baby essentials?

October 1, 2010

it has been a LONG time (10 years, to be exact!) since i’ve had a newborn.

i have begun my research on “essentials” – not the ones our consumer culture says we “must” have, but those things that mama’s have truly found essential for their baby.

i am thinking about baby care (health, healing, remedies, etc); about “products” and “tools” that have been invaluable for you (a baby carrier? a bouncy seat?); baby clothing items; books that have been particularly helpful, etc.

admittedly, i am determined to be much more simplistic this time around, focusing on the basics and *trying* not to get overwhelmed with “wants” (vs needs).

i would LOVE to hear what you’ve loved … what has worked for you!!


9 Responses to “baby essentials?”

  1. What a great goal….keeping it simple!

    Out of the many things that I had with Regan, one thing that wasn’t technically the ‘need’ but was a blessing. We had a baby wipe warmer that plugged in and wrapped around the box of baby wipes.

    So many times in the middle of the night I would wake up and have to change his diaper and with my precious babe already upset from a messy diaper, he would scream in shock when the cold wipe would touch his bottom. Once we got the warmer, it was a much more pleasant experience for all of us. If I ever had another child, this would be one thing I would want for sure.

    I’m looking forward to see what other people post! Great idea my sweet friend!

    • Autumn Says:

      Ergo for sure, wipe warmer I always regretted not getting, a good highchair you use the darn thing for years, a good velco swaddle blanket (kiddopotomus brand) a baby sling, and a swing saved my life!

  2. Meredith Says:

    In terms of some of the “gear”, I think it really varies from kid to kid–one may love a bouncer while another loves a swing. I loved going to the second hand store, because I felt like I could try things out, without feeling like I spent an arm and a leg. If Lizzy didn’t like them, I could re-consign them.

    For me, the essentials at the 0-3 month stage were:
    – A crib/ Pack N Play to sleep in
    – A stroller. A lot of people hate the “travel systems”, but I use ours ALL THE TIME because we walk a lot.
    -Some sort of carrier if you are interested in baby wearing (or you can make your own Moby wrap!).
    -A swing or bouncer (we have a girlie bouncer and a gender-neutral portable swing that you are welcome to borrow).
    -A breast pump (I had an inexpensive one, but without it, I would have never been able to leave for more than an hour or so at the beginning).

    My three favorite non-essentials were a Boppy pillow, Angelcare monitor (for me, SIDS was a huge stressor, and a used one on Craigslist helped me sleep at night), and a floor mat/gym thing.

  3. Jessica Says:

    Hi Em!! OOOh yes…the essentials. We had lots of onesies, receiving blankets, and crib sheets. The greatest tool that I enjoyed and still enjoy at age three is the Ergo baby carrier. I have tried several brands and this one is a must in my mind… you can nurse with it and keep it on hand for years as it converts to many different positions. It is soft and works well for hiking, etc. They also have an infant insert to cradle your baby. I also likes Moby (spelling)…so many good things 🙂
    We are soooo excited for you!!
    Love and Aloha!

  4. liz Says:

    This is so fascinating, that everyone is so different. Things I’ve never had and never wanted include a baby wipe warmer and a swing, but others love them. I think borrow, buy used, and buy as you need instead of all at once, because sometimes you don’t know what you want/need until you are IN it.

    I didn’t buy a travel system until my 4th baby, but really enjoyed having it because so often the baby would be asleep upon arrival somewhere and you could just click the carseat into the stroller without disturbing the baby. Also, mine had the effect of creating a canopy (the sunshade for the carseat and the sunshade for the stroller) that completely protected the baby from noise, sun, germy strangers, etc.!

    I like the theory of “wearing” your baby, but in practice this never worked very well for me — it would just wear me out and give me a sore back. But maybe I just never had the right sling or carrier or whatever.

    One homeschooling mom I know used one of those bumpo seats while she was teaching her big kids. I know those are a little controversial, but at a certain stage, I can definitely see the value.

    Something that I would invest a little more money in is really good nursing bras. I don’t know what is available in Medford these days, but there was a shop in Utah where they had an expert bra-fitter, and that bra was worth every penny of the $50 I paid for it.

    So excited for you! I’m a big fan of keeping things simple as well, and you really don’t need much for a newborn. Enjoy this time of anticipation — it’s a sweet feeling. Love you.

  5. E. thomas Says:

    Wow! I am enjoying these tips as well..Thanks mamas.
    Can’t wait to have our babies Em!

  6. amy Says:

    I’ll second (third? fourth) the Ergo recommendation. I think that was our number-one must have baby item. Ironically, we no longer have ours…this time I am going to try out a similar carrier handmade by a friend. Hers are the same idea, just cuter and less bulky…but I can’t yet personally vouch for their comfort like I can with the Ergo 🙂 That thing was an absolute LIFESAVER…my husband would vouch for its necessity, too.

    Most places online do have a money back guarantee where you can try it and return it if you don’t like it…my friend got a good deal at USA Baby, if you have one of those nearby…or you can probably find a good deal on a used one at or

    And FYI, I’m not speaking firsthand here (we didn’t get our Ergo until my little guy was 5 mos or so) but I don’t think the insert is really necessary…you can improvise with a blanket or just use nothing at all. A friend of mine who just had a baby was using hers Sunday with nothing and her babe seemed secure–she said she thought the insert was a $28 swindle 🙂

    We opted for a jogging stroller instead of a stroller with small wheels, even though we don’t jog, and DH still raves about how much better it is for walks around the neighborhood.

    We skipped the expensive, bulky highchairs in favor of Fisher Price’s Healthy Care Booster Seat – and that was a GREAT choice. Straps to a regular chair, easily portable…my 3yo still uses it every night.

    We also used (and are planning to use again) an Arms Reach Co-Sleeper…really liked that. I felt SO much more well rested even when my baby was still nursing at night, because I didn’t have to get up to feed him–just reached over and pulled him into the bed and nursed and put him right back, neither of us had to wake up fully!

    I can’t think of much that’s really a “MUST” – things that are nice, sure, but I’m in favor of not relying on contraptions and keeping it simple. That said, we did enjoy having a swing and an activity gym.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: