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So we're starting to look at baby stuff.

Geesch! What a lot of stuff!

So what do we absolutely need?
What have you found that works?

I'm especially boggled by carseat/babycarrier/stroller stuff.
Any input is appreciated.



( 48 comments — Leave a comment )
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Sep. 6th, 2006 08:40 pm (UTC)
The most important advice?

Babyproof the house NOW.
Sep. 6th, 2006 08:43 pm (UTC)
Wow lengthy topic... On the carseat/babycarrier/stroller front... I'm a proponent of the all in one travel system. I like the carrier because then you can take junior in and out of the car hopefully without waking. And if you choose to go to restaurants or whatnot you can leave the baby in the carrier and not worry about high chairs and such. With the travel system generally speaking the carrier then snaps into a base that stays installed in the car, and usually snaps into the stroller as well.

We used the Peg Perego system... and unfortunately Alex grew a bit faster than we'd hoped and he outgrew the carrier somewhere around 5-6 months. Our particular carrier was only good up until I think 18 pounds and/or 26 inches or something like that Sandy could probably tell you better than I can. Which forced us to get new car seats sooner than we expected. I know they've updated the carrier to handle bigger babies since we bought ours.

What we ended up with as a replacement is a 3 in 1 Combo unit that is a reversable infant seat, flips around to be a regular car seat when you hit the 1 year and 20 pound bogies, and then can be used as a booster seat later on. These are great if you only want to buy a seat once but they don't have the carrier and that's a big negative in my book.

More later I have to go pick up the little bug
Sep. 6th, 2006 10:55 pm (UTC)
You couldn't pay me to put an infant in the convertible seat we have. The seat doesn't recline far enough for my tastes.
(no subject) - pheltzer - Sep. 7th, 2006 01:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 6th, 2006 08:51 pm (UTC)
I really recommend a mobile. We had one over my crib and I found it fascinating. (They seem to be good for stimulating babies.)

You already have stuffed animals covered...*grin*
Sep. 6th, 2006 09:00 pm (UTC)
Nah, Never enough!

(no subject) - dek9 - Sep. 7th, 2006 03:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - billroper - Sep. 6th, 2006 09:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 6th, 2006 09:05 pm (UTC)
Like Peter said lots of info. I also recomend the all in one travel system. The baby carrier will also generally snap right into most shopping carts, so when you go shopping you don't have to take the baby out of the seat (very important when the baby is sleeping) On most systems the carrier goes up to about 20 lbs which generally (and I say generally) is about a year. That is when the baby will be able to be flipped around and look forward. At that time you will need a new car seat. Greg and I went with the one that switched from regular car seat to booster for Caetlin, but not for Shannon. The ones that switch tend to be bulky, and you can get a booster for around $30. The bulkiness becomes more important later as they start going places with other people, and you have to move the car seat, or if you are traveling. Remember they recomend boosters up to 8 years old now.

Other things you need versus want to have because your life is easier:

Pack and play - really nice if you are going other places and want to be able to put the baby down to sleep.

Swing - Some babies love them. Some babies hate them. You are more than welcome to borrow ours for the duration, or even if you just want to see if the baby likes it. Shannon was out of hers pretty early, but other babies go for a long time.

Diaper Genie or other product - I find really useful - different people like different ones, but they all seam pretty good.

Pick out a diaper bag that you find efficient and easy to carry because you will be carrying it for awhile.

I'll offer the same to you as I did with Sandy, I would be more than happy to spend some time at Baby's R Us with you to look at different items and let you know what I thought of them.

Let me know if there is anything else you what to know that I can help with.

Sep. 6th, 2006 09:09 pm (UTC)

A GOOD crib. Not something you want to scimp on. Check around. I'll bet you'll find friends and or relatives who have fine cribs no longer being used.

We were lucky. Out main bathroom has a huge long counter at a perfect height, so we didn't need a changing table.

We weren't impressed by the combo Car Seat/Strollers of 10 years ago. But in concept they're good. Being able to leave the little one strapped in and move them from house to car to stroller is a good thing. Give them a look see.

Having a stroller with a decent sized storage compartment under it is a blessing. We really like the Graco brand strollers.

We had the "Baby Containment Unit". It was a quilted circle with soft raised sides.. think a soft sculpture version of a kiddy pool. They are great. They roll up, you can put them on the floor and put the baby in it. Things stay contained. Its a washable enviroment. Take to friends out, cons. You can even pick the whole thing up and take the sleeping baby to bed in it. We've even used it as a travel bed. Can't tell you how useful it was.

And another piece of advice, when it comes to bottles. You dishwasher is a FINE thing. Don't let anyone tell you you need to boil your bottles and nipples. Also, if you like you tap water and your hot water is good, just use that for formula. Never had a trouble and never had a complaint.

Don't feel you're stuck using the Diaper Bags they sell. Good sports bags are more rugged, have better compartments and more room.

Hmm.. have to consult Diana.. more later.
Sep. 6th, 2006 10:29 pm (UTC)
My sister quickly ditched the "diaper bag" and moved everything into a back pack. Holds just as much, but carries easier.
(no subject) - mdlbear - Sep. 7th, 2006 12:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bigblued - Sep. 7th, 2006 01:30 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 6th, 2006 09:12 pm (UTC)

A baby seat for a small baby - if you're likely to be using more than one car regularly (or getting regular assistance from someone like we do from my Mum) then getting 2 might not be a bad idea. We found the 'having 2' thing much more vital when Alex & Amy moved up to the 9 months+ size of car seat (or in Alex's case 6 months+, as he was a big baby) because they're fixed to the car and more hassle to move. You don't need to rush about that now, just bear it in mind.

For us it boiled down to finding some site that evaluated seats and choosing from there. We had separate car seats and strollers and that worked fine, but our big stroller does weigh a ton so we have a lightweight one too from when the kids were able to sit up. There's a lot of YMMV in all of these, but review sites that tell you which ones are a pain to install or unfold help to narrow things down :-)

A moses basket or something of that ilk for them to sleep in when you get them home. Having one on a robust stand is good so that it's at a good height to reach into.

A cot for them to move into when they outgrow the moses basket (3 months?).

Bottles, teats and a steriliser (I had a steam one and prefer them - the idea of using chemical sterilisation just didn't do it for me). I used Avent brand of all of those and that suited me fine.

Somewhere else to put them down when they're awake during the day - a play mat, some kind of reclining seat thingie, whatever. Possibly one that can switch between being steady and being roackable can be nice, but neither of mine were too thrilled with the rocking option. Our one helped in that it had straps so I could carry it (and the kids) about it in if they fell asleep.

Clothes. Baby bedding.

Nappies. Lots of them. They slow down in their frequency the older they get, but with a new one it's quite easy to go through 10 nappies in a day. Even if you aspire to having cloth nappies it may be worth using disposables for the first few weeks or months just because that way it's a lot harder to run out.

A few months in, seriously consider having a dummy to hand. Both ours went through a phase of being frustrated by their inability to do anything, and the dummy really helped then. Both outgrew them naturally and neither were heavy users :-)

Nice to have
A baby bath, because they're bigger/more convenient than the kitchen sink or the bathtub. but either of the latter work.

Baby towels with those hoodie-corners, because babies just look so darned cute in them.
Sep. 6th, 2006 09:14 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, and if you go with disposable diapers and you need the little plastic bags to wrap stuff up in, try and find the supermarket's really basic ones with no scent - they smell way less bad than the scented ones!
(no subject) - billroper - Sep. 7th, 2006 04:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - msminlr - Sep. 7th, 2006 10:58 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oreouk - Sep. 7th, 2006 11:28 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 6th, 2006 09:15 pm (UTC)
I have a car seat for you I will bring at the end of the month. We need to talk about more stuff that I have for you.

Lots of stuff.

Let's talk.
Sep. 6th, 2006 09:40 pm (UTC)
Much has changed, as my youngest is 7, but here's a bit :)

Don't go too far overboard on receiving blankets and feeding supplies. They're VERY popular gifts, so you'll end up with tons anyway. Not to mention there's a good chance that Baby will decide that whatever bottle style/nipple/whatnot that you have the most of is also the one that Will Not Work and Is Hated. :)

Infant carriers that snap into a base for the car and convert for shopping carts/strollers/whatnot are _great_, especially when they're younger (let sleeping babies lie, without torturing yourself too much). Don't stress horribly about the upper weight limit - most folks i know find that by the time you need to turn the seat around, the other forms aren't as big a deal either. Getting through the first 6-12 months is fine. By then, you'll also have a better idea of your needs, preferences, and Baby's style of doing things, so will have a better target for next stage shopping. If you have more than one vehicle, getting the type with a spare base also makes life much easier by cutting out the 'car juggle' game.

I had 2 strollers - one that felt like a Monster Tank (tho did collapse flat for trunk)...it was a pain if you were making quicky trips, but _wonderous_ for Adventures :) We were also gifted with numerous umbrella strollers that worked well when the babies were a bit older.

For us, we found quite a bit of the rest of those Equipment Lists to be way more subjective than they usually mention. A lot of it depends on your household setup, lifestyle setup, and parent & baby preferences. I had a changing table i adored for my son; when my daughter was born we were in a different house and never did get one (modified dresser worked wonders). Same with bassinetts/cribs/playpens/swings. You get the idea.

Pack-n-Plays are very good if you do much travelling/visiting - don't have to worry about napspace and such. My sister also had a lovely "playmat" that was more than just a mat - it was a squishable/foldable fabric area that looked rather like a little kiddie-pool, only not solid. Washable, with plenty of little toys/stimulators/busy-bits attached.

Diaper genie-type things are great, regardless of whether you're using disposible or cloth. Oh! and those towels with the hoodie corner are great too :) Baby slings seem to be a love-or-hate item, but if you can at least borrow one to try, i do recommend giving them a shot.

I really liked my Boppie Pillow, but i also have joint issues so _need_ extra support when feeding. Given my....belly size? i never used it as a wrap-around like some do, but still was nice to have tucked under my elbow (facing backwards). My daughter also thought it was a nice occassional seat, and a fun toy when she was mobile.

Almost forgot the most Important piece of equipment to buy yourself (or at least pick out) - your diaper bag! You'll be in and out of that for YEARS, so you want something durable, washable, and set up to your tastes :) I actually had a couple - a small one for quick trips to the store and such, and a larger one for more extended day trips. Pockets and organizable storage are key.

Hmmmm...probably more, but of course now i can't think :) You'll be getting plenty of hints tho :) And, of course, all of the above is My Opinion, based on My Tastes :) Everyone's milage varies, and all that.

By the way, my apologies for being a bit Wound Up last time we talked - it'd been a long weekend :) But i'm very glad that you were so pleased with the tatted heart :) Congrats again.
Sep. 6th, 2006 11:01 pm (UTC)
Oh gods-yes!!! Diaper Genie is a must if you use disposables. We had two - one for upstairs and one for downstairs.

(no subject) - oreouk - Sep. 7th, 2006 11:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - folkmew - Sep. 7th, 2006 10:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oreouk - Sep. 7th, 2006 10:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 6th, 2006 10:59 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, monitor, definitely! We used ours all over, even at cons.

Second on the tipple!!! And follow that up with lots of friends who've "been there" = Judith was a godsend for my sanity at times as were the wonderful folks on "filkbabies" mailing list - which if you aren't on it you should be. Not heavy traffic but a good group of "rally round" folks. ;-)
Sep. 6th, 2006 10:40 pm (UTC)
I liked a basinet for when the baby was small rather than a crib. I could have it near my bed to monitor it's progress/safety.

The 3-in-one carseat, stroller, carrier is very convenient but a bit bulky.

A few bottles and blankets and changes of clothes (onsies, t-shirts and socks really is all you absolutely need) and then let all your loving friends and adoring fans supply the rest of the clothes.

Although, I must say, baby clothes are WAY fun to shop for.

I never used a changing table, even when I had one so not sure how much you need that.

BOUNCY CHAIR!!!! Can I say that again? BOUNCY CHAIR!!!! Saved my sanity many times when they were infants. You know, the little wire chair with the cloth cover. A baby kicks and it moves the chair. Very nice.

Sep. 6th, 2006 10:58 pm (UTC)
Bouncy Chair, and/or swing - yes yes! I didn't have them with one, but when I got the second one it was a godsend!!

I did use the changing table but more for storage I admit. ;-)
(no subject) - mdlbear - Sep. 7th, 2006 01:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mdlbear - Sep. 7th, 2006 03:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 6th, 2006 10:56 pm (UTC)
A few ideas (grin)
Well! Since you asked!! (grin)

Feel free to scroll down if I go on too long!

A sling *and* a Baby Bjorn. They both are terrific in different situation. You may also need "his and hers" slings (the slings are sized, the Bjorn one will do). (Ed and I needed two sizes of slings).

A really good diaper bag, probably two - I had the amazing landsend one - the large one. It is great for a big trip (in fact I am *still* using it as a great carry on/overnight bag!) but it's too big for day to day - I recommend a backpack diaper bag but your mileage may vary.

I used our "tiny love gymini" A LOT! It's wonderful at a con. It's really well made and washable! (yay!!) (washable is good!!!)

A really good car seat. I *loved* having the "travel system" where the infant seat snapped into a stroller. When they are infants that is great when you are doing something like go to a mall. Even if you use a sling most of the time you'll end up using a stroller sometimes.
Likewise - not mandatory but if you do a lot of walking or like to go to parks I can highly recommend a jog/stroller. But you don't need one otherwise.
I have to say though - that as much as I loved the Graco travel system? I REALLY loved the Britax roundabout. It is incredibly well designed (again with the washable! What kind of idiot designs a car seat for children that doesn't have a machine washable cover? MOST of them don't. Britax is washable. yay - also very comfortable and sturdy. - so I'd probably start with the travel system then as they get older go to Britax but if you have to choose? I'd go with the Britax.

We used our "pack n play" playpen a lot. We almost *never* used it for a playpen but it was our changing table for a while, it was a "bassinette" lots of time for naps and at cons (we actually used it past when you are supposed to as a cosleeper).

Changing table - not mandatory but I admit it really is useful for organizing *stuff*.

Board books - lots of board books. I know you guys will read to the bambino a lot - and I don't have to tell you this - but reading aloud is very important. Even while in the womb they think it may help some. Exposure to language. Rhymes, etc. I say board books because they are great when the baby starts to get interested in the books, that way they can chew on them etc without doing too much damage.

Operating Instructions - by Anne Lamotte. It is a journal of her first year of her son's life. She's a witty, honest, down to earth writer who writes with a lot of compassion. This is such a welcome change from the many "how to" type parenting books.

If you use pacifiers those clippy things are really handy.

Skwish - this is one of the coolest baby toys around. A must have.

Skwish at Amazon

Well - there's a lot of cool and useful stuff and you've gotten some other good responses but feel free to ping me - oh yeah - when they get mobile? Baby gates galore! :-)

Here's a couple of web sites I used to shop a fair bit:
http://www.rosiehippo.com/ (a bit expensive but gorgeous 'natural' toys and cool books - Waldorf inspired but good for anyone who appreciates well made toys)

http://www.onestepahead.com/ I got lots of useful things from them through the years.

Good luck! Oh boy!! I can't wait. Email me with your address so I can forget to send you a card ok? ;-)
Sep. 7th, 2006 01:00 am (UTC)
Re: A few ideas (grin)
I have the Operating Instructions book if you'd like to borrow it.
Sep. 6th, 2006 11:44 pm (UTC)
I will make the same offer as Cary, I'd be happy to go to Babies R Us with you. My time is a little more limited due to the job thing though. You are also welcome to come over and play with our gadgets and gizmos. I'd even cook dinner :)

When you buy a stroller, make sure you evaluate how they collapse and uncollapse. I watched folks fold one down to the ground and that would have made me nuts!

I liked the Swaddle Me blankets because they were easier than swaddling with a receiving blanket. Also, the closed blanket sleepers were great. THe ones from Carters were way better than the ones made by Halo because they have arms. I have a few you can borrow if you'd like, likewise the swaddle blankets (I'd like them back because we do want two children at some point, just not now).

Changing tables are a hot topic. I almost always change Alex on the changing table. It's so convenient having the stuff right there. I know other people say they use the dining room table (can't get that through my head mentally) and yet more say they use their bed (I've seen the poop sprays and am rather fond of the quilt on my bed).

We did not receive clothing for the baby shower, but we had the shower enough in advance we could rectify. With a baby being born in the same timeframe as Alex, I can tell you with good authority you need onsies and sleepers. Lots of sleepers!

You are welcome to look at our registry. It's still online at Babiesrus.com. This would work way better as a conversation. Please call or we could get together (I think we may have noticed a mutual fondness for Cheeseburger in Paradise!).

Gotta go rescue Peter from the small child.
Sep. 6th, 2006 11:46 pm (UTC)
Wow. Lots of good advice here, but I'll weigh in anyway....

We had a punkin seat, and that is where Joseph slept best for his first 4 months. After that we moved him into his crib, still in our room.

Car seats - the modular ones are great for letting sleeping babies lie, but they are *heavy*. They're painful to schlep empty, and the balance becomes worse when baby is in it. Best to be able to put it on wheels forthwith. Make sure, though, that the stroller doesn't lose its usefulness when the passenger outgrows the infant seat stage.

Stroller - the nice thing about the big luxurious ones is that when baby is tiny, it's a carriage-bed, and then they can sit up when they get bigger. On the other hand, a lightweight one can be a godsend to just keep in the car for those expeditions you didn't expect, and there will be some. We had three - a light one for each car, and then the "expedition stroller".

I never used a classic "diaper bag" - a backpack worked far better and left my hands free without unbalancing me. I'd go for one with a decently sized front pocket, because it will double as a purse for you at need. No point carrying three things (diaper bag, purse and baby) when two will be a juggling act.

Our swing let us eat dinner many nights. Set it going where he could see us, and we were good to go.

Dishwasher basket. It's a plastic basket that holds bottle rings and pacifiers inside, and has racks to hold nipples on top, that makes it feasible to wash them in the dishwasher.

Harness and leash. No better way to keep a child safe once they're self-propelled, especially in places like hotels and parks. They're kind of hard to find (tell me if you can't find one and I'll make one for you), but worth their weight in enriched plutonium.

Porta-crip, Pack'n'play, whatever you want to call it. We could put Joseph to sleep in his until he was about 3 1/2.

Contoured foam changing pad. That way any surface can be a changing table - though something that you can put stacks of diapers, wipes, etc in is handy.

folding vinyl changing pad for the diaper bag.

Diaper genie, so that you can seal off the toxic wastes. :)

A multi-position high chair spares parental backs a lot of strain. Be sure you can take the tray off with one hand, so you can hold the baby with the other. Believe me, that half-second when the tray occupies both hands is time enough for a baby to spill his or her little self onto the floor. Owww!

That's all I can think of right now. Hope you're having fun with this.
Sep. 7th, 2006 01:13 am (UTC)
I have no children, but I think Duke said it best: "Honey, there are few child care problems that can't be solved with duct tape."

Maybe that kind of attitude is why I have no children.
Sep. 7th, 2006 02:48 am (UTC)
It's been many years since I had to diaper our youngest (don't go there, Steve), but it appears that the world hasn't improved a whole lot with respect to places to change a baby. The most utility we ever got per dollar was a fluffy rubber sheet.

This thing was about 2" by 3", and at first glance just seemed to be a standard fuzzy flannel blanket. But underneath the flannel was rubber. And if you've ever had to change a messy diaper in either (a) a place that wasn't clean or (b) a place you didn't want to get covered with crap, this sheet was a godsend. In extreme circumstances it could be used to wrap up the diaper, the sleeper, the socks, and even the cat that the kid got poop all over. OK, maybe not the cat. But everything else, yes.

It also doubled as a feeding table on hotel beds. And something to put under the kids chair in a restaurant.

You could machine-wash it without damage. It stayed fuzzy through two kids; then vanished somewhere into the hand-me-down realms of Ann Arbor babydom. It made any floor, table, or semi-flat spot in a forest into a place to change diapers. It folded up small, and weighed very little.

All in all, great bang for the buck.
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