Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Must Haves for Babies

My dear friends, you are to hear it first. We're going to be "trying" for baby #3. You know, we are not technically trying, but not preventing. You know how that goes, right?

So, I’m going to have a series of posts of all the must haves for everything. From breastfeeding to diapers!

Budget is always tight... and when you have kids, it gets tighter. There are just so many things out there, and you think to yourself, "Do I really need this?"  There are 10 parts to this bathtub, are they all necessary? I don't think there is a bath with 10 parts, I totally made that up, but you know what I mean!  Any moms out there will give you the best advice on what they couldn't live without for the first couple months of their babies’ lives.

Today, I’m just going through the general must haves. Then I will get into the specifics later in the series.  If you have any suggestions, feel free to comment!

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1. Breastpump. I can give you lists and stories of breastfeeding. I breastfed both boys until they reached one. I have pumped in the bathroom at work, in the car, etc. For anyone that wants to breastfeed or to even give it a try, I recommend figuring out where you'll get a breastpump before you have the baby! Either buy or rent, but know where you have access to one!  I didn't get mine until after the Child #1 because someone recommended that it wasn't necessary. I was in so much pain, and wish I didn't take that recommendation!  So, get that figured out!  Since you’re going to be breastfeeding, you’ll need all the things that come with it. Milk storage bags, lanolin, nipple wipes (I highly recommend this), etc. I’ll have a post about breastfeeding later this month. I recommend Medela free style (I'll get more into why spend the extra cost in the more specific post) ~200+ for a double electric

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2. Swing. I recommend one that goes two ways, front to back and side to side. We had a swing that only went front to back. Child #1 liked the swing going front to back, but Child #2 liked going side to side. The swing was hardly used for Child #2, which was a bummer. He wanted us to rock him to sleep, which is his side to side motion. This was a bit harder on us. ~$160

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3. Swaddling sleep sack. I really just like the sleep sack of it. The swaddling part really depends on your baby. Child #1 would break open of swaddling after a month, and didn't want anything to do with it. Child #2 was at the NICU, so, he was swaddled with large blankets. So, the swaddling didn’t really do much for him when he came home. But the sleep sack is great because it’s a blanket on them, without trying to put a blanket on them. They’re always covered! This is great for the cold nights. Sleep sacks are much safer than blankets! I do favor brands, and the only brand of sleep sacks that I buy is Halo. ~$35

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4. Sleep Gowns.  Child #1 always had gowns, I hardly put in him onesies at home. It was easy to change his diaper, and if he had a blow out, it was easy to change. If you don't prefer gowns, then choose something that is easy to snap so you can access the diaper easily! You want to make diaper changing as easy as possible! You can find some decent price ones at Walmart or Target.

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5. Kimono onesies or Side Snap onesies. I really recommend this for first time moms. I didn’t grow up with babies, so, I was really hesitant with everything. I was nervous on changing Child #1. When the baby doesn’t have any neck support, it’s really difficult to change the baby. Especially when you’re trying to get onesies over their head, as they bat their arms as you. So, I recommend buying side snap onesies, you unsnap them, open the onesies and lay your baby on top of the onesies and then snap it back up. It’s so easy, no need to worry about how to hold their neck while trying to put the onesie over their head! Ahhh, easier = less stress! You can find some decent price ones at Walmart or Target.

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6. Noise machine. I never realized how important this is until Child #2. We didn’t have a noise machine for Child #1. He wakes up to everything! Since Child #2 was in the NICU with lots of other babies crying and nurses moving around, he was used to noise. We had gotten a noise machine for him, and he sleeps through the night! By the time we got the noise machine for Child #1 (he was about 20 months?), it was too late. He couldn’t handle the noise [and still can't!]. The above picture is what we have, but I can't exactly recommend it. We don't use the light projection, just the ocean waves and sometimes rain. It was about $20, and the sound sometimes gets soft, then loud if you barely touch the volume wheel! Which ever brand you decide to buy, a noice machine is a must.

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7. Pack n Play. Instead of a bassinet, we got the pack n play with the bassinet part. We didn’t get the fancy one; we just got the most basic one. It was not necessary for us to get anything fancy. Since we saved money on getting the basic, so we bought two. One for the bedroom and one for the living room - this way we didn't have to drag the pack n play to every room while carrying a baby (believe me, it's almost impossible). When the baby was done sleeping in our room for the first couple months, the extra pack n play was for grandma's or daycare (some in home daycares require you to provide a pack n play for your child). ~$70

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8. Soothies. I love these. With Child #1, they didn’t sell them at the stores. I purchased them online with Child #2, then the week after I ordered them, I saw them at the stores! I love the fact that they’re all in one piece, you don’t have to worry about parts falling off. They’re cute, I love how I can see their mouth when they suck on it! Child #1 used advent pacifiers, he was fine with them. But I like the pacifiers that they don’t mush their mouth on. Since I breastfed, and I like how the soothies are like a nipple. Yes, they're consitantly sucking on some kind of a nipple. I really like GumDrop pacifiers (picture above) because it wouldn't smush against their nose. Here is a good youtube video on the difference between GumDrop and Soothies. Child #2 had some that were vanilla scented at the NICU! He loved those! I have seen GumDrop pacifiers at Target and Babies R Us. ~$2.50 for one

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9. Moby Wrap AND Carrier. I have the Beco carrier. The wrap is perfect when they’re little. We would go on walks as Child #2 is asleep in the carrier. You can use it as a carrier too, but my boys were too active that I consistently have to readjust and tighten. With Child #2, I decided to shell out some big bucks and get the Beco Carrier. The picture above is the one that we have. I got a gender neutral color. I absolutely love it! Steve loves it too.  As soon as Child #2 had head control, we put him in it. He loved it! We'll turn him around when he's about 6 months, he liked to see what was going on. We still put him in it once in awhile, he doesn’t mind just as long as he’s close to us. It’s easier for us too, we still have both of our hands free and we have him close. Beco Carrier ~$130 and Moby Wrap ~$45
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10. Bulb Syringe. The hospital grade one is the best one. The ones that you buy off the shelves are terrible. They don’t work very well. But the blue one from the hospital is amazing!!! If you can convince your nurse to give you an extra, you should do it! It helps when they're teething or have a cold, because their nose will be running like crazy, or they'll be super stuffy. They won't like you for it, but they don't like having a red nose either!

That concludes my top 10 list of Baby Must Haves! Let me know what other items that you couldn't live without!!

Some of the other lists will include:
Breastfeeding Must Haves
Diapering (cloth or disposables) Must haves
Post-Birth Must Haves

I will link these up as soon as I have them posted!

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