Baby Registry Tips: Baby Gear Advice for Moms-To-Be

by Kate on November 8, 2013

in Natural Mom

glass-bottlesNow that my son is 2 months old, I’ve developed some strong opinions on baby gear. I really wanted to go minimal on baby gear since we are trying to stay in our 1 bedroom apartment for the first 6 months or so of Ethan’s life. But…being a first time mom and not knowing what I would truly need and find useful, I definitely ended up with a bunch of unnecessary stuff. So here’s the run-down on what all we use and love:

Must-Haves for Newborn

Swing: We have this one by Fisher Price. I was convinced we didn’t need one before Ethan was born so we didn’t buy one, but my sister-in-law still had hers thank goodness. When Ethan turned out to have bad acid reflux and dietary sensitivities that caused painful gas, the swing was the only thing that could console him.

Cloth Pocket Diapers and Wipes: I wish I would have bought all pocket diapers (or tongue-style all-in-ones that dry quickly like the BumGenius Freetime). I also wish I hadn’t been afraid of stay-dry materials and microfiber as natural cotton diapers didn’t work for us since Ethan hates feeling that much wetness (Honestly–when I realized just how peed-on cotton feels, I felt bad for ever considering it.). If I’d known I would prefer pockets, I would have bought a full stash of bumGenius 4.0 diapers.  I have one of them and it’s really great quality–I love my Kawaii diapers, but you can definitely tell they’re cheaper than the bumGenius.

Ilex Paste: Oh the money I could have saved, and the discomfort I could have prevented if I had known about this miracle diaper rash cream before trying all the others. You can read more about my experience in this post.

Chlorine Free Diapers: Even if you plan to cloth diaper, you’ll probably find having some disposables on hand really helpful during the newborn stage. When you need to treat a rash or are venturing out for the first time, disposables are very handy. Trust me and stick with the chlorine free, unscented variety like these–the smell of Pampers makes me want to gag. I like the Earth’s Best diapers.

Baby K’Tan Carrier: I know a lot of people like the Moby, but I never had the time to practice using it. If you want a soft carrier that even a sleep-deprived zombie mommy can figure out, the Baby K’tan is amazing. For a lightweight newborn, it’s far more comfortable to wear and cozier than a structured carrier.

Car Seat: Of course you need a car seat, but I think we probably could have gotten away with not having an infant bucket seat and just gone straight to a convertible. I can count the number of times I’ve taken the bucket out of the base on one hand. But my son has grown very fast and is really too heavy to carrier around in it. Maybe if I had a lighter newborn (or stronger arms) I’d appreciate it more.

Pacifiers:  I was pretty adamant that I didn’t want to use pacifiers. I didn’t want to start any habits we’d have to break later. But…Ethan has high sucking needs. And short of me becoming a human pacifier, a binky has been the only thing to work. Moreover, we’ve tried every type and the Nuk pacifiers seem to stay in Ethan’s mouth the best, but Soothies seem to cause the least nipple confusion.

Miracle Blanket:  Ethan’s a little ninja and can break out of just about any swaddle blanket other than the Miracle Blanket. It’s pricey but worth it. And if you get lucky like I did, you might find one at your local second hand baby store.

Aden and Anais Swaddle Blankets: These worked great for swaddling in the first 6 weeks before Ethan started getting squirmy. Now they are awesome for draping over the car seat or stroller to shield him from the sun. They can also make a great makeshift nursing cover.

Plenty of Two Piece Outfits: I thought I’d prefer the ease of sleep n’ plays but actually my favorite outfits are pants with kimono style side-snap t-shirts. Onesies and sleep n’ plays tend to cause compression leaks. Pants are easy to slip on and off for diaper changes. Side snap shirts don’t make baby fussy like pullover styles do. These Gerber side snap shirts are awesome and cheap, unlike most other kimono t-shirts.

Evenflo Glass Bottles: I’m so so glad I decided to try these. They’re cheap, and clean up much much easier than the plastic variety (put them straight into the dishwasher!). Plus they get really sparkling clean, whereas the plastic bottles always look a bit cloudy to me. Ethan takes them just fine, without any gas. And honestly, they’re just nicer to look at than the plastic kind.

Baby Gear We Could Do Without

Bouncer: We’ve only used ours 2-3 times. Ethan just doesn’t seem to like it as much as the swing.

Socks: For some reason we ended up with tons of socks. But they’re a pain to put on and when you only rarely leave the house you just dont need them for a newborn.

Nursing Pillow: I have used my My Brest Friend pillow a few times. It has been helpful at times, but Ethan usually cries impatiently while I try to put it on.  Honestly I think you’re better off just forcing yourself to learn how to nurse without it so you become skilled nursing any and everywhere (the key to sticking with breastfeeding and not becoming a shut-in).

Changing table/pad: I attached a changing pad to Ethan’s dresser, but I’m pretty sure I’ve only used it 5 times max. I usually just change him on the carpet in the living room.

Stroller: We haven’t used ours once! I just put Ethan in the Baby K’tan if we want to go somewhere. The few times we’ve gone to a restaurant I bring in the bucket seat, so I guess I would say if you don’t plan to have the bucket seat then you might want to have a stroller that can accommodate a newborn.

Fancy Diaper Pail:  We just use a simple swing lid trash can and it works great–no stink. Then again, I do diaper laundry every other day. You might want a sealed pail if you’re doing disposables and don’t empty the trash often.

Bottle Sanitizer: Not a concern when using glass bottles which can go in the dishwasher!

In general, my advice on gear would be wait and see.  Buy the absolute essentials (car seat and diapers), and for everything else, wait it out or keep your receipts!  You really don’t know what you’ll need (or not need) until the baby arrives.

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*In the spirit of full disclosure, links to products in this post may be affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you decide to purchase any of the products I recommend. Know that I only recommend products that I have used and love myself.

*I am not a doctor, a nurse, or any kind of health practitioner. I’m just a gal with a pretty keen intuitive sense, great research abilities, and curiosity that is easily peaked. Please understand that my advice is really just another opinion and it’s for you (and your doctor) to decide the best course for your health and well-being.

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