Tuesday, August 19, 2008

If I Had to Do it Over Again - Products

If I was going through pregnancy and childbirth again, these are things I would definitely buy, or do without.

During pregnancy:

  • What to Expect When You’re Expecting
  • Two fatherhood books
  • The Snoogle body pillow
  • Baby Bargains book
  • Almond oil – I used this to avoid stretch marks on the recommendation of a Spanish friend. Don’t know if this is what prevented them, but I made it into the 10% or so of women who avoid stretch marks.

    Things I’d do without:
    · Breast pads and lanolin cream. Wait to see if you need them before buying.

Months 0+:

  • Swaddle Mes (we used through 7 months)
  • A good swing – we loved the Fisher Price Papasan
  • Onesies
  • What to Expect the First Year
  • Sleepsacks
  • My Breast Friend (I’d borrow one or buy it used)
  • A baby carrier, but I’d purchase it AFTER the child is born to see which one is comfortable and which one the baby likes
  • Lots of burp cloths
  • For travel, a stroller frame (such as the Graco SnugRide) that accepts a pop-in carseat is the lightest way to go.
  • Fenugreek, alfalfa or other milk-producing herb
  • A breastpump
  • A baby bathtub
  • Household help
  • Car-I-Oke music CD
  • Easy Expressions hands free pumping bra (if breastfeeding and pumping)

    Things I’d do without:
    · A boppy
    · A crib or bassinet or playpen – if you think you need one, it’s still a good idea to wait until after the birth to see what the baby will accept. Many babies only want the closeness of another human for the first weeks or months.
    · Lots of fancy clothes – onesies and sleepsacks are the mainstay
    · A fancy stroller
    · Fancy nursery d├ęcor – the baby isn’t going to take any notice; it’s only worth it if it makes the parents happy.

Months 3+:

  • An Ergo carrier – this is most useful at 6 months+, but it’s the best carrier I’ve come across and good for long-term use. It’s expensive though, so it would be a better deal to find one used.
  • A jumper – if your baby isn’t eager to stand, this could wait, but if s/he is, they will love this. We liked the Fisher Price Rainforest Jumper.
  • The swing remains very useful
  • Some type of bed. If you want to make life easier, probably a crib that you’ll use for the long term would be best.
  • BumGenius all-in-one cloth diapers – so easy even the dad accepts them.

    Things I’d do without:
    · An exersaucer – unless you can pick one up for free, as you often can on freecycle
    · Any type of travel crib or pen. Unless baby can roll over, a bed or carseat works just fine
    · Any but a few basic toys – the whole world is a toy.
    · Toys, accessories for car or stroller. We just didn’t find them necessary.
    · The chairs that help baby sit – those are useful for about two weeks, if you’re lucky.
    · Rice paper liners for cloth diapers – they irritated Soren’s behind and are only useful until the poops become more solid.
    · Any of the breastpump cleaning supplies – microwave sterilizing kit, wipes, etc. Never used them.
    · A fancy bedtime routine. Maybe some kids need it, but others don’t. No need for parents to stress themselves out with thinking that baby needs a bath every day before bed or other rituals if a bottle and a bedtime song are enough.

Months 6+

  • A crib, if you don’t have one already
  • Motherease cloth diapers (for home use – you can tell right away when baby is wet. This is useful if you don’t want baby to get used to sitting in wetness)
  • Baby Bjorn little potty
  • A professional portrait – surprisingly worth it. Sears did a great job
  • Silicone ice cube trays and muffin pans for making baby food
  • A decent food processor or blender
  • An upright seat for the bathtub that keeps baby upright and contained, but allows to interact with water
  • Pedometer and The Step Diet book – time to make sure mom is moving enough and beginning to shed that weight

    Things I’d do without:
    · Foam for the floor while learning to crawl – the usefulness is also very limited and baby will learn to crawl in any case
  • Onesies - once the potty training begins, onesies are a pain to take off and get the baby on the pot. A few would be useful for special occasions. But for home, normal shirts work much better.
    · Shoes – we didn’t see any use for them before he could walk

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