our baby “essentials” and non essentials

As a rookie mom of a baby just under two months old, I thought it was about time I share my list of items we have loved over the past couple months. I’ve separated this list into two sections, one for things we already had and one for things we didn’t realize we’d want or need but that we quickly (and happily) accumulated over the first couple weeks after our baby was born. Here they all are in no particular order:
 
THINGS WE HAD (AND LOVE):
  1. Diapers — gotta have ’em! We tried a few kinds and are sticking (for now) with Pampers Sensitive Swaddlers (I know, I know — we don’t cloth diaper! But natural parenting isn’t all or nothing. :))
  2. Wipes — Again, we tried a few kinds and love our Seventh Generation wipes.
  3. Burp cloths — We go through a ton of these and have one at about four or five different “stations ” around the house. I’d say about a dozen burp cloths is not too many to have, especially if you have a baby who spits up a good amount like we do.
  4. Bibs — Again, about a dozen (or maybe a little less) will do you well if you have a baby who spits up a lot, like us. We go through maybe 3-4 a day.
  5. Blankets — Especially in the early weeks, we used these a lot. I still like to have a couple around to lay over her whenever she falls asleep, or to lay underneath her when we play on the floor.
  6. Basic clothing — Cute outfits are certainly fun, but the most practical outfits have been onesies. They’re the easiest for dirty diapers checks and changes. While we love all the clothes we received, we probably have an overabundance. We do laundry so much that even when we change her clothes (out of necessity) three or four times a day, we still couldn’t possible need all the clothes we have. One thing I wish we’d had were more kimono-style tops or onesies for the teeny tiny newborn phase — it’s so scary to put clothes on them at that point! But we worked it out regardless.
  7. Fisher Price Zen infant seat— this vibrating infant seat has been helpful to have for a place to sit FJ for a moment or sometimes when she falls asleep. If I were to recommend one to a new parent, however, I might suggest getting a chair you can actually rock with your foot.
  8. The glider — I’m so glad we got this. If I had to breastfeed on our low, very modern couch ALL the time I would be an unhappy camper. It provides a nice way to mix it up.
  9. The Boppy pillow — I didn’t originally want one but turns out a contoured pillow is easier to rest around your body/rest a baby on than couch or bed pillows. It helps as a way to not wear myself out during evening cluster feeding times, and also is a way I can eat dinner while FJ eats hers too!
  10. A changing pad — not a changing table! Our changing pad sits in the middle of our master bathroom counter and is a GREAT solution for a diaper changing station. Since she sleeps in our room, it’s in the perfect place for middle of the night diaper changes too. We change all our diapers there.
  11. Our sling! (and other carriers) — Since I got some help with my Maya Wrap ring sling at the local LLL meeting last month, I’ve used it every day except for maybe one or two! It is GREAT for getting things done (still slower than normal) around the house and is essential for running errands as we don’t have an infant car seat. FJ also likes napping in it. We also use our BabyHawk mei tai sometimes too and that is working well, especially now that she’s a little taller and can see over the top — she likes that. At this month’s LLL meeting I’m going to get help with nursing her while she’s in the sling, as I haven’t yet been able to master that — once I do I think the Boppy will be used less for sure…and it’ll just be so convenient when we’re out!
  12. Our stroller — I didn’t think I’d use it much but I love our Bumbleride Flyer stroller when I do use it. It can face forward and backward, is lightweight, and is easy to open and close. It’s really cute too. Although I thought I wouldn’t use the stroller much it’s nice for a change of pace, and as much as I love to wear FJ, sometimes my back needs a break.
  13. Our convertible car seat — I’m very happy with our decision to skip the infant car seat and get a Britax convertible seat. I don’t want to carry my baby in a seat anyway, and she goes in and out of it just fine, even when sleeping.
  14. The Puj tub — Love it. It folds flat, which is great for our small place, and fits in the sink so I don’t have to lean over into the tub and strain my back. But we also take lots of baths together in our bathtub, which FJ loves too.
Trying out the forward-facing position in the sling

Trying out the forward-facing position in the sling

THINGS WE DECIDED TO GET (AND ARE GLAD WE DID): 
  1. Lap pads! I don’t know what I was thinking — that FJ could just sleep on our bed and I wouldn’t have to change the sheets constantly? Ha! Lap pads saved us there. My SIL gave us a few that we use on our changing pad too (another lifesaver) and I bought a couple quilted ones for the bed.
  2. Guard rail — Because we are bed sharing, we decided to go ahead and get a guard rail for my side of the bed, where FJ sleeps. While she clings to me like a heat-seeking missile, this just makes me feel safer, even now while she can’t roll over. Good investment, in my opinion, if you are going to bed share.
  3. Infant swing — We borrowed an infant swing from my friend and it has been very helpful for some naptimes. (I know, I know — I’m not nearly as minimalist as I wanted to be!)
  4. Activity mat — Again, we borrowed an activity mat from my friend. While we’re trying to be minimalist with things, and could have made our own if we were more enterprising, this has been helpful now that FJ is starting to play and explore a litle more. I interact with her during most of her playtimes, but the mat gives me one or two 15-minute periods a day where she will lie calmly there and play/watch herself in the mirrors I put next to her. (Sometimes I even play with her there too — gah, can you tell I feel guilty for putting her down? lol.)
  5. A floor mirror — FJ loves her reflection so much that we decided to get this Sassy floor mirror. She loves it. I love that the reflection is not distorted, too.
  6. A monitor — We haven’t used it much yet because FJ normally naps with me or in the same room as me, but when she starts going to bed earlier and we shut the door to our room, I think it will be (for us) essential. Although we have a small house I realized after she was born that with the door shut I still wouldn’t be able to really hear her until she screamed, and I don’t want her to get to that point.
  7. A car mirror — I thought this was excessive…before she was born. 🙂 Now I want to be able to see my baby when I’m driving!
  8. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste — I wanted to go all natural and crunchy, but the spray I bought was not working on little one’s slightly irritated hiney. My friend recommended this and it works like a charm.
  9. Disposable breast pads — My letdown is like a geyser and the cloth pads I wanted to use (go green me ;)) just weren’t cutting it. At night I’m starting trying to use these Bamboobies reusable pads. They are very soft and absorbant, although I think I may have to double up. Hopefully soon I can go back to all cloth, but in these early weeks when my flow is heavy and my letdowns are intense, I’m going disposable.
  10. The Bumbo seat — This is another one of those baby items that I thought was excessive and I’d pass over, but then we got a gift card and I decided to grab it because I didn’t know what else to buy. Now I think it’ll be fun to sit at dinner together even before she can enjoy dinner with us.
 
THINGS WE DON’T USE THAT I THOUGHT WE MIGHT:
  1. Swaddling blankets — Other than the first night in the hospital, FJ hasn’t been swaddled a day in her life. We never learned how to do it and don’t really want to. Plus, she sleep with us at night and it’s not safe to swaddle a baby who sleeps in her parents’ bed.
  2. The Snuggle Nest — this co-sleeping device is like a mini bed for the baby that you set on your bed. We used this the first night we were home, but didn’t use it again.
  3. Any of my clothes/top that don’t work for easy nursing. They’re all packed away. I didn’t realize it before FJ was here, but now I do — anything that can’t easily access the boob makes no sense to wear.
THINGS I ALWAYS KNEW WE WOULDN’T USE: 
  1. A crib
  2. An infant car seat
  3. A pacifier
My list may be very similar or very, very different from yours. Obviously many people will use some of the items I don’t (a crib, a pacifier, swaddling blankets) and others may think some things we use are excessive or unecessary (the Bumbo, the stroller, the activity mat.) But this is the list of items that is working well for us right now. In the end, all baby really needs is a safe place to sleep, warm clothes, milk, and love…and a car seat (if you’re driving) — of course. 🙂
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2 thoughts on “our baby “essentials” and non essentials

  1. Great list! This is even more helpful than that baby bargains book I have on my “to buy” list for barnes and noble. Thanks for taking the time to sum up the items you like, even though it may not be as minimalistic as you thought. Thats life

  2. Love this! We used our crib for all of maybe one hour? And that was during a nap. He hated that thing! Which made me happy cause it was a great excuse to HAVE to bed share. 😉 We also didn’t use pacifiers…Noah didn’t understand how to suck on them. lol. And we only swaddled him for maybe the first week. He could break out of those things no matter how tight we made ’em. Now we have a floor bed in our room so he can take naps and go to bed before us without me having to worry about falls!

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