Seasoned mothers: don’t you wish you knew then what you know now when you were a new mom? It was definitely a live and learn experience. Unfortunately (or fortunately), you’ll never have to go through that experience of being a new mom again.
A friend of mine recently contacted me. She is pregnant with her first child and is beginning the daunting task of creating her baby registry. She wanted suggestions from her friends on what to get. I also had contacted friends (as well as using my sister’s registry from the year before) to create my registry.
I decided to share some of my favorite things to have for a newborn. I threw in some green tips here and there as well.
Diapers—I found Huggies and Pampers Swaddlers to be the best. They both have a color-changing stripe on their newborn diapers that helps to know if your baby has urinated. (It’s obvious if they pooped, but not so much if they peed. And you’re supposed to keep track of how many times a day they do each.) To me, the grocery store brand of diapers ran big—too big for a newborn. I now use them on Baby Bear as they work just as well and are almost half the price. (I also noticed that the grocery store gives coupons at the checkout for the competitor’s brand of diapers. Save the coupons for later or stock up on bigger-sized diapers)
Wipes—If you put wipes on your registry (which I’d recommend, along with laundry detergent and diapers), be sure to sign up for refill packs and not the wipes already in the dispenser. You only need one or two dispensers for your house. Although I began by buying Seventh Generation wipes because they were chlorine-free, I now use generic wipes because they come in a huge bag.
Changing pad covers—You’re going to need cloth changing pad covers (2), but I also used disposable ones on top of the cloth one so I wouldn’t have to do laundry as often. (You only need to use a new one if it gets leaked on.) I used Especially for Baby brand; however, they make them large enough to cover the entire changing table, which you don’t need. You can cut these into halves or fourths or buy ones labeled multi-use pads, which are about the size you need.
Soap—I like Nature’s Paradise Baby Organic Conditioning Coconut Shampoo and Body Wash. It doesn’t leave a slimy residue in the bathwater that even California Baby did. It’s also organic, all natural, and doesn’t contain common allergens. You have to order it online http://www.naturesparadiseorganice.com/or buy it at boutiques.
Shampoo—Although Nature’s Paradise is also a shampoo, it mentions that it isn’t tear-free. Because I liked that baby-head smell, I started using regular baby shampoo. When I went in for Baby Bear’s first haircut, she had a very crusty scalp. The stylist said it was a wax buildup from the shampoo I was using. When I switched shampoos (Cookie Cutters brand), the gunk went away.
Laundry detergent—Before Baby Bear was born (and I actually had free time), I did research on what detergents are the best for the environment as well as the safest for newborn babies: this website was helpful www.diaperjungle.com/detergent-chart.html. Ecos brand Free and Clear(found at most grocery stores) was at the top of the list. Seventh Generation was near the top but contained enzymes and softeners.
Clothes—When buying clothes, realize that your baby will be lying down 99% of the time. You really only need one nice outfit, and, chances are, you’ll get a bunch as gifts from friends. Buy onesies instead. (And when you buy clothes, remove the hangers at the store so they can reuse them. I know I only ended up hanging Baby Bear’s dressiest clothes and kept all of her everyday outfits at close reach.)
Socks—I don’t really understand how socks just spontaneously fall off, but they do. Don’t use them if you don’t need to. If you do, the best brand is Trumpette—found online (http://www.trumpette.com/) and in boutiques. Not only do they stay on, the girl socks look like Mary Jane shoes and the boy socks look like sporty shoes.
Sleepsacks—In your baby class, they’ll teach you how to properly swaddle your baby. The problem is, a real baby can break through that swaddle within minutes. I loved swaddlers with Velcro closures, such as Kiddopotamus brand swaddlers and Halo SleepSack Swaddlers both sold at Babies R Us. Get at least two.
Breast pump—I followed my sister’s advice and bought a Medela. It came in a backpack to easily transport and can run on electricity or battery. I would recommend getting at least one extra set of equipment as all the parts need to be dry when you use it, and you’re supposed to wash the pieces after each use. I’d also buy nipples for the bottles. Otherwise you need to transfer the milk from the Medela bottles to real bottles to feed your baby. A must for pumping: a hands-free bra. The best brand is Easy Expression Hands-Free Pumping Bras, which sells a bustier you put on without having to remove your shirt or regular nursing bra. They sell them online at http://www.easyexpressionproducts.com/ as well as at A Pea in the Pod, Destination Maternity, and Buy Buy Baby.
Book—Best book in the world: BabyWise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. Read it, learn it, live it.
Recalls—I recommend joining the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s listerv: http://www.cpsc.gov/. They send you emails when toys and baby products are recalled.