Monday, January 2, 2012

New Baby Shopping List

baby gear helps to get around
Friends often ask me for suggestions of what to buy when expecting a baby.  The options and selection of things out there can be overwhelming.  It feels nice to have a personal recommendation, even with the availability of all those reviews out there.  For that reason I've decided to put together my list of things I was so happy we had for our daughter's first year and beyond.

Shopping Resources.
You may want to consult these detailed descriptions/reviews before making your decision, especially for the more expensive purchase items.  More info about the online shopping experience can be found at my post I Love Shopping From Home.

1.  Baby Bargains book by Denise Fields.  Down to earth advice about what you need, how much to expect to spend, what brands have best reputation.

2.  Consumer Search.  Great online site with compilation of reviews from other sources.
3.  Amazon Baby Store Sign up for Amazon Mom then order baby related items by 'Subscribe and Save' to save tons of money, and have them shipped right to your door.  For example we would get Pampers Swaddlers diapers for less than 16 cents per diaper, includes delivery.

Nursery Basics
Crib- this one is beautiful, durable, safe, and grows with your baby into toddler bed, then becomes full size headboard.  Delta Canton 4-in-1 Convertible Crib.

Mattress- does the job, safe and firm.  Sealy Baby Ultra Rest Mattress.

Mattress cover- protect from all the messes your little one will make.  This one comes off easy and goes in the wash.  Buy two.  Quilted Crib Mattress Pad.

Changing table with dresser.  Saves your back from bending over to change on the floor.  Dresser drawers very handy for baby clothes, diapers, etc.  DaVinci Kalani 3 Drawer Changer.

Bassinet.  It's important to keep baby next to your bed in those first couple months, and you will be happy not having to go far when you respond to his every 2 hour needs.  Later can be used for naptime, or at grandparent's home.  This one served us well, but beware it is far too cumbersome for airplane travel.  Graco Pack n Play with Bassinet.
Diapers.  I'll say it again. Sign up for Amazon Mom then order items such as diapers and wipes by 'Subscribe and Save' to save tons of money, and have them shipped right to your door.

Wipes.  These work great on our baby's sensitive skin, have no smell, super soft, can open and remove with one hand, good price by subscribing.  Huggies Natural Care Baby Wipes.

Glider Chair, oh so comfortable for nursing or soothing baby with rocking motion.  Dutalier Ultramotion Glider.

Diaper Bag.  Nice size and handy compartments for what you need to carry around.  Got lots of compliments on this one.  Skip Hop Duo Deluxe Diaper Bag.

Bath Tub.  The sling is great for newborn, and it has two different seating positions: one for a reclining young infant, another for upright older infant.  Works great until around 6 months of age when you will probably prefer using your regular sized bathtub.  First Year's Infant to Toddler Tub with Sling.

Temperature Turtle because in those early weeks it helps to have a guide for how warm the bath should be- this gives warning beep if too hot or too cold.  Later becomes a toy for baby to play with.  Aquatopia Deluxe Safety Bath Thermometer.

Just In Case
Digital Rectal Thermometer.  This is the only way to go if for the most accurate reading.  Vicks Baby Rectal Thermometer.

Nose Frida.  Sounds gross, but this works tons better than those bulb syringes.  When baby has runny/stuffy nose you will want no other.

Comfort Items
Miracle Blanket.  This is a must, and truly works like a charm.  This has tons of fabric shaped in such a way that you can swaddle even the squirmiest little ones, which will help them to relax and sleep.  Be sure to follow the instructions for best use, you will be so happy with the results.

White noise machine with iPod plug.  This became part of our baby's sleep routine, listening to white noise or music while drifting off to sleep.  The machine has built in options for white noise and lullaby melodies, and once you've tired of those options you just plug in your ipod and use whatever playlist you like.  As a bonus, it has a soothing blue nightlight feature as well.  Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine.

Musical Seahorse.  Remember those cuddly glowworm you used to sleep with as a child?  This is the modern version.  Glowing belly with soothing tunes, our daughter loves this still.  Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Sooth and Glow Seahorse.

Nursing Mom
Medela Freestyle Breast Pump.  This is the best out there.  Easy, effective, small and portable.  My insurance reimbursed me 100% for this, so you may want to look into whether yours would too.

Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags, for storing breast milk.  These are highly rated, easy to use, rarely tear.  Subscribe to save money.

Breast Friend Pillow.  Given to me as gift, and found it super useful in those early days/weeks trying to figure out how to nurse a newborn.  Super comfortable with perfect shape to support your baby while  she feeds.

Nursing pads.  I liked both of these for different reasons.  The wrapped ones were nice for throwing in your diaper bag to have on the go, the contoured ones lasted longer.  Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pad and Johnson's Contour Nursing Pads.
Nursing Bra.  This one was super comfortable and attaches best to the Medela pump.  Was my fave for wearing to work (where lots of pumping is needed).  Medela Comfort Nursing Bra.

Traveling with Baby
Car Seat.  This one pulls out of the car so you don't have to wake your sleeping baby.  It also snaps into stroller frame (see next).  Graco Snugride.

Stroller frame, for snapping in the above car seat.  Too bulky for travel but handy in those first few months.  Graco Snugride Stroller Frame.

Extra Base.  You'll want one for each car.  The base stays put while the car seat snaps in and out.  Graco Snugride Car Seat Base.

Infant Mirror to keep an eye on with your backwards facing backseat passenger.  Bearview Infant Mirror.

Ergo.  This is an awesome baby carrier, wears like a front pack with hip belt so the weight is off your shoulders.  Baby faces you which keeps him happy, warm, and snug.  Newborn and tiny infants should use either 'infant insert' accessory or rolled up blanket to position correctly (they aren't ready to straddle you until months later).

Play Time
Books.  It's never too early to read to your baby!  I'll just give a few recs for newborn reading because the list of fave books is way too long to post here.  Look Look by Peter Linenthal.  Hush Little Baby by Sylvia Long.  Time for Bed by Mem Fox.  Baby Faces by DK Publishing.

Play mat/gym.  Great for both tummy and back time, with lights, sound, and things to grab at.  Great toy to grown with during first year.  Fisher Price Rainforest Melodies Gym.

Fave toys: Sophie Giraffe Teether, Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes

Wearable teething jewelry.  What a brillant idea!  This one kept our girl happy on many occasions, and looks like a nice piece of jewelry- no one would ever guess it's for baby.  Teething Bling Donut Shaped Pendant.

Older Infant
Enclosed area to play.  Very handy once baby starts crawling around.  Keeps him safe and entertained.  We bought two and joined them together to give a greater space.  Friendly Toys Little Playzone.

Yoga mats.  These are awesome for crawling baby.  I 'lined' the play area above with two of these.

Easy reach bookshelf.  This has been our daughter's favorite spot to be.  She can easily peruse and select the books she wants, and can replace them as well.  The shelves hold varying sized books, and the drawers underneath are great storage for toys to clear the clutter from the floor.  Sling Bookshelf with Storage Bins.

High Chair.  If you can splurge, buy this one: Stokke Tripp Trapp Highchair- it grows with your child and provides comfy foot rest.  Our daughter loves it.  Before this we used Fisher Price Space Saver which worked wonderfully (especially loved having built in tray), but at around 18 months she outgrew it.

Placemat, for when toddler is sitting at the table without a tray.  Helps cut down on how much you have to wipe down table.  Kiddopotamus Tinydiner Placemat.

Freezing Cube Trays- please do yourself and your baby a huge favor and make your own baby food at home.  See my post on Feeding Your Baby for details and more suggestions.  These trays freeze food into cubes which can be stored in ziplock bags for easy reheating later.  Fresh Baby So Easy Baby Food Trays.

Bibs.  These were our faves, easy to wear, hard for baby to take off, easy to wash.  Bumkins Waterproof SuperBib.

Mesh Feeder.  For giving baby treats without worrying about biting off more than he can chew.  Try frozen grapes or chilled apple slices- those teething gums will love you for it!  Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder.

Doidy Cup.  Don't wait to introduce baby to drinking from regular cup.  In fact with this, you can even skip using sippy cups entirely (as we did).  This ingeniously designed cup has handles and tilted design which is perfect for learning from.  Get one and you will see.

Suction cup bowl.  Use a bit of water then stick it to the tray.  It stays put and the food doesn't get dumped all over the place.

Wearable Blanket.  When baby is too old to swaddle, you want a supply of these to keep him warm.  I can't vouch for this particular brand, but it fits the general idea of what we had (we got ours secondhand).

Picnic blanket.  Awesome portable picnic blanket of substance.  Messes wipe clean, thick and comfortable, easy to fold up and carry over shoulder.  We use it a ton in good weather.  JJ Cole All-Purpose Blanket.

Umbrella Stroller.  This is light, great for travel, folds and opens with one hand, and maneuvers easy.  Maclaren Volo Stroller.

Shopping cart cover.  Seems silly but really heavenly with a baby.  It's cushy and entertaining for baby while you shop, stores toys, doubles as high chair cover, and gives you peace of mind about all the germs now out of reach.

Stuff We Didn't Need or Like
Humidifier.  Pain in the butt to keep filled with water, needs frequent cleaning or gross gunk builds up inside, and being in Portland we didn't actually need extra humidity.

Swing- our baby didn't like it, so it just sat there taking space until we finally gave it away.

Hook on High Chair- prefer the seated version, and this was way too bulky to use for travel.

Diaper Dude Bag- the idea was for hubby to use this, but he preferred his own messenger bag and never used this.

Boppy pilllow- wasn't much use, odd shape.

Babybjorn plastic bibs- the material in front is too rigid and sticks out, making it impossible for baby to sit right up against tray or table.  Plus our daughter kept wanting to play with it.  Much prefer the soft machine-washable kind.

Wrap carrier.  We actually did like this for the first couple months, but after that much preferred the Ergo to take the weight off the shoulders.  Plus it's quite a production getting this on correctly.

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