaming.

If you are going to have another baby and nurse both, get Adventures in Tandem Nursing.

If you're going to nurse, eat well and drink lots of water. Your milk levels run on supply and demand. The more you nurse, the more you make. The less you nurse the less you make. If you pump, cause you have to work do it every 2 hours to keep the level high for when you get home. If you're at home, nurse when the baby is hungry which is about 12 times a day in the beginning. Stay hydrated. Peace and Happiness.

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N.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

When I had my son I bought everything you can imagine. A brand new Italian crib, dresser, armoire, two strollers, high chair, bouncy seat, etc... His crib has never been slept in. His bassinet he might have used for one or two naps. The high chair came in handy later on. Changing table for the first 6 months. They will be too wiggly after that. The armoire was not necessary. The bouncy seat we used when he was an infant. Just to get my hands free and have him near. We put our mattress on the floor and he was on that for all naps and at night. Save all the money and put it away for all the swimming, art , and enrichment classes that come later.

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C.J.

answers from Honolulu on

Well what really helped me was a 3-in-one crib,playpen, baby changer. I think it is from Graco. It is so convenient, you can wheel it around your house, doesn't take up much room and you can pack it up and take it to the park. Cool huh.

(Mom of two reusing the 3-in-one 6 years later.)
C.

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A.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

My daughter was born via c-section (she is now 14 months old), but I am very much looking forward to having another baby and having a VBAC at HOME!!! :) Kudos to you for wanting a home birth!!!

I also commend you on co-sleeping. My daughter co-slept with us for 6 months and it was so nice having her so close every night. We still nap together almost everyday... Yes, we are STILL nursing! :)

**If you plan to breastfeed I HIGHLY recommend you get a Brest Friend!!! Yes, Boppy's work too, but I found that a Boppy will work better when the baby is older. The Brest Friend works the BEST with newborns!

****YOU DO NOT NEED FORMULA! Seek support if you need it for breastfeeding! I did at 4 weeks and went from being a mommy who planned on breastfeeding for 3 months to a mommy who is STILL nursing her 14 month and plans to stop when my baby is ready! It isn't always easy in the beginning, but what is, really?? If you have your heart set on it, than you WILL make it work and IT will all come together! At about 8 weeks is when I decided I love to breastfeed my baby girl!!!! :)

**I would also recommend you get a swing for your baby. I wouldn't buy a crib until you know for sure you're going to use it. If your plans for a family bed don't work out (I am sure they will!) than you can use the swing. OR a pack n' play! They are very useful and will definitely come in handy!!!

**Nursing supplies - the only thing I needed right away were my nursing bras!!!!! Invest in whatever is most comfortable for you! Try on a few!!! STAY AWAY FROM UNDERWIRE! :)
****If your nipples get sore just rub your OWN breastmilk on them!!!!! Breastmilk is pretty powerful, healing stuff!!! Liquid gold... :)

**Most pack n' plays come with a changing table attached, but I found that buying an actual changing table was easier on our backs! Not having to bend forward to change diapers helped!

**Pampers Swaddlers were my FAVORITE diapers for newborns!! After she grew out of those I moved onto Seventh Generation Diapers! I LOVE THEM!!!

CLOTHING - sleepers, swaddle blankets, onesies and more sleepers!

**A BABY CARRIER! I wore my daughter from day 1 and highly recommend you get some sort of carrier... A baby bjorn (CAN BE USED FROM BIRTH UP! Read their website - it is completely safe!), Lascal M1 Carrier (just like the Bjorn, but made of a better, breathable material - BAMBOO!!), peanut shell, hotsling, etc. Whatever works for you! It was essential for me to have so I could always keep her super close to mommy! Daddy too!

**You are going to want a stroller that will accomodate your infant carrier too! If your baby is sleeping and you need to carry him/her in the infant carrier than you will want a stroller to click your infant car seat onto!! :)

**BREAST PUMP - It isn't recommended you pump until 4-6 weeks so you can let your baby establish your milk supply. If you plan to pump on a daily basis you will need a good electric double pump - Medela makes a great one - the pump in style advanced. If you're looking for an occasional pump try the Medela Swing! If you're having latch problems with the baby than I would suggest you stear clear of pacifiers and bottles until it's established. Once your baby latches well you can begin to introduce a bottle of pumped breastmilk - again, recommended you wait 4-6 weeks!

**** OH YEAH! Last, but NOT least! The Baby Book, by Dr. Sears! I saw that someone else recommended it to you and I wanted to 2nd the recommendation!!! That book has EVERY bit of info you need!!!!

Oh man... all this talk makes me want another baby!!!!!! :)

Best of luck to you!!!!

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E.P.

answers from San Diego on

I had the same question with my first one. :) There are things that you NEED and things that make life a lot easier. In the NEED category I would put: portable sleep area (bassinet/port-a-crib or moses basket). There are times that your baby will need to sleep and you won't so the family bed may work great for nighttime but naptime will be challenging, also handy for traveling. Other NEEDS: carseat, diapers (disposable or reusable), diaper cream, feeding chair (for around 4-6 months), diaper changing area- changing table not neccessary, stroller. MAKE LIFE EASIER category: this is almost endless and also ends up being very personalized once you bring you little one home. For me it was: nursing pillow, specialized infant car seat, mirror for the car so I could see her when I was driving, diaper genie, floor gym for tummy time, johnny jump-up for 5-9 months old. I got most things second hand. I don't think there is anything wrong with that. Just make sure if you get a carseat secing had that it has never been in an accident. Good luck and enjoy!

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A.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi! So we bought a ton of stuff for our newborn and only used a few things. We used our bed as a family bed, which worked out great for us. I suggest getting a guard rail, for safety. A bassinet or some kind of travel bed with 4 sides is great to have for naps, or for when you are not holding the baby (shower, cooking, etc.). I only used a sling (the maya wrap was my favorite) to hold the baby for the first few months. This is where the baby spent most of his time at first. A changing table is a necessity. Don't worry about toys for a newborn. That is silly, I think. Wait until 6 months to see. My husband just walked in the room, I told him I was writing to you and he said, "Remind her how women have been having babies for thousands of years without all this stuff." Good point from my cave man. :) Depending on whether you are breastfeeding or not, you may need some pumping supplies, bottles, that kind of thing. I breastfed for over a year and only used the pump a couple of times, but know people who worked that used it regularly. I also really liked the swaddle me swaddler wraps, those were really comforting to my little guy. That's all I can think of for now. Remember, you live next to lots of stores so you pick up whatever you NEED once the baby is born. :) I am very excited for you. Of course you need a car seat, but even a stroller is not really a necessity for the first few months, in my opinion. OK, I'll stop now. Have a great day!

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L.L.

answers from San Diego on

Hi E.,
Have you heard of a Pack N Play? They are GREAT!!
We used ours for our son Sean when he was a newborn. There's a way that you can make it a bassinet and then when your baby is ready for a crib you can use it as a travel bed, etc. I even took mine to the beach so that he could nap there too. I still have it with me in my car. It works great for when we visit friends and Sean needs a nap or it's bedtime.
I just really love the functionality (is that even a word?) of it. I felt that it was money spent wisely considering that Sean is now 20 months old and he will still nap in it.
Good luck!

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J.L.

answers from San Diego on

I tell you, when I was pregnant, the most overwhelming part of it for me was all the STUFF offered out there. I felt panicked just walking into Babys R Us. Really.

We never used our crib (co-slept from day one), changing table, bottle warmer, all that stuff that my generous mom went out and bought. I'm a minimalist, she's the shopper: ) I wouldn't buy a sling until you can figure out your baby's (and your) body type because they fit each baby so differently AND some babies prefer being enclosed by the snuggly where as others want to see out like the Bjorn can offer.

So diapers, wipes, onesies, blankets (several), car seat. Something I didn't have that seemed convenient was the stroller/car seat compliment-seemed easier on one's back.

I breast fed so I needed cotton breast pads and a couple of good nursing bras.

Doing it all over I would have waited until after my daughter was born to buy extras because so much we didn't use and other things I never thought I would used were indispensible (like our swing - felt completely guilty using it but it gave me some much needed breaks.) They all pop out so different: )

All the best to you in your birth and newborn experience!

Jen

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T.

answers from Las Vegas on

E.,

Keeping in mind that I'm a breastfeeder but I work full time, and I coslept with both of my babies (they both had rooms but never actually slept there! LOL If you buy a crib, get it off Craig's list. I paid $50 for mine so I didn't feel too bad when I didn't use it much - although a safe place for them to nap either a crib or a playpen is nice as they get older and more mobile so you don't want to leave them on the bed and leave the room). The only things I really couldn't have lived without were:

breastpump
supply of bottles
Medela Microsteam sterlizing bags (get them at Target or online)
breastmilk storage bags (I like the Lansinoh ones - get them at Target or amazon.com)
diapers
wipes (although a wet washcloth works too)
a good, high quality car seat (extra bases for an infant seat are really handy if you have more than one car)
about a dozen sleepers (you really don't dress them much in the beginning so don't get much in the way of newborn clothes. Both my boys outgrew their 0-3 month stuff by 6 weeks)
a couple of baby blankets
a couple of waterproof pads (nice for changing diapers on the bed or floor - get the biggest ones you can find - I got some 3 ft by 3ft ones off ebay from a medical supply place and I've used them a lot, especially when my kids are sick and throwing up at night - for some reason they only tend to throw up at night in bed! the baby sized ones are about 1 ft by 1 ft and they always manage to throw up or spit up over the edge)
a baby bath tub (I have a blue one from Walmart that cost less than $10 and it works great - newborns are slippery when wet and it helps to have a baby bath tub).

nice to have:
swing (sometimes it was the only way my kids would sleep or not fuss without someone holding them - and you've got to shower or make dinner occasionally! get one that reclines like an infant seat because you'll need it more now than later)

and some sort of a baby carrier. I have an Ultimate Baby Wrap (love it for a newborn through about 6 months, too stretch for an older baby) and a Baby Bjorn (expensive and hurts my back like crazy) and an Ergo (expensive but nice for an older baby). I also have a sling but I never really got the hang of a sling.

somewhere to store baby clothes and stuff (a dresser and some clothes hangers and a little closet space)
lots of baby socks (they are always kicking them off or you lose them in the wash so I always just buy tons of matching white ones so it doesn't matter when I lose half of a pair)

a stroller is nice occasionally but I didn't use mine all that much until my kids were big enough for one of the umbrella strollers. The infant kind are big, bulky and hard to maneuver. I had a c-section with my first (he was breech, I had my second one VBAC and the recovery was SO much easier) so it was MONTHS before I could lift the stroller in and out of the car.

If you do have a c-section (which I highly recommend against unless it is an absolute medical necessity), a changing table is nice because you can't easily bend over

As they get older, an exersaucer is nice. I have a high chair but we just got one of these http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2861764 and it is SO much easier to clean. A high chair is nice for a younger baby who can't sit up by themselves but once they are past that stage, the booster seats take up a lot less space.

That's all I can think of that I really used. The first time around we ended up with a ton of stuff and actually used very little of it. And we got tired of looking at it and Goodwilled it long before our second child showed up. We don't have a really big place so for a while we were really up to our eyeballs in baby stuff. LOL the only thing I really bought the second time around was a new breastpump (it is really nice to have 2 - one for work and one for home so I didn't have to lug it back and forth), some new bottles, and diapers.

Regular towels and washclothes work just fine and I prefer regular, free and clear laundry detergent. The baby stuff is highly scented and gives both of my kids a rash.

Good luck and congratulations!
T.

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C.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

E.,
We did the family bed and it worked great! Our children had no trouble at all transitioning out of it, so don't let that discourage you!
My list may be a little different from others, because I am what I guess would be termed an attachment parent. We co-sleep and I breastfeed until they are two ( that is not my cut off, just when they and I were ready to stop) I sling carry them and I stay very informed about as much as I can. I have two boys 5 and 2 and one more due in July.
Here is my list:
If you are breastfeeding you do NOT need a pump or bottles. It just comes right out of your breast and into their mouths ; ) You do need a good pillow to prop them up on while small ( brest friend, boppy, or even a bed pillow)
You should have some kind of nipple cream like lanolin for if they get sore, it also works great for diaper rashes though these are a rarity in breastfed babies.
I use a sling to carry my kids, I still use one with my 2 1/2 year old. They let you carry them with your arms free and are much more convenient to carry around for when you may need them than a stroller, though I also use a stroller. I have a single for just the youngest and a double to use with both. I reccomend a ring sling and a LIGHTWEIGHT stroller, which is easier to get in and out of the car. Just for clarity I do own a company that sells slings, cozyslings.com, but I do not reccomend them because I sell them, I started selling them because I reccomended them so highly!!!
For us a doorway jumper was great! My kids spent long periods of time in it and both walked on their strong little legs at 9 months.
Thoug they have never SLEPT in a crib, it was great as a changing table and for mobile time, which they enjoyed and tummy time in a safe place, though they also used a floor mat gym for that. That 15 minutes they spend watching the mobile in the crib is great for a quick shower!
Soft shoes. Robbez and Bobux make great ones. They are perfect to wear before they walk and while learning to wealk because they dont have the flat hard soles that make them fall over. They are best for their feet as new walkers also.
Diapers
Burp cloths- we use the thin recieving blankets for these.
Gentle non scented wipes.
An ear thermometer, because otherwise you have to put it you know where and they dont mind the ear one at all! Plus, thats what the doctors use, so if they ask you for you babies temp when s/he is sick you can say 99* with the ear thermometer.
Mylacon for baby gas. My first baby had colic and this was very helpful.
A good safe comfortable carseat. They hate being in these enough without them being uncomfortable too.
Honestly thats all I can think of. I'm on kid #3 and we have so much stuff! These are the things we truly needed though.
Some things I also LIKE to have are a baby swing, an otoscope ( the thing the doc uses to check their ears) I like to know if they have an ear infection before calling.
Oh and a few books I truly needed were. The womanly art of breastfeeding, vaccinations- a thoughtful parents guide, and circumcision exposed. No matter how you feel about any of these issues, the books are very informative about your options etc.
Good Luck!

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G.D.

answers from Reno on

Hi E.,

If you are trying to keep "stuff" to a miminum and also trying to keep cost down... I would suggest a quality "pack n play" type item. You can get some that have a bassinet attachment, a diaper changing area, as well as the "crib" section. I found this very useful with my first child as well. We actually had a full nursery of furnature on order when she was born - but since she was 5 weeks early none of it had arrived. I used the pack n play for everything for the first three weeks. Even with a family bed at night, the nice thing about having a seperate area for your child to sleep is that when you put him/her down for a nap you know they are safe and will not roll or crawl off the bed. Infants at first may not go very far when you put them down, but give it time and they will crawl right off the end of a bed. OUCH!
Once the child is more mobile, I would also recommend at least one other item where you can put the child and know they are safe and can't get out. Maybe a travel swing, bouncy seat etc. This is important for what may seam silly right now - but trust me. One day when he/she is crawling all over and you have to shower or even just pee you will appreciate having a safe place where he/ she can be happy too. I have 14 month old twins and I have one bouncy seat and a travel swing that I actually have ended up keeping in my bedroom/bathroom area so I can shower, get dressed and keep them entertained at the same time.
Good luck!
G.

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S.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

Less is definitely more. You will probably want a crib at some point. A crib that converts into a bed is good for longterm. My kids slept in our bed their first year, then they moved to the crib. You might want to get a pack n' play that is also a bassinet if you travel. That way, you'll have a bassinet when the baby is new and a pack 'n play for travel or sleepovers. My second child actually slept in the pack 'n play for a while before he moved to a bed (they are 18 months apart). I recommend hitting friends up for things they are not using. Craig's list is a fine place to look for things. I had two home births and I am having my third at home as well. I was going to try a hospital, because it's cheaper, but I just can't do it now that I've had home births. Good luck to you E.!

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F.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Congratulations E.! Here's my list:
1. Diapers
2. Breastmilk or formula
3. Clothes (really you'll probably get all you need at a shower, so don't even bother buying any)
4. Baby sling
5. Large blanket for swaddling
6. Car seat
7. Stroller

If you plan to co-sleep, don't even bother with a bassinet. I'd invest in a simple crib that can be converted into a toddler bed.

Take Care,
F.

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K.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

You only need your boobs, diapers, wipes and breast pads. Oh, clothes would be nice but the baby can wear a onesie. My personal advice may seem like it is not kid friendly, however it works for me. I have been married for 11 years, stay home mom with 3. Marriage is not without issues, but once kids arrive it is like a hurricane. Your bed and bedroom is a sanctuary for you and your husband/partner. I would elaborate but I don't want to be attacked by the masses. As you become a mother, remember that is only one of your many beautiful facets. Preserve your friendship with your best friend by not starting with kids in the bed. If you only have one bed that is another thing, but once you start you can not stop. Your partner will hate it but it is not "okay" to express it. Great parents put their relationship first as an umbrella for the children.

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A.T.

answers from San Diego on

we had a crib and a bassinet... he sleeps in our bed... a swing or boppy is important if you ever plan on getting anything done around the house, don't stock up on diapers!! At least until he/she gets into size 2 even then, buy sparingly. flannel receiving blankets make the BEST burp clothes, stock up! I had my kid 10 weeks ago so this is all still fresh in my head LOL You dont even need to buy anything if he sleeps with you. your natural instinct will keep you from rolling over your baby. I tell you what though. Setting up my nursery is the only thing that kept me sane in that last trimester.

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N.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi E....congratulations on your impending baby! I'm so glad to hear you are planning a home birth!

I am a no-stuff person and wanted only the basics when I had my now 5-month old. I was so annoyed the whole time I was pregnant that people kept giving me hand-me-downs I didn't want or suggesting the things that I would die without. And nearly everyone told us we couldn't do a family bed or sleep with baby in the same room. We have since the beginning and still do. Don't even listen to the people who say it's not safe or impossible. I was pressured to register when my co-workers threw a shower, so I did at Target. Once I hired my doula and got the scoop on what's really necessary I took most of it back and ended up with loads of gift cards. (I used them for diapers!) Here's what I would consider the essentials/what we used the most...

-car seat. Graco SnugRide is cheap and top-safety rated. Bonus if it comes with a stroller!

-Munchkin Back Sleeper. It's a little thing I got at Target that keeps the baby secure, so naps anywhere are possible. Our Henry slept in that thing in the bed, on the couch, the ottoman, while travelling, etc. We slept in the bed with him between our heads and one small pillow for each of us. It was not even possible for him to get squished or buried, as so many people will tell you it is.

-Breast pump and bottles. If you are planning to go back to work, you will need a double electric. Medela Pump in Style Advanced is the best and the bottles are good too for the beginning. Also get a hands-free pumping bra and a couple of soft nursing bras or tanks for the first few weeks.

-My Brest Friend nursing pillow. The Boppy was a waste for me. You need the lumbar support and firmness of the BF. Also it's a great place to "put" the baby for naps and hanging out on his tummy. I put him there while I pumped after feedings.

-We bought a cheap crib and changing table set from the JCPenney catalog. The crib sits right next the our bed and become a place to store blankets and all the crib sheets and nursery bedding we never use :). The changing table has been great though. I have it filled with baskets of all his stuff so it's right at hand. I also have a changing pad on it. Recently I hung the crib mobile (that my mother insisted on buying) over it and that's been great fun. We're going to use the crib as a toddler bed eventually by taking off the front rail. I read recently that the best crib for the money is the one from Ikea. Get one that converts and you'll have a backup sleeping space, plus room to grow. The Arms Reach co-sleeper seemed like a good idea to me, but was too limited for our budget.

-People will give you all the clothes you'll ever need and then some. You will need basics like onesies though if it's summer or footie jammies if it's colder. I seemed to never have enough socks.

-diapers. We use cloth now and love it, but I started with Nature Babycare from Target and they are awesome! Made from corn, biodegradable and no petroleum junk against your baby's bum.

-several rolls of Viva papertowels. You can't use wipes for the first several weeks, so these papertowels and a squirty or spray bottle of water are soft and safe. You can also use wash cloths.

-Some natural bath products like CA Baby. Their Calendula cream is the only thing I ever needed for the one time he had diaper rash. I found Burts Bees too smelly. And I wouldn't go anywhere near my baby with anything made by Johnson and Johnson.

-a sling or wrap. I walked around endlessly with my little guy in a ring sling. Now I also use a Moby Wrap. If you're into babywearing, you should establish it from the very beginning.

-Burp cloths! I used the prefold diapers I swiped from the hospital, but there are some nice ones out there.

-Muslin swaddling blankets. I can't say enough good things about these. Especially now that it's warmer. Otherwise, you will get tons of blankets as gifts and won't know what to do with them all. Don't waste your money on flannel blankets if you're having a baby when it's warm.

-Bouncy chair. We have the Bjorn because it's simple and cool looking with no plastic parts.

-Also I couldn't live without my fold up changing pad that I throw in my purse. It holds a couple of diapers and a travel thing of wipes. It's by JJ Cole.

-The Baby Book by Dr. Sears!

Items that I returned or think are unnecessary...wipes/bottle warmers, steam sterilizer, diaper bags, pack n play and all sorts of play mats and big plastic toy things that will clog up your living room.

These are just my suggestions. Hope it helps! Because I live in Glendale, I bought a lot of these things at Bellies, Babies and Busoms. The Pump Station in Hollywood or Santa Monica is great too! Also, you might want to look into the Yahoo So Cal Attachment Parenting group where you will find lots of support on home births, co-sleeping and generally not falling prey to the pressure of new-parent consumerism! Good luck!

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A.N.

answers from Los Angeles on

My Uncle hand built me a gorgeous wooden bassinet and I never even used it once! I had my son sleep with me all the time, it was so much more convenient that way especially with him waking up so frequently. You don't really need a changing table, you can turn a dresser you already have into one with a simple pad & strap. I never bought a rocking chair or a baby swing either. A bouncy seat was all he needed to stay occupied. They grow so quickly the first few months that it would be better get clothes second hand (I bought tons of clothes and then he never even wore half of them before he grew out of them). Great places to find second hand baby items for FREE are on Yahoo! there's a group called Freecycle that you can join by city/area where other people in your community are giving away their used baby items (or any other household item). Also www.babycheapskate.com is a blog that keeps up with all of the latest baby sales & a guide to how much you should be paying for everything & it also has a group like freecycle called Freepeats- there is a one-time membership fee of $5 to join but it's exclusively baby items being given away on this board.

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J.F.

answers from San Diego on

Great question... I wish I had asked. I had a family bed for both children and we also had a crib. I would recommend having a crib for naps and when you are ready to move your child to his/her own room. I don't think you need a bassinet. We bought one for the second baby and barely used it. Now it just piles high with laundry that needs to be put away. I think a crib and pack and play are okay to buy off of craigslist. As far as the stroller goes... I wish I had bought one of those snap on strollers where you can just snap the car seat into it rather than buying the GIGANTIC stroller. I wish I had spent the money to buy only a jogging stroller (for when they got a little older) because they really are easier to use than other strollers. Best of luck and congrats!

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M.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Congratulations on your pregnancy!!
I would recommend purchasing a pack-n-play. (you can get that at any target or babies-r-us. Yes, you can get that on Craigs list too)That way you can use it as a crib and be able to take it with you where ever you need. It also has a changing station for when they are infants. You can also keep it in your room instead of a bassenet. I wouldn't recommend a "family bed", that just causes problems with the child sleeping on their on when they are older. But, of course that is up to you.
Good luck!!

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N.M.

answers from San Diego on

Crib (didn't use bassinet very much) that can turn into a toddler bed.
Crib sheet and waterproof crib sheet (they can't use a blanket as an infant and bumpers are only safe until they can pull themselves up.)
Stroller
Car seat (one that is convertible - rear and forward facing) Infant seats are nice, but they got too heavy for me to carry. I would buy a new car seat.
Play pen ( we got one that had a bassinet and a changing station insert in it) Nice for travelling also.
Baby Bjorn (important if you enjoy having the use of two hands for things like dishes, making a sandwich, etc)

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J.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am in the same position as you, expecting my first in July. So, thanks for asking cause I am getting alot advice from your question. I will say this...for your shower ask the person who is hosting to include a "diaper raffle" if you are using disposible diapers. We have had 2 showers and both did this and we have at least 50 packages of diapers to get us started. And we stored them under the crib to save space! On the invitation we included:
Bring a package of diapers any brand or size to be entered into a diaper raffle! Then gave away a cool prize to the winner. Also, get a used crib if you decide to get one. We have two sets of friends that spent a lot of money on a crib and they have never used them?! We took a hand-me-down and cleaned the heck out of it and bought those plastic rail covers. Also, bought from yard sales and resale stores some "gently used" clothes. I have been told you really want them cause they have already been shrunk down and will fit the baby between sizes! Just wash really good! Look for a local mom's group to join, lots of moms pass on the word about great yard sales and stuff to give away! Good luck!

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S.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

I recommend a sling (I liked the peanut shell from www.go-ga.com)and a moses basket. The moses basket is great because you can put it easily in any room or in the crib when you are transitioning. I had one that was on a base that rocked and that was really cool too. If you are breasteeding and it's summer, that's all you need and some diapers!

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R.W.

answers from San Diego on

I have 5 young kids, and I used less "stuff" each time. You will need to just figure it out as you go, to see what you think is really important. Your baby can sleep in your bed - that's definitely the most convenient thing for nighttime nursing. I have a toddler bed next to my bed that I use instead of a crib. It's very low to the floor so I don't worry about the baby falling, and it's a toddler bed so it can be used until about age 4. The only two things I consider essential are a car seat and diapers. Everything else you can buy as the need arises if you decide to.

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L.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

I had the Arms Reach Co-sleeper and found it really helpful (especially if you're breastfeeding!) Essentials I didn't know I needed until she born were: BURP CLOTHS!!!, diapers, Desitin, onesies (lots of them), wipes, wipes warmer, nursing bra, nursing pillow, breast pads, swaddling blankets. . . there's so much stuff!!!

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D.M.

answers from San Diego on

Yes, you should get a bassinet and crib. The family bed is fine for a newborn, but if you keep it up too long, there are problems, as you can see by the tons of posts on this website how moms are trying to figure out how to get their kids OUT of their bed. A swing is a lifesaver too. My kids loved that, it kept them busy, and settled them down when fussy. An exersaucer was great too - kept them busy when I was trying to make dinner, etc. A baby gate is good if you don't want them to go to the next room (once they start crawling.)

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S.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

I found The Baby Bargains book to be tremendously helpful. It rates every product you will need and what is truly necessary. Good luck and congratulations!

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C.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

pack-n-play bassinet that is collapsable and storable and portable but do get a co-sleeper which has sides and a little battery operated light that you lay your baby in on the bed. It is a little like the size of a copy paper box top but it prevents anyone from rolling over onto your baby and helps with head position. Best to you all. ANd get as much sleep as you can now! Chris

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L.R.

answers from Santa Barbara on

I won't repeat, except one thing that most people overlooked. A glider. My hubby was resistant to spending too much so I bought a low didge one on ebay. He's remarked MANY times that it's one thing he now realizes we should have splurged on because you're on that thing ALL THE TIME. My girls had very different dispositions but both loved gliding. As infants we rocked them to sleep, as toddlers we read them books in the glider. You can get one used, but get a good comfy one you can relax and even sleep in if necessary. Oh, and I second Happiest Baby On the Block. It was a lifesaver.

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T.F.

answers from San Francisco on

Starting with you, as your boobs grow, buy nursing bras now, then you won't buy bigger bras now then nursing bras in that same size also. Any clothes you buy should be button down or stretchy! Invest in a nursing cover, they loop around your neck and have a solid area that lets you peek at the baby, trying to hold a blanket and a fussy baby is really hard! I found hte best prices at www.childofprivilege.net & it was super cute! nursing pads (you will leak!) nipple lotion, I loved my Boppy, it takes pressure off the back, if you get one, get two covers. At two months, I set him up in it and he loves it.
hand sanitizer for every room, car, bag, purse, window sill etc!

Here's what I used, I declined a swing from friends, then after the first night of rocking him all night I forked over $140 for a swing at 9am in the morning, we never had a repeat night but he does love his swing, it has a mirror that he looks at and laughs away. We rarely use the bouncy chair, gave it away and they use it daily?? (I could have gotten it half price on Ebay) I use the Bumbo, I can set it on the side of the sink next to me and he is 1 foot away, if it had not been given to me, I'd put him on a blanket next to me and be happy. I love the wet wipe warmer, i DID NOT want it. We do not need it at all, however, he flinches every time a cold wipe hits in the middle of the night. It's a splurge thing. We change him where ever, even though we have a dresser with a changer attachment. At 3 mos. hasn't used crib yet (I use it for storage) You need a bottle for expressed milk, we try to have at least one feeding a day with daddy. If you are going to pump, please save the money you'd waste trying the affordable ones, get a medela or you'll be sorry. If you are going to go back to work, pump daily! It will raise your supply and give you tons in storage while you adjust. If you have a big family, you will be flooded with clothes, I did not register for any and have not bought one piece of clothing yet. Get some blankets, some onesies, a few sleep sacks, nipple cream, two kinds of diaper rash lotion (one will work, then it won't) shampoo, lotion, nail clippers (they will stratch you and themselves) some basic medicines (you will only need them when the stores are closed, be ready). Get a good baby book, it helps with confidence!

I bought a jogging stroller because I walk almost daily. It is great anywhere. I do wish I had splurged and got one that has a compatible carrier. If he is asleep when I start I have to move him from one to another. At most baby stores, you can get inexpensive hanging things to visually stimulate (some make music too). If you buy them separate, they are cheap and can be moved from carrier to stroller to playpen.

We started with a pac-n-play to use as future portable play yard, bassinet and changer, we used it once as a bassinet and then moved him to our bed, we changed him there often, but it is too big for just a changer. We co-slept until now, my boyfriend sleeps really hard and put a pillow on his face one night and I put a sheet on him once, we are getting a co-sleeper, it will take the place of a basinet and the pac-n-play, and he will be right beside me on basically an extension of the bed.

I got a good carrier (baby bjorn) but any with back support is good, being close to me always calms him down. I don't use my diaper bag, i got a small bag from the child of privilege site that I carry diapers, wipes, sun lotion my wallet a burp cloth etc. in. i keep a change of clothes and more diaper stuff in the trunk of my car. (cute, cheap burp cloths at that site also.)

Everything could be bought second hand in my opinion, there are great consignment shops and second hand shops with everything! But anything you are not sure about, wait until they are here, try a friends bouncy chair and swing, kids are soo different.

Hope this all helps, congrats!!!

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G.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi E.,

As a new mom myself, I have a 4 month old, I know all the "stuff" is overwhelming. We didn't go crazy. We had her room all set up with her crib and changing table, but she slept in her bassinet next to our bed for the first three months. We also had a swing set up downstairs. I think the swing is a must!! I would say that's it for the first month. Then a bouncy chair and an activity mat for a little later.
I highly recommend a bassinet next to your bed instead of the baby sleeping in your bed. I know it's totally your choice, but my brother is a firefighter and his station has been called out twice to situations where the baby was in the bed and one of the parents rolled over it... neither time ended well. I just don't think it's worth the risk. I bring my daughter in bed with us in the morning for some snuggle time when we're totally awake.

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N.G.

answers from Visalia on

There is nothing that needs to bought new except
formula, and bottles if you are not nursing.
If you think about it, back in the day
they would put the new babies in the bottom drawer
of the chest of drawers.
The baby doesn't know or care as long as you
love him or her.
You sound like a smart Mom.
N.

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H.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi E.,
I completely understand what you mean. We didn't have the space to get unnecessary things. If you email me your email address, I have a 3 page word document that is laid out of all the things you will need. My friend created it and forwarded it to me and it was so helpful when it came time to register. [email protected]____.com

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J.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

a new crib and bassinet mattress if purchasing a used bed. Household fungus has been linked to SIDS. Unfortunately, while acknowledged in Europe and Australia the news hasn't been shared with the US public.

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C.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

About the baby in the bed...When I brought my son home from the hospital I put him right in his crib and slept on the floor next to it. Reason being is because of the hard time we had getting our daughter out of our bed! It is heart breaking to hear them cry or get kicked out at night when they sneak in.
Get TONS of diapers because you can NEVER have enough.
Crib, swing, lots of thin blankets. Diaper rash ointment.I used plain vasiline and put it on their bottoms after every diaper change so the "stuff" didnt stick to them. MIld baby wash that does the hair and the body. A baby bath tub that fits in your sink. A stroller with the car seat that snaps into it. anti bacterial hand rub for you if you cant wash your hands after a diaper change. Like when you are out shopping or in your car...2 diaper bags. One with quick stuff in it for a quick trip to the store. And one for a trip to visit people.
I am sure I missed some stuff!
God luck!

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T.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I would definitly say a basinet or cradle of some sort - there is going to be times when you would like your space and know that the baby is safe. You may not need a changing table but a least a designated space for changing. I reccomend gowns or sleep and plays - thats all we ever put on our son for the first two months cause they're easier and if you can get zipper ones cause once the baby starts to move the buttons get harder and harder. A pacifier or somesort of sucking item. Basic medical/bath stuff (nail clippers, thermometer, bugger sucker, wash clothe, towel) Dreft for allergen purposes, but only for the first month. And like two blankets, small ones so you can swaddle your bebe. You can get all of these items excpet Dreft at most all second hand stores or garage sales and the hospital gives you lots of stuff too so I would check out what type of goodies the hospital will give you. The nurses tend to give you stuff they're not suppose too as well. They stuffed 4 blankets, 3 sleeping shirts, a wash pan, 2 bugger pullers and more in my diaper bag. I would definitly not take into account anything any store list has to offer - they want you to buy everything! And take someone with you so you don't get over welmed - GOOD LUCK! WELCOME! AND CONGRATS!

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J.L.

answers from San Diego on

hi E., congradulations on your up coming baby. i have been a mom for 24 years, i don't claim to know everything. but here is my advice. First of all the family bed is a bad idea, a very bad idea for many reasons. You will need a crib, a bassenet, car seat. maybe a stroller, and a litle chest or small dresser for the baby clothes. At Wal-mart they have what is called a Nursery in a Bag, it's supposed to have evrything you need. Youll need brib sheets, pumper pads, diapers, diaper bag, nursing set, prayfully one of your frineds will throw you a baby shower, cause you will get so much of what you need, and then what you don't get then you can get it yourself. J.

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I.T.

answers from Bakersfield on

Hi E..

Congratulations! Like many others have mentioned, each baby is completely different so you'll have to "feel" your way through it. As well, each family's situation is different. I am going to include as much info as I can about what I have purchased for my baby keeping in mind that you may not be able to get any of these, but I'd like you to know anyway so you can have some choices. All the things I have were purchased new because my husband would not allow me to buy used- he's a bit of a germophobe, but you can find most things on e-bay both used and new and amazon as well as on-line at different sites. I used coupons at BabiesRus for her carrier,stroller,carseat,playpen and got most of the other big items on-line saving from $10-$20 off the BabiesRUs price by not paying tax and or shipping. Just be watchful on e-bay some of their used items end up selling for more than you'd pay for new! If you're interested in any of these, I can give you the sites I purchased them from.

My baby was born towards the end of September last year also. In Anaheim, the weather is touch-and-go at that time so for starters, I made sure to have thiner clothes as well as the warmer ones for colder days.

You will need:

Pump and Bags if you plan on breaastfeeding (Medela is a great brand)

Bottles (We decided to sacrifice my income so I could stay home with her. I bought bottles for when out and, trying to keep the breastmilk at a good temperature during winter was daunting. If you do this definitely look into a bottle warmer. After a while, I figured out that since my baby only feeds about 5 minutes at a time every 2-4 hours, I just stopped carrying bottles. If she's hungry, I take her into a bathroom or pull over on the freeway and feed her since my windows are tinted. Life is soooo much easier! So now I have all these bottles she doesn't use!)

Bottle Brush

Bottle warmer?

Formula? (If you can, I'd recommend nursing her/him. Great health benefits and saves you sooo much money!! If I had to choose a formula I would go with one of the ones that have Lipils AHA/DHA?? and/or "tummy soothing" components.)

carseat/carrier (Gracco's Safeseat will hold baby up to 30 or 32 lbs., but I opted for the Snugride which only goes up to 22 lbs.- I'm kinda small and at 16/17 lbs, my baby is already quite heavy in hers.)

diapers (Huggies with the umbilical cut-out are great. At least one newborn pack- some babies grow so quickly that they outgrow this size in less than 1 month, but unless you're expecting a 9 pounder, you'll definitely use the one pack. If you want to stock up-or people want to buy you some ask for size 1 or 2. They take up room to store but, if people give as gifts, it's worth dealing with as this will be your on-going expense for 2+ years. Costco brand is great and you can also get Huggies at Costco.)

Wipes (I like the Huggies ("cucumber" and something in a green container) they smell great and are nice and thick. Costco also carries these.)

PacknPlay with bassinett option is great because you can use now, but will continue to use till baby is 2-3 maybe even longer. We keep ours in our bedroom until she starts sleeping through the night- she still wakes every 3-4 hours to eat since she's exclusively breastfed.(This could be in the optional category- you really can do without, but it is something that you will make use of if you can get it.)

5-10 onesies (I'd recommend one pack Newborn size and one 0-3 or 3-6 months. You can always buy more as your baby grows.)

5-10 sleepers(half of them thin the other half warmer)

6-12 pairs of socks

3 caps

2 pair mitts

4-6 receiving blankets (you don't want too many of them becasue you use these a lot the first 3 months but afterwards they don't offer much use unless you want to cut them up and use as burp cloths, or for other projects, etc.)

4-6 burp cloths (same as above)

3 blankets (different thicknesses- If you prefer, 2 "sleepsacks"- blakets babies are zipped into)

shampoo (The following items may be found in "Gift packs")
wash
lotion
diaper cream/powder
nail clipper (I have to clip her nails every 3 days!)
nose aspirator
thermometer

(optional category)
1-2 cute outfits for going home pics and first pics

swing (really great in soothing baby)

stroller (We opted for the Gracco system. Her SnugFit carrier attaches right into the Quattro Tour stroller. This stroller is one-hand/button set-up and collapsible. It comes with a bassinnet option for when they're newborn- I loved/used this a lot when walking my older daughter to school in fall/winter. It has a good sized basket. It does take up room in your trunk since it is full-sized. Ours even came with an added "Boot" for warmth in both carseat and stroller. Our style was the "Devon" and we only found it at BabiesRUs. http://www.toysrus.com/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=d... )

baby-carrier sling or front-pack style (Our baby LOVES this! I can cook do whatever with her in it and she's happy. We have the Baby-Bjorn Active with the full back support. It's great and my husband and I can both use it. He's 250, I'm 150. It's kinda pricey- I think we paid $120 or $130 at BabiesRUs. But I just found this link http://www.ebabycarriers.com/SearchResults.asp?mfg=Baby+B... -they have it for $112 and don't charge for shipping may not even have to pay tax. I actually wanted the "Synergy" because it's more breathable material with the same back support but it wasn't available in stores yet. It's almost $160.)

baby chair (I chose the Bebe Pod. This chair helps your little one to sit better. She can begin using it as soon as she's able to hold up her own head. My baby is almost 8 months and she still fits in it just fine. I use it all over the house. On counters (just make sure she can't tip it over), on tables, on the floor, on our beds. I got the more expensive model with the toy and tray and I think it is totally worth it since she can sit in it and play or eat.)

Baby Gym (for birth to about 10 months- it helps stimulate baby's vision, hand-eye coordination, sounds, much,much more- I chose the Kick and Play by Tiny Love. It has the biggest mat that I was able to find and fun toys and activities. Now that she won't lay on her back and play, I took all the toys off and she plays with them on the mat without the tubes.)

Baby Bouncer (When baby is about 4 months old, she/he will have lots of energy to burn. I LOVE her FisherPrice Jumparoo! She got hers at 3 months (She couldn't really reach then, but by 4months til now at almost 8 months, she goes CRAZY jumping in it.)

Activity table or Excersaucer (At about 4-6 months old they will need other forms of entertainment. I'm not planning on buying her a walker so I opted for the Around we Go by Bright Starts. It's an activity table with a seat attached that goes around the table. Like a walker but she stays within that 4 foot circle. The seat pivots so she can face the way she's walking and she's not only moving sideways.)

I hope this helps. I know you've gotten lots of advice, and if you're already overwhelmed, just relax and remember you've got time. Before baby arrives all you REALLY need is clothing and a car seat carrier, if nursing. Otherwise, you'll also need bottles and formula. Good luck to you!

I.

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E.G.

answers from San Diego on

Hi E.,
I am a mom of two girls. Our firstborn was in her own bed almost right away (and slept like a little angel), and with our second I wanted to try the family bed. The problem was, then I couldn't sleep!!! It didn't help that our then 3-year-old had started to come in and sleep with us every night and I was a nervous wreck that she would roll over on the baby. We then used a co-sleeper, which if you don't already know, is like a bassinet, but it butts up along the side of your bed so you can reach over and easily touch the baby. I LOVE it. YOu can find them used at secon-hand stores, craigslist, etc. Or new they run around $150.

As far as what you absolutely need, it sounds like you are trying the attachment parenting approach, and so a baby carrier is absolutely necessary. I have used many different kinds, like the Baby Bjorn, but my absolute favorite is the Ergo Baby. Anyone else I meet who also uses it agrees with me. It is so much easier on your back and hips than any other baby carrier. There is a place in Encinitas called Magical Child that sells them, but you can find them online, too, as well as other places around town, I'm sure.

Ok, I've rambled enough. Hope this helps for at least 2 things!

~E.

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W.A.

answers from Honolulu on

Hi There... I totally undrstand asking what in necessary. With our first child we bought everything that people thought would be cool. Needless to say half the stuff was never used and just piled up in our home. If you plan on Co-sleeping I suggest at least getting a co sleeping in bed bassient, it goes in the between you and your husband and offers a little protection for the baby. Or even a bassinet which connects to your side of the bed so baby is within arms reach. We wanted to do the co-sleeping thing but due to a very scary close call we bought a portable crib which is 75% the size of a full size crib and kept it up against my side of the bed with the rail down so my babies were both close enough to me where I sleep with one arm next to them all night. This way with the portable crib later on if you choose you want baby in their own room for your own privacy etc the portable crib will hold up to a 35lb 2 year old. Here's a link for safety do's and dont's about co-sleeping to make sure you keep yourselves and baby safe. http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/general/sleep/cosleeping...

As for other necesseties here's a short list.

-A bouncy seat or swing (this will make life a lot easier when you need to put baby down and get some stuff done)

-An exercise mat, gym to help baby learn and play on tummy and back. Helps with them getting that crawling on.

-Entellitainer( It's a stationary walker type gym. They learn to walk by moving themselves back to front and yet also gives them lots to do. After they have the walking down remove the seat and you have a toy for them to play with till they are two.

- A good car seat that will transition to all stages from rear facing to front, then booster. Getting an all in one will save you from buying 3 or more seats and boosters. I like the Alpha Omega.

- A good stroller. Do some research and take time to find a good one. Look for storage, weight, Ease in folding, Can it recline flat (this is best for baby to nap oin the go)Quality materials and washable seats. I have had 5 strollers and finally have one that does it all and expanded when the second child came along. WE have a phil and Teds sport buggy. It configures to many different things, takes up the same amount of space as many. and really takes a beathing and keeps on going.

So that seems to be the most necessary items..the rest is your own choice. It's really your lifestyle that dictates what you need. Maybe a front baby carrier to tote baby around on your chest, a play pen, etc. We bought everything under the sun for our first child and it wasnt necessary. our second child is 3 months old and honestly we now see how much of a waste some of the things we bought was. So Yay for you in asking for advice. Good luck with the baby and congrats!

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K.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

GREAT question, E.! i have 2 children (10yr old boy & 3 month old girl) & i have always thought it rediculous all of the things "they" say a newborn needs! haha my main area is to tell you that you do not NEED a changing table. with my son, i had an old dresser that was about waist high. i bought a changing pad & put it on top - worked great. now, with my 3 month old, i use our bed, the sofa, etc...i bought 2 changing pads (the big thick cloth kind) & just put that underneath her & IT works great as well! 8^) if you do not want to spend a lot of money & plan to do a family bed, you may consider buying one of those infant beds that go between you & your hubby (to prevent roll overs, etc) & i would skip the bassinet & just get a crib. believe me, you will eventually want a crib for a variety of reasons - one of them being that when your baby is about 3-4 months (it comes faster than you may think!), you will want a safe place to put him/her while you throw a load of laundry on, take a quick shower, etc...this way, you can be assured that the baby is safe & will be in the same spot when you return to him/her.(again, rollovers, but THIS time, because of baby - not you!)i do not recommend that you buy a hand-me-down crib, as the safety requirements change frequently. that said, however, there is a SUPER baby consignment store called "once upon a child". you may be able to google them. i know there is more than one, although i am not sure of all the locations. the one i go to is in la crescenta on rosemont/foothill in the ralphs shopping center. they have very strict guidelines as to what clothing/furniture they accept & you can get a nice little crib at a FRACTION of the cost! good luck to you & happy pushing! p.s. i would also advise that you start buying diapers now, while you're pregnant. my husband & i did that & it saved a lot of headache when the baby came. we just agreed that whenever we went to the store, we would buy a package of diapers in different sizes - now we have quite a stockpile! haha

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L.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

supplies -- of course diapers, wipes and burpers
front button shirts or onesies (front button is imporant.. because you really don't want to be pulling things over his little head)

Also lots of large recieving blankets to swaddle your newborn. I have at least 6 of these and we used them all the time.

I also found a "boppy" or some type of nursing pillow very useful since you feed the baby 5-7 times a day.

Furniture -- I got a crib from craigslist but you really don't need one till maybe 6 months... I also borrowed a bassinet with wheels so that we could have our new born close by.

I didnt think I would need a changing table, but after my King sheets got sprayed with pee I realized the importance of a changing table, plus changing a new born on our bed was quite a strain on my back.

I didn't get a glider/rocking chair, but I did get tons of thick pillows to prop up on the sofa, bed.. so that I could nurse the baby in bed or in the living room.

Craigslist is great for all of these items... especially because you can buy new sheets, bumpers and mattresses and changing pads.. so the actual item hardly touches your baby.

Good luck!

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S.O.

answers from San Diego on

The only things that I would buy brand new are:

Carseat
bottles and nipples
teething type toys
feeding supplies like bowls and spoons
cloth diapers if you are going to be using them on your baby's bottom
a Take Home Outfit
baby tub
crib or bassinett mattress

Everything else, either put it on your baby registry, or get it from your local resale store, as handmedowns from someone you trust, a local thrift store, craigslist or freecycle.org.

From personal experience I have bought a lot of my kids clothes from thrift stores. It makes sense since babies grow out of things so fast. I have also donated a lot of baby items to thrift stores. I have also given a lot of stuff away through freecycle.org and have received a bunch of kid items from other members.

If you are going to get used items (like furniture or strollers or other large items), just make sure that they are only a few years old for the safety standards.

Congratulations!

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T.D.

answers from San Diego on

Congratulations E.. You are entering an exciting time of your lives. My kids are 15 and 11 years old and I remember exactly the overwhelming feeling of buying baby stuff for the first time. When you shop think basics. If you nurse, forget the bottles until later. Since you will not know how big the baby will be when born only buy a few newborn outfits/diapers. Better to buy the next size up instead. Buy diapers after the baby gets here. That way you'll know what size. A few onezies are great plus pjs that have snaps on the bottom in various sizes gets you started. I loved the bathtub for our kitchen sink. Stay away from baby powder. I loved A&D if bottoms got red. I highly recommend a bassinet in your room for the baby the first two-three months then to move them to their own room/crib. I only used the family bed to nurse during those first three months. Though a family bed is a nice thought...it causes so many problems later...when should the child have their own bed, separation anxiety for the parents and child, plus the parents NEED to have their alone time for connecting with each other as adults. I think it makes it harder for a woman to resume being a wife when she is always in the mother role when a child is in the bedroom. Plus as much as you love your new addition, your husband will want attention too.

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S.O.

answers from Los Angeles on

Congratulations!
Like many people have mentioned, the best purchase for you would be a PACK 'N' PLAY. You can keep it in another room so that the baby can nap near you if you're in the kitchen/living room, etc. And it'll serve as a travel bed, another important reason it's a must-have. Buy an extra sheet! And a Carter's Quilted Flat Pad to put under the sheet to catch spit up or leaky diaper messes!

Something you might be interested in looking into is a "Supreme Snuggle Nest" from www.onestepahead.com (a great website for safety stuff). This is a little partitioned "bed" for baby to sleep in, so that he/she is in the family bed but in its own snug little space (to reduce the risk of parent rollover). It has a sleep positioner included. There's even a little night-light attached!

Something I didn't see mentioned was a HUMIDIFIER. This is great to have when baby gets a cold, to help him/her breath. A cool mist one is best. And get VICKS BABY VAPOR RUB. When baby has a cough, put some on the feet. Crazy trick that works.

For help with naps, I would suggest getting a SWING. The one I have that both my sons have absolutely loved is the FISHER PRICE PAPASAN CRADLE SWING. They sleep in it like crazy and it's wonderful to use right away when baby comes home because they lay in it rather than sit. It's so cozy. Last night, my 2 month old fell asleep in it and I konked out on the couch expecting him to wake up for a feeding before my bedtime. He ended up sleeping in it for 9 hours, something he doesn't do in his crib. That's how comfortable it is. Have a lot of D batteries on hand, you'll go through a lot.

Babies all have their preferences, but the pacifiers I don't leave home without are the First Years SOOTHIES, the ones they have at the hospital.

The best nail clippers are the SAFETY FIRST NAIL CLIPPERS.

The only burb cloths I use are the double fold cloth diapers. They're so thick and absorbent.

PAMPERS SWADDLERS are the best diapers ever!

The best thing you can get is a digital camera and memory card so that you can take and share lots of photos with your friends and family.

Everything else that you'll need has been mentioned, so I won't repeat. Lots of well wishes as you prepare for your new little one! :)

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T.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi E.! Congratulations!

I have two little ones, a 12 month old and a 4 year old. If you're concerned about waste, don't bother with a bassinet. It's not necessary and you'd only be able to use it for the first few months anyway. If you want, you could skip the crib altogether (if you decide the co-sleeping isn't right for you) and just use a pack-n-play. Plus, it's great if you're visiting family and the baby needs somewhere to sleep!

I agree that with a travel system, the carseat and the stroller, it is nice to move the baby without waking them up, but again, if you're concerned about waste, get an infant/toddler convertible and a smaller stroller. You'll be able to use them both longer and later, you probably won't have to buy another smaller stroller because the one that came with the travel system was too big for small trips. (However, if you will be shopping by yourself a lot, then the travel system might be a better idea or else you'll be pushing a cart AND a stroller until the baby can sit up by himself.) Right now, we own four strollers, the one that came with the travel system, a smaller one for small trips and two different doubles for different kinds of outings. Very wasteful.

You definitely do not need a changing table. While it's nice to have a place to put the baby things, diapers and wipes, etc, it is absolutely not necessary for changing the baby. I've used my bed with a changing pad (with the raised sides) with both my kids and it worked just fine, and didn't take up any room in our small apartment. I store it either up against the crib or under it.

In my opinion, based on what I've needed, it is necessary to have plenty of BIG receiving blankets. My mother-in-law made ones for us when both of the kids were born but she was a little late with the second and when it came time to get some of our own while we were waiting for hers, it was so hard to get ones that were big enough. Just because a blanket is marked a "receiving" blanket doesn't mean it is big enough to swaddle the baby and you'll need to swaddle the baby for a while. If the baby spits up, you'll need a LOT of them. And they were definitely more expensive than I was expecting when we went to buy them. I think, if you have a baby shower, you should ask for lots of big, thin blankets for swaddling. If the baby is born at the hospital, they will provide some for you (darn it, why don't they sell those things at the store?).

A swing came in handy with both my kids. I don't know what I would have done without it. My first spent most of her time in the swing (which is not necessarily a good thing) but I had lots of time to clean the house and MYSELF while she was in it. Now they have swings that you can plug in. I've had both and I recommend the plug-in. The others eat up batteries like there is no tomorrow and it can get expensive (and rechargeable batteries are a pain in the butt, we tried that too). My son refused to sleep flat when he was born and the swing was a godsend.

So let's sum it all up: no bassinet or changing table is necessary; a back up pack-n-play is nice to have around; receiving blankets, a good carseat and a sturdy stroller are absolutely mandatory.

Good luck!

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A.S.

answers from San Diego on

It looks like you're getting a lot of good advice, so I won't repeat what everyone else is saying. However, of the few comments I read I didn't see saline drops (or spray). Ayr is one brand, but you can get anything. They are a life saver helping your little one's nose "clean out". And some people don't know that the aspirator (nose sucker) that the nurses use at the hospital can go home with you. It's better than any you can find to buy, so make sure you take it! I know that's a little supply, but it's saved me (and my 2 kids) tons of misery!

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L.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

You've gotten so much advice! I'm expecting my 6th baby in July and have a couple of thoughts to share with you that I haven't read yet. For naps, I "trained" my 5th baby with a sleep cue stuffed animal called the "Sleep Sheep." It has four different sounds and I would put one on as I was patting her to sleep for each of her naps as a newborn. She is now 2 and can get to sleep without it, but really still loves it. I go it at BabyCenter.com. If you are "wearing" your baby in a sling, however, the baby might sleep attached to you. Let me say this: you might want to consider training your newborn baby to take just one nap a day in a bassinet, secure sleeper in your bed, or wherever because babies get bigger and heavier and you will want to put your baby down at times for a nap and not always depend on you to get to sleep, or stay asleep. Certain things are really hard to do with a newborn attached to you at all times! Also, stretchy, lightweight swaddling blankets for naps and nighttime sleep. The best ones I found at Old Navy a couple of years ago and I thankfully have two left from my last baby. God bless you!

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M.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Both my kids loved a swing. Ihave the fisher price two way swing, it swings 2 different ways. My son slept in it alot. It was by far my best "baby gear". I would used it for the kids when I couldnt hold them...also if they are stuffy it keeps them at a upright a little. I was about to sell mine on craigslist for 35. I paid 150 new for mine. If you are intrested I could email you pictures. Just email me at [email protected]____.com, I live in Redondo Beach...if that is close to you.

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L.D.

answers from Honolulu on

Hi E.,
My son is a year old, and I am about to have my daughter in June. I ,like you ,did not want a lot of things I didn't need with my son, so I did my research and only bought what I thought I would use alot, and I STILL had a bunch of things that I did not really need. Things I did used a bunch were:
1. A swing, my son loved it.
2. A bassinet, he slept right beside us in it at night, and it was great during the day for naps, and mine was portable so I could move it from room to room if I needed to.
3. A stroller car seat combo very easy to get baby out of car into stroller and back again.
4. Pack and play.
Just a word of advice Newborn Clothes were such a wast of money for us our son was too big for them. I have not bought my daughter any NB clothes, 3-6 months is good right from day 1. Well hope that helped. Take care and congrats!
L.

H.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

I just had my first child (a boy) two months ago and have a few suggesstions.

First: A bassinet-- Some say you dont need it, but I love it because my son can sleep "next" to me, but be in his own space (make sure to get one the same height as your bed). Our bassinet vibrates and plays music which my son loves and it really helps him get to sleep. (plus, if your child sleeps in your bed all the time you can say goodbye to intimacy with your spouse)

Second: A "bouncy" chair-- my son spends hours in his chair every day; he loves the thing. Our chair vibrates (battery operated) and bounces when he kicks. He has slept in his chair at night when all else failed-- it was a life (and sleep) saver. Plus, I love the chair because i can pick it up and move it into another room as needed (unlike the swing).

Third: A swing-- another sanity saver. We have the Papsan swing that has the option for back and forth or side to side with an option for music/nature sound and a mirror and little birds to entertain your baby. My son is sleeping in his as I write this.

OTHER "Stuff":
- swaddle blankets or "swaddle me" swaddler (which I love)(they also make sleep blankets with attached swaddle feature which I still use almost daily) (available at babies-r-us)
- spit up rags/blankets
- baby bath tub (also baby soap/shampoo and lotion)
- A&D ointment or Desitine (for diaper rashes)
- Mylacon (for gas)
- baby tylenol (just in case, but you likely wont need it for a while)
- a good carseat
- a stroller for "babies" (hopefully one that converts for toddlers and grows with your child
- a pacifier (or a dozen) (my son doesnt really take them that often, but when he is really upset they often help)
- a dozen sleeper outfits (with the footsies)
- a dozen onsies
- 2-3 hat/caps
- a dozen pairs of socks
- half a dozen (or more) bibs
- a nice diaper bag
- I also recommend a sling (i recommend the "Over the shoulder baby holder (available online) it is the nicest sling out there and worth every dime)

I am sure there are other things you will need but I think the list is the basics that you will be glad to have. I advise you to be careful with buying "used" items online because you dont know if they are recalled items or meet current safety standards (you can check the internet for the most current recall lists etc). For example older cribs have slats that are two far apart and could cause your child to choke. Also you dont know if a child has been pooping/peeing/throwing up on toys/beds/etc. so just be careful of germs/mold/mildew etc.

Well good luck to you and congratulations on your baby!

~H.

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S.B.

answers from Stationed Overseas on

I'd go with a crib but not necessarily a bassinet. We had a German crib that converts to a toddler bed when my son (age 9) was born. We put him in the crib in his own room right away so that he would learn to sleep better. We did not want him in bed with us because my husband and I also needed to sleep. If our son slept with us, we would have been too worried about rolling over onto him to sleep well. He is now and has always been a great sleeper and will sleep anywhere.

A changing table is good but not totally necessary. You can get way with a good changing pad on your bed. We also got a pram-type stroller that converts to a regular stroller. Of course a good car seat is a must. I would get the car seat new because then you would know that it had never been in an accident. Or else get one from someone you know. We got my son's first car seat from a neighbor who we knew never had an accident and the seat was in great shape. Everything else you can get used.

Even if you plan to breast feed, it's always good to get a canister of formula powder and some bottles in case the breast feeding doesn't work out. Get lots of diapers. Babies go through a lot of diapers! Get clothing in newborn to 6-month sizes. Your baby will grow so quickly! I got a lot of my son's clothing at the on-base Thrift Shop and at local second-hand bazaars (I live overseas and work with the US military). Kids' clothing is so expensive and babies grow so fast.

For a good comprehensive list of what to get for the baby, look at the "What to Expect" series.

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D.V.

answers from Los Angeles on

Fatima has a pretty good list. For the sling don't do Moby. It's neat but takes 2 hands to get it on. Bjorn are good for little ones, Ergo Baby for them once they can hold up their heads. The Graco travel system is the best stroller I've found. You can click it open with one hand. It steers well too.

Blooms is a good place too if looking for nice consignment.

Don't buy too much or too far ahead. My 10 month old is wearing 12 mos or 18 mos depending on the brand. Its hard to predict their growth.

Don't forget baby book, digital camera & video recorder!

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R.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

One of the most helpful items we got was a Moses basket, our son could fall asleep anywhere and then we didn't have to wake him up to move him from room to room, as he would just remain in the basket. He outgrew it after 3 months, but it was definitely worth it, especially in those hectic initial times when you're sleep deprived and still figuring it all out. :) That might be a good back up for you if you're trying the family bed first. My husband and I tried the family bed initially with the SnuggleNest, and ended up putting our son in his own crib as we found we didn't sleep well as we woke up to every sound when he was in the bed, plus we missed sleeping together since that ended up being our only down time together in the day (even if it was only for a couple of hours at a time!)

Other than the Moses basket, you just need a good car seat (we tried a couple, loved the Peg Perego infant carrier seat and the Maxi Cosi Priori once he outgrew the Peg Perego) and stroller. The Peg Perego Aria one handed stroller is awesome and easy to use as well. I found that the Pack N Play has been a waste, we have not used it to date and my son is now 7 months old. But if you travel a lot or are looking into a portable crib instead of the Pack N Play I would suggest the Baby Bjorn Travel Lite Crib, it's great and easy to take down and transport--it folds into a small suitcase. It's worked great for trips to grandparent's houses, as well as international travel. The other great thing we got tons of use out of was our Baby Bjorn infant carrier, it's great to keep your hands free and still keep the baby close, although I've done some research on the Ergo carrier and I'm going to be getting that one now that our son is bigger, it may be a better investment so that you don't outgrow the smaller carriers.

People swear by travel swings, but our son never liked it, so it's gone unused as well and is just sitting collecting dust. I'm hoping our next baby will enjoy it so it'll get some use. Hope this helps!

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S.B.

answers from San Diego on

Hi E.-

Congratulations on your upcoming birth. How smart you are to plan ahead!

My youngest is now 9 but the things that I couldn't live without were...

Medela Pump in style. I honestly think it's a life saver. I know it's a bit expensive, but I used it for both my kids, lent it to several friends, (had them buy the plastic tubing, breast thing that you attatch to the breast, and bottles.) then when I was done with it, I sold it to my hairdresser for future haircuts!!

I used cloth diapers for the first year and loved it. I bought extra diapers and used them for birth cloths. If you go cloth diapers, you need the covers. I also went with the diaper service. I don't know if I would have loved it if I had to do all that laundry myself!

I borrowed a Baby Bjorn and slings from friend's and found out what worked best for me. The Baby Bjorn worked best for me.

High quality Glider. Loved it, used it for both my kid's and still sometimes use it now. My husband and I spent hours trying to find the most comfortable one.

The family bed didn't work well for us so I bought a second hand bassinet on wheels. A swing was a lifesaver as well. We bought a changing table/ chest of drawers from a unfinished wood place. We stained it and when we were finished with the changing table, converted it to just a chest of drawers. My kid's are 12 and 9 and they still use them.

I found that the socks from Gap and Old Navy stayed on the best. Newborn clothes were a waste for my 9 year old. He outgrew them sooooo fast. My other child was very small and I got my money's worth out of her.

I think that's it. Good Luck!!
Stephanie

Onesies

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H.A.

answers from Santa Barbara on

You're right that you don't need much! I perosnally didn't like sharing the bed with my newborn. I really liked the moses bed and so did my baby. My baby was so big and such a great sleeper, she outgrew the moses bed and I had her sleeping in her crib by the time she was three weeks old. You might want to have your crib already in case your baby is ready for it early. I was feeling the same way as you are, but the great thing is that if you need something, it becomes obvious quickly! Don't stress about trying to anticipate what you will need, just be ready to get it when you need it. One day you will need, let's say a swing, and instead of buying it now and trying to figure out which one, save the buying for when you need it and you will be able to mkae a better choice. Every baby is different so you won't know until the need arises. Some babies love those little papsan chairs, some don't, so why buy one just because everyone tells you that you need one, only to find out that your baby hates it and will never use it! Buy everything used, it's usually still pretty new.

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C.M.

answers from Reno on

I would suggest getting a graco pack n' play with the bassinet attachment as your back-up crib. My daughter slept in that next to our bed for several months. It rolls so you can move it easily and use it for naps during the day. It also has a diaper changing station which is really great. My daughter is 21mos and we have used it as a travel crib and play yard. Some of my friends even kept theirs in the living room just for the changing station.
Two of my "necessities" are a swing and a bouncy-seat. My daughter really liked both and I knew she was safe while I got a shower or put some laundry on.
Also, an infant car seat that snaps into a car base and a stroller is highly recommended.
As for new vs used: Car seat should be new. Everything else really depends on your comfort level!

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C.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hello!
I am due at the end of June and would like to hear what your responses are. I also don't want to have a bunch of "stuff." Would it be possible for you to share what others say are essential items?
So far what I have heard from my sisters and a few others are: 1.car seat that can be lifted out of the car and attached to the stroller to avoid waking baby, 2.diapers (I am using the Gdiapers so that I can waste less), 3.wipe warmer (my sister swears that's why her kids didn't freak while having their diapers changed) 4.Pump (so that you can have some relief, and dad can have some feeding/bonding time) 5. Bed sleeper or Bassinet 6. Swaddling blankets 7. most importantly you!
C. Hedrick at [email protected]____.com

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J.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

This one really cracks me up since there are SO many different opinions - much influenced by advertising. I had a home birth for my daughter and LOVED it so I am excited for your birth experience. We also did the family bed for our two children and plan to do the same for our third (due in July).

I would recommend a pack n play or co-sleeper over a crib. MUCH less expensive and they can be used for a large variety of situations - travelling, someone babysitting your child at their home, moving to a different room, etc. We never used a crib for my second child at all. She went from our bed to a pack n play next to our bed (at about 9 months she started sleeping better away from my husband and I) and then to a crib mattress on our floor.

Of course you need a carseat and this is the one thing that I would definitely recommend that you buy new. I have found that infant carseats are overrated. My children are NOT on the big side but they have both grown out of their carseats by 6 months old and we have had to buy a convertible carseat because they weren't old enough for a front facing carseat. If I could do it over, I'd go straight to a convertible carseat from the beginning. That being said, you wouldn't be able to carry your baby around in the convertible carseat, but I have always been a baby carrier myself - I don't want them spending ANY unnecessary time in their carseats getting a flat head, etc. SO, I always take them out and put them in a sling or wrap carrier anyway.

This has also allowed me to avoid buying a SUPER expensive "travel system" for my children. Talk about overrated, in my opinion. We found a cheap $30 stroller that worked out perfectly for us until we had our second child. I am a fan of buying EVERYTHING secondhand besides the carseat and basic hygiene supplies. Let everyone else break the bank - we'll recycle!

I liked a boppy for breastfeeding (DON'T BUY ONE NEW - these things are a dime-a-dozen) but I think a swing is totally unnecessary. Tummy time is VERY important and helps your baby to be mobile much earlier than kids who are propped in bouncy seats and swings and bumbo sitters and exersaucers. I don't believe that any of those things are very developmentally appropriate. Hold your baby a lot and give her plenty of time on her tummy when she's awake - forget about all the "BABY GEAR."

Good luck!

Oh, and we use cloth diapers. Bumgenius 3.0 are our favorites for MANY reasons. AND, we never used our changing table except for storage. We inevitably end up changing our child on the floor.

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L.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

I agree with Stacy, The family bed is difficult for all. I used a raised bassinett and put it right next to my side of the bed, so I could look right at the baby, whenever I needed to and I could also take her out to breast feed and put her right back in without getting out of my bed. I like babies on there side so it also was narrow enough to be able to prop her on her side safely. It worked great! They were in there own space so moving them on to their own crib at 4 months was never an issue-both my kids slept well and we never had a problem-good luck

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E.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

I just had a girl 5 months ago and have a two year old boy. I found the most important items at the beginning are Newborn diapers, diaper burping cloths, onezies with both long sleeve and short and Newborn sleeper outfits. Also, a nice size blanket to put over the car carrier to make sure they are covered in the morning. If you can get the onezies that cover their hands.

As for furniture I would get a crib that converts into a bed. I purchased a bassinet and so my little one sleeps in it. You also need a bouncer. It's a lifesaver!

Best of luck!

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K.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi for us a changing table was a total waste of money. I was too afraid my daughter would roll off the table. I changed her on the floor using a blanket and the table collected dust.

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K.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

You will really need a crib at some point and a co-sleeper if you want to do the family bed. The crib for naptimes. Swing, you can get second hand. Try Children's Orchard for resale stuff. They only sell things in good condition. Stroller that fits an infant seat like a Snap n Go works well (get 2nd hand since you will only use for a couple of months.)or a regular stroller that can be used later. Find one that lays down and sits straight up, plus has storage. Infant seat is a must, can't leave the hospital without one. A rocking chair or glider that is comfortable for you and hubby. You will spend many hours in it.

Supplies: Recieving blankets (you can use these for soo many things), onsies, sleepers, clothes, swaddling blanket (there are some great ones out there that make it easy), diaper and wipes, changing area, tube of vasaline if you circ a boy also great to coat bottom for the first bm of meconium to make it easier to clean, bottles and formula if you are not nursing. That is all I can think of right now.

Really, the only thing you should buy new is an infant seat. The rest can be bought 2nd hand and cleaned. I personally prefer a store like Children's Orchard because they are so picky about what they buy and make sure that it works. They carry all of the equipment too. The inventory is always changing. You can find some great name brand things too. You can also sell back the things when you are done if they still look good.

Hope this helps. Congrads and good luck.

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G.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I found many helpful lists for new moms on www.babycenter.com. They have lists for many situations--i.e. what you need for feeding, what you need to take to the hospital, what you need for the nursery.

Membership is free.

Good luck!

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M.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Get a co cleeper and a crib, you could even buy the co sleeper second hand if you want they sell sheets at babies r us. You could also get a crib second hand with a new mattress. I just had a baby and trust me you are going to be unbelievably exhausted and as my mom always told me the baby needs to be in a seperate room so you dont hear every grunt or whimper that they make thru the night or you'll be awake all night. We have tried the bed thing a couple of times and my husband almost rolled over him and I have been so tired at times i nearly did the same. As far as a ll the other things babies r us has a checklist they hand out of baby essentials.

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T.N.

answers from Los Angeles on

E.,
I bought a nursing pillow with both my children (I tried the breast friend this last time, boppy the first) and only used them one time, really wish I had not bothered with them. To me a bassinet is also a waste of money, especially if you are going to do the family bed (it works well for us!) yet a few things I cannot live without are a Baby Bjorn (hands free and the baby is right with you at all times and I can;t say enough about how much I love this! Well worth the money, I use it every day) and the disposable washcloths from J&J (I like the nighttime lavender ones) I have also found that buying diapers online is wonderful and convenient. No matter what you will find it is a personal thing and you will still look back and think why did I buy this or think I needed this LOL! What ever you feel comfortable buying second hand is fine just be careful with a crib, thats really not something you will need right away (I didn't use one with my now 7 year old son till he was 20 months old) Good luck and enjoy!! I hope the home birth works out for you, and it sounds like you will be a great mom! Enjoy...motherhood is sometimes the hardest, yet the best thing in the world. When you see your baby you will fall in love!

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W.A.

answers from Visalia on

As far as a back up for the crib and something that is great to use as te baby grows is a pack and go that is a playpen with a bassenet. I love mine. I used the bassinet pat with all three of my boys during the day so that they could be in the room where I was and that was wonderful. Also since it is a playben you will use it for a playpen and also if you need a "bed" when you travel. Many of them have a changing table as well. Mine is by Graco, and is one of the best baby things I own.... Good luck!!!

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L.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi E.,

Congratulations! The hardest thing for me was figuring out what we needed. The best book I bought was Baby Bargains - it gives lists of things you need and don't need and it has really good helpful hints on saving money (like keeping the tags and receipts for all baby items until you are actually going to use them - because many times you wind up returning items/clothing because the baby outgrows them or you wind up not needing them.)It also gives advice on saftey ratings. Consumer reports on line is good to check out too for saftely ratings.

You can try to borrow some things from friends/family but keep in mind that older cribs and highchairs and car seats may not meet current safety standards. It's better to be safe than save money.

Just get as much advice as you can and try to see what works best for you. The problem is that no matter how much you prepare yourself, your child will have his/her own ideas about how things should be. Everyone tells you to swaddle the baby - my son HATED swaddling! My son hated his bassinet so that was a waste of money for us. (Other kids love them) He went right in the crib but spent most of the time sleeping with me (he's five and still sleeps with me and takes up the whole bed). However, I suggest you have a crib because at some point you want to be able to put your child in there for safe keeping while you have other things to do.

Just try to educate yourself as much as possible and do what works best for you. Unfortunatly, there is a lot of trial and error involved.

Good luck! It all works out!

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N.L.

answers from Reno on

Definitely a bouncy seat and a boppy pillow. Basic clothes.It's always nice to get all of the 'cute' stuff but you need the easy/practical one piece rompers and onezies w/ pants. Several receving blankets & infant caps are needed as well. Congrats and good luck to you!!

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J.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

i dont recamend the family bed as a solid way for your baby to get to sleep (i am guilty of letting my baby sleep in my bed time to time though). what i would say for the basic things to get are a play pen (one that has the bassinette attatchment so you arent buying that and a bassinette unless you want a bassinette), a travel system (stroller car seat combo unless you go with a rear facing/front facing seat), a swing and or bouner chair, a high chair that can go up to toddler age (the fisher price space safer is a good pick), a diaper bag that that you can fit just enough in for a day on the go (believe me you dont need those huge ones lol), you can buy what you choose to i wouldnt reccamend that you buy many older products. good luck!

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N.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

1. blankets big enough for swaddling (Gerber line at Target is SUPER small for blankets and clothes. Amy Coe makes some bigger, square blankets that work great!)

2. Arms Reach co-sleeper. I think it's even better than the family bed since everyone has their own space - I could be close, but not worry about my hubby rolling over on her since he is such a heavy sleeper. I should say, it was a better alternative for our family - you do what you are comfortable with. Definately a Craig's List item, or watch for it to go on sale on amazon.com - usually free shipping, too!

3. Graco car seat with Snap n Go stroller frame. Seriously, I used this more than the "real" stroller for about 6 months. WAY more convenient for errands. However, I did use the big stroller as a mobile bassinet for around the house.

4. Butt Paste or Aveeno diaper cream - both have high levels of the zinc oxide that prevents diaper rash.

5. Safety First nail clipper. Much easier to use than traditional nail clippers - and you will be nervous to trim those claws for the first time! http://www.amazon.com/Hospitals-Choice-Steady-Grip-Clippe...

6. Papasan swing!!! Forgot this the first time around, but baby love, love, loved it for naps! Swaddled her, straped her in, and she would sleep for hours. Worth every penny...

I could go on and on, but I think this is good stuff!

Congrats!

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S.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hey there! Good luck to you! I would say when you get a crib, to get a crib that converts to a bed. You'll be using it that much longer, and is worth the investment. i agree with the bassinet idea. Co-sleeping is great, but they need to sleep somewhere when they are napping as well. Also, it gets them used to the idea of an independent bed later on. I think Pop and Play portable cribs also now have bassinet attachments, so that might help you save. Things like boppys, swings, walkers I might get later on or not want to spend a lot of money on as you don't know how your baby might or might not like those. I know one of my children loved the swing, and the other one hated it, both like their walkers, and both hated the boppys, so you never can tell what one particular child may like. I think bouncy chairs are nice to get as they are great places for them to sit near you while they are awake. I preferred the slings to the Baby Bjorns as they're much easier to deal with. A nice baby gym is nice to have once they're maybe about 2 or 3 months, once they're out of the newborn stage. The one thing I really liked is lots of onesies in lots of sizes. There are some days that it seems like you're changing them every five minutes, and with summer coming up, your baby will probably be living in these. Also, it's good to have two or three sizes up because some days you wake up, and your baby doesn't fit into their clothes. They've grown overnight! Extra sizes are good to have around if you just can't run out to the store. And I would also say lots of bibs! Both of my kids were droolers, and I would have been changing them every two minutes if it wasn't for the bibs. Maybe start out with a handful, but if you establish they drool, I would buy enough for 3-4 bibs a day. (Yes, mine drooled that much and I used much more between that and eating.) I hope you do have a washer and dryer convenient to you. It does seem like your laundry is constantly running. I agree that your big splurge items and the items that you should do the most research on are your carseat and your stroller. From experience, I can tell you that the strollers with all the bells and whistles are nice, but if I could go back in time, I would just use my umbrella stroller. It's the quickest, lightest, easiest and I used it longest. Obviously, you can't use it when they are infants, but when they are of an age to be interested in their surroundings, I think it's the best way to go. Even the easiest of the big strollers still had to be schlepped back into the car with two hands. I could usually just pop and toss my umbrella stroller into the trunk of my car, which is great when you need to be quick because of a cranky baby or people waiting for your parking spot or whatever! Again, best of luck to you, and enjoy your new baby!

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K.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hey E.,

I am expecting in November and have been doing a lot of research...as this will be my first child and we have a small space I've been asking the same question...A friend gave me a book I am finding very helpful called "Parenting magazine's Baby must-have's, the essential guide to everything from cribs to bibs." it has great features like "mom tested survey results," "mom tips," specific brands they liked, and my favorite "skip, save or splurge." Its brief and to the point with great advice on what to look for/avoid in specific products in respect to you personally and your needs.

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W.R.

answers from San Diego on

Hi,
I really enjoyed having my bassinet that had wheels on it. It could be easily transported into any room. Both my boys used it for the first 3 months. It was great to have it during the day for naps.

Also choose a carrier that feels good for you. I had both a baby bjorn and a sling. I used them both lots.

All the best to you.

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K.K.

answers from Las Vegas on

I have two children and can tell you a couple things I didn't need and a few I wouldn't have made it through without.

A diaper pail is senseless unless you're going to use cloth diapers. Don't waste you money on those stupid diaper genie things. Don't stock pile bottles either. Good luck breastfeeding if you so choose, but I found that every baby is different with what types of bottles they like. I think I have 5 different bottle "systems" and we ended up on the playtex drop ins. Don't worry about "outfits" for baby until at least in 6 months. All those cute little outfits in 0-3 are NOT comfortable and really, that's what its all about. Get comfy sleepers and onesies. I didn't get a bassinet, but did have an amby. Our second was NOT a family bed sleeper, but liked still being in our room. She moved to her crib at 9 months.

Now, things that we couldn't have lived without were the swing; we LOVE LOVE the fisher price papasan and actually have 3 of them. (Will part with for cheap if your looking :)) Also, a big comfy rocking chair. I had a wooden one that was NOT fun; I'm too short and it made my arms go numb. I replaced it with an upholstered rocking chair and I got good use of it.

I have had great luck with Craiglist, so give it a try and just thoroughly check anything over before you buy it.

Hope this helps!

Good luck,
K.

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L.B.

answers from Reno on

One thing I've learned...limit amount of "newborn" sized clothes. Estimate that the child will be about 3 months ahead of sizing.
I have a cradle to keep him by the bed now while my son is so young, but have a crib, dresser, changing table in his room for him when he's a little older. I have a bouncy chair and a swing~ he likes both, and it is helpful for when I need to put him down.
I bought my gear all second-hand. Kids grow so fast anyway, it seems silly to buy brand new, when they'll outgrow it.
I bought the furniture on craigslist and went to "Once Upon a Child" to get the swing, etc. I bought things that were in good shape and took them hope and cleaned the hell out of them! Good as new!
Sometimes you can find brand new clothes, with the tags on. I'm in that situation, as I got a lot of "newborn" sized clothes for my son that he's never worn.
Bargains are everywhere! It's really helpful because the price of diapers is ridiculous!
Hope this helps.
L.

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

Having a newborn/infant in bed with you can be very dangerous. I would NOT recommend that at such a young age. They can suffocate.

Also, once you do have the baby, there is no telling how you "will" want to put baby to sleep or what baby needs, it changes a LOT once the baby is actually here.

I used a moses basket with my son in the beginning, and with my firstborn- just a crib. Initially. As they got older...and as things happen...well we also did co-sleeping. That's a whole other topic.

Babies changes so much each month, and I think most Moms try a lot of different things in the beginning. With my son- he had bad Jaundice when we brought him home....and for the first 2 weeks of his life, he had to be continuously under the "blue" light for at home treatment, 24-hours a day. So, this changes all preconceptions, and how you care for your baby. Be ready for anything, in other words.

I think having a crib IS necessary. You'll also need a car seat/baby carrier of course. These things should be "brand new." not second hand.

I also think a baby "bouncy" seat or swing is important/useful, and a baby-chair/seat for when baby gets older and can "sit-up" and eat with you at the dinner table etc.

Also useful is a baby-carrier/sling....and a "Boppy" pillow for breastfeeding/nursing.

These are the things I LOVED having, were VERY useful, AND lasted a long time. (we also had a changing table...yes it's good and prevents you from getting a sore back...but we didn't use it all the time).

Also, you should get sun shades for all your rear car windows...unless your car windows are tinted. This can protect baby's eyes and from the car getting too hot.

Each Mom has her favorites...and it varies with each person. But for me, these are the things I made most use of, and found very important and useful.

Of course, get lots of diapers before hand too. Keep them on supply.

Oh, you may want to get 2 car seat/baby carriers....for both your and Hubby's cars (if you have 2 cars). Because once you have baby, it's busy, and LOTS of times, my friends had "forgotten" to switch out the baby car seat and put it back into their car, and then it's too late and they are stuck without any way of taking baby in the car, and stranded at home. And besides, taking out and putting in a car seat is a BIG hassle...and once you install one, you don't want to take it out all the time, just to switch cars.

For baby bottles...I would recommend "BPA" free bottles. Other plastics leeches poison. One example of the BPA free bottle (if you are going to use bottles) is the "MAM" brand. You can find it at Amazon. Here is a link:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_hpc?url=search-alias%3D...

Good luck and congratulations!
~Susan

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B.B.

answers from San Diego on

Congratulations! We just had a baby 4 months ago and despite a nursery full of gear...we found ourselves running out the week she was born for essentials. For us we could not live without the following.
1. Car seat adaptable stroller - the snap and go is a good option.
2. Co-sleeper or bassinet. We too wanted baby in our room, but found the family bed to be a bit scary. I never slept well because I was always (and still am) afraid that dad may roll over on her, or she may get smothered by a pillow. It is so not worth it and you will sleep much better with her in her own space but nearby.
3. Fisher price swing...seriously priceless and she still will only nap in her swing every day.
4. As many blankets and burp cloths as you can gather. We used them for playtime, diaper changes, swaddling...everything. And if your baby is a spitter, you will wash a load a day of blankets and burp cloths.
5. Diapers, diapers and more diapers. We went through 17 a day for the first month or so. Pampers Swaddlers are the softest and best.
6. Make sure to have some newborn sized layette clothing. Our baby even at 8.2 lbs wore newborn for 4 weeks. If you do buy Gerber, it runs tiny...so the 3 month is more like a newborn size.
7. Aquaphor. Used religiously and worked on everything from diaper rash, to red skin to baby acne.
8. Triple Paste - the best diaper rash cream in my opinion.
9. The Moby Wrap. If you are attachment parenting, this is essential. It is so soft for baby, and comfy for you...as well as good on your back. It takes a few times of practice to get used to it, but we use still it for hours a day. It is the best.
10. Invest in a really good pump (even if you have to rent it). Pumping is so time consuming and a pain as it is...it will make your life easier to have a top of the line model. Also don't forget the lansinoh nipple cream..you will need it for the first few weeks!

Good luck! Mostly your baby just needs you and your love. Enjoy that little one..the newborn phase goes by quick!

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J.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi E.,
I'm expecting my first baby in September as well and I'm 31 years old :)
My email address is [email protected]____.com
It would be fun to stay in touch
I got a crib, high chair second hand so far
I'm going to look into getting a stroller second hand or I might hust buy one brand new
Buggaboo and bob looks pretty cool, what do you think?
I'm looking forward to hear from you

J.

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S.L.

answers from Las Vegas on

E.,

Congratulations to you and your husband. Children are truly a blessing and the experience of all mothers is different but I think after having three of my own I can say that I've experienced most. Every mother to be wants different things so my suggestion if you already haven't done so, is to start with an expectant mother's book of some sort that will give you an idea of what you should have as musts. Here were some of mine:
-Diapers, bottles, receiving blankets to wrap them snug, bibs with plastic backing(babies spit up lots), nursing pillow if your breast feeding, breast pump in case you want to have a breather you can leave milk for baby and pacifier works well on some babies, but my experience with breastfed babies is that they are always wanting the sucking motion going. After the baby is born and depending on he/she needs you can add as you go.

What was a bit of a red flag to me was that you want a family bed and I am assuming it is so you and your husband can sleep with the baby. My personal experience is that babies start to develop habits from the minute they are born and having the baby in bed although nice, may cause he or she not to ever want to sleep in their own bed which might lead to issues later i.e. no sleep, restlessness for baby, no alone time w/hubby causing resentment later. Children like schedules and routine and you want to start them right away. They will sleep better and so will you and trust me you two need all the sleep you can get, especially after birth. I did the family bed thing with my first and he didn't get out of our bed till he was five, I was miserable and my hubby complained I didn't pay any attention to him. The second did bassinet next to our bed after birth, then graduated to his crib at 3 mths (we were all happy) and the 3rd went straight to crib after birth with a monitor in her room. She was fine and so were we. We kept our sanity! You will choose what you like but definitely read up on what is best for you. Hope this helped!

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B.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

Congratulations! My only child just turned 12, and I look back very fondly on the early years. He is a good boy, but at this age, not as much fun. He slept in a bassinet beside our bed for the first few months, and then in a crib in his own room at about 4 months. My advice to you is never to have your child sleep in your bed for safety purposes, as well as your sanity as he/she grows older. They will get used to that only, and you and your husband will never have any privacy. I have a good friend that married and had kids years before I did, and I thought they were perfect parents and admired them so much. The ordeal they endured when their kids were 2-3 or so caused a real strain on their relationship. Their kids could not sleep or even fall asleep without them in the bed. My father advised me never to sleep with my baby because of the possibililty of suffocation or accidently crushing the baby. While I was tempted to when I was tired, I never did because I could not bear to lose my precious child. I don't mean to be judgmental, I only want to help. Have you interviewed prospective pediatricians? They would be able to answer any questions about sleeping habits. Sorry I didn't answer your actual question, but I feel very strongly about not sleeping with baby. Good luck, and treasure every minute!
Sincerely, B.

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R.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

You should read "Baby Bargains" to get an idea of baby essentials & safety ratings. It's like the Consumer Reports for babies. It's a great book for first time parents who have no idea what you really need & it does have critiques from other parents as well as experts.

As a backup, I would recommend a Pack-N-Play. It's a three in one bassinet, changing table & playpen. It's great for the first few months as a bassinet and to put baby in while you're doing things as she/he gets older. GOOD LUCK!

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M.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

First of all, congratulations! And let me also commend you on how smart you are to ask these questions and to consider getting used stuff. I remember how hard it was to pick out baby stuff that I didn't know anything about. Here are a few of my suggestions:
Stroller- Snap n Go. It's a lightweight frame that you just put the baby car seat into. So many strollers are overkill and way to heavy and bulky. Try this out first, and then shop later for one that fits your needs. I personally just ended up wanting one that was light and that I could navigate with one hand. Kolcraft makes great light ones that are very inexpensive. I far preferred the $40 Kolcraft to the $200 Peg Perego!

Sleeping - Hurray for attachment parenting! You could get an arm's reach co-sleeper. It comes in two sizes - one that is playpen sized, and another that is closer to a bassinet size. I had my son sleep in bed with me most of the time, but also used the co-sleeper which attached to the bed. During the daytime I also used a bassinet. I think that they like a small, cozy space.

For mom to take a shower- some sort of a bouncy seat that the baby can sit in so that you can take a shower if the baby is awake.

Clothes- don't buy too many for the early months. They grow so fast, plus they'll spend most of their time in comfortable clothes that are easy to change, like sleepers.

Boppy Pillow for nursing.

Baby sling - Not sure which brand to recommend. I used the Baby Bjorn, but there might be better, more comfortable ones out now. I did use this a lot when I went out.

Baby bath stuff - PLEASE go for the non chemical products like California Baby. Do not do the the typical baby shampoos and soaps. They are far too harsh and toxic and can actually cause eczema.
Baby wipes - try Seventh Generation wipes, again safer for baby's skin.

As for what to buy new or used, I'd personally recommend getting the stroller new, as they can get pretty gross. Although the Snap n Go you could buy used.
Basically, if something can be wiped down and cleaned well, it should be fine used, and would be nice for the environment too.

Oh, and you'll probably want a baby monitor.

Lots of Light to you and your precious little one!
M.

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P.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi E.... I, too, am a first time mom and one thing I learned is that you can never have enough diapers!!! What also worked really well for us (esp. since I nursed) is the co-sleeper bassinet. Our room was small so this one worked great. If you get a lot of clothes as gifts make sure you keep the gift receipts so you can exchange for bigger sizes. Babies grow fast :) As for furniture, you can look for a changing table with drawers/storage. You can find them used like in craigslist or you may also want to try freecycle.org. Good luck and congratulations!

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S.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

I recommend purchasing a crib. You may not need it right away, but you will eventually need it in the baby's first year. A changing table is also not necessary, as you can use the crib or a bed to change diapers. Depending how big your house is, you may not even need those monitors. I never used them with either of my kids because I could hear them crying anywhere in the house. (We have a 1 story.)

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M.R.

answers from Honolulu on

things i used: rocking chair, diaper pail (for soaking cloth diapers), stroller w/detachable baby carrier, breast pump

things i had but didn't use: crib, diaper changing table, lots of baby clothes (in hawaii all they need are diapers and they are good to go!)

I hope this helps,
Marie-anne :O)

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M.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I wont repeat all the basics that everyone else has been telling you, but I will recommend something that some forgot... A BOUNCY SEAT. They are pretty inexpensive and as far as I'm concerned a "must have". It's a place to put baby when you are unable to hold him/her. It's portable so you can take it anywhere. I would put mine on the table top when I was cooking dinner, in the bathroom when I was taking a shower, outside when I was gardening, etc. Try and get one with a vibration mode. This will help baby drift off to dreamland. This seat will also come in handy when you start to feed baby and they are still too little to sit upright in a high chair.

By the way when you're ready for a high chair... I highly recommend getting one from Ikea. The one they have in their cafeteria is awesome and it's only $18!!! It's all one piece so it cleans up very easily - there are no nooks and crannies for food to get trapped in. And it comes apart easily so you can pack it up and take it with you to the grandparents house or on road trips and such.

Good luck to you! You'll figure it our pretty quick. Congratulations! There is nothing better than having a family.

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M.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Do you or your husband have any siblings? My sister was the first in our family to have a baby...she got a basinette and now it just gets passed around based on who has the new baby...we used it for our son and will use it for the new baby.

I would also say skip the wipes warmer...the other BIG place to save is on furniture and how you decorate the nursery. We bought our son furniture that grows with him...the crib becomes a toddler bed and then a full size bed. I got a dresser that we also used as a changing table and now is just a dresser. As far as I'm concerned, aside from later buying him a desk of some sort, he's got the furniture he can expect to have his entire childhood! We also didn't do the clouds on the ceiling and permanent stuff in the room in "baby stuff". The walls are painted a color that will grow with him as well and we put up pictures or other decorations that were more "baby" that were easy to take down and replace as he gets older...

OH! Also, the book "Baby Bargains" is fantastic. It tells you product evaluations for practically everything, what you need and what you don't need and where to get it for the best prices. It's updated every few years and I LOVE it!!!

Good luck!
-M

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E.N.

answers from San Diego on

I see you got a ton a responses but haven't had time to read them so I will just quickly put in my two cents. I'm very excited about your plans for a homebirth - both of my babies were born at home - big babies, too, 9.8 and 10.6 pounds - yes, it can be done and I don't think there is any better place to have a baby (barring complications). I think almost any baby "supplies" can be second-hand rather than new - depending on the source. For clothes, I liked to know where the clothes were coming from for my newborn, but it got less important as they got older. I would just suggest to have a back-up plan to the family bed. It works for some, I had planned to do that with my first newborn, but it didn't work for us. Have a crib for the baby, just in case.

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C.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

Every baby and family is different and sometimes it's just a matter of figuring out what works best for you and your baby as time goes on. My son is 8 months old now and here are some things that have been essentials for us.
--floor jumper (or Johnny jumper--whatever fits your house). My son has been jumping since he was 4 months old! Thank God for that jumper!
--sleep positioner (I like the one from onestepahead.com)
--second nature bottles (also from onestepahead.com or Babies R Us...they are leek proof, work like mother's breast...they are awesome!)
--onesies and light-weight zip up sleepers
--sooth-eez pacifier (look for them at Vons, and maybe Babies R Us, too)
--Gripe Water by Colic Ease (our "magic potion" when my son is trying new foods, has hiccups, indigestion, colic, etc. It's all natural, it's awesome! Google it for more info...can't say enough about this stuff!)
--lots of receiving blankets--burp cloths--soft blankets
--play yard/gym (great for early age--before rolling over)
--baby bath tub (my sister uses a baby bath chair)
--PAMPERS!
--Crib--mobile w/music--pumper pads
--vibrating teething toy(s) (my son has used his (it's a bee) since he was about 4 months old)--baby tylenol (especially before he gets his shots...and a few time through out the day afterwards--and for teething)--teething tablets
--stroller (one fitted with your car seat for early age then a more convenient one for older ages--sitting up, etc)
--plenty of hand sanitizer
--Boppy--if you have a hard time nursing in the beginning and the Boppy is just a little too big for your tiny new born try nursing lying down on one side...this worked amazingly well for us. Once he got a little bit bigger (maybe 4 months-ish) the Boppy became our best friend. We take it everywhere.
--Automatic swing (My son and youngest nephew loved this! I was sad to have to give it back to my sister when she had her new baby. My oldest nephew hated it. Every baby is different)
I'm sure you will get lots of ideas. Just keep in mind that somethings that work for some babies may not work for others. Don't get discouraged with trial and error. That's just parenthood. Hope this list is helpful. Congratulations on your baby!

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K.B.

answers from San Diego on

HI E.
YOU need a crib, The idea of a family bed is nice but I am a mother of 3 boys and an RN. I would never have slept if the infant was in the bed.( Do you know how many infants die a year in thier parents bed..) Get a crib a NEW one as it will be clean and up to code . They are not expensive and you will use it for 3 years. You don't need a bassinet. They are a waste.
Get a small garbage pail, keep it clean next to your changing table or area. You will probably change 10-12 diapers a day !
Figure out a place to change the baby too. I had a crib and a changing table in the same room, it makes it so easy. But alot of people change kids on the bed or floor. THAT is up to you & your back.
All the best !
K. Brady SAN Diego CA.

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S.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

My husband and I brain stormed on this one for a while. On thing we found that was a life saver for us was the Dishawasher Caddy for the baby bottles and things like that. Our son was breastfeed, byt he still used a bottle occasionally when he wasn't with us. Then at 6 months, my body stopped co-operating with me and we had to switch to formula. We used bottle SO much, and we would have lost SO many pieces to them without the help of the dishwasher caddy. It works awesome for his sippy cups now too. Its a little plastic box that you put the nipples and rings and stuff inside it and then it goes in the dishwasher top rack so the pieces don't fly all over the place. We LOVE it.
I also found for my son that the medicated baby powder worked SO much better than diaper rash cream. Its Johnsons Baby powder that has the Zinc Oxide in the powder instead of cream form. I thought this was awesome considering that a rash is from the baby being sensitive to wetness. So put something wet on them to protect them from being wet doesn't compute to me. I use it in EVERY diaper now and my son has yet to get another diaper rash, he is 2 now. We have been using it for over a year. :) Good luck.

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M.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

Here are the NEEDS:

Your breasts (ha!), diapers, onesies, flannel swaddling blankets (I used the ones my dad used and I used...they don't need to be new), brand-new car seat(s), a sling to wear your baby, and a bedrail.
(Everyone else will buy you the fancy clothes!)

Here are the NICE TO HAVES:

A Pack-n-Play: This is a portable crib which is good for baby's naps and has a built-in changing table for staying organized.

A bouncer chair or boppy pillow: This is a good spot for baby to nap or to be at an angle where he can look around and interact with others.

We co-slept with both of our children until 18 months. Benefits: helps establish nursing, no one wakes up in the middle of the night, baby is secure.

At 18 months, our toddlers went from our bed to a toddler bed with much fanfare and celebration and all was well! I really can't say enough about the family bed. Our children never had to get into the habit of howling in the night for attention. The breast was right there, mother's milk is already warm, if they needed changing I could change them in the dark within seconds without waking them up or getting up myself and my husband and I were able to sleep with less drama. I didn't put the baby between us, I used a bedrail (the toddler kind) and put the baby next to me. Our pediatrician introduced the idea to us and we were so grateful!

Unless you have pets or people in and out of your home, your baby will enjoy napping on a nice blanket in the living room, outside, wherever! (ALWAYS in your presence, of course!) Sometimes I'd come home and my mother-in-law would be folding laundry and my daughter would be fast asleep on a fresh sheet next to her! It can be so simple, really.

I bought a gorgeous crib that never got used. I would LOVE to have the money I spent on that now! I'm glad to say I saved a TON of money by breastfeeding exclusively. Though I have a step-daughter who was unable to and in that case, I would recommend glass bottles (Born Free is what she uses).

The high chair was another thing which seemed like more of a waste of money/space hog. All children are different but mine just went right from the breast to sitting at their own tiny little table to eat. My children just weren't interested in food until after they could walk (at 11 months) and at that point, it was easier for them to sit at their table.

If you're a SAHW, I'd recommend cloth diapers which would add another NEED to the list: a washing machine! This adds another load of laundry to your day so if you're a working mom, I'd say spare yourself and go for the natural disposables.

There are a zillion silly gadgets out there which you really don't need. Just think of all the wonderful freedom you'll enjoy unencumbered by those "things" and all the terrific experiences you'll be able to afford with the money you save!

Congratulations on your first baby!

Best wishes,

M.

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K.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I do hope that your plan with the famiy bed does work out ... but some things to think about. If you share your bed with your new one, when will you make the transition to a crib or toddler bed? The longer he/she sleeps with you, the harder it will be - for you as much as him or her to transition. Also, what impact will it have on your relationship with your husband. Yes, sex is off limits for 6+weeks afterwards, but ... your bed is the intimate place the two of you share. How will that work with a baby in bed?
For some people it is lovely, but I know that I still needed my alone time with my husband. In bed is where we talk and share our day and just enjoy our own time. Our daughter has slept in a crib from day one and she is happy.

Sorry to ramble - the rest of your question:
1. If no crib, than definitely a bassinet or playpen as you will need a secure place the baby cannot fall from for napping.
2. Maybe a swing/bouncy combo - nice place to put the little one to give your arms a rest, and help him/her build a bit of independece - self soothing stuff.
3. Some bottles - my guess is your are going to attempt to nurse - it is fantastic, but have a few bottles on hand as it is a hard task initially - beautiful yes, but not easy. I nursed for 6 months, but there were times when my daughter was demanding too much very quickly and I couldn't nurse fast enough, so the bottle helped out. That way, some times you could pump too and your husband could have the chance to bond and feed the little one.

All in all, you will find what works best for you and your family. Just be sure to take care of yourself and your husband. Once the little ones arrive, we tend to forget about our own needs and our spouses needs. It is definitely a team effort to raise a baby, so take good care of the team.

Good luck - enjoy every moment of your pregancy!

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S.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi E.,
We did 2 home births and had the same view...the technology is there if you really need it but we'll try it the natural way first. We live in Hermosa Beach and have a 2 yo and 4 mo boys so we could hand down some stuff if you're close. Most moms hit it when the say you don't need much. Feel free to call if you like ###-###-####.
S.

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J.V.

answers from Los Angeles on

First, congratulations! Second, do not buy a lot of things brand new. We bought everything new for our firstborn. By the time the second baby came along we realized we didn't need even half of that stuff....so we didn't use it. An absolute must have is a bassinet. Sometimes when your husband is back to work and you need to get things done or take a shower, you won't have to worry about your baby rolling off the bed or getting trapped under blankets. Also, you will need Halo sleepsacs. They are sleeveless blankets that zip up the front. They sell cotton and fleece ones at Babies R Us depending on the weather. Those are awesome for the many, many, many diaper changes you will be doing those first 2 months. Trust me when I say....don't put your baby in those clothes with lots of snaps. Otherwise you will have to deal with those at every diaper change. Keep a can of formula and clean baby bottles on hand in case your baby has breastfeeding prolems. The last thing you want is your husband driving around town all night looking for a store that is open becuase you have a starving baby. If you don't use it donate it to a food pantry later. Other than that.....just a whole lot of love and kisses!!!! Best of luck!

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T.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi there,

Congrats on your upcoming arrival. I was kinda in your shoes only I didn't have ANY time to prepare. We adopted our little guy (he's now 2 1/2) We got a call from our attorney who told us, "A baby was born this morning, are you interested?" Of course we were interested, but we had NOTHING!!! no diapers, no bottle, no car seat, NOTHING!!! Not ONE baby thin in our home. Well we went to meet the birthmom and in fact she did want us to adopt her son.

After talking with her for awhile we decided we needed to go so we could go to the store and pick up a few things haha. So we left and and stood in the baby aisle of Target and said "WHAT IN THE WORLD DO WE BUY??!?!?!?!?" We had 12 hours to get ready for a baby!

So I can tell you you NEED diapers, wipes, of course a car seat, bottles, formula (if you are going to bottlefeed) and a playpen/bassinette and .. We bought one of those pack n plays that also has an upper level that serves as a bassinette in the beginning. It really worked well for us.

The other thing that I always give as a baby gift is a SwaddleMe blanket and the book called "The Happiest Baby on The Block" (that book was my "bible" since I had NO IDEA what I was doing. I was a mom OVERNIGHT!! lol (let me tell ya it was worth it and I would do it again in a SECOND!!)

Ever since Zach was 6 weeks old he has been sleeping thru the night and I believe it is due to the Swaddling! I can't recommend that enough. EVEN WHEN it LOOKS like your baby doesn't want his/her arms swaddled PLEASE continue to do it. First of all....babies don't know what they like and don't like. At first they learn those things from us.

My other advice....try to just go with the flow. TRY not to freak out over every little thing. They WILL eat when they are hungry. I know its hard, but trust me they won't starve themselves and most issues will work themselves out.

You will get into a routine and will feel more relaxed before you know it (even when you think that will NEVER happen....it will)

For me, the family bed didn't work...I was FREAKED out that I would roll over on him or he would snuggle up and get his little head stuck and not be able to breathe. So I couldn't sleep when he was in bed with me, I was just too scared. So I chose to snuggle with him and cuddle with him in bed while we watched tv or I read a book to him or just sang to him. Then when it was time to sleep he slept in the pack n play right next to the bed til I felt comfortable enough for him to sleep in his room.

Of course the other benefit to that is EVENTUALLY you WILL want some alone time with your hubby. Having the baby there can make it just a LITTLE more difficult. :)

Good luck with everything and my LAST advice for you...ENJOY EVERY SECOND YOU CAN!! It REALLY does go by fast! REALLY!! Everyone told me that and I didn't believe them...and now I am soooo mad that my peanut is ALREADY 2 and 1/2. I can't believe it.

When he/she is crying....I just got thru it by thinking "ok he won't be screaming and crying like this when he is 15!" so he/she WILL stop crying at some point even when you think it won't. Smile!!!

Hugs and BEST BEST wishes.

T.

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S.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi E.,
My daughter is almost 2 and this is what i suggest --

just like others have mentioned - the packn'play is awesome... the one we got even came with a changing table and kinda like drawers on the end... for diapes and stuff... and now we even used it when we go out of town... and you can use it as a play pen or to put toys in it too ...

another thing to consider is the infant carseat -- we got this one from graco-- (babiesrus manager suggested it) that's bigger than the normal ones.. fits upto i believe 30 lbs! so so roomy and cushy... my daughter is almost 2 now and we still use that in my parents car when they take her places... we got anoher big carseat for our car because she didn't like to face the back... but that carseat is the BEST one i could suggest honestly.

the stroller issue-- i personally don't suggest the snap 'ngo thing.. because you pay like 70 bucks for something that's only good for a couple of months...
we got the Pliko3 stroller from peg perego... $330... but it has been worth EVERY PENNY.... in the beg we put the carseat in there ( like you would with the snap n'go)... and as she got older you use it like a reg stroller.. but the good this is that it's SUCH good quality... AND it's not too heavy... and packs up small like an umbrella stroller.. and when it's time for another kid... it has a steppe rthing in the back that the 'older kid' can ride on!

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J.M.

answers from Honolulu on

I'm just like you! I just had my first at 29, we have a "family bed" and I had a home birth. So it sounds like you might have more natural tendencies. I'm a total natural but modern mom. Here's some ideas:
~Carseat: You do want to buy a carseat NEW. I'm sure some of the other moms already told you why.
~King sized bed: My husband whined when we had to go to the trouble of trading in our Queen sized, but now that there's 3 of us in a King size he still complains that he doesn't have enough room!
~A waterproof mattress pad: We got the Simmons Beautyrest Cotton Blend it's great. Our baby has spit up, peed and even pooped on our bed many times. Very glad I thought of getting it.
~A Boppy pillow: I used this so much. For breastfeeding, for back support after the birth, the baby slept on it the first month, and in between my knees while sleeping.
~Disposable diapers: We now use G-diapers mostly (I don't like cotton diapers because of the water use), but I can't imagine not having disposables for those first days when the baby has mirconium.
~Cotton diapers or cloths of some kind: We didn't use them for diapers but we use them for everything else! There just handy to have around.
~Breast pads: for leaking boobs (I used a cotton diaper when at home).
~Camisoles with shelf bras: I literally have about 20 of these now and I think I've worn one everyday for the last 5 months!
~A sling: I recommend the Over The Shoulder Baby Holder for the first few months and then the Ergo once baby's legs will straddle.
~Baby wipes: Gotta have 'em. I like the Tushies unscented.
~Special detergent: We use Seventh Generation unscented.
~A tummy binder: If you're not using one already, start. Your stomach muscles need all the help they can get. I used one post-natal but wish I would have used one prenatal as well. I might of avoided split stomach muscles. I have a Belly Band and a traditional girdle.
~For the home birthing you will need a some things but I'm sure you are studying up. You actually don't need as much as you would think. I was on my bed and we used A LOT of towels and washcloths and not water (things you already have). One thing you might not think of is a peri bottle to "wipe" after using the bathroom. I loved the book Ina Mae Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth and The Happiest Baby on The Block.
I can't think of anything else I NEEDED. Although here are some other things I used: A swing (the side-swinging Fisher Price kind), a rocker, a portable bouncer, a stroller, raw Coconut oil (for thrush/baby can eat, also I use for all-over lotion), a cheap baby monitor (since you are sleeping with baby it will only be for naps), an Auto Mirror (makes car rides a lot more fun), and I LUV my JuJuBe diaper bag (luxurious, but I bought the Be Changed for $20 on eBay). Oh yeah, and my crib (that my friend bought for $5 at a garage sale) makes a good baby stuff holder in my living room ~ haha!

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E.S.

answers from San Diego on

Always have a back up crib as when the child gets older he or she may have trouble sleeping on their own. it is good that you do not wish to buy something just because and its good you try not to be wasteful. a travel crib is good a bouncer or swing for when you need a break or need to do chores. other than tons of clothes thats all you really need. craigslist is excellent for baby needs so is ebay for clothes and diapers, but for a swing or exersaucer later go to the swapmeet they beat out everyone on that. They're even new at times from 15 for a 100-120.00 exersaucer to 20 dollars for a 100.00swing. don't buy toys yet base that on your baby's intelligence. Congratulations on the bundle of joy

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S.L.

answers from San Diego on

Hi E.,

Congratulations! I remember feeling overwhelmed, yet all of my friends had all their gear picked out. How did they know what they would use??? They didn't. They were just guessing in advance because you don't really know until you and the baby adjust to each other.

I used the bassinet (one on wheels and a Moses basket) for the first 8+ months of my kids' lives. I wheeled the bassinet right next to me in the bed at night, so I could hear everything my baby did. During the day, I'd wheel it into another room for my baby's nap. The bassinet was a tight fit at 8 months and beyond, but babies like that cocoon feeling and I liked having them right next to me. Eventually I transferred my kids into a crib (you can adjust the mattress height in all cribs.)

Please do not believe everything you hear. There are plenty of people who have co-slept with their baby and had nothing bad happened. There are also many people who have accidentally suffocated their babies - ask any ER doc. You will be so sleep deprived that you cannot predict how deeply you will sleep once you are able to actually get some time to sleep. If you do co-sleep, I highly recommend one of those gizmos that converts your bed into a safe co-sleeper.

You will need bottles, even if you breast-feed. (You'll want a break at some time and your husband can feed your child breast milk in a bottle.) You'll need a strong electric pump and a hand-pump for the breast milk. I think they recommend the bottle at 3-4 weeks of age. Before that and the child might get nipple confusion and after that the child is likely to NEVER accept a bottle (that's what happened with my first child).

The Baby Bjorn cannot be used until about 4-6 months of age.

Most babies will want to be held (yes, all the time!) - try to hold your baby as much as possible. This is the single most important thing you can do to raise a trusting and emotionally secure person! (if you find that hard to believe, check with any PhD in Child Development)

You will have back aches until your child is a toddler; just be careful.

Baby blankets - lots of them.

Best of luck and welcome to the wildest roller-coaster ride of your life!

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V.A.

answers from Santa Barbara on

Hi E.,

How exciting for you! I, too, raised my daughter in the family bed and nursed her until she was 4. I never used a crib and when she was young, used a baby carrier rather than a stroller (the kind where the baby is upright on your chest). I carried her everywhere, including all around the house. I was given an expensive stroller but ended up, when she was older, using those small, cheap foldable ones because they are so convenient to put in the car or on the plane. Of course, you need a good carseat, which I would get new, but other than that, just clothes and wash cloth/towel sets and baby shampoo. Also, something to bathe your baby in (a plastic tub) you could get used. The clothes my daughter lived in were onesies from Sears and socks. For sleeping, those terrycloth sleepers are nice because, even though your baby is in your bed, often she is out of the covers. I used disposable diapers but had a few cloth ones to drape on my shoulder for spitting up. In the same line...bibs are useful. If you're nursing, you really don't need any bottles. Babies do not need more liquid, such as water or juice. My daughter never used a pacifier because the breast was available anytime. You'll need some sharp nail clippers because baby's nails grow really fast and they poke themselves in the eye. Baby wipes are a must, and powder, especially if it's hot and humid.

Sorry for my rambling but it's fun thinking of what I used with my daughter, who is now 24.

V.

C.L.

answers from Las Vegas on

WOW, you've got a lot of replies.... lots and lots of diapers, burp cloths and onsies. My son spent almost his entire 1st year in onsies (unless we were going out) You're in CA and Sept will be nice weather, but as soon as it starts to get chilly, you will want to keep your little one comfy.

Best wishes and congratulations
C.~

http://www.HelpUStayHome.com
http://www.ToxicFreeFamily.net

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J.P.

answers from Honolulu on

Hi E. -- Congratulations on embarking on the amazing journey of motherhood! What I think you MUST GET is the Sears Baby Book -- It is just called THE BABY BOOK and you can get it at any bookstore. It is the best resource I can recommend for someone who is having their first child. In it, you will find a list of things that you really need for a new baby -- and the amounts of these things. You really do not need a lot, and a lot of the things you get you will never end up using. I really encourage you to LIMIT newborn clothing -- it is literally days, and your child will have outgrown it. If you get that book, you will have nearly everything you need.
My other list of must haves includes: Boiron Teething homeopathics, lots of baby washcloths, a couple of t-shirt sleep "dresses" -- like a long sleeved, open-bottomed nightgown, some Johnson's baby wash (I am pretty into organics etc but I still do use this soap until about age 3 and we have never had any skin/rash issues), and, maybe most importantly, a NOJO original baby sling. Learn to use this (the book will help a lot) and your life with a new baby will be MUCH easier. If you need any more tips, please feel free to email. I am an "old" mom with a 4 month old and a 5 year old (2 boys) and may have some other ideas if you need help. aloha J.

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L.M.

answers from Reno on

Hi, E....
I am sure you are overwhelmed by all these fantastic responses, so I'll try to be short.

My son is now 10 days old. I recommend these things: A glider/rocker, We have him sleep with us at night, but a bassenet is wonderful for the living room, family room during the day.. (used is okay). diapers.. cloth for burping, disposable if you're going that route. Wipes.. LOTS of wipes, and onesies (lots). Alcohol (for umbilical cord), powder, Q-tips, baby shampoo, baby blankets (light and heavier), a vibrating bouncer-chair, stroller or carrier, carseat (of course) and most important, LOTS and lots of love!

Congrats. on your upcoming arrival! They are truly magnificent!

L. m

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S.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

The bassinet is not necessary (my son only fit in it 3 months!), but it is a good idea to have a crib for naps (although I am of the mindset that a kid needs to learn to sleep alone right from the start because it will be really hard to train them when they are 1, 2, or 3.) Although I didn't think so originally, I have found that a portable crib comes in handy too on trips and grandma's house. This you don't need new, just make sure the model wasn't recalled for any reason.
Out of everything they need, I would say the easiest thing to purchase used is clothing. Friends and family passed clothing to me and you should also check out Children's Orchard. Their merchandise is used but in very good condition since they are very picky about their purchases.

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S.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

You are amazing E.!
How great to do a home birth!
You can get just about all your furniture needs second hand..............and I am sure you know, just to be careful to make sure things are in working condition and not TOO old or they will not be up to safety standards.
And i would not recommend getting car seats or carriers second hand because you just don't know enough about them and the law is that even after a fender bender they be thrown away.......our insurance just paid for a new one after a slight fender bender.
The basics for a new baby are a healthy mama (so keep a good supply of water near you at all times) and I can tell that you will be a nursing mama, so check out some good nursing tank top bra's..........they are the BEST.
I LIVE in them with my kids and feel comfortable whipping it out whenever my little ones need to drink......mine are glamour mom ones.......and i recommend the LONG style, because it's nice to have that extra coverage of the belly area. These are the best because then your tummy is covered and you just undo the boob part at the top to nurse the baby and you aren't all naked or hanging out in public!
:)
Happy mothering!
S.

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W.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi,

My friend sent me this list and it is a good start. She is a minimalist.

One thing that I really like is a bedrest to prop you up in bed. It is great for nursing in bed...

This is my basic, no frills list of immediate newborn needs! Hopefully nothing major is missing--but this is what I recall needing those first few weeks.

4-6 Carters undershirts that snap in the front.
Since Fall is upon us, a mix of long and short sleeves might be wise.These are great for layering and lounging, esp. while the umbilical cord stump is still on.

2-4 Sleepers.
Some like "stretchies" (with feet), others like the gowns (with the open, elasticized bottom). Buy a couple of each and see what works. Look for snaps or zippers on the front. Babies HATE having things pulled over their heads. Also look for wrist bands tor better yet, wide 3/4 sleeves) that stretch as they also hate having their arms and hands forced into tight sleeves. Go for cotton knit unless the apt gets really cold as your're not supposed to over dress babies at night due to SIDS.

4-6 Carters body suits.
Buy a combination of both long and short sleeves. They snap under the crotch for easy changing.

3-4 flannel or cotton knit receiving blankets.
Always useful, esp. if you have a baby that likes to be swaddled.

3-6 prs. of baby socks
These get lost very easily since they're so tiny

1 stocking cap.
Esp.if the baby has no hair. Usually you can just snag one from the hospital.

2-3 packs of Pampers Swaddlers diapers in Newborn size.
These have a little dip in the front so they don't interfere with the umbilical cord.
Newborns go through about 90 a week, so 2-3 packs will prevent extra trips to the drugstore.

2-3 (or more) big packs of cotton balls or squares
To clean the baby's bum with water as you won't use wipes for at least a month.

2-3 boxes of alcohol- and fragrance-free babywipes
Huggies are better than Pampers,I think to wipe your own hands after changing diapers. Then, you'll eventually need them for the baby.

1 pot of A&D ointment (the yellowish ointment not the white zinc oxide)
Also for the bum. They used this on the newborns at Mt. Sinai so I followed suit.

1 tube petroleum jelly to care for circumcision, if necessary

Rubbing alcohol or alcohol swabs
To clean the umbilical cord. You can usually snag lots of swabs from the hospital, too.

1-2 Sheets for the baby's bassinet or crib, if you have one

1 mattress protector, if necessary

2-3 flannel & rubber water-proof lap pads
You can cut these up to fit on a changing table or bassinet. Good to put under the baby in your bed or on a sofa.

1 pack of cloth diapers
To use as shoulder protectors, burp cloths, etc.

1 bottle of anti-bacterial soap for visitors
If you want to enforce cleanliness around the baby

Infant carseat & carrier
I recommend the Graco as it's the easiest to get in and out of a car because the seatbelt goes over the seat rather than hooking under it. Also, this snaps on (some just sit on top of) the Kolcraft Universal carseat carrier, which folds up with one hand and is what most NYers use instead of a stroller for the first 3 months or so. Put off buying a stroller as long as possible so that you can really test them out and figure out what works best for you.

Toiletries kit
Brush, comb, etc. None are really essential at first except for fingernail clippers since the hospital won't clip the baby's nails. The hospital will probably give you a nasal aspirator

Baby bath tub or body sponge
The baby won't need a bath for a while. The body sponge thing is great for sponge baths. Then, you can use it in the kitchen sink or big bathtub later.

Johnson & Johnson or Baby magic no-more tears, head to toe wash.
Don't bother with the fancy brands, they are way too scented.

2-3 baby towels with hoods

6 baby wash cloths

Changing table or pad for use on some other surface + garbage pail
The Diaper Genie isn't necessary (at least at first)-- it's just another piece of equipment...

Baby positioner
Not 100% essential, but I liked that it keeps the baby snug and in place when sleeping. Even newborns can accidently roll over.

For mother who is breastfeeding:
1 tube Lansinoh cream (for nipples, but also great as lip gloss!)
2-3 boxes Lansinoh or Johnson& Johnson breast shields (maybe one of each so she can decide which she prefers)
Motrin or Advil
Witch hazel pads
Boppi nursing pillow (really ugly to look at but it helps nursing)

The best advice I was given was to take everything from the hospital bassinet each day that you're in the hospital. They restock it all the time. Treat it like a hotel refrigerator. In fact, bring an extra bag for all the diapers and other supplies you can take.

Also, bring something for the baby to wear home!

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K.L.

answers from Las Vegas on

I think you definitly need a bassinet. What if the baby needs to take a nap, and you have things you need to do? Obviously the baby will not be safe in your bed by himself. You can get a crib after 2 to 3 months because they grow out of the cradle's quickly. Another thing on top of the list should be a swing. I can not even begin to explain how awesome they are. They are a must. Waterproof pads. I suppose you could skip a diaper table if you had those. A good baby bath. All the nail clippers, vaseline, nasal aspirator, washcloths, stuff like that all important. Plenty of bottles even if you plan on breastfeeding. And a baby gym for when he starts tummytime, which starts pretty quickly. I am sure all the other moms will think of lots of good stuff for yah. congratulations! Oh and of course a stroller and the most important thing----A CARSEAT

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H.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, do buy everything you can used. Most importantly, you need a changing place, I bought a low chest of drawers and then got the pad that went on top with snaps on the back that you attach to the chest of drawers, That way you don't have to buy another piece of furniture for the changing station. I got the pad by Rumble Tuff that had the straps and the cover that had slits for the straps, very very helpful. I would say at least a month before your due date if you've done nothing else just be sure to have your diaper changing station set up, wipes, diapers, creams, because that's the most important thing and you never know if there going to come early.

I had a mini co-sleeper and loved it, got it used on ebay. I got a tub that had a mesh kind of thing for infants and then you take it out for bigger babies and one side they recline and the other side when they get bigger than can sit, again useful as they can grow into it.

There are great car seats that have a snap in base for the car and then you take them out and snap them into a metal frame for the stroller. Those are great as the metal frame takes up a small space and you've got your stoller, later on you can get a BOB or something as the baby gets old, can't say enough about the BOB, it's great.

Plastics are shown right now to be very bad, so either buy bottles by borne free or go glass. We always used glass, they were great and super durable, when she got older she even threw them out of her stroller on the concrete and they wouldn't break.

Somethings you just wont know till the baby is born, like I never imagined we needed a swing but my daughter needed a swing so I could at least do a load of laundry and cook, she loved to swing, and hated everything else but being held. Which takes me to another great must have, the ergo baby carrier (http://www.ergobabycarrier.com), so much better than a baby byorn as it'll last in till there 3-4 years old! I still carry her around in it and she's 2, it's great.

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S.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

E.,

As far as furniture in my opinion I think what you need is a crib and a dresser/changing table. I never used my changing table but mine was also a dresser so it wasn't a waste. You might want the crib because eventually having all three of you in one bed might get a little frustrating. They do have mini cribs if you are trying to save on space too. Something else that would be good to consider would be a pack-n-play. You can fold it up and it can be a bassinet,crib and changing table all in one!!Anther good thing is a bouncy seat. They come in handy when you need to do something and you need two hands. They always have toys attached to then to keep the baby entertained. Good luck!!

S.

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G.M.

answers from San Diego on

hi,
i would recommend a breast pump for you. i wish someone had told me this before i had my son. if the baby can't latch on, you may get engorged and it can be painful. i recommend (by far!) the medela pump in style or any type of medela breast pump (as long as it is automatic (not the manual type) and you can do both breasts at the same time). they are pricey - 300+, but worth every penny! i was going back to work after only 8 wks, so when the babies (i have 2) would sleep, i would pump so they could be fed breastmilk while i was at work. my medela lasted me through 2 babies and i am proud to say, they were exclusively breastfed (no formula). but i wouldn't have been able to do it without my medela!

hope this helps and congratulations!

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