So I have a close knit group of homebirth and birth center birth friends, and I've asked them to tell me what their must have's are for having a new baby. Here's what they have to say:
Lisa - her LO is appx 5-1/2 mo's
"...For us, a few musts were...
Swaddle blankets or swaddle outfits
A sound machine
Ummm I know I will think of more things as time goes on..."
Meghan - her LO is appx 6 mo's.
"...Yes, swaddle blankets!! Aden and Anais are the best!!! I also think a waterproof changing pad is very helpful nipple cream, nice comfy pjs for mommy. I'm trying to think of what else we really used a lot.... hmm..."
***note*** thanks to my SIL's SIL, I have discovered the Aden & Anais makes swaddle blankets in bamboo. They are soooo soft!!! I want to use them as scarves!
Ginny - her LO is appx 4 mo's.
"...Nipple cream, swing, pjs with a zipper for baby, and the gowns. I love those gowns..., especially when you have to change them in the middle of the night. Oh and the pumping bra!! I freakin love that thing!"
Erin - her newest LO is almost 5 mo's. She also has soon-to-be 5 year old identical twins.
"...With H I feel like I've been so minimalist in what I've used with him. But two things I've really used are: the baby papasans. It doesn't matter what kind of "container" you use but it's nice to have a couple scattered in the house to put him down in. I keep mine in the kitchen and bathroom and move them around. The other thing is the Bosom Buddy nursing pillow. It really helped me nurse initially and it's so much better than the Boppy. Other than that I think a good sling or soft sided carrier. I use my Boba daily."
Erin is also an essential oil user. Here is her list of favorites:
"...Must have EOs: tea tree (aka melaleuca), lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint. I love doTerra's Breathe proprietary blend too..."
Emily - her LO is about 5 mo's.
"...Must have's: 3 carriers (sling, baby bjorn, ergo) (all for different stages)
lanolin cream (for nipples and works wonders on diaper rash)
white noise machine (I use a cheap box fan and LOVE it!)
And finally, here's my list. My LO is fast approaching 4 months!
Booby trapper nursing cover (thanks to Erin for turning me onto it).
A sleep sack or two.
Chicco key fit carseat. They are not the lightest out there, but that's not a bad thing. It's meant to be a safety seat for baby in the car... Not what they live in, so you shouldn't be carrying it around all the time anyway. (Grab maybe 3 sets of back up strap covers for the carseat, stroller and swing. I have one set that is fuzzy, and two that are thicker. This is great for when you outgrow the newborn insert and baby falls asleep in the car. The thicker ones help support baby's head when she falls asleep). My hubby installed two bases for the seat. My car has latch, his does not. He watched a few tutorials online and said it was a piece of cake.
Chicco keyfit carseat caddy. It's about $100 new, but SO worth it for those times when baby is asleep in the carseat and it would rain terror if she woke up. It also has a HUGE storage basket in the bottom. Super easy to fold and unfold, and the carseat clicks in. Drives really smooth. Totally worth it. Look on Craigslist!
Lansinoh lanolin - can be used for sore boobies, and it's a fantastic diaper cream. Cloth diaper safe. If you're not cloth diapering, I really like the Aveeno diaper rash cream. Amazon is a good place to get it.
Boobie ice packs. Avent makes some.
High quality coconut oil. MUST HAVE for breast feeding. It was the only thing that helped with the pain. It also kills/prevents yeast problems. Also good for diaper cream. Or lotion. Or cooking. And then the baby will smell like the beach! And spit up. You win some, you lose some!
Get a good swing. The kind that plugs in so you don't have to fool with batteries.
I like our bouncer. It's the fisher price snuggabunny bouncer.
Rock n play. I don't have one of these, but know several mom's who swear by it.
Arms Reach CoSleeper mini. Love this little bed. I borrowed this one and will have to give it up soon! Waaah!
FosCam instead of a monitor. You can view the feed from a laptop or iPhone for the parent that works outside of the home. Amazon again! About half the cost of other monitors.
I agree with Erin on the Bosom baby nursing pillow (can be purchased in store at Nurtured Family in Spring, or online at nurturedfamily.com, or amazon). I wish I had gotten this pillow while LO was really small. We had some hard times nursing and a tiny baby is challenging to nurse no matter what. At about 6 weeks, her mouth got bigger and life got easier. Now it's a breeze and we can nurse pretty much anywhere.
Lots of burp rags. Ok so I would actually NOT recommend the Gerber kind you can find at big box stores. They have a poly fill in them, unless you can find the premium, but they are overpriced. Poly fill reduces absorbency and it's not a natural fiber, if you're looking for 100% cotton. I would recommend cloth-eez prefold diapers from www.greenmountaindiapers.com
. Several sizes to choose from. I haven't tried a billion types of prefolds, but so far, these are my favorite. And I like their work horse fitted diapers too... But that's another post for another time.
I don't recommend Gerber clothing for the most part because their sizing is so off. It all runs seriously small.
Gymboree has really nice receiving blankets. That's kind of a splurge, but one or two come in handy. They are a soft knit fabric and have nice weight to them, but they don't get too hot.
Underpads. They look like puppy pads, but they're in the incontinence section at any grocery or pharmacy store. You'll figure out real quick how handy these are. I keep one on my changing table and in my diaper bag. When they pee on it, throw it away or cut it in half. They're nice and big too for diaper changes on a changing station in a bathroom while you're out.
Get some good bags for on the go. My favorites so far are from Thirty One. I like the organizing utility tote, which I am currently using as a diaper bag. I also use the retro metro tote for travel, and a medium utility tote for diaper storage. I also have the matching weekender bag for mommy!http://www.mythirtyone.com/AngelaMDavis
Medela Freestyle pump.
Lansinoh or Avent nursing pads.
Have I mentioned nursing tanks??
Good luck finding a nursing bra that you like. Apparently though, I am told that Nordstrom will alter any bra and convert it to a nursing bra?? That could be nice.
Sleeper pj's with zippers.
A little grooming kit.
Little Noses saline and some sort of snot sucker. The old fashioned blue bulb kind works great, but who knows what it looks like on the inside. The Nose Frida is supposed to work really well.
Tommee Tippee closer to nature bottles.
A Wubbanub. Just because they're so cute.
Carseat Canopy. I need to get one of these, but I think I may try to make one because it's so hot here and most of them have minky fabric and it's just too hot.
I second what the others say about a soft-sided carrier. Boba, Beco, ErgoBaby are great carriers. I am currently using a Hava Chic sling, size regular. I work, and I don't get to wear her near enough. So whichever type you choose, wear your baby from the start. The slings take practice to get the baby in there correctly. And if they don't stay used to it, they will fuss. Which will make you sad.
Disposable little trash bags for your diaper bag. I like the arm & hammer Munchkin bags in the dispenser. They're scented. And sometimes you need that. They're great for dirty diapers and dirty clothes. Either one. Fisher price discover and grow play mat
My LO uses this every single day.
We also have the Chicco lightway stroller which is great for indoors.
I recently borrowed Erin's BOB revolution (I think it was a revolution) jogging stroller and that thing is awesome. My LO went on a 4-mile walk and was pretty much happy the whole time. And it fits in the trunk of my Jetta, with a laptop bag, boots, and a plastic box... With room to spare. Couldn't believe it.
Prince Lionheart BeBe Pod chair with toys. We like this better than the bumbo because of the toy. Pretty cute.
Mittens and socks. My LO had freezing hands (and sharp nails) and freezing toes all the time. Once she got bigger, it's not such a huge deal.
Erin's olive oil and chammomile baby soap. This is not for sale...... Yet.
A good old fashioned rocking chair.
Ross/TJ Maxx/Home Goods is a great place to score random baby stuff. Blankets, clothes, books, etc.
I'm sure there's more, but that's good for now.
Beyond that... Babies need arms to hold them, a Mommy to nurse them, and something to keep them warm and that should do it... The rest is just fluff. :-)