Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Baby Essentials...

It seems that many friends or people that I know are having a first baby. With the excitement of actually having a child, comes the excitement of shopping for the said child!

What to buy? WHAT TO BUY!?!?

Expecting a baby is wonderful, yes, but it is also very stressful:  your body is changing, your relationship is changing, you need to prepare a nursery, baby proof your house, make necessary purchases, it adds up... and it can sometimes get a little overwhelming. I find myself answering questions or giving advise and recommendations as to what a baby actually needs (and not what vendors tell you they need so you purchase
 more, more, MORE!
I made a little list of DOs and commented on what should be DON'Ts. The DOs are must haves. The DON'Ts are not necessarily things you shouldn't purchase, but rather, things you don't necessarily need, contrary to popular belief : ie: what vendors say.

A few pointers to start:

1) Shopping is fun, I get that, really, I do, but in all honesty, how much do you intend on going out the first few months? Keep in mind, you'll be sleep deprived, possibly nursing, and having a mini you in tow. This is the first question you have to answer. Myself, with my two babies, I didn't go out much the first 3-4 months: a few errands here and there, visited my mom, doctor's check ups..... yeah, that pretty much sums it up. Because we didn't go out much, I allowed myself many pj days for myself and the baby. Noah was born in spring and Logan in the fall: Noah spent his ENTIRE summer in onesies, and Logan, in pjs. If we happened to go out, then I would dress them cute to show them off a little! So to conclude, I had perhaps 2-3 outfits at most for the first few months. Correction: I had a dozen outfits for the first few months, but they both only wore, 2, or most. What I did have a ton of is onesies and pjs, depending on the season.

2) DIAPERS: Will you be using cloth diapers or disposable ones? I respect those tree-huggers wanting to do good by the environment, really, I do, but, my theory is that you use a lot more water than I do cleaning your diapers, so I used disposable. Stock up on diapers. 2 pacts newborn was enough for my baby (but this varies... but if your baby is 8 pounds and up, 2 suffices), I used 2 packs of level 1, 3 packs of level 2s and many, many, MANY packs of level 3s!

Diaper Baby Shower Suggestion: I want to share a wonderful trick that needs to be communicated to whoever is throwing you a baby shower: Organise a draw for the guests. Prepare a nice backet: bottle of port, chocolate, candles, good nuts, hot chocolate, you know... a nice basket (spend about 50$). In order to participate in the draw, have your guests bring either a small package of diapers, or a package of wipes. One package= 1 ticket for the draw. This works amazingly. Many guests bring both, and you end up with a ton of diapers and wipes!  You definitely get your money's worth.
My pick: Huggies for diapers. I just think the diaper follows the baby's movements more natually. For wipes however, I prefer Pampers...

Now for the list: I wish I had a list like this when trying to figure out what to buy for my own babies, rather than those website lists, encouraging you to buy EVERYTHING   IMAGINABLE...

  • Crib

  • Crib mattress (waterproof)
    Crib sheets  (4-6 sets) Note: the cute kit with the comforter: it is as said: cute, but really not necessary since the baby doesn't sleep with the comforter. The bumper pads are not necessary or recommended ( but I used them though), plus a kit easily costs 100$ +
  •  bassinet, moise... for the first 3 monts: Note: I didn't have and both babies slept the first few months in my room in a play pen

  • play pen

  • if  you plan on co-sleeping: a cushion that keeps your baby from rolling over.. .sorry, I can't remember the's padded on both sides...

  • Chest of drawers/

  • change table

  • Change table pad

  • Change pad cover

  • diaper bag (buy a comfortable to carry bag, and ideally, one that can be hooked on your stroller)

  • Glider and ottoman Note: I didn't have one at first, but as a nursing mom, it became a must, and not a luxury... especially  for night feedings!

  • Baby monitor.. you really don't need the video monitor, you REALLY don't need the ones beep to tell you whether your baby is breathing...babies have irregular breathing, those things go off all the time!... talk adding stress to your life!)

  • High chair and booster seat (my first hated the high chair and by 7 months, he was always in his booster seat (he sat really well though)...

  • Diaper pail and liners  SO WORTH IT if you don't want to smell stinky diapers... and I would add always placing a sheet of bounce in the pail...(diaper genie II + a few refills (they fill up fast!)

  • Crib bedding, as mentionned totally optional

  • Crib skirt (save your money) goes with: Duvet cover/quilt

  • Bumper pads (optional)

  • receiving blankets A MILLION! (This is not only for ''receiving'' the baby, but also for the nursing mom, whose boob that is not nursing, is most likely leaking!

  • Crib mobile (not a necessity, but babies like it!)

  • Night light (babies sleep great in the dark, but the light might be very useful for night-time feedings!

  • Child rocker/club chair, also known as the boucy chair

  • Nursing pillow ( I initially had only one, but soon bought a second one. When you have more than one level in your house, it's not always ideal to carry both baby, nursing pillow, glass of water, etc...).. two is great, and not a luxury!

  • Baby Bath (don't spend 50 bucks on a fancy bath: first: the little newborn hammack is great, if you have a tiny baby. My 8 + pounders... never fit. Second: The ones with a built in shower or spa, have many reviews that they didn't work for  long.Third: there often is a seat, which is not ideal for the baby before 4 months. For my second baby, I bought a big white baby tub, with a soft comfy baby bath cushion. Both objects were under 30$ (toys r us).

  • Baby towels: 3

  • Baby wash cloths X 10

  • Baby hats: Note: Babies do not need to wear a hat indoors all the time, contrary to popular belief: If your  baby is  dressed sufficiently and the hands  and nose of your baby are warm, he or she does not need a hat.

  • burp pads

  • baby bibs X 10

  • Baby products: Cream, shampoo, soap, bum cream (2): one for diaper bag, one for home.

  • baby tylenol or tempra

  • thermometer

  • baby care kit: with nail clipper, thermometer, nail filer, comb, toothbrush, etc.

  • onesies: 10

  • pyjamas (depending on the season: if cooler season: 10, if warmer, baby is comfy in  onesies)

  • 2-3 changes of ''going out clothes'' for every growth stage

  • 5-10 pairs of socks

  • a few colorful baby toys

  • exercise mat  (so great during meal time!)

  • baby swing: perhaps buy used or borrow since they can't be quite expensive, and your baby may not enjoy the swing at all: My first baby HATED the swing, my second loves it..

  • bumbo: not necessary, but fun to help baby sit upright

  • Car seat, stroller travel system

  • baby books

  • wipe warmer if your baby is born in the cooler months (not a necessity, but baby sure does appreciate it!

  • pacifier, don't go shop-crazy and buy 10... wait, perhaps your baby won't even want one. Noah (1st), was and still is (at night), obsessesd with his paci.... Logan, never wanted one. We waited until 1 month before offering. Of course, if your baby doesn't seem to NEED to suck, don't offer it. One less bad habit to break!

  • Bottles, (5-10 if not nursing) but then again, don't go shop crazy if you plaan on nursing. Noah drank from a bottle only 5 times, and never wanted one again. Logan, is almost 4 months, and wants  nothing to do with a bottle (as a fellow blogger best put it: ''I like to think it's because I have amazingly fantastic boobs!''. Ha!

  • breast pump if you're nursing Note: if you don't plan on giving the bottle very often, a breast pump can be rented at local pharmacies.

  • teether (when baby starts to eat, don't buy the teethers where you can place frozen fruit or foods in: makes a mess, and doesn't work!)

  • head support X 2 (for crib and bouncy seat for early months

  • warm fall body suit for outside

  • depending on the season: winter suit, or winter pocket for car seat.

  • baby mits for  newborn phase, to prevent from scratching face and head... BRING TO HOSPITAL

  • baby carrier (a life saver!. A fantastic one is from maman kangourou : a  very versatile carrier that works even over your winter coat and that can be used as your child grows, up to 30 pounds!

  • exerciser: bouncer: around 6 months of age.... great distraction for babies.

  • Something for the crib to distract: like a Fisherprice acquarium, a musical winnie. I got a winnie the pooh that is attachable to the crib, that projects light blue images on the ceiling and plays soft music.. very useful as of 4 months of age!

  • Beke Bobo (thanks to my good friend Annie for the mention!). It's basically a magic bag, in the shape of a small teddy bear, to soothe the aches baby can experience. (can be found in most drugstores)

  • The legendary Mouche Bébé . I had the original, and discovered the one from Hydrasense, which I highly recommend. You can read more about it on my blog post: by clicking here

  • and finally, please do make sure to have a baby book to immortalize all the precious impressionable moments in the first few years of your baby's life...

What's left to say? I wish you the best of luck with your pregnancy. I wish you a great delivery. I wish you a beautiful, healthy baby. I wish you many, many, precious moments with your little bundle. Cherish every moment!

Should you find anything to be missing... let me know, I'll gladly add to this list!.

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