A Few of My Favorite Things
Shopping for a baby as a first time parent can be difficult. You have no idea what you’re going to really need and in some cases you know what you need but have an endless variety to choose from. After V was born, my husband and I thought we should take stock on what we really used those first few weeks.
Diapers – I’ve heard at some baby showers a box or bag of diapers is required for entry. I like this idea, especially if you encourage people to get a wide variety of sizes. Diapers are expensive and you will go through a ton of them. Even if people buy you the wrong size (Newborn when your baby comes out 10lbs), you can usually exchange unopened boxes.
Wipes – Pampers and such make super soft wipes. I’m actually not too fond of these. I buy bulk Kirkland wipes from Costco. They have more “grip” for when you’re trying to clean off a poopy butt. Kleenex boxes are also really good to have in every room.
Onesies – These are one-piece outfits that snap at the bottom. They are awesome. You’ll need a billion of them. While some women love to play dress up with their little girls I prefer efficiency, comfort, and functionality. The snaps at the crotch allow very easy access for diaper changing. Just think to yourself, “Is this something I can imagine easily getting into at 2am for a diaper change?”
Receiving Blankets – I asked my sister what the hell these were and why I needed them. “You need them for everything!” she replied. The main thing I used these for was swaddling. A lot of newborns love to be swaddled. They’ve gone from the extreme confines of the womb to a really big, airy, open world. It’s quite a shock and they don’t like it. Swaddling is the process of wrapping them up like a baby burrito. Receiving blankets are needed to do this. You want them to be big and lightweight. While they do sell velcro swaddlers for new inept parents, I didn’t start using these until V was a bit bigger and more active (i.e. when she started kicking off the receiving blanket).
Boppy Pillow – I debated on whether or not to put this under “Recommend,” but honestly it gets the most use out of anything we’ve bought so far for the baby. I’m using it right now! It’s designed to be a support pillow for nursing, but it is so much more than that. It allows your little one to fall asleep in your lap while you work on the computer. It allows you to safely sleep with your infant in a recliner. It’s also awesome for moms when they’re recovering from a vaginal birth. Back then I wished I had two- one to sit on and the other for the baby. You will be oh so sore after birth, and this pillow works like a giant, soft hemorrhoid doughnut. I couldn’t sit on a regular chair without it. Just make sure you get additional covers for when your baby begins to spit up.
Pacifiers – After hearing numerous stories about parents trying to trick their children into giving up pacifiers, I decided I’d rather not deal with them at all. After all, they aren’t good for their teeth, right? Unfortunately, my will was quickly broken. Sometimes the little buggers just need to suck. While you can give them a boob or a finger, those things are attached and it’s nice to be able to walk more than a foot away from your child once in a while. As it turns out, they also help prevent SIDS.
The hospital gave us some Soothies, which are supposed to help babies avoid nipple confusion. V didn’t really like these. She likes the cheap, boring regular ones. I’d recommend getting one or two styles to find out what your baby likes best. Then buy several more and keep them in easily accessible places around the house (and car, and stroller).
Bassinet – V is still sleeping in one. We love it, mostly because we can drag it to whatever room we happen to be in. At night it rests by my bedside. I don’t use the little hood though. I honestly don’t know what the point of it is.
Travel System Stroller – You have to get a car seat, so why not get a stroller that goes with it? Travel systems allow you to place the car seat directly on the stroller. Many infants fall asleep while riding in the car, and it’s a shame to wake them up just to take them out of the car seat. V has been traveling with us since her first day out of the hospital and this stroller set makes things a lot easier. The only downside is that these strollers are very bulky.
Baby 411 – I bought this book because it was one of the highest rated baby books on Amazon. After V’s delivery, both the hospital and the pediatrician also recommended it. The format is very friendly and the writing is informative and entertaining.
Soothing Item – My bassinet came with a sound and vibrating unit. It simulates mother’s heartbeat, makes music and nature sounds, and is loud and annoying. I had also bought a toy bear that makes heartbeat noises per my sister’s advice. However, the one item that I like the best is the Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders™ Soothe & Glow Seahorse™. It does a pretty good job of getting V to settle down. I can play it to help her fall asleep and the best part is that the music isn’t annoying. There is a volume control on the inside that lets you control how loud it gets. Mine is on the quieter setting. It plays about five minutes worth of soothing tunes. Now I tell her she has until Frere Jacques to settle down.
Unscented Detergent – Everyone said I needed this or my baby would break out in a rash. “They have sensitive skin! They can’t take all the chemicals!” Okay, maybe some can’t. But it seemed silly to wash the baby’s clothes with a special detergent when she spent 90% of her time asleep on top of me and my clothes (washed in regular detergent) with no ill effects. So I recommend getting a small amount of this stuff for the first few weeks then try washing one outfit with the adult clothes and checking for a rash after the kid wears it. If there are no problems you should be good to ditch the special stuff.
Nursing Shirts – When I first got home I was in a panic. I’d totally forgotten to get nursing shirts! I got a few and found they were more of a hassle than just pulling up your regular shirt. Buttons are not something you want to mess with when you have a squirming, hungry baby, and pulling accessible shirts down results in a sagging neckline. Although this lady’s idea looks cool. Too bad I don’t really sew.