As we prepare for baby number two, we’ve pulled out all our baby gear and reviewed all the registry recommendation lists to make sure we have everything we will need. In the process, we’ve reminded ourselves of what was the most useful to us and what we thought we’d need, but didn’t really use. So, I’ve put together this guide to share our knowledge with all the parents-to-be out there. I’ve split it into several categories of baby items and within each I’m sharing the “Must Haves,” “Nice to Haves,” and items that you can “Skip.” I hope you find this useful in prepping for your new baby!
Changing Pad & Covers – Soon your life will revolve around pee & poop. In the beginning your baby will go through about 10 diapers a day and sometimes more. So, you’ll need a comfy place to change all those diapers. I recommend a changing pad with curved sides like the Summer Infant Contoured Changing Pad, because it cradles the baby while being changed and helps to keep them from rolling over (until they’re bigger and want to have changing table wrestling matches with you). You can put it on top of a dresser or other piece of furniture you have (see Changing Tables in the Nice to Have section below).
You definitely want to get a couple changing pad covers because there will be plenty of pee & poop accidents on the changing table, so you want to keep a clean one handy. I also recommend getting some extra Changing Pad liners, like these from Boppy. They lay on top of your changing pad cover and are easy just to drop in your hamper and put another one down without having to change the whole changing pad cover.
Diapers & Wipes – I’m going to skip the cloth vs. disposable discussion for now and just say that we went with disposables with Eleanor and will do the same this time. When Eleanor was a baby we tried both Pampers and Huggies and went with Huggies. Don’t ask me what it is, but I feel like Pampers have a funny scent to them that I just did not like. We really like the Huggies Pure & Natural Diapers with Huggies Natural Care Wipes.
A little tip: skip the “Jumbo” pack of 30 diapers, these will last you about 3 days. Always go for the big box of 100 or more. You’ll save money and trips to the store. We found that Target and Amazon have the best prices for diapers. And although we haven’t tried it out, Amazon has a subscription service with automatic monthly deliveries that give you additional discounts.
Diaper Disposal – If you go with disposable diapers, we like the Diaper Genie for trashing diapers and keeping odor to a minimum. We have the basic version, but the pricier version has the nice extra feature of a foot pedal opening. You’ll also want to keep refills on hand.
Diaper Cream – Diaper rashes will happen. Eleanor didn’t get any in her newborn months, but definitely had a few throughout her diaper wearing career. For those, we liked Burt’s Bees Diaper Cream, Boudreaux Butt Paste is another popular choice.
Baby Tub – Until baby’s umbilical stump falls off, you’ll want to stick with sponge baths. But after that, having a baby tub makes bath time easy and comfortable for baby. We made bath time part of our nightly calming down routine for Eleanor. We really like the Fisher Price Coral Reef Tub, because it grows with baby from newborn to toddler. It starts with a sling for your newborn and then you can remove it as baby gets bigger.
Bath Toiletries – You’ll want to get shampoos & lotions that are safe for a baby’s sensitive skin. We’re into harsh-chemical-free baby care, so we love the Burt’s Bees Baby Bee line of products.
First Aid – We found that the health & safety kits that we were given contained a lot of things that we just didn’t need and never used. But there are a few important items that you will need and use often: Baby Nail Clippers & Files, a Nasal Aspirator, and a Rectal Thermometer.
NICE TO HAVES
Changing Table – You don’t absolutely need a changing table. You can always just put a changing pad on top of a dresser or other piece of furniture or get a dresser/changing table combo unit that has a hutch for your diapering supplies. But if you have the room for it, I really like having a changing table. They are great for storing diapers, wipes, toiletries, bibs, blankets, and all of the bigger baby stuff.
Hooded Towels – Here’s the thing about these: they are very cute and great to keep baby warm after coming out of the bath, but definitely not a necessity. Any towel will do. If you do get some baby towels, I prefer the ones where just the corner of the towel has the hood in it rather than more adorable ones where the hood is on the side of the towel and has extra eyes and ears and things. These super cute towels are impossible to fold neatly and compactly, which drives me crazy!
Humidifier – For colder and dryer months, a humidifier helps to keep baby from getting congested. We used to have the Graco 4 Gallon Cool Mist Humidifier. We really liked it, the tank was nice and big, and because its fan was pretty noisy it doubled as white noise. Its only drawback was that it was pretty big, so it took up a lot of room on Eleanor’s dresser. It broke in our last move and we haven’t replaced it yet. Because we’ve got the new Graco Sound Machine (see Part Two: Get Your Baby to Sleep), we’re considering getting a Crane Drop Shape Cool Humidifier, which has good reviews and a small footprint.
Bath Toys – These are always fun, but one of those things you won’t need until baby is older and able to sit up in a tub. I’d wait on buying anything for now and when you do just get a few. They can quickly take over your bathroom.
Wipe Warmer – This is one of those things that I just don’t see the point of. To me, it’s just one more piece of superfluous baby gear that manufacturers try to convince you you’ll need. It will not hurt your baby to have a cold wipe on their bottom. While a warmer might be nice to make your baby more comfortable during a diaper change, I’ve also heard a lot of complaints about them. They’re one more thing you have to find an outlet to plug-in. They often dry out the top few wipes and burn the bottom few, so you end up wasting a lot of wipes. They are a warm wet place for bacteria/mold to grow. All that being said if you really want one, get one, but I just feel that there are better ways to spend your newborn budget.
In case you missed it…
UP NEXT…Part Five: Play With Your Baby