The December List

What to Have for Baby:

Children This is a list of things have at home for the baby. All these things were posted on the list by experienced moms. Some of these are things you'll want before the baby is born; others are product reviews of things you might want to get for the baby later. There is some duplication here, since things that were posted repeatedly are generally the things that are the most essential items. Don't be daunted by the huge size of this list — you don't want to have to have all the things that are listed here! The idea is to have a comprehensive list here that you can pick and choose from, to customize your own personal list of things that you might want. For some perspective, check out the section at the end of the page called "Things You Don't Need". There are many things that one person listed as a "must have" and another listed as a "don't need".

This page is in need of reorganization!!! I hope to move the reviews to a separate page and just say things like "Diaper Genie - thought useful by (some number) of people and not useful by (some other number) of people; here are tips for Diaper Genie users; here are links to people's comments about Diaper Genii." Any year now I'll get around to it. -Valerie

Back to the main December List page.

Index: Bath Equipment: | Baby Clothing: | Books: | Diapers: | Equipment for Outings (strollers, slings, etc.): | Furniture: | Laundry: | Miscellaneous: | Nursing Supplies: | Small Items (washcloths, crib sheets, etc.): | Toys: | Things You Don't Need:

Bath Equipment:

  • I personally find infant tubs pretty awkward and tend to bathe newborns just on the counter, or on a folded towel in the big tub in very shallow water. They can't even hold toys until 6mo or so, and need very little.
  • Infant tubs - I found them way to hard to use - I found this little foam pad that I put on the counter when I gave her a bath. Most of the tubs were hard plastic and she didn't seem to fit into them. As someone else said, a towel will also work.
  • I absolutely HAD to have a baby bath (about $25 Canadian for the one I wanted). My sister bought it for me for a shower gift. Well, it turned out to be almost $2 a use, because my little one outgrew it so quick, and it was really a pain to bring buckets of water etc..., unless I used it in the tub, then what was the point?? I figured it would save my back, but unless you have a high table, it doesn't. This is one thing I would skip this time (except I already have it.....)
  • I DO have just a foam pad that cushions baby, and forms to sink or what ever you have baby in. (I LOVE the look of that light green one in the baby catalogs!!) My best friend just took baby into tub with her, then wrapped him in a towel and laid him in his carrier seat until she was finished.
  • 3 to 5 Hooded Terrycloth Towels. Hooded towels snuggle baby's head as you dry her.
  • 3 to 5 Soft Washcloths
  • 2 to 3 Hooded Terrycloth Bath Sacs - Wrap baby in a warm sac after drying her off.

    Baby Clothing:

  • Onesies and gowns - don't worry about too many newborn outfits. I think my baby wore gowns (little ones with a drawstring on the bottom) or little one piece pj things for the first three months. Newborn outfits are not worth the money - they only wear them a couple of times. Get easy outfits,remember, you are going to be changing between 10 - 14 diapers a day!! The easy the diaper change, the happier you will be. Onesies are great!! Our baby did have some T-shirts, but they kept riding up and bunching up.
  • I prefer onesies as shirts or dresses seem to always end up under the armpits. Crawler pants and jackets can go over them.
  • Clothes...gowns are popular, as well as onesies. In winter here we also use a lot of sleepers. My babes have VERY sensitive skin, so I only buy 100% cotton. Newborns are hard to wrestle in and out of coats, and I prefer the carseat cover with an elasticized bottom or a blanket. I generally use the little booties in winter if the kids are wearing something that doesn't have feet in it. Hanna Anderssen has some neat ones that have a leather bottom and elastic across the front of the ankle.
  • For my winter babies I found the nighties with the drawstring bottoms really wonderful for nighttime changing, no struggling with poppers in the semi dark.
  • Fleece snowsuit - I got a very soft, flexible, fleece snowsuit for my baby, which was great. I never tried the carseat cover. I wasn't sure how they worked when you transferred a baby from the carseat to stroller (like when you went to the mall). Don't get one of those stiff ones!! My baby had one and her poor arms just stuck straight out and they were so full it was hard to put her in the carseat. So, I returned it and got a soft, fleece snowsuit and used a blanket.
  • A little note....drawstring gowns may be a choking hazard--the newest ones I've seen just have a bit of elastic around the bottom of the gown. Our ped. told us to cut the strings out of the gowns that had them. I agree, much easier than snaps!
  • 1 Take-me-home Outfit - Look for a set that includes a coverall, jacket, and hat - Be sure to bring along a blanket. Remember, you must be able to strap baby snugly into his car seat when you leave the hospital.
  • 3 to 8 Kimono Sets, Gowns, or Pants-and-Shirt Sets - Any of these outfits offer easy access for quick changes. A kimono, a shirt that ties on the side, is usually paired with pants or a diaper cover. A gown or sac lets baby curl his legs together, just like he was used to doing in the womb. A two-piece pants-and-shirt set lets baby move freely to explore the world!
  • 4 to 6 Rompers - A romper is a one-piece garment that flares below the waist. It snaps together between baby's legs.
  • 4 to 6 Footed Coveralls - Most of baby's skin will stay under wraps in a one-piece stretch coverall with attached feet and snaps between the legs.
  • 5 to 7 Undershirts - Look for one-piece long- or short-sleeved bodysuits, with snaps at the crotch (they won't ride up when baby moves around), basic pullover undershirts, or side-snap shirts.
  • 1 to 3 Sweaters - Cardigans are an extra layer for baby outdoors on cool days or indoors with air conditioning.
  • 1 Snowsuit or Bunting - Winter babies will need a hooded bunting with attached mittens to stay warm.
  • 2 to 4 pairs of Booties or Socks - In the first few months, baby doesn't need shoes. Socks or knit booties will keep tiny feet warm.
  • 4 to 6 Hats - Hats are a must for newborns. For winter days, baby will need one that covers his ears. A brim will provide sun protection.
  • I think you should [wash baby clothes before using them]. It softens them for sure. Plus, it's necessary to activate the flame retardency of sleepwear - or so I've read.
  • And yes I wash all the babies clothes before hand I also have a setting on my machine to do a second rinse (to make sure all soap is out) this may be a good idea too...
  • >As one who worked a semester in the Textile Testing Lab in college I would never put a child in synthetic fibers. The flames are like nothing you would ever experience in natural fibers even if they flame some. The flame is white because it burns at a much higher temp than cotton or wool. The synthetic is plastic and melts so burns are far more serious. My kid slept in cotton long underwear that was dyed to brighten them up. "Flame retardent" is a sales pitch.
  • My two favorite things for cleaning [hand-me-down-clothes] are: hot water, and BIZ bleach. Biz is a color safe bleach that will clean ANYTHING - even old formula stains - much to my surprise! Some stains take longer - I've let them soak in a tub with Biz for 1 -2 weeks, then wash and they're good as new. Washing items, especially used items, in hot water always makes me feel better.


  • Also see the December List's Books page.
  • Several books on baby care -- I loved anything by Sears and Sears and of course good old Dr Spock. (I found having several authorities on hand at 2am well worth the investment.)
  • I too love my Dr. Spock book!! I is a great reference source. Another book I found helpful was the Peditrician's Guide for years 1-5 (I don't think I have the name right, I can look it up at home). I had section on all the months and then the years up to age five. It also had sections of different diseases (what to do, what to look for, what to be worried about). It was a really helpful book.
  • PARENT BOOKS. Spock of course is a good general reference. I haven't read the Sears books but plan to do so now. Another book we liked was the Penelope Leach book -- is it called "Your Baby and Child"? I haven't seen it around in years -- better start looking for it now. ;)
  • Another vote for "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk"! This is an excellent book, one to re-read every few years.
  • Another good one is "Your Child's Self Esteem."
  • A good friend swore by a book called (I think) "The Magic Years" but I haven't read it.
  • As far as reference books for ped. medical concerns and developmental stuff, one of my favorites is _Dr. Mom_ (Marianne Neifert). I also like everything by T. Berry Brazelton and the Sears.
  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is one of the best [books about breastfeeding], put out by La Leche League.


  • Someone asked about cloth diapers. I tried them and hated them. Used a diaper service for about 2 months, and used those velcro-d outer wraps. I changed at least 15 diapers a day, and had at least 5-6 wet baby outfits a day. bleah! I can imagine that cloth would be easier after the very-frequent-pee-and-poop newborn stage, but I had given up by then. Also, she tended to wake up every time she got the teeniest bit wet at night, which she didn't in disposables. Again, your mileage may vary.
  • We refused to use anything but cloth until we actually had a baby in hand and at breast! He was constantly soaked, diaper covers and all. We lasted about a month, then guiltily went over to disposables. Someone later told me that it's best to start with disposables, then make the switch, as newborns pee & poop so much. I'll try to do that this time.
  • 2 to 5 dozen Cloth or Disposable Diapers. You'll go through 10 to 12 diapers a each day during baby's first weeks. Those made of fabric can also be used as burp cloths.
  • Diaper Pail - For a clean, hygienic nursery, make sure you've got a diaper pail to put away those messy diapers.
  • I went to Babies R Us to register a couple weeks ago and they have a new diaper pail that really can be used with one hand, keeps the smells out and instead of having to buy the expensive bags, you use the plastic bags you get at the grocery store! There wasn't much cost difference and you would save a lot more in the long run not having to buy bags. It also looked like you could use it for cloth diapers. I can't remember the name of it, I will try to look it up and post it on the list.
  • Are you talking about Diaper Champ? We just got rid of our Genie in favor of the Champ. It works well and after a few Diaper Genie refills pays for itself. we use the plastic bags from the supermarket so there is no cost that way.
  • I would be really interested in information about that diaper pail. I have two female dogs and I am mostly interested in keeping them out of any dirty diapers. FYI: For those with dogs, especially females. In a wolf pack the females often share the care of the pack puppies (pups of the dominant couple). They have this very strong instinct to clean up after the pups to prevent other animals from finding the den. This includes eating the pups' feces. They will go to great lengths to do this, so if you have a dog, especially a female one, you might want to put a diaper genie (or similar) item tops on you 'things to get' list. A friend of mine learned this the hard way: Her dogs managed to get into the baby's room while they were gone (something they had never done), access an elevated diaper pail (that had a lid that snapped on fairly tightly and these dogs had never tried to get into the kitchen trash which is more accessible) and 'clean' the diapers. Needless to say it was not a pretty site. Anyway, thought I would pass that on. Sorry if I grossed anyone out, but I thought the other dog owners should be warned. Dogs, damned cute, but they can be disgusting!
  • If you are going to use disposable diapers, call the 800 number on the package and ask for coupons. You give your name, address, and age of the child and you get great coupons fairly frequently ($1 and $2 off packs of diapers plus wipe coupons). Then if you buy at Toys R Us when they have store coupons you can use both the Toys R Us and the manufacturer coupons at the same time. Mega savings on diapers.
  • The rule of thumb is around 10 diapers a day for a newborn, which I found to be about right for my baby. I can't remember how long it was before she slowed down a bit.
  • One thing I did find is I used fewer diapers when I used a name brand. (I like Huggies.) When I used the store brands they tended to leak more. In my opinion, the store brands don't really save money in the long run.
  • If you find your baby is having lots of major blowouts, it is time to go up a size in diapers. It took me a while to figure that out.
  • Diaper sizes are like baby clothes sizes: My baby always needs a larger size than her age/weight would suggest.
  • My son got the worst rash from Drypers. Here there is also Price Club that has cheap diapers but they only go up to size 4 and we're now in size 5.
  • According to my sources (my sister!), it's fine to use hot water to wash diaper covers, but if you dry them, they lose the plasticity that keeps them more waterproof.
  • The only mistake I made in washing velcro diaper covers was to forget to close the velcro before washing. Otherwise the "hook" side will stick to everything else in the wash. I folded them inside out and attached the velcro like it would be attached when the baby was wearing the cover.
  • Diaper covers should dry pretty quickly hanging up.
  • Arm & Hammer Washing Soda helps whiten diapers.
  • If you have your own washer & dryer, it is cheaper to do cloth diapers. I did cloth with my daughter for about a year. She then started going to home care a few days a week and we did more outdoor stuff where carrying around wet/dirty cloth diapers was not my idea of good fun. She never got a rash with the cloth (or many with disposables) diapers. I used plastic covers and pins (store the pins in a bar of soap and they go through diapers great). I tried the Velcro covers, but they always got damp around the edges so you had to have many in order to have dry ones all the time. I just didn't think they were worth it. (I had trouble keeping them Velcro-ed too.) As always, your mileage may vary!
  • I did use cloth and loved it. Only I used a diaper service. I was surprised at how reasonable they were. It cost us about the same as the expensive diapers (Pampers Plus for example). They came with the wraps and we used no pins only Velcro. I did not have to rinse the diapers. (I know it sounds gross and I thought I would at first but I didn't). They provided a special pail and deodorizer for it and I NEVER had an odor problem. My service came twice a week and I loved having extra diapers for spit ups, etc. The problem came when I went back to work. My daycare (which is excellent) center refused to use cloth diapers. I was very upset but If I had to give up something in daycare I would give up cloth over care. I was too cheap to pay for cloth service and disposables so I canceled my service.
  • With my first baby I planned on using cloth nappies/diapers once I had got used to having a baby. I used disposable for the first couple of months, as somebody mentioned, small babies do tend to need very frequent changing and the first week especially, the meconium is very sticky and black and I wouldn't like to be cleaning diapers like that. I found that in the first couple of months I didn't know what was up and down, and having diapers to worry about washing as well as trying to get used to looking after a new baby would have been too much for me. My sister gave me a month diaper service, where they deliver a quantity of clean diapers and pick them up a week later and give you more fresh diapers. That was really good, as long as you kept the lid on the bin they provided! If you are planning on breastfeeding, my advice to you is use disposables until you introduce solid food, if you can afford them. Breastfed baby poop is very yellow (stains badly) and very runny, very difficult to clean from cloth diapers, even if you use liners. Having said all that, after about 4 months (when my baby started solids) I changed to cloth diapers, just the plain square towelling, that I pre-folded so that I didn't have to try and fold diapers and hold a squirmy baby at the same time. I didn't use pins, I use and still use a special fastener, here in Australia called a happy nappy, or something like that. It is like a T-shaped implement, with little fastener-type claws at each end, which hold the diaper in place, very effective, and easy/fast to use, and then covered up the diaper with plastic pilchers, no leakages at all. You do have to be vigilant in changing baby in cloth diapers frequently, as they are not as absorbent as disposables and don't draw the moisture away from the skin of the baby. I used cloth nappies/diapers on my baby until he was toilet trained, it certainly saved on money and the older they get the less diapers they soil.
  • Another thing I would like to suggest is that even if you do go for cloth diapers, a disposable at night time is wonderful. I always put on disposables when going out somewhere for a long period of time, and also for the night diaper, but majority of time used cloth diapers.
  • There are lots of fancy fitted cloth diapers on the market these days, they are easy to use with velcro fasteners, and if you can afford them, great. They do take a lot longer to dry on the clothesline though, whereas the conventional square diapers are a breeze.
  • The great thing about cloth diapers is that when you have finished with them or they are a bit past it, you can use them as cleaning cloths! They are also great for throwy babies, just whack a cloth diaper over your shoulder when you are burping baby and it catches any spills.
  • With my second child, he hasn't spent long cloth diapers, because he is so inclined to rashes, he is very sensitive to a lot of foods and it causes his urine/poo to be very acidic and it burns his little bottom, so I find disposables more practical with him.
  • If you can afford it for the convenience disposables are very handy (even cheaper brands are great for daytime wear), make sure you use the more expensive, absorbent disposables for overnight use. Use a good barrier cream too, that helps prevent nappy rash, especially with cloth diapers. Sorry if I am rambling and alternating between diapers and nappies, here in Australia they are called nappies. Oh, I use Huggies brand, they are the best you can get over here. Pampers are really good, and Snugglers are great for daytime use and a lot cheaper, here anyway.
  • You can get cloth diapering down to a fine art. Pop the soiled diaper straight into a bucket of nappy soaker and throw the nappies in the washing machine every morning, and it's not a problem. As soon as you take them off the line, fold them into the shape you intend using and they are all ready to go.
  • I'm going with the Pampers newborn - I love the cutout for the cord.
  • For an old-fashioned diaper pail, I would recommend that even if you aren't using a service for your cloth diapers, give one a call to purchase such a diaper pail. The service I called includes it with your first order, but also sells them for $12!
  • I prefer Huggies to Pampers, your mileage may vary. Seems like on one of my other lists, Huggies were preferred by most mothers of boys.
  • I have found that Pampers are terrible against huge pees!! I brought one to the pediatrician's office and changed him there after the exam and about 1 second after I finished changing him, I noticed the tissue paper on the exam bench began to drench!! Huggies are the way to go for me!!
  • I am using diaper doublers. They look like the old fashion pads for women (a thin absorbent inner lining). You just put them inside the diaper. For my son, I cut them in half and put the doubler near the front of the diaper. That and keeping his pluming pointed down seems to help. Also watch that his pluming is pointed away from the side he is laying on... I noticed that my baby will shoot pee out the leg if his pluming is pointed down (he sleeps on his side). I found diaper doublers in the grocery store where they keep the diapers (all the way at one end on the bottom...not the easiest thing to find).
  • Thanks everyone on the boy diapering question. I am using Huggies now and they work so much better!!!
  • The Mother-ease Propolinos sp? one-size-fits-all cloth diapers... well, 8-35 pounds. We have used them on our newborn and on our three year old who is finally getting potty trained on her own!!! :) Anyway, my husband and I really love them. The air flow covers are really nice... we've found them to be very waterproof. The Mother-ease velcro diaper covers are nice, too. :)

    Equipment for Outings:


  • Umbrella stroller - this was great to use on trips and for short runs to the park. Mine has a basket on the back but no sunroof, so we bought a little umbrella that you could attach to the stroller.
  • Stroller - they are great for the mall! If this is your first and you are planning on having more, I would get a double stroller (esp. if you are having a baby shower). We got a really nice one for our baby shower; however, it was a single. Our baby will still sit in a stroller without any problems. So now, we have to go out and buy a double stroller. I do suggest a few things: buy the lightest one you can - your back will thank you, try closing the stroller one handed and buy one with good wheels! You can do all of these things with ours and we really like it (it's a Graco Deluxe stroller.)
  • My double stroller (for non-1st timers) has also logged a lot of miles. I have a Combi Twin Spin--not terribly heavy, and very sturdy.
  • Any stroller is a must - which one depends on your own needs and style. We had a Graco stroller for my first baby, but it didn't hold up well - even after being replaced (by the company) when she was 10 month old. It seems that her stroller (the Seville LXi) was producing static electricity whenever we pushed her on a tile floor. Then her hair would stand on end and she's get a charge. I didn't really like this and the company graciously replaced the stroller - which didn't do it at all.
  • We have a Graco stroller. Not sure which one. My only regret is it only has 2 positions. The flat position is not completely flat, so it isn't great for a sleeping newborn. The upright position is too upright for a new baby, because they can't hold their heads up. As a baby, our daughter hated it, because she wanted to see what was going on & I couldn't prop it high enough for her to see & give her the support she needed.
  • My 1st stroller was a Graco. It was really cheap and did not last well. I don't think Baby Bargains gives them a very good review. If you don't plan to use it much, it doesn't really matter.
  • We bought an Emmaljunga stroller. My husband wanted something we could take to the park. It is really heavy duty and seemed like it will last forever. To tell you the truth, I hate it. I find it is very heavy and difficult to push. I have thought of selling it but we still have it. I ended up buying a $15 umbrella stroller which I used a lot for shopping and evening walks in the neighborhood. If I did it over again, I would not buy the Emmaljunga because your worry about it being too big/heavy was true for us.

    Car Seats:

  • Built in car seats - if you are buying a new van, get the built in car seats, they are great. We just got our van in January and got two built in car seats, so now my husband's car and my car both have car seats (great for day care).
  • The Century Five-point harness car seat (I think it is the model 1000) - we first got a fancy car seat with the pull over arm. It was a real pain to get the baby in and out (we had a few practice sessions before we used). So, we got the Century 1000 (it was listed as the best car seat in Consumers Reports in 1996). It works great for half the price.
  • I think the very best car seat (which I am about to buy after a lot of looking) is the Britax line, made in GB. You *can* tether it (which will be required in 2yr, I think), but don't have to to use it safely. It has a locking mechanism built into it that secures it top and bottom better than any other seat. One model is rear-facing to 30#, which is considered much safer.
  • On one of my other lists, someone's DH works for one of the companies that makes built-in car seats, and says he would never put his child in one. Our van did not have them as an option, so I didn't look into them. Your mileage may vary.
  • I second this recommendation [Britax]. We bought two Britax car seats, one for each car. They are expensive but are really easy to use and very secure. We have a Century which we leave at my Dad's in NY and there is no comparison. The Britax is amazing.
  • BTW - our daughter hated her car seat. Everytime we got in the car, she would cry. She'd cry the whole way, never falling asleep. I finally decided to switch her to the convertable seat (still leaving it backward) and she was so much happier. Again, I think it was like the stroller, she wanted to be sitting up more. So, save your receipts, what you think is wonderful, your child might not!
  • Carseat cover--the type that has elastic around the bottom, is fleece, and covers the baby with a little hole for the head to poke out. SO much easier than a pram, or bunting, or whatever (for those of us with colder weather).
  • My 1st 2 babies also really liked our Cosco car bed in which they could ride lying down. I know it's still highly recommended for preemies. I'd think about getting another one (sold it when it got real ratty) if they came with a stroller base.
  • See the Child Passenger Safety page from the Burlington Coat Factory. It has lots of good information about how to install a car seat safely.
  • My 2 cents on carseats. The biggest mistakes people make are: not using a locking clip when needed, trying to use a seat that doesn't truly fit your car, and NOT READING THE INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS!! (Even my intelligent sister was guilty of this...). So it's best to save all packaging in case you get it in and it doesn't work in your car. The very top of the line if you want to spend the big bucks is the Britax Roundabout--meets much more stringent safety standards than required in the US and I've never felt a more solid seat. (You can't BUDGE this thing once it's in!) It also has the advantage of letting the child be rear facing up to 30 pounds, which is good because many babies hit 20 pounds long before a year and the American Association of Pediatricians recommends rear facing until at least 1 year of age and greater than 20 pounds weight.
  • You may want to test out any new car seat you buy to make sure it fits in your car. When we had our first baby we had a little 2-door hatch and the first seat we bought would not fit in.
  • I have a 4-in-1 infant seat and like being able to quickly get my baby in and out of the van and on and off the stroller frame without having to unbuckle, carry, or otherwise rearrange things. You certainly can use a convertible from birth, but it may fit less well or be less convenient, since you have to transfer the baby to your arms (or sling or stroller) every time you get somewhere. And some of these seats (especially if you have a really angled vehicle seat) don't recline enough, and baby's head tends to sag forward. Nice if you can try before you buy.

    Wearing The Baby:

  • Sling/carrier/backpack - I used a carrier and loved it. I never tried a sling, but I do know some people who loved their slings. We did use a backpack for about 3-5 months, we got one at a second hand store for about $10. Since both my husband and I have bad backs, it just got to be too hard to carry her in the backpack.
  • I used a frontpack for both boys, once you got used to putting it on by yourself it was great, kept my hands free.
  • I'm home by myself all day and I carry my baby around in the Baby Bjorn. We do laundry, vaccum, clean the house, etc. He'll fall asleep in there and sometimes when he is in deep sleep, I'll take the front part off and lay him down (like now) on his Boppy pillow on the couch. He really won't sleep in the bassinet at all unless he is exhausted, I think he sleeps better with light and noise and it's too quiet back in our bedroom. Plus with the Bjorn, I can type with two hands!!!! I think it's great and my husband wears the baby all evening. It doesn't hurt our backs at all (however the baby is only about 9 pounds). And I can nurse with the Bjorn on too if I'm out in public.


  • Changing table - this really saved my back!! The only time I had to be really careful was when my baby first started moving and rolling about. I still use it today.
  • Cradle or bassinet - Our baby slept in one for the first 5 weeks. She slept in our bedroom at night and we would then move it out to the family room so I could keep a watch on her. Now, some babies grow out of it faster than others, but my baby runs on the petite side.
  • My changing table, crib, and glider have all been indispensable, and are currently on their 4th child although we don't use the crib until the 2nd half of baby's 1st year.
  • My high chair (also for later) is a Peg Perego Prima Pappa (however you spell that), which I highly recommend. It reclines, so can also function as an out-from-under-foot baby seat in the early days. Lots of height adjustments too, and it folds up compactly.
  • I couldn't imagine being without a change table, get one that complies to safety standards so baby can't roll off. One with shelves underneath is a must. I used a small pillow, kind of U-shaped for both the boys, and this kept them propped up so they could see what was going on, but stopped their heads from wobbling from the time they were newborns, I loved this. In fact a girlfriend gave this to me as she loved the one somebody had given her for her baby. I don't know if it is a boppit or not, we have different brand names over here [in Australia].
  • CHANGING TABLE. Our best piece of baby furniture was/is our combo changing table/dresser. A great investment. It has four big drawers plus a small closet on the side, just the right height for a toddler to get his own things out later on. The top of it opens upward (with locking hinges) to create the changing table part, and once it's no longer for changing, the top is like a shelf with a cover (fun for a kid to cram things into). My son is *still* using this as a dresser -- but he's going to have to give it up for his little bro/sis!
  • Our changing table is also a baby chest, so of course I've used that!
  • Bassinet -- My Mom bought us one of those beautiful, detachable rocking base bassinets! The base stayed in the living room, with the net holding diaper things. The "Moses boat" bassinet bed fit PERFECTLY on the top of the changing table, beside my bed!! At first I did take the "Moses boat" into the living room during the day, but eventually it stayed in my bedroom. Consequently, I got more use out of the "Moses boat" than the wonderful rocking base!! My SIL also has a woven "Moses boat" basket, that she has on her own dresser in her room, for the baby. It sure takes up less room, than the traditional idea of free standing bassinet AND dresser!! My babies are right at hand for night time feedings for about 4-6 months, then move into the crib in the kid's room.
  • Bassinet or Cradle - Both good places for a newborn to sleep.
  • Crib - Much of baby's time is spent in her crib, so be sure it's safe and comfy. The mattress should fit snugly, and put in bumper pads to cushion the sides.
  • Rocker - Spend some peaceful moments in a rocking chair - during baby's feedings or while she's asleep.
  • Chest of Drawers
  • Changing Table
  • The rocking chair - a real rocker, not a glider (I never got the hang of those)
  • I have also spent many hours in the glider.
  • Someone mentioned not liking her high chair. This time we got the Prima Pappa, which has a reclining feature that is very handy. You can use it as an elevated infant seat long before you need it for feeding purposes.
  • My sister has the Prima Pappa and SWEARS by it. If you're short on space (though they're not), it folds back and it even fits in her trunk if she wants to take it to a restaurant. It is highly padded and pretty luxurious.
  • I actually wanted the highchair by Fisher Price (I think) that evolves into a booster seat, then a little table and chair, but ended up getting one a little more economical from my MIL, and really enjoying it a lot. It was a Graco, that reclined and I used it from three months on. I could still be using it, although my 18 month old is *VERY* independant, and decided to go on a hunger strike until we figured out that he just wanted to sit like the rest of the family, at the table, *not* in his high chair (even though this one beautifully fit under the table without the tray) he just wanted to sit in a "big boy" chair! It is great and I have put it away for a short time, as we'll be using it again in three or so months. Even when I didn't "feed" in the chair, it was great to just have in the kitchen while I was busy cooking/baking/cleaning etc... The seat reclined 3 different levels, well, two actually, and one was upright. It also raises and lowers, which was handy, and had a few other neat features I liked. The pattern was good for either boy or girl, and used to keep my baby ammused when he was smaller! It was less than $89 Canadian (on sale, my MIL is a bargain hunter!!) what would that be American, about 5 cents (LOL!!!) Our dollar is so pathetic right now, it really keeps us from visiting down south when you only get 61 cents to the dollar! How humiliating!! I'd like to know how they can figure that!?!?!?!? Anyway, I liked the high chair, and can look into the model for you if you like.
  • We have the high chair by Playskool that reclines for an infant. I didn't get the high chair until after my baby was sitting up so I can't tell you how well it works. The high chair also has several height adjustments so you can have it high or low. I really love the fact that it has a bar that goes between the legs so that baby doesn't go sliding down. No matter how snug I would have the baby strapped into other high chairs, he kept sliding down. This way he doesn't and is easier for him to sit up. When we first got it, the only problem we had was that the baby would fall to side because he was still learning how to sit up straight.
  • I have that high chair, and love it. The other one I looked at was the Playskool (?) 1-2-3, but it has had numerous recalls and other problems. Another weird thing with that one is the tray tilts too if you recline the seat. Not very useful, IMO.
  • We have the Playskool 1-2-3 High Chair and haven't had any problems with it -- what are the other drawbacks you thought of?? Agreed that the tray tilts when the seat is reclined, but as we've never used it in that position (and don't plan to, as I don't feed solids that young) it's never been a concern. We bought ours from my favorite consignment shop -- when I called the company for replacement pads, they were able to tell me that the legs had been recalled but had not been replaced for my particular chair, and sent me out new ones free of charge:) That's the only recall on it that I'm aware of, and anyone buying one new at this stage, shouldn't have that difficulty. I'd love to see the Prima Pappa chair -- guess I gotta take a few minutes to window-shop those great websites everyone keeps refering too:):)
  • According to Baby Bargains, it [the Playskool 1-2-3 high chair] has had several recalls in as many years--for the base, legs, and safety bar. As the book says "that's one too many recalls for us", with the latter involving hundreds of complaints and 40 injury reports due to falls. I generally start solids around 6mo and did use my tray at that time with the seat reclined as my baby wasn't a 'steady sitter' yet. I also used it for toys and other diversions when he was a little younger and in the chair as an infant seat. So BB gives it 1 star, but notes it *is* one of the few lower-priced chairs with a reclining seat.
  • I had a Dreamride [the "Cosco Dream Ride's a convertible swing,cradle,car bed, and car seat....for $99.00"] for my first and second kids (now 7 and 5 years old). I think it is the only carseat that lies down, which is really nice for a newborn and even more highly recommended for preemies. My only problem with the lying down position was effectively keeping the sun out of their eyes. Also I have heard the straps don't tend to accomodate very well for bulky clothes if you are in a cold environment (we were in Texas at the time). When you use it lying down, it can be a little tedious to thread the seatbelt through the cloth loops on the side, but maybe that design has improved in the last 7 years. The last criticism I have is that the one position it locks into for sitting up is so upright that the baby would really scrunch over in it, but again maybe that's improved lately. Overall I really liked it. It was easy to carry, and very comfy for baby.
  • My Baby Bargains book mentions [the Cosco Dream Ride Plus] as a good car seat for babies that need to be flat. I also checked several internet resources that list recalls. I didn't find any recall information on this item. Therefore, I'm assuming there haven't been any recalls on it. Cosco, from what I've heard, read, or seen, is a pretty reliable manufacturer. So, I say go for it. Sounds like a great deal.
  • If you want the baby sleeping on the main floor during the day, I recommend the pack-n-play. We used ours with our baby until she was 2 1/2 - we left it at daycare for naps. I may use ours in the living room when the baby is awake, and my daughter is running around. It will really come in handy over the holidays. I hate to leave the baby in the car seat, and I don't think its good for the baby to be held the whole time we're visiting - it's not very convenient either - especially when we're eating or opening gifts.
  • When I had my second child I bought a playpen specifically to keep the baby from annoying the oldest child, he was really into jigsaw puzzles (still is) and it stopped the baby from getting to him. Also used it to put the baby in while I was in the shower. The baby was in the pen just outside the door where I could keep an eye on him. Guess I'll be pulling it out again soon enough. I like the suggestion of putting a sheet on it and making it into a kind of tent. Apparently it is also good for putting your ironing board in and yourself to stop baby from getting near the hot iron.
  • My aunt put her Christmas tree in a playpen one year as there were a lot of little babies. It was a great idea as the kiddies couldn't get to the tree, the decorations or the gifts!
  • The changing table. Ours had lots of shelves so I used it a lot more than my dresser. I put a shelf right above it on the wall to hold all the powders and lotions. It worked GREAT I had his clothes, diapers and lotions all within one arms reach. (Perfect for a boy who had great range once air hit his privates:)
  • We bought a bumpa bed for our baby. It has been one of the best purchases we have ever made. It was more expensive than the other mattresses, but if you add the expense of sheets (they come with it) and bumpers it actually is cheaper. It's nice not to have to worry about the baby getting tangled in the regular bumpers. The sheets are a breeze to change. When our baby was younger (he sleeps in a regular bed now) we would take the bumpa bed with us when we traveled and he would sleep in it on the floor. I think he slept a lot better being in his familiar bed. Then at 14 months he started to jump out of his crib. We bought him a regular twin bed but for the first few months he slept on the bumpa bed on top of the twin bed. It made the transition very easy. Well, as you can see we highly recommend it.
  • If you are thinking of more then one baby, get a good crib. The baby sleeps in it many hours for a long time and then it gets passed down to your other children and then even to someone else's children. I wouldn't let price considerations override quality in this item. Especially safety and durability. Some babies bounce for hours on the mattress and shake the crib sides. It has to be strong and durable.


  • I have some sensitivity to detergents myself (I get vaginal irritation -- most unpleasant). I have found that if I
    a) use detergent without fragrance
    b) put the detergent in first and use enough water for the load
    c) use only half of the amount of soap called for
    I get clean clothes (and my husband and I do a lot of outdoors stuff so we get pretty dirty clothes) and no irritation from the soap. I've been doing the same thing with my baby's stuff and he has shown no reaction to the detergent. Your mileage may vary, but it has been cheaper than "special" soaps.


  • Most important of all: Someone to talk to who has had children before. A family member, a friend, a member of a mom's group -- someone who will tell you that despite it all you are a great mom! Believe me you will need reassurance, or at least I did.
  • BABY MONITOR -- probably an obvious essential.
  • BOOKS! Lots of books. Anything from simple picture books on up. Can't start reading to baby too soon, as far as I'm concerned. My son is a very verbal child -- he was an early talker, and taught himself to read before 3, and I think all this early language exposure was a big reason for this.
  • 4 to 6 Washable Bibs - To protect clothing, it's a good idea to use a bib whenever baby nurses or has a bottle.
  • 8 Bottles - If you're bottlefeeding, you'll want about 8 bottles on hand, plus extra nipples and caps. If you're breastfeeding, you may want 2 to 4 bottles (for water, juice, or expressed breast milk or formula when mom's not available.
  • Lamp - Keep a lamp in the nursery for late-night feedings and to add a soft glow to the room.
  • Monitor - A monitor that you can take with you throughout the house will help you track baby's sounds.
  • Organizer - To keep small supplies organized and easy to find, put them all in one handy place.
  • Vaporizer - If the air is dry, a warm-mist vaporizer will help your baby breathe easier.
  • Bottle Warmer - Yes, Yes, Yes!! My baby had to have her bottles warmed until she was 14 months old. Whether it's formula, milk or breast milk, if they like it warm this is a great way to do it - it's very quick!
  • We have a monitor, but we only used it once or twice - when we went in the yard. Otherwise, we could hear her crying loud & clear without it. However, this time, when the baby is out of the bassinet, we'll be on a different floor, so we'll probably use it all the time.
  • The portable play yard - great when you go somewhere that isn't childproofed (like the park, or Aunt Jane's) or when you know you'll be gone awhile.
  • We used our monitor a fair bit when the baby 1st moved out of our room (around 6-9mo), and also during nap times.
  • Another cleaning method for toys and plastic items (which might not be so boiling water friendly) is to use a pan of bleach water. It doesn't require much bleach (there should be directions on the bleach label), then rinse and let dry. This is the practice by our school district for their preschool and baby classes.
  • Here is the recipe for
    Basic Disinfecting Solution:
    3/4 cup bleach
    1 gallon water

    Remove loose dirt, then apply the basic solution and keep surface wet 2 minutes. Rinse & dry.
    Every daycare I've known of uses this recipe. I use it when I buy toys (new & used) and after we've shared the toys with someone else.
  • The only thing that I've heard of besides common Lysol, is "Dettol", which again, I learned at the home birth. They use that to sterilize the tub (important they said) and the instruments before the boiling water, and a few drops in the newborn laundry, and use a weak solution to wipe off baby furniture etc.... It is very concentrated, and you can also use it straight on cuts etc.. It has a distinctive smell that always reminds my friend (who has had four home births) of a baby, although unless you've been there, done that, it didn't remind me of a baby, I'm more traditional, as in baby powder reminds me of a baby sooner than Dettol (LOL). It comes in a small bottle (300ml or less I think) what is that 8 - 10 oz?? It is handy, and that bottle will last you a long time. Detol can be purchsed (in Canada of course, but I'm sure in the US as well) at any local drug store, and I think probably in the cleaning or first aid section of the grocery store. It is a very small bottle that runs at less than $5, actually, closer to $3 I think. The bottle is about 6 - 8 oz (200 - 300 ml) and will last a while, at least two or three nesting stages!!! (LOL) You use it like any cleaner, dilute it as per directions and it is very effective to kill germs. As a first aid tool, use it full strength. ******OK, hold on here, just got my bottle. It is actually only 125 ml, which is what, 4 oz?? I'm sure I paid $3 for it. It says to dilute it 30 ml (3 capfuls) to each 1200 ml of water (1200 ml, hmmmm, what is that, 6 - 7 cups of water???) oh, and to dilute 10 ml (one capful) to 200 ml (less than 1 cup) of water for first aid. For cleaning it says it's good for toilets, diaper pails, and of course, general disinfecting. The ingredients, (ftwai) <-- for those who are interested are: 4-chloro-3, 5-xylenol-4.8%, isoprophyl alcohol 9.4%, pine oil 8.4%. The front calls it: Chloroxyenol solution! Whatever that means, I'm no chemist!! And, by the way, I've been spelling it wrong!!! It is actually "Dettol". Oooops! AND, it is guranteed (LOL) like we all have microscopes to detect that the germs have actually been killed???? Ah, commercialism.... Anyway, it is distributed by Reckitt & Colman, in Toronto, Ontario.
  • I also plan on preparing a "Big Sister Survival Kit" for her. I made one for a friends little girl when she had a baby this Summer. It was a huge hit. Here is what I put in it: brand new box of crayons, coloring book, tablet of blank paper, stickers, snacks, a few little plastic dinosaurs (she is really into dinosaurs right now), and an encouraging letter from a friend!
  • I have had a brainwave re my cat. I was looking through baby catalogues and noticed the portable mesh child-safety gates, which can be moved from doorway to doorway. I decided to buy one of these now and use it to keep my cats either out of the house when the backdoor is open all summer (we rent, so I don't want to install a screen door) or out of the carpeted area (we have a very open-plan house, so restricting them from roaming between rooms and upstairs has always been a problem.)
  • Good idea, we plan on installing a screen door on junior's room so that the cats can't go in and snuggle up in the cot too.
  • The Safety First Video Monitor works great. I have been practicing on the cats. In a pitch black room it picks up an image clear as day, and the volume sounds clear. It also is a black and white TV.
  • My baby had really bad diaper rash for a few days. I was using A&D ointment with Zinc Oxide which was not helping at all. Then my husband bought some regular A&D and the diaper rash was gone in a day. I couldn't believe it.
  • A&D ointment is great stuff. Whenever my baby has a diaper rash I put that on him and it goes away very quickly. It works much better than Desitin or any of the other ones.

    Nursing Supplies:

    Breast Pumps:

  • A good breastpump -- preferably not one that was made by a formula company.
  • Breast pumps give breast feeding moms more freedom. They are essential for the working mom. I've heard some wonderful things about this pump [the Avent Isis] - it is manual, but great for a mom who isn't working (since manual pumps take longer).
  • I don't like the pump I bought - can't remember the name. On those rare occassions I did pump, I used my hands to express milk into a pitcher. So make sure its a good pump, comfortable & fast.
  • I split the price of [a Pump-In-Style breast pump] with a co-worker when her single Medela quit working about 5 months ago. She used it for 4 months and then gave it to me. She said it is quieter than the single electric and much much faster. She could do both sides in 20 minutes which gave her time to have lunch too as we get an hour. With the single electric she spent most of her lunch pumping and the ate at her desk. It is also has a more powerful motor than the single unit. As for manual, I cannot imagine the time needed to use a manual every day at work. It is recommended for when you need an occasional bottle to go out for a few hours etc. Not for us working moms who will be pumping 2 and 3 times a day to provide milk to go to daycare the next day. Hope that helps!! As I said I am no expert since I have never done this but here are my observations through co-workers.
  • I used the Pump-In-Style for about a year. It is intended for women who are working outside the home and are providing breastmilk for their babies. I was able to have enough breastmilk by pumping 2 times a day for no more than 15 minutes. The advantage of the PIS over the manual pump is that you can empty both breasts at once. If you only need to pump for the occasional few hours away from baby the manual pump is great. If you need to pump 16 to 20 ounces every day while you are working, the PIS is the way to go, in my experience.
  • With #2 and #3 I was in school/working respectively. I didn't have a pump and didn't have a problem hand-expressing enough milk during my breaks and during lunch. It depends on who you are. The deal with not using manual pumps to express at work is that you need to express more than once and you'll want to clean the pump between (so I've heard -- which causes me to wonder if you don't have to clean the electric ones, too?).
  • I think I may have figured out why the Pump-In-Style is so much cheaper through Baby Love Products. The older version (not 1998) didn't come with a car adapter and some assorted stuff (like a sample of lanolin creme, not worth 100 dollars, certainly!) and when I asked, they said that this one doesn't come with the car adapter, just the AC adapter. So it's likely the 1997 model which was priced about 80 dollars or so less. It's the same pump, same bag, etc. Just not the extra gadgets. If a car adapter is important to you, I am pretty sure that Baby Catalog of America sells them separately. If not, it's a great deal -- I just called and bought one.
  • Another thing to consider is, the money you save nursing vs. buying formula will by far surpass the cost of a good breast pump. In other words, try the cheap one, and if it causes problems, look into at least trying (borrow/rent, etc.) the better one before you give up.
  • As for pumps, I plan to buy a manual one because I will really only be away from my son when my DH and I have a date (about 1 time every 2 months). Does anyone have any experience with these? The pump I have is an Evenflo, it's battery operated. It's not very comfy, but I did get used to it. I'm sure I used it a dozen times at the most. When I was really engorged (like when my daughter slept through a feeding) I could express milk with my hand much faster, and it didn't hurt.
  • I've nursed 4 babies and done pretty well with automatic breast pumps, but manual expression and manual pumps were an exercise in frustration for me. Your mileage may vary. I never got enough for a 'relief bottle' from a manual pump, maybe just enough to mix with cereal in later days. It's really not worth buying an electric pump for an occasional bottle though.
  • You'll get different opinions on the pumps, I'm sure. I wrote in another post that I found 'cheap' pumps to be an exercise in frustration, but an expensive one seems like a waste for a stay-at-home mom. The thing with engorgement is that it's a supply and demand situation; thus if you pump a lot for oversupply, your breasts will tend to continue to oversupply. The best is to take a hot shower and try to expess just enough to get comfortable until the next feeding.
  • I have never used a breast pump before, so this is second hand information from a girlfriend. She went back to work a few weeks after her baby was born and like lots of you, she had to pump at work on her lunch hour and when she could at home. She strongly recommends buying or renting a good, dual, electric pump. She burned out three of the cheaper ones and would have been better off to get the better one the first time. It is an even better investment if you plan to have more children.
  • I used a Medela mini-electric at work when I didn't have time to go use the hospital pump. In my opinion it is more tedious and time consuming than a Pump-In-Style or larger Medela, since you can only do one side at a time and it does work slower. I seriously doubt you would burn it out with just home use. I didn't get as much milk when I used it, but then when you aren't having to save up for daycare it's not like production is a big issue. Some women have an easier time pumping than others, but I think most women could use the mini-electric (I thought it was now called Little Hearts?) just fine.
  • I had the "mini" for my last two children. I only used it occasionally, but did manage to burn up the motor. I will be getting the Pump-In-Style with this baby. The "mini" is quite slow. Our insurance covers the breast pump, if purchased through the hospital. You might check into that.
  • Shortly after my son was born, I was VERY engorged for like a week or two, and was making way more milk than he needed, which I was told was normal until my body regulated itself for how much the baby needed. So anyway, I was hand expressing, which went relatively well until I wasn't so engorged. I then had to invest in a breast pump as I was on the go alot, and not always wanting to take the little 'un along, SO (and here's my point) I bought a manual pump, and how had wished I had invested more money for an electric one. Of course, $200 more is pretty steep, but if you are planning on having more kids, it would probably be worth it, and you'll appreciate having the "top of the line" model, especially since you'll get more than "one kid" use out of it.
  • You may also want to consider the Avent pump. Our lactation consultant here has been pleased with it for stay-at-home-moms, and I have handled it and found the pumping mechanism quite comfortable to use. Oops, nevermind-- I think I just remembered that you have carpal tunnel syndrome?? If that's correct you probably wouldn't want a manual pump....
  • I hate any breast pump that you have to push a button to release the suction on -- they HURT!! I bought the the Medela Mini Electric because of that, since it has a natural rythym, but agree with everyone's comments -- it's slower, and I would LOVE to have the Pump-In-Style instead! Plus I dropped mine and broke the casing pretty easily. Even if this were my last baby, if I could afford it at all (which I can't!!), I'd go for the Pump-In-Style!! You can always pass it on or resell for enough to make it worth it. In my experience, I avoided pumping because it was just too time consuming, and I hate sitting like that for very long. Pumping both breasts at a time with a good quality pump is MUCH nicer!! I gave in to suplimenting with formula when I was away, and I know I would NOT have done so if pumping had been more convenient:)
  • Also a note -- even if you think you won't need to bottlefeed at all, things happen that you can't always count on -- When my first was only 2 months old, I had a horrible case of stomach flu and was so dehydrated that I could not nurse him at all -- doing so probably would have made him sick as well:) Luckily I had prepared for such an emergency, with a few bottles of my milk in the freezer, and Daddy was able to take care of things:):)
  • For what it's worth, I don't plan on buying a car adaptor, but I know of people who take long road trips (as a family) who SWEAR by it -- mom can pump and then move to the back to give baby a bottle, still in the car seat. It eliminates what might otherwise be a long break in getting where one wants to go.
  • The biggest problem with the Evenflo and Gerber battery and electric pumps is that they REALLY HURT when you use them. Hurt enough for me to not use it at all with my first baby. Pumping shouldn't hurt at all. I used my Medela Mini-electric pump for the first time on Friday (to relieve engorgement) and it was wonderful - very gentle and efficient and without pain completely!! I've heard wonderful things about the Avent Isis as well. I think the biggest thing is to get a pump that isn't made by a company that wants you to buy formula! Spend a little extra and get something that you will actually be able to use!!
  • We had to make a 10 hour trip. With stopping to nurse, the trip could easily stretch to 12+ hours. So, I got one of the car adapter thingys for the pump. I laughed remembering comments that were made a while ago wondering what in the world you would do with a car adapter. How could you drive and pump? Well, my husband drove and I would pump every 3 hours and feed the baby with a bottle when she would wake up. She woke up about every 3 hours but not coinciding with when I needed to pump. We didn't have to stop while she ate but would stop after to burp and change a diaper. Pumping this way made the trip great and we still made it in 10 hours. I highly recommend this to anyone who has to travel.

    Nursing Bras & Clothing:

  • You might want a couple of sizes [of nursing bra]. Get one or two that fit now, but you will grow when your milk comes in. If you remember, it's handy to have your nursing bra on when you go to the hospital. The nurses will help get the baby nursing right in the delivery room.
  • With my first, I just wore t-shirts & pulled them up during the summer. Then, I stole all of my husbands flannels - anything that buttoned down. Of course, I'm not modest in the least! :) A receiving blanket over your shoulder does a good job of camouflage if you're going out. I had a nursing nightgown, but I much prefered my button down night shirts.
  • Special nursing clothes are NOT necessary, although they are especially nice for nursing in public with the special features to help a newbie be discreet. I mostly wear T-shirts or sweats at home too.
  • The least expensive nursing bras I've been happy with are the Sears AhhhBra. I don't remember how much they were, but they have held up forever. I like the ones without underwire, with a one-hand release. Usually you will want to buy some initial ones a cup size bigger than what you are wearing now, but I have ended up with rather a large assortment of sizes--the breasts become more efficient and even as you continue to produce a lot of milk, you will have some shrinkage. I wouldn't buy a bunch in advance--wait and see what you need.
  • The bras I've seen advertised as 'maternity bras' did not have release flaps for nursing. The Soft-cup cotton type could easily be pulled up or down to do the same job (and are more comfortable for wearing at night), but during the day I prefer the kind with flaps that release. Come to think of it, I don't know what feature would separate a maternity bra from a regular bra??
  • I liked the Bravado which you can order over the net. It is kind of expensive but they have sizes that fit women with large breasts, like me.
  • I have read that underwire bras are not good for nursing moms. I think "they" say that they can lead to mastitis. I wore underwire nursing bras with no problems at all. I do have one friend who had lots of problems until she got rid of the underwires. Your mileage may vary.
  • OK, my experience with nursing bras was that I had NO CLUE when I had my baby what to do, what size, what kind, where to go etc... So, I went to the local (well, in Winnipeg, 60 miles away, LOL) maternity store, pled ignorance, and hoped I wouldn't be ripped off. The ladies were extremely helpful, and measured me, told me how much extra room to leave in the cups (two fingers, but I think I was only like 6 months along..) and to have it a bit tight around the rib cage (Because your ribs expand when pregnant, but go back to normal when nursing, just your breasts get bigger) They had no preference for underwire or not, and said it was a personal choice (I got both, and much prefered the non-underwire ones). They were expensive. I must have spent at least $35-$40 a bra, and bought 3. I felt I could have had more at times, because at first, I leaked a lot, and had little energy to do laundry every day.
  • I have heard/read that you should not wear underwire bras during pregnancy as they can cause cysts in the breasts. I imagine this applies while you are breastfeeding as well.
  • I was surprised to see nursing bras on the list of what to take to hospital because I have been wearing them exclusively since about 25 weeks. My ob told me that I should not grow much after that, so I should go and get fitted for a bra and just keep on wearing it for the rest of the pregnancy and throughout breastfeeding. Sure enough at about 25 weeks my breasts went into growth overdrive and I could no longer wear my normal bras. So I bought 3 nursing bras at that time and have been wearing them daily ever since. (However, I get strap marks from them so I think I have grown a little bit since then.)
  • IMO, I would purchase your bra BEFORE the baby is here for a few reasons: 1) You will REALLY want something that will fit with good support once your milk comes in. It was a real eye opener for me, I had NO idea how extremely full my breasts became and how heavy and uncomfortable they were when my milk first came in. You'll be glad to have a bra, trust me! 2) You probably won't feel like bra shopping, especially with the leaking, which, for me, was the worst right at the beginning. 3) You probably won't feel like going out at the beginning either, at least not to Bra shop (LOL)! 4) Your breasts will probably change sizes several times (a day) and I actually had a before feeding/after feeding difference! So, like I said, IMO, I'd get a few nursing bra's right away, just make sure that the person who you are purchasing them from knows what they're talking about, not some 16 year old clerk who only works on Saturday type thing.
  • I have always had to sleep in a maternity bra while nursing, or else I leak all over the place. Here in Australia they have a great "crop top" maternity bra that is really comfortable and ideal for wearing at night. You probably have something similar in other countries.
  • I've only had a couple nursing outfits and I really did like them, but normally I just wear something untucked. I did find that having at least one nursing dress outfit was useful. I was lucky, though. I found a practically brand new skirt/shirt outfit from Motherwear at a consignment shop in Anchorage when my second baby was about 4 months old. I am still wearing it. Or rather.....I will be wearing it again. Their things are expensive, but I've found them to be incredibly well made. ... I made a dress using an Elizabeth Lee Designs pattern. I LOVE it. ... It's generally a little more discrete/modest if you unbutton from the bottom when wearing a button-down shirt.
  • I just bought two bras from the Motherware catalog and they are great! Good support and well made. I just measured like the instructions in the catalog and I can't believe how wonderful they are. They even have a guarantee that even after washing and wearing you can return them for a full refund. So give them a try. By the way, the quality is excellent.
  • I use Bravado bras and love them. They are cotton and feel like a sports bra.
  • I got a nursing bra from Motherhood maternity - an under wire with shoulder clasps. It was $20 and it pretty comfortable and easy to unhook. But my favorites are two Mimi Maternity nursing bras from A Pea in the Pod. They were originally $38 but were marked down to $19 (ever the bargain shopper!) they have the clasps in the front - cleavage clasps and they are so much easier to access. I am small busted and very picky about bras. The Target ones are marginal, but I was so excited to find a couple that were this comfortable - I wasn't sure such a thing existed in nursing bras! Make sure you try them on. Don't settle for anything that isn't comfortable.
  • You can find pictures and size info for Bravado bras at
  • I also recommend the Bravado bras. I have been wearing them since early pregnancy when I swelled out of my regular bras, and just wanted something that is comfortable. They aren't sexy at all, but what nursing bras are? I wear the biggest size they make, but they make lots of smaller ones as well. They are more like sports bras than the "grandma" style ones, but they support me remarkably well and don't bind around my ribs, which is what I was looking for. They also come in about 6 different colors and patterns, so you don't have to settle for plain white.
  • I have 2 nursing bras. That way I can wear one while I wash the other.
  • The nursing bras I REALLY like the best are the ones made by Playtex (Great Expectations, or something like that). They have two "varieties," I think, and I like them both. One is just a soft cup bra, and the other says it has an underwire substitute or something like that (man, it's too early in the morning to think). I've tried several different ones actually, from my last pregnancy to this one, and I keep going back to those! I like the "catches" on these bras because they are easily reattached with one hand, and they're decent looking enough that you don't feel like you're wearing a corrective bra. :-) (And they're even comfortable for BIG breasted women like I am!) And at less than $20 each, they're not a bad deal.
  • I will have 2 new nursing bras as soon as they get here. 3 or 4 would be better, probably, but considering how rapidly your size can change, I'd wait. By the way, it may seem like you change size daily for a while.
  • I have 6 nursing bras, and that seems to work out well for me. (Even with my new lack of time, I still manage to get around to laundry at least every 5 days or so!! hahaha)
  • Have at least 3 nursing bras. It isn't uncommon, especially in the first weeks, for a bra to get soaked with milk during the night. It is very nice to have an extra to change into. Laundry will inevitably get behind in the first weeks, or months! :)
  • I have a couple of nursing bras from JC Penney. I ordered them from the catalog in '95 and paid about $20 each.
  • I am in a DD from a C and I LOVE the Playtex "Expectant Moments" underwire nursing bra. It isn't beautiful, or available in colors other than white that I know of, but it is VERY comfortable and less than $20. Wal-Mart sells it for around $18, Strawbrides for $25 and I found mine at an outlet mall for $14.50.

    Miscellaneous Nursing Supplies:

  • A nursing stool to prop your feet up on if you plan to breastfeed.
  • The telephone number of La Leche League or a good Lactation Consultant (if you don't have a friend or family member who has breastfed a baby recently.)
  • "c" shape nursing pillow - This would be nice - though I've never used one. I plan on having one this time - your arms get tired very quickly when you breast feed - I always had to use a pillow.
  • Never had a 'special' pillow, but I always use something for support and think those 'brest friend' types look great!
  • I don't know about the [leakage] pads [that go inside your bra]. I still have my original box. I guess I didn't use those much.
  • Also, I heard that you shouldn't wash your nipples with any soap near your due date because the baby may refuse to nurse? If anyone has any suggestions, thank you in advance.
  • This [not using soap on your nipples] is true. Not only does the soap smell stay with you, but it dries your nipples out. Just use plain water & a washcloth, or just rinse them. Also, remember to rub some breast milk over your nipples after each feeding. It is a natural moisturizer.
  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is one of the best [books about breastfeeding], put out by La Leche League. I would also really recommend either attending an LLL meeting, or maybe just talking to a leader on the phone before the baby gets here. Some hospitals have a breastfeeding class in association with the birth classes or after the baby is born. If you can see a lactation consultant early on after the birth -- that's really helpful.
  • The thing with nursing pads is you want them to keep your nipples from being moist all the time since that could predispose to soreness and infection. I don't think it really matters whether you use disposable or cotton flannel (if you need them at all; some people don't) as long as you change them as soon as they are if you leak during a feeding, use a fresh set when you're done.
  • Soap is good to avoid on the nipples in general. After all, they don't get too dirty <g>, and the glands around it secrete a natural lubricant and antibacterial. There are some things you can use though for soreness (like Lansinoh) if you need it while nursing.
  • I never really needed nursing pads because I don't really leak. You may not need nursing pads for a long time, if you need them at all. I would go with a small supply of washable cotton pads until you know how your body will react. (Personally, I don't like the feel of the disposable pads.)
  • As for pads, I prefer the washable. The disposables seem to stick more and it's not very comfortable to peel them off. As for changing them, you could get away with a couple times a day or you could leak on the opposite breast every time you nurse. Keep in mind, though, that even if that's the case, you can rinse the wet pad and it'll likely be dry in a couple hours even if you just leave it on the counter.
  • As for nursing pads, I'm happy to say that I don't need them. My breasts don't leak (and didn't with my first child either). Never know -- you might not either!! I'd say to just get a small package for starters and see where you go from there! Sorry I'm no help there!
  • I've heard a variety of opinions on disposable vs cloth nursing pads. I recently tried my first pair of cloth pads and they were really comfy and didn't get as big when wet. But the cloth look odd in the bra - they aren't contoured to fit the breast, so I won't wear them out of the house. I've found that the Johnson's Healthflow brand of disposable nursing pads work really great - they aren't noticeable (like the cloth) and are very comfy. As far as how often to change them?? You'll know! You don't want the nipple exposed to wetness for very long, it can aggravate sore nipples. You change the pads when they are wet!
  • A great storage method is an ice cube tray. Sterilize an ice cube tray,fill with expressed milk, place carefully in a large freezer bag (whole tray) - this keeps freezer smells, etc from getting into the milk, then freeze. When frozen, place in freezer bag and date (frozen breastmilk keeps for 6 months (I think)). The cubes are easy to put into a bottle and melt faster than a 6 oz chunk. You can also use just what you need (4 oz, 6 oz, etc) instead of having to thaw out 8 oz and only use 4. Remember...expressed breastmilk is liquid gold... :)


  • As for bottles - wait to see which one she prefers - they all have their own preferences. We really likes the Playtex nurser with the bags (or "drop-ins"). You may want to have a supply on hand, but don't buy alot until you know which she will take.
  • I was determined to use the Playtex bottles with the disposable bags. I don't remember why exactly, but I thought that they were the best. When my son started drinking from a bottle, he absolutely refused those bottles. Even when I tried the various types of nipples that fit those bottles. As it ended up, the only thing he liked were the plain jane nipples on "regular bottles." I don't know what he didn't like about the "baggie"ones.
  • So, I would get a couple of different kinds and see what the baby likes! I never thought that there would be such a strong preference!!
  • This is very true. With my baby I really wanted to use the Playtex bottles and bought a large supply. Only to find out that he refused to drink from them and liked the Healthtex bottles that are at an angle. I gave away 2 large bags of bottles and liners. (it broke my cheap heart.)lol
  • It's the nipple that makes the difference. Some are easier to get milk from, and babies prefer different types (plastic, silicone) and shapes (short, or long). My cousin's babies both liked the long nipple that they got from the hospital. Trouble was, they couldn't find them for sale anywhere!
  • I second the suggestion to see what the baby likes. I tried using the Playtex bottles and my baby just hated them. I ended up using the Healthflow by Johnson and Johnson (I think). They are the ones that are tilted. I really liked them. I would suggest buying a few different types of bottles and seeing which one the baby likes. The same with formula. Don't buy a case of one formula until you try a few. My baby ended up on soy after we tried a few of the regular milk-based formulas.
  • I think I will but just one of each and see what she likes , I used Playtex with my son...but I do like the Healthflow with the bottoms that unscrew as well as the top...her prefrence tho..:-) My son was also on soybased formula.
  • I'm no expert, but my understanding is that the Playtex nipple is shaped like a breast that's not being suckled and the Avent nipple (yes, the same folks that make the Isis) nipple is shaped like a breast being suckled. I'm planning on trying them first (I want to express milk and have other people able to feed the new one on occasion).
  • I always boiled [bottle nipples, pacifiers, and rattles], then read that it could weeken certain nipples. It should say on the back of the package. If you have a dishwasher, it's a great sterilizer. Get one of those baskets for nipples & you can also wash pacifiers, rattles & teethers this way. Just keep them on the top rack!
  • If you use disposable bottles to store milk, they come sterilized, so that is not a concern. I've always been told dishwasher cleaning is adequate for other storage bottes.
  • I used Avent bottles when my baby was really small because I had read so much about nipple confusion. The Advent bottles are reported to be similar to what a baby experiences when nursing. They were fine, but she also liked the supermarket Gerber bottles that were lots cheaper. I think it really depends on the baby.
  • I bought the Avent bottles on the recommendation of a friend, and the only problem I have ever had with them is that they have a tendency to leak if you don't wet the inside of the nipple before you put it on the bottle. Once we started doing that they didn't leak anymore.
  • As long as the milk isn't frozen (ie, has been mostly thawed in a refrigerator), it's actually very easy to heat up the Playtex bottle -- just stick it in a sink of warm water or run the insert under the faucet. This only takes a second.
  • Did you have good luck freezing with the Playtex ones? I had a number of them burst in the freezer and ended up with double bags for freezing--I think some from Medela, and some from Whirlpack. Maybe Playtex makes bags for freezing now?
  • I used Playtex disposable bottles with my daughter and used a Gerber bottle warmer. I had never seen any warnings not to use with disposable bottles, and we never had any problems - even when we occasionally forgot the bottle was on it and it was boiling in the bag. The Gerber model wored beautifully - we still have it and will use it for our new baby. It cost about $10, and is available at most discount stores. By the way - I got my Medela Mini Electric pump yesterday!! :) How exciting!! I was reading through the Medela literature that comes with it and they recommend using warm water to defrost breast milk - but I would think that the bottle warmer would be fine as well. The main concern is the use of microwaves that can destroy some of the nutrients in the breast milk.
  • I think its Ziploc that makes a disposable bag. It comes with a hanger to hang it from the freezer shelf.
  • The Avent nipple is actually more like a breast than the Platex one. As for a bottle warmer, we just used a pot of water on the stove. Avent just came out with a disposable system too. Hope you do well with the nursing... it's really so much easier, especially at night.
  • DO NOT EVER USE GLASS BABY BOTTLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I once saw a toddler get some very impressive cuts from walking into a pole with one. As the ambulance took her away to get stitches, I promised myself I would never, ever, give a baby a glass bottle.)
  • Most of our bottles have Munchkin nipples, which is what all the lactation consultants, RN's, and pump-knowledgeable people on the pump-list recommended. (They fit the Playtex disposable nurser system, but the Playtex nipples are horrible.) We tried Avent in case our baby cared, but she didn't.
  • My parents used to enlarge nipple holes as the babies got older, but nowadays you're supposed to buy different nipples - presumably for avoiding tears and thus choking hazards, so I didn't think people made their own nipple holes these days.
  • We are using the Avent bottles. She has gone back and forth from nursing to bottle feeding wonderfully. I was wondering if it was a bunch of hooey that the Avent bottles are "just like nursing." But looking at her mouth, she seems to have to flange the lips and suck like she was nursing. I was relieved. With my son, he was the stereotypical baby that only wanted the bottle once he had it.
  • The lactation specialist told me that as long as I am breastfeeding, that I should ALWAYS use the Avent newborn nipple. Even if the baby is 9 months old. They have to suck harder with the newborn nipple... supposedly more like when they nurse. She said that the Avent nipples with more holes will be too easy and the baby would possibly decide to prefer the bottle. Has anyone else been advised to always use the newborn nipple? I am wondering if this is her opinion, or more factual.

    Small Items:

  • Baby washclothes - I bought three packages, I still use them today. They are so much softer than your regular washcloth. They are also small enough to put in a diaper bag.
  • Basket - Besides having her changing table loaded up with the diapers and wipes, I also had a basket that I kept in the family room full of diapers, wipes, ointment, etc. It was sometimes easier just changing her there than in her room.
  • I wouldn't invest too much in passies [pacifiers]....some babes don't like them at all, and others are very brand-particular.
  • Simple cotton receiving blankets I use TONS of....everthing from burp pads to baby wrap to floor play area to...whatever. I probably use 10 or so.
  • As far as crib sheets...we don't use the crib at the beginning, but once baby is in it I would start with at least 3 sheets. I've had bad experience with cheap ones getting ratty fast and shrinking, so I buy the higher thread counts. One that looks neat that I haven't had is sheet overlays; you put a regular sheet on, then just a flat top piece that velcros around the corner bars. It avoids the "crib-nastics" of having to change the whole sheet every time. Think they're in Right Start catalog.
  • One of those blue bulb things to suck the boogers out of your babies nose. They will probably give one to you at the hospital.
  • A nightlight or dimmer is very useful.
  • Extra cotton diapers. I think I bought a 12 pack at Toys-R-Us, great for spills, spit-up and vomit!! I stenciled hearts on my baby's so I could tell which ones were hers.
  • Lots of receiving blankets, couldn't have enough those first weeks!!! Flannel is great!!!
  • Light Dimmer switch -- OH YES!! When you need to see a bit, but don't want to wake up the baby (or yourself!) or give the impression that it is daytime, a dimmer is GREAT!! It makes getting back to sleep at night (for BOTH of you) that much easier!! A relatively cheap item that's very useful!!
  • Wet Pads: Noone else has mentioned these, so I thought I would bring them up. They are also called Lap pads, and come in two sizes. A small 1ftby1ft size that you put on your lap under the baby in case of leaks. These are perfect when relatives come over in fancy clothes!! Anyway, we had at least six of these. We left one in the swing, one, in the stroller, one in the carseat, and one in the bouncy seat. If the baby spits up everywhere, or diaper leaks or has a poopy blow out, than you only have to wash the little pad. I never had to take the cover off my swing, carseat, etc, so they are all still in pristine condition. This really helps in the car, since most accidents happen when you are far from home, and then the child has to sit in a soaking wet/dirty car seat all of the way home. I also kept one of these pads in my diaper bag, to use for diaper changes on the go. It is softer and more absorbant than the plastic changing pad most diaper bags come with. The pad also comes in a larger 3ft by 2ft (I think!) size. We have three of those. We kept one in the crib for awhile, so we only had to change the pad instead of the sheet when the diaper leaked etc. This was great in the middle of the night! We also use these on the changing table on top of the plastic pad. It absorbs the pee when my son reacts to the air on his privates! We take the large one with us to grandma's house. They don't have changing tables, so we just lay the large pad on a bed. The pad protects the bed sheets!!
  • 6 to 9 Blankets - You'll need three to five receiving blankets, two washable crib blankets, and one or two blankets for the stroller.
  • 2 to 4 Waterproof Mattress Pads
  • 3 to 4 Fitted Sheets
  • Crib Wedge - For safety and comfort in the crib, a foam wedge will elevate baby's body, making breathing and digestion easier.
  • I will say that having lots of cloth diapers and water proof changing pads was a must. We did disposable diapers, but used the cloth diapers for burping and wiping up all the messes that comes with a baby. We still use them. The changing pads we put on the floor to change her, or any surface for a very messy diaper. When buying cloth diapers - buy pre folded - the others are way too big and thin to be of much use!!
  • Did anyone watch Dateline tonight? They had a tragic story about a 1yo baby that asphyxiated in his crib sheet. Geez, like there's not enough to worry about! The mom got Good Housekeeping to do some testing on fitted crib sheets. They tested 22 sheets for shrinkage and fit after washing. Only 4 of the brands passed the test. They said when the sheet fits too tightly (due to shrinkage) an older baby can more easily get the sheet off and potentially get wrapped up in it. Riegel makes a huge percent of crib sheets, and I believe they had one of the worst products as far as shrinkage (Gerber was another one with low marks). I've also found their sheets to be really thin (low thread count?). If I remember right, the brands that passed were from Land's End (LOVE their flannels), The Company Store, and Eddie Bauer (2 lines from them). I have a 20mo child and am thinking about modifying or ditching those of my sheets that are unquestionably too tight (don't go under mattress corners). The mother of the baby that died invented a crib sheet that goes on like a pillow case and she is applying for a patent for it. I was glad they also reviewed standard safety recommendations about having an approved crib, avoid putting pillows/soft toys etc in the crib, put baby to sleep on its back, avoid waterbeds, etc.
  • Q: For moms who have breastfed before, was there a specific pacifier that worked best for you? A: My daughter used them all - no preference. I think we used Cherubs the most - they're really cute, and pretty inexpensive.
  • [Same question]... I think it's individual preference. My #1 would ONLY take a minimam, my #2 would tolerate nothing but his own fingers (which he still slurps on at age 6!), and #3 and #4 never had interest in any of them.
  • [Same question]... My oldest never took one, so when my second took the Mini-MAM, I kept buying it for all of my babies (and the MAM when they were older if they were still interested. One daughter had hers till she was over two, but another quit taking it before she was one. It was important for the first two because they were both born with cataracts and had to have eye surgery while they were babies and they couldn't nurse before the surgery, so they needed to suck on something.
  • [Same question]... From what I understand, pacifiers are a bit like bottle nipples - babies prefer different things. Some babies won't take a pacifier at all, some have only specific kinds they like, and some will take anything! My daughter uses the Playtex pacifier - not he ortho tip, but their regular one. But she wouldn't take it until she was 4 - 5 months old, and by that time she was no longer breast feeding. When she was breast feeding, there was little she wanted besides the breast itself and this is pretty typical, especially in the first weeks. You might want to buy a couple different varieties and know that it will be a case of "trial and error" to test them out on your baby!
  • I was just asking a nurse on the maternity ward last night about ear thermometers and she said that they don't usually work too well for newborns because you need to have an ear big enough to create a seal, but that the babies were usually big enough after a few months for it to work and they are useful for quite awhile after that. She has two children of her own and loved them.
  • Although we bought an ear thermometer before our baby was born, I was told by the physician in the ER at a hospital in Phoenix, that we shouldn't use one until the child is 6 months old. We were supposed to use a rectal thermometer, but we still got the same reading that the hospital got, and the tech used an ear thermometer on our son. If you do use one, just be careful, that's what I think.
  • The word on ear thermometers probably depends on who you ask ;-) I know when I called Nighttime Pediatrician when one of my newborns had a fever, they would only give advice based on a rectal temperature as they said the otic type was 'too unreliable'. We routinely use an ear one at home, but it's about a $200 professional model and supposedly more accurate. Still you have to use good technique and a clean tip each time or the temp can be way off (like I've gotten more than a 3 degree difference with a different tip).
  • At our last childbirth class a couple of weeks ago, the instructor said that you should not use an ear thermometer on a baby under 2 years old. Granted, she is not a doctor, and I'm not sure what her source of information was. That really surprised me. She said that it was due to the fact that a baby's ears are very sensitive and vulnerable to infection and that you shouldn't put anything in the ear. Also, she said that if the baby does have an ear infection (with fluid in the ears), then the thermometer will read way too low. She only recommends a rectal thermometer (poor baby).
  • I don't have an ear thermometer but a friend does and swears by it. All I ever had for my two was a head strip indicator which showed temperatures as normal and then upwards from that, very cheap from the Nursing Mothers Association (La Leche League). It is only an indicator but does let you know if the child has a temperature or not, which I think is all that is necessary. You just hold the plastic strip across the baby/child's forehead and the number becomes illuminated. It cost $5 or less. Since then I also bought a regular thermometer, mainly for me while I was trying to conceive. That is good for older children: just tuck it underneath their arm, later on under their tongue and of course it can be used rectally as well. The ear thermometers in Australia cost over $100, so it is hard to justify the expense when the cheaper ones are just as effective in letting you know your child has a temperature.
  • I have the Thermoscan by Braun. I've never been told any of the things that I heard from others on this list. We've had good luck with the thermoscan. It is so much easier and convinient to use. You can use it on a sleeping child, which I really like.
  • My mother in law raised two kids with NO thermometer, just a hand and a cheek to check how hot the kids were. If they were too hot, she took them to the doctor. Funny how commercial we've all become isn't it??? I personally feel safer with a thermometer!
  • To be honest, checking his temperature by feeling his cheeck is pretty much what we did with my baby. If I was going to call the doctor or take him in I would take the temperature so I could tell them. But after he had been seen I would always judge by feel. I have found with my son that how he acts is far more important than what a thermometer says. (For example he had a fever once of 103 and ran around crazy playing. The doctor said he had an ear infection but was OK. Another time he had a fever of 99 but was just laying around and wouldn't hold his head up. The doctor had me bring him in immediately and not wait for his turn to be seen, had the nurse bring him right in.)
  • The maternity ward nurse I talked to (it was in a birthing class actually) specifically recommended not using a rectal thermometer and using only axillary (armpit) or ear themometers because of the risk of perforating the colon (which is probably small, but I'll take any excuse to not have to do that to a baby!).
  • I just had my daughter at the pediatrician yesterday and they don't recommend the ear thermometer. Apparently our pediatrician did a study and found that the ear thermometer is just not as accurate as underarm, rectal or oral thermometers.
  • My pediatrician also told me that using an ear thermometer on an under 2 child would not give an accurate reading. I have always taken my daughter's temp rectally. My mom took all 5 of us kids' temperatures rectally until we were 3 or 4. I use a digital thermometer and it takes around 2 minutes. My pediatrician's office takes all kids' temps under two rectally. When you call because of fever, they will ask you how you took it, so I've always done it rectally. My daughter has never cried once when having her temperature taken. At her two year baby well check up, I do plan on asking the pediatrician if I can start using an ear thermometer and which one is best. I've tried the armpit temp on my daughter and she finds that harder to do than the rectal. (She won't stand still and laughs her head off).
  • From both what I've read and my experience ear thermometers are not too reliable. I think the main problem is getting them to actually reflect off the eardrum, which in children is small, the ear canal is not straight and there is often wax in the way. My personal take on fevers is the height of the fever is important only in younger than 3 month olds (so I always verify with a rectal temperature) but for older kids if the mom says he feels like he has a fever, he probably does and the exact number doesn't mean much to me. (The reason the number is important for younger than 3 month olds is because it is very difficult to tell whether they are "sick" like a cold or "sick" like meningitis by looking at them so for a significant fever we often end up doing blood tests and things that you don't want to subject a baby to unneccessarily). Some docs offices do care to get a number when you call so it probably can't hurt to have some type of thermometer, but an axillary [armpit] temperature is probably more accurate than an ear one without being as invasive as a rectal temp if you don't feel comfortable taking it that way.
  • About mirrors to see the infant in the back seat...2 of my friends have used the one from the Right Start that looks like a teddy bear holding a mirror and liked it better than others they had tried.
  • As far as the crib mattress pad, you want one that encloses the mattress - not one that just lays on top. If the sheet comes undone, you don't want the pad coming undone too. The pad I have is waterproof, and its a quilted fabric. The plastic pads tend to make the baby hot, since plastic does not breathe.
  • I use the HandiWipes you can buy at Target or WalMart. They are the old blue or green ones like mom used to use. I cut them in half and they work great. They wash fairly well but come out kinda wrinkly so not something you would want to be out where everyone can see them. I put mine in the top drawer of the dresser that we change our baby on. They wash up about a dozen times before falling apart. Six of them were 1.49 at Target which makes 12 wipes. I then just wet these with warm water. I put them in individual ziplocs for using in the diaper bag. This works very well at the pediatrician since it is a bio hazard to throw away your diaper there. I use the wipe and then put it and the diaper back in the ziploc.
  • None of my peds have been terribly concerned about using wipes, although alcohol may be irritating, as can (believe it or not) aloe! For my first two kids I just used little gauze sponges and warm water. Now I just use Huggies sensitive skinwipes, and haven't had a problem.


  • As far as younger 2 have really liked the Gymini from a young age, and the Exersaucer from when they could sit up.
  • I like the Gymini as you hang toys on it they can look at and bat.
  • My baby loved her swing and bouncy seat and I loved having my hands free for a few minutes (which is the maximum time I put her in them.)
  • I wouldn't have been without a bouncer, both my boys loved it and I fed them in it as well.
  • Bouncey seat - Yes, I forgot about that one!! It works great.
  • BOUNCY CHAIR -- an absolute must. My baby loved his, had a blast with the attached row of toys. Yes, we fed him in it too.
  • SWING -- a must for a baby who has trouble getting to sleep sometimes. My baby did well in the swing listening to Mozart (we discovered this after trying lots of music). Try to get one that doesn't hand-wind -- that ratchety sound can really set a baby off (I know)!
  • A folding PLAY MAT was great. I think ours has morphed into a superhero cape <g>. It had a bunch of attached entertainment items: a little mirror; a squeaky bunny; a crunchy carrot; a ringing something; some other stuff. It measures about 4 feet square, folds up to go in your diaper bag.
  • Swings -- if we hadn't had a swing, SOMEONE would not have survived my son's first 6 months! Literally!! He required CONSTANT movement, and I wish I'd had a "battery operated" swing back then! On the other side of the issue, my more calm tempered third child, DIDN'T LIKE the swing at all!! (Now that we have a battery operated one, that my ingeneous Hubby adapted to plug into the wall !!) If you chose one, I HIGHLY reccomend getting an expensive battery one as a group shower gift!! (about $100). I don't know a single Mom who would purposefully choose the windup kind!! Anyone want to disagree?? My first baby cat-napped as long as the swing was in motion, but awake as soon as it stopped, -- he was impossible to get to sleep otherwise and didn't transfer to sleep elsewhere either, even after being nursed to sleep -- so that is why I like the battery swing over the wind-up.

  • > I don't know a single Mom who would purposefully choose the windup kind!!
    > Anyone want to disagree??
    That would be me! ;) I bought the cheap swing ($29 or so), wound it up, and let her rock! I never missed the battery but then again my baby usually fell asleep pretty quickly and didn't wake up when the swinging stopped. Your mileage may vary once again!
  • Mobile - To give baby hours of entertainment in the crib, attach a colorful mobile.
  • We barely used the swing with our first child, but I've heard some wonderful things about this particular swing [the Graco Open-Top swing]. We will probably buy one - just in case our second child likes the swing. It can be a lifesaver, if the baby likes it!
  • Toys/mobiles in the crib are nice after about 6-8 weeks. Until then, the baby hasn't a clue they are there. My baby didn't care for her mobile until she was about 10 weeks.
  • Our daughter loved the swing - she was in it from the beginning. I would love to have the open top one, so you don't wake the baby because you bumped its head on the bar!
  • I've never had a swing, but the open top kinds look neat. The swing-like thing I had was an infant seat that sat on a base that rocks it back and forth. Think it was called an American Flyer? I noticed the NICU at the hospital where I worked used them.
  • Oh, my last 2 kids have really liked the exersaucer after 4-5mo.
  • We used a bouncer seat at the table (and elsewhere) until my baby was 6 months old and could sit up on his own (not to mention that he had outgrown the bouncer!) Then we got one of the seats that clips onto the table which later converts to a booster seat which is now attached to the regular chairs. The main thing with this kind of seat is you have to have a solid table in which to attach it. Ours is solid oak, so it was very sturdy when attached to the end of the table. BTW, I HIGHLY recommend the Fisher Price bouncer seat with the vibrator. It gave us many peaceful meals in those first few months!
  • On the exersaucer thing... I've seen them brand-new for $30 and up. It just depends on where you look! They're like walkers, but they don't go anywhere. We have a friend who swears by hers!!! It keeps the baby in one place, and entertained! :-)
  • An exersaucer is similar to a baby walker - but without the wheels. It allows a baby to sit upright (once they are able) and play with objects placed in the tray that surrounds the baby. It has a curved base - like a saucer - that allows the baby to rock, or it can be stabilized to keep them still. I've never heard of a baby that didn't like it - it allows them to see what's going on and gives then some degree of freedom. I personally don't like walkers - the safety issue aside, it gives a baby more freedom than they are physically or mentally ready for. You can get a new exersaucer for about $30 on sale - so I hope you weren't referring to a new one! We borrowed one for my first baby and will do the same for the second baby. If you can't borrow it - than I would recommend buying one - it can come in handy when you need to get stuff done and the baby still wants your attention.
  • The bouncer - it's a little reclined seat that the baby lays in but tilts them up. My son loved it!!!! and when he got a little bit older we used to feed him cereal or baby food in it.

    Things You Don't Need:

  • I personally find infant tubs pretty awkward and tend to bathe newborns just on the counter, or on a folded towel in the big tub in very shallow water. They can't even hold toys until 6mo or so, and need very little.
  • A playpen
  • I know this borders on evil but a video camera. (We like still photos better)
  • Baby powders and lotions which are not terribly good for baby
  • Not to be inflamatory but Formula. (The formula companies will send you tons just before you give birth. I donated all of it to a food pantry. I didn't want it in the house if I had problems breastfeeding in the middle of the night.)
  • Infant tubs - I found them way to hard to use - I found this little foam pad that I put on the counter when I gave her a bath. Most of the tubs were hard plastic and she didn't seem to fit into them. As someone else said, a towel will also work.
  • I absolutely HAD to have a baby bath (about $25 Canadian for the one I wanted). My sister bought it for me for a shower gift. Well, it turned out to be almost $2 a use, because my little one outgrew it so quick, and it was really a pain to bring buckets of water etc..., unless I used it in the tub, then what was the point?? I figured it would save my back, but unless you have a high table, it doesn't. This is one thing I would skip this time (except I already have it.....)
  • The other thing??? (unfortunately most grandma's make about 5 for you....) Afgans (sp?) Those are the most useless things for babies. Although great for Moms!! Their little fingers and toes get stuck in them, and unless they are cotton, the wool can itch the delicate skin. Also any blanket that has that soft fleece, it ends up in baby's mouth, and all over, and once washed (I washed my baby blankets more than once a week, had to!!) they were not so soft, and pilled, and also became itchy. Best bet?? Cotton comforter type blankets, they hold up the best.
  • Changing table -- have had one from the begining -- never used it as such! We are an "on the floor" family -- that's where we live, so also where we change diapers!! I have diaper wipes in most rooms of the house, and there's always either a clean diaper floating nearby, or someone who can go get one from the stack! (Older kids are really handy!)
  • Cribs that convert to a bed -- MARVELOUS concept if you're planning the last or only child! For us, totally useless at this stage!! Even for my last kid, I will pass on the crib to a relative anyway.
  • Bouncer -- well I know most mothers love theirs, but I've never had a baby that would sit calmly enough to find out if he would like it!! I even tried that vibrating seat, but to NO avail!! Just NOT enough stimulation for my active kids!!
  • Playpen -- not a chance. My mother has harped on us for not having one, as a running theme. But my husband was insistant that it was not necessary, as his mother raised all 7 kids without one! So that's how it's gone, and we've been fine. Our children are early climbers anyway, so it never would have helped for very long!!:)
  • Baby Bathtubs -- I agree with other moms posting here -- I sold mine!! Too awkward, and the kid was NOT thrilled!! I DO have just a foam pad that cushions baby, and forms to sink or what ever you have baby in. (I LOVE the look of that light green one in the baby catalogs!!) My best friend just took baby into tub with her, then wrapped him in a towel and laid him in his carrier seat until she was finished. Her baby was very calm -- mine was NOT! My first baby only got bathed if my husband was home to help! And I've become very relaxed with the others. IMHO babies are pretty clean, for the most part -- I mean, you wipe their butts every diaper change, wipe their fronts every spit-up, and change their clothes constantly -- What's left?? A cotton ball of baby oil behind the ears and under the arm pits and toes, and you really are pretty much done!! :) I just don't sweat it -- there are too many other things I gotta concentrate on!!:)
  • Bathtub: I agree that they are pretty useless and very uncomfortable.
  • I think this [the Diaper Genie] is a fluff item - someone told me that the diapers still smell in the genie.
  • We had a monitor with our baby - which wasn't necessary since we live in an apartment. It was neat to pick up on other people in the apartment building though - but we didn't use it for the baby!
  • We bought the original Diaper Genie when our daughter was 2 (& almost out of diapers). It does contain the smell, but it takes a special touch to get the first diaper "twisted" in there right. If it isn't right, the twist doesn't stay & you have to remove the diaper & try again (gross!)
  • I never used a pillow for nursing.
  • Bottle warmer - I never had to warm up milk. When we supplemented with formula, we went straight to a cup, so I only made a little at a time & it's always warm when its first made.
  • The toys we have in the crib our daughter didn't play with until she was well over a year. I guess she wasn't in there much except to sleep.
  • high chair - it's so darn big. I wish I'd gotten one with a smaller base. I've also heard that the booster seat with the tray, or the seat that attaches to the table work great.
  • I agree with whoever said that some of the stuff we think is really neat, our babies might not! None of mine like the 'bouncy seat'.
  • I've never understood the diaper genie rage. I've had the same plain ol' diaper pail for all my kids, and just use liners and Lysol. There's either minimum smell or I've gotten used to it over the years ;-)
  • Special nursing clothes are NOT necessary, although they are especially nice for nursing in public with the special features to help a newbie be discreet. I mostly wear T-shirts or sweats at home too.
  • I have heard a lot of people talk about getting a Diaper Genie. I thought I would put my 2 cents in. I had on with my baby, it worked great until she got bigger and the diapers got bigger! Also, by the time she was walking, she figured out how to open it, and I got rid of it. Now I just throw them in the trash can on the back porch. I had the older model, the newer ones are supposed to have larger openings to put the diapers in and are supposed to hold more.
  • I never had a bottle warmer. I filled a big glass with really hot tap water. I put the frozen milk (in the disposable bottle) into the water and waited for about 5 minutes. By then the milk was just the right temperature. It was easy. After a short while my baby would drink the defrosted breastmilk right out of the refrigerator. So, it may depend on your baby somewhat.
  • I don't find special nursing tops necessary, but I do particularly enjoy a couple of nursing dresses I could wear to church to be convenient and discreet. I actually think t-shirt styles are much more comfortable to nurse in than button downs, at least once you and baby are experienced enough not to need a lot of time for latch-on. The fabric drapes over and covers you pretty well, whereas if you unbutton a shirt from the top you also tend to use a blanket or something to cover your exposed skin. It's somewhat more discreet to unbutton from the bottom, I found. I tend to spend early weeks at home in a nursing nightie or just half-naked ;-)
  • My cats just jump over child safety gates. One cat - who weighs 20 pounds - chewed a hole in the plastic one we had.
  • Baby wipes: I go the warm washcloth route myself ... wipe the excess off with the diaper and wash with the cloth. No wipes. As a matter of fact, my baby's pediatrician has suggested that I continue to do this even after the first month because his skin is VERY sensitive, so I probably won't ever use wipes at all. (With my first child, who was also slightly sensitive -- but not like this one is -- I wiped first with a wipe (if she was "poopy") and then followed up with a warm washcloth. Doesn't save on the laundry, for sure, but I've found that baby washcloths are fairly inexpensive and it was worth it to stock up on them and wash them whenever I normally do laundry. :-) I think I have about 18 of them now!

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