Baby stuff - Shopping etc...

What did you buy for your first baby (or any subsequent)? What things did you feel were totally a waste of money, and what things did you find you couldn’t live without?

Please give a doper some advice here, before I go out and do damage to the ole’ bank account…

For a brand new baby, I suggest:

LOTS of onesies
bouncer
bassinet
stroller
car seat
bath seat/tub
bottles/breast pump
rocking chair for you

These are things you’ll use right away. Other things, like high chairs, swing, walker/stationary walker can wait a few months.

And don’t forget the baby monitor…

The baby monitor would be so I can leave the room and still hear him/her? Sheesh, you can get all high tech now and get video feed monitors, but I was hoping not to have to go that spendy route.

Can you tell it’s my first?
:smiley:

You don’t need to go high-tech. We got the Fischer-Price Sounds N’ Lights monitor for 25 bucks and it’s been great. We use it if doodles is in the crib and we’re in the other end of the house, or if my wife is out with the horses and the babe’s asleep. It’s good for piece of mind.

Yes, onsies are wonderful! Don’t bother with baby T-shirts. I loved my wipe warmer, but someone told me they’d been taken off the market, so I don’t know. They’re little heating pads for the wipies, so they’re nice and warm on the tushie (and mama’s hands).

I’d say swings are pretty much indespensible if you plan to have dinner during the baby’s first year.

My favorite thing is the sling. The one I have is called the Over the Shoulder Baby Holder, but there are other brands. They’re modeled after the cloth-wrap arrangements of more primitive peoples. They leave you hands-free and your baby will love being next to you cuddled close. They’re wonderful for dads to tote the young’un and fosters a bond between them as well.

Necessities:

Stroller/Car seat combo.
Onesies for warm weather.
Footie pajamas for cool weather.
Cloth diapers (not to wear, but to use as drip cloths.)
Baby bathtub
Waterproof pads in various sizes
Portable crib (both kids used this as their full-time bed, plus we could take it on trips and they’d still be able to sleep in their own bed.)
Baby monitor.

I would also shop around for a good sling/front pack. I didn’t like the one I was given, but I think a comfortable one would come in handy.

Waste of money:

Baby socks (They always came off in a couple of minutes.)

Baby bath towels (They are okay, but I wouldn’t bother now.)

Elaborate clothes (What you want is soft, washable, and easy to put on and take off.)

Newborn size diapers. (YMMV, but my kids never fit into these.)
Things we never bothered with:

Swing/walker/baby entertainment center, etc.

Fancy diaper bag. (I just used the one they gave us at the hospital until it fell apart.)

Pacifiers. (Neither baby used one at all, and, no they don’t suck their thumbs now.)

Changing table. We use a regular dresser with a pad on top.

Shoes. (They didn’t get shoes until they started walking.)

Here – if you’d like to take a look. Sling You can also make them, if you’re ambitious with a needle and thread.

Friends with a recent baby gush over the boppy.

http://www.boppy.com/

And also vibrating bouncy chairs. I would like a vibrating bouncy chair of my own, actually.

Absolutely! But I was just thinking that we got our swing when our son was about 3 months old. For dinners when our baby was a newborn, we’d put him in the bouncer. The swing just seemed like it’d jostle him too much. (New parent jitters and all)

You all have no idea how valuable this type of advise is to me.

I’ve seen the slings (front and back) and think it’s a really good idea.

Word of advice. If you get one of these have someone with lots of slingtime help you out the first time or maybe practice with a doll/bag of potatoes. Slings are a bit tricky to get right initially, you don’t want the bambino sliding out the bottom. We were given one by my highly pro-sling sister-in-law, but never really got the hang of it, ended up using the Baby-Bjorn a lot.

If you’re going to nurse and try to go back to work, make sure you spend the money and get a decent pump. The cheap ones leave a lot to be desired. We got the Medella Pump in Style (~$250)and have been happy with it.

And oh yeah, Boppys rule, especially if you plan on nursing.

Yes, slings do take practice. They’re uncomfortable if worn improperly, and of course you want everything snug and secure. I believe they come with a video! At least one is available. But the best is having someone there to help you.

I forgot to say congratulations, Aenea! I’d be happy to offer breastfeeding advice, too, if you have questions,

Lots of cloth diapers! Like cher3 said not to wear but to use as burp rags or just to clean up all the messes.

Car seat. Don’t scrimp on this and I would make sure and get one that grows with the baby not just for a small baby.

Stroller. Make sure and push it around the store to see how it handles.

Thats all I can think of right now aenea. When is your baby due? My second is due Nov 2 and there is going to be an 11 year age gap so I feel like I’m doing it all again for the first time. Great idea on starting this thread!

Nursing is a whole other subject, which I haven’t really faced yet.

I doubt that nursing will be a good idea for this baby. I take some rather serious medications for Crohns and the poor kid already has to take them with me now. I’d hoped that after he/she is born we wouldn’t have to share meds anymore. It can’t be any good for babies to take immunosupressants.

Ok, so look at sling options, boppies, baby monitors.
Lots of onsies (but those little t-shirts are sooo cute!), and no socks. Shoes I had heard were not a good idea until the foot actually finishes forming. Bathtub, onsies, check. I’m making my list here. . . .

As for the car seat, from what I’ve heard so far, they won’t let you leave the hospital without one, so that is a right-away thing to purchase. Well, almost right away, I’ve got a few months to go yet. :wink:

Baby t-shirts are a good idea, but you’ll only need a few of them. Once the stump falls off, and the belly-button is all healled, onesies are much better.

Target still has a wipe warmer, and I think you can still find them at Wal-Mart. Wipe warmers are especially good for winter babies. Still, a cold wipe at 2 a.m. sucks at any time of the year.

You can’t have too many recieving blankets. Those little flannel jobbies. Swaddling, burp rags, sleeping blankets, 1,001 uses. (We had 2 dozen at a time for both Soupo and Katcha. We couldn’t get enough.)

Something we liked better than the rocking chair was a full-blown recliner. A rocker-recliner is the best. And whenit’s time to take it out of the baby’s room (or wherever you sit and rock) it’s a regular recliner.

A CD player/ radio with digital tuning and presets is great. Background music and one-touch tuning. We had a “Sounds of Nature” CD because it can be too quiet for a baby to sleep. (Odd but true.) Soupo liked the “Frog Chorus” and Katcha was partial to “Rushing River”.

Didn’t have much use for the sling, myself. But I do have friends that swear by them. Both of our kids liked to cuddle, then be put down. If we held them too long, they’d get wound up and fuss. They seemed to like lots of little cuddles, and lying on us.

A bassinet is better than a crib (and cheaper) to start with. It depends on how big your kid is. If you co-sleep with your kids you don’t need either, but you’ll get your ribs kicked in. It’s a trade-off. We went with a bassinet, then a crib.

Oh, if you have more than one kid… everything you learn with the first one is pretty much useless with the second one. They all want to do something different. But the learning curve gats quicker with each kid.
-Rue.

As far as wastes of money go, don’t bother with the electronic beeping in-the-ear thermometer. They are highly inaccurate if used improperly and are not supposed to be used below six months I believe. The ole’ mercury (or it’s eco-friendly replacement) thermometer up the butt is still the best way to go (and you’ll probably get one from the hospital).

As far as nursing, please, ask your OB/GYN or pediatrician about your meds and their effect on milk, you never know.

Oh, I didn’t know about medications! Well, do check with a doctor. It may still be possible. However, the medical establishment isn’t really supportive of breastfeeding, despite a lot of lip service.

Yes you do need the carseat ahead of time! If your baby is going to be born in the winter, I’ve seen these neato little coat/snowsuit type thingies that are designed to allow the carseat snap between the legs.

Congratulations to you too, Bubblegirl! My mother’s last pregnancy was 11 years after the previous one and when the stork arrived, I had twin baby sisters! :eek:

Why doesn’t the medical establishment support breast feeding (out of curiosity)?

I will be sure to ask about the meds. From what I know already though, the Imuran does pass thru breastmilk, and I want this kid to have an immune system, really I do!

Ellen, thank you for the encouragement. Hey, also, my mom got pregnant when I was 20, and she had twins also! (they are fraternal twins, now 12 years old)
Bubblegirl, great, we can start a pregnant dopers club or something. Be sure to let Evilbeth know, as she is about 5 weeks behind me. I’m due January 8th, the day before my b-day. We’ll see how accurate that doc is, eh? Beth is due in late Feb. I believe.

Ooh, let’s see:

Must-haves:

Carseat - hospital won’t let you take them home otherwise! I prefer an infant carseat when they are tiny babies - makes it easier on them and you.

Sling - I love, love, love my Maya Wrap. http://www.mayawrap.com

Cloth diapers - if you don’t use them to diaper with, they are great for catching spitup, drool, leaking milk, etc.

Onesies and creepers - or any outfit that snaps up the front or on the crotch . Diaper changes are much easier!

I skipped:

getting too much tiny stuff - they grow before you know it. Instead I got a lot of things in the 3-6 mo size. Leave tags on clothes so you can return them if you need a larger size.

baby walker - these are banned in Canada, and for good reason. They cause a LOT of injuries.

fussy, fancy clothes, and anything that fastened up the back.

baby towels - they were thin and chintzy feeling. Use a regular bath towel instead.

aenea, I sent you an email as well. And CONGRATULATIONS! :slight_smile:

–tygre