Thursday, November 15, 2007

baby shopping list.

There are a gazillion lists out there on what to get, but a lot of them did not have brand names or quantity. So here's my list. There were a few criteria before I really bought them:
  • If possible, get it as donation or as gifts. Other than car seats, most of the stuff you probably don't have to buy yourself.
  • Don't buy things that will last only a few months. A lot of the "stuff" will make your life easier. For example, a boppy pillow. But I didn't want to buy things that only lasts 3 months.
  • Don't buy things when existing products can be used as a substitute.
  • Wait to buy some of the stuff. Every baby is different. And some stuff you think you need, you probably won't end up needing. And other things you won't really know exactly what features you want till you have that baby.
  • If you're going to put off buying some of the things, be sure to do your research while pregnant and decide on what you want. The first few weeks are so hectic you're not going to have time to decide which brand/model is the best.

It was easy deciding on the big stuff, like car seat. But I was very confused on what I needed to get to dress thumper as well as all the little stuff. Then there is the "how many of xxx do I need to get?" My philosophy is less is better as then I don't have to pack when I move. On top of that, babies outgrow things so quickly. I'm willing to spend big money to get the best car seat for example, but a changing table or "My Breast Friend?", I didn't get those.

In any case, here's my list. Keep in mind that we are doing laundry about every 4-5 days, and we hand wash some of these things to keep up w/ demand.

What we got
1. Britax Marathon Car Seat. ($270)
Britax is supposedly the best brand for car seats. The other choice was their Decathelon model, which will be great for newborns as it has a little newborn insert. But my friend gave me her infant car seat. I'm glad that I'm not getting the Decathelon because even the infant car seat was too big and I ended up using blankets around the baby's head as padding.

2. 20 white bibs from Babies R Us.
Get the plain cotton ones as they absorb well. Forget the ones with cute raised figures on them. They're terrible at absorbing anything. We eventually got 3 Circo ones from grandma that was 100% cotton on the front w/. They had drawings but it was printed on so it soaked up well too. Not as well as the white ones though.

3. Gerber 6 triple ply clothe diapers from Target
These make great burp clothes. They doubled as bibs in the first 2 weeks.

4. Cotton balls & vaseline
Great for preventing diaper rashes.

5. 1 pack of size N diapers (pampers)
No need to get more than 1 pack unless you're REALLY sure of your baby's weight. Once you're sure, you can buy the jumbo pack. Babies supposedly poop and pee 6-8 times a day. Figure you'll use more than that because they will poop right after you changed them just to spite you.

Size N goes up to 10 pounds. Size 1 is 8-14 pounds. The difference is in absorbency as well as width.

We started w/ Pampers. In terms of pricing, I've heard that Pampers is the most expensive, followed by Huggies. After having to change diapers 3 times in 10 minutes, we switched to Target brand. Target brand is about 1/2 the cost of Pampers. Not as good absorption, but hey, if you're changing diapers constantly instead of letting it sit, then it really doesn't matter. I've never had a leak with our Target diapers. Costco also sells Huggies in huge packages. I've heard that the worst place to buy diapers are grocery stores.

6. 6 Swaddling blanket. (free!)
Take as many from the hospital as you can. They have lots at the delivery room (but not the recovery!) Or try to get the ones that are 36x36. The cheapy, cute, thin, flannel 30x30 ones in stores really aren't as good. Given the amount of spit-up you can get, we actually change them once a day.

7. Baby clothes.
Try and get donations. And you know that everyone will buy you something. I got really confused by all the terms. What is a layette? Or onesie? Or sleeper? Essentially, since the baby will be sleeping a lot, you really just need a one piece clothing (onesie) that covers their diaper , plus a whole body suit (sleeper). Get the ones where you DON'T have to pull over their head, it's SO much easier! If it's summer, you can get short sleeve onesies, long sleeve for winter.

I've seen lots of other babies since Thumper was born wearing lovely outfits. Whenever I see them, I kind of wish that I had dressed her in nice outfits. But really, they're so expensive and I'm such a lazy person, Thumper was basically in her sleeper the first 3 months. And we changed that about once every 2 days if she did not goop on them.

Assume you'll go through one set a day (onesie bottom, sleeper top), get as many as you think will last you till laundry day.

What about mittens? "Experts" recommend not covering them in mittens as it helps development for them to be able to touch and feel things. A lot of the long sleeve clothes also come with built-in mittens.

8. Ergo Baby Carrier ($100)
You can get the infant insert or else you can't use it till the baby is 15-25 pounds?

An alternative is the Baby Bjorn. Though I've heard that the Bjorn places a strain the baby's spine because of the way they sit. See here

9. Playpen with changing table but no music. ($85)
Get a solid color one if you can as babies get distracted by really colorful ones. The changing table definitely came in handy. The baby slept in it the first few weeks while I was recovering from c-section and couldn't bend down easily. (I don't see how SIDS can come in play here as she was all bundled and slept a lot in the beginning anyway) There's really no need for the music if you don't believe in putting baby to sleep w/ music anyway. This is acting as our crib for now so we don't have to buy a crib AND a bassinet.

In reality, the baby may end up sleeping in a stroller, or bouncy chair, or in your bed so there is no need to get really expensive stuff or getting the whole set in the beginning. You just don't know what will actually happen once he/she comes home. Most of the mothers in my mom's group said that their babies ended up sleeping w/ them in their bed, and that never used the crib they got.

Other options are: crib, snuggli (a little box which you put in your bed for baby to sleep in), bassinet, co-sleeping.

10. Madela breast shield & lanolin
You will go through the breast shields quickly. Get the higher priced Madela breast shield instead of Gerber. The Gerber one did not absorb at all. Lanolin is for your sore nipples.

11. 1-2 Wash clothes

12. Bathtub & little sitting stools.
I got a little tub that will fit into the bathtub, as well as 2 really short sitting stools. This way, I can sit in the tub and wash the baby. It's not necessarily comfortable in the first few months as you have to be the one holding the baby's head while you wash them. But they grow so fast I was not willing to buy those infant tubs that will last just a few months. This one will last a few years.

13. 3 8 oz Evenflo glass bottle. ($5-$6) and bottle brush.
Newborns drink 2-4 oz. Why bother getting the 4 oz when they will outgrow it? You are only supposed to feed them once every 24 hours in the first 2-4 weeks anyway in order to avoid nipple confusion. With all the scary news about plastic, I decided on glass bottles instead. It's pretty easy to heat up if you have a thermo. Pop the bottle into a ceramic cup filled 1/4 w/ hot water from the thermo and wait 5 minutes. Be sure to shake the bottle periodically so it'll warm up faster.

I've also seen bottles where the nipple and bottle is connected by a tube. This way, you don't have to hold the bottle in order to feed them. They can just suck on the nipple.

14. 2 changing table liner (cotton with vinyl insides) and a pack of chucks.
Chucks are these disposable pads that are used in the hospital. They're great when the baby decides to poop right when you're reaching for that new diaper! We use the changing pads normally and the chucks when the pads are in the laundry basket. You can get chucks in the adult diaper area in any drugstore.

15. Baby soap
We got a bunch of these as gifts but we actually havn't used any. Babies don't really need soap anyway, or daily baths for that matter. Just need their smelly grimy hands, face, and butt wiped if you don't give them baths.

16. Q-tips & nail clippers
Great for picking out snot. Babies have no nose hair and they seem to make boogers pretty fast. Though I've also used my fingers as they are quicker and do the job better sometimes.

17. Breastpump ($35-$200)
The Madela manual pump is pretty cheap. Great if you're planning to do only occasional pumping. Otherwise, you may want to invest in an electric pump. Here's a good article on which pump to get.

If you're concerned w/ BPA, then Madela's the brand for you as their products have no BPA in them.

18. Pacifier(s)
There are so many different kinds to choose from. We got one from the hospital, 2 donated new, and 2 long silicon kind from Target. Everyone says that you just have to find the ones that the baby will suck on. I found that the baby didn't like any of them (they're all different shapes) in the beginning. And still she'd only take it if she was about to fall asleep or was hungry. Even then, we had to semi-force it. But after 3-4 weeks, she will take any of them now.

One tip we learned was that instead of forcing the binkie, try inserting and then pretending to take it out. Their reflex will make them suck on it harder. However, this did not really work on the newborn. It works now that she's a few weeks old.

19. 7 Nursing bras
Around the 5th month, you may notice that you need new bras. You can get a bunch, or just a few like I did. Because around the last month or two, your breast will grow again. I hear that for some people, they go up a size after giving birth as well. So you may want to wait to buy a lot till later. They do sell these bra expanders for when you go up a size (not in cup but chest)

Thank goodness that did not happen to me. I did only buy 3 during my 5th month. Then after I gave birth, I determined that I wasn't going to get any bigger and then bought a whole bunch more of the same model. You will go through them quickly if you don't wear your breast shields. :D

There are lots of bras to choose from. As a lazy person who doesn't go out much, I got just the night nursing bras from Motherhood. Which are all cotton with no underwire. Motherhood has a no-return policy on bras, yet another reason I was careful w/ my purchase.

20. Boppy Noggin Nest pillow ($10)
Supposedly to prevent flat head. But because of SIDS, you actually can only put it in a stroller and maybe carseat? Basically surfaces that are semi-upright. On top of that, the baby likes to sleep w/ her head to the side and cried w/ the pillow under her as she couldn't turn. It was pretty useless.

What we didn't get
1. Stroller. (might buy a McLaren one later)

2. Changing table. It came already w/ the playpen. You can change the baby anywhere anyway as long as you have something underneath. As a lazy person, I've gradually moved on to changing the baby wherever she's laying, the floor, the bed, the playpen, wherever.

3. Thermometer & snot sucker. The hospital gives this to you.

Be smart and ask for things at the hospital. I got a tiny tube of lanolin from the hospital and didn't even finish using that one. Didn't open up the big tube I bought from Target at all. And if I'd known, I would have asked for a hospital grade breast pump. Those accessories for the pump are $50! I could have totally used them for my own breast pump.

4. Sling. ($50-$100)
If you believe in attachment parenting, or need to have a life other than baby the first 3 months, a sling is probably really useful. I didn't get it because I'm home all day w/ the baby and I don't run any errands personally. :D I just didn't feel like the cost was justified for a long piece of cloth!

Some of name brand slings I've heard about are: Moby Wrap and Maya Wrap

5. Boppy pillow. This is a pillow you put around your waist to help you breast feed. We use an existing firm pillow instead. You might also want a few firm throw pillows. They make great cushions for your arms when you're holding the baby upright.

What we bought but didn't need
1. dozen wash clothes.
I'm sure this will be useful later. But really, we only need 1 to wash the baby. And since no soap, no need to put it in the laundry except once a week.

Other things you may want (I didn't get)
1. Rocking chair
Good place for feeding. Though I much prefer our futon as there's more space to sprawl out.

2. Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium Swing. ($100)
You want the swing that swings side to side instead of front to back. They only last a few months though. Definitely helps putting the baby to sleep. Though Weissbluth of "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" cautions against leaving the swing on as he thinks motionless sleep is better sleep.

3. Breastfeeding covers.
They're usually called hooter hider. Great if you need to breastfeed outside. It's a piece of cloth w/ a round wire on top so that you can peek in and see how your baby is doing as you're feeding. I have no problems just hiking up my shirt and if really necessary using the pretty receiving blanket we got as a gift to cover myself, or a jacket....


gippie said...

wow, that was long. :)

we really like the marathon carseat and peanut is very comfy in it. i would have only gotten it but i didn't know how to carry her around prior to neck muscle development.

and we are still going with pampers as we find the absorption capacity to be worth it. if you can only feel how heavy Peanut's diapers are in the morning and we liked how soft the newborn ones were for her little butt. but then again, i didn't have to use 3 diapers in a matter of minutes. ;)

Peanut was the spit-up champ so many outfit changes until we turned to bibs. we also cut up extra t-shirts we had to make spit dabbers and milk clean-up rags. they were soft and available! and we had lots of hand towels so those worked well as burp towels and such. And extra bath towels were used as changing table liners though we change Peanut on the bed. Chux are indispensable and I'm extra lucky to have an endless supply from work. :) But I wholeheartedly agree with your recommendation to not buy things that you have substitutes for even if they weren't meant to be used as such. Why buy super nice things that are just going to be used to wipe up all things she is going to expel out of that little body!

Anonymous said...

Yay! Lots of info for me. At the rate you're going, you can publish a book.

One of my co-workers is pregnant. I passed along your list of what not to eat on Friday. I may pass along this list too...


Smurfett said...

I updated it w/ links and everything!