Thursday, January 5, 2012

A List of what you REALLY need for baby

My DDC(due date club) and I have discussed what one really needs for a baby. There are a million lists to be found everywhere. When my husband and I were pregnant the first time we went to register at Babies-R-Us like you are supposed to. We grabbed the little gun and the list of stuff they recommend you buy and we walked the store...for over an hour! Looking at this pages long list, our minds reeling. We were sure we didn't need all this stuff but we really didn't know what we WOULD need. We walked out without registering for a single thing.

Most checklists look very similar,something like this(although the babies-r-us list includes a LOT more):

Baby's Nursery

* Crib sets
* Crib mattresses
* Bassinets
* Cradles
* Bumpers
* Sleepers
* Nursery decor
* Changing tables
* Dressers
* Small lamp or Nightlight
* Rockers


* Baby bottles
* Nipples
* Bottle liners
* Bottle brush
* Bottle rack
* Baby bibs
* Teethers
* Breast pump
* Breast milk storage bags
* Breast pads
* Pacifiers
* Highchair
* Cream for nipples
* Nursing pillow
* Nursing bras

Baby Bedding

* Crib bedding
* Crib sheets
* Receiving blankets
* Mattress pads
* Waterproof liners
* Baby blankets


* One-piece outfits
* One-piece pajamas
* Sock and booties
* Mittens
* Fleece outfits
* Sweater or Jacket (for winter)
* Bonnet or Cap (for summer)


* Cloth diapers
* Disposable diapers
* Wipes
* Washcloth's
* Diaper powder
* Sealable trash can

Baby Bathing and Health

* Soaps & Lotions
* No-Tears shampoo
* Newborn tub
* Baby oil
* Hooded towels
* Ointment
* Thermometer
* Petroleum jelly
* Sterile cotton balls
* Baby powder
* Washcloths
* Baby nail scissors
* Baby nail clippers
* Liquid aspirin
* Baby brush
* Nasal aspirator


* Car seat
* Stroller
* Baby monitor
* Smoke alarm
* Toys
* Dreft laundry soap
* Books on parenting
* Flowers from dad

My list is not quite so extensive:

Baby's Nursery

You don't need it. Studies have shown (despite fear mongering ad campaigns financed by crib manufacturer's)that co-sleeping (SAFELY) helps to regulate babies breathing and actually reduces the risk of SIDS. I know, the idea of a sweet little room all decorated in cute decor is enticing, I did it myself the first time. 9 years later it is still decorated the same and it now holds 3 amazing girls.
If you REALLY want to decorate a nursery here's my recommendation
1) Decorate it so it can grow with your child.
2)skip the crib and put in a twin mattress. My babies had no interest in going to their own room until they were about 2.5 years old. Before that a twin bed can be handy if one parent needs to get sleep and the baby is fussy, if one parent has been drinking or needed to take sleeping pills (these are co-sleeping dangers, My Hubs would sleep on the couch if he had been drinking when our girls were babies). It can also be handy for naps for Baby. I used our bed as a place for us all to sleep and as my laundry folding table so I found it helpful to have Baby nap somewhere else.
3)a dresser IS helpful. Skip the specialized expensive changing tables (We have always used my bed or the couch, sometimes even the floor to change diapers) but if you REALLY want a designated changing area you can use one of those low dressers and place a changing pad on top of it. This will grow with your child!
4)some type of rocking chair is VERY nice. I have always longed for those nice padded gliders but they were not in our price range. I do have a lovely rocking chair though. A few things to remember-make sure the chair is wide and the arm rests aren't too high. You will be nursing and holding a sleeping baby in this chair, you need elbow room. A padded seat is nice, you will be sitting here for extended periods of time. Do you NEED this item? No. Any comfy chair will do, have a table nearby to keep a glass of water on as well as some snacks and reading material.


Let me introduce you to your breasts, they are amazing lumps of fat laced with mammary glands and an intricate duct work system. Until now they have been mostly for show and a little bit of fun. As my 6 year old has said about these type of breasts "Wasp has boobs, they don't do anything yet, she doesn't use them, someday she'll have a baby and use them". A quick science lesson- we are called mammals. This name is derived from mammary glands. You see mammals are the only animals that nurse their young, this differentiates us from every other animal on the planet. Hooray for us!

So you think,I am breastfeeding, I don't need anything else besides my boobs, and in the strictest sense of the word, no, you don't. But here is what is nice to have:

1)The phone number to your local LLL
2)breastpads- many women leak in the beginning while their bodies adjust the milk supply.
3)lansinoh- this is nipple cream, it is a very wonderful and amazing thing. You will be told a lot of conflicting advice about breastfeeding. It hurts so badly, it doesn't hurt or if you are doing it right it doesn't hurt, etc. In my experience it hurt a LOT to begin with that first time I would pray she wasn't hungry when she cried for the first 3 days. The hospital lactation consultants were hacks and so NOT helpful. My nipples DID sustain damage and lansinoh helped them so much. (NOTE-if your are experiencing pain call your local LLL leader she can help you...for free! If you have ANY breastfeeding questions call them.If there are meeting near you go BEFORE you have the baby, you can pick up handy hints and it's nice to have a face to put with the voice over the phone if you do need to call.) Also many birth centers(and maybe hospitals too) give out free samples of lansinoh, you won't need a whole tube of it and should be able to get by on free samples if you can find them)
4)nursing bras-you can get inexpensive nursing bras at target...unless you have large breasts, then I am very sorry you must buy the specialty bras online and they will run about $60/bra. (My boobs are small so I have no experience with this, but I have gleaned this information from LLL meetings). I have been able to use regular bras and just fold them down, but this ruins the bra and then it often pops up and in the way of the nipple annoying the baby.
5)breastfeeding pillow-unless you have big breasts, I have hear that big breasted women do not need these. You do not have to buy a specialty nursing pillow as you can use regular pillows but I LOVED my boppy. It saved my back. These are really only needed when baby is very small then they become places to sit your child in and eventually they just sit on the couch and your husband curls up with them for an afternoon nap...especially cute when the boppy is pink.EDITED to add- A friend with larger boobs said she DID find the boppy extremely helpful.
6)tank tops-yes tank tops, skip the expensive (and hard to fold, hard to free your boob nursing shirts) and wear a tank top under your regular shirt. When you need to nurse baby simply lift up your regular shirt, pull down tank top and your flabby post baby belly isn't hanging out for the world to see.
7)Covers-Babies don't like them. Your right to breastfeed is protected in many different states. Don't worry about making other people uncomfortable, the important thing is to take care of your baby. There will always be ignorant people, ignore them.
8)Bottles and pumps. Some women return to work, if you do you will need a pump and bottles. I am not the best person to help with this information. If you are not returning to work you don't need bottles or pumps. I used a pump and bottle for my first daughter. My next 2 girls never had a single bottle. I do plan on introducing this baby to the bottle between 8-10 weeks old as I hope to go to school to become a midwife when she is older. I tried to introduce a bottle to my youngest 2 when they were over a year old and they would have nothing doing with it. I was lucky enough that I didn't have to push the issue since I could just stay with them. If you introduce the bottle fill it with EBM (expressed breast milk). If you just need the occasional bottle you can hand express the milk instead of buying a pump. (If there is interest I can try to post a blog about that). Now there is some concern about the introduction of bottles, especially when a mother is already having breastfeeding issues. The nipple on a bottle is different then a breast. The baby holds the nipple in it's mouth differently, the action the baby uses to express the milk is different and it can cause a problem referred to as nipple confusion. Bottle nipples are easier to get milk out of, on the breast a baby has to work a bit harder this is a good thing though, as mammals we were meant to do this harder work with our jaws and it helps in the development of the jaw and tongue. So tread carefully if you are introducing bottles, and if you don't need to for work or school it's a pain in the butt and an added expense you can skip. Don't worry about that whole "well how will other people bond with baby if they can't feed them?" tagline that gets tossed around, there are a LOT of ways for others to bond with the baby.
9)High Chairs-you do not need these until baby is older. Some people choose to just use the boosters that strap onto a regular chair. We have one of those wooden high chairs restaurants use, it was bought at a flea market. I LOVE it. The baby is then at the table with you instead of in this giant contraption away from the rest of the family. The booster seat high chairs also have this same advantage.
10)Teethers- these are handy, you can also use a wet wash cloth you have cooled in the fridge or freezer or those mesh teethers with some frozen fruit in it.
11)Bibs-they are cute, the little ones you get at showers are USELESS. You need a larger bib, one with a pocket is nice, but they can't be the ones with the pockets just sewn on, they stay closed. We have one that is flat until you do four little snaps then the pocket stays out. I also recommend feeding them topless or naked, baby skin wipes off very easily.

Baby Bedding

1)waterproof mattress cover for your mattress. Skip the expensive especially made for baby options and go for a cheaper option. Big box stores offer waterproof sheets that fit on your mattress like a fitted sheet or waterproof pads that you can lay underneath a spot on the bed. Others have also suggested the thin wool blankets you can get at army navy surplus stores. They have also suggested laying 2 down. Peel off the dirty sheet and the first cover and then lay a new sheet down. Likewise you could layer it like a lasagna, waterproof pad, sheet, waterproof pad, sheet. Silly you think. Let me explain middle of the night accidents. YOU.ARE.EXHAUSTED! And friends, this is not just for kids potty accidents or a diaper that leaked. You have just had a baby and a few things are happening. Namely, you are leaking stuff. You very likely are leaking milk as your body adjusts the levels it needs and you will be bleeding for about a month, longer if you are over active before your body is ready...which is very easy to do. I ruined my mattress after my first baby, mostly with the massive amounts of milk that sprayed, not leaked, out of me.
2)Twin blankets, one for you, one for Hubs. Babies should not be covered in blankets and trying to share a blanket while also NOT covering the baby is pretty much impossible. In fact my Hubs likes 2 blankets so much he says that even when there isn't a kid in our bed he wants to keep having separate blankets. (Can you tell that I am the blanket thief in this relationship?)
3a few blankets for baby, not for sleep but for in the carseat or while carrying them around. Receiving blankets work great to toss over your shoulder while holding baby, prefold cloth diapers also work well for this. They randomly spit up and you will indeed get used to having spit up, pee and snot on your clothes it is STILL nice to attempt to avoid it. In this vein keep a baby washcloth in your pocket at all times to wipe off their faces.

this in large part depends on the season
1)gowns these are AWESOME, easy diaper changes no annoying snaps to deal with
2)socks-you will loose a LOT of these as well. I totally suggest all of one color.
4)t-shirts, the kind with the overlapped shoulders or the kimono style tops
5)some full body suits
6)baby hats
skip the cute clothes that look like big people clothes such as jeans, t-shirts and dresses, they don't work well on newborns, when they get older you can deck them out in little grown up clothes.
Shoes are not needed if they do not walk. Save your money.

yes. you need diapers.(although their is a group of people who disagree with this, I don't really know a lot about elimination communication.)
1)I like cloth, that is a post unto itself and it will be written soon. There are some great diaper boards out there with lots of information like diaperpin and diaperswappers. I will just say that I had my first in disposables, the leak something awful, poop especially. It squishes up the back, out of the diaper and all over everything. It even sometimes leaks out the legs. This is very gross. *shudder* PLUS the environmental impact of disposables used over the lifetime of one baby is mind boggling. I tried to imagine once, what every diaper Oldest ever wore would look like in one pile and I swore to use cloth after that.
2)wipes-cloth wipes work about a million times better then disposable. We are talking one cloth wipe can do what 5-8 disposable wipes do and I am not even exaggerating. I made my own out of receiving blankets, you can also buy them but they are pricey, or you can use the cheap baby washcloths, the kind with the hemmed edge instead of the sewn on trim works better.
3)diaper cans- let me just start this with THE DIAPER GENIE SUCKS!
if you are cloth diapering some traditional diaper pails won't work.
If you are using disposable diapers you just need a can that somehow blocks odor. don't get the kind that turns and wraps each diaper separately like the diaper genie, the amount of bag used for each diaper is horrifying. If you are cloth diapering in all honesty you need a bucket, or a trash can with a lid, they sell these things called wetbags that drop into them, they also sell wet bags that hang from a door or wall. A wetbag is sewn bag that is waterproof. I often just had a wetbag on the floor that I tossed the diapers in.
4)a diaper sprayer- these hook up to the toilet and you can spray the poop off the diaper and into the toilet. (You do not need to spray off breastfed poops, but you can if you want). I admit I have never actually had one and have successfully cloth diapered 2 kids, but if you can afford one get it. They start at about $30.00 and you do not need a plumber to install it (although my husband is a plumber so I f I ever do get one, I'm making the plumber do it.)

Baby bathing and Health
1)shampoo-please not Johnson and Johnson, it's full of carcinogens.No more tears works because it numbs the babies eyes. Go for a nice natural or organic cleaner. I love Burt's Bees, a bottle lasts for so long! (bathing baby daily actually drys their skin, and hair really only needs to be washed once a week)
2)baby nail clippers-cutting baby nails is scary but important. Do it while they sleep or while you nurse them...or well they are sleeping and nursing at the same time.
3)washcloths-for washing baby, "brushing teeth", and keeping in your pocket to wipe sppit-up and snot off your kid. (mentioned previously)
4)baby towels
5)baby baths- these are nice for a little while but a kitchen sink also works great, just lay down a washcloth. Also once the cord falls off you can just shower with baby. (I recommend having someone else at home who can dry baby and dress baby after you have washed Baby, then you can wash yourself.)
6)Baby powder- m'eh, you don't need it. I still have the same bottle I was given 9 years ago at my daughters shower. I haven't really used it on the babies but I have used it for a few other things. Here are some handy hints
a)if it has been awhile since you have showered and your hair looks a bit greasy, a little baby powder in your hair takes care of it quickly.
b)baby powder in shoes and in your bra helps to keep sweat down
and finally remember that if babies breath in baby powder in the air it is bad for their lungs.
7)Lotion-it can be useful, again go with natural or organic your skin does absorb whatever is put on it.
8)Diaper Cream-you don't need to use it every change, I only use it when they get the rare rash. I swear by Dr.Smiths Diaper Ointment. A rash is most helped by diaper free time and sunshine on their bums. Also some diaper creams can ruin cloth diapers.
9)tooth and gum care- use a washcloth and just wipe the gums for newborns. when they get older there is a handy finger brush thing. Once teeth come in I switch to a baby toothbrush and fluoride free natural toothpaste.


1)Carseat-research, research, research. car seats are not all made the same!(this needs it's own post and I will get to that.) Many babies can only fit into those infant bucket seats for 4 months. Many babies can also go directly into convertible seats, mine could not. Babies should remain rear-facing until at least 2 years old. Facing forward is NOT a milestone!! I thought it was and turned my first daughter before a year because she was such a strong baby. I have learned a lot since then. Rear Facing is life saving!!! My almost 3 year old is still rear facing and will remain rear facing until the seat no longer safely rear faces for her weight.
2)Stroller- not important for a newborn. Get a baby carrier, wraps work great for newborns, then I like pouches and those buckled carriers. I DO like strollers for schlepping stuff, not so much kids although they enjoy the occasional ride. Get one with an easily accessible under storage. To save money used is awesome.
3)Baby monitor-some people use them. If baby sleeps with you then no need to have one at night, but if you are going to be away or outside at naptime it could be useful. I only had one for my first and haven't felt impinged upon by not having one for my other babies. I also have a small house and can hear things no matter where in the house I am.
4)playmat or bouncy seat- you just need one that you can move around to lay babe on while you shower or cook dinner.
5)toys and books- nice when babe gets older, you don't need a ton though. Most likely they won't want the toys they will want the real thing.

I think that's it, and when you think of the things you need in just those first months the list is even smaller. Many of the items can be acquired second hand. Thrift Stores and baby re-sale shops are wonderful. Garage sales usually advertise if they have baby items available. If you know people who have had kids; talk to them. 1 item that it is VERY important you don't get used is the carseat. If a carseat has ever been in an accident it is no longer safe to use. Carseats are not for riding in the car, they are in case you get in an accident! This is the piece of equipment that can save your babies life and most likely you will never need to test it, but if you do you want it to work. The other problem with old seats is that carseats expire, after a certain amount of time has passed they are no longer safe to use. After very firmly stating the previous warning I admit I have used a used carseat, it was from a friend so I knew it had never been in an accident and I knew it was not expired. If you can not 100% guarantee that just don't use it! A stranger off craigslist who gives you their word is not worth the gamble of your baby's life.

Recap aka just the list without the talk

*dresser (you can add a changing pad to the top if you want but beds are also useful to change babies)
*comfy spot for mom to sit
*your breasts
*breast pads
*The number to a LLL leader(see link above)


  1. My question is why are you planning to introduce a bottle at 6-10 weeks? You mention you don't need to go back to work so I just wondered if there is a specific reason because that can cause nipple confusion, problems with the breastfeeding relationship and can lead to early weaning. Just wondered if there was something that could be clarified so that other mamas don't make a very costly mistake by introducing a bottle when there is no need too. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for posting this! I'm trying to find information on Adults Diapers and this has definitely helped me in this process.

  3. Mama living well- That is a very good point and I will address it when I rewrite this blog, now that I have a new keyboard. I did write the blog on a computer that kept turning off so it isn't very well written and I didn't go into some stuff that I wanted to. I personally will be introducing a bottle because I hope to go to midwifery school and 2 of my kids would not take a bottle when I tried to introduce them to it at 1+years. Granted when they wouldn't take it I had no reason to push the issue and make them take it, I just chose to stay with them. My first daughter was introduced a bottle early on and she never had a problem, so I am hoping that when the time comes for me to go to school the Baby will take the bottle and I can begin my education.

  4. No worries! I totally understand that sometimes there are reasons for it, I just wanted to make sure that mamas reading understood your reasons and knew the associated risks :)

    Thanks for addressing it :)

  5. it is a valid point, with all that happened that could have ruined my breastfeeding relationship with my first I was really just lucky that we prospered, I would have LOVED some sage advice!