What to register for

August 4, 2008 § 1 Comment

This list should be read with a large grain of salt. Remember that we started EC’ing at 2 months and therefore the clothes that we found most useful (the cute factor cancels out utility) are directly related to ease and speed with which we could remove them to take our newborn to the toilet. We also found that we washed often enough that we didn’t need the quantities that most lists recommend. There would be enough spit up and crusty grossness that we washed often. We also were able to wash a load whenever we needed to because the washer/dryer were right there on the floor we were living. I can imagine that washing at a laundromat might make one consider having more clothing option for the newborn so you don’t have to make so many trips. All that said, here’s the list:

Must-haves for you and your newborn

Netflix: May sound silly but staying up late is hard to do when you’re really tired and late-night t.v. is awful. Renting requires going out and sometimes that’s just not possible. Having rentals come in the mail box was great for me. I watched what I wanted when I needed to stay awake and I could always hit pause. Plus, you don’t end up filling up cabinets with movies you don’t watch very often.

Infant gowns or saques:

These things are great for getting diapers on and off. Bilingual baby hated having a wet diaper on so we got used to changing her often, even at night. With fewer things to fiddle with in twilight, parents get more sleep, too. These usually come in a one size or in wider range sizes which makes them ideal.

Babylegs:These baby legwarmers are great and coupled with the infant gowns make a cute outfit, ready for quick changes, especially during the colder months when you really want to keep little legs warm even if you’re lifting up their gown. Babylegs are also good for solar protection. They don’t have an SPF in them but they keep the rays at a bit more of a distance from your baby, thus minimizing your need for sunscreen in their first year. One size fits from newborn to 4T and they’ll fit tighter and looser as baby’s legs change.

Puddle pad: We’ve got a wool puddle pad and use it all the time, even now with a toddler. It’s great if you decide you want to have your baby in bed with you but you’d rather avoid changing your clothes and sheets if/when your baby spits up or has a diaper leak. When I was trying to maximize sleep for all (cos we got tired of taking our newborn to the changing table to do the change), I’d leave bilingual baby without a diaper on but put flat diapers underneath her to catch pees and to catch some of the spit up common to newborns. With the puddle pad in place we didn’t worry much about having to clean up any mess. We’d just change the flat diaper, or the flannel blanket on the puddle pad and we were ready for more sleep.

Diapers: 2-3 dozen infant flats, aka prefolds, should get you through 2-3 days of an infant peeing all the time. The infant sized prefolds lasted bilingual baby until almost a year, though I admit she’s long and lean, so you may need some toddler sized prefolds sooner than their first year. We did accumulate other diapers but these are the most economical and in my opinion useful of all diapers. They wash easily and aren’t as high maintenance as other fancier diapers.

Diaper covers: I’m a huge fan of wool covers; 2-3 should be all you need, but we didn’t have many explosive poops because we EC’d, though I still thing 2-3 would be enough. If you’d rather get the plastic covers get 2-4. And don’t bother getting the newborn sizes, skip to the smalls. Unless you’ve had a premie, the newborn sizes will work for only a short time. However, they do fall into the cute factor so beware.

Wipes: If you’re going the cloth diaper route, I’d say go the cloth wipe route as well. You’ll get tons of use out of them and they are really low maintenance- just throw them in the diaper (or other) wash. Don’t put them in a wipe warmer as they will burn. We just keep ours dry and have a spray bottle filled with either a vinegar wash (for diaper rash days) or a tea tree oil wash (for regular days) and spray on a little water onto the wipe. If we needed the whole thing wet, we’d just take it (or a couple) to the sink and wet it.

Hats: 2-3 newborn sized hats are really all you need. This, along with many other clothing items, should be categorized within the cute factor. You don’t need more hats but a lot of outfits come with a matching hat so be prepared for how adorable your baby will look.

Socks: You’ll need lots of socks as time goes on but in reality you can use the same pair of socks for several days, unless they get poop on them, and with their leg reflexes being what they are you might be changing socks often. Consider the time of year and how often you would actually go outside. By the way, don’t bother with shoes until after your baby has started to walk. If you want shoes, pick a soft soled shoe with a bottom that won’t slip. Other than that, shoes fall into the cute factor and will hardly be used.

Toys: In the first year the number of toys you have for your baby is really a matter of how much time you intend on spending with them. Their favorite toy will be you! And I found that our daughter didn’t gain an interest in toys for a long time. So, if money is a worry, don’t buy any toys. It’s also amazing what they find entertaining… and most times it’s not a toy. That said, your friends may buy them toys, so don’t worry.

Babywearing gear: I would call this essential. Much less expensive than a stroller and if your carrier is well made it’ll last you for years to come. I’d suggest a wrap. Any kind is fine. They take a couple of go’s to get but once you’re comfortable with it, it could become your go-to carrier. Why am I not recommending a sling? Well, I didn’t find them that easy to manipulate and my daughter didn’t like the cradle carry (which is what I thought the sling was only good for- which it’s not). I also saw friends using wraps and I thought it looked really comfortable, which it is, so I went for it. It was also bilingual papi’s favorite. I would recommend also watching youtube videos on how to tie the wrap on. First off, these are really helpful videos. Second, they can give you ways in which you can get the wrap on with a sleeping baby in your arms! Something I didn’t figure out how to do with bilingual baby- and which would have been very, very helpful.

If it’s going to be cold when you have your baby, I’d invest in a babywearing jacket or a poncho, or basically a big coat that’ll go over both of you. Having baby in just a layer or two, close to your body heat and under the jacket you both share should be enough to keep them warm. I don’t recommend tons of layers for baby (i.e. them having their own coat, etc) just because it’s harder to get a well padded baby into a carrier.

After you get the hang of one carrier, you can adventure into other styles, but I’d say pick one and work with it for a number of months. Then move onto another and another- you may get bit by the babywearing bug, so beware. 😉

Carseat: By law, if you have a car and you intend on taking your baby in it, you need to have a carseat. We got a couple recommendations for the Britax Roundabout. You can use it for a newborn up to a 40 lb kid. Check here for details from their website. As the name suggests, you turn it around when the child is 1 year and at least 20 lbs.

Extras: Teethers- choose one made from non-treated wood or a safe plastic, although your finger will probably be the preferred teething toy; Changing table- I don’t think is necessary, though ours has drawers so we have kids clothes in it now; Stroller- We didn’t use one until I got pregnant so you can definitely wait on that, if you choose to babywear. Plus, if you don’t get pregnant you’re probably gonna have way more energy than I did and can wear your toddler longer.

What would you add to this Must-have list? I feel like I’m forgetting something.

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