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  1. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    South Australia
    Congratulations! Such an exciting time for you. I'm having my 3rd baby and I know now that a lot of the essentials aren't really that essential! I went though your list and wrote some notes next to the items

    Snappis (diaper fasteners) - See bellow
    Cloth diapers, newborn and small sizes - If you're going to use cloth diapers I would suggest trying modern cloth diapers, much easier to use and you can find some really funky designs.
    Diaper covers, newborn and small sizes - If you use modern cloth diapers most don't need covers.
    Cloth diaper wipes - I made my own using bamboo face washers, super easy. There are lots of tutorials online
    Diaper sprayer - Personally I think this is unnecessary, but it's down to personal preference. If you use biodegradable/flushable or washable liners I think that's enough.
    Wet bag - I would buy 2, maybe even 3.
    Changing mat (for top of dresser) - Great idea no to buy a full change table and just buy the mat! This is what we did. Just make sure you get one with high side to stop baby rolling off.
    Travel changing mat (for other rooms/diaper bag) - Most diaper bags come with a changing mat but if not make sure you buy one that's big enough for an older baby. I have found by the time my girls were 6ish months old they were too long for the travel mat.

    Nursing pillow - I don't think a nursing pillow is essential, but I like to use mine for tummy time so we loved it!
    Nursing pads - You can buy bamboo reusable nursing pads. I have seen many other kinds too. If you're cloth diapering using reusable nursing pads might be for you too
    Nursing cover - Before buying a cover (as they can be expensive) I would see how breastfeeding goes for you. Unfortunately after having my eldest I discovered that breastfeeding is not possible for me (as I have no breast tissue!) I had my heart set on breast feeding but my body had other ideas.
    Burp cloths - I had burp cloths but I hardly ever used them! I would only buy a few
    Bibs - I had a refluxy very drooly baby so we went though at least 5 bibs a day from birth, so I would have about that many on hand in the newborn stage. Most babies don't really need them until they start teething (because of the drool) or solids though.
    Bottles - If you plan on breast feeding only buy 1 or 2. You may never need them! I didn't buy any when I was pregnant but it was really easy for someone to go to the store and buy some for me when we realized breastfeeding wasn't going to happen for me.

    Furniture/travel gear:
    Crib/crib mattress
    Highchair - You can wait to buy this as baby won't need it in the first few months, but we did buy ours before our daughter was born.
    Bouncy seat - I found a rocker better than a bouncy seat but maybe that's just me!
    Baby wearer - If you plan on baby wearing have a look at wraps too! A moby wrap is a great wrap for a newborn.
    Car seat -
    Stroller - I regret the first stroller I bought. I looked great but in the end it was far to bulky and heavy for me. I wish I had looked more at practicality as far as car space etc. more rather than what was popular.
    Diaper bag

    Bathtub - I know many people say they aren't essential but having a baby bath saved my back as our bathtub is really low to the ground and we don't have a sink deep enough to bath a baby. We only paid $5 for it new though!
    Humidifier - I don't think this is essential
    Video monitor - Only needed if you live in a large house. We have a baby monitor and I can count on one hand how many times we have used it for both our babies. By the time they moved into their own rooms they were old enought that we heard them when they woke.
    Nail scissors
    Hairbrush - We had one but both my girls had no hair until they were nearly 7/8 months old so I never really used it! By the time they were that age I just used a normal comb.
    Thermometer - I would invest in a good inear thermometer. A sick baby at 3am with a fever it's good to know that your thermometer is acurate! I spent $30 on a cheaper one and it stopped working. I now have one that cost me an arm and a leg but it is amazing, it's the same one they use in the ER.
    Teether - I would wait until baby is teething.
    Receiving blanket
    Swaddling blankets
    Sun shades (for car windows)
    Outlet plugs - You can wait to buy these but if you want to be prepared you can buy them now.

    Stuffed animal
    Kiddy plates and silverware - You will need childrens plates/bowls and cuttlery as when they are feeding themselves you don't want them breaking your crockery, which could lead to them hurting themselves.
    Classical music CD

    I would add to your list:
    Diaper pail - you need somewhere to keep them while they are waiting to be washed. Unless you plan on using wet bags at home (which I would find a hassle)
    Children's Books! - Reading to your baby is a wonderful bonding and learning experience. We have read to both our children from birth and will read to this baby from birth too
    The 3 Princesses in my life...

    Elizabeth Hope
    Annabelle Cadence
    Madeleine Pearl

  2. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    PA, USA
    Thanks everyone for the great advice so far! (And cvdutch for posting that link! I haven't had time to go through it yet, but I definitely will.)

    So far, this is what it seems would work well for us.

    Remove: diaper sprayer

    Remove until later, or to wait and see: stroller, teether, monitor, bibs, highchair, humidifier

    Add: nasal aspirator (after checking with hospital), infant first aid items, children's books, travel wet bag, spatula

    Thanks again! This is all super helpful for someone who hasn't told, and so can't ask, family and friends yet!
    Last edited by leahmarie512; October 30th, 2013 at 12:38 PM.

    Mama to Quentin Charles, born July 4!

  3. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    I'm also a bit of a minimalist, and was extremely stressed and overwhelmed by the amount of baby stuff we needed. Here's a few things I used, didn't use, etc.

    From your list: I have never used a diaper sprayer, but my daughter hasn't started solids yet. From what I know, it's pretty unnecessary. I also didn't use the nursing pillow at all. I found it extremely awkward, and my lactation consultant said it was useless. The only mom I know who used hers for nursing had very small breasts. Use regular pillows. I don't have a video monitor, either, the audio one is fine for us.

    After she was born, we ran out to get her some swaddlers, the little baby sacks that fold their arms in. She really needed it to sleep more than 20 minutes, and still does.

    I was pressured into getting a rocking chair - which I did use quite a bit, but don't use much anymore, and she's only four months. But I guess when you're tired/weak after giving birth, it's easier than walking around with the baby for extended periods of time to get them to sleep.

    A bassinet or co-sleeper is definitely necessary during the first few months...I wasn't comfortable bed sharing until she was almost 2 months old.

    I also got pressured into getting her a big fancy swing. She used it ALL the time during the first few weeks, and won't go in it at all anymore. I'm not sure if it was worth was really, really useful for about 2 months.

    As far as a wrap, I'd get two - a sling style, and another one (either mai tai, moby, soft structured). She slept in her sling SO often as a newborn.

    A humidifier may be necessary, depending on how your house is heated and where you live. We have forced air heating in our northern US home, so it's pretty needed. Especially if baby is sick or something.

    My daughter is 4+ months and we still don't have a high chair, but will get one soon.

    She also really enjoys her activity mat (and has since 2 weeks old) and having a mobile above her crib.

    ETA: I used her stroller since she was a few days old! Wore her mostly when shopping and stuff, but I still took her for lots of stroller walks. And sometimes if I'm going out and wearing her, I still bring the stroller to put the diaper bag, etc. on.
    Lillian Elizabeth 6.16.13

  4. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Oh- for your cloth diaper research, there are a couple of threads on here about that. We do use prefolds and covers (Thirsties snaps) which it sounds like you are planning to do. We started out with the more modern kind and prefer the prefolds and covers. We do have a diaper sprayer for solids. We do not use liners. If you have a low-flow toilet, this is helpful b.c the flush of the new toilets are not powerful enough to get the solids off via the old dunk and flush method. I have a friend who just uses an old spatula, that works, too.

    If you are exclusively breastfeeding, you won't need to scrape/spray the solids off until the baby starts eating food other than breastmilk. So you can just throw the poopy diapers straight in the wash for the first six months or so and the breastmilk poop will just dissolve away. So sort of gross, but really convenient.

    There are some really cute kiddie plates and silverware sets out there! If you are striving for minimalism, though, we have always just used our regular dishes for our son. He seems to manage better with regular forks and spoons, too- the plastic ones are hard to pick up food with. He has never broken anything, and he is hardly a calm child. We do give him sippie cups, though, since he likes to dump water everywhere.

    The other thing that I thought of that we loved is one of those grass-mat bottle drying racks. Boon makes them. I know you didn't want specific brands, but I loved that this thing continues to be useful for drying small things, long after we retired the bottles.

  5. #14
    Join Date
    May 2013
    - I started using my stroller the week after my daughter was born. I felt cooped up, we needed to take walks! I know not everyone is the same, but for me it was a necessity. Just think about your lifestyle before you cross it off the list.
    - We also used our high chair months before my daughter started eating solids. I would strap her in there when I was doing chores in the kitchen so she could still see me and put toys on the tray for her to play with.
    - A humidifier is a necessity for some people, it depends on the climate where you live. You don't have to get one right away, but you may end up running out to buy one when you're baby gets sick and congested.
    - A video monitor isn't really necessary, we don't have any kind of monitor. But, if it gives you peace of mind, I'm sure it's worth it. It's your call.
    - We cloth diaper and don't use a diaper sprayer. I think it mostly just sprays poop water all over your bathroom. Breastfed baby poop doesn't need to be rinsed and once they're eating solid food and their poop becomes more solid and you can just dump it off the diaper. There is a stage in between where it may be stickier, but you can just use flushable liners or scrape it off or let the diaper sit so it can dry out a bit and then it will be plop-able.
    - I use a large hanging wet bag, no diaper pail. It works just fine. We definitely want 2, so you have one to use when the other is in the wash.
    - I loved my Boppy! It's not really necessary, I suppose, but it's so cute and versatile. I bought mine used in excellent condition at a consignment store with 2 covers for a fraction of the price of a new one. My 16-month-old still uses it, I keep it on the floor by her bookcase and she sits in it when she's looking at books.
    - Definitely buy books! Sturdy board ones and fabric ones are best, since babies don't know how to be gentle. It's so important to read to babies for their language development. Looking at the pictures helps develop their vision. Holding them and turning the pages develops fine motor skills. Books are the best <3
    - The hospital sent us home with a thermometer, a nasal asperator bulb, 2 different kinds of pacifiers, and a baby comb, so you may not need to buy that stuff. Find out what your hospital provides.
    - We used our bouncy seat, but mot our swing. All babies have different preferences, though. If you can, borrow from a friend to try before you buy.
    - Those tiny flannel receiving blankets are pointless. Buy some nice big swaddling blankets, like those muslin Aden & Anais ones, and they can be used multi-purpose as swaddlers, burp clothes, blankets, car seat covers, nursing covers, liners when you have to change a diaper on a gross public changing station and they don't have any paper ones, etc.
    - We never used an infant tub. I laid her on a folded up towel in the bathtub with an inch or two of water to sponge bathe her until she was big enough to sit up in the tub by herself. Just wring it out and throw it in the dryer when you're done.
    - I don't use a diaper bag either. I just have a really big purse/tote.
    - We have a changing mat, but we don't use it anymore. It's just easier yo change her in a towel in the bathroom so I can deal with the diaper and wash my hands right there.
    - I didn't buy kid plates and bowls right away, but you'll need spoons after a short while. I like the ones that change color if the food is too hot, so helpful!
    - If you're planning on pumping, make sure you choose bottles that are compatible with your pump. I didn't and it was a pain in the butt pumping into different containers and then pouring it into bottles and having all kinds of extra stuff to clean.
    - I didn't use an infant carrier with this baby, but I definitely will with the next one! I wanted to, but couldn't decide what kind. Some stores let you try them out before you buy them, so look into that!
    Mommy to...Maura Lucille and Patrick Donley

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