Author Topic: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?  (Read 10028 times)

Gen Y Finance Journey

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Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« on: November 24, 2015, 12:15:22 PM »
My friends who have had babies recently like to inform me that we will need "everything" in 5 months when we have our baby. We'll be first time parents, so we have no idea, but my husband and I both favor a more minimalistic approach in theory. What do we REALLY need? A few specific questions:

1) There are both convertible car seats and convertible strollers that can take your child from infancy to toddlerhood, but the convertible strollers include an infant car seat that latches onto the top of a toddler stroller and also serves as a carrier, making it seem excessive to get both products. My friends seem to favor the convertible stroller that allows them to move the baby from car to stroller without disrupting him. My gut thinking was to get a convertible car seat (because it seems simpler to me to just leave the car seat in the car), use a sling/carrier exclusively for the first several months, and then a stroller like this one http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Infant-Convenience-Stroller-Double/dp/B00OZJ6MQI from then on. Thoughts?

2) How many contraptions do we need for the baby to sleep in around the house? Again, my friends tell me they have something like 5 different products their baby can sleep in in various locations around their house. They've got a bedside bassinet, a crib, a carrier (the same one that attaches to their stroller?), a play pen with a bassinet attached, a vibrating chair, and so on. We're planning on side-carring a crib to our bed for a while and then moving the crib into the nursery when we're ready. We do have dogs, so a safe place to put the baby down for a nap is important. What do you recommend?

3) Nursing gear. I know the hospital will give me a pump, but my friends have told me those pumps are just not good enough and I should go get the $300 version instead. They also insist I'll need a nursing pillow and will have to give the baby a vitamin D supplement (I'd never heard that one before!). Is any of that necessary?

4) Not stuff-related, but one of my friends also talks about her sleep training regimen for her 4 month old. It sounds so structured and over-the-top to me, and involves a little bit of the "cry it out" philosophy that I do not want to do. Is there anything wrong with just letting your baby sleep when s/he wants to and not ignoring him/her when s/he clearly doesn't want to go to sleep? Obviously at some point we will need to introduce more structure, but 4 months old seems way too early for me. Also, my husband will be a SAHP, so we feel that we'll have a little more flexibility to deal with difficult sleep patterns.

Those questions probably give you a good sense of the type of parents my husband and I want to be, so given that, is there any other advice you'd give us?
« Last Edit: November 24, 2015, 12:30:04 PM by Gen Y Finance Journey »

Gin1984

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2015, 12:42:11 PM »
1) I find the infant car seats to be safer (I once had research articles on this but it was over 3 years ago so it may have changed).
2)We had a rocker and her bassinet which was in the pack n play.  That is it.
3) I made DH go buy me a nursing pillow while I was in the hospital (off craigslist) because it made such a difference on my back.  And yes, if you nurse only the medical recommendation was to add vitamin D drops.
4) Do what feels right to you, but honestly I think it is too early to decide this.

MsFrugalista

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2015, 12:48:20 PM »
Here is a thread on a similar topic that may be helpful to you:
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/mini-money-mustaches/getting-baby-stuff-the-mustachian-way/

thd7t

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2015, 12:51:08 PM »
My friends who have had babies recently like to inform me that we will need "everything" in 5 months when we have our baby. We'll be first time parents, so we have no idea, but my husband and I both favor a more minimalistic approach in theory. What do we REALLY need? A few specific questions:

1) There are both convertible car seats and convertible strollers that can take your child from infancy to toddlerhood, but the convertible strollers include an infant car seat that latches onto the top of a toddler stroller and also serves as a carrier, making it seem excessive to get both products. My friends seem to favor the convertible stroller that allows them to move the baby from car to stroller without disrupting him. My gut thinking was to get a convertible car seat (because it seems simpler to me to just leave the car seat in the car), use a sling/carrier exclusively for the first several months, and then a stroller like this one http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Infant-Convenience-Stroller-Double/dp/B00OZJ6MQI from then on. Thoughts?

2) How many contraptions do we need for the baby to sleep in around the house? Again, my friends tell me they have something like 5 different products their baby can sleep in in various locations around their house. They've got a bedside bassinet, a crib, a carrier (the same one that attaches to their stroller?), a play pen with a bassinet attached, a vibrating chair, and so on. We're planning on side-carring a crib to our bed for a while and then moving the crib into the nursery when we're ready. We do have dogs, so a safe place to put the baby down for a nap is important. What do you recommend?

3) Nursing gear. I know the hospital will give me a pump, but my friends have told me those pumps are just not good enough and I should go get the $300 version instead. They also insist I'll need a nursing pillow and will have to give the baby a vitamin D supplement (I'd never heard that one before!). Is any of that necessary?

4) Not stuff-related, but one of my friends also talks about her sleep training regimen for her 4 month old. It sounds so structured and over-the-top to me, and involves a little bit of the "cry it out" philosophy that I do not want to do. Is there anything wrong with just letting your baby sleep when s/he wants to and not ignoring him/her when s/he clearly doesn't want to go to sleep? Obviously at some point we will need to introduce more structure, but 4 months old seems way too early for me. Also, my husband will be a SAHP, so we feel that we'll have a little more flexibility to deal with difficult sleep patterns.

Those questions probably give you a good sense of the type of parents my husband and I want to be, so given that, is there any other advice you'd give us?

Regarding your overall question, you don't need "everything" right away.  You'll still be able to get things you need after the baby comes.  Start with things you know that you'll need.  Keep it simple.  On the specific questions:

1) I would avoid the convertible stroller.  Seems like overkill.  I did like having a car seat that was detachable from the car, but would be fine without it.  I vote convertible seat.

2) Sounds like your friend has some good hand-me-downs!  I actually recommend getting second hand sleeping things, because different babies like different things.  We were given a vibrating chair that was a life saver when our first child was a newborn, but he wouldn't sleep in a swing.  Other people's kids only settled down in swings.  I liked the vibrating chair, because it was tiny and I could carry it and the baby at the same time (not with baby in it), so we just had that and a crib.  Worked great.

3) I wouldn't buy a $300 breast pump until after you've tried the one the hospital gives you.  Individuals have different results with different equipment.  You just can't know.

4) 4 months is pretty early for sleep training, but it's really whatever works.  You shouldn't try to think about that, yet.  The first few months are a really long time.  We found that structure and crying it out a bit was worth it, but this is really a personal choice and you might not make the same decision now that you will later.  You have nearly a year before you need to deal with this.  Don't let it worry you, now.

catccc

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2015, 12:53:50 PM »
you "really need" very little.  I think rather than buying/registering for stuff you should prepare for a baby by deciding the kinds of things that are important to you as new parents.  For instance, if breastfeeding is important to you, start going to LLL meetings now.  (Not saying you are not doing that, but just generally speaking I see new parents that think a spending spree is the best way to prepare for a baby...)

Carseat is obviously a must if you have a car, but you don't need the infant bucket kind that attaches to a stroller.  They are not "safer" or less safe, provided they are properly used.  I didn't have one, and it was fine.  It's nice to have either a carrier (not a baby bjorn crotch dangler, one that allows proper positioning) or a stroller.  I would say just get a carrier, and when the kid is older you can just get an umbrella stroller for $15-$20. 

You will need just one safe place for the baby to sleep, if you are not planning on co-sleeping. 

Nursing stuff- you basically just need breasts.  You don't need a special pillow, special stool.  A good bit of BF knowledge is more helpful.  My kids did not need vitamin d supplements, and I exclusively nursed.  ("Did not need" as in "they were tested and D levels were fine," not "I'm rejecting this because I just think they are fine.)  There is no need to administer the supplement prophylactically, especially if you are eating well and you are getting the D you need.  Newer research is consistent with this, but recommendations take time to change, depending on your dr.  FWIW, too much vitamin D can result in calcium build up that can cause kidney problems, poor appetite, nausea/vomiting.

I do recommend a double pump since you are going back to work, but if the hospital provides one, that could be sufficient.

Sleeping.  Babies can be tough, but you can parent them in a way that makes you comfortable.  that said, I'm not a proponent of early sleep training.  I don't think you can go wrong following your babies cues for the most part.

jeromedawg

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2015, 01:00:55 PM »
I don't think you need much. But once you start thinking about it the list can get long. Fortunately, we got a lot of hand-me-downs from people but our house is just as cluttered!

We also got some stuff from the shower.

I'd say the essentials for us have been:

- stroller w/ infant car seat and base (commonly known as "travel systems" - the one we have is the Aire 3 by Graco. It's fine but I'm sure there are plenty of others that are great too)
- a couple pack n play cosleeper cribs (one outside in the living room and one in our bedroom). one of them has a changing table attachment that is super-handy
- one of those plastic baby bathtubs for bath time
- one of those playmat/playgyms with hanging toys (our son loves this and will fall asleep on it often)
- boppy/nursing pillows are a *huge* help for nursing mothers. or even if you're not nursing and are bottle feeding, it just makes things more comfortable
- pumps: check with your insurance as they typically will provide a pump for you (Medela is generally the top of the list in terms of quality). We have a couple pumps - one is a Medela we're borrowing from a friend and the other is a crappy one my insurance provided because the medical group we're under is the cheapest in the world haha (it works but I think it's going to break soon - we're on the second pump since the first one broke... brand is Nature's Bond - stay away from it).

Stuff we have that we don't really use a whole lot:
- Baby bjorn - this is probably useful depending on the baby and the type of person you are. We just find it a hassle and inconvenience to put on most of the time.
- Bouncer chair - this is useful sometimes when he's fussy. We'll put him in it and he can tug at the hanging toys on it while we're eating dinner. He doesn't last too long in this.
- Swing - he actually liked this a lot until it broke haha. Many people recommend swings. I think it can help with calming them but they do take up space and I don't believe are a huge necessity. Again, depends on your kid and YMMV.
- Rock n Play - this was helpful earlier on but then we read mixed things about how it can mess up the baby's back or gets them into awkward sleeping positions, etc. Whatever, I say do what works for you. We transitioned him out of it and back into the cosleeper but it did seem to work OK when we had it. Our baby isn't the best sleeper so I don't think any contraption will 100% do the trick.

I don't know, a lot of these "extraneous" things just end up being clutter IMHO. You only really need a stroller and infant carrier, changing mat/area, a couple places for the kid to sleep perhaps, a pump, tons of burp cloths, tons of diapers, and a good amount of clothes. Hopefully most of these things can be pass-me-downs if you're fortunate enough hahaha.

As far as cry it out, I think the consensus I've been hearing/reading around is that you don't want to let newborns cry it out. I think that may go up until 6 months or so. Possibly earlier for some. "Letting your baby sleep when they want to" is a rare thing in my experience. At least from what we've seen, we have to put him down most of the time and he fights it about 50% of the time. If we feed him well enough, he may just knock out, but it's rare. Getting him to sleep well has been the toughest challenge for us, but again YMMV.

You guys will be fine - be prepared to have a really tough time these first few months, but you'll get through it. One day at a time. We're still getting through it and it has been really hard for us and especially my wife. Our son is currently allergic to wheat, dairy, soy, and nuts and struggled with reflux earlier on so we have put him on Ranitidine. My wife is on a pretty tight elimination diet and has been avoiding all kinds of foods for a long time. Not saying you'll go through this as it seems pretty rare, but just brace yourselves for these kinds of things... and also "accidents" (like projectile vomit, poo and pee) too haha. It's tiring and hard but a lot of fun.

Gen Y Finance Journey

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2015, 01:14:50 PM »
Thanks for the advice and links to related threads, all very helpful! Sounds like I'm getting a jump start on the worrying :)

I keep thinking I can create some master plan for having just enough stuff, but nothing I don't need, but I guess that's probably naive thinking.

jeromedawg

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2015, 01:22:02 PM »
Thanks for the advice and links to related threads, all very helpful! Sounds like I'm getting a jump start on the worrying :)

I keep thinking I can create some master plan for having just enough stuff, but nothing I don't need, but I guess that's probably naive thinking.

You can probably count on getting stuff you thought you "needed" and ended up not needing or using at all (or maybe once haha). I would avoid buying and see how much of that stuff you can get as pass-me-downs (or as gifts via baby shower etc) though, so at least you'll know you didn't spend anything on it. Then when you find you didn't need it just pass it on to the next person or donate. The issue with baby stuff for a lot of people ends up being more about the clutter it produces vs the money spent on it. You should be spending most of your money on doc visits, formula (if needed), and diapers if anything.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2015, 01:35:20 PM by jplee3 »

ysette9

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2015, 01:28:17 PM »
A few thoughts from someone with a now-1.5 year old:

  • Convertible car seat is where it's at. I chose the physically smallest one on the market (Corroco Cumbi) and have been happy. Car seat are not designed to be ergonomically good places for babies to sleep - they are designed to keep infants safe in a car crash. Don't let your baby hang around for hours sleeping in one.
  • If you have to pump, a double pump is the way to go. The one I got from the hospital worked fine for me. These things are extremely personal and you won't have any idea what will work or not until you are in the thick of it, so definitely don't spend the money now.
  • I really, really got a lot of great use out of the Boppy nursing pillow. Really really really.....
  • A baby wrap like the Boba, Moby, Rhapsody was an absolute GOD SEND to us for the first year. You don't need a stroller for at least the first six months and the wrap is better for the baby, more comfortable and versatile for you, and way easier to carry around.
  • You need diapers. Pampers are my personal favorite.

Otherwise, keep your baby warm, dry, clean, and you'll be fine. Everything else is just personal preference, noise, showing off, or a unique situation you may find yourself in. Really, babies need very little. Good luck and congratulations.

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2015, 01:54:26 PM »
My friends who have had babies recently like to inform me that we will need "everything" in 5 months when we have our baby. What?!  Are these all first-time parents?    I've got 4 kids, and we had SO.MUCH.CRAP. for the first, and whittled that down through the next two until we had next to nothing for the youngest.  I'm a minimalist at heart, and babies don't need much more than loving arms, fed on demand, a safe sleeping space... We'll be first time parents, so we have no idea, but my husband and I both favor a more minimalistic approach in theory. What do we REALLY need? A few specific questions:

1) There are both convertible car seats and convertible strollers that can take your child from infancy to toddlerhood, but the convertible strollers include an infant car seat that latches onto the top of a toddler stroller and also serves as a carrier, making it seem excessive to get both products. My friends seem to favor the convertible stroller that allows them to move the baby from car to stroller without disrupting him. My gut thinking was to get a convertible car seat (because it seems simpler to me to just leave the car seat in the car), use a sling/carrier exclusively for the first several months, and then a stroller like this one http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Infant-Convenience-Stroller-Double/dp/B00OZJ6MQI from then on. Thoughts?

I'm a fan of the infant bucket seats for the first few months, but once baby is over 15# or so, those suckers are too heavy to be lugging around.  If you can get a safe hand-me-down from a friend so that you can be sure it's been gently used and never in an accident, I'd jump on that.  Then spring for a quality, comfy convertible carseat that will last until babe is old/big enough for a booster.  I would NOT get a stroller/carseat combo, and instead try out and choose a stroller that will suit your lifestyle and how you'll use it.  City dweller?  Trail runner?  Test drive several models, and have both parents "drive" -- we're both tall, so super-high handlebar height was important to us, along with beefy wheels for dirt trails, and a decent basket for lugging snacks for long hikes.

2) How many contraptions do we need for the baby to sleep in around the house? Again, my friends tell me they have something like 5 different products their baby can sleep in in various locations around their house. They've got a bedside bassinet, a crib, a carrier (the same one that attaches to their stroller?), a play pen with a bassinet attached, a vibrating chair, and so on. We're planning on side-carring a crib to our bed for a while and then moving the crib into the nursery when we're ready. We do have dogs, so a safe place to put the baby down for a nap is important. What do you recommend?

I like a bouncy vibrating seat.  They're portable, cush, and readily available at secondhand and thrift stores.  We coslept with all of our babies, and then moved them into a crib around 6-8 months.  My babies napped in my bed until they were rolling around, I just positioned pillows along the edges when they were immobile, just in case.  I had a swing for 3 out of 4, and it was useful for naps for a few months.  (Again, get it second[3rd/4th]hand!  They're typically barely, gently used.)  The number one thing I recommend, gear-wise, is baby carriers.  A stretchy wrap like a Moby for the first 4-6 months, and then a structured carrier like a Tula will last to 3+ years.  www.tulababycarriers.com It is so nice to simply put a fussy, teething infant or whiny, clingy toddler up on your front or back so you can still have your hands free.

3) Nursing gear. I know the hospital will give me a pump, but my friends have told me those pumps are just not good enough and I should go get the $300 version instead. They also insist I'll need a nursing pillow and will have to give the baby a vitamin D supplement (I'd never heard that one before!). Is any of that necessary?

A nice double electric pump like a Medela is good to have, if you'll be working and want to continue to breastfeed after your maternity leave.  I got one free through insurance, so check to see if yours will cover one. A cheap manual pump will do the job for occasional bottles.  A nursing pillow like a boppy is nice to have, regular pillows will suffice in a pinch.  Good quality nursing bras and disposable lansinoh nursing pads were musts for me.  I've never given my babies vitamin D supplements, but I take high vitamin D and do give them chewables once they're old enough...

4) Not stuff-related, but one of my friends also talks about her sleep training regimen for her 4 month old. It sounds so structured and over-the-top to me, and involves a little bit of the "cry it out" philosophy that I do not want to do. Is there anything wrong with just letting your baby sleep when s/he wants to and not ignoring him/her when s/he clearly doesn't want to go to sleep? Obviously at some point we will need to introduce more structure, but 4 months old seems way too early for me. Also, my husband will be a SAHP, so we feel that we'll have a little more flexibility to deal with difficult sleep patterns.

We gently sleep trained our babies once they were around 6-8 months and we moved them into a crib in their own/shared with bigger siblings room.  You have lots of time to decide what you'll do when that time comes!  The first few months are survival.  Sleep when the baby sleeps, and get into a rhythm of wake-eat-play-sleep, and you'll figure it all out. :)

Those questions probably give you a good sense of the type of parents my husband and I want to be, so given that, is there any other advice you'd give us?

I would take a wait and see approach.  Buy secondhand for as much as possible -- clothing & baby gear is dime a dozen and usually gently, lightly used for such a short time.  Some things are incredibly useful for a very brief period, and if you get them used, you can typically sell them later at the same price.  I've had easy babies who happily slept anywhere, and a colicky infant who barely slept anywhere for his first six months, despite using all of the tricks I'd learned from his three older siblings... Oy!  Roll with the punches and trust yourself!  And Congratulations!

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2015, 02:20:19 PM »
My oldest is two and my second is on the way, so here are my thoughts as I consider what I feel I "need"/want for round two:

1. A convertible car seat and a comfortable baby wearing set-up is perfectly sufficient. You don't need a stroller at all if you're happy with baby in a wrap or carrier--I'd try that first and then get a stroller when and if you feel like you need it. I have only ever used a stroller for running or walking around my neighborhood, and I used no stroller at all for the first four months even though a friend lent me one of those swanky travel systems.

2. I would start with one place you can safely and comfortably put the baby down that is easy to move around your house. I specifically recommend whichever one is easiest to get as a hand-me-down ;-).

3. I borrowed a nursing pillow from a friend with my first, and I've since had to return it.  It's one of the only things I've purchased for #2. It's certainly possible to breastfeed without one, though.  If you're having your baby at a hospital, they may have nursing pillows you can try while you're there, and you can always buy one after you decide what's most comfortable for you. My vitamin D levels aren't great, so I'm taking a supplement for myself and may give one to my baby as well--last time I got a free sample of the drops from my pediatrician that lasted quite a while. I work full time, never had a fancy $300 pump, and lived to tell the tale. Start with the free one and upgrade later if you find that you need to.

4. The only advice I have for you about how your baby sleeps is that you should mentally prepare for the fact that around 50% of people will be sure you're doing everything wrong. Prepare for baby's birth by practicing your "Gee, really, is that what you think?  Thanks for sharing.  Now I will continue to do whatever I want" face.

Having a newborn is wonderful and bewildering and challenging. There are a lot of things marketed to new parents because you'll be good and bewildered. You don't *need* any of them at all, and by the time your baby is here, all those friends you have that are telling you about the newborn stuff you need will be ready to give you hand-me-downs--most of the stuff has a very limited window of time in which it is useful.

FLBiker

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2015, 03:02:00 PM »
We've got a 7 month old.

1. We went with an infant car seat that we got free from the hospital, then bought a convertible.  Because our infant car seat was free, it was not part of one of those carrier / stroller systems.  Personally, I really like this -- our daughter spent much less time strapped into a seat than many of her counterparts, and she's pretty advanced physically (pulling up to standing, etc.) which I imagine could be related.  Wearing babies (ring sling, Ergo, etc.) is pretty great.  We use a stroller for long napping walks, but that's about it.  Wearing is way more convenient.

2. You definitely don't need as many as most people have.  Initially, we mainly used a bassinet in our room, but we also had a second bassinet as part of a pack and play.  One is enough, but it's nice being able to put the baby down somewhere else in the house (depending on your house -- in an apartment, the bassinet would absolutely be enough).  Once DD could pull herself up, we swapped the bassinet for a pack and play.

3. We got a great double pump through health insurance for free.  My wife also got a couple secondhand boppies, which she used a lot at first and still sometimes uses.  We didn't need (or even hear about) vitamin D supplements.  I believed they checked iron at some point, but that's it.  The main thing (based on my observations) that you need for breast feeding is perseverance.  For us, it wasn't as easy as it could have been.

4. For us, the idea of sleep training an infant was not appealing.  I remember reading something from an anthropological POV about how no mammal would put an offspring that couldn't move or feed itself off in a room by itself and that resonated with me.  Our DD sleeps in our room, and sometimes (gasp!) in our bed.  It's great.  My wife is a SAHM until Jan 2017, so that makes it easier.  I firmly believe that the whole sleep training thing is symptomatic of a culture that doesn't give substantial parental leave.  Cultivating "independence" in an organism that can't move or feed itself doesn't make sense to me.


Tjat

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2015, 03:09:28 PM »
I did all this research 6 months ago and am convinced my opinions are right :)


1) There are both convertible car seats and convertible strollers that can take your child from infancy to toddlerhood, but the convertible strollers include an infant car seat that latches onto the top of a toddler stroller and also serves as a carrier, making it seem excessive to get both products. My friends seem to favor the convertible stroller that allows them to move the baby from car to stroller without disrupting him. My gut thinking was to get a convertible car seat (because it seems simpler to me to just leave the car seat in the car), use a sling/carrier exclusively for the first several months, and then a stroller like this one http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Infant-Convenience-Stroller-Double/dp/B00OZJ6MQI from then on. Thoughts?

100% in favor of the infant car seat that sits in the stroller and car. We have the Britax system. It's super easy and the benefit of being able to transfer the baby without waking them is HUGE. Also, I wouldn't trust an infant in a convertible carseat. I think those are rated more for toddlers and up, (ie they have to hold their head up)

Quote
2) How many contraptions do we need for the baby to sleep in around the house? Again, my friends tell me they have something like 5 different products their baby can sleep in in various locations around their house. They've got a bedside bassinet, a crib, a carrier (the same one that attaches to their stroller?), a play pen with a bassinet attached, a vibrating chair, and so on. We're planning on side-carring a crib to our bed for a while and then moving the crib into the nursery when we're ready. We do have dogs, so a safe place to put the baby down for a nap is important. What do you recommend?

3-4 - Crib, Pack 'N Play for when you travel, and a bouncer for various locations around the house. In the early nights, they can sleep in the pack N Play in your room. We also had a bassinett for like $70 which is fine, but we moved ours to her own room @ 3 weeks where she slept in her crib. I would recomend against "Rock N Play Sleepers." Kids sleep in them, but they don't allow for flat sleeping as recommended by the American Pediatrics and kids can get the flat head and need a helmet if their head is always in the same position

Quote
3) Nursing gear. I know the hospital will give me a pump, but my friends have told me those pumps are just not good enough and I should go get the $300 version instead. They also insist I'll need a nursing pillow and will have to give the baby a vitamin D supplement (I'd never heard that one before!). Is any of that necessary?

Insurance one is fine and retails for $300 anyways... A boppy (u-shaped nursing pillow) is very helpful - and comfy for you and baby. Vitamin D is also a big recommendation as it's not found in breastmilk (or at least not enough). If you formula feed, you don't need a separate supplement.

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4) Not stuff-related, but one of my friends also talks about her sleep training regimen for her 4 month old. It sounds so structured and over-the-top to me, and involves a little bit of the "cry it out" philosophy that I do not want to do. Is there anything wrong with just letting your baby sleep when s/he wants to and not ignoring him/her when s/he clearly doesn't want to go to sleep? Obviously at some point we will need to introduce more structure, but 4 months old seems way too early for me. Also, my husband will be a SAHP, so we feel that we'll have a little more flexibility to deal with difficult sleep patterns.

Those questions probably give you a good sense of the type of parents my husband and I want to be, so given that, is there any other advice you'd give us?

Regarding sleep schedule. Our baby slept through the night from day 1, so we're lucky yes, but I believe the schedule helps. We put ours to bed at 7 after a bottle. Wake her up at 930 for another bottle. And really stick to the routine. We do not "cry it out", but instead pick her up if she cries and as soon as she is quiet, put her down. Early on, we rocked her to sleep and transferred her to the crib, but this is a bad habit once they get older.

Only other recommendation is to not be a shut-in. The kid will cry in the car, that doesn't mean stay home and be miserable. After a month or so, take him/her out to the mall to walk around. Don't let strangers touch her. From the simple fact you are asking these questions, I think you'll be fine. Good luck and enjoy

TrMama

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2015, 03:31:29 PM »
I wouldn't specifically plan to either sleep train or not sleep train. I would however be open to the idea of both.

I was similar to many of the "let baby be the guide" PPs when my oldest was born. I assumed she'd just start sleeping through the night when she was developmentally ready. Turns out that's only half true. It is very possible for you to "anti-sleep train" your baby. As in, you can do things that make it really, really hard for her to start sleeping through the night and instill all kinds of bad habits that take forever to undo.

My advice to all expectant parents is to read a variety of books (written from a variety of viewpoints) on baby sleep. Start at the library and read a bunch of the books in the baby sleep section. These books are all written for sleep-deprived new parents and can be easily digested in a couple hours each. Then, you'll have a big bag of tricks to pull from when you're in the weeds at 3am.

Since you're in CA, I can't imagine you'd need vit D drops. Those are more for northern babies whose skin doesn't see the sun for 6 months of the year. I gave them to my kids (they're 7 and 9 now) but we live in Canada.

starbuck

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2015, 03:42:33 PM »
So, I had my first baby 2 weeks ago, and here's my two cents. We tend towards minimalism and will likely move some time next year, and didn't want to acquire loads of crap. Also, the baby does not give a shit.

We skipped the stroller (this really bewildered the grandmothers) but the kid is quite portable without it. We have an infant carseat, and when we run errands or take him somewhere, it's worked nicely. When we know we'll be walking around with him, we've used a Moby wrap. We were also given a bjorn-style carrier, but he doesn't weigh enough yet for it.

We somehow ended up with a lot of sleeping places. We have a bassinet in our bedroom on the 2nd floor, the crib in the nursery (haven't used yet), a moses basket for the 1st floor, and a swing for the 1st floor. In hindsight, I would skip the bassinet and just use the moses basket. It's lightweight enough to move between floors. Or hell, a dresser drawer/laundry basket with a DIY mattress fitted for it.

My kid is still awful at breastfeeding, so I've already gotten a lot of use out of a double electric pump. I rented a hospital-grade pump for a week while I waited for my insurance company to mail me one (which retails for about $200.) Both were fine. Because breastfeeding has been a struggle, I have barely used the boppy pillow that I bought. But I have gotten a lot of use out of the free baby bottle I got when I bought maternity clothes.

We had a baby shower, but didn't register for anything and encouraged people to skip the gifts. We were gifted lots of books, some clothes, and a handful of gift cards. My spouse and I make great salaries, and the thought of having to pick out dozens of things for people to buy us was depressing and overwhelming, so we skipped it. It was awesome. I also have no qualms about returning gifts. Someone bought us a very very nice stroller blanket that we would never ever use, but they were practical enough to give a gift receipt so back to the store it went. (And now I have a $70 gift card to PB kids languishing in a drawer.)

If you go to www.consignmentmommies.com you can find large consignment sales in your area. This is basically where we got everything, and it is so so cheap. Highly recommended, especially for clothing and items like sleep sacks and swaddles and carriers.

Our general approach has been to just buy/acquire/DIY things as we need them. We went to a kids consignment sale when he was a week old because we didn't have enough sleepwear that was warm enough. Just bought a thing of diaper rash cream today. Stay away from the internet lists of items/quantities you'll need - they are VERY high. My mom told me that we could never have enough onesies - I totally disagree and the ones she bought are sitting in the car waiting to be returned to the store because the dresser drawer of clothing we have is plenty. So far, we're pretty good at just making it work. We use a towel for a changing pad in the nursery, a normal towel to dry him off after a bath, etc. For our first dr appt with the pediatrician on Day 3 of Life, I realized we needed a diaper bag, so I pulled out a messenger bag from the closet and put it to use. Works fine.

Some unsolicited tips while it's all fresh in my brain: The only book I read about pregnancy was 'Expecting Better' by Emily Oster. I'd recommend the book 'The Birth Partner' for your husband. We both read the book 'Equally Shared Parenting' - which features MMM before he became MMM! If you workout, keep it up. A lot of women told me how worried they were about working out while pregnant; my OB said it was the best thing I could do.

tldr: Start with the minimum (sleeping/feeding/diapering), and then just buy shit as you need it.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2015, 04:09:33 PM »
regarding the breast pump - get the one from the insurance but it can totally be worth it to try the hospital grade pumps if mom needs to do alot of pumping (ex: baby can't/struggles to nurse effectively, mom has low supply and wants to boost it, mom is going back to work). you don't need to buy one but they can be rented. i rent a medela symphony from the hospital i delivered at for 60 bucks a month, and plan on renting for 2 months total (using it to boost supply). i've found i get about a 1/2 ounce more out of the more powerful pump than the smaller portable one, and moms without supply issues often find they can cut a solid 10-15 minutes off their pumping time by using the more powerful pump. shop around and inquire at your hospital about rentals.

i love the boppy btw - i dont really use it much for nursing (weirdly i'm more comfortable holding the baby without support) but its awesome to use for propping the baby up after eating to reduce reflux, especially since my little one needs to be upright for a solid half hour after eating to reduce her spit up episodes.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2015, 04:11:31 PM by little_brown_dog »

arebelspy

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Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2015, 04:21:41 PM »
Posting to follow.  I was planning on searching for a thread like this, and starting one if I couldn't find one, so thanks for saving me the trouble!  :)

Our first one is due at the end of January. 

One catch: we don't have a home, we are currently roaming the world.  So everything we own fits in a backpack on our back.

We may have to get an extra piece of luggage after the baby, but I'm hoping not.

We're planning to cloth diaper and eventually (after a few months) buy one of those giraffes.

That's about all I know, but the wife has a list of items going like swaddling stuff and a breast pump and things like that. I'll try to post later, it will be interesting to compare with this thread and see if we missed anything. :)
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TrMama

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2015, 05:33:38 PM »
Posting to follow.  I was planning on searching for a thread like this, and starting one if I couldn't find one, so thanks for saving me the trouble!  :)

Our first one is due at the end of January. 

One catch: we don't have a home, we are currently roaming the world.  So everything we own fits in a backpack on our back.

We may have to get an extra piece of luggage after the baby, but I'm hoping not.

We're planning to cloth diaper and eventually (after a few months) buy one of those giraffes.

That's about all I know, but the wife has a list of items going like swaddling stuff and a breast pump and things like that. I'll try to post later, it will be interesting to compare with this thread and see if we missed anything. :)

In your case especially, skip the breast pump. They are horrid, awful devices and your wife has no need to leave the baby and go back to work. I quit work just before my 2nd was born and never used one. Plus, if you skip the pump, you can also skip bottles.

bogart

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2015, 08:45:38 PM »
I'm years out from this, but my opinion/recollection is that there is a small list of things you really should have before the baby arrives to get you through the first week, and that anything else you need you can get after that.  Also that there are things people will swear to you that you MUST HAVE that you will never use, and things they will swear that you will NEVER USE that you will find you must have.  This is an advantage (IMHO) to focusing on the "really need for week 1" approach as you can always get most of the things you find you MUST HAVE later (this is actually why the internet was invented %) ). 
Here's what I can recall of the week 1 list:
diapers; safe place for baby to sleep -- crib, basinette, pack-n-play, your choice -- plus appropriate sheets; some wipes; seasonally appropriate onesies; lots of calorie-rich, easy-to-grab food for mom, especially if nursing; some washcloths (or similar, to wipe up spit-up, etc.); receiving-type blankets (generally useful, and good for swaddling); carseat

I personally found a breast pump to be an ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE right from the beginning because I had low supply problems (and wanted to/was advised to use it to create demand and improve supply), and conversely I had friends who found it to be an ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE right from the beginning because they had oversupply problems and found it helpful to relieve some pressure/discomfort prior to nursing.  Note that this exactly contradicts what TRMama found.  See what I mean?  Especially now that they are generally covered by insurance, might be OK to wait.

I was a huge fan of the pop-into-base carseat.  Sure, babies shouldn't sleep in carseats for long periods on a regular basis, but it sure was nice not having to wake the sleeping baby if I needed to run into the grocery store.

A month or so into motherhood, I found I had to have a battery-powered mobile that could be attached to the crib and would run for 15 minutes:  it meant the difference between being able to shower (while baby was peaceful and content) and ... not.  Go, Amazon!

I also found I couldn't stand long-legged onesies that snap, and I switched quickly to zip-up onesies.  For short-sleeved/legged ones, I got ones that do not have to be pulled on over the baby's head.  SO much easier.

You (too) will develop strong opinions about what works best and what you really need -- until you do, keep your supplies minimal.  Except, accept hand-me-downs of course, and of course, pass them along promptly if you find they're not right for you. 

jeromedawg

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2015, 10:12:19 PM »

4. The only advice I have for you about how your baby sleeps is that you should mentally prepare for the fact that around 50% of people will be sure you're doing everything wrong. Prepare for baby's birth by practicing your "Gee, really, is that what you think?  Thanks for sharing.  Now I will continue to do whatever I want" face.

Having a newborn is wonderful and bewildering and challenging. There are a lot of things marketed to new parents because you'll be good and bewildered. You don't *need* any of them at all, and by the time your baby is here, all those friends you have that are telling you about the newborn stuff you need will be ready to give you hand-me-downs--most of the stuff has a very limited window of time in which it is useful.

This - there's going to be a ton of advice floating around from tons of people (including us). Everyone has their own way of doing stuff and figuring things out, and you'll figure things out too. Some people just figure things out on the fly and others pre-plan like crazy in advance but some things you just can't plan for. The most important advice I have is just to "roll with the punches" (haha like YNAB) and to take things one step at a time. More than likely there are going to be things that will just plain frustrate you and getting more advice will just overwhelm you. Sometimes it's best just to take a step back and breathe.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2015, 10:14:36 PM by jplee3 »

jac941

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2015, 11:55:49 PM »
I'm a "minimalist" parent. Top recommdation is to borrow or buy used whenever possible. To your specific questions:

1. Borrow an infant bucket seat for 2 months and buy a convertible. My 1st kid went straight into the convertible from birth. My second kid was smaller and needed the bucket because the convertible seat was too big. The "fits 5 lbs" is misleading - the baby has to be long enough that the straps are below the shoulders, and I found that that's 21" minimum in the bigger convertible seats that I tried which is a pretty long newborn. Slings are great if your baby tolerates them.

2. If I could do it all over again, I would only get a Pack n Play - no crib. My son never liked the crib but happily slept in the cheaper more versatile and portable pack n play until he was 3. If you have a screamer, a vibrating bouncy chair or a swing might help you maintain sanity. Either can be had for free on Craigslist.

3. A nursing pillow will save your back. Borrow one. It's worth it. Nursing bra and nursing shirts are extremely useful. Lanolin - boy did I need lanolin. Wait on the pump until after the birth. Vitamin D is probably yes, but you won't need it right away.

4. Don't make any decisions on sleep or judge anyone else's sleep management philosophy until you haven't slept more than 2 continuous hours in 4 months ;-)

My other must-haves - diapers (I used cloth, but any will do) and footed pajamas with zippers (not snaps) which is the only type of clothing my 2nd kid wore until she was 3-4 months old.

Congrats and good luck!


CanuckExpat

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2015, 12:34:41 AM »

CanuckExpat

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2015, 12:41:56 AM »
2) How many contraptions do we need for the baby to sleep in around the house? Again, my friends tell me they have something like 5 different products their baby can sleep in in various locations around their house. They've got a bedside bassinet, a crib, a carrier (the same one that attaches to their stroller?), a play pen with a bassinet attached, a vibrating chair, and so on. We're planning on side-carring a crib to our bed for a while and then moving the crib into the nursery when we're ready. We do have dogs, so a safe place to put the baby down for a nap is important. What do you recommend?

We started with a fold able cosleeper, something like this (great for travel), then graduated to a bassinet in our room when he was bigger. The bassinet was easy enough to wheel to other parts of the house for naps (we live in a small bungalow). When he outgrew the bassinet we moved him to his room and eschewed a crib, we went for a Montessori Style Floor Bed:
"Now, you can buy expensive floor bed frames; you can also do a cheap, D-I-Y version by simply laying a mattress directly on the floor. Both work!"
Guess which one we chose and which worked best with the extra foam mattress we conveniently had lying around.

The floor bed really worked well for us, and also doubled as a safe play area for the little one.

meg_shannon

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2015, 12:43:58 AM »
When choosing your carseat consider it's size. You'll want to be able to fit 2-3 carseats in your backseat. Yes, I know this is your first baby and you're not having twins. However, if you go with the convertible seat, this child will still be that seat if you have a second. And, if you have close friends who also have children, you may want to carpool to certain destinations or for preschool in the future. For example, when we lived in central NJ, we often carpooled to the Philly zoo or Camden aquarium - both about 45-60 minutes away. We only have one child, but I've seen my friends with more than one wishing they had originally bought smaller seats. One just had their third, and they had to finally replace the huge first seat they had purchased. Much cheaper then getting a van.

arebelspy

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #24 on: November 25, 2015, 01:15:15 AM »

Posting to follow.  I was planning on searching for a thread like this, and starting one if I couldn't find one, so thanks for saving me the trouble!  :)

Our first one is due at the end of January. 

One catch: we don't have a home, we are currently roaming the world.  So everything we own fits in a backpack on our back.

We may have to get an extra piece of luggage after the baby, but I'm hoping not.

We're planning to cloth diaper and eventually (after a few months) buy one of those giraffes.

That's about all I know, but the wife has a list of items going like swaddling stuff and a breast pump and things like that. I'll try to post later, it will be interesting to compare with this thread and see if we missed anything. :)

In your case especially, skip the breast pump. They are horrid, awful devices and your wife has no need to leave the baby and go back to work. I quit work just before my 2nd was born and never used one. Plus, if you skip the pump, you can also skip bottles.

What do other people think about this?

We won't need it for her going back to work, obviously, but were thinking we might if she just has too much milk or something.

We were planning on getting a manual breast pump.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

markbrynn

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2015, 03:35:58 AM »
Quote
What do other people think about this?

We won't need it for her going back to work, obviously, but were thinking we might if she just has too much milk or something.

We were planning on getting a manual breast pump.

Manual is a pretty good option. My wife wasn't working and used one so she had more flexibility to not only be directly breastfeeding. It's also handy if the mother wants to drink alcohol from time to time (drink alcohol, wait a bit, pump and chuck the milk cocktail, ready to breastfeed again later). Babies are wonderful, but being tethered to the baby (for breastfeeding) so you can't be away for more than 2 hours is tough for a mother, especially if you're breastfeeding for longer.

In terms of easy of use, I'm sure the electric pump is better, but all advice doesn't have to be about what's easiest, especially when $$$ is involved.

markbrynn

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #26 on: November 25, 2015, 03:55:43 AM »
Quote
my friends tell me they have something like 5 different products their baby can sleep in

I find this insane. People are welcome to do what they want with their baby/money, but a baby only needs one place to sleep. Everything else is likely convenience for the parents. Getting a second crib so you don't have to walk upstairs doesn't sound like it fits with the spirit of this community. If your kid has a special knack for crying a lot or not sleeping well, then I could imagine trying a rocker or a swing, but most babies will be just fine with the one bed of whatever type.


Gin1984

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2015, 05:12:11 AM »

Posting to follow.  I was planning on searching for a thread like this, and starting one if I couldn't find one, so thanks for saving me the trouble!  :)

Our first one is due at the end of January. 

One catch: we don't have a home, we are currently roaming the world.  So everything we own fits in a backpack on our back.

We may have to get an extra piece of luggage after the baby, but I'm hoping not.

We're planning to cloth diaper and eventually (after a few months) buy one of those giraffes.

That's about all I know, but the wife has a list of items going like swaddling stuff and a breast pump and things like that. I'll try to post later, it will be interesting to compare with this thread and see if we missed anything. :)

In your case especially, skip the breast pump. They are horrid, awful devices and your wife has no need to leave the baby and go back to work. I quit work just before my 2nd was born and never used one. Plus, if you skip the pump, you can also skip bottles.

What do other people think about this?

We won't need it for her going back to work, obviously, but were thinking we might if she just has too much milk or something.

We were planning on getting a manual breast pump.
I think it depends, it can make life easier.  What if she wants go out without the baby in the future?  A pump can be useful there?  If she has over or undersupply, it can be useful there too.  But do you NEED it, well, you might if the baby refuses to latch (mine did).  But other than that, it is an option that may make your life easier.

Tjat

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2015, 06:32:33 AM »

What do other people think about this?

We won't need it for her going back to work, obviously, but were thinking we might if she just has too much milk or something.

We were planning on getting a manual breast pump.

I would think a pump is necessity if the mother wants to get away for a few hours OR if the father actually wants to be involved in feeding...

With my wife home, I like being able to give our daughter her last two feedings after I get home from work.

argonaut_astronaut

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2015, 07:24:43 AM »
Bare minimum:
  • Carseat - assuming you have a car. Click in base is handy if you live in a place with cold weather.
  • Place to sleep - We used a Moses basket for both the kiddos and then a floor bed. No crib, no pack-n-play, or  baby prisons.
  • Diapers
  • Short sleeve, no leg, un-decorated baby clothing. Has funny shoulders so you can pull it down as well as up.
Nice to have:
  • Baby Carrier  - infant wants to be touching mom non-stop for the first three months. Strap that baby on there so at least your hands are free. I liked the ergo the best because of the padded waist strap that makes it put the weight on the hips like a good backpacking backpack. A lot of them make you carry all that weight from the shoulders/neck which sucks. Beware the position of the legs/hips, baby should be in frog position more often than not (looking at you bjorn).
  • Dangly/rattley/shiny thing to place above baby on said blankets
  • Some kind of bouncy/moving chair you can strap them into.
  • Some kind of dirty diaper containment device. We cloth diapered so we opted for a pair washable waterproof bags, but if you are hucking the things then a small  garbage can would work (so you can empty frequently)
  • Random shit for the baby to chew on.

Fuck the rest of it.
  • Fuck blankets. Not sure why, but we got about fifty blankets for each kid. Tiny little blankets even though everyone tells you that you will murder your sleeping child with those blankets.
  • Fuck $50 pillows. No special boppies, pillows, whatever, never got used. Roll up some of the spare 48 blankets you got or just use a fucking pillow.
  • Fuck the bumbo chair. Awkward as shit and the little tray pinch trap sucks to put on too. Why are there straps on that thing? The kid isn't getting out on her own. I just about have to grease the kids legs just to get them in there and then use a foot on the thing to get her out.
  • Fuck high chairs. These things are like 25 sqft of plastic with about as many adjustments as the apollo capsule. You don't need a high chair, table clamp, plastic monstrosity. Use the boob then use a lap. It goes everywhere with you. We got a chair that you can move the seat to various levels that the eldest uses at the table. We use it as a stool for standing in the kitchen as well.
  • Fuck the tiny hats, socks, and shoes. They never stay on and irritate the baby. Use one of those murder blankets if they get chilly.
  • Fuck pacifiers. You have to train the kid to use it and then they freak every time it falls out. Then they develop a preference for one of the fifty you tried and then when it is dirty or lost they freak the fuck out.
  • Fuck wall decorations. The first three months the tiny human can only focus on objects up to a foot away. Don't worry that you didn't get that shitty sports/ballerina themed decorative wallpaper banding put up, or the classical master works in the nursery. Kid can't see it and doesn't care because mom is the only thing they care about.

80Westy

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2015, 08:27:22 AM »
+1 to the advice to keep it simple.

1.  Don't get some ridiculous cutesy diaper bag / contraption kit.  Just throw diapers, pins, diaper covers in a decent day pack which you probably already have.  If you don't, get one.  It can be used for years after diapers are over. You may even send your kid to school with that pack in a few years.  "Diaper bags" are silly.

2.  People who tell you how much harder cloth diapers are typically are those who used disposables.  Cloth is easy, just wash/rinse out in toilet or washtub immediately after use, throw into garbage bag, wash in normal washer when you have a load or need more. 

3.  Strollers suck.  Unwieldy, heavy, can't manuever, can't see kid, etc.  We used it once, never again.  Some type of body carrier is better, hands-free, baby is close, etc.

.  We waited 2 weeks to give the baby pumped milk in a bottle.  Baby wouldn't take it, already used to the real thing.  I would try to introduce a little bottled milk as soon as you can so it seems normal to kid.

Gin1984

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #31 on: November 25, 2015, 08:34:36 AM »
+1 to the advice to keep it simple.

1.  Don't get some ridiculous cutesy diaper bag / contraption kit.  Just throw diapers, pins, diaper covers in a decent day pack which you probably already have.  If you don't, get one.  It can be used for years after diapers are over. You may even send your kid to school with that pack in a few years.  "Diaper bags" are silly.

2.  People who tell you how much harder cloth diapers are typically are those who used disposables.  Cloth is easy, just wash/rinse out in toilet or washtub immediately after use, throw into garbage bag, wash in normal washer when you have a load or need more. 

3.  Strollers suck.  Unwieldy, heavy, can't manuever, can't see kid, etc.  We used it once, never again.  Some type of body carrier is better, hands-free, baby is close, etc.

.  We waited 2 weeks to give the baby pumped milk in a bottle.  Baby wouldn't take it, already used to the real thing.  I would try to introduce a little bottled milk as soon as you can so it seems normal to kid.
We rarely use our stroller, but I disagree with this.  For long trips, like the farmer's market the stroller is useful.  My daughter is two, 26 lb and I have a bad back.  I can't wear her.  My husband could until about 1.5 and then his back started to hurt.  Get what works for you and it will be different than almost everyone else.

80Westy

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #32 on: November 25, 2015, 09:29:36 AM »
The kids do get heavier over time, at which point walking is a great option (great for parent AND kid).

but my advice to a new parent of an infant is avoid the stroller. 1-2 years in the future is an eternity, at which point they'll have things figured out.


FrozenAssets

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #33 on: November 25, 2015, 09:34:30 AM »

Posting to follow.  I was planning on searching for a thread like this, and starting one if I couldn't find one, so thanks for saving me the trouble!  :)

Our first one is due at the end of January. 

One catch: we don't have a home, we are currently roaming the world.  So everything we own fits in a backpack on our back.

We may have to get an extra piece of luggage after the baby, but I'm hoping not.

We're planning to cloth diaper and eventually (after a few months) buy one of those giraffes.

That's about all I know, but the wife has a list of items going like swaddling stuff and a breast pump and things like that. I'll try to post later, it will be interesting to compare with this thread and see if we missed anything. :)

In your case especially, skip the breast pump. They are horrid, awful devices and your wife has no need to leave the baby and go back to work. I quit work just before my 2nd was born and never used one. Plus, if you skip the pump, you can also skip bottles.

What do other people think about this?

We won't need it for her going back to work, obviously, but were thinking we might if she just has too much milk or something.

We were planning on getting a manual breast pump.

A manual pump can useful for relieving engorgement when milk first comes in (a hot shower and manual (hand) expression works fine too!) and for pumping occasional bottles if dad wants the experience of feeding baby a bottle or mom will need to be away longer than baby can go between feedings.  A knowledgable lactation consultant is an invaluable resource, Google for an IBCLC in the area where baby will be born and have some numbers ready.

I've nursed all four of my kids for over a year each, my youngest is 19 months and never had a bottle.  He still nurses a few times a day.  A nursing pump is not necessary at all if mom and baby won't be separated by a work schedule or other circumstances. :)

Gin1984

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2015, 09:44:22 AM »

Posting to follow.  I was planning on searching for a thread like this, and starting one if I couldn't find one, so thanks for saving me the trouble!  :)

Our first one is due at the end of January. 

One catch: we don't have a home, we are currently roaming the world.  So everything we own fits in a backpack on our back.

We may have to get an extra piece of luggage after the baby, but I'm hoping not.

We're planning to cloth diaper and eventually (after a few months) buy one of those giraffes.

That's about all I know, but the wife has a list of items going like swaddling stuff and a breast pump and things like that. I'll try to post later, it will be interesting to compare with this thread and see if we missed anything. :)

In your case especially, skip the breast pump. They are horrid, awful devices and your wife has no need to leave the baby and go back to work. I quit work just before my 2nd was born and never used one. Plus, if you skip the pump, you can also skip bottles.

What do other people think about this?

We won't need it for her going back to work, obviously, but were thinking we might if she just has too much milk or something.

We were planning on getting a manual breast pump.

A manual pump can useful for relieving engorgement when milk first comes in (a hot shower and manual (hand) expression works fine too!) and for pumping occasional bottles if dad wants the experience of feeding baby a bottle or mom will need to be away longer than baby can go between feedings.  A knowledgable lactation consultant is an invaluable resource, Google for an IBCLC in the area where baby will be born and have some numbers ready.

I've nursed all four of my kids for over a year each, my youngest is 19 months and never had a bottle.  He still nurses a few times a day.  A nursing pump is not necessary at all if mom and baby won't be separated by a work schedule or other circumstances. :)
Or, if the child will not latch.  You were able to nurse, which means things worked for you.  I spent 24hr up with my child, nursing on demand and still was not producing enough, partly because she was bad at latching.  I was recommended to pump because I got more that way.  If I had not had a pump (electric, the manual did not give me enough), my daughter would have been on formula.  I was pumping a half hour every time every hour and half to two hours to barely get enough, and some days it was not enough.  Please don't assume what will be needed, there is confirmation bias.  Wait and see what is needed.

Ceridwen

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #35 on: November 25, 2015, 09:45:24 AM »
I guess I am in the minority, but I absolutely love having a stroller and used it daily almost as soon as we got out of the hospital.  I love going for walks.  Baby wearing is fine for lots of occasions, but for a nice long walk, I like to have my breathing space and for that, a stroller is perfect. 

This is probably repeated in other replies, but for me the essentials are:

- diapers and wipes (whether cloth or disposable)
- pajamas (ideally at least 3 (because babies can be messy) in size NB and 0-3 months (because some babies are born big)
- Swaddling blanket.  My kids were Houdinis who could get out of any wrap I did myself, so I loved these: http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Infant-Swaddleme-Blanket-Monkey/dp/B007CKKOG6/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1448469665&sr=8-4&keywords=swaddleme
- Pacifier (if you intend on using one.  I think they are lifesavers)
- Swing or bouncy/vibrating chair.  So easy to find cheap and used.  Sometimes it's nice to put the baby down!
- Somewhere for baby to sleep.  We kept a bassinet in our room for the first two months, and then it was a crib in the nursery.

Ceridwen

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #36 on: November 25, 2015, 09:48:06 AM »
Oh, and I also see a lot of assumptions that breastfeeding will go super well and that's obviously what you'll end up doing, etc etc.  That is really, truly not always the case.  Lots of moms end up switching to or supplementing with formula for a multitude of reasons, and that is a-ok.  I highly recommend new and soon-to-be parents check out www.fearlessformulafeeder.com

FrozenAssets

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #37 on: November 25, 2015, 10:06:48 AM »

Posting to follow.  I was planning on searching for a thread like this, and starting one if I couldn't find one, so thanks for saving me the trouble!  :)

Our first one is due at the end of January. 

One catch: we don't have a home, we are currently roaming the world.  So everything we own fits in a backpack on our back.

We may have to get an extra piece of luggage after the baby, but I'm hoping not.

We're planning to cloth diaper and eventually (after a few months) buy one of those giraffes.

That's about all I know, but the wife has a list of items going like swaddling stuff and a breast pump and things like that. I'll try to post later, it will be interesting to compare with this thread and see if we missed anything. :)

In your case especially, skip the breast pump. They are horrid, awful devices and your wife has no need to leave the baby and go back to work. I quit work just before my 2nd was born and never used one. Plus, if you skip the pump, you can also skip bottles.

What do other people think about this?

We won't need it for her going back to work, obviously, but were thinking we might if she just has too much milk or something.

We were planning on getting a manual breast pump.

A manual pump can useful for relieving engorgement when milk first comes in (a hot shower and manual (hand) expression works fine too!) and for pumping occasional bottles if dad wants the experience of feeding baby a bottle or mom will need to be away longer than baby can go between feedings.  A knowledgable lactation consultant is an invaluable resource, Google for an IBCLC in the area where baby will be born and have some numbers ready.

I've nursed all four of my kids for over a year each, my youngest is 19 months and never had a bottle.  He still nurses a few times a day.  A nursing pump is not necessary at all if mom and baby won't be separated by a work schedule or other circumstances. :)
Or, if the child will not latch.  You were able to nurse, which means things worked for you.  I spent 24hr up with my child, nursing on demand and still was not producing enough, partly because she was bad at latching.  I was recommended to pump because I got more that way.  If I had not had a pump (electric, the manual did not give me enough), my daughter would have been on formula.  I was pumping a half hour every time every hour and half to two hours to barely get enough, and some days it was not enough.  Please don't assume what will be needed, there is confirmation bias.  Wait and see what is needed.

I'm sorry you had a difficult time breastfeeding. And I'm thankful for pumps in situations like yours, to continue giving your baby the benefits of breastmilk. Pumping exclusively is a huge commitment and sacrifice.  It sounds like arebelspy's wife is planning to breastfeed, and as a staunch supporter, encourager, and optimist, I was only trying to be encouraging to that end. Like I said, a good lactation consultant at the ready with support, advice, latch & positioning assistance is an invaluable resource. And pumps are available if it is determined that one would be useful. I was simply sharing my experience and saying that I certainly wouldn't buy one in advance, and it might not be necessary at all.

jeromedawg

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #38 on: November 25, 2015, 10:38:30 AM »
Oh, and I also see a lot of assumptions that breastfeeding will go super well and that's obviously what you'll end up doing, etc etc.  That is really, truly not always the case.  Lots of moms end up switching to or supplementing with formula for a multitude of reasons, and that is a-ok.  I highly recommend new and soon-to-be parents check out www.fearlessformulafeeder.com

This too. It's SO easy to assume *all* mom's can breastfeed no problem and there won't be issues or complications. I think this is one of those super-sensitive topics for moms because BFing is like one of their intrinsic ways of "providing" for the baby. It's their "pride and joy" in a sense - if they can't do it, they often feel extremely ashamed and guilty and never want to talk about it with anyone. And I think it can turn into sort of a competition thing where one mom struggling with BFing might share with another mom who isn't struggling at all and the non-struggling mom makes some comment that makes the struggling mom feel even worse (whether intentional or not). I think that's why it's such a 'private' matter for a lot of people. It's kinda like what they say about gambling - you always talk about how much you won but never talk about how much you lost. In short, as with all other baby advice, advice on BFing should be heard but not necessarily taken. You kinda just have to "put the work in" and figure out what works best for you guys. It's really a situation-based issue because not all babies and moms are the same (even though some people out there staunchly tend to think so)
« Last Edit: November 25, 2015, 10:47:13 AM by jplee3 »

abhe8

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #39 on: November 25, 2015, 10:54:19 AM »
Congrats op!!! Having my first baby changed my life in ways I could never imagine. It is simply the best.

I have 4 kids, ages 2,5,7,8. For me, less is more. With each additional baby I have shed the things i thought I "needed," but in reality never used. Also, what you "need" depends a TON on your lifestyle. Where you live, do you (mom) work, as you breastfeeding, do you drive vs walk, what is your budget, etc.

For my life, which includes daily driving, mom working and baby at home (no daycare), these are my newborn essentials:

Convertible car seat
Cloth diapers
Sleepers, hats, swaddle blankets
Pump, glass bottles
Wrap carrier, fleece pouch carrier

Car seat: Radian Diono... Each baby got one at birth and my 8 year old's will expire next month. Then she will use a $12 booster. I had a bucket infant seat with my 1st, and did not like it. my back hurt from carrying that thing around. After a minor MVA, I used the insurance money to replace it with a Radian for my 2nd child. Also, too much time in one is actually bad for baby's head and neck, so we did lots of babywearing, lying flat in a stroller or at home on the floor or bed.

Sleeping: we co sleep. Do your research. For those with low risk, it's safe and it has been a great fit for our family. If not, used crib all the way. i have a pack n play we keep around for guests and for babies with nosy older siblings. (but did not get it until we had our 2nd child.)

Stroller: love my jogging stroller for runs, once baby is much older. I would go crazy without the exercise and fresh air. I also have an umbrella stroller for the car. But with the first and a newborn, , a stroller is not a necessity unless you live in city and walk everywhere. I like strollers with several kids, because I end up with lots of jackets and water bottles and snacks etc.

Clothes: love 1 piece footed sleepers. They come by the dozen at showers or for pennies at goodwill. I like to have a dozen in each size. also a dozen or so onsies in each size. my summer babies lived in these. winter babies often worse them under the sleepers.

Diapers: all of mine stayed clean and dry in cloth diapers. Cheap cotton flat diapers, pul covers. Use one as a changing pad and designated laundry basket for dirty and clean storage. One size flats worked from about 1 month on. They wash easily (even in sink if needed) and dry quickly (line or dryer). I use some scraps of fleece at night, to keep baby feeling dry and not waking with a wet diaper. I use baby wash clothes or flannel squares for wipes and to clean faces and hands.

Eating: let the mommy wars begin. :) I loved breast feeding and I worked hard at it. I pumped a ton in school and at work. Love love love my used hospital pump I picked up on eBay for a song. Way better then the expensive personal pumps (and I tried a few, my sister had a nice Medela one and also a friends Medela last year, when my youngest was 18 month's, so i can actually compare them. ) it saved me time and pain. For me, worth its weight in gold. But if u want to formula feed, go for it. Bottles, formula, water and your are set. The goal is a full tummy. :) For bottles, i love the classic evenflow glass bottles. I never broke one. they freeze, thaw, warm, feed, pump into without ever moving the milk. also wash beautifully and last forever. 4 babies and still going strong (although I did replace the nipples.)

eta: I pumped a ton at school and then work, as I wanted baby to have breast milk. but if/when I was home, I never used the pump. If i was planning a baby now, and would be home, I would not need a pump. but i know this is way YMMV.

My other essentials:
Water, yummy food for mama, by the ton
Rest, get it any way you can
Camera: the days will fly by. love looking back at those sweet faces.

eta: for a minimalist approach or a traveling approach, I would just get some flat diapers and covers, 4-6 1 piece footed sleepers, 1-2 swaddle blankets, 1-2 hats, ergo and wrap carrier. should easily fit into a backpack.

also some toiletries: nail clippers, thermometer, lanolin, soap, lotion, (could use adults, if fragrance free), 2-3 wash clothes
« Last Edit: December 01, 2015, 02:03:06 PM by abhe8 »

TrMama

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #40 on: November 25, 2015, 11:44:04 AM »

Posting to follow.  I was planning on searching for a thread like this, and starting one if I couldn't find one, so thanks for saving me the trouble!  :)

Our first one is due at the end of January. 

One catch: we don't have a home, we are currently roaming the world.  So everything we own fits in a backpack on our back.

We may have to get an extra piece of luggage after the baby, but I'm hoping not.

We're planning to cloth diaper and eventually (after a few months) buy one of those giraffes.

That's about all I know, but the wife has a list of items going like swaddling stuff and a breast pump and things like that. I'll try to post later, it will be interesting to compare with this thread and see if we missed anything. :)

In your case especially, skip the breast pump. They are horrid, awful devices and your wife has no need to leave the baby and go back to work. I quit work just before my 2nd was born and never used one. Plus, if you skip the pump, you can also skip bottles.

What do other people think about this?

We won't need it for her going back to work, obviously, but were thinking we might if she just has too much milk or something.

We were planning on getting a manual breast pump.

I also had oversupply, and a really rough start to nursing when my first was born. A more effective treatment is to take a decongestant. Milk glands are sinuses and respond to decongestants just like nose sinuses do. Pumping to treat oversupply can relieve the pressure immediately, but actually makes the problem worse in the long run. This is because milk is produced in a positive loop. The more milk you take out of the breast, the more it will produce later. If you find you really, really need a manual pump after the baby is born, you can just pick one up at the local pharmacy.

A lot of the opinions being posted in this thread are based on American cultural norms. Like you, I also had a baby while living in different culture from my own. It was really, really interesting to see how things were different. I was able to take the best bits from both cultures and it really "made" the whole experience. In your case, find out how the local women learn to breastfeed. Get someone to help show your wife the ropes.

catccc

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #41 on: November 25, 2015, 12:17:21 PM »

Posting to follow.  I was planning on searching for a thread like this, and starting one if I couldn't find one, so thanks for saving me the trouble!  :)

Our first one is due at the end of January. 

One catch: we don't have a home, we are currently roaming the world.  So everything we own fits in a backpack on our back.

We may have to get an extra piece of luggage after the baby, but I'm hoping not.

We're planning to cloth diaper and eventually (after a few months) buy one of those giraffes.

That's about all I know, but the wife has a list of items going like swaddling stuff and a breast pump and things like that. I'll try to post later, it will be interesting to compare with this thread and see if we missed anything. :)

In your case especially, skip the breast pump. They are horrid, awful devices and your wife has no need to leave the baby and go back to work. I quit work just before my 2nd was born and never used one. Plus, if you skip the pump, you can also skip bottles.

What do other people think about this?

We won't need it for her going back to work, obviously, but were thinking we might if she just has too much milk or something.

We were planning on getting a manual breast pump.

I definitely used a pump to relieve engorgement when my milk first came in.  I had over-supply and over active let-down.  A small single electric pump was fine for this.  A manual would have worked but depending on your situation an electric could be a lot better.  With my 2nd I returned to work, but still found myself pumping to relieve engorgement before that.  By that time I'd gotten a double in preparation of returning to work, but in the early days, within minutes of pumping I'd look down and two 5 ounce bottles would be overflowing and spilling into my lap, and I'd still feel horribly engorged.  This might be something you can wait on, and just get when you need it, because needing or not needing one really depends on your personal situation.

Cloth diapers were a cinch for us.  I think they are easier than disposables because we never had to run out to buy any.  Following the wash routine was easy.  We used cloth in combination with elimination communication, which I highly recommend.  I think my babies liked it, too, being able to use the loo rather than sitting in your own crap.

serpentstooth

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #42 on: November 25, 2015, 12:37:29 PM »
1. We have a pack'n'play ($10 yard sale), crib, and bouncy chair that I suppose the baby could sleep in. She sleeps almost exclusively in our bed. Also, I have never attempted to sleep train her because I lack sufficient backbone and because my kid, at least, will scream and scream and scream for HOURS if she is unhappy.

2. I rented a hospital grade pump for a week when my baby was having issues, then we threw in the towel on nursing because the baby was so awful at it. My insurance gave me a very nice Medela Pump in Style, though. If you need formula; Costco's is the cheapest in my experience. We used Tommee Tippee bottles until I panicked about BPA and switched to Evenflo glass ones which are really nice and cheap.

3. I heavily use a baby carrier and a high end SUV stroller. You could probably skip the stroller if you were not in a city; we walk everywhere and I need somewhere to fit the Costco run I do with the baby. Carrier and stroller taste are somewhat personal, try to borrow or test as many as you can before purchasing. Check to see if you have a Babywearing International group near you; for a small membership fee you can borrow carriers from their library to try out. I went through a bunch before I found one I loved. Keep in mind that a carrier that fits you well and is adjusted properly should not be uncomfortable for you or the baby. I recommend learning to back carry; it's amazing and you can do chores easily that way.

4. We got a lot of mileage from muslin swaddle blankets when she was tiny and now she likes them for sleeping. She also loved, loved, loved mobiles, but I was easily able to source hand me down ones or free/cheap when she was a little older. We got a lot of use from the Bumbo until she sit up, but again, easy to get a hand me down. The boppy wasn't my thing for nursing, though when she was teeny she liked is as a lounge chair. Again, I got a hand me down. We use a doorway jumper a lot when I'm in the kitchen. I got TWO of these handed down and passed one on. She thinks it's great fun. We have a nice high chair, which I liked. There was no way I could have fed the baby while she sat on my lap. We need 17,000 cleaning rags a day, so cut up your worst t-shirts or buy some.

5. My baby was a puker and we went through tons and tons of clothes at first, for both of us. Oxy clean gets out formula stains, but you need to wash on hot. I like footie jammies, but my daughter prefers dresses and has since she was about 3 months old, so most days she wears a dress and leggings. I also like a good hat; I knit her bonnets in increasing sizes. Get a chin strap or the stupid things fall off.

6. We do not have a car; my parents have an infant bucket in one car and a convertible in the other. We never take the bucket out; it's big and awkward and heavy and when it expires I will replace it with a convertible. I also have a free infant bucket here for the rare occasions I take a cab or trip. This one clips to my stroller, but if you're not planning on taking long bus trips with nothing but a stroller to hold your luggage, you could skip that and just get a convertible.

7. We have tons and tons of toys because my family is industry. The skwish is awesome, and so is one of those stuffed animals with tags and crinkly bits and rings hanging off it and a mirror on its belly. A lot of companies make them and babies find them fascinating.

Gen Y Finance Journey

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #43 on: November 25, 2015, 01:12:40 PM »
So much great advice, thank you all!

I really like the advice to get the things I know I'll need for the first week and then go from there. But one of my friends wants to throw me a baby shower, so I'm sure people will give me tons of stuff. I'm thinking about requesting that my friends who are parents already give me used stuff they really liked but don't need anymore instead of buying something new.

A few people have mentioned swaddle blankets. Are they necessary if I'll be having my baby right as it's starting to get quite warm in my area? Ie, is the purpose of them to contain the baby's limbs or to provide warmth?

And pacifiers! For some reason I had always thought that using pacifiers was a bad habit that you don't want get your baby into, but my husband had never heard such a thing and said that everyone he knows uses them.

I'm still torn on cloth vs disposable diapers. I need to do more research.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #44 on: November 25, 2015, 01:22:44 PM »
And pacifiers! For some reason I had always thought that using pacifiers was a bad habit that you don't want get your baby into, but my husband had never heard such a thing and said that everyone he knows uses them.

I think it's mainly a matter of personal taste and belief (also about how fussy they are, and your patience for their fussiness if you know a pacifier will calm them down).

There's some reason to believe that pacifier use at nap time can reduce SIDS incidence. I think the main worry with a pacifier in terms of bad habits is about teeth development, but if you get them weened off it sufficiently early I think that concern is reduced.

But mainly, if it will shut them up I am all for it :)
If you don't use a pacifier, you will have to either hope the baby is very good at self soothing or learns to become so, or have the patience and will to be using your nipples to sooth/pacify the baby more frequently.

Ceridwen

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #45 on: November 25, 2015, 01:25:42 PM »
So much great advice, thank you all!

I really like the advice to get the things I know I'll need for the first week and then go from there. But one of my friends wants to throw me a baby shower, so I'm sure people will give me tons of stuff. I'm thinking about requesting that my friends who are parents already give me used stuff they really liked but don't need anymore instead of buying something new.

A few people have mentioned swaddle blankets. Are they necessary if I'll be having my baby right as it's starting to get quite warm in my area? Ie, is the purpose of them to contain the baby's limbs or to provide warmth?

And pacifiers! For some reason I had always thought that using pacifiers was a bad habit that you don't want get your baby into, but my husband had never heard such a thing and said that everyone he knows uses them.

I'm still torn on cloth vs disposable diapers. I need to do more research.

For me, swaddlers were more for containing limbs and keeping that womb-like feeling.  If you're interested, I recommend the book (or DVD) The Happiest Baby on the Block.  It talks about the concept of a "fourth trimester" and mimicking womb-like conditions during the first few months of the newborn's life.

I think pacifiers are awesome when used sparingly.  I personally always introduced them fairly early (my kids were combo breast and bottle fed (formula) due to low breastmilk supply, so there was never any "nipple confusion" to worry about) so that they like them, and then give it to them ONLY when you need them.  My babies sleep with pacifiers (very soothing) and then I always have one in my diaper bag for emergencies like grocery store and waiting room meltdowns.

I loved cloth diapering.  If you're keen on it, I recommend buying a few different brands and types used (kijiji etc) so that you can try them out without committing much money.  For me, the best value was Kawaii brand: www.theluvyourbaby.com

serpentstooth

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #46 on: November 25, 2015, 01:29:32 PM »
So much great advice, thank you all!

I really like the advice to get the things I know I'll need for the first week and then go from there. But one of my friends wants to throw me a baby shower, so I'm sure people will give me tons of stuff. I'm thinking about requesting that my friends who are parents already give me used stuff they really liked but don't need anymore instead of buying something new.

A few people have mentioned swaddle blankets. Are they necessary if I'll be having my baby right as it's starting to get quite warm in my area? Ie, is the purpose of them to contain the baby's limbs or to provide warmth?

And pacifiers! For some reason I had always thought that using pacifiers was a bad habit that you don't want get your baby into, but my husband had never heard such a thing and said that everyone he knows uses them.

I'm still torn on cloth vs disposable diapers. I need to do more research.

The muslim swaddle blankets are very light. My baby was swaddled all summer and it was fine.

elaine amj

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #47 on: November 25, 2015, 02:31:13 PM »
Posting to follow.  I was planning on searching for a thread like this, and starting one if I couldn't find one, so thanks for saving me the trouble!  :)

Our first one is due at the end of January. 

One catch: we don't have a home, we are currently roaming the world.  So everything we own fits in a backpack on our back.

We may have to get an extra piece of luggage after the baby, but I'm hoping not.

We're planning to cloth diaper and eventually (after a few months) buy one of those giraffes.

That's about all I know, but the wife has a list of items going like swaddling stuff and a breast pump and things like that. I'll try to post later, it will be interesting to compare with this thread and see if we missed anything. :)

In your case especially, skip the breast pump. They are horrid, awful devices and your wife has no need to leave the baby and go back to work. I quit work just before my 2nd was born and never used one. Plus, if you skip the pump, you can also skip bottles.

You probably don't need a breast pump right away. I got a manual one that I attempted to use a couple of times, but I really disliked pumping and the thought of the whole mess. I manual expressed when I absolutely needed to relieve pressure or whatever. It's one of those things that if you need it, you can go get it. So I wouldn't consider it essential "before baby arrives" gear.

I loved my "swaddling stuff", but really, just improvised. I took a big baby blanket, wrapped baby up, then tied baby up with a ribbon so she wouldn't be able to squirm out. Bonus points for looking like an adorable gift! By the way, swaddling sometimes worked, sometimes didn't. loved having it in my arsenal though!

You (too) will develop strong opinions about what works best and what you really need -- until you do, keep your supplies minimal.  Except, accept hand-me-downs of course, and of course, pass them along promptly if you find they're not right for you.

I love this.

For a minimalist (I wasn't), here are my thoughts:

1) I liked the bucket car seat - really really helped with "letting sleeping babies lie". But if you are ok with waking baby (or don't plan to be in the car much), a convertible car seat works just fine. I liked my stroller (but I like my space from the baby), but if you are OK with baby on you all the time, a sling/wrap/carrier works just fine too. 

2) Do you ever foresee wanting baby to nap elsewhere other than your room? If so, you need some other safe sleeping spot. A playpen does all kinds of double/triple duties and could be practical. I used a laundry basket lined with blankets the first few months lol. My DS started out in a wooden cradle (bought used then sold for same price), then graduated to a playpen. He was in the playpen until almost a year old. I would have been fine leaving him there until 2 yrs but his sister graduated out of her crib so it was available for DS.

3) Nursing gear. I think it's fine to wait to get a pump (if you find you need it, get it). A nursing bra is incredibly helpful (and yes, paying more really does make a difference). I loved my nursing pillow and my footstool (I had a rocking chair). They're wonderful - but not essential. Nursing tops are not necessary IMO. I finally started using a tank top under my regular tops. Pull down the tank, pull up the the top.

4) As for sleep training, it is impossible to say what will work for you. Give yourself the freedom not to be stuck to one technique and just figure it out as you go along.

At the end of the day, just keep in mind that it's a lot to figure out and there really isn't one "right way". Allow yourself to be flexible and roll with the punches and things will go a lot easier. I seriously thought I was going to be a minimalist with toys. I ended up finding out I loved buying toys (used, so dirt cheap) and I had a blast buying used toys (and then reselling them when I was done). I thought I was going to be super crunchy. Turned out I was only a little bit crunchy. And that's okay :)

seattleite

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #48 on: November 28, 2015, 11:49:26 AM »
You really need very little. A carseat to get him back from the hospital. For sleeping all you really need is a cardboard box or maybe a laundry basket. You'll need some sort of diapers. You'll need some working breasts for food. Infants don't really *need* a lot.

But here's the thing: This is probably going to be the most difficult time of your life so you are probably going to splurge a little to make your life a little easier once the full weight of the situation hits you.

If you bought a convertible carseat you might spring for an infant carseat if you travel in the car with the baby more than once a month just to make it easier to get in and out of the car.

If you have multiple floors in your house you might want multiple safe places to plop the baby so you can have a short moment to take a dump and you might end up getting a pack n play or two for that purpose.

You don't really need wipes but once you've changed your 100th poopy diaper anything to speed up the process might be worth it to you. You don't really need the awesome weighted OXO wipe dispenser but once you've had feces on your hand for the 75th time you might be looking for something to allow you to get wipes one handed.

What I'm saying in that this shit adds up. We started super minimalist with our first and slowly started getting a lot of stuff. There's nothing wrong with that. I would say that you should do the same, start off minimalist and get stuff as you need it. That way you won't end up buying stuff you won't need.

sunflower_yellow

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Re: Baby Gear - What Do We REALLY Need?
« Reply #49 on: November 30, 2015, 10:26:16 AM »
My due date is today.  I am SO OVER being pregnant.  So, as I bounce on a yoga ball, I typed up a list of the contents of our nursery, which is actually the closet in our larger bedroom.

First time parent here.  I took the approach that I had no idea what my kid would need or want, so why not wait until I meet him/her and see what works.  It's not like Craigslist and Amazon disappear post-partum!

Dresser/ changing table - purchased used off craigslist
1) Cloth diapers - purchased used.  Prefolds and covers, variety of sizes.  A small stack of pocket diapers I call the "granny diapers" since the grandmothers are going to insist on "helping" and have no idea what to do with a prefold.
2) Cloth wipes - made out of old flannel pillowcases.
3) Changing pad - gift, wouldn't have purchased myself.
4) Clothes - variety of sizes and styles  Not too much, like ~2 small dresser drawers.  Either purchased used, hand-me-downs, or gifts.  The thrift stores around here are total gold mines of used baby clothes.
5) Idiot-proof swaddles, large swaddle blankets, receiving blankets - a few of each, either gifted or purchased used.  The idiot-proof swaddles with the velcro are for the grannies and probably Mr. Sunflower; I prefer to swaddle with a large square of muslin so I can adjust to baby better.  You don't really need to dress a newborn for a while, just keep 'em wrapped up in a receiving blanket, makes diaper changes easier too.
6) Diaper pail with liner - our old trash can plus a used liner purchased off craigslist.

Bookshelf - from another room.  Just for holding random stuff.  Mostly empty now.
1) Books - never, ever skimp on the books.
2) Lillebaby carrier - gifted.  This is a structured carrier that I plan to use when baby is a little larger.
3) DIY Moby wrap carrier - made out of a heavy-weight jersey sheet from thrift store.
4) Framed photo - something with sentimental value
5) Mobile - I made a mobile for the baby on a theme that is meaningful to my husband and I.  This is totally a happy thing for mother and father, and I don't care if the kid likes it or not.

Upper shelf - there's an upper shelf in the closet for more storage
1) Huge pile of birth supplies - I'm starting my labor at home, and if all goes well, will deliver at home.  Obviously may not be relevant for you.
2) Breastfeeding supplies - some DIY nipple butter; a breast pump, paid for by insurance; a "boppy" style pillow (purchased used)

Bathroom - Not much
1) Baby thermometer
2) Nasal aspirator
3) Supplies for post-partum mother - herbs, sitz bath, disposable pads

Also:
  • Baby containers - 3 of them total:  a pack n' play as a "crib" for the "nursery;" a hand-me-down side-car co-sleeper for the first few months; a rocker thing to have a safe place to put baby while downstairs.
  • Car seat- we purchased a used infant bucket seat from someone we trusted.  We'll figure out the next step up once the kid is bigger.
  • Diaper bag - an old Timbuk2 messenger-style bag we had laying around.  Big enough for a stack of cloth diapers and some baby clothes.
  • Stroller - a jogging stroller (Thule Urban Glide) gifted to us from one of the grandfathers.  Would have purchased used off CL otherwise.
  • Baby hiking backpack - a Kelty Kids model, I forget which one, gifted by one of the grannies.  Likewise, would have purchased used off CL otherwise.
  • Maternity clothes - I didn't gain too much, so I was able to get away with a few pairs of maternity pants and a few maternity shirts from the thrift store.  Now I just wear my husband's clothes.

P.S. Grand total cost for baby stuff was $640,  thanks to the generosity of grandparents who purchased the stroller and hiking backpack, friends who passed along hand-me-downs, and to lots and lots of thrift store trips and Craigslist trolling.  This doesn't include medical costs or other lifestyle changes (we spent more on groceries while I was pregnant - first due to my morning sickness, then due to needing more meat (pregnancy-induced anemia)).

P.P.S.  Rebelspy, I bet you'd be fine just adding another backpack for baby's stuff to your travel kit.  Husband and I have both lived out of backpacks for extended periods of time, and though I haven't done the parent thing yet, I imagine if I can do a small <20-lb carry-on for weeks and weeks on end, adding more clothes and some cloth diapers can't be too bad.

One thought based on my BIL's hobo experience with babies, though - dirty cloth diapers are heavy and a PITA to lug around, 'specially when kid gets bigger.  If you're moving around a lot, getting and keeping them clean might be a logistical challenge.  Might want to consider doing disposables for the days that you're on the move and keeping your cloth clean and dry inside baby's pack until you get to the next destination and figure out the washing situation.

P.P.P.S.  BABY COME OUT ALREADY.

TL;DR:  Don't sweat it.  People have raised children with FAR less "stuff" than we have.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 10:29:10 AM by sunflower_yellow »