Getting Ready for Baby – the not so short short list

Eight Must Have Items for Baby’s Room

We went on the less is more side of things, so I’m listing the things we’ve used and loved the most.

  1. Graco Sweet Slumber sound machine – has white noise, a night light you can turn on and off and you can plug in a ipod.
  2. Changing table/dresser – important features – needs to be sturdy, we liked the shelves because we could put baskets of clothes and toys into the shelves, and once Bailey is older, he can easily pull out a basket of clothes or toys on his own.We went fancy and got this one from the Pottery barnthough to be honest, it was about the same price as the one we looked at from Target. Though looking at the price now – it must have been on sale back when we got it. Yikes!

    we mostly use our changing table/dresser for clothes
  3. A play yard with bassinet – this can be used as a co-sleeper in your room for the first weeks/months, plus you can easily pull the bassinet out and put it down on the floor in other rooms for naps. I really liked the size of the bassinet that came with ours as well as the flexibility of the bassinet/crib set up
  4. A fan – running a fan has been shown to lower the incidence of SIDS
  5. A space heater (with a thermostat) so you can control the temperature in just that room. Babies like it hot!
  6. Baby monitor – we went fancy with the Motorola video monitorand love it.  one thing to note, the battery does not last all night, so keep it plugged in by your bed unless you want to be woken up for reasons other than a crying baby.

    super cute humidifier
  7. Blackout curtains – really helps Bailey sleep which really helps me sleep!
  8. A cute humidifier– especially helpful when baby has a cold.

Plus my Montessori-style favs

Floor bedmattress from Ikea. We went with a twin, but in hindsight I wish we had gone with a double though not sure how that would have fit.

Mirror stickers and wall stickers like these

A chair.
We could not agree on what glider or rocking chair to get. So we ended up getting this chair from Ikea with the matching ottoman. It’s been working out really well, though every once and a while I talk about getting a glider. But I still can’t find one that I love. My personal recommendation is that you get something you can see sitting in after baby has grown up.

B’s Montessori-inspired room

Clothes, what you really need at the beginning (IMO)

  • Swaddles: Our favorite by far was the halo sleep sack and the woombie – which is great as they start transitioning out of the swaddle ()
  • Fleece blankets and light cotton blankets
  • Onesies (maybe 10)
  • Pajamas (maybe 4)

In our experience, at the beginning, babies don’t really go through clothes too quickly. Heck for the first few weeks, you’re only bathing them a couple times a week. They really aren’t getting dirty. Bailey pretty much lived in onesies and pajamas.

Love, love, loved the onesies with mitten cuffs. At the beginning, baby will flail his hands about and accidently claw at his face and eyes. These onesies have built in cuffs you can flip over their hands.

Also loved the pajamas with mitten cuffs which are strangely hard to find – ours are all hand me downs.

And we used Gerber pajamas a lot.

  • Socks. Socks are a total pain but babies feet do seem to get cold easily. Our fav brand is Trumpette – they really don’t come off and they are ridiculously cute. Thanks Tricia for the tip!

A note on clothing brands: the sizing is different for every brand. I recommend you wait and then buy only a few of each – once you see which brand fits your baby best, it seems like that continues to be the case as they grow older. I also like really soft cotton baby clothes. My fav brands for comfort are BabyGap and Carters (especially anything made out of fleece!)

And of course hand me downs are great since babies do grow so quickly!

  • Hats. These are definitely cute, but we didn’t really use them much and you really don’t need more than one or two knit hats (for warmth) and then one brimmed hat for sun shade. Again, might be better to wait til after baby is born so you don’t get a hat that will only fit for a week OR a hat that won’t fit until their 6 months old and it’s the wrong season for that type of hat.

Activity and sleep related stuff (for the first few months)

An infant rocker chair – must have features should include vibration, being able to adjust the chair to different angles, and preferably some kind of canopy to pull over the chair. Something like this. There are less expensive ones that tend to me more flimsy and less versatile.

The SnuggleMe pillow. And there is no alternative that is comparable. This pillow is basically like a dog bed which means baby feels snuggled by the sides of the pillow.

An activity mat. Seriously provides hours of entertainment for months and months! I recommend that you get a pretty sturdy one. We borrowed a Fisher Price Rainforest Gym and loved it.

A boppy pillow. This can also work as a nursing pillow. The boppy pillow is great for tummy time and for lounging around. As they get older, it also works great for helping the sit up on their own. My only wish is that I had gotten one sooner.

We never used a swing, but a lot of people swear by them for helping baby sleep, so I’m including that one on the list.

Car seat dangling toys (can also go on the activity mat)

Diaper and Bathroom related

Diapers: Here’s what I’ve generally seen – Huggies are for girls, Pampers are for boys (in terms of fit). We started with the Pampers Swaddlers for disposables.

Now we use Honest diapers which fit great, look great and are biodegradable.

Wipes: You need them, at least when you’re on the go, but I don’t like any of them. At home we use little washcloths and water – in fact, his changing station is in the bathroom closest to his room.

We also do cloth diapers but I’ll save that for another post.

Diaper ointment: we go back and forth between 100% shea butter and the honest healing balm

Diaper pail. We have one, but I hate it J We also have wet bags for the cloth diapers and I’m not a fan of those either. Sorry, no advice on this front.

Baby bath tub – we borrowed this and can’t complain. We use it in our bathtub.

Washcloths – you can buy baby ones or just use regular ones

Hooded towel

Baby shampoo – my fav is BabyMagic calming bath

Baby lotion – again, I like the BabyMagic one.

Baby saline – to spray up their dry or snotty nose

The NoseFrieda snotsucker – it looks gross but works sooo much better than the aspirators you get at the hospital. Trust me on this one!

Nursing Related

Nursing bras: In hindsight, I would have waited until after having baby to buy most of my nursing bras. I bought a bunch earlier and they all ended up not fitting/feeling uncomfortable. I guess it depends on how big the ladies are, but I was fine without much of a bra for the first few days…even now, I can’t highly recommend any bras.  So, to start off with, I would get some comfortable sleep-style nursing bras and I would pack one of those in the go bag for the hospital. They do get covered in milk more often than you might think, so you do need more than one!

Nursing pads (to go in your bras). The disposable ones really irritated my skin plus it’s a lot of waste. My fav brand/product was the reusable Nuk pads.

A nursing pillow. There was definitely a learning curve when it came to nursing accompanied by lots of tennis elbow and neck pain! I think it’s useful to start with a pillow though you may not use it in the long run. I started with my Breast friend pillow (yes, things have lots of terrible names!) because it strapped around you and seemed to stay put more. However, in the middle of the night, it is a pain in the butt to have to strap that thing on and I need a bunch of additional pillows anyway to help prop myself up. In hindsight, I would have gotten the Boppy pillow because you can use it as a baby pillow after you stop using it as a nursing pillow.

A nursing cover. They have silly names like Hooter Hiders, etc. I swore I wouldn’t buy or use one before Bailey was born. And now, I love mine. It has made me so much more comfortable with nursing in public

Burp clothes. Probably good to have 6-10.

Lanolin ointment. I would just use it preventatively from the beginning. For rubbing on your nipples after nursing.

Epsom salts. Whenever I felt like I was getting a clogged duct, this was my go-to solution. I would put Epsom salts and hot water in a deep bowl and dunk you know what into the bowl for a few minutes. Those heating pad things that go in the microwave is nice too. You can heat it up an drape it over your chest for a few minutes before nursing. Makes the milk flow easier.

Favorite Books

The Wonder Weeks

What to Expect the First Year

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

Solve your child’s sleep problems

The No Cry Sleep Solution

Montessori from the Start

*Happiest Baby on the Block – easier to Netflick than to buy the book

Online Resources

There’s always more but that’s what I can come up with for now as my list of most important items. I guess I need to add car seat info I’ll save it for another post!


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