Friday, April 8, 2011

Part 3: Baby Items- 0 to 6 Months

This is a list of all the items that were used during the first six months. There were a lot of things that I tried and they didn't work for me or that I bought and never used. So many things in the baby stores and online look like you can't live without them or that they would make life so much easier. I fell into that trap and ended up wasting a lot of money and time on baby stuff. I am typically a pretty frugal person but when it came to baby stuff, that went out the window. I know now that you don't need a lot of fancy gear and gadgets to survive. Here's my list of baby items (along with the mistakes that I made along the way). I've organized the list into feeding, sleeping, out and about, diapering and activities.

Feeding (I breastfeed and supplement as needed)

  • Boppy. I didn't really start using the Boppy until Evan was heavy enough to make my arms tired (around 4 months). Before then I would try to use it but it proved pointless because he was light enough for me to hold myself and not get tired and if I let him rest on the Boppy I would have to lean forward for him to reach me which strained my back. Also, he would just end up in the area between the Boppy and me and not actual rest on top of the Boppy. It was never comfortable until he was a bit bigger. Now, nursing at over 6 months, I can't do it without the Boppy. I also use to give him protection when he is sitting up (in case he slumps backwards he'll land on the pillow and not the floor). When he was about a month and a half I used it for tummy time. It would give him some lift so he could look around and work out his neck and back muscles. 

Look at my cute little newborn! Sorry about the bad picture quality, this is just for an example.
  • Bottles: Playtex drop-in system and Medela bottles. These have been around for a long time. We tried Nuk, Playtex ventaire, Tommy Tippee and a few others. Evan had a hard time latching on to all of them which made him upset and increased the amount of air he was swallowing. The drop-ins and the Medela bottles were the only to that he would accept. I really like the Medela ones because you can just pump directly into the bottles. The drop-ins are bags so after he finished a bottle you throw the bag out which was nice because there was less to wash but I felt guilty adding to the landfills. You also have this ongoing expense because of the need to buy more bags, I didn't like that. We have 8 bottles that are 5 ouncers and 3 that are 8 ouncers. Strangely, we only have 4 nipples and caps (the Medela pump comes with bottles that just have caps).
  • Bottle warmer. Evan liked warm bottles of formula, then when I was pumping it made it easy to warm up the breast milk bottles. We have the Munchkin one from Target for around $20.
  • Lots and lots and lots of burp cloths. My dude spit up a lot so I had about 20 burp clothes on hand.
  • About 10 bibs. My baby spit up a lot and these kept me from having to change his clothes every hour.
  • Electric double pump: a must for working mommies. I actually manually pumped for a month because I didn't want to spend the $275 for the Medela Pump In Style. It.Was.Worth.It. That thing pumps both sides in 10 minutes rather than the 25 minutes I was spending doing it manually. 
  • Bras/Tanks: 3 nursing bras and a sleep bra. In the early days I wore the nursing bras that are not padded but now I wear the padded ones which also offer more support. Motherhood has a great selection. The sleep bra prevents sagging and helps you be supported through the night. My mom bought me 3 nursing tanks that were so nice. It was easy to just wear one of those day or night with easy one handed access.
  • Breast pads and breast cream. I had 4 pairs of cloth breast pads and since I was doing at least one load of laundry each day I just tossed the used ones in the load. For cream, I used Lansinoh which really helped relieve pain from cracks and other damage. I wish I had tried the soothie gel pads. I hear they offer excellent relief from soreness etc. I was just too cheap. In this case, it would have been worth the pain relief. 
  • A back up of formula just in case. I was bound and determined to never need a back up but there were times I had to use it in the early days. We use Enfamil but I have heard store brands are very comparable and save you some money. I just watch for coupons and sales.
  • I recommend reading Baby Led Weaning sometime before you start solids. I am a huge believer and follower. This concept is how my 8 month old can feed himself and tries everything and his pincer grip is amazing. 
  • SwaddleMe blankets. These were really good for the first few weeks. They are made of stretchy cotton and have velcro to keep it in place even when baby wiggles around.
  • Swaddle blankets. I liked the Just One You (found at Target) blankets. They are reversible and are stretchy which made for easier swaddling. I didn't care for the flannel receiving blankets very much. I have a ton and have rarely used them. 
  • Pacifier. I was on the fence about using one but we had a rough few months in the sleeping department. Evan only liked the Playtex Binkies, he rejected Nuk and the Avent Soothie. I'd keep 4 on hand. One in the diaper bag, one in the house one in the car and one as backup when one is lost.
  • We wasted money on a sleep positioner that someone in the store said she swore by. It was a mistake. Evan scootched down out of it and that could have been dangerous if his face was smashed against the side. Not cool.
  • I wish I would have tried the nap nanny. My baby had acid reflux and only liked to sleep in a inclined position for the first 2 months. He slept in his bouncy chair but I think the nap nanny would have been great and even more comfortable for him. 
  • Swing. He slept in his swing often. It has to be the full size version, too. The travel swings have such a short range of motion that it didn't calm him and the seat was uncomfortable for him (we tried). 
  • Crib. Evan didn't sleep in his crib until he was 3 months.
  •  I have 3 fitted sheets which allows for one to always be clean in case of accidents. If there are no accidents, I change the crib sheet once a week. I never saw a need for a sheet protector. I have 2 mattress pads that protect the mattress from any accidents. A breathable bumper is a must! I had the cutesy one on and then I read about how dangerous those are. Air needs to flow through the crib which helps prevent SIDS. Also, we bought one of those packages containing all the bedding in a cute theme (ran us $160). WASTE of money. I don't use any of it! You can't use a comforter because it's too thick and can suffocate them, you shouldn't use the bumper, I used the sheet but it's really scratchy feeling....I do use the crib skirt but c'mon I could have made my own or gone without. 
  • Crib mobile. Evan didn't notice the mobile until he was 3 months.
  • Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Glow Sea Horse. My lovely friend A got us one and Evan has loved it since day 2 (when we came home from the hospital). He stares at the dull, soothing light of the seahorses belly and slowly drifts to sleep and the music plays for a good amount of time. We put it on for him when he goes down for a nap or at bed time. 
  • Lullabies on CD.
Out and About
  • Diaper Bag. One with lots of pockets. Chocked full of stuff like a changing pad, wipe case, travel powder, wet bag, bibs, pacifier, nursing cover, diapers, snacks for mom, change of clothes, extra shirt for mom, water bottle for mom etc. 
  • Car Seat. We used a Graco Snug Ride 35 until Evan reached 19ish pounds. It's really luxurious feeling with the nice padding and material. Safety ratings are good and it fit into our Graco Stroller. I should have tried a newborn insert because I was always concerned about his head being supported when he was very young. I just rolled up a thin blanket and used it to support his head when he was asleep in the seat.  Even though the Snug Ride goes up to 35 pounds, we switched to a convertible seat at 19ish pounds because he didn't seem comfortable in it anymore and he was too heavy for me to be lifting out of the car in a carseat. We wanted to use the Snug Ride as long as we could because it was nice to lift him out of the car undisturbed if he was sleeping. But he just got too heavy for that. Plus I wanted to hang fun dangly toys from the Snug Ride's handle to entertain little guy. Now we use the Britax Marathon 70 convertible carseat, which stays in the car. This is supposed to be really safe because it has a steel frame, whereas many seats have plastic. 
  • Stroller. We used the Snap 'n Go when he was a newborn. Super easy and light. Then when he was interested in sitting upright, we used the full size stroller. 
  • Moby. I LOVE this thing. As a newborn, Evan was always in this to be with me every where I went. Some nights he slept in it while I sat in the recliner. This is great for going out, too. Once he hit 15 pounds it got to be a real workout so we used it less and less. Now he just loves to sit in his stroller when we are out. 
    Diapering (We have used cloth diapers since week 3)
    • For week's 1-3 I used Huggies. I tried Pampers and they left a wierd bubbly substance on Evan's nether regions which scared me. They also stuck to him and I had to peel them off of him. 
    • I had 12 newborn sized indian cotton prefolds that I purchased from I used these with 4 Thirsties diaper covers with velcro (aplix). They were definitely bulky on my little newborn but they got the job done and I never had a leak. I had to do laundry each night. If I could do this again, I would not use prefolds. I would use Bum Genius 4.0 one size with snaps. They are trim fitting, grow with your baby so you don't have to keep buying the next size up as baby gets bigger, easy to wash and easy to put on! Yes, they are more expensive but I think in the end you are saving because of the one size element. Snaps are a must: don't wear out like aplix and prevents baby from take the diaper off when they are older. 
    • Wipes. Start out with no perfume or a very very faint scent. I made the mistake of buying a pack of the store brand and it was SO perfume-y that it irritated baby's skin. I use the Huggies cucumber and green tea wipes and they are lightly scented but clean smelling.
    • Powder. I like cornstarch rather than pure powder. I just use a little sprinkle since the powder can gunk up the cloth diapers. 
    • Diaper cream. You are NEVER supposed to use it with cloth but if he's got a little spot of a rash, I just put a thin layer on. 
    • A pee pee protector. Especially with little boys! I just use a dry wash cloth to throw it over his nether regions while I prepare the diaper. Even if you think he won't have time to because you are sooo fast, he'll pee. On you. On himself. On everything around him. 
    • Cloth diaper detergent. We have hard water so we use Rockin Green detergent.
    • Diaper receptacle or wet bag to store soiled diapers before wash day. We use a cheap small trash can with a lid and it works nicely. We line it with a diaper pail liner that I just throw in the wash with the diapers. Easy Peasy. 
    • Large blankets for tummy time and rolling over. Soft blocks, things with lights and music, crunchy books and rattles. 
    • Music. From a CD, radio, computer....
    • Bouncy chair, jumparoo, baby gym and doorway jumper. Take advantage of craigslist otherwise you will needlessly pay an arm and a leg for these things. I bought the baby gym off of craigslist for $15 and they go for upwards of $60. You just toss it in the washer to clean it up. Evan loved the baby gym from 2 months to 6 months. He loved the jumparoo from 5 months. He still loves his doorway jumper. 
    • Baby mirror
    Well, that should do it. Sorry such a long post!

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