Saturday, June 6, 2009

My List of Essentials

OK so we really had to hit the ground running with this whole parenting thing. As many of you know, I had squandered away a few things here and there, but we really hadn't purchased anything significant.

Though I do like the idea, I'm not exactly what you'd call a minimalist mom. Still, I have discovered that you can get by with a lot less baby stuff than the registry check lists would have you believe. Following is my list of the baby gear that I'm pretty sure I couldn't have lived without these past weeks...or at least that I wouldn't have wanted to live without:

Infantimo Sling Rider -

I have absolutely loved the freedom and comfort of knowing that Charlie is right there with me, but still being able to get some things done. Without this little treasure, there's no way I would have been able to do as much picture editing and blogging. I LOVE this, and so does Charlie...we honestly couldn't do without this one!
Miracle Blanket -
Even though our little Houdini still somehow manages to get his hands out, this thing is great for encouraging healthy sleep habits. In fact, I could use one or two more, because our nights are noticeably different when this is dirty.

Vibrating Bassinet -
See photo above...this has been great for us. I have been in no way ready to have Charlie in a different room of the house while we {attempt} to sleep, so this is the perfect solution. This was given to me by my awesome older sister, so I'm not sure where she purchased it...but they are everywhere. Since the world can seem like a big, scary place to babies who have been in the womb for nine months, bassinets offer a peaceful transition between womb and big crib. We love this, especially because it's on wheels and can be easily moved around. As you can see, he sleeps very peacefully in said bassinet. :)

Little Lamb Baby Swing -
This was given to me by my girlfriend from school, Karen. This was an extremely generous gift, and I am so grateful. It is a very cushy little spot for Charlie, and he loves to watch the mobile spin around. I like the fact that it has several different speeds, it can swing both back-and-forth and side-to-side, and it has several different musical themes. This is one of Charlie's favorite places to be when we're not holding him.

Bottle Sterilizer -
Without a dishwasher, this gives me comfort that I'm getting Charlie's bottle nipples really clean. I still have to do a quick wash before sterilizing the nipples, but it's much easier than any other method I could use.
Carseat and Stroller -
These are obvious, I know...but if I could have bought anything before placement, this would have been it!

Changing Table -
Our pediatrician recommended having one consistent place where we change Charlie so that he begins to associate diaper changes (i.e. quality time with us) to one specific place. This was part of the fabulous gift from my family when they decorated our nursery on Charlie's homecoming day...I couldn't have chosen one I liked better if I had been there to pick it out myself. I guess they know me pretty well! This is also great for organization and keeping things clean. I like having everything in one place, and knowing that if Charlie does manage to pee sans diaper, the mess can be easily cleaned up. Changes here and there - on the bed, floor, or couch - while convenient, aren't super friendly to parents...this changing table is also a back saver for us, which is a plus!
Pacifiers -
It sort of goes without saying, but these little gems are definitely necessary! I could see the exception being a mom trying to breastfeed b/c this can interfere with the latching on process, but otherwise these are a definite! The thing that has surprised me though, is how many we need! We lose them all the time, and our dog eats I'm constantly buying new pacifiers when I go to the store.
Nasal Aspirator -
Gross, I know...but truly a must have for a tiny baby. Charlie gets really stuffy, especially when he first wakes up in the morning. This tool makes the job easier and less messy!
Baby Bath Tub -
This is handy because it can be used either in the sink, or in the bathtub. It's also lightweight, and it hangs on the shower rod when not in use. It makes things a little easier when dealing with a slippery newborn...which, regardless of prior experience, can be a pretty daunting occurrence!
Playtex Bottles -
Bottles are obvious, of course...but I have to include them in my list. I chose Playtex drop-ins because they are the closest thing to breast feeding. The bag mimics a deflating breast as baby sucks, which seemed like the next best option to me. I also like that these help prevent colic and excess gas because they're gentler on baby tummies. The convenience of the bags and only having to wash nipples and rings is pretty handy too. I'm even happier now that I've discovered the drop in bags are recyclable.
Diapers -
Another given, and my favorite disposables are either the Huggies Gentle Care, which I thought had a better umbilical cord notch for the newborn days, or Pampers Swaddlers, which are very soft. Both are excellent as far as disposable diapers go. Having said that, we are presently in the process of making a complete switch to cloth diapers. I've done quite a bit of research, and with Karen's help, have decided to go with Bum Genius 3.0 diapers. I received my shipment on Friday, and am currently doing the required pre-washing...I'm sure I'll have more to say about this in future posts.

Enfamil LIPIL Formula -

But of is a must! We "chose" this formula for the simple fact that it was what the hospital was already feeding him, but we have had great results. The Enfamil Family Beginnings program (see link) is a great way to get valuable coupons too!

And that's it for now. I already know there will be a few additions as Charlie gets older, such as the Bumbo seat, which was one of my first baby item indulgences, and his Me Too chair, which was an amazing gift from one of my besties, Molly. There is so much STUFF on the market out there, and I think a great deal of it is just plain unnecessary. What are your favorite items/gifts, and what have you found to be a must-have? Or if you're currently waiting, what are you most eager to try on your little one when the time comes?


Kelly said...

I swore I would never use a passy, but I caved in about 2 hours after Aliya came home!! She's over it now, but we still find them in the most random places.

Heads up, Target brand formula is the same as Enfamil and much cheaper. We had Aliya on it and she did great! (we saved about $6 a can)

holly said...

I have wondered about that so many the heck do you know what you REALLY need? Thanks for the list...I'm saving it! As usual, Charlie is SO CUTE!!!! ((sigh:))

LL said...

I think I am the only one that the miracle blanket didn't work for.
:( but glad to hear that Charlie loves it. We also have the Little Lamb Swing and it is awesome!

Heather said...

He's just getting cuter by the day--and he started out pretty dang cute!

I'm glad you're loving the slinging--we lurve us some babywearing in our house. Isn't it wonderful to have him all tucked up there next to you? Mmm, I'm missing my itty bitty babies now. :)

I've been sitting here struggling with whether or not to leave this comment, because I'm very much a believer in keeping my nose out of other people's business! I finally decided this is one I would want someone to leave for me, so here goes: You may already know all of this, but bag slings like the Infantino have some design flaws that you just need to be careful about as you use them. They can cause issues with oxygen flow, particularly with the way they can push a baby's chin toward his chest and leave his face covered with fabric as he sinks deeper into the bag or turns his head. There's some more info here.

Assvice over, I promise!

Gina - Peke Moe said...

here's another option for your baby to keep hands covered at night when he escapes his swaddle the Peke Moe Sleep sack -
all the best to you and your lovely family!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe Charlie can escape the miracle blanket! Evie never got her hands out even once! You probably already know this, but you need to wrap him tightly. The blanket should fit him the way teenage girls wear their clothes...just loose enough to breathe. :)

I'm sure there are other items I'm not thinking of right now, but the one additional essential for us was sheet savers for the crib. But that's just because Evie is such a spitter! You're also going to want a bouncy seat eventually because it is such a lifesaver when you need to put him somewhere where he can see you and you can get stuff done (cook dinner, take a bath).

Nancy said...

Thank-you so much for this list! I get so intimidated by the registries and don't even get me started about the panic attacks I go through when I walk into a Babies R Us. I just need to know what the bare essentials are. This is great!

Rebekah said...

Whew. I got the list covered :).
I love the picture of you pushing Charlie out of Walmart. I've imagined my life as a mom, in the simplest of settings, so many times...You must be having a blast :)

alicia said...

we have a lot of similar things! I have the swaddle me blanket that is awesome! And the vibrating bassinette and the swing! all sooo awesome! yay for technology hey!

Jo Ellen said...

Is this the first chapter of your baby how-to book? It's pretty cool.


Meeghan said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog...I have followed you (through REbekah) for a while. Charlie is adorable. I am so happy for you and your husband. Love the list of must haves. We love the miracle blanket is one of my new favorites.

zoomdog! said...

I also LOVE the picture of you walking out of Walmart, proud new mama!! Yay!!!!! for those small, wonderful, happy moments!!
I guess I'm a "minimalist" mom, not by choice, but by chance -- because I was so unprepared when Ayize came! But since I started that way, I stayed that way, and it has been a real blessing. I think people often stuff a gynormous diaper bag with a ton of toys and things because they worry about those inevitable baby meltdowns, but in the end, it seems that all you need is a spare couple diapers, wipes, a few spare bibs, and if your kid uses them, a couple pacis (since they LOVE to hide, right??), and you're pretty much good to roll! Your face and voice and whatever is handy around you (an extra empty cup at Starbucks, or the bracelet you're already wearing) are usually the best toys anyway, in my opinion!
I didn't have a diaper bag so I used my teeny bike messenger bag (the size of a purse) and surprisingly, it has been all I ever needed!
But what was my point...???...sorry, getting lost in the happy memories of the newborn days.....!
So yeah, my big thing of what I could not live without, was BIBS! I know Charlie is probably not there yet as far as the massive amounts of spit-up, but once that starts flowing, I was constantly needing bibs, and was sooo happy anytime I found cute ones on sale at Kohl's! Ayize breast-fed but still spit up a thousand million times a day, and with bibs, I was able to stay clean most of the time AND resell most of his old clothes because they stayed pretty pristine with the bibs (spit-up can leave some pretty insane stains!). Also, bibs caught the projectile spit-ups which would otherwise shoot down his front when he was over my shoulder, and end up down my back, and even once, in the back of my underwear! Horror of horrors!!! I looked like I had peed myself! I was at a postnatal pilates class and the moms were very understanding, of course, but slinking to my car afterwards was pretty embarrassing...! So bibs would be one of my major add-ons, and also, I loved the Ergo baby carrier because my back never hurt wearing it (major waist and back support), and I can use it even now (as a backpack) when he's so big! And it has a little zipper pocket for a spare dipe, wipe, and paci so I could go bag-free, and ditch the stroller altogether for many quickie outings, like to the grocery store!
Sorry this is so long! Last thing and I'll shut up, I swear!!
I am a HUGE fan of Bum Genius and they have worked wonderfully for Ayize so please let me know if you have any problems along the way! I would be happy to help with any advice!!
Take care, and again, CONGRATULATIONS x 100000 to you guys!!!!! He is sooooo adorable!! Thanks for the updates and wonderful photos!!!!

Debbie B said...

Great list. We couldn't live without the playpen for the first few months. Since our apartment is two floors it made it much easier for naps to be downstairs not to mention that she could sleep through anything which is great.
She never liked the swing until she got older and we had already parted with ours. Very sad over that one.

TXMom2B said...

I've been really happy with our Bum Genius diapers. I also use Fuzzi Bunz. The cloth diapers might still be too big for Charlie, even on the smallest setting, but, if that's the case, he'll grow into them soon enough. I hope they work for you!