If this is your first baby, or it’s been a few years since your last child, you’ll probably be overwhelmed how many baby things they’re selling now. I’ve heard people get to Buy Buy Baby or Babies R Us and leave feeling totally overwhelmed with all the choices!
Where to start? As a newborn care specialist, I have worked with many families and I’ll give you my thoughts on what to get and what to forget.
Things to forget:
1) Diaper pails or diaper genies. Some people swear by their diaper pail, but I think they’re overpriced and more of a hassle than their worth. It’s easier to just get a trash can with a lid to set by the changing area. Or just toss them in your regular trash. Plus breastfed babies poopy diapers don’t smell bad anyway!
2) Wipe warmers: They’re a pain to refill, and most babies are perfectly content with room-temperature wipes.
3) Dreft detergent, or other baby-specific laundry detergent. Just get something labeled “free and clear”-- no dyes or perfumes. Then you can wash all clothes together, and you can skip the extra markup for the word “baby” on the packaging.
4) Bumbo – I have colleagues that are physical and occupational therapists and they don’t recommend Bumbos. If you really want one, just try to limit baby’s time in there, and encourage more tummy time instead! http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-03-15/health/ct-met-bumbo-posture-20120315_1_physical-therapists-developmental-benefits-babies
Things to get:
1) One or two good baby carriers: My favorite is the Ergo. There are a ton of great brands out there. Moby Wrap, Baby K’tan, Becco, Mei Tai, and different brands of ring slings. My least favorite—the Baby Bjorn--it’s just not very snuggly for newborns.
2) A place for baby to sleep in your room for the first few months. This could be a bassinet, Moses Basket, Co-sleeper, or a Pack n Play. Everyone focuses on the crib and the nursery, but the truth is, most people have baby in their bedroom for the first few months. It’s just easier when they’re waking every few hours. Room-sharing also reduces the risk of SIDS in the early months. So plan on having something small and transportable that you can have in your room temporarily.
3) A few bottles. If you’re planning to breastfeed, it’s nice to have a few bottles on hand if you want to express milk for baby occasionally. If you’re planning to formula feed, I would recommend enough bottles to get through 2 full days (that way you can toss them in the dishwasher instead of hand-washing them). As far as brands go, some people swear by Tommy Tippee, Dr. Brown, EvenFlo, Advent. I don’t see one brand rising above the rest. My advice, go with the bottles that have the least parts possible, so less time spent washing! (Tommy Tippee and Medela are winners there). Dr. Brown’s bottles have too many parts to clean for my taste.
4) Other miscellaneous items: changing pads, baby thermometer, cold humidifier, baby monitor, stroller, baby swing, play mat, baby towels and washcloths, swaddlers, diaper bag, boppy, diaper bag, dishwasher bottle cage for pacifiers and nipples, baby nail clippers, breastpads (reusable or disposable), diapers (disposable, cloth, or both), wipes, and bottle drying rack. Whew! Did I miss anything?
5) Oh yeah, don’t forget to register for qualified, supportive help from a postpartum doula and breastfeeding support professional! All of the baby gear in the world can’t replace quality in-person help in those early weeks. If you happen to live in the Indianapolis, Carmel, or Zionsville area, you can call me!
I would love to meet with you and help you decide what to put on your registry, and help you make a plan for support after baby arrives!