I have had some requests from my friends who are expecting new babies….
What the heck do I need to buy for a new baby?
There is so much STUFF out there that seems so important but do I need all of it to raise a well-adjusted baby safely?
And how do i make sure that the products I end up with reflect MY VALUES AND STYLE while creating EASE in my life?
My husband and I have been reflecting on this balance of buying what creates ease within our new life with our newborn while not buying into the fear-based marketing that tells you that you need to buy every product in order to be good parents.
We both have strong values of minimalism and ease and yet we still often argue over what products are a necessity to make life easy for us and safe for our baby vs what products are simply consumerist hype or a waste of money. I don’t want to be a overly consuming citizen of this planet but as a mama and entrepreneur I probably lean more towards valuing ease and over-preparedness than my husband who leans more towards wanting to diaper our kids in leaves from our backyard (just kidding).
Then you have the grandma’s and grandpas, aunts and uncles, and friends who are just dying to buy things for you that you may or may not need or like….free stuff can be awesome but conflicts with our desire for an uncluttered house that doesn’t look like we decorate from toys-r-us or a rainbow threw up in our living room… in other words, often we end up with clothes, toys, and other stuff that doesn’t align with our style or values.
My biggest advice is to reflect with your partner about how you would like to approach the “buying frenzy” that seems to take place around babies. It’s a great opportunity to get to better know your partner’s values and ideas around raising a child! And then communicate with family and friends about your values and how you would like them to approach gift buying.
It is easy to get sucked into believing you need everything even for Revolutionaries like us. It is easy to feel fearful of not being prepared. The truth is that every baby is different and every parent is different. Just like with everything else, being a Revolutionary means consciously choosing based on your UNIQUE VALUES, not anyone else’s including mine!
So this post is simply information based on MY experience that may be of use as you explore what works for YOU. I would love for other moms to share their experience with navigating the world of baby products while staying true to THEIR values, any items they loved having for their child, and things that weren’t worth the money! Please share in the comments below!
We used an Amazon registry because you can add things from other stores (like target,etc) to it as well. This works well to guide family and friends in getting stuff you want as well as for you to keep a list of the category of things you still need to look into buying. However, I also deeply believe in supporting your local stores rather than only using online shopping…one of our local stores has great quality products and prices that are competitive with Amazon. We bought our cloth diapers, stroller, car seat and other things from there! We also frequently use our local consignment and goodwill stores as well as Craigslist.
If I could do it over again I WOULD ….
BUY LESS STUFF before baby was born and then get to know my baby before deciding what we really needed (especially for clothes!).
BE MORE CLEAR TO FAMILY that we only wanted gifts from our registry that we picked as things we really need in a style we really like.
BUY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE USED at consignment shops and on craigslist…using the registry for anything we needed to be new.
Here are some reflections and experiences around the products we’ve tried out during our first 2 months of our newborn experience…
A great baby carrier that works for YOU and YOUR baby. This is the only way I have gotten time with two free hands during the first two months and one of the only ways I can get Aza to go to sleep anywhere besides on the boob. This allowed her to go to sleep with dad while I was coaching clients, allowed my mom to walk while she napped and I swam at the gym, and allowed me to type this blog and all my blogs on the days my husband is at work. It also gave my poor arms a rest from holding a squirmy baby. Remember that the first three months is like the 4th trimester. Many babies will only be happy when being held and walked and bounched (ie You wont get to sit much even when baby falls asleep!). I am writing this blog right now standing with Aza in the Ergo at my “stand up workstation” which we created when we realized Aza would wake up as soon as we sat down no matter how passed out she was!
Our choice for a carrier was the ERGO and we have been happy with it. I think perhaps one of the stretchy fabric wraps (like Boba or Mobi Wrap) would have been great for the first month when baby is very small, but my little Aza grew like a weed and was 13 lbs by her 2 month b-day. Although the stretchy wraps say they go up to 30 lbs, I read in reviews that after 15 lbs the wrap stretches too much to feel really secure and supportive and that’s definietly how I felt with Aza when I borrowed the Boba wrap from someone to try out. The other option I seriously considered were the woven wraps which are beautiful, very supportive, and last into toddler age, but are quite pricey ($120 and up). They also take awhile to get the hang of wrapping correctly and can be overwhelming to choose which one from all the options (here’s a website to help with woven wrap options).
Although I love the idea of the woven wraps, since we were given the ERGO as a gift I decided to try it out before making another purchase. Once Aza past one month and I could remove the infant insert from the ERGO (which made her super hot and sweaty!!!) and figured out how to put the thing on and off by myself, it felt just fine and will be very supportive as she gets heavier. You can also use it for back carrying unlike the stretchy fabric wraps which only work for front carrying. (Woven wraps also work for back carrying).
Our Diapering System
At first I was adamant that we would use a cloth diapering service that would deliver clean cloth diapers to our doorstep and then remove the dirty ones. I kinda knew what it was like to have a newborn from being around my much younger siblings and I just did not want to be dealing with poopy diapers in addition to all the rest of it. The cost of the diapering service is not much more than using disposables, is more eco-friendly than disposables, results in less diaper rash than disposables, etc. Compared to buying your own cloth diapers the service is dependable (ie you aren’t going to run out of clean diapers because you forgot to put on the wash), and easy (you don’t have to rinse the diapers or do laundry everyday), but slightly more expensive per month (over the few years of diapering you can save a few thousand dollars by doing your own cloth diapering rather than using the service).
However, my frugal husband promised that if we did our own cloth diapers, he would take care of rinsing, washing, and everything else involved with poopy diapers. Now this promise didn’t totally happen since I do sometimes end up folding/stuffing the diapers but I am glad he convinced me to do it ourselves because I am finding our diapering system to be awesome and enjoyable….I never thought diaper changing time could be one of my favorite parts of the day but the diaper changing table has become one of Aza’s favorite places to play and smile so it has also become one of MY favorite places :).
We ended up investing in about 20-25 cloth diapers including some Bum Genius Pocket Diapers, Bum Genius All-in-One Diapers, Alva Pocket Diapers, and Thirsties diaper covers with the old-school trifold cloths. When we started looking at cloth diapers I was totally confused by all the choices. I had only experienced the old school trifold diapers (which is what you get with the diaper delivery service by the way), but now there are tons of cloth diapering options.
Here’s my take after using the assortment above….
Bum Genius are great but are twice as expensive as the Alva diapers which are, as far as I can tell so far, just as effective. Both are one size fits all so they can be adjusted to fit your baby all the way through potty training (awesome because you only have to invest in 1 size!). The difference is Alva is made in China which may not fit with some folks values.
I also really liked the Bum Genius All -in-One diapers (maybe Alva has these too?). We read that some people felt the pocket diapers work better than the All-in-One but so far we haven’t seen a difference in functionality. However, the pocket diapers require that you take the pads out of the diapers before washing and then put them back in after washing which adds about 30 minutes of your time spent on diapering duties every other day (with 20 cloth diapers we end up doing a diaper laundry load every other day without running out of diapers). I guess one good thing about the pocket-style diaper is that you can adjust how many pads you put in so for example if you are diapering for overnight or know it will be awhile until you can change baby, you can add an extra pad to avoid leaks (and make his/her butt look extra big!).
We also invested in about 20 small washclothes to use instead of wipes because we found Aza’s butt getting red even with the sensitive, eco-friendly wipes. We use a squeeze bottle of water (or you could use a spray bottle) to dampen clothes to gently pat wipe the bum and this helped get rid of rash and redness. Then you just throw cloth into the diaper pail and wash with diapers.
We actually have never used the Thirsties Diaper covers and trifold diapers because the new fancy diapers are just so easy! So glad we didn’t get the diaper service because they give you the tri-folds…plus we are saving a couple thousand dollars over the 3 years of diapering ahead of us even after the initial investment in cloth diapers. Washing the diapers ourselves is easier than I thought since they don’t require rinsing (they might as her poops get more solid) and can be stuck directly in your washing machine from the diaper pail. Since you are doing laundry all the time anyways with a newborn, as long as you have a good washer/dryer in your house (especially nice to have a sanitizing function on your washer), you are not adding much work…do a load of laundry every day… one day it’s clothes/blankets covered in spit up, the next it’s poopy diapers. Just get in the routine and it’s pretty easy.
Note: We use disposable diapers and all-natural baby wipes by seventh-generation when we are out of the house.
We keep our room from smelling like dirty diapers by using the Dekor Diaper pail. We use one reusable diaper pail bag which you can throw straight in the wash with the diapers ( we bought two but really only needed one!)
Diaper Changing Table
We were given a homemade diaper changing table from our neighbor who is a woodworker. However, before we were given that we were going to use a shelf in our Ikea armoir. You can also use a dresser….its nice to have drawers for easy to access diapers and wipes, etc. We got a diaper pad on amazon and quickly figured out that putting a diaper pad cover on was silly because Aza peed every time we changed her and we had to wash the cover. Instead we use a trifold diaper under her during each change and just wash that every few changes.
Diaper creams and other baby hygiene products
During her first month, we struggled with Aza having diaper rash. We soon realized it was due to the fact that cloth diapers are not absorbent until washed about 6 times so the pee was just sitting on her butt instead of being absorbed….our first experience of feeling like BAD parents!
I remember one night I felt a small wet spot on Aza in the middle of the night and figured it was just milk leakage from me since it hadn’t been long since we changed her diaper and so I went back to sleep. When I woke up a few hours later I realized she was now soaking wet and that the small wet spot was just the beginning of her pee leaking. I broke into tears feeling like the most awful mom in the world for letting my baby sleep in her own pee knowing she has open sores on her bottom from diaper rash. Needless to say stubborn diaper rash can be a frustrating and emotional sore point for new moms who don’t need another thing making baby uncomfortable and definitely don’t need more evidence that she “can’t take care of her baby right”.
Based on reviews on amazon, it seems every baby’s diaper rash responds to a different cream. Some parents swear by a cream that others say does nothing. So try different creams to find what works. I literally spent hours looking over ingredients balancing considerations of ingredient safety for baby (some ingredients that are effective like petroleum are not things you want to be putting on your baby!!), effectiveness on diaper rash, and ingredient effect on cloth diapers***(see note below). I was completely overwhelmed and in the desperation of wanting to help my baby and be a “good mom” I bought like 5 different products!
The magic bullet for Aza was Angel Baby Bottom Butter and either California Baby Diaper rash cream or Wedela Diaper rash cream. At first we tried the most natural option for diaper cream that we could find at Target: Boudreauxs Butt Paste (the natural version) and the diaper rash stayed no matter how many baths and naked butt time we gave her. The redness turned into sores that just would not go away.
Then we used the Angel Baby Bottom Balm (also can use for mom’s for sore bottoms after birth!) along with California Baby Diaper rash cream and the rash cleared up instantly.
We now use the Angel Baby Bottom Balm every diaper change whether or not she has a rash because it repels wetness off her body and I feel good using it daily due to healing ingredients like calendula and natural oils without having zinc oxide, mineral oils or petroleum in it. We use the Wedela or California Baby Diaper rash cream when we notice her bottom is a little red.
***Note: Many diaper creams reduce absorbency of cloth diapers and can ruin them. You can get diaper liners when using these products or use the more diaper friendly creams (like angel baby!).
This website is a great resource for comparing diaper cream ingredients
Other tips for diaper rash: buy some water proof pads so you lay baby under her favorite mobile with her butt naked for as long as she lets you (do once a day at least if she has active diaper rash). Let baby’s butt air dry on the diaper changing table for 5-10 minutes every diaper change….we play games, play with her toes, and sing songs while we do it! Or blow on bottom, especially in fat roll cracks, to speed up drying time. Take lots of baths. Try different rash creams, different wipes, different diapers, different detergents….any might be irritating her little butt.
As for other baby hygiene products, we don’t use much soap/shampoo on our baby yet nor do we use lotions. We use a small amount of Wedela or California baby soap on diaper area in the bath and plan to use these highly recommended baby brands as she grows older.
We also got a basic baby kit like this one that has brush, comb, nail clippers, thermometer, suction bulb, etc. and we have used many of these items!
I love my Skip Hop Duo Diaper Bag in Chevron print. Not to small, not too big, good pockets, and the cool print means both my husband and I don’t feel silly carrying it! Comes with diaper changing pad for on the go!
Bath tub necessity…
We were given a baby bathtub with a baby sling in it and it literally is the best thing ever! Aza loves bath time even during her nightly “colicky” fits every night from weeks 4-8. We put her in the sling and she just lounges happily long after we are done cleaning her! So much better than trying to hold her and wash at the same time. You do have to be very careful of her slipping down to far in the sling or flipping out of it, but as long as you are right there to adjust her as needed, it works great! Taking baths with her is also great, but if your baby likes water, its awesome to be able to get her in the bath without having to get in yourself.
So we got the Cadillac or maybe the Porsche of stroller/carseat. This was a big splurge and I am not sure it was necessary but now that we have it I do love it! The UppaBaby Vista comes with a bassinet attachment (which you could easily use next to your bed as baby’s bed or wheel around the house while baby is sleeping to save your back a little) and a toddler seat. We also got the Uppa Baby carseat because it has a very high safety rating and has some nice functionality to make strapping in easy. The carseat attaches to the stroller too so you can lift sleeping baby from car to stroller. You can buy adapters to attach other brand carseats to the stroller as well.
I like that it is good for “off-roading” because we have lots of gravel, sand, and dirt trails but it is not too big. It is easy to fold and the wheels remove very easily to make it smaller for transport and also lock in straight line like a running stroller. At the same time it maneuvers like a sports car for city shopping and has a huge under basket for farmer’s markets! It is also indestructible with good warranty policy.
We got ours on a big sale (they only go on sale 1 time per year!) and our parents bought it for us which allowed us to slurge a little for the convenience of this item. After seeing the prices they were selling used on craigslist, we figured we could sell it on craigslist after we were done with for almost the amount we got it at the sale price.
The important thing is that you get the carseat/stroller attachment option since that is highly convenient for not waking baby!
Other car accessories
I have so far been avoiding driving by myself with the baby. She is not one of those babies that gets in the car and passes out and usually I sit in back while Ian drives to entertain her the whole time. Although many times she is content for short rides, we have had several choking crying fits while driving resulting in us pulling over to nurse. The thought of going through this while driving alone with her in the back seat does not sound fun, but I know someday soon it will be necessary. So to make me more comfortable my mom got me this mirror that allows me to see her in my rear view mirror. It has a remote that allows me to turn on a light or music that plays out of the mirror’s speaker. Ian also got me this sunshade that attaches to the window since one of my excuses was “But what if the sun gets in her face and am not back there to shield it?”.
Another useful thing that we got for free through one of those coupons you get when you purchase baby stuff is a carseat canopy. I like this because I remember with my siblings we used to cover the seat with a blanket when we were carrying it out in the sun or rain and the blanket always fell off. This canopy attaches and allows baby to be covered when she is sleeping inside or outside the car or if it is raining when you are carrying the carseat around, etc. Here’s info on how to get a free carseat canopy. You can also make these yourself easily if you have basic sewing skills!
Blankets and Burp Cloths
Before the baby was born, I thought we had WAY too many baby blankets. It seemed like that’s what everyone gave us! Yet, I am now so glad we have them. Between spit up and spraying breastmilk and rainy day walks from the car to the house, having a blanket at hand in every location is super nice!! We also use rolled blankets to prop Aza to face the correct direction to fix her slight Torticollis (more in a future post)…rolled blankets around her also sometimes helps her stay asleep by herself in her crib since it feels like my arms around her.
One note, many of the blankets that call themselves swaddling blankets are way too small for swaddling after they are washed. Also, many are too slippery a material to get a very snug swaddle….you need more of a light flannel type material so it kinda sticks to itself or I have also seen some in a linen type fabric. I didn’t try the “blankets” that have velcro especially for swaddling but if your baby is comforted by swaddling, these might be something to try.
Swaddling can save you from lots of crying in the first month if you have a baby who responds to the snug fit. Aza did like it at first but quickly began preferring her hands to be free. However, she still wakes herself up from her hands flinging around which makes it very hard to get her to take naps by herself….so maybe we should have done better with getting the swaddle technique down….she slept beautifully by herself in the hospital when the pro-swaddlers wrapped her up!
I know there are so many cute little baby outfits out there and when I first made my registry for my baby shower there were tons of clothes on it. However, here are a few things that were truths for us….
Aza did not like anything around her waist so all those cute outfits with little pants have not been worn yet. First it was because of her belly button scab, then it was because the waistband seemed to make her gas and fussiness worse. Also, because the cloth diapers are designed to fit newborn through toddler, there is a lot of extra fabric at the newborn stage…..so her butt is HUGE! Most pants of correct size for her age are not cut to accommodate such a big bum and therefore leave red marks around her waist and make it so she can barely move her legs!
Lastly, since it was still rainy, wet and relatively cold (Aza was born in February), I found it most likely that I would grab an outfit that was warm and had feet attached (since pants ride up a expose little ankles and legs when she was being held or in the ERGO).
So for the first 2-3 months plan on baby wearing mostly sleepers with feet!
Another thing that I thought I had way too many of before Aza was born were onsies. Wrong again. Onsies go under pretty much every outfit and are the first to get dirty when diaper leaks occur. So you go through them quickly. Have lots of long sleeve and short sleeve onesies depending on temperature.
A few must have clothes items…
1 or 2 Sleep sacks – I was so confused about the best sleeping situation for me and baby. Some people said baby should sleep with you to be most safe and create secure attachment. Some said that it was dangerous to have a newborn in your bed. Even those saying co-sleeping was great, said that there should be no blankets or pillows around baby. Well, how is mom and baby supposed to stay warm and is mom supposed to live without a pillow forever and doesn’t that mean baby can;t go between mom and dad so how do you prevent baby from rolling off the bed? And the truth is, you don;t always have a choice of how baby sleeps….some refuse to sleep by themselves! Sleep sacks are at least one answer to this confusing field for new moms….they keep baby warm without as much danger of blanket suffocation. We had a zip-up warm sleep sack that we put over her footed sleeper that acted just like a blanket.
For all the other questions around sleep arrangements, honestly I don;t know. You just have to do what works and let go of the fear that is cultivated around seemly every sleep option. One thing I learned is to change what direction baby baby faces to prevent head molding/flattening and unevenly tight neck muscles (more on this in another post).
Note: No matter what, always place baby on her back as a prevention for SIDS unless otherwise advised by your doctor.
Zutano Booties – they fit for a long time and stay on the feet!!! Also, they hold pants in place so baby doesn’t get cold legs on the days she doesn’t wear sleepers with feet.
A note on sizes….
When I was putting clothing items on my registry I had no idea what size to ask for. Aza was 8 lbs 3 oz when she was born and she wore newborn sizes (labeled newborn or 0-3 months for maybe 2-3 weeks) although some newborn outfits never fit because of her large cloth diapers. She started wearing clothes labeled 3 months starting at 2 weeks old through about 6 weeks and then it was on to “3-6 month” size. At 2.5 months she is mostly wearing 6 month old clothes….and fits into some 9 month clothes! Aza is in the 90th percentile for weight and height, but its good to remember that 1.) Breastfed babies usually grow very quickly in the first year and so fit larger clothes faster than the averages used to determine clothing labels. 2.) Cloth diapers make babies need bigger clothes because they are so bulky. 3.) Babies can wear clothes that are slightly too big for them and then they last longer!
Many people swear by video baby monitor which seems cool especially as baby gets older and is playing in rooms on their own, but those monitors can be pricey. We got this monitor which does not have video but provides several receivers for multiple rooms and allows for you to talk to your baby through it as well as hear them. Honestly, we have barely turned it on because our baby won’t sleep by herself so we are usually always right next to her!!! But I am looking forward to the day when she takes naps by herself and we get to use the monitor 🙂
Think of having one or two toys at each “baby station” so in crib, carseat, highchair, swing, nursing spot, bed, diaper bag, etc. Think black and white and bright primary colors in bold graphic patterns for infants. Think music and sound and movement. Think things that are easy to grab.
Many babies like toys that create white noise, womb-like sounds, and nature sounds like this sheep.
Aza prefers the classical music that comes out of her swing, toys that rattle and shake or crunch, and she loves looking at the patterns on her crib bumper and watching her bright yellow polka dot bird mobile spin. She also likes a play gym that was given to her, mirrors, and a black and white mat that makes a crunch sound when she touches it. At 2.5 months she is just starting to be able to grab and swipe at things…..and I guess soon we will need some things for her to teeth on!
This is a place where it is important to focus on your unique values and style. There are lots of organic toys, locally crafted toys, and less “commercial” toys. We got some amazing hand-sewn and wood crafted toys at our local craft fair!
Another thing to remember is sometimes less is more. Having just a few great toys makes them special and less overstimulating for baby. Toys are a great way to engage with your kids but so is playing make believe, singing songs, playing with leaves, telling stories, dancing to your favorite pandora station…and none of these require that you buy anything! With all the stuff that we have bought Aza, the things that quiets her crying fastest and gets her cooing with happiness? Going outside, standing by the washing machine, looking at people’s faces or her own hands/toes, and walking or dancing in mama’s arms. So just pick a few high quality toys that reflect your values and really provide an interesting way to engage your baby in doing their age appropriate skills.
Bonus: Less toys also means less mess and allows space to create a home that reflects your values and style.
Baby Gear: Swing, Highchair, Playpen
Now here is where we can get carried away as consumers. There are many expensive items we are told we need but that our kids may not even like! For example, some kids love the swing and it puts them right to sleep! Other’s can;t stand it AND IT GOES UP ON CRAIGSLIST WITHOUT EVER BEING USED. So our solution to this other “gear” was to get most of it used so if our kid loved it, great. If not, we didn’t spend a fortune and could get rid of it or get a version of it that our kid does like.
We got this swing used on craigslist for $50 and it was like brand new! Aza loves the classical music and nature sounds it plays as well as the black and white print and little hanging caterpiller/stars. This swing is awesome because the seat unhooks and works as a vibrating and bouncy chair that you carry with you and set anywhere in the house! Some babies like the forward and back swings, some like the side to side motion. Although this swing is back and forth, I actually think Aza would have preferred a side to side.
The one thing we did get new as a gift which we ended up loving was this highchair. The reason we love it is because it folds backwards so even a newborn can “sit” at the table with you or watch you while you cook dinner. We use it every morning so mommy can have two hands to eat breakfast and get ready for the day! It also has height adjustments to fit all table heights.
We did get a graco playpen used on craigslist. It was in really nice shape since it was never really used but when we got home we realized that some of the pieces were missing and there was no instruction manual so hard to know how it all worked…some of the problems with getting items used. We actually haven’t used this yet and I just put it in our storage room for when she is older. I got it thinking it would be a good place to put her that would keep her and her toys out of reach of our dog. She did not like sitting in the little bassinet on top of it and so we’ll have to see if we use it as a playpen when she is a little older.
Many moms told me they never used their glider chair but I found it to be a must-have. I practically LIVED IN IT the last few months. For one reason, I have a dog that likes to jump all over me so sitting on the couch to nurse was a constant game of yelling “no” and “OFF”. Also, since my little girl really needs movement to stay asleep, it was more likely I could transition to sitting in a moving chair than a non-moving chair.
These chairs can be pricey and not very cute for living room furniture, especially if you and your baby end up not finding it useful. We spent several weeks on craigslist to find one that wasn’t too expensive or ugly 🙂 We both wish now that it was one of the models that reclined for comfort reasons but those are again more expensive.
I think you can use any comfy chair as a nursing chair, preferably one that moves (rocks or glides) and has really supportive arm rests….so you may already have one that would work! Make sure you have a little table next to your nursing spot where you always have a water bottle, books, phone/ipad, vitamin D drops for baby, spit up blanket, and anything else you need in easy reach while nursing.
This was the must-have I never thought of!!! During the few weeks that Aza had big crying fits every night, my husband’s co-worker told him that she used to put earphones in and sit on a bouncy yoga ball with her colicky baby screaming in her arms as a way to give herself a break from constant walking and bouncing. So we pulled out the ball and it has now become a permanent part of our living room, since the bouncing calms Aza while we get to relax our legs and back. Bouncing on the ball in our arms is now one of her favorite places to fall asleep and sometimes even dad can get her to sleep without the help of mom’s boob! Break for mom, yay!
This is the crib we got (in white). I liked it because it was relatively cheap and can convert into a toddler bed and bed frame for a full bed when child grows up! It really is nice looking! You will need to buy a mattress, sheets, water proof pad, and a crib bumper….the big question is do you go with more expensive organic options for these items?
We were also given a used co-sleeper from our friends. Aza is just starting to sometimes stay asleep for an hour or two in this at night. I thought it would be more like an extension to the bed that I could easily slide her in and out of without waking her but it feels really separate like a bassinet, and is difficult for me to get her in and out of it while laying on the bed ( I have to sit or stand up just as if she were in a separate bassinet and she usually wakes up in the transition). It is a good transition from Mama’s bed to crib because you can see her and check on her more easily then her being in a big crib across the room or in another room.
The co-sleeper also does act as a barrier from baby rolling off the bed. On the other side of the bed we got a side rail.
Even though I wasn’t planning on bottle feeding much, it is nice to have some breastmilk in the fridge for dad to use in emergencies. Whether it be a baby who wakes up while mommy is still on the phone with her coaching client or issues with mommies breasts or mom can’t get home because her car broke down or a true emergency like mom’s in the hospital. Breast pumps can also be useful if baby isn;t eating for any reason so you can keep your milk supply up or if your milk supply is too high and milk let down to fast you can pump a little befor eyou feed so your milk doesn;t squirt all over babies face. Aza would get quite annoyed with my fire hose of a boob spraying milk all over her.
Some health insurance companies will provide a breast pump for free. This is how we got our Medela Brand pump and it works just fine for the limited amount I use it.
Of course you will need a few bottles as well depending on how much you plan on pumping/using bottles, and do some research on milk storage solutions since I have no real experience around this yet.
Water proof layer on bed
Babies leak pee and poop…mommies leak breast milk….by the morning you need to change your sheets and if you don;t have a waterproof pad or sheet underneath your mattress will be gross very soon. If baby is in crib or co-sleeper, get waterproof pads to go under those sheets too. Have a few extra waterproof pads around for laying under baby for naked butt time! (see diaper rash section).
At our 2 week doctor appointment, we were told that all infants should be given a vitamin D supplement. When we picked up what the doctor ordered for us at the pharmacy, I was surprised to find that the Vitamin D supplement given to infants contains sugar, preservatives and dyes! So next doctor visit we brought a different more natural vitamin D supplement and she said it was also fine to use. This more natural variety also only requires you to give baby 1 drop on your boob or in formula rather than a whole syringe of the other one filled with all that crap!
Little Aza had pretty bad gas pains every evening from weeks 4-8. The two things recommended were gripe water and probiotics containing l.reuteri. It was difficult to find a gripe water without other ingredients I didn’t like but it did seem to calm her and was really good at getting rid of uncomfortable hiccups. The probiotics were not recommended by our doctor and there are mixed opinions about using these so you will need to do some research for yourself around if you would like to use these. Baby does get probiotics through your breast milk and I found Aza’s stomach pains may have improved due to me taking my own probiotic more regularly.
Aza also had two colds in her first two months and we found a saline nasal spray and suction bulb to be very helpful in helping her breath and nurse with her stuffy nose. I have also heard great things about the Nose Freida although I have not yet tried it.
I am not an expert in this area and would love someone more experienced innatural remedies to offer advice to us all around natural options for medicines to have around the house!
Organic Reusable Breast Pads – get two packs as you will be always using them if you don;t want to be soaked in breast milk!!
Earth Mama Nipple Butter – a life saver for me. I had super raw painful nipples and the usually recommended lanolin did not help. When I started using the nipple butter, my nipples began to heal.
Lots of very thick menstrual pads and cheap undies that you don;t mind being ruined during first 6-8 weeks home from hospital.
Water bottles at every nursing station – you get really thirsty when nursing 🙂
Nursing tank tops – I used these much more than nursing bras
Lots of sweaters and shirts that open in front for nursing.
The Baby Book by Dr. Sears….a must have!!…the bible for attachment parenting.
Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding (a must have!!!)
Ina May’s Guide to Birth (a must have!!!)
Spiritual Midwifery, By Ina May
The Womenly Art of Breastfeeding (I haven’t read this one but heard great things about it)
The No-Cry Sleep Solution ( a must have!!)
Operating Instructions: A Journal of my Son;s First Year by Anne Lamont (comic relief a new mom can relate to!).
Parenting with Love and Logic (for older kids)
The Mindful Child (for older kids)
If you have any questions about anything or your own comments on this topic, please post in the comments below!!!