Saturday, October 15, 2011

Preparing for the baby: Baby necessities

With all the enticing advertisements and baby products out there, it's easy to make the mistake of accumulating too much, and most often, unnecessary stuff even before the baby is born. It's good to make a list of products that might work or read consumer reviews so you'll know which to get when you need it. My husband and I also went to a 'prego palooza' to check out what's out there and get some free samples. It was fun and educational. We learned our options in using cloth diapers and the pricing and services available.

We were fortunate enough to find friends who are willing to hand us down and lend us baby clothes and gears that we'll need, which saved us hundreds of dollars and time in figuring out which will work. Bottom line is that your mommy friends have been through it all so listen to their recommendations and borrow what they tell you will work. Babies outgrow everything too soon and you don't want to keep on filling up space in your garage with more boxes.

Here are some of the things I recommend that you should try to borrow (or find used ones) the first few months:
  • infant car seat and folding stroller
  • Baby bjorn
  • boppy nursing pillow (to save your tired arms from holding the baby)
  • drying rack for bottles and bottle brush, ice packs
  • baby tub
  • rocking chair or glider
  • free infant formula (sign up online and collect coupons)- we loved Similac advanced, which is a soy-based and closer to breast milk
  • diaper bag (Kaiser gave us a really nice one with great design and organization)
  • pack and play with changing area OR a crib that converts into a toddler bed
  • baby mobile and a soothing white noise maker
  • a baby swing (to put him to sleep)
  • baskets and collapsible, organization boxes/crates for baby clothes and stuff - The Container Store has a lot of choices and very affordable. You might also try to find one for the car.
  • Best book: Baby 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice For Your Baby's First Year- check out the local library or
  • Diaper Genie - I still have to figure out how to make my own bag or reuse plastic bags since the bags are pretty expensive (2 for ~$15). The best way to save money on disposal bags is to only put diapers with poop in the Diaper Genie. Pee only diapers can go in the regular waste basket since they don't stink.
  • Nursing cover, baby blanket, and play quilt or blanket
  • baby clothes, bibs, hats, shoes for different months (0-3, 3-6, 6-9, to 12 or 18 months). One reason why you need to keep things organized. Also, prepare for cold weather by stocking up on few thick, warm clothes/jumpers or covers.
  • Breast pump, except for the accessories (for good hygiene) - membrane/bottle set-up
  • baby monitor

We had three baby showers. One at home and two from work (at my work and my husbands). Instead of using baby registries, we asked for diapers and baby wipes instead. Other great baby shower gifts are:

  • Desitin diaper rash ointment
  • Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether
  • convertible high chair: Fisher-Price EZ Bundle 4-in-1 Baby System
  • Safety accessories for cabinets, stair gates, etc.

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