Author Topic: What do babies really need?  (Read 27036 times)

freeazabird

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What do babies really need?
« on: August 17, 2014, 10:46:03 PM »
I have my first baby due soon. I know plenty of things are marketed to first time parents that are totally not needed. I want to keep clutter and wasted money to a minimum. Can experienced parents tell me what new babies really need? Thanks!

1967mama

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2014, 11:04:18 PM »
Some wise mother once told me all they really need is warm milk and a dry diaper! As a mom of a few kids I would say the following is a few things I found helpful:

3 dozen good quality cloth diapers
Diaper pail
Washcloths
Bucket car seat
Receiving blankets (for spit ups, for swaddling, for covering up a bit while nursing in public)
Onesies
Sleepers
Gentle soap and shampoo (I like goats milk soap and aveeno shampoo)
Change pad
Stroller and high chair (for when they are a little older - 3 months or so)
Sling (baby carrier)

Others may have more ideas but for me, that's the basics for a newborn.

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2014, 11:09:32 PM »
A clean bottom and breastmilk.  ;)

For me, I would add a stroller of some kind and a car seat.  I found the convenience of a stroller that attaches to the car seat to be pretty great.  I never got the hang of a sling, but I used my baby bjorn carrier.  My kids also like a bouncer chair (exersaucer), which also functioned as a feeding station until they were old enough to sit in a clip-on high chair at the counter.  As far as numbers of onesies, and other clothing, I think that depends on your preference for doing laundry.  Babies soil their clothes regularly, but those things are easily found used.  If you buy any clothes for a newborn, I would buy neutral colors to use for a possible sibling. 

Good luck!

marty998

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2014, 03:40:52 AM »
A clean bottom and breastmilk.  ;)

Second that. All they need is boobs and baby wipes for 6 months.

happy

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2014, 04:11:33 AM »
I think 1967mama pretty well nailed it.
Family and friends will likely deluge you with all manner of gifts, clothing, wraps etc, so I would hang off buying too much that you could be gifted.
I was lectured about "having to be prepared in advance because once the baby is here you won't be able to shop", but I think thats rubbish, so I would go basic and add more if you need it.
If you have friends who have recently finished having their families you can often be gifted a lot of useful things if you indicate you are not adverse to getting second hand stuff. Baby clothes often only fit for 3 months or til change of season so may not be very worn.

MayDay

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2014, 06:15:33 AM »
I would add sling/wrap/other carrier to the "breast milk and a clean bottom" list.

If you ever hope to get anything done, the best way to do it is to strap your baby onto you.  This is infinitely more true if you win the high needs baby lottery.  It saved my sanity more so than any other baby item except probably diapers ;)

I can get into specific carriers, but the bottom line is get something you will use.  A wrap is cheap and extremely versatile, but takes a learning curve.  Something like an Ergo is pretty idiot proof and will also last until toddlerhood and beyond. 

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2014, 06:20:04 AM »
I would add sling/wrap/other carrier to the "breast milk and a clean bottom" list.

If you ever hope to get anything done, the best way to do it is to strap your baby onto you.  This is infinitely more true if you win the high needs baby lottery.  It saved my sanity more so than any other baby item except probably diapers ;)

I can get into specific carriers, but the bottom line is get something you will use.  A wrap is cheap and extremely versatile, but takes a learning curve.  Something like an Ergo is pretty idiot proof and will also last until toddlerhood and beyond. 

Agree to this. It may be more expensive than anything else you buy unless you get lucky and find one used, but it's worth its weight in gold. And you will use it even more if there is a baby #2 someday--my second child lived in that thing for this first year of life! You can check diaperswappers or the babycenter babywearing swap for used ones. People always mention the Ergo because it's the most famous, but I had other kinds--Action Baby Carrier and Boba. (They were 16 months apart, so we wanted two for hiking and still occasionally use them both at once--boys are 3 1/2 and 2.)

Baby needs a safe place to sleep. Cribs can be quite cheap, even the convertible kind. Personally, I really liked having a lot of places to put my baby down, so I accepted every bouncy seat/swing/etc. I was offered.

DO NOT get a cloth-covered high chair. A folding Fisher Price booster that straps into a seat is much more versatile and handy for travel.

lakemom

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2014, 07:28:18 AM »
Some wise mother once told me all they really need is warm milk and a dry diaper! As a mom of a few kids I would say the following is a few things I found helpful:

3 dozen good quality cloth diapers
Diaper pail
Washcloths
Bucket car seat
Receiving blankets (for spit ups, for swaddling, for covering up a bit while nursing in public)
Onesies
Sleepers
Gentle soap and shampoo (I like goats milk soap and aveeno shampoo)
Change pad
Stroller and high chair (for when they are a little older - 3 months or so)
Sling (baby carrier)

Others may have more ideas but for me, that's the basics for a newborn.

+1
And an excellent breast pump if you are returning to work.  If you love your baby carrier and so does your baby a stroller may not be necessary until #2 comes along.  High Chair, can be put off until baby is sitting up well on his own (6+ months).  Personally we never went in for all the jarred/canned/frozen specialty foods, just breastmilk until about 8-10 months followed by table food.  We have 6 kids.

GuitarStv

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2014, 08:00:39 AM »
#1 - Saintly amounts of patience.

Other than that, 1967mama's list sounds about right.  I really liked having slightly stretchy blankets for swaddling too . . .

bogart

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2014, 08:19:38 AM »
Congratulations!

My experience was this:  first couple of weeks you will almost certainly need the following:  car seat, diapers, wipes, 20 or so onesies, 4 or 5 baby blankets, a dozen spit-up cloths, a safe place for baby to sleep (with appropriate sheets), a safe place to change baby, nursing bras, and decent support wear (bra/nursing tank/whatever works).  Most women I have known (myself included) benefited greatly from having a good quality breast pump to help with either undersupply (promote increase) or oversupply (relieve engorgement), and bottles to store the output.  I was desperately hungry and exhausted, so easy food to access (Not easy like -- casseroles.  Easy like dried fruit and prepackaged peanut butter crackers.  Way easy.).

If you are middle income in the US (and many other places), chances you won't have been given most of these things by the time your baby arrives are virtually zero.

You will desperately want additional things once you are parenting, but it's hard to know what.  I couldn't stand wraps but used sling carriers extensively (once I discovered them).  DH and I walked the tires off a stroller that our carseat snapped into (but never used other strollers much).  A month in, I'd have paid $1,000 for a battery-powered mobile that ran 15 minutes as this made it possible for me to take a shower in peace (fortunately they're available for much less on Amazon).  Turns out I strongly prefer short-sleeved onesies with snaps all the way up the front (no need to slip over baby's head) and long-sleeved/legged ones that zip, not snap. 

You won't know what those things you desperately want are, until you desperately want them.  Keep stuff you are given until you know what's useful and what's not (and then return what you don't use and exchange it for things you will).  Be sure you have a week or so of the basic essentials, and stash money to buy the rest. 

steadierfooting

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2014, 08:30:38 AM »
We have one year old twins, here's some things that worked really well for us:
--For gifts, registry items save boxes and tags and bags for every stupid thing.  After the first week you'll realize that half of the stuff is useless, and you used it maybe once, or not at all.  Then after the first month when things start to break... You can return it all.  Plus then when they are done with it, it's a lot easy to store it and protect it by having the original box.

--Go for 2-in-1 stuff.  our highchairs will turn into ones you can strap onto normal chairs, our 'swing' was a swing/vibrating seat/bouncer all in one that separated.  Which was also nice because when we went to other peoples houses we could bring the smaller insert and they felt comfortable.

--Make sure there's always some place safe to put the baby, which we used the swing for.  One our kids had bad reflux so for a month she had to sleep in an elevated position in the seat.

--BORROW BORROW BORROW!  The stuff they grew out of we can't give it away.  People that have kids don't think other people want it, so oftentimes you have to ask.  My parents still don't get it that we don't want them to buy the kids cloths.  All the cloths we got for their birthday are being returned, and my mom said, "but they are sooooo cute!".  "SO ARE THE CLOTHS WE ARE BORROWING!" and often times still with tags on them.

--good sleep and feeding habits were invaluable to our 'survival'.  Read up on good sleeping and eating habits, then decide what you'll follow.  From the first night home we did this, and it worked really well, but each child and family and situation is different so I won't go rant about what you should do with that.


socaso

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2014, 08:36:27 AM »
Some wise mother once told me all they really need is warm milk and a dry diaper! As a mom of a few kids I would say the following is a few things I found helpful:

3 dozen good quality cloth diapers
Diaper pail
Washcloths
Bucket car seat
Receiving blankets (for spit ups, for swaddling, for covering up a bit while nursing in public)
Onesies
Sleepers
Gentle soap and shampoo (I like goats milk soap and aveeno shampoo)
Change pad
Stroller and high chair (for when they are a little older - 3 months or so)
Sling (baby carrier)

Others may have more ideas but for me, that's the basics for a newborn.
+1
I think the only new clothes I bought him the first year were socks as his feet grew. We had so many clothes given to us we didn't need anything else. Most days he wore a onesie and socks. Also I really liked the Burt's bees baby wash (for hair and body) and lotion. I was given a set at my baby shower and the both bottles lasted a whole year so that was a really good value and they smell great. My sister advised me not to bother with the high chair until he was ready to start eating food and I found that to be good advice. It just takes up space. I found a good used one at a garage sale for $12.

kittystache

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2014, 08:48:31 AM »
Agree with Steadierfooting!! 

Essentials: 
- If you don't have a rocker, you can use a $10 exercise ball to gently bounce the baby on.  It works every time and is portable!! 
- Snap N Go stroller - fits every kind of car seat and is lightweight.  For the first one, we only used a $5 umbrella stroller after she was out of the car seat.  We have had a real stroller for her - she didn't like it and I didnt want to haul it from place to place.   
- Baby Bjorn or other baby carrier.  The nice thing about this one is that you can turn them around - which they love.
- bouncer? Swing?  Jumper?  Who knows.  Try it out first.  Borrow Everything from your friends and/or Mom's group.  One kid loved completely different stuff than the other kid.
- You can borrow a bassinet.  I just gave one away that was used for 10 kids!!!  Infants do not wear things out.
- Bottles - so daddy and others can help with feeding.  Essential.
- I will happily sell you my cloth diaper stache for a reasonable price.  Send me a message. 
- I bought a $200 crib on Amazon.  It converts to a toddler bed and "real" bed.  On the second baby with it, will give it to one of my brothers when finished.   Cribs do not have to be expensive.  Consumer reports says that the cheapest Ikea crib is a best buy. 
- Take all the stained up baby clothes your friends will give you for free!  Your baby will also stain them.  Dress them up in cute outfits when ppl come over.  : )  Oxyclean soak can get anything out of anything.


My frugal baby advice:

Keep the tags on EVERY SINGLE gift you get.    They grow so fast that my kids were out of the clothes I was given before I could take the tags off.  I exchanged every single one for larger sizes.  I also took back all the bouncers and new things and used the money to purchase the same item at a second hand store.  THE EXACT SAME ITEM!!  At less than 1/2 the price.

Buy clothes in bulk from garage sales, especially church sales that have multiple sellers.  With an eye to the seasons you will need.  Every time I find something under $1 that is good quality, clean and stylish, I buy it and put it in my 'stache.   My kids have 3 years worth of clothes and snow suits for less than 5 full priced outfits at a store.

I buy all USED toys from the same garage sales.  You never know what a kid will play with and if you spend $1 instead of $30 - it will be just as fun.   When the kids are done, I swap toys with my friends.  Everyone gets brand new toys that way for $0.

When my second was born, I swapped every single item with a pregnant friend.  We were having the opposite gender kids, so it worked out really really well.



teen persuasion

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2014, 11:11:49 AM »
Congratulations!

My experience was this:  first couple of weeks you will almost certainly need the following:  car seat, diapers, wipes, 20 or so onesies, 4 or 5 baby blankets, a dozen spit-up cloths, a safe place for baby to sleep (with appropriate sheets), a safe place to change baby, nursing bras, and decent support wear (bra/nursing tank/whatever works).  Most women I have known (myself included) benefited greatly from having a good quality breast pump to help with either undersupply (promote increase) or oversupply (relieve engorgement), and bottles to store the output.  I was desperately hungry and exhausted, so easy food to access (Not easy like -- casseroles.  Easy like dried fruit and prepackaged peanut butter crackers.  Way easy.).

If you are middle income in the US (and many other places), chances you won't have been given most of these things by the time your baby arrives are virtually zero.


Most things have been covered, but along with breastfeeding bras, etc., I really liked having washable pads to put in my bra to help deal with leakage, let down. They came with a couple sets, in a mesh bag for the washer.

Along with snacks, always have a drink close at hand when feeding baby.  Gotta replace all those fluids!

freeazabird

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2014, 11:23:46 AM »
Thanks for the advice everyone. I REALLY appreciate it!

I was also wondering what if any items did you buy organic? I am seeing things like organic sheets and whatnot at the store. Is it worth the additional cost to buy organic? Also, how many crib sheets should I buy?

dbanta

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2014, 11:26:10 AM »
You might also want 2-4 baby bottles - even if breastfeeding.  Because my lo was premature he started on bottles and then switched to breast once he reached full-term.  It is nice to have the flexibility to have my mom or husband watch my son without having to worry about me always being there for feedings.

Tetsuya Hondo

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2014, 11:37:04 AM »
Yes, you definitely need a few bottles and a breast pump. Having just gone through this, there will be times when you (or your wife/partner, I don't know your gender) will need a break. Our little one was feeding constantly through her 2 week growth spurt and it really pushed my wife to the max, physically and emotionally. Having a few bottles on hand made all the difference, allowing her a little breathing room on those sleepless nights. And, you'll probably need a glass of wine or two here and there. Having stored milk and bottles to give your baby can allow you or your wife/partner a little restorative mommy time.

Also, every person you know that has had a child has a room, closet, or attic full of every baby item that you will ever need. We had a number of friends nearly forcing free items on us. Between freebies and gifts, there was little we actually had to buy. Every big city has baby consignment and used items shops. Ebay and Craigslist can cover the rest. If there's any furniture items that you can't get through those sources, then Ikea has inexpensive changing tables and cribs (their crib was one of Consumer Reports highest rated).
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 11:38:56 AM by Tetsuya Hondo »

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2014, 12:58:47 PM »
Thanks for the advice everyone. I REALLY appreciate it!

I was also wondering what if any items did you buy organic? I am seeing things like organic sheets and whatnot at the store. Is it worth the additional cost to buy organic? Also, how many crib sheets should I buy?

Instead of buying organic sheets, pick them up second-hand at a consignment sale. (Many areas have a couple of semiannual sales--Google and ask any mom friends you know.) All the chemicals will be already washed out! You need at least two crib sheets, preferably three, and four is not excessive. If baby goes to daycare, you may need two more for daycare.

Diapers also come in organic, but I bought regular old cloth diapers. I did a blog post a while back about how not to overbuy when purchasing cloth diapers, if you are thinking of going that route: http://frugalparagon.com/2014/02/09/cloth-diapering-what-not-to-buy/

RetiredAt63

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2014, 01:58:37 PM »
People have pretty well covered it, so my input - breast feed if at all possible.  Not only is this healthier for the baby, the baby becomes very portable.  As long as the baby has Mommy and some clean diapers, s/he can go anywhere.  No need for bottles, formula, some way to warm it up, etc.   And everyone else has been very delicate - poopy diapers are a lot less stinky with a breast-fed baby.  Babies are fine for at least 6 months on breast milk, don't rush in to solid foods.  La Leche League people are very helpful if there are problems, more so than most doctors/nurses.

And re things, a good diaper changing station (not furniture just for that) is important, so baby is safe and comfortable. Be kind to your back, have it at a good height for you (i.e. bathroom vanity counter).   And have a dimmer switch or bright night light at the changing station, so a diaper change in the middle of the night doesn't wake up baby to full daytime alertness.

justajane

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2014, 07:45:34 PM »
I just had my third baby in May, and now it is required that insurance companies provide you with a breast pump in the United States. Once you deliver, have your OB write you a prescription for an electric breast pump. With my insurance, we were able to pick the one we wanted from a local medical supplies company. We chose the Medela Pump in Style (my personal favorite) and only had to pay a $25 shipping fee for a $200 pump. 

I would recommend waiting on as much as you can until after the baby is born. You will likely want to get out of the house anyway, and that way you will have a better idea what you want and need. This is especially the case for clothes, since many people will give you clothes right after the baby is born. Plus you really have no idea what size your baby will be and how quickly they will grow.

Oh, and buy or bring to the hospital a newborn or 0 month outfit. Those 0-3 outfit looks adorably small, but your newborn will likely swim in them when you dress them to take them home. All my babies were almost 9 lbs, and I used a newborn onesie for the hospital outfit. In this same vein, don't overbuy newborn diapers, just in case you have a large baby. Ditto on size #1. You can stock up on #2 and #3, because your baby will be in those sizes for a long time.

For larger items like swings and bouncy seats, I would recommend borrowing one from a friend for a few days. I have read that babies are usually either fans of swings or seats and not both. It would be frustrating to spend the money on a swing or something else and have them hate being in it. In my experience, most kids like being in exersaucers, and at three months we are already using ours. They are priceless for getting some time to throw a load of laundry in or cook dinner. But you can usually buy those used at baby stores like Once Upon a Child. We just bought one for $20.

The things you can't live without are a crib, a car seat and a stroller of some sort (we pair the pumpkin seat with this - https://www.babytrend.com/strollers_snap-n-go/1305R.html). The Snap N Go is nice because it is very compact in the trunk of a car and then you can snap the baby in without having to take them out of the car seat. Even if you decide to co-sleep with your baby, you will want someplace to rest the baby that is safe. I guess if you have any suspicion that you will want to co-sleep indefinitely you could hold off on the crib and just buy a pack n play with a bassinet feature. That would be cheaper.

Don't buy blankets or washclothes. I was given enormous amounts of those, especially the cutsy handmade but ultimately impractical blankets. If you are going to spend money on blankets, buy Aden Anais muslin swaddle blankets (available at Target and Amazon). They are expensive but worth their weight in gold. I use them CONSTANTLY to swaddle, cover a car seat up from the sun, lay out in the grass, as a burp blanket, etc.). They are seriously the best blankets on the market.

For safe sleep, I also buy Halo sleep sacks. Buy up in size (6 months and beyond), since these will be used more as they get older but you can also put a newborn in a 6 month sack (mine is sleeping in one right now!).

But one nursing bra for the hospital, but don't buy more, since you have no idea what your actual size will be. In general hold off on feeding supplies, since you have no idea what you will need, and for the first few weeks you likely won't use bottles anyway if you are breastfeeding.

Hope this helps!

1967mama

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2014, 08:33:54 PM »
Agree with Retiredat63 -- as a retired La Leche League leader, I can't say enough about this organization! They have monthly meetings across the country with other nursing moms and it's just such a great support for a brand new mom. And yes, breast feeding is the way to go, if you are able -- practically free except for the daily extra 500 calories mom needs in her nutrition. Also, I ditched the crib after baby #1 and co-slept with babies. Google Dr. William Sears, renowned pediatrician, for a wealth of wonderful newborn baby information.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2014, 05:43:28 AM »
I just want to point out that everyone is saying something different! If you had 10 minimalist parents and asked each to choose 20 essential baby items, they would all pick different things. The trick is to figure out which suggestions sound like you! And just don't buy too much up front. Baby stores will still be there after baby is born.

BooksAreNerdy

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2014, 06:22:30 AM »
Diapers
Zipper footie pajamas
Boobies
A safe place to sleep (packnplay)
Waterproof crib pad for diaper changes
Love


I have my second on the way any day now. We are reusing so much from kid #1, I don't think we have purchased anything this time around. Its awesome!

The second time around there is much less drive to be totally prepared for every possible scenario in advance. We know that whatever comes up, we will be able to remedy within a few hours and a trip to the store. Congrats on the upcoming baby!

freeazabird

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2014, 09:17:35 AM »
Diapers
Zipper footie pajamas
Boobies
A safe place to sleep (packnplay)
Waterproof crib pad for diaper changes
Love


I have my second on the way any day now. We are reusing so much from kid #1, I don't think we have purchased anything this time around. Its awesome!

The second time around there is much less drive to be totally prepared for every possible scenario in advance. We know that whatever comes up, we will be able to remedy within a few hours and a trip to the store. Congrats on the upcoming baby!

Thanks, congrats to you also!

ABC123

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2014, 11:05:04 AM »
Every baby is different, and what they need/like is going to be different from what another baby needs or likes.  You might have your heart set on breastfeeding until he goes off to college, but for one of many reasons might not be able to at all.  You might buy a baby carrier, but then throw your back out and never get to use it.  My point is, it is impossible to say "If you buy this list of 8 items, your baby will not need anything else."  If you will be having a baby shower (or 3 like I did!) put together  a registry with plenty of essential items, and a few fun things too.  Keep all the receipts you get so you can return any duplicates.  I highly recommend cloth diapers, but have a pack or 2 of newborn/size 1 sposies on hand for those early icky meconium days and for days when you just don't get the laundry done.  If you aren't having a shower, buy a few one-piece sleepers.  (If you have a shower, you will get 18 itty bitty adorable little outfits that your baby will outgrow before they ever wear, so skip the cute stuff.)  I tried doing the baby carrier thing, and it just didn't work for me, so I highly recommend a stroller of some sort.  My two both hated the swing but loved the bouncy seat -- having some place to set them down where they can't get into trouble is a life-saver.  And of course you will need a car seat if you want your baby to come home with you.  You can always buy things after the baby is born if you do find out you need something.  And even if you don't have a shower, friends/family might decide to buy gifts anyway, so keep a few things in mind in case someone asks what you need.

PloddingInsight

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2014, 11:16:10 AM »
Couple things that haven't been mentioned...

If you use disposable diapers, you should get a diaper genie.  They actually work.  You won't smell the dirty diapers that are inside them.

My wife also gets a tremendous amount of use from boppy pillows -- they're kind of a C-shaped pillow that support the baby while he's nursing.  Apparently they make nursing a lot more comfortable.

Also, you MUST find a copy of the DVD called The Happiest Baby on the Block.  It's about how to calm a crying newborn (0-3 months) by simulating the feel & sound of being in the womb.  It works like magic.

ZiziPB

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2014, 11:12:35 AM »
A great article on a tradition in Finnland (the government provides a box of basic baby supplies to every expectant mother).  The list of the contents of the box and the picture give a good idea of what you need for a new baby.

And I love the idea of using the box as a crib for the first few months!

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22751415


RetiredAt63

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2014, 01:39:58 PM »
I thought the related article on napping outdoors was interesting.  My parents were in an apartment when I was born, and I had all my naps on the balcony - including during Montreal winters.  I know my DD as a baby was more likely to fall asleep if I put her in her carriage and took her for a walk - and that including during Montreal winters as well.

A great article on a tradition in Finnland (the government provides a box of basic baby supplies to every expectant mother).  The list of the contents of the box and the picture give a good idea of what you need for a new baby.

And I love the idea of using the box as a crib for the first few months!

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22751415

ambimammular

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2014, 06:14:20 PM »
you can use a $10 exercise ball to gently bounce the baby on.  It works every time and is portable!! 


Loved the exercise ball.

It was the only thing that worked with my colicy daughter. Also can be used for variations on "tummy time." And, right after the birth it will be much more comfortable to sit on than a regular chair.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2014, 08:20:38 PM »
you can use a $10 exercise ball to gently bounce the baby on.  It works every time and is portable!! 


Loved the exercise ball.

It was the only thing that worked with my colicy daughter. Also can be used for variations on "tummy time." And, right after the birth it will be much more comfortable to sit on than a regular chair.

Baby might even let you strap her/him in a carrier and bounce at your computer!

Davids

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2014, 08:31:50 PM »
Remember all insurance companies now are required to cover breast pumps so don't go spend $200 on it at Target when you should get one for free or very cheap through your insurance.

abhe8

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2014, 08:55:46 PM »
my forth baby just turned 1....this is my "must have' list:

1. cloth diapers (2 dozen prefolds/covers for the newborn...then18 flats, 4 covers)
2. convertible car seat
3. breast pump (i WOTH), a fw glass bottles.
3. stack of of onsies for a summer baby or sleepers for winter
5. stack muslin swaddle blankets (my FAV baby item for sure)
6. baby carriers: i love my ergo, wrapsody wrap and peanut shell fleece sling

and the "non-tradiational" baby favorites:
- king size bed
- nice camera
- tons and tons of delish food for the nursing mama

and when they get a little bigger:

LouisPritchard

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2014, 10:33:38 PM »
Remember all insurance companies now are required to cover breast pumps so don't go spend $200 on it at Target when you should get one for free or very cheap through your insurance.

I was going to add this. Our insurance reimbursed up to $300, and we could buy any pump from where ever we wanted so we just bought a medela on amazon and mailed the receipt in and got a check.
 
We have a 4 month old and so far,

You have to have a car seat, they wouldn't let us leave the hospital until they inspected it.
Swaddle blankets.
A dozen bottles, and I said the hell with the sanitizer thing we have and just use hot water and dawn in the sink.
Baby carriers are great especially if traveling by air.
Also ask around for clothes and hit yard sales, we are already getting rid of stuff that's too small and she's only 4 months old.
Those mesh bath chairs thingies are handy
Some sort of white noise device. They are great for getting them to sleep.

We got all kinds of stuff from friends/family. My wife jumped the gun a bit and now I'm dealing with returning/craigslisting stuff. We now have 4 strollers, multiple play mat things, and just got 2 large rubber maid totes full of clothes. So wait until after you send out announcements before buying anything.  And grandma sends a "care package" at least once a week with more outfits and whatnot.

littlelevel

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2014, 10:40:06 PM »
Diapers, good food and maternal milk are the most important things.

Weyfarere

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #34 on: August 23, 2014, 07:39:23 PM »
Some sort of white noise device. They are great for getting them to sleep.

A CD player combined with a homemade CD of exhaust fan noise constitute a "white noise device."

LouisPritchard

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #35 on: August 23, 2014, 08:34:15 PM »
Some sort of white noise device. They are great for getting them to sleep.

A CD player combined with a homemade CD of exhaust fan noise constitute a "white noise device."

That would work. There's also plenty of free apps if you have a old smartphone/tablet in a drawer somewhere.

MrsPete

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #36 on: August 24, 2014, 08:16:25 PM »
The big things upon which to splurge -- they'll be used every day (possibly by future children), and having them will make your life easier:

Car seat -- don't buy this used; if it's ever been in a wreck, it could be damaged. 

Good crib -- this is perhaps the #1 item to consider for safety since it's an item your baby will use without supervision; you'll also need 2 crib sheets (I loved flannel) and a variety of blankets -- skip the fluffy, never-gonna-be-used comforter.  Always make up your crib with TWO (or more) crib sheets and a waterproof sheet between; when the baby throws up or wets the bed in the middle of the night, you just pull off the top sheet and the waterproof sheet . . . and the bed is still "made" -- very convenient in the middle of the night. 

High chair -- whether it's a clip-on type, a booster seat, or a full-fledged high chair, it should include a tray that you can remove with one hand; should be able to scoot up to the table without a tray so eventually the child can join the family at the table while still using the chair.

Full-sized stroller that reclines fully -- You may also want a little $20 umbrella stroller, but you'll use the big stroller when the baby is small and can't yet sit up, and you'll continue to use it up until age 3-4 for all-day outings



Other things of a smaller nature: 

Clothes -- these seem to last about two days before they're outgrown!  Because they're cheap to buy used and because they're so often received as gifts, you'll be able to find an absolute flood of these items at used prices.  Also, when your toddler ruins an outfit (yes, it will happen), you'll be glad it cost a dollar. 

Toys that existed before the 70s are probably worth buying (and adding onto later):  Legos, Lincoln logs, or simple blocks.  Baby dolls and accessories.  Ride-on toys.  Table and chair set.  Another good rule of thumb is that you should buy the toy but not all the accessories; for example, buy Barbie, but don't buy her dream house and her Corvette and RV and . . . well, I don't know any other details, but the idea is moderation.  

Books -- don't skimp on number or quality, but buy them used.  They're available at yard sales for around a quarter apiece.  Yes, you can get them from the library, but kids also need to OWN their own books and feel they can return to those "old friends".  Babies are ready to begin reading around 4-5 months.  Don't read to start with:  Just look at the pictures together and talk about colors and pictures.  Never, never skimp on your daily reading time. 

Photographs -- no one has ever said, "I spent too much time and money taking photographs of my children."  You'll love the photographs right away, but you'll love them even more when your kids are older.  Keep a good camera handy on a shelf, and grab it often.  Think twice about using your cell phone camera; few people ever actually print those pictures.  And do have some professional photographs taken.  I teach photography, and most people who think they're "as good as a pro" -- aren't.  I know two amateurs who are genuinely as good as a pro.

And the breast pump.  Whether your insurance pays for it or not, it's not a need.   Think about it:  How many women in history have nourished their children with breast milk?  And how long have breast pumps existed?  My kids had formula perhaps 3-4 times each -- ever, and I worked full time from the time they were each about six months old.  They nursed first thing in the morning, then had their solid foods during the day, and then nursed again right after school and again at bedtime.  They both nursed well past a year.  The secrets:  Take advantage of help from the nurses in the hospital; breast feeding isn't as instinctive as you might expect -- if you can make it through the first few weeks, you'll be fine.  Don't push yourself -- remember that you're learning a new physical skill while you're recovering from an intense medical procedure!  You wouldn't be angry with yourself if you couldn't learn to ride a bike the first time you tried -- take it easy on yourself.  Drink plenty of water, milk or other healthy drinks -- you can't put out what you aren't taking in. 

What you DO need is a breast feeding pillow.  Yes, it looks like one of those things that's useless, but it isn't.  With my first, I always had a bed pillow lying around on the sofa, and it worked . . . sort of.  I'd squish it into the right shape and use it to hold her up.  Holding the baby up a bit is a HUGE back-saver.  With my second, I bought a "real" breast feeding pillow for $2 at a yard sale -- wow, was it better!  It's exactly the right size and shape, and it makes nursing easier.  Since you're going to spend  HOURS a day nursing, it makes sense to get this little tool to make your life easier. 

You'll also need nursing pads to tuck into your bra.  I hated the washable ones because they were too thick, and I hated the disposable ones because they contained a thin layer of plastic that held in the moisture and made me uncomfortable.  I didn't find the "good ones", I suppose, but they are a need for the first month or two.  After that you'll find yourself much more in tune with nursing, and if you feel a sudden "let down", you'll know how to cross your arms and stop the problem before it becomes embarrassing.  Always wear print tops when you leave the house. 

Food -- Use a small food processor to chop up salt-free veggies and other healthy items.  Freeze them in ice cube trays, then pop the food-cubes out into a ziplock bag.  You do need to use commercial baby cereals though: Because they're iron-fortified, no real adult alternative exists.  It does make sense to buy jarred food for times when you know you'll be out of the house. 

Diapers -- yeah, you'll need them.  I tried cloth diapers, but I found them to be a monumental amount of work.  Part of it was the set-up of my house.  Our bathroom was already minimal --  no place for a diaper bucket.  Our laundry was in a closet in the kitchen, and we didn't like having the smelly stuff right there between our cooking and eating areas.  If I'd been staying at home and if I'd had a real laundry room, I might've been more motivated to try harder.  However, I did find a fantastic source for second-quality diapers, which were about half the cost of store brand.  Considering the initial investment in cloth diapers and the need to wash in hot water, the cost was actually pretty comparable. 

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #37 on: August 24, 2014, 09:29:49 PM »
For people who want to cloth diaper but don't have room for a diaper pail, a hanging wet bag is an awesome alternative. I have two Fuzzibuns Hanging Diaper Pails. You just unzip it right into the washing machine and toss it in with the diapers. I hang it from an over-the-door hook on the back of the bathroom door.

Iron-fortified cereals for breastfed babies are a little controversial, FWIW, but I did feed my kids baby oatmeal sometimes just because it was so darn easy.

chouchouu

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #38 on: August 24, 2014, 11:04:19 PM »
I think it's a good idea to rent a breast pump. You don't know if you'll need one or not and the hospital grade pumps that you rent are awesome, much faster than other types and you need all the sleep you can get in the beginning. I'm sure that could be covered by insurance too.

Re clothes, skip sizes, the us seems to have more sizes than other countries and if you put them up against each other you'll notice you can skip sizes. Choose wrap styles that grow a bit. My girls were in size 1 from six months to twenty months.

Re car seat, might not be necessary. The only time we used their carseats were on the ride home from hospital and on vacation in car rentals. Rental companies provide car seats and we could have had DH walk home with the twins. So if you don't own a car and live close to the hospital a carseat might not be necessary.

On the other hand a good quality stroller is necessary. I consider it the same as a bike, don't get a cheap target stroller, the quality will make it horrible to use. Babygizmo has great video reviews on strollers and the general rule is, if its old and on Craigslist/eBay it's probably going to last. That's why my local swap has tons of emmaljunga and maclaren strollers. The Emmaljunga are very good and the older (hint cheaper) ones are even better.

Weyfarere

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #39 on: August 25, 2014, 09:59:07 AM »
However, I did find a fantastic source for second-quality diapers, which were about half the cost of store brand.  Considering the initial investment in cloth diapers and the need to wash in hot water, the cost was actually pretty comparable.
What's your source for these?

bogart

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #40 on: August 25, 2014, 10:28:13 AM »

And the breast pump.  Whether your insurance pays for it or not, it's not a need.   Think about it:  How many women in history have nourished their children with breast milk?  And how long have breast pumps existed?  My kids had formula perhaps 3-4 times each -- ever, and I worked full time from the time they were each about six months old.  They nursed first thing in the morning, then had their solid foods during the day, and then nursed again right after school and again at bedtime.  They both nursed well past a year. 
...

What you DO need is a breast feeding pillow.  Yes, it looks like one of those things that's useless, but it isn't. 


Boy is this a good illustration of how there's a lack of consensus on the "what babies/new parents really need" issue.

I was among those who listed a breast pump as essential (a need), and I'll stand by that -- as I say, *every* new mom I have ever known has been glad to have had one to help with either over- or undersupply issues, pretty much right at day 1 (and I count as "essential" the things you need for week 1 -- the rest can be picked up later).  No, I take that back, I have one co-worker who didn't start pumping until she came back to work @ 3 months (as is common in the US).  But all the rest -- yes.  And sure, women all over the world and throughout much of history have gotten by without them, but most of those are in communities surrounded by other women who are, and/or have, breastfed and can provide assistance (in method) and support (potentially up to and including nursing a hungry baby in mom's absence.  And of course they're not returning to baby-unfriendly workplaces nearly as early as many US women are.

Also, there's no way my kid was ready for nursing just at, say, 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. with nothing but solids in between even at 6 months, much less (obviously) 3. 

OTOH I used my nursing pillow (a "Boppy") mostly as a space to lie my infant son inside of, since I had it and he seemed to feel snuggled if cradled momentarily inside it while I got us ready to go out, or whatever.  I certainly wouldn't classify one of those as a need.

wild wendella

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #41 on: August 25, 2014, 10:58:01 AM »

And the breast pump.  Whether your insurance pays for it or not, it's not a need.   Think about it:  How many women in history have nourished their children with breast milk?  And how long have breast pumps existed?  My kids had formula perhaps 3-4 times each -- ever, and I worked full time from the time they were each about six months old.  They nursed first thing in the morning, then had their solid foods during the day, and then nursed again right after school and again at bedtime.  They both nursed well past a year. 
...

What you DO need is a breast feeding pillow.  Yes, it looks like one of those things that's useless, but it isn't. 


Boy is this a good illustration of how there's a lack of consensus on the "what babies/new parents really need" issue.

I was among those who listed a breast pump as essential (a need), and I'll stand by that -- as I say, *every* new mom I have ever known has been glad to have had one to help with either over- or undersupply issues, pretty much right at day 1 (and I count as "essential" the things you need for week 1 -- the rest can be picked up later).  No, I take that back, I have one co-worker who didn't start pumping until she came back to work @ 3 months (as is common in the US).  But all the rest -- yes.  And sure, women all over the world and throughout much of history have gotten by without them, but most of those are in communities surrounded by other women who are, and/or have, breastfed and can provide assistance (in method) and support (potentially up to and including nursing a hungry baby in mom's absence.  And of course they're not returning to baby-unfriendly workplaces nearly as early as many US women are.

Hahaha!  So many opinions!  I also agree that a manual breastpump was invaluable to me on a few occasions.  The electric one I used once I got back to work, but the manual one was helpful:

1) In the beginning I had some oversupply which I needed to manage down.  I wanted to keep my son on one breast for a 'session' so he got to the fattier milk at the 'bottom', so I would pump a little on the other breast, and sort of managed down my oversupply over time. 

2) Also in the begining at times when my son was nursing every hour and things were rather tender and painful, I asked my husband to bottle feed him for a long period (i.e. 12 hours) while I pumped a few times and let my nipples recover a bit.

3) A few times I left the house w/o my little one I brought along a manual pump - once when going out for dinner and theatre in the city, once when on a 15 mile hike.

4) My son caught something once from a table at a restaurant I think, and was vomitting for a while.  Advice was to not give him milk for a certain period.  I pumped instead.

I did not use a bobby pillow.  :)  I used my Baby K'tan Baby Carrier every day.

In retrospect, we could have spent less on our baby stuff.  Luckily, we learned quickly.  Most of the money we've spend on our son so far has been on his college fund and his organic food. ;)  Unfortunately, preschool costs are around the corner.

RetiredAt63

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #42 on: August 25, 2014, 05:50:39 PM »
Everything depends on circumstances, and how things go between you and your baby.

I went back to work part-time when DD was 5 months - expressed manually and froze it, and  that was hers the next day I was at work.  No pump.  No special pillow either, I just found a pillow that worked for us.  To me the major thing for breast-feeding was a really comfortable upholstered chair with big fat upholstered arms, which we basically took over.  I suppose if we hadn't had that chair, a pillow would have helped.  The other thing I did was make sure I stayed hydrated - every time she nursed, I had a big glass of something - water, de-caf tea or coffee, lemonade, something.

MrsPete

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #43 on: August 25, 2014, 06:13:49 PM »
However, I did find a fantastic source for second-quality diapers, which were about half the cost of store brand.  Considering the initial investment in cloth diapers and the need to wash in hot water, the cost was actually pretty comparable.
What's your source for these?
A SAHM in my area who had two sets of twins three years apart (all boys) sold them.  She took orders all week and on Fridays she had a sitter /delivered diapers.  It was a great set-up -- for her and her customers. 
I was among those who listed a breast pump as essential (a need), and I'll stand by that -- as I say, *every* new mom I have ever known has been glad to have had one to help with either over- or undersupply issues, pretty much right at day 1 (and I count as "essential" the things you need for week 1 -- the rest can be picked up later).  No, I take that back, I have one co-worker who didn't start pumping until she came back to work @ 3 months (as is common in the US).  But all the rest -- yes.  And sure, women all over the world and throughout much of history have gotten by without them, but most of those are in communities surrounded by other women who are, and/or have, breastfed and can provide assistance (in method) and support (potentially up to and including nursing a hungry baby in mom's absence.  And of course they're not returning to baby-unfriendly workplaces nearly as early as many US women are.

Also, there's no way my kid was ready for nursing just at, say, 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. with nothing but solids in between even at 6 months, much less (obviously) 3. 
Having nursed two children well past a year each, I've got to disagree.  Using a pump to take care of over-supply tells your body that you need more milk . . . and it'll make more milk next time, leading to more and more over-supply.  Bringing in a breast pump just complicates a very simple system. 

Of all my co-workers, the only one who's actually expressed breastmilk (more than a week or two) was a mom who had a micro-preemie.  She did it because she knew it was essentially the only thing she could do for her child at that point, and it took a huge effort on her part.  All the other moms I know have tried it a while, and found it too much work to justify the effort -- not because our workplace is anti-nursing, but because carrying everything back and forth is a whole lot of work, as is using all your breaks to express milk. 

My kids absolutely thrived on milk in the mornings, afternoon and evenings and solids in the day -- it was really only two solid feedings during the day. 

I'd suggest that any new mom investigate the topic thoroughly and use all the resources available to her.  The nurses in the hospital were absolutely wonderful for me.  In contrast, many of the other moms I knew were horrible sources of information -- most were choosing breastfeeding because "it was the best", but they didn't do much -- if any -- reading in preparation. 
The other thing I did was make sure I stayed hydrated - every time she nursed, I had a big glass of something - water, de-caf tea or coffee, lemonade, something.
This just can't be emphasized enough.

Gin1984

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #44 on: August 25, 2014, 06:36:37 PM »
However, I did find a fantastic source for second-quality diapers, which were about half the cost of store brand.  Considering the initial investment in cloth diapers and the need to wash in hot water, the cost was actually pretty comparable.
What's your source for these?
A SAHM in my area who had two sets of twins three years apart (all boys) sold them.  She took orders all week and on Fridays she had a sitter /delivered diapers.  It was a great set-up -- for her and her customers. 
I was among those who listed a breast pump as essential (a need), and I'll stand by that -- as I say, *every* new mom I have ever known has been glad to have had one to help with either over- or undersupply issues, pretty much right at day 1 (and I count as "essential" the things you need for week 1 -- the rest can be picked up later).  No, I take that back, I have one co-worker who didn't start pumping until she came back to work @ 3 months (as is common in the US).  But all the rest -- yes.  And sure, women all over the world and throughout much of history have gotten by without them, but most of those are in communities surrounded by other women who are, and/or have, breastfed and can provide assistance (in method) and support (potentially up to and including nursing a hungry baby in mom's absence.  And of course they're not returning to baby-unfriendly workplaces nearly as early as many US women are.

Also, there's no way my kid was ready for nursing just at, say, 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. with nothing but solids in between even at 6 months, much less (obviously) 3. 
Having nursed two children well past a year each, I've got to disagree.  Using a pump to take care of over-supply tells your body that you need more milk . . . and it'll make more milk next time, leading to more and more over-supply.  Bringing in a breast pump just complicates a very simple system. 

Of all my co-workers, the only one who's actually expressed breastmilk (more than a week or two) was a mom who had a micro-preemie.  She did it because she knew it was essentially the only thing she could do for her child at that point, and it took a huge effort on her part.  All the other moms I know have tried it a while, and found it too much work to justify the effort -- not because our workplace is anti-nursing, but because carrying everything back and forth is a whole lot of work, as is using all your breaks to express milk. 

My kids absolutely thrived on milk in the mornings, afternoon and evenings and solids in the day -- it was really only two solid feedings during the day. 

I'd suggest that any new mom investigate the topic thoroughly and use all the resources available to her.  The nurses in the hospital were absolutely wonderful for me.  In contrast, many of the other moms I knew were horrible sources of information -- most were choosing breastfeeding because "it was the best", but they didn't do much -- if any -- reading in preparation. 
The other thing I did was make sure I stayed hydrated - every time she nursed, I had a big glass of something - water, de-caf tea or coffee, lemonade, something.
This just can't be emphasized enough.
I pumped from my daughter's birth till eleven month post birth.  It sucked, it really did but she would not nurse and I wanted her to have milk.  I underproduced too, so we supplemented with formula.  When she was born, I tried so hard to nurse, did everything recommended.  Ended up staying up 24 hours, feeding every hour because she was not getting enough.  She lost weight, the doctors recommended supplementing.  So I did, but I still pumped.  It required at lot on my husband's end and a lot on mine.  Work got longer, so DH picked up and dropped off our daughter.  He did all the changes and feeding so I could pump at night. 

iwasjustwondering

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #45 on: August 25, 2014, 07:57:40 PM »
I don't think anyone has mentioned a boppy (nursing pillow).  If you're nursing, you must have a boppy.  The boppy was incredibly important to me, as it saved my back while I was nursing my boys.  It makes life a lot more manageable.  I brought it everywhere, even on our trip to Italy, with our son who was then 11mo.  I can't think of a better investment in my kids' and my wellbeing than the boppy.

My older son had a lot of trouble nursing, so I ended up pumping 100% of his breastmilk, and delivered it by bottle.  So we needed a super heavy-duty breast pump.  I got one from a hospital supply store, for something like $400, and then sold it for $400 around five years later, when I was done nursing for good.  Another very good investment that I would recommend only if you have a child with medical issues like low muscle tone, who can't get breastmilk any other way.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #46 on: August 25, 2014, 08:41:56 PM »
People keep mentioning the Boppy but for the record, I sometimes preferred the My Brest Friend. It is more structured than the Boppy. I especially liked it for breastfeeding at my computer.

bogart

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #47 on: August 25, 2014, 08:44:24 PM »
Having nursed two children well past a year each, I've got to disagree.  Using a pump to take care of over-supply tells your body that you need more milk . . . and it'll make more milk next time, leading to more and more over-supply.  Bringing in a breast pump just complicates a very simple system. 

Undersupply, not oversupply, was my issue, but like you, I nursed (I just have 1 kid, though not by choice) my son past a year, he weaned on his own schedule.  But the moms I know who've dealt with oversupply found pumps helpful in the first days post-partum, before their babies had good latches (my own nursed effectively pretty much from the get-go, but didn't find enough milk there -- a pump helped me build my supply). 

All the other moms I know have tried it a while, and found it too much work to justify the effort -- not because our workplace is anti-nursing, but because carrying everything back and forth is a whole lot of work, as is using all your breaks to express milk. 

I left my pump in my office (I'm lucky, of course, to have a private one) and didn't cart it home, just used it at work and nursed my son when I was home.  I found it pretty easy to work while pumping, e.g. reading/editing a report, or emails.  Of course, not every job is so conducive to pumping as mine is. 

I'd suggest that any new mom investigate the topic thoroughly and use all the resources available to her. 

Couldn't agree more.  As I say, my experience with the pump (clearly different from yours) was that it was one of the few things I used right away, all the time.  Most other stuff, not having it in that first week wasn't a big deal (we didn't, e.g., get a crib -- another thing you list as essential -- until my son was maybe 6 months old; before that we used a bassinet.  Not that I have any objection to new parents having a crib!), and it's the stuff-you-need-first-week (the stuff-I-needed-first-week, obviously, since I'm writing from my own experience) that I count as essential.  Other stuff can be procured later, on an as needed basis.

wild wendella

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #48 on: August 26, 2014, 07:22:44 AM »
Having nursed two children well past a year each, I've got to disagree.  Using a pump to take care of over-supply tells your body that you need more milk . . . and it'll make more milk next time, leading to more and more over-supply.  Bringing in a breast pump just complicates a very simple system. 

Yeah, I definitely disagree (see my points above).  All of us posting here have plenty of experience.  (I've nursed my son for 2 years.  The person who has nursed longest isn't 'right').  This just shows that everything about raising babies is completely subjective, depending on differences in the mom and baby, and points to what others have said that it's impossible know exactly what you will need ahead of time, because your baby and your situation will be slightly different than any others.  A manual pump was invaluable to me at the begining, and at various points in the first year.  It *did* help me slowly manage down my oversupply (you can measure how much you're taking out w/ a pump and reduce each time - you can't do that with a baby).  Also, even after my son started eating solids, he would definitely not go more than 3 hours w/o milk.  If I tried to give him more than he wanted to 'hold him over' he would just spit it all up.  So babies will be different.

All the other moms I know have tried it a while, and found it too much work to justify the effort -- not because our workplace is anti-nursing, but because carrying everything back and forth is a whole lot of work, as is using all your breaks to express milk. 

I pumped at work for over a year and a half, initially twice a day and then once, and brought my electric pump with me each day, as well as my mini-cooler of food and my large purse.  I found it to be no big effort.

Food -- Use a small food processor to chop up salt-free veggies and other healthy items.  Freeze them in ice cube trays, then pop the food-cubes out into a ziplock bag.  You do need to use commercial baby cereals though: Because they're iron-fortified, no real adult alternative exists.  It does make sense to buy jarred food for times when you know you'll be out of the house. 

Lol - Mrs. Pete, I'm sad to say I also disagree with you on this.  Breastmilk has less iron than formula, but it's much more bio-available, meaning the body can utilize it better.  Once we introduced some food, we aimed to put a priority on food with iron in it.  Our ancestors did just fine with the iron in breastmilk and real food, and our son did fine as well - his iron tests at 1 year were good.  We got some cheap 4 oz glass canning jars that served us very well, and could be frozen.  We prepped all our food at home and brought it with us.

We bought used car seats from people we know.  Every parent has to evaluate what works for them.

Edit> Incidentally, I just read your post about the usefullness of college, and on that topic I couldn't agree more!  hahaha!
« Last Edit: August 26, 2014, 07:49:14 AM by wild wendella »

iwasjustwondering

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Re: What do babies really need?
« Reply #49 on: August 26, 2014, 11:49:00 AM »
Having nursed two children well past a year each, I've got to disagree.  Using a pump to take care of over-supply tells your body that you need more milk . . . and it'll make more milk next time, leading to more and more over-supply.  Bringing in a breast pump just complicates a very simple system. 

Yeah, I definitely disagree (see my points above).  All of us posting here have plenty of experience.  (I've nursed my son for 2 years.  The person who has nursed longest isn't 'right').  This just shows that everything about raising babies is completely subjective, depending on differences in the mom and baby, and points to what others have said that it's impossible know exactly what you will need ahead of time, because your baby and your situation will be slightly different than any others.  A manual pump was invaluable to me at the begining, and at various points in the first year.  It *did* help me slowly manage down my oversupply (you can measure how much you're taking out w/ a pump and reduce each time - you can't do that with a baby).  Also, even after my son started eating solids, he would definitely not go more than 3 hours w/o milk.  If I tried to give him more than he wanted to 'hold him over' he would just spit it all up.  So babies will be different.


ITA.  MrsPete, I think you said you went back to work at six months, when your child was already eating solids.  Many moms go back at just a few weeks, and a pump is the only way to maintain supply at that early stage.  I was a freelance writer, working from home, for the first seven years, so I was lucky enough not to be in that category, but I work with tons of moms who come back super early now, and the pump is a lifesaver for them.

Also, some kids can't nurse, for physiological reasons.  Generations ago, they might not have survived.