- Swaddles--these are the only way our girls can sleep. We found these swaddles just recently, but they are THE best, because your baby's arms will absolutely not escape from them!! Miracle Blanket--get some (more than one--it will get spit-up or pooped on--you'll want a backup), you won't regret it! Also--I recommend getting some swaddles that you can use in the carseat and stroller. Swaddle your little one in the stroller or carseat, and they go right to sleep! I recommend fleece ones for the winter, and the light-weight cotton ones for warmer months.
- Sling--I've mentioned slings before--I highly recommend getting one. My husband and I both have a Baby K'tan, and we LOVE them! You can purchase one here.
- Yoga ball--this has been a true lifesaver for us! Our girls love to bounce. So--we sit on the yoga ball and bounce. This is ingenious, because you can kick the ball wherever you want to be, sit down, and start bouncing--completely hands free! I have a friend whose son is 10 months old, and still loves to be bounced. The ball is also a great way to strengthen that core back up, and to do a few crunches when you have a moment to get that pre-pregnancy waistline back! The ball has become a permanent fixture in our living room, and we couldn't live without it!
- Changing pad--get one, but I would say skip the changing pad covers. They look nice, BUT they get drooled, spit-up, pooped and peed on. We just leave ours uncovered, so that when these things happen we can simply wipe it off instead of having to change the whole cover. Much easier!
- Pacifiers--some books on nursing caution against using pacifiers in the beginning due to nipple confusion. Our girls never had this problem, and the pacifiers certainly lived up to their name, Soothie. Our girls will only take the Newborn Soothies (many hospitals use this brand). Regardless of what kind of pacifier you use, get several. They will inevitably fall on the floor, and you'll want to have backups for just this purpose. When we are on the go we use pacifier wipes. These are a great item to add to your diaper bag!
- Lotion, shampoo, diaper cream--the brand that we like the best for all three is Burt's Bees. The lotion smells awesome! The shampoo is tear-free, and works great. The diaper cream works great, and doesn't have that medicine smell.
- Gowns--whether you are having a boy or a girl, I highly recommend getting some gowns. When it is 2AM, and you are so sleep deprived that you couldn't even be asked to give directions to your own house, the last thing you need is to figure out a bunch of snaps when changing your little one's diaper. With the gowns, you pull them up, change them, and pull them down, and you're done! A wise investment, trust me.
- Breastfeeding pillow--if you are breastfeeding I would highly recommend one! The one I got was for twins, so that I could feed them at the same time. I LOVE it, and if you are having twins, I would highly recommend getting one for yourself. If you are just having one little one, I have heard great things about My Breast Friend Nursing Pillow--from what people say, it promotes a good latch and is more comfortable than a Boppy. Whatever pillow you use, get an extra slipcover for it, so that you can wash them from time to time--mine gets spit-up on often!
- Boppy--that being said, I DO love our Boppies (we have two, and I would recommend two for twin moms). The Boppy serves many purposes including a different way to do tummy time, lounging spot for a newborn while Mama has her hands full and it can be used as a nursing pillow for moms of singletons. I highly recommend having an extra slipcover for the Boppy, as it too will get all sorts of bodily fluids on it--I love the organic cotton cover the best, because it is SO soft.
- Nursing tank tops--I live in these most days, and highly recommend you get some! Target has a pretty good selection . In the store, they only carry black, white, brown and gray--online they have many more colors. Glamourmom brand nursing tanks are great--I have several of these. What sets these apart from the Target brand is that they have a compartment to hold your nursing pad. This is a great feature, but you pay for it. If you are not on http://www.babysteals.com/, you should sign up to get their emails. Everyday they have one baby or maternity item that is deeply discounted. Probably a few times a month they have Glamourmom nursing tanks for almost the same price as the Target brand--I recommend stocking up when you see this deal! While I'm at it, another great discount website you want to check out is http://www.mamabargains.com/ . Again--great maternity and baby items for great prices! For great deals on baby gear (no maternity stuff that I've seen) you should also check out http://woot.kids.com/ .
- Breastfeeding items--Nursing pads are absolutely personal preference. I really liked the organic washable nursing pads they are super comfortable, and I never had an issue with them leaking through. I figured since I was using disposable diapers, I'd do the environment a favor and reuse my nursing pads. Lily Padz--if you are breastfeeding, these are the best nursing pads to have on hand! I use them almost anytime I get dressed up. They don't show through clothing, so you can wear thin shirts, and most importantly they keep your nipples from showing through your shirt. I'm telling you, your nipples grow to gargantuan size when you are nursing--it's amazing that these pads keep them in check! Lansinoh Lanolin--a must for any new nursing mom. You'll only need it for the first month or two, and I began applying this about a month before the girls were born to prepare "the girls" for what was about to happen. I suggest getting two tubes of this--that should be enough to get you through.
- Bouncers--get one. If you are having twins, get two. They are a safe place to put your child while you go to the bathroom, or are otherwise unable to hold your child. Your baby may or may not enjoy spending time in there, but they are still good to have for those moments when you have to put your little bundle of joy down. Bouncers have many features--some play music, others vibrate--there are a variety of other little gadgets and gizmos that bouncers can come with, it's up to you as to how noisy, ostentatious you'd like your bouncer to be. Your baby may or may not enjoy these features, but again--it's important to have a safe spot to put down your child sometimes.
- Swings, Jumperoo, Exercaucer, Play mat--as with the bouncer, it's a gamble whether or not your baby will enjoy these items. They all do provide some level of entertainment for your child, so that you can have your hands free, so I think they are important, but it's hard to say. Our girls both love the swing. We haven't ventured towards the rest of these items yet, although we are in the market for a play mat and a jumperoo sometime soon--I'll take any suggestions on these items.
- Stroller--find a stroller that you love! Since I am a runner, I went with a very good jogging stroller as my stroller for everything--the twins love it, and I seriously use it everyday. I recommend researching this well, read reviews, and find what best fits your lifestyle. You'll use it a lot, so consider everything before making a purchase.
- Blankets--don't register for blankets. Trust me when I say, you will have more blankets that you know what to do with! People love to give blankets, they love to make blankets--you will get many blankets. If you register for them, you will just get that many more, and people who do buy you things off your registry will opt for the cute blanket rather than some baby gear that is a necessity.
- Wipe warmers--our girls do not mind the cool feel of the wipes on their bottoms. I suggest that you let your baby get used to the cold wipe, because when you're on the go you can't take the wipe warmer with you, so inevitably your baby will experience the cold wipe.
- Diaper bag--if you are having twins, I posit that a backpack is the only kind of diaper bag to have, as you will have your hands very full. If you are just having one baby, as with the stroller--get one that you love both for appearance and for functionality. You will be schlepping that thing around for a long time, so you want to love it.
- Sheets--crib sheets, bassinet sheets, pack n' play sheets--you'll want to have extra on hand of these and the padding that goes underneath these. When some sort of bodily fluid gets on them, you want to be able to change them right away--especially when this happens in the middle of the night.
- Burp cloths--I found that receiving blankets actually make the best burp cloths, because they cover a much larger surface area. I hesitate to tell you to register for these, because we got a lot of them, without registering for any. People love to give blankets--see #16.
- Breathable bumpers--while these are not as cute as the plush bumpers are, they are safer, cheaper and do come in a variety of colors to match most nursery themes.
- Laundry--you will need some sort of dye-free, hypo-allergenic detergent that won't irritate your baby's skin. There are many options that are just as good, and cheaper than Dreft. Fabric softener can irritate a baby's skin also, so you might consider skipping it, or using an unscented dryer sheet instead. We use Trader Joe's laundry detergent and Method dryer sheets. I saw that Method just came out with a laundry detergent. Method is sold at Babies R Us and Target, so you can register for it at those places if you choose to use that brand. Wash the entire family's clothes in whatever detergent you choose, so that the person holding the baby doesn't cause him/her to breakout in a rash when skin touches clothing. Plus--it's just easier to throw everything in together--trust me!
- Bibs--people love to give bibs as gifts as well. I would say that you probably don't need to register for these either. We found that it's very similar to the "blanket effect" (see #16). I will say, though, that one mom I know swears that the best bibs ever are Bumkins Waterproof Bibs, because they can wipe off, can also be laundered, and have a pocket to catch stuff from falling on the floor. I did register for and receive these, and while I haven't needed to use them yet, I think they will get the most use of any of the bibs we own.
- Hats--it's important to keep the sun off your little one's head, so you should get some kind of hat. I think these are pretty darn cute--we have one for each of our girls.
- First aid kit--someone got us a little first aid kit with just about everything that you can imagine. It has been one of the most useful gifts that we received. Here is what we have found useful, and would recommend keeping in yours and why: saline nose spray (clears up a stuffy nose)--our girls actually enjoy having it squirted up there; nasal aspirator to suck out your baby's nose (the best one we got was from the hospital--I would recommend not registering for one, because you'll get one at the hospital); infant Tylenol (give .4 mL 30 minutes before going to get immunizations--it really helps!); Mylecon gas drops--gassy baby=unhappy baby; gripe water--gets rid of baby's hiccups--it's amazing, get some; baby nail clippers; band aids; sunblock with a high SPF; baby comb and brush; olive oil (or almond oil)--massage it into a baby's scalp with the baby brush to treat cradle cap.
- Good breast pump--if you are going to be away from your baby for a feeding at all, and want to make sure that your baby gets breastmilk, you will need to pump. I got the Medela In-Style Advanced pump. Pricy, but worth the money. Medela also makes a Freestyle, which is hands free, and costs more. You can take a sports bra, cut holes in it, and poof, you have a hands free pump--it's not quite the same, but it works.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Baby Gear I Cannot (and Can) Live Without
When I found out we were expecting twins, my husband and I ventured to Babies R Us to look around and begin the registry process. We left that place COMPLETELY overwhelmed! There is so much crap that they make you think you just can't live without. I wanted someone to just tell me what I needed to get. Now, on the other side of that, I have several friends who are expecting their first children, and both of my sister-in-laws are expecting, so as the "seasoned" mom, I've been asked about what baby stuff I might recommend they register for. Being a very new mom, I can only suggest some things, and you could get the complete opposite response from another mom, so I'm sharing both what worked for us, and what gear we did not need to have --take it or leave it.