What do I need for this Baby? Good and Bad Gear Advice Needed

Well I’m in week 16 of this pregnancy and it’s looking pretty good, so Mr. Elysium and I are really starting to think about what we’re going to need for this little guy or girl.

I know many of you have also recently had new babies and many are very experienced parents with lots of good advice. My question for you all is what would you say is the best item/book/piece of advice for a parent of a newborn and what kind of things would you advise not to get or ignore?

I know many people say the Diaper Genie is a big waste of money–just take it out to the trash and save yourself the hassle. But what about those little seats that are popular for plunking baby in when you need a break? What kinds (brands, types) of bottles did you feel were the best and which are crap?

I’m going to be a first-time mom and I have very little baby-handling experience. We’ll be doing breast feeding and first aid baby care classes, but I’d love to hear what you guys might offer for advice. A lot of the baby boards are full of anti-vax wackos and it can be hard to pick through the bad advice.

Also, any book recommendations on general baby care and maintenance would be great too. There are a million baby books on the market and I’d like to know which ones you guys found were the best. Thanks all!

Please look into alternatives if breast feeding doesn’t work out.

My wife’s 17 weeks so we’ve been thinking about the same. A friend of ours sent us this list that she received from someone who got it from someone etc… Seems like a lot of stuff to me but I guess we can start with it and start removing things that seem pointless. Apologies for the grammar and spoilered due to length.

[spoiler]Here is the baby shopping list that a friend sent to me. I literally bought everything on here and the only thing that I didn’t use were the nipple shields, wasn’t really sure what to do with them …lol!

skin n bums!
newborn nappies,- number 1- id suggest huggies, pampers r crap…babies will initially go thru about 7 nappies a day, around 50 a week. As baby grows id suggest asda’s own brand nappies, as good as huggies n half the price…baby will need bigger sizes rapidly so don’t over stock!!
nappy bags- tesco/Sainsbury’s own brand 29p for 100!!!
wipes- huggies fragrance free 1s, ‘like cotton wool and water’ ones, at least until babies a month old…then id switch 2 Johnson baby extra protection wipes, they have funky green lines, n lotion on the wipes!!!
Vaseline-is a must!! apply 2 babies bottom each change 2 prevent nappy rash, acts like a barrier. So u don’t have to resort 2 sudocrem as its quite strong.
small foldable changing mat
Small nappy bag- to keep all the above in. as when u wake up at night u don’t want to b looking 4 all the bits!!!
nappy bin- just a normal small bin will do!
baby toiletries- simple baby product are the best for newborns…
simple all in one wash, baby lotion…boots olive oil is the only thing u should really be using on babies skin for the 1st few weeks, it does wonders in the 1st couple of days as baby sheds his skin!!! its £1.30 from any boots pharmacy baby sponge can also get this from boots baby scissors- you’ll be amazed as to how often u have to cut their nails cotton wool bath tub and in bath support-I brought a towel wedge thing from tescos, u can get one from Argos or toys are us- 3 stores where i did most of my shopping from!!

breast pads, u wont need them for the 1st few days, but once your milk comes thru their a must!!!
nursing bra- get measured at mother care, don’t go for fancy 1s!!! Get the big triangular supportive 1s!!!
Breast pump- I think their a waste of time, but get 1 just in case Lansinoh Nipple cream- u wont survive without!! Plaster in on after each feed, u don’t have to wash it b4 baby feeds. Get this from boots Nipple shields- they will come in use when u become really sore!! And believe m for the 1st 2 weeks your sore!!!
If u decide to bottle feed, or occasional top-up: u can get these all together from avent (toys r us) Steriliser Bottles Bottle brush Teats Aptamil infant milk- the best formula milk. Us children nurses swear by it!
Dummies avent orthodontic 1s- they wont give your child goofy teeth!!!
Thermos flask- tescos for water, get baby use to all temps of water, not boiling obviously!!
gripe water, it’s the only way I can get him to drink water, mixing it in!!
Calpol- once baby is 2months, a must for when baby get injections or the snip!!!
Sleeping! U definitely wont b getting any of this for 3 months!!
Crib- id recommend a crib instead of a Moses basket for your room as baby can stay in it for up 2 6mnths. Toys r us £60 Moses basket- if u want for other rooms, baby can stay in it for bout 3 mnts
Bedding- sheets, blanket, defo a cellular blanket as your having a summer baby!!
Baby monitor
Night light
Room thermometer

You’ll be amazed as to how soon your baby starts responding to lights, colours, movement…this stuff is vital 4 baby’s development Toys for side of crib/cot Play gym Rattles for wrist foot - from mother care Toys that go across car seat/pushchair- mother care Travel Mamma & pappa’s do the below all together as a travel system Car seat Push chair Carrycot-very useful for when u visiting places baby travel bag

Car window sun shade-tescos
Pushchair parasole-argos
Baby on board sign
Do not buy a lot!!! Trust me…u get loads as gifts, n baby grows out of them sooo quickly…get just a few newborn sized stuff…0-3 is fine.
Vests and baby grows are all what u need initially.
Hats, scratch mittens
Baby full suit for when u take baby out… ooo i 4got…get a babies swimming ring from boots. TRUST ME it will come in handy when ur feeding and u have a sore ass.

nursing pillow-really helps initially wen ur trying 2 establish breast feeding

hospital bag
you-maternity sanitry towels, best 1s from mothercare as they come with wings…get a weeks worth, after that just use normal 1s nursing bra, nightie for labour, pyjamas with buttons at front to change in2, change of clothes to go home in, knickers, about 5!!! u cn get disposable 1s, toiletries inc shower stuff, toothbrush toothpaste, any books, snacks, slippers, socks, honey for when babys born, camera, mobile…anything else u may want

baby- 3 vests, 3 babygrows, towel, hat, mittens, suit to take baby home in, nappy stuff, olive oil, emmmm anything else u may have brought that ud think ul need

So that’s the list and yes it is a lengthy one but trust me it ALL comes in handy!

I found that the things I bought far in advance were always the things most likely to not be used at all (or so infrequently that they were not necessary). So, my advice is to acquire things only when you actually need them at that specific time. Plus, this strategy will give you excuses to get out of the house with the baby.

And really, newborns need very little: a place to sleep (usually on you), some clothes, some diapers/wipes, a car seat, boobs (or bottles) and not much else.

The best advice for new parents is not to be freaked out by any scaremongering advice you may get - new parents tend to be bombarded with advice of the “if you do X or don’t do Y, your baby will be harmed permanently and you are worse than Hitler” variety - much of it contradictory.

Really, newborns require little in terms of material goods and lots in terms of attention. Best thing to have lined up is some help for the first few weeks, if possible.

Everyone has different preferences. What some people love, others find useless.

I would suggest having some formula and bottles ready to go in the house. Some people will say this will discourage you from breastfeeding, but I disagree. It’s nice not to have to run to the store if you have some emergency or breastfeeding issue.

I love the diaper genie. It’s convenient, keeps smells at bay (not that they are too smelly at the beginning), and is just easier for me than running out the garbage. It’s only $40; that’s what you’d pay for a garbage can with a foot pedal anyway. (If you do get one, make sure it’s the one with the foot pedal, or it is worthless.)

I also suggest having a swing. I used the Fisher Price Papasan swing which is nice because it can swing forwards and backwards or side to side. You never which way the kid will prefer. The swing was a life saver for calming down the baby and helping him sleep.

My number one thing that I don’t think is necessary is a diaper wipe warmer. I mean, really? Two seconds of a cold wipe isn’t going to hurt a baby. It just seems silly to me.

More idiosyncratically, I don’t use bottle warmers either. Babies get used to drinking cold milk. But I recognize that I’m in a distinct minority on this issue.

The things I loved:
–My Brest Friend nursing pillow. Josie nursed for 11 months, and I would have gone longer had she not decided she was done with it. I used it for every day of those 11 months. I had two, one for upstairs and one for downstairs, so I didn’t have to lug it around.
–Miracle Blanket swaddle. Used it until she was too big to use it anymore. It was the only one she couldn’t bust out of, and she became an awesome sleeper because of it.
–Prefold cloth diapers. Not the Gerber kind you can get at BRU, those SUCK. I mean the real kind that are generally used as actual cloth diapers. Buy a dozen. They’ll be the only burp cloths you use.
–As for bottles, we bought one of each when we first started getting her used to a bottle prior to day care, and then went out and bought multiples of the ones she liked the most. Those turned out to be the MAM bottles, but YBMMV.
–Baby Bjorn or other baby carrier. We NEVER used the stroller portion of the travel system we registered for. We’d simply carry the infant car seat if she was sleeping (they hook right onto grocery carts), or pop her in the Baby Bjorn if she wasn’t. It saved space and really was nicer for her, too. By the time she was starting to be too big to carry, she was old enough to fit in her umbrella stroller.
–White noise machine. I have one that does womb sounds, and it knocks her right out to this day. She knows when she hears that sound that it’s sleepytime, and it blocks out the house noises from pets and the two of us stomping around when she’s napping or sleeping at night.
–Blackout curtains. Can be gotten from Target for relatively cheap. When the nursery is dark, they sleep better. Also helps block out street noise, believe it or not.

I’ll also give you the best piece of advice my pediatrician gave me. Nighttime feedings are business only. Change the baby, feed the baby, put the baby back down to sleep. No singing, cuddling, cooing, or talking. Teach the baby from Day One that nights are for sleeping and days are for playing. We did this, and she was sleeping through the night from six weeks old, and now as an almost one-year-old sleeps for 11-12 hours a night and 3 hours total for naps on the weekends. At day care she only sleeps for 30-45 minutes per nap, and it’s because there’s too much going on (soft music, the teacher moving around) so she wants to be a part of it.

Oh, and don’t get the Diaper Genie. Get the Diaper Champ, which is similar but uses regular kitchen trash bags instead of the expensive refills.

I’ll go seconds on the swing - but recognize that some babies like the vibrating chair thing, others like the swing. Whatever works!

Oh, and swaddling blankets are good. Use 'em for swaddling, throw one over the shoulder for burping, it’s all good.

Our diaper holder thing didn’t work very well, but some people swear by them.

You need a crib or bassinet.
A car seat and the stroller frame that works with it.
You’ll need a few bottles and nipples just in case.
We use the diapers and wipes from Costco. They worked well for my son and are good quality at a good price.
A friend of mine gave us the diaper genie and we never used it. We use a regular trash can with a lid. We wrap the poop diapers in a plastic bag. We use the ones from the store or the produce section for this.

One item we used was a bouncer like this. My son would nap in his for an hour or two.

I wouldn’t buy much more at this point. They don’t really do much for the first three months.

What about the cost of the bags you need to use in them? We’ve looked at the Diaper Genie, and they’re not expensive to buy, but it seems like they’d get expensive to use when you’re changing the baby all the time, since you have to buy the special refills.

I think the one absolute must-have is a car seat (this is assuming of course you have a car). There are the obvious things like diapers, wipes, clothing etc. but a lot of the items on the list like the one from ColdPhoenix’s friend can be whittled down considerably.

As to your specific inquiry about the diaper genie, we had one but know people who easily made do without. They kept grocery store plastic bags on hand and the used diaper went in one and then the bag went in the outdoor receptacle shortly after.

Also it sounds like you’re referring to the Bumbo seat for newborn critters of about two months and up. We had one and while I won’t say it’s indispensable, we certainly got plenty of mileage out of ours.

What’s the difference? How do I know I’m buying the right thing? Buy any prefold diaper that isn’t Gerber?

Really depends on your usage. Once my daughter started daycare and we were only changing a few diapers a day, we only needed to buy a refill maybe once a month. Now that I think about it, we also economized by throwing the merely wet diapers in the regular trash and saving the Diaper Genie for the nuclear diapers.

Do you think you will be having a baby shower? If so, I would suggest not buying anything at this point except the high price stuff like the crib and car seats.

You do have to buy the Diaper Genie brand refills. They are $5 at the big box wholesalers or $6 at Babies R Us. I’ve never kept track, but I’d say one refill lasts several weeks, maybe up to a month. That’s more than if you buy regular trash bags, but you’re paying for the convenience of winging a smelly diaper in there and forgetting about it for a week. Plus, you put it right next to the changing table and it has a foot pedal, so you never have to spend any time carrying the diaper anywhere.

I gladly pay $5 for the convenience, but I understand that some people would prefer to spend the $5 on something else. Like maybe a baby-sitter!

This made me giggle a little—as though they would just decide not to feed the baby at all if the nursing didn’t work out.

With our firstborn, we lived in a small apartment for the first 18 months, so I got good at determining what things were necessary and what were a waste of space. A good example is that we didn’t get a full high chair, just one of these boosters.

We also didn’t have a full changing table, just a pad that we could either use on top of a low bureau or on the floor.

We didn’t use the Pack-n-Play.

We did have the car seat/stroller combo, but other apartment dwellers clued me in to the snap and go, which is a smaller, simpler frame to attach the carseat to.

We never tried wipe warmers, because people told me not to bother.

One kid loved the swing, the other hated it. He did, however love this chair which converts from a rocker to a bouncy seat. Something about the higher height than other bouncy seats was really good. to be honest, he had reflux and he spent well over a month sleeping in that instead of in his crib.

Yay for babies!!!

Awesome advice, thanks everyone!
Czarcasm we will definitely keep our options open. Breast feeding is optional but really I have no idea if we’ll be successful at it, so I have no qualms about formula feeding if that’s the only way we can do it.

We’re in an apartment so I think a good bassinet that can fit next to the bed, and maybe one that turns into a crib so later we can move baby into her/his own room would be our choice.

I’ll look at the Diaper Champ too, it would be nice not to have to use a specific branded refill bag.

The cloth diaper as burp cloth is great advice, do those tend to be cheaper and/or more durable than cloths marketed as burp cloths?

Are the store brand diapers generally as good as the branded ones, or did you guys find that some of them leaked or just didn’t cut it?

I had a little portable bassinet that I kept by the bed for the first few months. We didn’t even buy a crib until she was two months old.

For a change table we just got use a dresser with a change table topper with raised sides and a buckle.

We use baby wash cloths instead of wipes and they work great. We have wipes in case of severe poo grossness, but mainly use damp cloths. The wipes can be harsh on baby skin.

A swing saved my sanity more than once.

I breast fed for the exclusively for the first six months and I recommend breast pads, nipple cream, a breast pump, and patience. I just bought a manual breast pump since they are so expensive and I didn’t know how much I would use it. I love mine and use it all the time. I found that my nipples would get sore and need a break so I would have a bag of milk in the freezer at all times just to give my poor boobs a break. I would also recommend having an emergency can of formula around. Your baby will go through a growth spurt and want to eat all the time. It takes a day or so for you milk to catch up so if you run out of freezer milk and need to feed the baby a can of formula will be a lifesaver. I only had to use it once, but I was so glad I had it when I needed it. And make sure it is the premixed can not powder because the last thing you need when your baby is screaming for food, your boobs are dry, you are tired and not thinking straight, is to have to boil water then wait for it to cool, then mix the proper amounts of formula to water. Just open a can and be done with it.

What we found with disposables was that each brand fitted slightly differently. Some brands fitted better with some baby’s butts than others, but there was no universal rule to that effect.

I’m not a mom, but three of my friends have had kids recently and they all use a boppy nursing pillow - whether they are nursing or not (works just as good for bottle feeding). It the same thing as the “My Brest Friend nursing pillow” that Drain Bead mentioned.