I’m a simple kind of gal. There is very little I feel we need for a new baby and then some things I want for a new baby. Really it comes down to something for the pee/poop, boobs, and something to keep the newbie tied to me. But there are somethings beyond that we get to help care for our newest little person. Some are our basics, others make it easier, and still others are a luxury. Most of this can be found at yard sales, thrift stores, craigslist, consignment shops, and hand-me-downs from friends, we rarely buy brand new. Everyone’s list will look a bit different, what works for one family won’t for another. Here’s our breakdown.
diapers- we cloth diaper, here’s what we find essential
- 3 snappis
- prefolds, hand-me-downs and from Green Mountain Diapers
- wool covers- mostly homemade hand knit or repurposed wool, some PUL covers from Thirsties (I ordered some new Duo Wraps from Lullaby Kisses)
- detergent- trying Thirsties Super Wash this time, also ordered from Lullaby Kisses as well as Rockin’ Green.
- cloth wipes- flannel squares work well as do baby wash cloths
- diaper ointment- my babies always have sensitive skin, I love Motherlove Herbal’s Diaper Rash and Thrush, cloth diaper safe, works well, gentle on my babies’ sensitive skin, and you can’t beat these ingredients. Oh, and a pot of it lasts forever!
- Wetbags- dirty diapers need a designated spot. Wetbags do the job without nasty pails of soaking diapers. We have one big one (from Goodmama ages ago) and 2 medium ones for the diaper bag, and 1 small one to hold wipes, all WAHM ones. (Lullaby Kisses has a good selection of these too.)
- 5 or so gowns- baby in a bag, easy for changing in the middle of the night
- 5 or so footed PJs
- 5+ t-shirts
- dozen socks (because there is always one missing)
- 3 hats (1 on their head, 1 in the laundry, 1 ready- because they somehow get poop on them)
- 8 or so bottoms- most of ours are hand knits, have extras for poop accidents
- Moses basket- typically a hand-me-down or borrowed, can be moved room to room or outside.
- carrier- because they usually sleep on me or their daddy and with work and family I need to be able to multitask. You really only need one versatile carrier. We already have a Moby, my go-to carrier for a newborn (also available at Lullaby Kisses), a Beco, my go-to carrier for longer excursions when they are a bit bigger; a homemade mei-tai, and was recently gifted my first woven wrap (a Didymos– so pretty). I lost my ring sling (that I’ve had for years!) and so I’m getting a new one from Paxbaby.com (they carry EVERYTHING and have great personalized service) because it’s my “fast” carrier.
- baby blankets for light swaddling, warmth, and to throw down wherever baby ends up sleeping when not on mommy or daddy.
- water- breastmilk poop is water soluble, doesn’t even need a cleaning agent besides water.
- bath tub- I usually bathe with my babies the first few weeks so I just hold them on my lap in the tub.
- 2-3 wash clothes to gently scrub the neck folds.
- 2 hooded towels, because they WILL poop on one leading to another bath and the need for another towel.
travel- leaving the house
- Car seat- no exception. I’ve never started with a convertible, always an infant car seat AKA bucket. It stays in the car most of the time. This time it’s the same Chicco we had with Smunchie and then we’ll be going to clek’s new Foonf when Sugarbaby is ready for a convertible and it will last us years. It doesn’t have to be the best of the best or top of the line but a good seat with a high safety rating is an essential for our family. This is one area where we see spending big dollars to be essential for ultimate safety, it’s not a luxury. As a major yarn lover I’ve sold yarn in the past to be able to afford the kind of seat we could feel good about.
- carrier- we don’t keep our babies in the bucket seats, they go from the car seat into a carrier.
- bag for diapers
- 2 wet bags- wipes and dirty diapers
- 2 changes of clothes
- thin blanket- to lay down for changes if need be.
- top for mom- I’m going to leak and I want to be prepared just in case.
- breast pads- I have a pair in my bra and a pair in my bag. This is vital as I leak a lot. I’ll be wearing Bamboobies most of the time and trying out Posh Pads for the first time.
- burp cloths- spit up happens. Whether it’s a diaper or a fancy boutique burp cloth, it’s essential to have something to clean up with. We already have some special ones that were made for different babies along the way.
- blankets- all types: thick, thin, big, little, homemade, store bought, etc. I like to have a nice stack of blankets for time on the floor, making a nest in a basket for time outside, for peek-a-boo, and for anything else that seems useful.
- toy/lovey- no, they aren’t playing or interacting with these things yet but I have found one way to help older siblings respect the new baby and their space is to have something that is brand new for them, set apart as “theirs.” Often my big girls pick out the item and often the item (sometimes items) actually do become the lovey object of choice.
- my boobs
- different styles- while the basic prefold is our workhorse diaper, it’s nice to have different styles. We have some fitteds, a couple of pockets (LolliDoo’s eco pockets are great!), and an all-in-one.
- cloth wipes, specifically for wiping up little bums, these are thicker than wash clothes. Happy Heinys has some nice basic wipes you just throw in with your diaper laundry.
- a few special pieces, just for the new baby, something I’ll save to give them for their children one day.
- a couple of cute outfits they can poop on for you.
- a few handmade/hand knitted/hand sewn items from me and other family member/friends.
- extras of everything so I don’t have to do laundry as often.
- a special blanket designated as new for the baby, usually handmade. My mom has a friend that loves to crochet blankets and so I pick out the yarn, my mom buys it, and this friend makes something beautiful with it. I love this more than I can say. It helps a lot too, everyone knows it’s the baby’s blanket, and it gives the new big sisters a way to help take care of the baby too. Then, as the baby gets older, they love hearing about how it was made for them, why I picked the colors I did, and how it’s all their own. These are treasures in our home. But if you don’t have someone to make you a handmade blanket and won’t be making one yourself, I love these blankets from Sarah’s Silks and have quite a few friends whose children grow up loving their special soft blankets. But since you don’t lay babies down with blankets anyway, these really aren’t for sleep in the first year, more like for cuddling to sleep.
- cosleeper- we borrowed one of these from a friend with Squiggle Bug, loved it. It was particularly nice when my hormones went crazy and I was having the night sweats. We haven’t been able to budget for one since but it was really nice to have then.
- I also think one of those moses basket stands would be nice to have though the cosleeper and the stand would be overkill. Either one would be nice.
- a variety of carriers. Since I’m going to be wearing my baby more than I am anything else, it’s nice to have some options in carriers. Like maybe something that will go with everything: a Girasol Rainbow wrap. (I might lust after that one.)
- Dr. Bronner’s baby mild liquid soap.
- A simple lotion or oil for massage, I’m using Motherlove Herbal’s Birth and Baby oil which is an apricot and lavender oil- smells amazing.
Travel- leaving the house
- diaper bag- something with lots of pockets and compartments and I really like to have a big one for longer outings with room for a carrier, and a small one for shorter outings.
- stroller- I usually wear my babies, it’s true, but sometimes I like to put them in a stroller for various reasons (i.e. bra shopping while babywearing is a tad difficult) and sometimes it’s for nothing more than holding various paraphernalia including the diaper bag. We’ve had the same stroller for ages, it’s falling apart so I’m hoping it makes it through one more baby before we trash it. If not I’ll be checking out craigslist, thrift stores, and yard sales.
- swing or bouncy seat- while we wear our babies most of the time, sometimes I have to set them down for my own sanity, shower, or just a change of pace for all of us.
- play gym or activity bar- they can’t really do anything with it but throw down a blanket and put them on their back under that toy bar and I get enough time to cook up some bacon as they stare in wonder, particularly at the one with the mirror. But my favorite thing? How the older siblings get in on the action by talking to baby, jingling the toys dangling, and showing them how it all works.
- a couple of natural wood rattles like this one, this one, this international breastfeeding symbol one, or the classic favorite Sofie. These become heirlooms and fun to share.
- as far as baby is concerned, nothing is nicer to have than boobies.
- some fun, fancy diapers in fun fancy prints or with embroidery. There are so many brands out there, I just picked a few to try and bought the prints I liked. We’ve had ours for years though and didn’t buy any for Sugarbaby this time.
- pretty colors, super soft fabric, maybe even custom made… velour wipes are so pretty, clean up so well, and are quite the splurge. Hazelbee Baby has a great selection in all the colors of the rainbow and then some. Simply beautiful.
- a line of clothing- picking a line from a company and getting a few pieces from that line. I fell hard for some stuff from Zutano this time around and was so excited when it came up on Zulily. Plus, this incredible company truly supports breastfeeding and has a breastfeeding/baby friendly work environment for the moms that work for them. Beautiful clothes and an amazing company that supports a cause close to my heart? Yes please!
- special yarn that gets made into a special outfit. Luxury for both me and baby plus it becomes a keepsake.
- soft shoes- they don’t walk anywhere but they sure are cute! Plus, they help keep those baby socks on that we’re losing otherwise.
- I have long admired, though never been able to afford, a baby hammock like this one. We cosleep but in a combination of room sharing and bed sharing and since we often still have company from our big kids in the middle of the night, I would love something like this for Sugarbaby. This is definitely one of my luxury wish list items.
- I’m big on blankets I’m noticing. The last 3 of our babies (including Sugarbaby) have gotten a custom bamboo velour blanket from Zaichiki Baby. We pick out the colors as a family and order them a toddler size blanket. So they get the handmade crochet blanket and one bamboo blanket. These become best sleeping buds as time goes by and let me tell you, the bamboo velour is divine. This one is Smunchie’s and this one is Squiggle Bug’s.
- these and these– can you imagine? We don’t have them but they sure seem nice!
- hooded baby bathrobe/sack- someone gave us one of these when Earth Baby was born and I was surprised to discover I loved it. Put her in it right out of the bath, zip it up, and snuggle! One of the cutest things and it seemed to instantly calm her. We’ve had it ever since, it’s a little worn looking these days.
- Earth Mama Angel Baby Bundle of Suds and/or the Non-scents Head to Toe wash, and the Angel Baby Oil because baby massage is awesome. I also really love all of Weleda’s baby products (and then some) and am so grateful we were given the Baby Starter Kit with an earlier baby and now a couple of Weleda products are on our wish list with our new babies. (Pssst… they have a baby massage video on their site plus if you buy 2 baby products and use the code “BABYDOLL” at check out they’ll include a cute little free baby doll with your order!)
- Ness Diaper Bag– because they’re gorgeous and incredibly well designed! (I want one, totally drooling over these bags.)
- JuJu-Be Diaper Bag– because they’re fun! This hip messenger style would probably be my pick.
- I got to play with some luxury strollers at the ABC Expo this past fall and wow, I had no idea what I was missing. Still way out of my price range but totally dreamy, I loved most of the ones I got to try. Check out Phil and Teds, iCandy, and Bugaboo, if you’re in the market for a stroller that really does make your life easier.
- Lambskin cuddle rug- I have wanted one of these for a long time and this past fall even figured out what brand I’d get if I could. I love the short cut of the Lamby cuddle rug and this would be my choice to have to lay down for play times and sleepy time. On my wishlist!
- my boobs
As Sugarbaby is expected any day now I find myself checking to be sure everything is ready for having a new baby, even things I know won’t be used right away. “Stuff” doesn’t make a home ready for a new baby but there is a lot of “stuff” that helps a family care for their new arrival including helping with the transition of adding a family member. The tangible preparations can go a long way in helping with the mental and emotional preparations for a new baby. Sugarbaby won’t be interested in playing with the new wood rattle waiting on the shelf in our room but every time I look at it I look forward a little bit more to my sweet babe being in my arms. Coming up I’ll be sharing my lists for me and for the family because having a baby isn’t just about the baby, you have to take care of everyone.
What does your list look like? Basic, nice to have, and luxury, what would you put on your list of baby gear to have?