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Coulda Shoulda Woulda

We've been thinking about this for a while:  Which baby gear items did you find crucial?  Which baby gear items are you sure you could do without?  Which ones did you wish you have?  Share with us the wisdom of your experience!

Baby gear items we found crucial:

  • Tons of onesies, pjs with footsies, receiving blankets, wipes.  Especially for the first 3 months or so.  Tons of pee, poop, and drool everywhere require frequent costume changes unless you launder every 8 hours.
  • A soft baby carrier that you can use from birth: Ergo, Bjorn, Maya sling.  The Ergo and Slings can even be used well past 2 years old, depending on your size and baby's size.
  • Kiddapatamous bundle-me thing.  It's wind-resistant on the outside and cozy fleece on the inside.  Can be used to add coziness when baby is in a front carrier/sling, stroller, car seat.  Can also be used as a makeshift changing pad.
  • A sturdy lightweight stroller.  Combi lightweight stollers (which weight around 12-13 lbs.), Maclaren Trimuph or Volo, the Chicco Caddy.
  • Fleecey sleep-sack.  No more need for a blanket if they're cozy in this sleep bag.
  • The Baby Book, by Dr. Sears.

Baby gear items we could do without:

  • High Chair.  It's cost- and space-inefficient.  When baby 2 came around, we went with the booster route, and they even make reclining boosters now.  Fully collapsible, most are completely dishwasher safe.  Luxurious!
  • Travel System.  We noticed that baby would rather be worn and go for a walk in the 'hood or ride on the train/bus than be strapped in a carrier that gets strapped to a stroller.
  • Outfits for baby under 3 months old.  A couple of outfits were ok, but baby seriously only needed onesies and the full-length PJs.  And lots of them at that!  Around 6 months, it started getting to be more fun to play dress-up, when they could sit upright more and start to stand.

Baby gear items we never had and we wonder "Did we need 'em?":

  • Bouncy/vibrating seat.
  • Exersaucer.
  • Baby swing.
  • Changing table.
  • Wipe warmer.
  • Diaper champ/genie.

Comments

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I agree with you with everything on your must need list and upir list for what you did not need also.
As a must need I would also add a playpen (great for traveling plus my daughter slept in hers in our room until she was about 1. It was easier than setting up a crib in our room).
I also liked her exersaucer as she was older because it would often entertain her long enough for me to get a shower or cook dinner and eat it for that matter.
Our best buy thusfar was our Maclaren Triumph stroller. We bought it when she was 6 months old when we went on a trip and still use it all the time (she is 3)

Crucial:
We loved loved loved our bouncy/vibrating seat. My daughter slept in it for the first two weeks and it was the only way I could get in a shower. Our's had a small display of bubbles and fish in front of her that she would stare at. At around 4 months we had to give it up and we were dying.
Also love the ergo. Had the bjorn but it hurt my back too much.
We had the universal car seat stroller and hated to give that up at six months. we moved to the bumbleride stroller (has a reversible handle, but certainly not lightweight.
a good swaddle blanket
A good trashcan with a lid and vanilla scented bags.
Lap pads for changing. With the poop through onsies, it saved having to wash the changing pad seventeen times a day.
Sac sleepers for the newborn stage when you change their diaper every 30 seconds. helped at night to cut down on the time of the change.
jumper that hangs from the door.
mobile by tiny love. She did and still does, lay in her crib and watch this. it plays classical music and is the primary colors babies like to look at. she will lay in her crib for at least 40 minutes and watch this...it's fantastic.

Didn't need:
She hated the swing.

I'm sure I'll figure out more, she's only 6 months old.

Biggest piece of advice for new mom's and baby gear: Don't open all the gift's from your shower until you need them. You may find that you need something else and can take the item back to help purchase the new one. I have so many items I opened and never used. (i.e. bottles..she doesn't take one).

sorry so long, I guess I have alot of info

Baby Gear is such a racket! A list like this is great for new parents (with a 2 year old and a 6 month old, I don't feel like a new parent anymore, in this regard anyway). So, here's my thoughts:
Crucial:
-bouncy seat
-cloth diapers for everything
-mcclaren techno xt
-zip-up Carters jammies
-only need 1 or two outfits until 6 mo. old, otherwise jammies'll do
-wipes warmer
-Ergo-had the Bjorn for #1, hurt my back, squished my boys stuff
-Tiny Love mobile
-small cd player for their room (20 bucks at Target)
-Lansinoh, wine, advil for the first few weeks of nursing
-fleece swaddler (with velcro)
- Nature Swing by Fisher Price (try to get one on Craigslist - they are expensive)
-Co-Sleeper
-Sleep sack
-Leap frog Play Table
-Leap frog Baby Tad
-Leap frog Push mower thingy
-Boudreaux's Butt Paste
-Baby Tylenol
-Gripe Water

I guess that's it for now. There must be more, I feel like I am on an endless trip to Target, et al for some baby related item!

what we loved:

- gripe water
- onesies
- wipes and diapers (we did the tidee didee service and many people bought weeks of service as gifts for us - we didn't pay for diapers for months and that was great!)
- i had a medela pump in style for work and when i bought a avent isis for home i was so happy - lugging the pis back and forth was annoying and i liked how i had a lot of control over the isis
- the ergo was our favorite carrier, too. we tried many
- we never bought a high chair and instead bought a used booster seat that attaches to our kitchen chair. $6. travels well. small.
- baby first aid items
- spit-up towels
- we loved the bouncy chair and the exersaucer
- we probably would have loved a swing, but our child didn't
- a $50 chico stroller has lasted us a long time and is more lightweight than the maclaren - also, it has caster wheels so it manouvers better than the maclaren my friend swapped with me that time she needed a lighter stroller to take on her airplane trip

Wow...a great topic, but I must admit that, even with all the advice I got about 1 year ago, I found that it was a matter of trial and error finding what worked best for our family. I have a 9 month old, and I been evaluating those items from the first few months as I have storing them away!

Must haves:

* Baby Bjorn! (or other baby carrier)
Can not be overstated. I used it until she was about 9 months(wearing her on the front), and I have upgraded (because of my poor back) now to an Ergo (so she can ride on the back).

* My Breast Friend (breastfeeding pillow).
Unlike the Boppy, this one actually attached around your waist and was flat on top. I particularly wore this thing all day!

* Bouncer seat
We had one from Baby Bjorn which was simple - non vibrating, with removable washable cloth cover (invaluable!). Furthermore the cover was a solid dark navy - it made a perfect background for very nice photos of the baby (we were even asked if they had been made in a studio!)

* Lots of onesies and one piece rompers
I would add that it took going thru many brands/styles to discover that zippers (vs buttons) and non footed worked best for us. Also, get a couple of newborn outfits. I focused on 3-6 months clothes, because I heard that 0-3 months were a waste..and my daughter practically drowned in her 0-3 months (and she was a health 7lb 11oz)

* Cloth diapers
I made the decision to switch from disposables when my daughter was 6 months old. I chose Fuzzibunz. I love them and wish that I had done it sooner! They fitted so well (no more blow outs up the back), and I find it so much easier and pleasant to wash the load rather than run out to Freddie Meyers like I always seemed to be doing those first months!

Survived without:

* diaper genie
* wipe warmer
* exersaucer
* swing
* bottle warmer / sterilzer

But, just to reiterate, things work better for different people and different babies (my friend Ann's life dramatically improved when she got a swing!) So, keep those receipts and don't cut off the tags. Returning and exchanging are a big part of the process!

Oh, and one other thing. Not really a piece of "baby gear", but we purchased a nice vaccuum cleaner right before my daughter starting crawling (and putting every piece of lint/dirt/etc in her mouth!). I have found it invaluable!

We had, and loved:
- ameda purely yours breastpump (about 1/2 the price of the PIS, just as effective)
- combo pack-n-play used at first with the bassinet/changing pad pieces, now used as a parking lot for showers (though after 2 months, we ended up co-sleeping for a few months)
- simple cloth sling
- high chair (bought used)
- swing (bought used)
- exersaucer (bought used)
- bouncy seat (gift)
- booster seat (used after baby was 1 year)
- summer baby, so we mostly used onseies and "sweetpeas" long sack-nightgowns that made diaper changing and swaddling easy)
- loved the stretchy waffle-weave receiving blankets - great for swaddling
- humidifier for white noise

never used:
- johnson's bath products - stuck with burt's bees
- had many newborn outfits that never got worn
- 'grooming kit' - nail clippers were all we needed

never had:
wipes warmer
bottle warmer
fancy diaper pail - trashcan with a lid and baking soda worked well enough
sit-up seat

I second the comments on the bouncy seat. Great place to plop the kid when you want to take her with you but can't necessarily carry her and don't want her on the ground (taking a shower, pulling weeds in the backyard).

We also had a Make-My-Baby-Cry swing. Totally worthless for ours, but I know some kiddos who love them. The doorway Johnny-Jump-Up was fun for about 5 minutes then she never ever wanted anything to do with it ever again.

Loved the Bjorn carrier. The only thing my husband used to carry the baby, since it comes in black and is close to masculine-looking. We also have the red $50 Chico stroller that it seems like everyone else has. Really good collapsible stroller. I learned early on to affix a toy or sticker of some sort to it - it's easy to get to the stroller "parking lot" and pick up somebody else's stroller.

I personally liked having a bassinet on wheels the first few months. I didn't necessarily want to co-sleep, but it was great having the kiddo right next to me and at the right height for ease of night nursing.

A digital thermometer was a great gift and something I never considered buying but used constantly (worry-wart mom).

We also splurged on one of those combination stroller/carseat thingys for travel. Not the best stroller and not the best carseat, but MAN, we fly a lot and it makes life SO much easier to tote one less bulky item around.

Useless: wipes warmer, Boppy (for me, but I know some folks love it).

Items that I have found useful include bouncy seat, exersaucer, pack-n-play, and swing (which doubles nicely as high chair). I don't think any of them individually are indispensable, but all of them are helpful for keeping baby safe and occupied during showers and whatnot. My kids rotate between which ones they love and which ones bore them at any given time.

We never bothered with wipe warmers, bottle warmers, or changing table, and once bought a diaper genie but regretted it thoroughly.

One lifesaving item that most people probably already have, but we didn't at first, is a microwave. (I had never wanted one and confess to grumbling a little when my in-laws forced it on us.) Among other things, it's been great for quick sterilization of bottles, binkies and pumping accessories -- we use the Medela Quick Clean bags. At the same time, I also wish we had bought dishwasher baskets a whole lot sooner.


I have a 9 month old daughter and she is starting to play with toys. What toys are hits with kids. For instance, my daughter loved stacking cups. I hate buying toys that I think look cool but are huge flops.

Must haves:

Sling or some other carrier.

I got a shower every day thanks to the bouncy seat (until she could sit up) then the exersaucer.

We have a changing table that sits on top of her dresser and we used it until she was potty trained (not a big wiggler, I guess).

Soft leather shoes for cooler weather until real shoes are needed for walking outside.

I found the wipe warmer was great for middle of the night changes -- cold wipes startled her awake.

Microwave bottle sterilizer

A dishwasher! We're having one installed next month -- I swore I wouldn't have another child until we got one!

Our daughter loved the swing but I think we could have lived without it.

Unnecessary for us:
Play pen
Crib
Big, bulky stroller
Baby shoes!

Before my son was born, I remember standing inside Babies-R-Us totally overwhelmed. They give you that handy list of 1001 things you MUST HAVE. I tend to believe in the "less is more" concept, esp. in our 1550sf bungalow.

I agree with most of the original post, but I do like having the high chair and exersaucer. Both are invaluable in giving me those precious few minutes to actually get something done like take a shower, prepare dinner, wipe off the dogs' feet, etc...

Two items that were totally useless for us: wipes warmer and swing (this was borrowed and promptly returned).

I wish we would have waited until the baby came to get a sling-type carrier. I thought that the Maya wrap would work for us, but it didn't. (Anyone want an almost new wrap? We have one!) We ended up with a few kinds.
I agree with the small stroller thing and, although we have a highchair I love, I think I'd do a booster or one of those cool, wooden "euro" chairs.
Some things we love: Kiddapatamaus(sp?) makes this great rubber placemat for eating out. They sell them at Babies'R Us and online. They also make a shade for umbrella strollers that we've found helpful, but I had to purchase that online (onestepahead.com).
We ended up buying the Baby Bjorn bouncy seat. My daugher is almost two and still uses it. It has a removeable toy bar, requires no batteries and folds for storage/trips.
On diaper pails: we have the large size Diaper Dekor and love it (as much as you can love a dipaer pail, I suppose). It contains the smell, is easy to use and will be a regular garbage can when we are done.
I know that some folks didn't find baby shoes necessary, but we loved our robeez!

Agree with your list, though we didn't have all the cozy, bundling things you listed. We had a Patagonia onsie with a hood and I think we used that for a long time.

We used our swing to death. But I agree, not all kids like it. I suggest borowing one for a few days to see if it's worth it for you.

We had both the big stroller (Graco travel system), which we still use to this day for Clara at 2.5 yrs, and we also had a lightweight stroller, another Graco, that I got for $17 at Target. And we had an umbrella stroller, but that got far less use, as did the jogging stroller.

I also can't say enough good things about the My Breast Friend. I know some people love the Boppy, but I could not for the life of me figure out how to make that work comfortably. I have one of the old ones, with velcro, and I highly recommend the new ones with the loop clasp as it doesn't wake up the baby when you take it off.

And we used the exercauser. Clara was actually ready for that at 4 months. She was a natural jumper. She was in that until she walking. It saved dinnertime for husband and me.

In addition to what other's have mentioned, I would also add that our rocker/glider has been invaluable. My husband vehemently protested the purchase of the glider because he did not want to buy a "butt ugly" piece of furniture. However, he has since eaten his words and admitted it was a good purchase since we both use it multiple times everyday.

It's great for bottle feeding/nursing, snuggling, rocking your child back to sleep when she wakes up in the middle of the night, and reading lots and lots of picture/board books, etc.

The brand we bought is a Dutalier and we got it at Target. I know you can buy used ones on Craigslist too. Just make sure it's comfortable because you'll spend lots of time in it.

Another thing we loved, the puff rocker sold at Kitchen Kaboole. It is so incredibly comfortable. I've fallen asleep in it many times.
We love Robeez too!
Pack and Play. Especially for those with a small house. it's great for the beginning crawler.

I didn't need my crib with either baby - what a waste of money. The best money I spent was indeed on my Ergo which came with great help from sobebabies.com - they helped me learn how to wear it on the back which saved me at the playground with my toddler.

• I have to second the emotion about the My Breast Friend pillow vs. the ever-popular boppy. The boppy was great for helping my son sit upright when he was just learning to go more upright (he wanted to sit and got frustrated that he kept falling over), but the Breast Friend pillow (sold online at babies r us and at lactation centers in hospitals) was a Godsend!
• We bought a swing second-hand from a friend and it saved our lives. Enabled us to put our son down so we could eat dinner, and not have him cry! That was worth it's weight in gold, in my mind...as was the bouncy seat (hello shower, my old friend!).
• The waterproof lap-pads were/are excellent.
• Dr. Brown's bottles were great for our reflux burdened baby. I also made the mistake of opening the bottles I was given at a shower, and that brand didn't work for my little guy. My lactation consultant recommended the Dr. Browns and we never looked back. For the few times we bottle-fed him (when Daddy wanted to feed him), the right brand improved everyone's experience.
• A lactation consultant!!!
• My friend had a post-partum doula, and I think I might go that route next child.
• lots of receiving blankets, cloth diapers, bibs and wash cloths
• the book "Happiest Baby on the Block" - most important chapter is the "the five S's."
• sleep sacks
• jersey knit crib sheets - putting sheets on a crib mattress ain't easy, but the stretchy knit sheets help immensely.
• a great glider chair for mom and dad. When test drivng a glider, try to imagine yourself at three a.m., one eye open, so tired that you want to throw up...yes, maybe upgrade to the one that is a bit more expensive and a lot more comfortable. Segals for Children has some great ones.
• a cosleeper or bassinet
• a patient and helpful husband who not only does middle of the night diaper changes before handing the baby off to you for feeding, but tells you how great a mom you are when you're hormonal and feel like your chest is going to explode. Yep, that was my best asset in parenthood.

Just rolled across a similar list: http://www.rookiemoms.com/shopping-registry/ I think the lists are similar with added perspective. A couple of things I saw one their top 5s that were indeed crucial: new mom pants, sturdy nursing/pumping bra, white noise machine.

I ditto many of your lists, and will add:
-pumping band that allows for hands-free electric pumping. This saved me at work and allowed me to do emails and write articles while pumping (got mine from babycenter.com)
-The CD "For Crying Out Loud." Our son fell asleep to the sound of the ocean waves every night until he was about 9 months old.
-Fisher Price aquarium swing. Recommended to me by a mom in Babies R Us and it allowed our son to have a place to be upright while dealing with his acid reflux
-cloth diapers to use as spit up cloths
-Combi Savvy Soho stroller. Light and compact with iPod hook ups. Super easy to fold and unfold. Great for traveling and maneuvering busy city streets.
-Baby Bjorn
-Medela quick clean wipes & disinfecting pouches
-bassinet on wheels
-drive thru Starbucks
-Organic fruit deliveries (the one we used is no longer)

Did not work for us:
-Pack n plays. Our son hated them.
-Slings. We had two. They are NOT made for very small mamas! I was very, very sad.
-Wipe/bottle warmers
-Gripwater
-Mylicon drops
-every baby book that exists. we own them all (really) and would like to burn them all now for making us crazy in those first few months :)

not a bunch of stuff - some cute clothing, a couple of toys, a comfortable sling, exersaucer, booster seat, a sturdy stroller & breastpump & some good books as resources.

I agree with the comment that it depends on the child.

-For us the one of the biggest sanity savers was a Fisher Price cradle swing. The swing was always a happy place for us.
-We had a bouncy seat that was good as a feeding place for early solids before my son could reliably sit up on his own. He wouldn't tolerate just staying in the bouncy seat while I took a shower, though. Thankfully we had the swing. (This was the exact opposite for my niece, though.)
-Booster seat instead of a high chair
-The carrier travel system worked great for us. My son loved his carrier. We could plop him around just about anywhere in that carrier and he would sleep through it all (just about). I missed it so much when he out grew it.
-I also love my big bulky stroller for shopping mall type places. The umbrella stroller is good for in-and-out type places that don't have shopping carts, but I love all the storage and cup holders, etc. I have with my big stroller.
-The pack-n-play was great as a travel crib (which we used a lot), but never worked as a home play pen for us.

I didn't have much use for these items:
-Rocking chair - I know some people practically live in their rocking chair, but my kid didn't care for it. I actually think I used the rocking chair more when I was in labor than I ever did with the baby.
-sleep sack - We live in Georgia. It gets cold, but the winters are still pretty short. It worked out well that we mostly used a blanket, because rubbing the blanking against his cheek became part of my son's self soothing (going to sleep on his own) routine, which was great for me.
-front carrier - I think we used it once.

Items never used:
-wipes warmer
-bottle sterilizer

Our best item was the sling, which I didn't discover until Baby #1 was 1. I used it constantly with Baby #2.

Cloth diapers from friends were a godsend. We got to try lots of kinds and we got a great diaper pail in the process.

A soother leash to hold favourite toys within reach of baby.

A toy with black and white concentric circles for Baby #2 to stare at saved our lives.

One safe place to put baby down away from cats, siblings and hard floors when you need to shower: a cradle, playpen, bouncy seat or car seat. (A very plushy bathmat will do when the baby is tiny!)

Receiving blankets or flat diapers to mop up milk, pee, etc.

Nail clippers and unpetroleum jelly.

Millions of small baby washclothes instead of wipes.

Good books, a portable phone and a freezer full of food.

Neither of my kids were a fan of any stroller as infants, but I did love the Peg Perego Pliko I got when #2 was almost 1.

The only crib we ever used was one the same height as our bed that we used as a sidecar.

stain stick-- keep it by the changing area and treat diaper and other stains when you first see them. Going through dirty laundry looking for stains is no fun.

Must haves -
sling
car seat
onesies
footed PJ's
lots of burp cloths
a few blankets
bouncy seat
Medela PIS or another good quality pump
baby gym
Diaper Genie (a must if you have pets - otherwise not that important)
natural oil like almond oil or olive oil (coat baby's bottom in early days so the mecconium doesn't stick - use for cradle cap later on)

Stuff we had but didn't need -
infant tub
crib
bottles - only used them with baby #1 when I had to work - never used them for #2 or #3
baby powder - never used it! we still have the bottle 7 years later and it was hardly ever used!

Two other good items -
Boppy nursing pillow
Hyland's Teething Tablets

The baby swing was absolutely essential for us. Our colicky kid rocked that swing the first three months of his life.

best buy ever: small but sturdy 13-year-old Peg Perego stroller, bought used for less than US$50

The handle can flip from side-to-side. This is a GREAT feature. Now that I have experienced a reversible handle, I don't understand why more strollers don't allow for this. A current Peg model that has this feature is called the Venezia.

The reversible handle:
> allowed for monitoring and interacting with our son when he was not yet able to sit on his own. (He was too long for 'the bucket' travel-system car seat by about 4 months.)
> has made it much easier to avoid the sun-in-the-eyes problem while outdoors
> has made it easier and safer to take public transit, because the young'un can always face parent AND can usually be positioned to face backwards, relative to the direction of travel
> folds down to a smallish rectangle, which easily fits in our hatchback, and which is free-standing when placed on the ground or floor (e.g., just today, at the entry way of an Italian café/market)


Plus more...
> this model allows for the seat to be laid out completely flat, as a bed; and it has been used plenty as a bed, when travelling out of town or when on the move in town
> all 4 wheels have 2 'tires' and can be unlocked. 4-wheel castoring makes it possible to drag the stroller instead of pushing it, and so it's very easy to get through doors, etc. Also easy and fun to spin a toddler occupent in a circle e.g., while ice skating

If you see one of these older models, it is useful to know that it can be used with a standard travel-system 'bucket' car seat. I bought ours after baby was through with the bucket -- that's why I went hunting for a stroller with a reversible handle -- but I have now seen two being used this way by others. Also, the metal frame is sturdy enough to be used as a platform for an older child who is simply tired of walking, along the lines of the Peg Perego Pliko. I have not used it this way myself, but have witnessed this 'hack.'

oh, the swing on cradle setting was a godsend for me! Especially because I was pumping so I needed my hands free, but could sit her there, sit myself in front of her, and talk and sing to her while I pumped (she never latched but I wanted to feed breastmilk, so I pumped for a year.). And of course the pump was essential for this manoeuvre too! A pump in style was great for me - double barreled made it go that much faster.

I also loved the babywrappers towel. This is handmade in Canada so it may not be available widely, but you could make something similar by sewing a couple of wide ties onto the short end of a long bath towel. You tie the straps around your neck, put the wet baby on your chest, then fold the towel up over her, wrapping her up safe and warm.

Other favourites include a play yard for visits to other homes, the McLaren Quest stroller, Robeez slippers, Kooshies terry waterproof change pads, tons of spit cloths, nighties with elastic at the bottom and snaps on the front, velcro straps to keep toys tethered to the stroller, Kooshies reusable swim diapers, Bummies coth diaper covers, and a few spare cloth diapers to tuck under bums on the change pad, clean up messes, etc. Later we also used a humidifer or a white noise maker, which help avoid night wakings for us, and I keep the Heinz baby food plastic containers - perfect size for snacks like cheerios.

Ok - I am a little late to the party, but here is my 2 cents anyway!

I thought that the diaper genie was competely useless and waste of money.
Another waste was the wipes warmer.
Like many of you stated, we hardly ever used our swing

I loved:
the ultimate crib sheet - snaps on over the regular crib sheet. It is waterproof. It is so easy to put on and take off. This is especially nice when those middle of the night diaper leaks occur.

Baby Bjorn- It was especially nice when number two came along. I had one in the bjorn and one in the stroller.

Travel system - stroller/carseat combo. Mine is a Graco and has made traveling very easy. Our oldest has graduated to the MacClarren Volo, which is also a great stroller. It is very lightweight.

SleepSacks from Halo. These are the ultimate must have, in my opinion. A SleepSack is a wearable blanket that zips comfortably over pajamas or a onesie. They come is several different fabrics; cotton for when is warmer, and fleece, and velboa (SO SOFT!)for cooler nights. I have never had to worry about my kids getting cold at night because they had kicked off their covers. They are designed with baby's safety in mind. They are supposed to replace blankets, which can be dangerous for babies. Halo is endorsed by the First Candle/SIDS alliance. I feel like it is important for every parent to know about this product!

I tore an old flannel sheet into squares about 4x4 inches, and we use the pieces for everything -potty wipes, nose wipes, spit up wipes... the yuckiest can get tossed and the rest thrown in the wash.

I think our best buy was The Floppy Seat. We're still using it (anything that lasts over a year for a baby is huge!).

We started using it for dining, when DD could sit up with a little assistance but was heavy enough that lugging her in the carseat carrier was torture. Putting it on restaurant highchairs gave her padding and a little support for sitting up, it also gave her a nice place to lay her head when she was tired and since it's from home and clean, it doesn't matter if she chews on it.

Now that she's older, we're still using it. Those highchairs are filthy -- even when they are wiped down. We just throw the Floppy on and don't have to worry about any nasties.

Folds up into itself for carrying and although I don't take DD to the grocery store, you can use it in grocery carts, as well.

Every time we go somewhere with it, people ask about it (waitstaff in particular love it -- telling me those highchairs are nastier than we know).

You can get them at BRU and Amazon. Probably other places too.

Another must have: Oxyclean. I get the big box at Costco. After DD has gotten food and who knows what all over her clothes, I throw them in a bucket with water and a scoop of Oxyclean to soak. I just leave them soaking in the bucket until it's time to do laundry and all her clothes come out clean and stain-free.

*Formula does stain even though it might not be obvious so when FF Baby is young and spits up, your clothes and Baby's go in the bucket. If BM stains, I'd suggest the same.

i've seen that a wipes warmer is on everyone else's not-needed list, but i love my prince lionheart one ... for CLOTH wipes. no need to put all the chemicals on my baby's bum -- just soft flannel with some witch hazel and essential oil. the warmer lets me prepare a whole bunch of wipes at once and keep them moist.
i totally agree with the concept that you don't need all the baby stuff -- not that i didn't have fun in target with the little price scanner!

Ditto, Joy-- I used the wipes warmer with cloth wipes, witch hazel and essential oil, too! Plus a few drops of meadowfoam seed oil. It's nice when they're little.

Necessary to me:

-The book 'Ina Mays Guide', in preparation for pregnancy, birth, and parenting..A beautiful book.
-A wonderful support team( doulas, midwives, family, friends)
-Boobs
-Diapers

Niceties:
-Changing table (to have everything handy)
-Moby wrap for first 5 months, then Ergo.
-robeez (so they don't lose their socks)
-bassinette w/ wheels, so she could roll from room to room during naptimes
-tons of wash clothes (flannel is nice)
-good stain remover (Biokleens Bac-out works good)
-glass bottles for milk storage
-a good thermometer

Never used:
-Crib
-playard
-stroller (we went straight from the ergo to a wagon)
-Cutesie little outfits that friends bought (I knew I had a very short time that I could impose my fashion sense on her, and she wasn't wearing pink while I had a say!)

But all babies really need are boobs and diapers! Everyone said I would need a ton of onesies and creepers, but my girl just didn't drool or spit up or blow out. So she probably only wore 1/4 of her clothes.
I remember walking into 'Babies 'R' Us' and nearly fainting. I had no idea where to start.
It's nice if you have friends or family who have prior experience to just register for you.

I would have to disagree with the "did we even ever need them" list. When I need to get something done around the house, my baby's exersaucer is one of the only things that contains him and actually keeps him interested longer than five minutes. I don't know what I would do without it. Plus, I know that for most brands, you can switch the toys out when your baby gets sick of them (we have an Evenflo Exersaucer Mega and the toys are detachable). Just food for thought for all of you busy mommies out there! Clothing wise, my husband and I LOVED the baby nightgowns. They were super easy for middle of the night diaper changes, and the baby could tuck his legs up inside as much as he wanted. AWESOME@! Oh, P.S. I hang him in the doorway of my bathroom in his Johnny Jumper so I can take a shower...and he loves that too!

What I needed and had and appreciated:
Some new Splendid tunics, new somewhat stylish shoes and a new anorak coat to walk and walk and walk in.
Nice, and cute sling
Ergo
Cotton jammies
Good folks brought us meals for 3 weeks, incredible.
Fans
Music
Alcohol
Chocolate chip cookies
Hammy's Pizza late night delivery
What I had, but didn't need or want or appreciate:
Hysterical, new mom books which would send me into full meltdown mode when I was under slept, sensitive, and overemotional.(What To Expect, any of the First Year books really)
Also, Google for the above hysteria.

Someone told me not to buy a carrier until after I had my baby. Some of the best advice I got. I thought I wanted a sling -- peapod or the ring style. Turns out I *hated* slings (had the same problem that Marlynn had, being tiny) and the one style I thought I'd never like (Moby wrap) was absolutely perfect. My husband loved his sling (locally-made by Chic Papoose) though and wore it everywhere. We bought them at Bella Stella on Broadway and the woman there could not have been more helpful in finding us the right slings for our bodies & our baby and teaching us how to use them.

Other necessary objects for us:
- The hospital intro'd pacifiers to our daughter so pacis were important.
- Onsies
- Oxyclean (your clothes & baby clothes go right into bucket w/hot water & Oxyclean until you do wash -- no spit up stains!)
- Swing was nice place to "park" baby when she wasn't in sling and I needed 2 hands momentarily
- Zipper PJs once she was out of the swaddle
- SwaddleMe (from BRU), so much easier than trying to swaddle after a 2am diaper change.
- High chair, again, great place to "park" her when I was unloading groceries or whatever and couldn't keep eyes on her
- Cloth diapers (old-fashioned kind) for burp rags, not as glamourous but they cover more than the fancy burp rags and are great for cleanup when baby gets older
- Aquafor for everything (sensative skin, we still use it after baths everywhere) and Triple Paste for diaper rash
- Lotrimin for the rare yeast infection on diaper area

What was a waste?
- Exersaucer (it bored her)
- Bouncy thing (borrowed - she was too tall even after I jacked it up using climbing gear)
- Bumbo seat (borrowed & she hated it)
- Stroller, had Combi travel & it was too short for us & I preferred using the sling to the stroller*
- Outfits for under 3 mo.

We didn't have and didn't miss:
- Wipe Warmer
- Diaper genie
- Changing table (we used pad on bed, floor, wherever)
- Bottle warmer

I could probably think of more but my list is getting long already.

*Once she was older we got a McClaren & a BOB and they were both great for a while; since she started walking, she hasn't been interested in stroller-action.

My "must haves" were:

Swing (my girl loved it)
Bouncy Seat (she loved this, too)
Exersaucer that converted to a little play table when it was outgrown
A&D Ointment
Washing machine
Dryer
Dishwasher

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