Baby & Child Information
Gifts, Necessary Items and Tips
Firstly, all you pretty much need the day the
baby arrives are:
Properly installed 5
point car seat
Maxi Pads (for vaginal birth)
Nursing Bra (if breast feeding)
Stroller or carrier
Some baby t-shirts
Pack of baby wipes (great value on Amazon to buy in bulk)
Pack of newborn diapers
Baby Bed (If you won't be co-sleeping)
Formula and bottles (If you won't be breast-feeding)
Some people overdo it on the baby stuff because they don't want to be caught without that 'one item' that the baby needs. If you live in the big city and are close to shopping, you can easily fill your babies requests.
By the way, from day one, they will have preferences and make requests - so half of what you buy, they won't even like. It's hard to imagine that a one day old would have opinions - yet they do.
As an aside, you may not think your baby needs some of the standard "equipment" that most families seem to own. Maybe they don't 'need' the bouncer and saucer and other such things, but that 15 minutes of time that a saucer or bouncer buys mom or dad to pee or wash their face or just stare into space is worth every cent the equipment costs. Do check out your local baby resale shops or Craigslist for such items.
About the things we choose to List
On this page are products that both parents and babies liked. If you have a small house or apartment, take a minimalist approach, or simply don't like wasting money - this list is for you. We love products that incorporate multi-use functionality into design. We are not paid by anyone to publish their products. Only tested, tried and LOVED products by us are listed.
One could easily burn through several of these things in an infants first few years even after careful reviewing. You've got your light weight travel stroller, the infant stroller, a toddler stroller, a jogging stroller, the double stroller... Keeping it simple was our main task. Some products that we feel fits the multi-function or minimalist consumers needs are as follows:
The Instep Stroller is a backpack/stroller that is a smart solution for traveling. Inexpensive and convenient, this stroller is super light weight (7 or so pounds) and will go easily wherever you go. Handles bumps well and baby can chew on the side rails during those teething times. This stroller is an Infomiss favorite. Genius concept and performance. This stroller will support up to 30 lbs.
The Bob Revolution is hard to beat for one or two kids. It's a great all-around comfortable stroller for jogging or going about town. If you have 2 kids, this is a great double stroller as it's easy on the shoulders when pushing due to the shock system and front rotating wheel. It's expensive. However, our conclusion is that many people shell out the big bucks for this stroller because it's worth it. You can purchase on Amazon and save the tax - that's about the only 'deal' we found unless you pick one up from Craigslist. If you're buying the Bob - definitely purchase the cup holder attachment that's sold separately.
Graco makes some nice Travel systems. Infant car seat/Strollers are easy to pop into the car seat base and stroller alike and is easier than taking baby out of the car seat to put in the stroller. Buy two bases if you have two cars. These systems are on the heavy side but generally fold down nicely and are comfortable for the kids.
Wear Your Baby
If you have a big baby at birth (10 pounds or higher), you won't get much time with this piece of gear, but it is nice for that month or two you can use it.
Search for these popular carriers on the web and compare the Ergo, The Baby Pouch, Patapum, Mei Tai - Babyhawk, Sachi, MeiTaiBaby Wraps - Didymos, Storchenweige, Ellaroo. The Ergo backpack is the latest Mom favorite. It offers more support than a traditional type cloth wrap. Purchase on My Favorite Baby Carrier and save on shipping and get a 90-day money back guarantee if you don't like it. Very comfy, light weight and good on the back/shoulders.
In the wraps arena, we liked the long cloth wrap around called "The Baby Pouch - Wear your Baby". It keeps baby snug next to your body in a cradle position. It's perfect for infants. One of our staff loved it because it was the first time in 8 days that she was able to hold her husbands hand because it was the first time they both had a free one! This is great for the first couple of months when the baby is light enough and can be carried in the front napping position. You will be able to breastfeed baby in the pouch with no one being the wiser! Baby can sleep in the pouch while you enjoy a nice meal at a restaurant or a nice long walk. We've provided some links to assist you with your research.
The Baby Wearer
Nine In Nine
Mom's in Mind
My Pouch Baby
Online stores, forums or sites that you help you decide which baby carrier is best for you.
Attached to Baby Peppermint Cotton Cradles Babyhawk
We found a cool swaddle blanket that your baby may enjoy (The Miracle Blanket). The blanket may give baby more peaceful sleep if she flaps her arms and legs around a lot. There are other swaddle blankets out there that are less expensive. You won't be using this for very long, so that may impact your spending decision.
The Travel Bed solution - Doing without a Crib
If you don't have the space for a crib or want to have one bed that is multi-functional, you might consider purchasing a travel bed instead of a crib. This allows you to take the bed with you on our travels and / or move the bed easily from room to room when you're at home.
We loved the travel beds/tents offered at One Step Ahead. The Peapod travel bed/tent for birth to 1 year old is so compact. It fits neatly into luggage for trips. Easily moved from room to room. Comfortable baby and well built. It sits on the floor so when baby wakes up, she can craw out of bed - assuming she can crawl. It blocks out some of the sunlight for those afternoon naps too. Part of the bed is inflatable. It's easy enough to blow up without the included pump. Wish they made one for adults!
Travel Tent for Baby The next bed that we liked from One Step Ahead is the Quick N' Easy Travel Bed. It's inflatable - comes with a pump, which you will need. Product is listed for ages 2 and up. This bed allows baby to get out of bed herself when her nap is finished.
The one benefit of a crib is that in the mornings, if your baby loves the crib, they will play independently for a bit allowing you to get maybe a 1/2 more of rest before getting up.
Needing a Narrow Crib?
Some of these turn into very nice looking junior beds (see pictures).
The Graco Travel Lite ($57 from Target online) is great for the first 6-9 months depending on your babies size. It's a travel/bassinet/crib so can be taken on trips - plus since it's under 29 inches wide, it's easily moved from room to room. People with old houses with small doorways (29-30 inches) know that very few cribs can be easily moved around the house because of the crib and doorway sizes.
Pack-and-Play/Bassinet sleeping systems makes for a nice multi-use bed/play pen for baby until baby is ready to move to a toddler bed. It can also be taken on travels or left at Grandma's for a second bed. We suggest purchasing one that has a changer so you don't break your back bending over to change baby in these beds, which often aren't an ergonomically suitable for this purpose.
Standard sized Crib
Some bassinets and cribs change into toddler beds, junior beds, daybeds or beds with rails.
Delta Capri from Baby Depot seems sturdy and changes into a toddler bed and headboard later on. Also the Stokke Bed System
We are a fan of Co-sleeping, feeling that when the baby is able to at least speak a bit, they can go off into there own bed because they can communicate their fears, needs and wants better. Throughout the first year co-sleeping allows the baby to nurse immediately and go right back to sleep (mom too!). Plus, having the parent(s) nearby must make the baby feel awfully secure, warm and happy. More information on co-sleeping at Dr. Jay Gordon's Website
Some people swear by them. Then others have babies who will only stop crying when mom or dad are standing or walking around. If you don't have the space, maybe wait and see what your baby is like when you meet her or at least wait for a good deal or perfect solution. You might try to pick up a rocker at a local thrift store if you plan to get rid of the chair after baby outgrows the need for it or if baby doesn't respond to a rocker. Width between the arms and padded arms are something to consider. Padded arms are useful as the baby will inevitably rear back and clock itself on wooden chair arms.
Gliders w/ottoman may be more comfortable than the traditional rocking chair. A swing is another way (of course they need to be able to support their own neck) to avoid buying a rocking chair. Then if you have plenty of space, there's always the Lazyboy cushy rocker/recliner chairs.
Things you don't need until the baby can sit up (somewhere between 4 to 9 months)
Spoons, bowls, plates
Duel Use TIP:
Most walkers are designed with a feeding tray, so this can function as a high chair as well if you don't have the space to have both.
Other Things you can Do Without
Bath toys aren't
necessary for a couple of months after baby is
♥ Bottle warmer (stove, pan and water will do)
♥ Bottle sterilizer (water, soap and brush or dishwasher)
♥ Wet wipe warmer (diaper wipes are not that cold and may actually feel good after being in a hot diaper)
♥ Special Utensils
♥ Highchairs as we mentioned can wait until baby sits up.
♥ Shoes for the little one. Socks are best. Save the shoe purchases for later. If you do buy shoes, make sure they are flexible like the Robeks brand of shoes.
♥ Specialty Dirty Diaper Trash Cans
Changing Table or NotIkea sells a $30 dollar changing table. Can't hardly beat that. But if you don't have the space, just put a towel or changing pad on the bed. The nice thing about putting the changing pad on a bed is that the bed height will help avoid back fatigue and if baby rolls over the side, she'll roll off onto a cushy bed. Do remember to never take your eyes off the baby though because she can still tumble from the bed.
There is a little Tupperware like container you can get that has 3 compartments. You can fill with powder and basically, if you are on the go, you fill a baby's bottle with Evian/Ozarka, add one of the compartments of powder, shake it up and you've got milk.
Another solution is using the breast milk plastic baggies or even snack size Ziploc's with your powder already measured out. Just mark on the plastic bag with a sharpie how many ounces of powder is in the baggie and even how many ounces of water to add to make it completely brainless. May get some flack if you take in your carry-on when flying, so you may want to pack in your checked baggage.
We like Horizon Formula and Target Brand Formula's. Your baby will tell you what he/she likes.
FYI: Hospitals Give you Stuff
All hospitals are different, but some of the
things you may get from your hospital for free
Aspirator (for sucking boogers and snot out of their nose)
A baby blanket
Breast-feeding accessories that you use in the hospital and later with your own pump
You may also be able to rent a breast pump from your hospital to see how you do with pumping breast milk before committing to an expensive pump.
We have tried to note items that brought mom's and dad's great satisfaction along with listing products that have a minimalist approach. We love products that incorporate multi-use functionality into design.
Chico Caddy Hook on Chair - for parents that are minimalists, those that have small spaces, and those that don't whose dining table isn't a family heirloom. This thing is awesome for space saving. (Available at Amazon)
Buying your Friends Baby Clothes
Our suggestion is to buy very few 3 month old baby clothes (8 pounds). Number one, it really sucks to change babies that are that young. They fuss, they hate it - it's just bad news. Besides, they don't spit up too much then and don't get dirty. Win your friends affection by getting them either 6 month, 9 month or 12 month clothing. Babies seem to be larger these days, so we'd suggest even very few 6 month clothing purchases.
Baby clothes that we like to give as gifts
1. Simple long-sleeved T-shirts in soft
cotton - keeps arms warm while sleeping.
2. Little cotton pants. Snaps to get to diaper are fine or not, doesn't really matter.
3. Socks from www.Trumpette.com These are very special and also unique. A guaranteed hit with your friends having kids.
4. Simple short-sleeved T-shirts in soft cotton Check out: CheapesTees
5. Soft Sleepers with footies - if the sleeper snaps up the front even better in our opinion. Make sure you purchase the sleepers that have the softer material on the inside of the garment next to babies skin. Some manufacturers construct the inside of the sleeper with a polyester fabric which looks mighty uncomfortable - then the outside of the sleeper is soft. Not sure what they're thinking on this one. Seems like you'd want the soft fabric next to baby.
6. The sleep sacks for infants with long sleeves. Babies hands will never stay under a sheet so it's good to get long sleeves for sleep wear for the infants.
Goodnight Moon and other Sleepy time tales
This is another fine Amy Schatz and HBO production. The Goodnight Moon story is beautifully told by Susan Sarandon's - very relaxing with beautiful music that seems meant for the story. The DVD is authored to allow for skipping past the any of the kids stories, tales or songs to get to your favorites - a feature that I really appreciate in a good DVD. Babies seems quite engaged by the art, music and overall calmness of the DVD.
We LOVE this DVD series by Amy Schatz and HBO. Parents and babies alike seems to thoroughly enjoy this soothing, artistic and beautiful work. The art and music are captivating. The motions aren't frenetic like much of today's TV offerings. This set is a perfect gift idea for your expecting friends.
Cool sites for cool baby stuffwww.poshtots.com
Three-year-old buys pink convertible on eBayLONDON
Three-year-old Jack Neal became the proud - albeit brief - new owner of a $17,000 pink Nissan Figaro convertible after he managed to buy it on the Internet for 9,000 pounds ($17,000).
Jack’s mother told the BBC she had left her password for the eBay auction site in her computer and her son used the “buy it now” option to complete the purchase.
Amazon sells Economy Plus Packs of Pampers Diapers and a box of 770 Pampers Unscented Wipes, which make great gifts that can be delivered to your friends address.
Diapers (cloth and disposable) SuggestionsThe first several days of life the babies poop will be black and tarry while she eliminates meconium that was in her system. If you're planning on using cloth diapers, we suggest purchasing disposable diapers for this first week because you don't want to have to try and clean those diapers.
If you're not sure how you will like cloth diapers, maybe purchase 6 cloth diapers in infant size plus before making a huge commitment. DyDee Diaper www.dy-dee.com carries infant cover pants and closures but we had a hard time finding them anywhere else.
We really like Kooshies Diaper Wraps for nighttime, nap time and heavy wetting babies. They make for a nice break for baby from disposable diapers and can spare baby some irritation associated with disposables like diaper rash. They're 100% cotton flannel and seem very cozy on baby. There's a built-in flap for extra absorbency and the leg elastic is soft. They close with Velcro.
One of our male readers said that he would handle all diaper changes when he was home since his wife was handling the breast feeding! He preferred to use disposable diapers because "they were easier for him to manage and gave him more time with his wife and newborn".
Diaper Services. With the service you just drop the dirty diaper in a bucket for pick-up. When you have your own cloth diapers you have to soak the diapers in a separate wash load so as not to contaminate other items with poop which is not healthy.
Diaper Genie vs. Diaper ChampWith the Diaper Champ you don't have to buy special bags. Diaper Champ works with grocery store bags. The Diaper Genie uses special Diaper Genie bags. Still, if you can just throw the diaper into your outdoor trash canister - do that and skip the middleman and it's costs and maintenance and recover the floor space it would require. Be sure to bag the poopy diapers in a tightly tied bag of their own when disposing in your outdoor trashcan. This will keep in/out the buggies.
Mustela Cleansing and Soothing wipes- 70ctThe price tag seems large on these wipes, and they are indeed more expensive than the typical grocery store wipe. However, in our experience, the economy of these wipes is that you only need one wipe to do the job that would take 3 wipes with other brands - so in that regard they are a value. These wipes have the right amount of wetness to them to clean an area thoroughly with one wipe most of the time. Of course they smell amazing and are the softest wipe we've ever experienced. Baby smells absolutely fresh and yummy after diaper changes too almost like she'd just had a bath. We have only good things to say about these wipes. Still if you think the price is too great on these - the pampers wipes are soft, moist and nicely scented. Pampers wipes make a nice replacement to the Mustella.
The following are suggestions of some items to include on your Emergency list for baby sitters, nannies and others that may care for your child. This can also be handy for you. In a moment of panic or stress, you don't want to be fumbling around for numbers. Keep your list in a handy and safe place. Make a copy that you keep with you on your travels as well. Protect your child's identity from day one and never carry or include on your emergency list too much personal identification about your child. For instance, a nanny should be fine with having only the last four digits of your child's social security number.
Police non-emergency line
Child / Children's name
Child / Children's birthday
Child / Children's height and weight as of current date
Child / Children's insurance company name, Group number and I.D. number
Child / Children's doctors name, address and phone number
Hospital preference or closest hospital address and phone number
Child / Children's last 4 digit's of social security number
Spouses name and work / cell numbers
Emergency contact names and cell numbers
Waiver for medical treatment stating that the parents/guardians give the following people permission to make medical decisions for the child / children's in an emergency situation if the parents/guardians can not be reached.
Local Family members or Close Friends
Cool ideas for Pregnancy photos
Have both parents in the shots. Why wouldn't you? The couple may feel comfortable posing together rather than mom by herself plus there's more fun & joyful energy. You'll probably see the difference in your photos.
For props thy fake furs (Downtown Los Angeles has some fun prints, colors, textures at discount prices in the garment district). You can also go with same colored outfits like all white. See examples of both ideas. http://www.michalik.com/families/andrew/andrew.aspx
Wet down beige, white or tan gauzy silk and have mom to be wear it for a different look. The silk clings nicely to really show off the belly if Mommy goes for the wet look. If doing an ocean shoot, do the "wet" section of your shoot near the end so as not to have to redo hair and make up.
"Pin-up" girl pregnancy poses done in a sort of Burlesque or Alberto Vargas style. Remember Mom, your hips have spread so try on your garter belts and lingerie before the shoot in case you need to purchase a larger size.
Black light photos shot in Black Light where belly & face are made up with black light make-up, pigments that reflect in black light.
http://www.rebeccalovesculptor.com/index.htm Rebecca Love - sculptor who does belly casting
Some folks rave about www.Babystyle.com and love their maternity jeans. Also Big Star makes jeans that are pretty low cut, have a good stretch, and if you buy them one size bigger can take you through at least part of your pregnancy in style.
As for shirts, American Apparel makes a bunch of 100% cotton, made in USA tops in delish colors that are a little longer in the cut, which can cover the growing belly. You'll be able to continue wearing these clothes long after your baby is grown. www.americanapparel.com Also, not to dig into American Apparels profits too much, but CheapesTees sells some American Apparel shirts for even less on their site than you'll find on American Apparel site.
Cute pregnancy tops like, I'm a Mommy, therefore I drink. www.leavemeb.com
Information to help you choose your method of Delivery
http://gentlebirth.org/archives/ - The
http://www.supportedbirth.com/resources.htm - Good resource for researching providers
http://www.childbirthsolutions.com/articles/pregnancy/aroma2/index.php - Aromatherapy for pregnancy
http://www.childbirthsolutions.com/articles/birth/aromabirth/index.php - Aromatherapy for labor and childbirth
http://www.unhinderedliving.com/childbirth.html - Intended for women who want an unassisted birth.
http://www.waterbirthinfo.com/ - Water birth information
http://www.birthpsychology.com/messages/contents.html - The links under the "Procedures" heading are all good pages to read. Good info on things that can happen in some hospitals.
What to Pack for the Hospital
Packing For the Labor Room- 1 Bag
Three pairs of thick socks & slippers - Hospital may supply.
Toothbrush & Paste (if you vomit)
Bottled water (6 pack) and Gatorade (you will be thirsty)
Two big pillows (bring extra pillow cases in case of accidents)
A bottle or two of witch hazel
FatherAntibacterial lotion/gel (water-free, like Purell) though hospital will have an abundance of this.
Change of clothes
Camera/Camcorder, film (400 ISO or higher) + extra film & batteries
To Be Left in the Car For Postpartum Room- Second separate bag from Labor Room Bag
An outfit or two of comfortable clothes, probably your Maternity Clothes
Change of clothes
MP3 player and speakers (optional)
Mini DVD player and some short DVD's like TV episodes are great. (optional)
BabyComfortable 2 piece outfit for newborn (make sure outfit has legs so car seat buckle that goes between legs can be fastened)
For Car Ride HomeProperly installed 5 point infant car seat (Highway Patrol can help)
Relaxing music CD (optional)
General Supplies For Home
General Supplies For Home
Mother2 boxes of heavy duty maxi pads
2 nursing bras
BabyNewborn umbilical free diapers
Ask Pediatrician for suggested thermometer
Nasal squezzy thingy for snot
We have tried to note items that brought mom's and dad's great satisfaction along with listing products that have a minimalist approach. We love products that incorporate multi-use functionality into design. We are not paid by anyone to publish their products. Only tested, tried and LOVED products by us are listed.
Baby Sitters in Los AngelesIf you live in the Los Angeles area and are in need of a last minute sitter for your child, you might contact Babysitters Guild's (310) 837-1800 or We Sit Better (818) 997-1421. Sitters are screened and come with experience. Rates are reasonable.
If you do not want to
have your child immunized and are looking for
exemption forms for your state visit:
Preschool and Interfering Parents and Friends
If you are not sure if you'll send your kiddo to preschool and don't know how to handle your meddling parents and friends, here's something you might try. Use a JuJitsu approach in handling with friends and family members who have all the answers.
Ask them to send you the data supporting and opposing
preschool education. If they won't put in the time to do
adequate research, as if it were their own child, then they
won't be allowed to give their opinion.
When it comes time to make a decision parents, do a LOT of research on the effectiveness of preschooling. The data (or maybe lack thereof) should convince you of what is best for your child.
And whenever your friends and/or family members want to start assuming financial, medical, educational costs associated with raising your child, including night time breast feeding, changing poopy diapers and so on, then you may want to reconsider what they have to say about how you will raise your child.
Back PacksVisit www.kidstravelzone.com for quality custom backpacks for your youngster. Backpacks are sturdy and customizable down to adding your child's name and choosing the font. Pricing is reasonable as well.
To Preschool or not to PreschoolIf your family or friends are bugging you to send your kids to preschool and you don't want to, try a JuJitsu approach with those who have all the answers.
Ask them to send you the data supporting and opposing preschool education. If they won't put in the time to do adequate research (that is as if it were their own child), they aren't allowed to give their opinion. More than likely you will never receive any data from them.
When making your own decision, if you have any hesitation about what to do we suggest that you do a LOT of research on the subject. The data (or maybe lack thereof) will convince us of what is best for our child and give you convictions enough to face the surliest of nay sayers.
And whenever your friends and/or family members want to start assuming some of the financial, medical, and educational costs associated with raising your baby as well as the night time breast feeding, changing poopy diapers and so on, then you may feel more obliged to consider their opinion about how you raise your child.
Build your own Swing set
Build Your Own Wooden Swing Set with our Easy to Use Kits &
Plans. You supply the wood, we'll supply the Swing Set Plans and
"Approximate build time is 16-20 hours"
The one from Costco took one intelligent sounding reviewer 11 hours to assemble.
Weaning your Baby
Using Lemons to Wean and other ideas:
Cut up a quarter of lemon and when baby decides to feed, rub the lemon on your nipple area (Do it when they aren't looking because those babies are clever). Let her try to feed. The Baby may be quickly put off by the lemon taste. You can tell her they are sour to give her some reasoning.
Your baby may be reticent to breastfeed after that. It may take 2-3 more times though.
You can still have great cuddle time with your baby after you've weaned. Babies find a way to retain that connection.