Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What Baby Needs at Home the First 3 Months

I recommend the book Baby Bargains to help you figure out what items are necessary and where to get them the cheapest.

  • CLOTHES: The amount of clothes you will need will depend on how often you want to do laundry. Don't over do the clothes though because baby will out grow them quickly and you will have to buy more. Also, if you are having a baby shower, try to not buy any clothes until afterward because most women can't resist the cuteness of baby clothes.
  • DIAPERS. Don't buy too many of the newborn size. You'll also need wipes. Its cheaper to get the refills after you have the tub. You can print out coupons for these from on line.
  • CAR SEAT: We really like our Graco Snugride. The only problem I have with it is that it doesn't have the highest weight maximum. So, we have gotten the MyRide 65 which should carry us over until she gets a booster seat.
  • STROLLER / CARRIAGE / TRAVEL SYSTEM: I loved being able to put the car seat right into the stroller frame, but once Natalie got older, I got a cheap little front facing stroller. I wish instead that I had spent the time to get a better travel system that would accommodate her when she was bigger.
  • PLACE FOR BABY TO SLEEP: Either a crib or a bassinet. You have to buy the mattresses separately.
  • LINENS: Baby's crib or bassinet will need sheets. You do NOT need to get all the fancy bedding - especially the big blankets or comforters because it isn't safe to put those in the crib. We also used sheet savers, which tie on over the crib sheet using the crib slats. These were easier to change in the middle of the night than the sheet itself. What we did use a lot of were receiving blankets. We would use at least one a day to swaddle and sometimes a second one or two to lay over her. We used hooded towels after bath to help keep her warm as she dried off. You only need as many towels as you are going to do baths between laundry loads (for us that was two in the beginning, but now its seven).
  • TOILETRIES: You will need bath wash and shampoo. We also use baby lotion as part of our bed time routine. We used baby oil a few times on cradle cap, but a travel size bottle was all we needed. We also only used corn starch a few times and a travel size bottle would have sufficed. One thing we did use often was petroleum jelly on her checks and chin because they chapped from her drooling in the winter. Our hospital gave us a brush, comb, and nail file (which they recommended using the first year rather than clippers).
  • PLACE FOR BABY OTHER THAN CRIB OR YOUR ARMS: I recommend an infant seat. Ours bounces. My daughter took a lot of naps sitting in it for the first three or four months. We would just rock her to sleep in it. It also is a great thing for her to sit in for us to have dinner or to play with her. We also have a baby swing, but our daughter didn't like it as much as a lot of babies do. I really recommend a baby carrier or sling. This was invaluable for us the first six weeks or so. My daughter didn't want to fall asleep in her crib, so we would walk her to sleep in the sling, and then move her to the crib when she was totally out. Also, it allowed me to move around the house and get some things done when she was fussy and wanted to be held.
  • NURSING ACCESSORIES: If you are nursing, I really recommend the Boppy pillow. It lets you support your arms while you nurse, so you don't have to hold the baby up. You can then also use it later to help sit your baby up or during tummy time. This is kinda expensive for a pillow, though, so you could skip it. If you do get one, get a second pillow case so you have something to use while the other is in the wash. If you are going to continue nursing once away from home, you'll need a breast pump, most likely an electric double pump. As a stay at home mom, the manual pump I was given by the hospital was all I ever needed. I had have to get milk storage containers and a few bottles (even though Natalie never wound up using any of the milk I saved).
  • TOYS: I'd really recommend a baby gym (it is a mat that the baby lays on and has toys that hang down over the baby). I originally thought that these were for older babies, but I was told that the baby can use them right a way. This was great advice because my daughter played with her's every day since she was about three weeks old until she learned to sit up. Try to get one with toys that have sharp contrasting colors. This was like $25 which was worth it for the amount of time my daughter plays with it. You can also get additional links for under $5 and add more toys or lower the toys. The toys my daughter liked at first were almost all the type that could hang from the toy gym. We also bought her some additional rattles and teethes.
  • BOOKS: Experts say to read to your child 20 minutes a day right from birth. A newborn doesn't really care what you read, but you can start collecting a library of story books. I read children's classics to Natalie when she was very young. Books like Charlotte's Web and The Wizard of Oz kept my attention and seemed appropriate than reader her adult books. Another category of books are the ones from which you show baby pictures. As a newborn, black and white contrast, bold patterns, and baby faces are the best. And of course, you don't have to buy any books if you get a library card.
  • MEDICINE: If nothing else, you need a thermometer. We also had diaper rash cream, baby fever reducer, and Pediolyte to prevent panicked, middle of the night trips to the store.
  • OTHER: You will probably want a baby monitor, portable crib / play pen, baby book, pacifiers, baby bath tub, back seat car mirror, changing table, rocker or glider. Climate depending, you may need bunting for the car seat.
Things you can wait on:
High chair, doorway jumper, Bumbo chair, booster seat, most toys, heavy blankets, baby food, feeding accessories like spoons, safty gates and other baby proofing items, videos for baby to watch

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