I have a few friends who are about to have their first babies, and they asked me for some advice on what to get. So, I compiled a list of items I got for Cameron when he was a newborn most of which I still use today – so I would say they are definitely worth the money.
Infant bath seat – Although Cam has been sitting on his own in the bath for months now, I still use this bath seat at the beginning of bath time to clean his ‘boy parts’ – it’s just easier. So considering he is 18+ months old now, I’d say it was worth its minimal cost.
Cotton Jersey Sheets – These sheets are basically made of T shirt material. They are nice and soft and Cameron loves them. Another mom recommended them to me and I am still to this day happy with the purchase. I bought 2 extra sets to keep and grandma’s house so it feels more like home there. I got mine at Buy Buy Baby – they were the store brand (BB Basics).
Baby 411 – Not really a read-through and more of a reference book, Baby 411 was opened countless times in the first year of my baby’s life. Their no-nonsense tested information was sound advice I could count on.
Boppy pillow – This is a great pillow for nursing, and feeding bottles to your little one. It is quite useful to have, so if you can’t get your hands on one I would say buy it – but check around and see if you can get a hand me down first.
Bottle warmer – At first I thought I would just warm bottles in hot water – but I realized at 3am it’s not fun to wait for hot water to do it’s job while there is a screaming baby at hand. So I recommend this bottle warmer. It’s pretty fast and has held up well. You can also use it to defrost frozen baby food.
Wipe Warmer – I remember saying before Cam was born that he would use cold wipes and like them! And then… I realized warm wipes solicited less screaming. So I got a wipe warmer. Not only is it great because it warms the wipes, but it also makes for easy distribution, which is worth a lot when you have a messy poop to clean up.
Born Free bottles – these are BPA free bottles that Cam really liked. They are easy to clean, and don’t break. I recommend buying them separately (not in a combo pack). That way you can get the sizes you need at the time.
Bath towel – I love this one from giggle that Cam has. We still use it every night.
A good mobile – Cam still loves to stare at his today. Once a mom gave me the advice that you need to think of how a mobile looks from below, not just the side. Obvious, but still so true. So I chose the twitterling mobile by Haba.
The ergo carrier – I think this carrier is much more comfortable than the Baby Bjorn. It’s a great option to have in case you’re going somewhere that you can’t (or don’t want to) take a stroller.
A diaper pail – I went with the Diaper Dekor, which we still use. It contains the smell as much as I think poop smell could possibly be contained. The smell only escapes for a second when a new diaper is put in.
A Changing Pad – You are going to be changing a LOT of diapers. I found a changing pad was really helpful for keeping Cameron in place while I got down to business. Buy a few covers (I got mine at Buy Buy Baby) so that if one gets soiled you have a back up.
If you plan to pump at all, you will need a “hospital grade” pump. The Medela seems to be the gold standard. I wouldn’t bother with one of those hand pumps… I found mine to be completely worthless. I borrowed a Medela pump from a friend. You can also rent them from Babies R Us.
And… some general advice:
Don’t forget to check out Ikea for baby related stuff. Their cribs are good quality, and are super cheap (my parents got one for $79 that is a beautiful natural wood color). They have great toys, bowls, cups, plates, and utensils, and all kinds of fun things at very affordable prices. I also got Cameron’s dresser there which doubles as his changing table. FYI – when selecting a dresser/changing table, find one that is comfortable for your height.
As far as clothing goes, zippers are easier to deal with than snaps, and things that close down the front are easier to deal with than clothes that go over the head. When Cam was born he was so little and fragile looking to me I had an over-the-head phobia for a few months. Keep this in mind when you are shopping for clothes.
When getting baby’s room ready – think outside of the box. You don’t have to buy only “baby” products. All of the furniture in Cameron’s room (except the crib and rocker) are not “Childrens” items. Also, I decorated with Blik stickers, which are super cute – but again, not “baby” products. The dresser and toy bench came from Ikea, and his rug came from Room and Board.
A few baby products I think are unnecessary: crib bumpers (Cameron just mashed his down and they didn’t do anything,) the bumbo seat (we used this for maybe 2 weeks,) and a baby food maker (I have a food mill which I used, also a Cuisinart works fine – don’t bother buying a special baby product).
I hope that’s helpful… and not too overwhelming! If anyone else has any advice to add, please leave a comment!