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Baby Must Have and Don't Bother Lists

>> Monday, March 16, 2009

A few weeks ago I polled some of my new mommy friends and asked them to share the baby must have and don't bother list. I got some great feedback and wanted to share it with all of you. If you have any to add to the list, please feel free to leave a comment!

Stephanie, mom of Hudson - 4 months
1. Adjustable swaddle blankets - they are velcro and are very convenient and Daddy friendly. We still use one every night.

2. Backpack diaper bag - I find it very convenient to throw on my back when lugging the carrier around, it hangs from the stroller, and Marcus doesn't mind carrying it. (we ordered ours from Pottery Barn Kids)

3. Bouncy seat that reclines a little and vibrates - this soothed Hudson to sleep when he had gas and even now with his reflux. We also put him in it every morning in our room while we get dressed for work. Just get one that vibrates!

4. Baby bather chair - Hudson loves his chair and my sister used this for both of her girls. It doesn't allow them to be submerged in water, so he is never scared and just relaxes the whole time.

5. A white noise machine. Hudson has a teddy bear that sounds like the womb and it would soothe him to sleep. Not so much any more.

Things I received and either returned or have not used:
1. Wipe warmer - ours dried out the wipes and everyone said he would get spoiled to warm wipes

2. Bottle warmer - we just run his bottles under warm water and it's just one additional something on your countertop!

I agree about beginning to buy diapers now! Don't get too too many Newborn sizes - they will be in size 1 before you know it and you can always put them in size 1 and fold it down!

Ashley, mom to Mason - 9 months

Must haves:
-Miracle Blanket (better than any other swaddle blanket, we tried them all)
-Anything CHICCO (amazing car seat, strollers,etc.)
-Boppy Changing Pad Covers (they are white oval shaped and cover the changing pad cover so when he pees everywhere you only have to change the top pad and not the cover too!)
-Baby Einstein DVD's (they may not come into good use until the baby can pay attention to them but when he can, you will get time to cook, shower, etc.) They are amazing!
-A "lovey" I didn't realize before I had a baby how important a security blanket is, Mason uses his as a pillow now!

Not so must haves:
-Regular Diaper Genie, get the New Elite or II if you go that route (step button on the bottom)
-More than 2-3 cribs sheets, we have ones that have never been used!
-More than 5-6 blankets, once again, we have ones that never get used...I have to rotate them intentionally so they get used! LOL
-Large diaper bag, I RARELY use mine, I think its been used 5x and Mason is 9 months...(my fav. is the diaper bag backpack from Pottery Barn)
-Bottle Warmer (Mason will take a bottle cold or warm, food is food to most babies!) or a Wipe Warmer, if you are in public, you can't warm the wipes so why do it at home! (personal opinion of course!)

Cristen, mom to Halle - 5 months
Get a decent Pack N Play. We have a Graco one, the Catalina print pack and play... pretty neutral, matches our house...

Skip the Diaper Genie... if you must have a diaper disposal system, the Diaper Dekor works well, but still gets smelly if you put the dirty diaps in there. I got these blue bags at target and we wrap the poo diapers in there and throw them in our regular trash that we take out at least 1x per day.

I have a Snugli, I am using it way more now just running around the house and on the nicer days here I use it for walks instead of the big azz stroller! There are other ways to wrap and carry your baby that are pretty fun, I have a Bebe wrap that is just a long knit piece of fabric that's cool-- great for when they're little!

Register for towels, washcloths, etc. The cheapy flimsy Gerber ones are my faves...You'll always use that crap! Skip the baby robe, the hooded towels are where its at!

Skip the Johnson's baby product gift pack, my child is rather resilient and still got a little rash from their lotion products so I use Aveeno... it's great,! Just try the trial sizes to be sure his skin will approve!

Our infant positioner that we put in the crib Halle still uses! It's 21.99 at Babies R Us

Some type of bouncer that vibrates and an infant swing. Halle liked her Boppy swing it's neutral colored and they sell them at babies R us... swings and play stuff is kinda hard though! You'll never know if they'll really like them... i bought that kind of thing on craigslist!

Bottles, if you are going to use them... we got Dr. Browns, yes there's tons of parts but they are great. the idiots that write reviews that they leak are full of bologna because if you fill them above the line... the leak. Don't fill above line, you are golden!

A formula pitcher. It pre-mixes the formula perfectly and on those overnight feedings if you choose to formula feed its so much better than getting the powder, water... blah blah blah... We have the Dr. Brown's formula pitcher, it makes about 36 ounces at a time, which seems like a lot but usually formula is good if refrigerated 48-72 hrs depending on which type. And... the Dr. Brown's bottles... WILL leak if you fill them ABOVE the designated line. I have 15 of them and haven't had a leak-- only ONE when my sister over-filled! :) Just little tricks! We couldn't have survived the first days without them. After the Avent completely pissed her off and the MAM she slipped around and fumblefucked w/ the Nipple, my cousins brought them over... waaaalah! :)

The highchair, (fisher price space saver) is a god send for our families (HUGE, my mom is one of 8 and my dad is one of 3 and each of his bros and sis have 4+ kids...) this has been the best high chair because you can make it disappear... it's great, plus it fits in the back of our Escalade which is even better so we can take it to grannies!

Everyone has lovely advice, but bottom line... you don't have to spend $500 on a freakin' diaper bag...

the bottle thing... I recommend borrowing a bottle or 2 from friends who have different types and seeing what he likes. (I will give a shout out to Dr. Browns... read the reviews-- plus my friend Brandi's son was so colicky and it turned him around overnight.) Any nipple that is shaped like the breast... bad. That's why so many bottles have traditional nipples. Kids get milk around their mouth w/ slobber and it gets extremely slippery... it fumblefucks around their mouth and gets annoying because the rubber is softer. Or at least this is my experience and Brandi's.

Borrow stuff if you have the opportunity. Halle has been in her bouncer at least 30 minutes a day since she was born... plus added bonus-- if they vibrate, a few extra gas bubbles rise up... it was the only way she napped for about 5 weeks.

She loves her Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium that attaches to the side of her crib... bad part, hard to install, batteries... there is a glow worm that lights up that my friend Brandi's son Landon loves, it plays music and can be taken on the go. The sleep sheep is also good, just doesn't have a light up feature.

I don't think I am the resident expert on anything, every baby is different!

Lainey, mom to Harrison - 4 months
Must have:
Chicco stoller system
Baby Einstein playmat
the blue bather you put in the tub. It is mesh and on an incline
We have the brown with polka dot swing(I think it is Graco)-that has worked well

Dont get:
Diaper Genie
Wipe warmer
I never used the sling or hooter hider

I know everyone has their opinion on bottles, but we use playtex with the disposal lining and LOVE them!! nothing to sterilize, no bottles to clean, it is just so easy! Wal-Mart also carries a brand of much cheaper liners. We just wash the nipples with soap under hot water and you just use a new liner every time. Makes life simple!

Bonnie, mom to Averi - 3 and Elia - 1
1. As far as a baby swing goes I highly recommend getting one that plugs in!! The batteries on those things go out constantly and it can be a pain in the butt! I have a great one that plugs in and loved it!!!
2. Register for a BUMBO seat!! They are so helpful in teaching your baby to sit upright quicker, and its nice to be able to set them with you around the house!
3. If you are planning on breastfeeding and bottle feeding at the same time AVENT bottles are great for that! I loved them!! The nipples are shaped to replicate a breast nipple so its a real easy transition if you are gonna solely breastfeed for a while and then go to bottle feeding.
4. I would defiantly say Skip the bassinet and just get a decent pack n play! They double as a bassinet in the beginning and then are super useful all the way through toddlerhood:)
5. There are so many great stroller car seat systems... And I just found one that I wish I had... its a jogger stroller that also lets the car seat snap right into it... so its great for newborns! When I had Averi, I had a regular stroller so my car seat would snap into it, and I spent another 200bucks on a jogger... it would have been great to have one that served all purposes:-)

**I totally agree with the diaper genie being a waste and the wipe warmer as well!! The warmer is kinda cool, but pretty unnecessary:)

EVERY baby is different!!! My two were like night and day as babies.... Averi used the swing everyday till she was a year old (she loved sleeping in it)... but then Elia was out of it by 5mnths (Also wouldn't have been able to live with out the first 10wks...she would only sleep in the swing)! Both my kids HATED the bouncy seats, but some mothers swear by them:) Everyone uses different bottles, so just go with the one that you seem to be drawn to... they all work just fine in my opinion:-) It can be overwhelming at first, cuz babies really seem to require a lot of little things that are only used for a short period of time... but whats nice is that you can reuse all of it for the next baby Wilson... so if I were you, I would buy neutral colored items for most of the stuff... just in case you don't have all boys :-) LOVES!!!!

*OH one more thing... MIABOSSI.COM---look at this website for some pretty amazing diaper bags!!! Super stylish and super functional!!! They come with an amazing fur lined diaper pad... SO CUTE!!!

Brooke, mom to Reese - 11 months
1. Chicco Stroller and car seat (awesome)
2. Britax Boulevard Car seat (Reese is in it now and it has a super tight install with the option to tether rear facing. The weight limit is 35 pounds rear-facing.
3. Bjorn baby carrier (this is how I cleaned my house the first month and how I worked out at the gym until she was 7 weeks old)
4. Pack N Play (we have Chicco--love it!). We leave it in our car because we hang out at friends houses a lot. That we we can set it up and have her go to sleep while we stay--see you can still have fun when your a mommy!).
5. A swing that PLUGS in! I wish you could borrow ours--Reese stopped using hers at 5 months.
6. A medela breast pump if you plan on pumping (double sheilds if you are going to work).
7. Boppy Pillow
8. I use Dove soap (the bar-original) on her skin rather than the baby products. I use Avenno on her hair.
9. A cart cover for the grocery cart and highchairs at restaurants
10. I could have done without the bouncy seat.

I agree with the playtex liners. We use Dr. Browns and loved them but next baby we'll use playtex.
Here is some more...

A good jogging stroller. I like mine but the wheel shakes when I run fast (which isn't often!)

A book: Baby 411 and a book about the 5's (swaddeling, sucking, swinging, shhh, and something else but I forgot--not sure on the title...have to get back to you!)

A play mat (RC loved hers)

A good cheap car seat is the Walmart Cosco Scenea. We bought one to just keep as an extra in the garage. RC loves it and it is light weight for when sitters need to put it in their cars.


BOOKS! What can I say, I'm a kindergarten teacher:)

high chair on rollers (we have Chicco and love it!) In the morning I roll her over to the tv to catch some Sesame Street. We never use the one that sits in a kitchen chair. It is currently collecting dust.

Every baby is different as well as parents. I nursed Reese and did not nurse on demand (don't throw rocks at me!) but she was on a solid schedule very quickly because of this. Plus she never associated nursing (now a bottle) with going to sleep. Warning: this does not work for everyone!!

Kayla, mom to Clayton - 4 months
1. Pack n play -- something durable not the most expensive--it will get dirty
2. Boppy pillow--its good for breast feeding but I use it everyday now that he is starting to hold himself up. I lay it on the floor and put him on it then put a bunch of toys in front of him and he goes wild.
3. Diaper Champ--only because I have stairs otherwise you can just throw it in a regular trash can and if you do that get the scented bags from Target. I also keep a travel size Lysol in his top drawer to clean it.
4. Humidifier--just a good thing to have
5. Baby Einstein floor mat--Clayton loves it and you know that.
6. What ever bottle you decide to go with buy exta nipples as he grows instead of buying more bottles. Plus they have nipples that can grow with them meaning they have some with extra holes for when they eat more.
7. Bumbo w/tray
6. Travel stroller very nice and convenient
8. HAND SANITIZER-must have at ever baby changing post in the house.

Don't Bother
1. Wipe, bottle, and lotion warmer--no need. I have all of them if you must have
2. Swing & Bouncer-- Clayton would rather be put on the floor so he can go go. They grow to fast for the swing and the bouncer.
3. Baby hangers-- You will have onsies coming out of your ass and I don't hang those up. They will be good later though when he starts wearing big boy shirts. Basically not enough material to hang up although very cute.
4. I did not care for the cute little bath tubs. They are awkward. Keep it simple and small. Then just get a big inflatable duck ( they are fun but a space taker).
5. I agree with skipping the bassinet. They grow so fast and if they are in your room you are both going to be waking up when there is no need.

Stephanie, mom to Matthew 3 and Faith - 4 months

All babies are different. And register for neutral things that go for boy or girl. Do things that are practical not cute!!! I registered for a bouncy seat that matched my swing and never used it with Matthew. I only used it to feed him when he was too small for the highchair. With Faith I got one that has toys that hang, lights up and plays music. She will sit in it for 2 hours at a time completely content. And it is nice to put in the bathroom when I am taking a shower. I will use the Bumbo seat to feed her in the transition to the highchair. We did a highchair with wheels as well for the TV.

We did a travel system for the car seat and stroller. We just got extra bases to keep in everyone's cars. Make sure when you get a stroller you look for thing like cup holders for you, snack tray for the kids and a good basket to put the diaper bag in.

I swear by the duck bath tub your nephew is in. It was great for when Matthew was to big for the infant tub but too small for the big bathtub. The big bathtub scared him. Besides the duck is very cute and it quacks.

My thoughts on bottles-a bottle is a bottle. I used Avent, but I hear Dr. Browns are the hot item. They all leak!! Just remember most bottles have different nipples sizes as they get older. I didn't know that and the nipples aren't cheap. I like the Mams or avent pacifiers because the nipple is the same whether it is upright or upside down.

I never used a humidifier with Matthew, but now both kids have them in their rooms. Cuts down on being sick!!!!

My kids were in a swing for only three months but it was worth it for the short time!!! I didn't get one that plugged in and spent a fortune in batteries. Even with new batteries it died and is now in the trash, so get the plug in.

Don't get a bassinet unless you can borrow someones. The pack n play works great. Matthew would still sleep in the pack n play if I would let him.

Don't worry about a wipe warmer, it just spoils them. Mine hummed after awhile and I was afraid it would somehow catch fire in his room. Plus I heard the warmth grows bacteria on the wipes. I did the diaper champ with Matthew, but with Faith I just use the trash.

I love aveeno and A & D products!!!!

I did use a baby carrier with Matthew. It was great for walking on the tread mill and burning extra weight. Since you live in warmer weather you would probably get good use out of one. I haven't used it with Faith but it is too cold to do anything. I have heard a lot of moms shop with them.

I used the Snuggler for the car seat the first couple of months. It makes them more snug in the seat since they are so small. It helps them fill it out.

Get a cart/ highchair cover, one with toys that attach. It keep germs away and entertains them.

Neither one of my kids used the Boppy. I like the bumbo. But I hear they are nice for breastfeeding- I don't know because my kids were formula babies.

Buy a pack of diapers or wipes at the grocery stores every time you go starting now. It is nice to stock up since the cost of kids is high. You will get a lot as gifts. I didn't have to buy any until Matthew was 6 months and Faith was 4 months. I only got two weeks paid maternity so it was nice to have a stash since I wasn't bringing home any money. It is an extra $100 every couple of weeks just for diaper wipes and formula. It adds up by the end of the month.

Don't register for clothes.People will buy that no matter what and you want them to buy the things you need.

Do the hooded towels, not robe.

Also when it comes to a diaper bag everyone goes with cute and fashionable. Just make sure it has lots of compartments and a spacious middle section.

And don't forget the thing that hangs from the side of the crib. They have an aquarium and rainforst one. It plays music and lights up. Both of my kids watch it as they fall asleep. I also have a radio with a repeat button that plays throughout the entire nights with a soothing CD. They are both used to sleeping with noise in the background so I can vacuum and get things done. They don't wake up when the dog barks , doorbell rings or anything because they are used to noise.


Jennifer March 20, 2009 at 11:13 AM  

Thank you for posting this! I like Kayla's response that she didn't need baby hangers because "You will have onsies coming out of your ass and I don't hang those up." Way too funny...and true!

Rose May 26, 2010 at 10:43 AM  

Awesome! I found your blog through d listed blog and it is sooo great! I love the fresh, easy to read design. I just forwarded this post to a friend who asked for help with her registry and I drew a total blank!

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