Author Topic: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List  (Read 962 times)

ReadySetMillionaire

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Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« on: October 24, 2018, 09:52:42 AM »
Happy to report that my wife and I are expecting a little boy in March.

We are currently putting the nursery together, and she's also started a shower registry for a shower she is having in January.

As for the nursery, we are trying to be smart about the big things -- using hand-me-down dressers (one to double as a changing table), hand-me-down rocking chair, generally gender neutral paint, no waste of money "theme," etc.  Our moms are also collectively buying the crib, so the furniture is basically settled.

As for the shower registry, my wife is trying to be as practical as possible.  I looked at the list and it seems very practical to me (sheets, breastfeeding items, monitor, transportation system, etc.).

I'm posting here in the hopes that you guys can point us in the right direction of being smart about the nursery and shower list.  I'd like for everything to be practical, so I'm hoping for some tips about practicality, things that you think "yes, you absolutely need that," etc.

Any thoughts?

socaso

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2018, 02:49:45 PM »
If you plan to cloth diaper I recommend prefold diapers and diaper covers. The all in ones are very expensive. I used prefolds on my son and they worked great! For $75 we had all the diapers we need for his first year and a half of life. We did decide to use disposable night diapers on him and I would urge you to consider it. They really keep the moisture away from the skin so the baby sleeps more soundly. He started sleeping for much longer stretches once we started using those.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2018, 03:48:18 PM »
Congratulations!

What kind of baby monitor?  We used an audio-only one and even then only with one kid for about 6 months.  Probably could have skipped it.

The only things that are strictly necessary are diapers, clothes, and car seats.  Everyone will have a different list of essentials though when you ask.

I actually recommend choosing a stroller you want to use and then choosing an infant car seat that fits on it, with or without an adapter.  Lots of people choose a travel system where everything goes together, but some of those strollers are not as good as a stand-alone stroller.  We really like our City Mini stroller, but there are lots of choices.

I highly recommend cloth diapering if cost is a concern, and agree with prefolds and covers as the most economical choice.  But people largely did not buy us cloth diapering stuff off our registry, except my uber practical friend who bought us a diaper pail.  If you decide to do prefolds and covers, I have a set I've been meaning to post on the marketplace if you're interested.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2018, 04:15:22 PM »
Also, this is a thread of threads on a similar topic.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/mini-money-mustaches/baby-registry!/

Milizard

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2018, 05:59:53 PM »
Yeah, we barely used our monitor.  We live in a one level ranch. It was easy enough to hear crying without it. Never felt comfortable going outside while baby was inside.   Breastfeeding was challenging with the 1st, second baby refused altogether.  You can plan, but I'd suggest hedging your bets by not going too hog-wild on the accessories. I really liked having a formed changing pad on top of a dresser, as I ended up with an emergency c-section, and getting up and down was challenging for months.

We ended up using lots and lots of diaper rash cream, believe it or not.  Really, really liked using an infant car seat that snapped in and out of the base. It seems like such a waste, since my boys both outgrew it so quickly,  but it was so much easier to buckle at the tiny stage.

Oh! Zipper footed sleepers!  The babies pretty much lived in those. No need for much regular clothes until they're at least crawling. Zippers are quicker to deal with for screaming squirmy babies getting diaper changes. A sleep sack is nice for when they're past the swaddling size.

So, different babies like different things. Never used a baby carrier with one. #2 loved it a couple times, then didn't. Barely used a swing for the first. Second kid slept in it for several months.  They still outgrew it within months. First kid loved to be swaddled with his arms snugly in. Second kid would punch and squirm until he broke free.  All this to say it's probably smart to hold off on certain items, putting them on as-needed status.  So many items are really only usable for around 6 months.  If it helps you survive those months,  then by all means get it.  If it doesn't really matter so much, then just skip it.

kimmarg

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2018, 07:25:44 AM »
Yeah, we barely used our monitor.  We live in a one level ranch. It was easy enough to hear crying without it. Never felt comfortable going outside while baby was inside.   Breastfeeding was challenging with the 1st, second baby refused altogether.  You can plan, but I'd suggest hedging your bets by not going too hog-wild on the accessories. I really liked having a formed changing pad on top of a dresser, as I ended up with an emergency c-section, and getting up and down was challenging for months.

We ended up using lots and lots of diaper rash cream, believe it or not.  Really, really liked using an infant car seat that snapped in and out of the base. It seems like such a waste, since my boys both outgrew it so quickly,  but it was so much easier to buckle at the tiny stage.

Oh! Zipper footed sleepers!  The babies pretty much lived in those. No need for much regular clothes until they're at least crawling. Zippers are quicker to deal with for screaming squirmy babies getting diaper changes. A sleep sack is nice for when they're past the swaddling size.

So, different babies like different things. Never used a baby carrier with one. #2 loved it a couple times, then didn't. Barely used a swing for the first. Second kid slept in it for several months.  They still outgrew it within months. First kid loved to be swaddled with his arms snugly in. Second kid would punch and squirm until he broke free.  All this to say it's probably smart to hold off on certain items, putting them on as-needed status.  So many items are really only usable for around 6 months.  If it helps you survive those months,  then by all means get it.  If it doesn't really matter so much, then just skip it.

If possible push people towards Amazon gift certificates or books for baby. You can't have too many of either. As this poster highlights every baby/scenario is different. We used the baby monitor a lot because we have a workout space in the garage and that way could workout during nap and hear when she woke up.

Someone told me to buy lots of zinc diaper rash cream so I bought a huge tub before baby came.... and at age 3 we've used exactly 1 finger full once.  If you can encourage gift certificates then you can buy those middle of the night 'must haves'. We bought a used swing at 6 weeks and oh my god it saved us.... for about 6 weeks.

Also buy a stroller ignoring the carseat factor. THey only sit in car seat + stroller for a short time anyways but stroller is useful quite a lot longer. Also buy carseat based on how it fits in YOUR car.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2018, 07:53:37 AM »
Everyone and every baby will like different things, I'm afraid!

We love:

Video baby monitor. We often have it on mute and just have the visual. We can hear him cry but it's so nice to have the video to look at to decide how anguished he is! Often not the same as how loud he is.

Hanging shoe organiser for holding nappy changing stuff. Keeps it off the floor, sorted, and out of reach.

Baby sleeping bags/sleep sacks.

Steam steriliser with 10 minute run time if bottle feeding. We used bottles for several weeks as I struggled with breastfeeding to begin with, and ain't nobody got time to be boiling shit on the hob. Also used to sterilise used baby toys as we have it anyway.

Cot with drawers underneath. You do not need loads of storage space. Don't waste the floor space on a separate dresser. Baby clothes are tiny.

The book "Precious Little Sleep". Buy. Read. Now. Ignore everything else.

Instant-read thermometer.

Calpol/infant paracetamol.

Baby Bath Dam. It's cool - it partitions your bathtub so you can bathe baby in there. We did him in a washing up bowl when he was teeny tiny then moved into the bath with a support someone lent us.

A nice new pair of pyjamas for mum. She will spend a lot of time in them.

We never or barely ever used:

Cot mobile. No point. If he's in the cot, I want him to be asleep, not having a visual extravaganza. And it's in the way.

Changing table. They wriggle dangerously REALLY early. Change them on a wipe-clean mat on the floor in the bathroom and they can't get into trouble and you can pee at the same time (you will be surprised how hard it is to find time to pee.)

Nightlight. We threw a scarf over our bedside lamp when he was in our room, and now we just work by the landing light.

Hooded baby towels. We got given three. He's six months and they're already basically useless.

Blankets. Have one to go on the buggy or wrap them in while you're holding them. That's enough.

Breast pump. If you're breastfeeding at home all the time, you should be putting baby to the breast. If you're going back to work, that's the time to make a decision about pumping vs formula (vs not going back!) and the time to get a pump. (But holy moly, did I need breast pads! Get one box of disposables and see how you do. I hated them but needed them so switched to more comfortable reusables after the first box. My friend never finished her single box.)

Millennialworkerbee

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2018, 09:42:54 AM »
A couple things I didnít see in other responses:

High Chair: there are convertible ones that you can use for many years

Baby feeding stuff: baby spoons, blender/ice cube trays to make baby food, bibs. There are these special snack containers that have a plastic lid with slots so baby can grab Cheerios but they all donít get dumped on the floor at once. Super helpful for car rides when they get a little older & bored.

Bottles: Even if breastfeeding does work out, youíll want your wife to have the ability to take some time ďoffĒ and have someone else feed the baby a time or two. Register for 2-3 different kinds because you and/or baby may have a preference

Haakaa pump: This thing is GENIUS, I am nursing a 2mo right now and I love it.

Babyproofing: If you have obvious places you know youíll need a baby gate, then register for that. Same with the door locks for kitchen & bathroom cabinets.

Bouncy seat: when they get to 3-4 months and start getting good head control you will want a place to put them down where they can be upright. These vary greatly in cost/size/complexity.

Yoga ball: Believe it or not a big exercise ball is so useful to bounce fussy newborns.


Donít bother with special towels/blankets/toys. We did ask in lieu of cards, to get a book and write a note in it for our kid. There isnít really a difference in cost between cards and baby books.

Kapiira

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2018, 01:44:06 PM »
Whether you do cloth or disposable diapers, I think these are great things to register for.  Like other people posted, there are lots of baby things that your baby may or may not like (eg carriers, swings, bouncers, ect).  Many of these are available at a significant discount on Craigslist, but there's no getting away from the cost of diapers. 

Sugaree

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2018, 02:09:09 PM »
If you plan to cloth diaper I recommend prefold diapers and diaper covers. The all in ones are very expensive. I used prefolds on my son and they worked great! For $75 we had all the diapers we need for his first year and a half of life. We did decide to use disposable night diapers on him and I would urge you to consider it. They really keep the moisture away from the skin so the baby sleeps more soundly. He started sleeping for much longer stretches once we started using those.


All-in-ones also take FOREVER to dry.  We used all-in-twos and loved them.  They were a tiny bit more expensive than the fitteds and a good bit more than pre-folds, but really worked well for us (DH was NOT on board with cloth diapers at first so this was a compromise).  You'll probably get a bunch of packs of baby washcloths.  Use those as diaper wipes or get some flannel material from JoAnn's and make your own.  They can be washed right along with the diapers.  We also bought, used on Craigslist, a portable washing machine that doubled as a diaper pail.  It used less water than the full sized washing machine and made life easier when we were doing laundry every other day.  Oh, and that $50 diaper sprayer?  That's the same thing as an $8 kitchen sprayer and can be hooked up to the toilet plumbing with just a few adaptations. 

We went with the carseat that transformed all the way from rear-facing newborn to booster seat.  When he was little, we wore him a lot, first in a Moby wrap and then in a couple of Mei-tai style carriers that I made, so having the kid pod that went from the car to the stroller wasn't that important.  We didn't actually get a stroller until we got the umbrella stroller when he was about 18 months old. 

Check with your insurance company re: a breast pump.  I was able to order mine pretty much as soon as I got a positive test.  It's not hospital-grade or anything, but it got the job done.  My insurance company also provided milk storage bags every 90 days.

As for the crib, it's really popular to get the kind that transform from crib to toddler bed to full sized bed.  If you plan on going all the way to the full-sized bed consider getting that conversion kit when you buy the crib.  The piece to convert to a toddler bed is usually included, but the rails to go all the way aren't.  We had been warned that if the crib is discontinued the conversion kit often is too.  We got the kit and he's going to use that bed until college.  We used an antique rocking chair and used furniture that we already had.  Someone gave us a changing table, and surprisingly we used it a lot more than I thought we would.

Consignment sales are your friend.  We're lucky to have a really big, really nice one locally.  Check consignmentmommies.com for sales in your area.  We bought so much stuff used.  Stroller, high chair, clothes, those expensive Dr. Brown bottles that each have 126 parts, etc.  Since we've finally decided that we're done I'll be selling off as much as I can during the next round of sales. 

As for the registry I would say don't register for clothes.  You're going to get a ton anyway.  Don't buy into the big binder of things you MUST HAVE.  We made it to the huge parking lot of strollers at the back of Buy Buy Baby and my husband had to go out and get air.  It was just too much.  Don't be afraid to register for a few things in store and do everything else online when you have time to research.  My personal observation is that if you haven't already announced that you're having a boy to keep it quiet for awhile.  My SIL and I were pregnant at the same time.  She seemed to get way more practical items because no one knew if they were buying for a boy or a girl.  If you pick a theme for the kid's room and/or baby shower, prepare to be bombarded by that thing for several years.  And expect your kid to care less.  Case in point, my kid doesn't care about pirates. 
« Last Edit: October 25, 2018, 02:11:10 PM by Sugaree »

TFT

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2018, 03:38:34 PM »
Huge congrats on the pending baby! I just joined this forum because we have our first (maybe only?) baby due in 2 weeks and I know this can derail our FI plans if we don't do things the right way.

TrMama

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2018, 04:41:56 PM »
Blackout curtains for the nursery. New babies will sleep regardless of how bright their room is, but older babies and toddlers do best when it's dark.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2018, 07:05:10 PM »
Blackout curtains for the nursery. New babies will sleep regardless of how bright their room is, but older babies and toddlers do best when it's dark.

GREAT idea.

chemistk

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2018, 06:03:34 AM »
shelivesthedream and milennialworkerbee pretty much nailed 90% of it.

I will add my $0.02 to the mix:

-Ask that everyone refrain from buying outfits. People love to try and find the cutest outfit to bring, and for both of our boys, most of the outfits people got us were too nice to wear, weather inappropriate, or they were already too big for. If people insist, ask they get clothes a few sizes up (6-9mo, 9-12mo). Its a fantastic feeling knowing you have a reserve set of clothes for when your kid grows and their wardrobe isn't ready.

-Even if you go with disposable diapers, get a pack of cloth diapers. There is nothing more absorbent out there. They make the best burp cloths, and emergency mess rags.

-A 10-pack of plain white onesies is far more useful than you would ever imagine.

-Sleep sacks are so much easier than swaddles. It's going to depend on your kid's temperament but our boys each escaped the swaddle in about 4 weeks. if you do swaddle, the ones with velcro are much more escape-proof than a traditional swaddle blanket.

-Consignment sales are a must. Buy a few sizes up, not what your kid needs right now.

-Converse to the above point - buy the equipment you need right now. Do now but bouncy seats, door jumpers, high chairs, baby gates, bumbos, utensils, etc. until you're about ready to use them. We saved so much money and sanity with our second by waiting until when he was ready for those items, because we needed about half the things we thought we would need.

-Finally, there are two things I recommend splurging on:

     1) Car seat. Do not buy used. Do not buy the $40 seat. Buy something that will keep your child safe.

     2) Not an essential, but if you can swing it or find a clean used one, a Baby Bjorn bouncy seat. Never ever did my wife and I think a $150 bouncy seat would be so worth it. We were appalled
         when friends of ours bought one. We thought they $35 Fisher Price one was "good enough". It was not. In short - our second spent a good part of his day in the Bjorn and after 8 months
         of regular use, it's still in A+ condition. We'll be able to reuse it for future kids and still sell it for $80+




SimpleCycle

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2018, 07:32:17 AM »

     1) Car seat. Do not buy used. Do not buy the $40 seat. Buy something that will keep your child safe.


I agree with not buying a used seat (because you can't know if it's been in a crash), but all car seats pass the same safety crash tests regardless of price.  So all car seats on the U.S. market have met safety requirements and will keep your child safe.  A lot of the price difference has to do with features that make the car seat easier to use and install, which is totally worth paying for in my opinion, but the $40 seat is fine.  We own 2 Cosco Sceneras for our travel seats and I feel completely safe using them.

Sugaree

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2018, 08:18:58 AM »

     1) Car seat. Do not buy used. Do not buy the $40 seat. Buy something that will keep your child safe.


I agree with not buying a used seat (because you can't know if it's been in a crash), but all car seats pass the same safety crash tests regardless of price.  So all car seats on the U.S. market have met safety requirements and will keep your child safe.  A lot of the price difference has to do with features that make the car seat easier to use and install, which is totally worth paying for in my opinion, but the $40 seat is fine.  We own 2 Cosco Sceneras for our travel seats and I feel completely safe using them.

I agree. If you have more than one car then consider getting a good one for the car that will most often be used to carry the kiddo and a more bare-bones option for the other.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2018, 08:40:07 AM »
An addendum on clothes: If it is not stretchy, machine washable and tumble dryable, it does not belong in your house. Baby sick is white and baby poo is mustard coloured. Make colour choices for your baby's clothes and your clothes accordingly.

We bought a used Baby Bjorn bouncy seat for £50. It goes in and out of favour with the baby, but it is a brilliant lightweight baby container to just pop them in while you shower or pop something in the microwave or whatever. We carry ours from room to room as required. And it is not an eyesore.

Also, for later: we love the Tripp Trapp high chair. Again, bought one used to match our decor for about £50 and should last forever and is not an eyesore. Lots of room for baby, very adjustable, easy to wipe clean (few weird crevices), and easy for baby to join you at the table rather than you joining him at the high chair.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2018, 08:43:17 AM by shelivesthedream »

Milizard

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2018, 09:03:31 AM »
It seems like we had nearly everything, but we never had a bouncer.  I only took showers when baby was napping.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2018, 04:48:33 AM »
I just put my (non-mobile six month old) baby on the bathroom floor with one toy while I shower and glance round the curtain if I think he's being suspiciously quiet. He cried after a few minutes when I first did this but it only took a few weeks for him to stop. (And I just had my shower time limit as "baby cries plus two more minutes to rinse off thoroughly".) Now he's got used to the routine (baby has boob breakfast, mummy has breakfast, mummy showers, then she gets dressed, then I get dressed...) and is more manually dexterous so can actually occupy himself with the toy, he has a nice little wiggle down there and I get a proper shower. I hung the bathroom toy off the towel rail when he was really little just so he'd have something to look at, now it's a cuddly dragon that is just for mummy's shower. He'll be on the move soon, so I'm going to need to rethink, but there is no reason to waste his nap time with showering!

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2018, 11:15:50 AM »
Kind of lost this thread when it got moved, but thanks for all the replies. Several of the tips, most notably that every baby is different and that you might want to wait until needs arise, are very useful.

We are intentionally not having a theme for our baby's room.  When people ask, we tell them the theme is to "Keep the baby alive."

Is there a consensus about a rocking chair?  What about one of those playpen things?  And I assume toys should not be on the registry -- that people will buy these anyway?

Also, my older brother and his wife had a shower that was gift, book, and diapers.  I thought that was asking a lot of the guests but they basically never had to buy diapers for an entire year.


Sugaree

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2018, 11:36:22 AM »
We used an antique rocker that we already had.  I spent more time in it than I thought I would.  We didn't use the playpen very often.  He was, and still is to a degree, a clingy baby who didn't like to be put down so he would have a come-apart every time he was in it.  Same with the swing.  My in-laws bought us one and I think that there might have been one occasion where he actually calmed down enough to sleep in it.  This is where baby wearing comes in handy.  We did occasionally fill the playpen with some cheap ball-pit balls and that would keep him entertained for a bit. 

shelivesthedream

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2018, 12:52:04 PM »
I found breastfeeding in a chair with arms very awkward and preferred the sofa where I could have as much elbow room as I needed - especially as the baby has got bigger and longer! Or one of our upright dining chairs which was better for my back when baby was small. Buying a "nursing chair" or rocking chair is an American thing. We don't usually do that in England. You own chairs already, presumably.

A playpen, on the other hand, seems useful to me although we're not at that stage yet. Peace of mind that they can't kill themselves in the next minute!

Don't get loads of stuff. Honestly. Keep the space in your home! Nursery themes are stupid but you could consider declaring a colour scheme. Just something simple, like, "Oh, we've painted it yellow and have got a white cot." This baby shower stuff is totally alien to me. Why do people think babies are expensive if apparently no one pays for any of their own stuff? (Rhetorical question.) We did not have a baby shower and have spent about £1200 total and he's five months old. Are you trying to fill up a list for the sake of it? My biggest advice is buy almost nothing (cot, sleepsack, seven muslins, seven newborn and 0-3 onesies, changing mat, wipes, nappies, thermometer) and get Amazon Prime. Order stuff as you go along or make do.

chemistk

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2018, 01:18:22 PM »
.......My biggest advice is buy almost nothing (cot, sleepsack, seven muslins, seven newborn and 0-3 onesies, changing mat, wipes, nappies, thermometer) and get Amazon Prime. Order stuff as you go along or make do.

I can't restate this enough. So much was wasted with our first because people come along and tell you that A, B, C item, or X, Y, Z method worked for their kid. So we listened, and regretted it.

As a perfect point - a Pack N Play is useful, especially to serve as a crib or portable napper. Our second never set foot in ours (co-slept, then used the Bouncy Chair to keep him occupied). YMMV.

On the rocker note, our first really was best soothed by a rocker-glider. We splurged and got a very high quality one since the ones at the Baby Box Stores are hot garbage. At the recommendation of other parents, we bought a Dutailier rocker/glider - very $$$ but after daily use with both our boys while they were infants, it's held up much better than other ones. Still glides silently, still solid as a rock.

        - Honestly though, you're probably better off buying a used high quality rocking chair for a fraction of the cost of the Dutailier.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2018, 02:23:27 PM »
.......My biggest advice is buy almost nothing (cot, sleepsack, seven muslins, seven newborn and 0-3 onesies, changing mat, wipes, nappies, thermometer) and get Amazon Prime. Order stuff as you go along or make do.

I can't restate this enough. So much was wasted with our first because people come along and tell you that A, B, C item, or X, Y, Z method worked for their kid. So we listened, and regretted it.

You will, however, be unable to think competently and rationally when you first bring your baby home. So consider making a well-researched Amazon wishlist now with all the recommendations people give you (maybe with a cheapo and a five-star version of each thing). Then, when it's 3am and your little treasure won't fucking sleep, you can just click "Add to Basket" and know you're getting the optimal whatever-it-is that previously-functional you decided was the right one, rather than whatever shit is the first sponsored result for your panicked search.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Putting Together a Smart and Practical Nursery/Baby Shower List
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2018, 02:32:06 PM »
Also, everyone on the Baby and Pregnancy chat thread will be sick to death of this, but you should buy and read this baby sleep book before the birth: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Precious-Little-Sleep-Complete-Parents/dp/0997580801/

Check out the blog of the same name if you want a taster, but the book is well worth it. It is the only book I ever found which deals with newborn sleep and isn't just "suck it up for six months then try sleep training". I swear I am not on commission! But it explains what is reasonable to expect at each age and covers the whole range of gradual to CIO techniques. It has got multiple babies I know out of parents' beds and into cots, and our baby now naps properly twice a day alone in his cot and sleeps 6pm to 7am with two efficient night feeds. I attribute it entirely to this book.