What products do babies actually NEED?

Any issues with what nappies to buy, home schooling etc. In fact if you have kids or are planning to this is the section for you.
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What products do babies actually NEED?

Post: #163164 mrsmiggins
Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:24 pm

Hi everyone, I'm keen to avoid buying things that we won't actually need or find useful - there seems to be so much stuff out there that is 'essential'. What items did you really find useful with new babies? Thanks everyone!

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Re: What products do babies actually NEED?

Post: #163165 Annpan
Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:04 pm

Well... there is need and need...
Babies really only need their Mum and something to keep them warm and plenty of cultures continue to survive without the rest of the 'stuff' that we westerners consider essential.

My top 5 suggestions would be

1. Cot. We were lucky enough to have a separate crib as well but it is far from essential
2. Grobag. These are quite new, they have a top like a vest, and then a sleeping bag on the bottom. The baby can't kick off the covers or squirm under them. There are plenty of own brand ones you can get, 'grobag' is the trademark name.
3. Baby bouncer/seat. Somewhere for bub to sit in comfort while mum is having a pee or a shower, or washing the dishes. I avoided the ones with flashing lights and swinging motion but I now wish I had an all singing all dancing one... it is soooooooo difficult having a poo while your baby is screaming at you... especially when you are trying to relax because the stitches still hurt :cry:
4. Baby carrier. A decent cuddly one... I had a horrid tommee tippee one but when LO was 18months I made us a mei tai and it is much more comfortable and cosy for both carrier and bub.
5. Bottles and a steriliser on standby - by all means leave them in their packets in the loft but trust me, the last thing you want is to have to send your other half out to the supermarket to buy any steriliser and bottle and formula available because you have stopped producing milk (I had mastitis, and anaphylaxis, my body literally stopped producing.... she was 10 days old, and hungry) The worst day of my life.
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Re: What products do babies actually NEED?

Post: #163166 Silver Ether
Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:33 pm

Well mine are all grown up but having looked after kids for 20 years my top tips;

A travel cot easier to get rid of when you don't need also you always have a bed if your going to stay at mums or friends.
Baby carrier defo ... you can use them at home as well as out and about so you can keep little one close with out breaking your arms...
Boucey cradle/ chair and don't let the health visitor tell you your baby is to young to go in one ... silly cow
The first teddy and it should be a proper ted one for life
Nappies are a good idea... sorry that was a joke... :wink:
A good pushchair if you can one where baby faces you ... You can see baby and talk to baby its so much better than the ones that face away.
Lots of flannels and towels... never seem to have enough.

I don't know how sterilisers work these days but the one I had used Milton and my boy had a lot of thrush ... GP told me to use boiled water and pop then in the micro for 30 ... he never had thrush any more.
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Re: What products do babies actually NEED?

Post: #163171 Penny Lane
Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:04 pm

It all depends on your parenting 'style' really. My son is 15 months, from the start he slept in our bed so the moses basket (he detested that) and cot went into the attic. I tried pumping once but hated the way it made me feel so I breastfed exclusively to 6 months then did baby led weaning. Still breastfeeding now so no need for that follow on milk stuff.
I used a pushchair for the first few months a lot but wish now that someone would have shown me how to use a mei tai or sling early on. I still use my mei tai now, and the pushchair has barely seen daylight!
A selection of cloth nappies and wraps would be good, and clothes lol.
Don't really need a baby bath as you can bathe baby in the sink.
Again, my son didn't like bouncers and spent his time on me or his daddy.

So, in my case I only really needed a mei tai, nappies and clothes! But everyone is different and perhaps someone would class that disposable formula bottle as a need :shaking: :lol:

You do NEED a carseat if you're going to be travelling by car at any point though.
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Re: What products do babies actually NEED?

Post: #163172 Mr and Mrs luvpie
Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:23 pm

Annpan wrote:3. Baby bouncer/seat. Somewhere for bub to sit in comfort while mum is having a pee or a shower, or washing the dishes. I avoided the ones with flashing lights and swinging motion but I now wish I had an all singing all dancing one... it is soooooooo difficult having a poo while your baby is screaming at you... especially when you are trying to relax because the stitches still hurt :cry:

If you can find one that they can still be strapped into when they are 9 it is an added advantage, especially if its a boy!!!

Seriously though, I didn't have bottles or anything, but George had a problem feeding so by the time the hospital let me go home we ended up at tescos having to buy them and a pump late evening, they can always stay in the packet and be freecycled or give to charity if you don't need them.

Nappies and grobags are essentials in this house, George still wears his grobags now, 19m, he will go and get it when he gets tired at night, and as soon as he gets it on he walks to the stairs and waves to everyone, it has become so much part of his bedtime routine I'm dreading having to change it at any time!!

The most essential thing can't be bought and that is a supportive partner and family, I didn't have that the first two times but did with mrluvpie and it made everything so much easier!

Good luck, when are you due, or did I miss that?

Sarahx
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Re: What products do babies actually NEED?

Post: #163180 Muscroj
Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:02 pm

boobs, clothes, and cuddles! :wink:
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Re: What products do babies actually NEED?

Post: #163184 Ron and Jean
Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:52 pm

I would have some fennel seeds to hand and give a tea spoon of weak fennel tea for colic (works wonders and I used it on my 3 boys from when they were a couple of weeks old). Comfrey ointment is great for nappy rash (or sweat rash in those chubby baby folds). It is easy to make and can be used from newborn.

comfrey leaves in olive oil, heat in water bath for 2 hours simmering, strain and repeat with fresh leaves, strain decanting off oil from any liquid that has separated out.

Add 10 to 15% beeswax and heat in water bath till wax has melted, leave to set.

Making the oil with chamomile flowers and comfrey, or chamomile and calendula is also really nice. The ointment is also really good for chapped lips and gardeners hands.

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Re: What products do babies actually NEED?

Post: #163190 Rosendula
Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:49 pm

Well said, Muscroj :thumbright:

One thing I wouldn't be without is my little security camera and monitor. It might just be me, and may not be as necessary to other people, but it has really allowed me to relax with my youngest (now 3YO) much more than I did with my older two. With the first two, I had a sound-only monitor that I put on when they went to bed so I could hear if/when they woke up. Unfortunately, there was so much interference I was forever jumping up to check on them only to find them fast asleep - unless of course I woke them by checking on them :roll: With Katie, we got a camera so I can actually see her, so if there is interference that causes noise, I can turn the sound down and still see that she's OK. I know a lot of people do fine without this bit of equipment, but I have hearing difficulties and don't trust myself to hear her without the camera set up. If I didn't have it, I wouldn't be able to have the TV on, the dishwasher in the next room, the washing machine or anything that makes a noise. I'd basically be sitting in silence 'just in case'. Whether or not you find the camera/monitor useful would depend on 1) how much you can trust your ears and 2) how big your house is. We've often sat in the garden with a glass of wine on warm summer evenings, with the monitor plugged in in the shed.

Remember as well that if you use a car you need a car seat.
Rosey xx

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Re: What products do babies actually NEED?

Post: #163191 Silver Ether
Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:50 pm

cabbage leaves for mums boobs
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Re: What products do babies actually NEED?

Post: #163198 Anne A
Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:00 am

The baby sleeping bags are ace, as is a travel cot, they together allow you to have a life too, you can easily carry them to others houses or elsewhere, set them up and put them to bed at their regular time,
The word here is routine? at 7.30pm my(then 1 year old) son would be tired and ask for bed, we are about to go back on holiday to the place that 23 years ago I used to put the cot up by the bar under the sound system (the only clear space) put a blanket over his cot and dance the night away in front of it, at the end of our night we would pick him up in his sleeping bag and wander back to the tent, bliss for all of us.
get the baby into a routine, stick to it, and always sleep them in a travel cot (even a home, so its their 'bedroom',) your brain and your friends will appreciate it.

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Re: What products do babies actually NEED?

Post: #163208 Islay
Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:44 am

The phone numbers of NCT, LLL and any other breastfeeding helplines you can lay your hands on! I'm sure at least 50% of women (probably lots more) have breastfeeding problems, and if you've got the numbers nearby, you're that much more likely to call than give up and go for a bottle of formula after yet another horrendous night.

Reusable nappies - despite me replacing the entire set (and selling the first lot), we're still going to be quids in at the end of it all (particularly if we have another child), and no nasty landfill!

Somewhere safe for baby to sleep - whether you cosleep (safely, after reading all the information), or put them in a moses basket, crib, cot or travel cot.

blankets/clothes - but hardly any - shops will still exist after the birth if you have a sicky baby and find you need more, plus you'll get given loads of stuff.

I think everyone has a non-essential essential, and in my case there were four:
1) A bouncy seat (a plain baby bjorn one) - the cleverer ones needed batteries, which might go flat, took up too much room in our tiny house, were ugly to look at, and didn't rock as nicely as the plain bouncer
2) A plastic bath seat - meant he could go in the bath without me panicking about dropping him or anything. Although I've heard of wriggly babies starting to try to escape from them quite early!
3) A good wrap sling. I've got a Didymos, and although it gets a bit less use now, it was a godsend in the early weeks when they will only be on you - much easier to accept it than try to deny it and keep suffering a screaming baby!
4) A good pram - I walked a LOT in the early days, as my son would only nap in the pram or sling (still only sleeps in the pram), and I am eternally grateful for the insane amount of money my mother in law spent on our Bugaboo. Middle class, consumerist and all that, but pretty damn amazing too! You don't get a shopping basket on a sling either...
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Re: What products do babies actually NEED?

Post: #163219 Annpan
Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:52 am

Interesting what we all consider essentials and non-essentials (I mean we all know that they aren't ESSENTIALS, but you know what I mean :wink: )

We have a travel cot, but a real cot for the house that the base is raised for the first 4 months is more necessary IMO... I couldn't have reached in comfortably to put my tiny wriggler in the bottom of a travel cot till she was around 5 or 6 months.

I would not bother with a buggy or pram until 4 or 6 weeks, or even later, IMO LO was much happier being in the carrier (even if it was a horrid uncomfortable one) but when bub gets older, you need a fold down one that you can fold and carry in one hand and that doesn't take up much space in the boot of a car - we only got one like that a few months ago and I don't know how we managed with our big daft 3 wheeler number for so long.... Oh, and big daft 3 wheeler numbers are great for jogs on the beach or 'hikes' through parks but above all they are great to load everything from the car onto, go for a 3 mile walk and have a secluded picnic while bub sleeps in comfort and you share a flask of coffee (the wee numbers just can't cope with all that weight) Hardly essential, but it is the little things that keep you sane.

I second the 'routine' as an essential, though it doesn't work for everyone... it gave me back my life. Which, by the way was just sitting down to eat my dinner with my husband.... I didn't dance the night away... where did you find the energy?

I wouldn't bother with a baby monitor at all if I did it all again... but then (horrid mum that I am) we did controlled crying, so if she was screaming I would switch it off anyway, then go back into the room either way 2 mins later - for the first 6 weeks she didn't stop crying till 11pm, then started again at 6am... she screamed herself hoarse, controlled crying was the only thing that got her to stop.

Nor would I bother about a bath, or bath seat... I would set up my kitchen sink to wash the baby at a safe and stable height, or take bub into the bath with me. I regret not getting E to have showers from a younger age because it would make life much easier now (age 3). We have to boil kettles for her bath, so she does use a baby bath, because it is smaller and she is too big for the kitchen sink now.

Also agree with the supportive OH and family, I was lucky to have the first, but not the second. But even with OH being as supportive as he could possibly be, he was still out of the house for 10 - 11 hours of the day, then needed to sleep because he had to stay awake during the day... So for a considerable amount of the day I felt like a single mum, and I know I must have had it much easier than an actual single mum, but still a very lonely time.
Supportive friends are a Godsend too - make sure they can talk to you about music, books, films, politics and not just babies.... I remember loving it when my friend came over cause she had no interest in babies what so ever :mrgreen:


But as I say, some people will consider essential what others consider superfluous - you have to make yourself happy really, if you have a good think about what are the most important things to you.
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Re: What products do babies actually NEED?

Post: #163228 Rosendula
Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:44 am

Annpan wrote:I second the 'routine' as an essential, though it doesn't work for everyone... it gave me back my life. Which, by the way was just sitting down to eat my dinner with my husband.... I didn't dance the night away... where did you find the energy?

Just want to add a bit about 'routine'. Try it, because when it works it's fantastic. You know exactly when their bedtime is (so when your 'evening' starts), you can make plans and everything. BUT! Like Annpan says, it doesn't always work. It worked for the eldest two for me, but not with LO. You need to be able to recognize when it's just not going to work, then just shrug your shoulders and say, "Oh well, we'll try something else", because if you just keep trying and trying to force the routine on the baby, you're going to end up very stressed, very tired, and very irritable, and so, therefore, will the baby. But like I say, give it a try because when it works it's great.
Rosey xx

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Re: What products do babies actually NEED?

Post: #163238 lilypotter
Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:58 am

Hi all,

I agree with most of you, all of you gave good information. As for as my opinion is concerned i think they need good nappy and a warm rapping towel. :study:

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Re: What products do babies actually NEED?

Post: #163265 thesunflowergal
Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:28 pm

I would not be without muslin cloths. I use them for so many things;

-wiping up sick/milk etc,
-to hide my boobs when BFing,
-as a sun hat,
- to protect babe from the sun when in the baby carrier/buggy/car seat,
- to cover the moses basket sheet, as both of mine had relux.
-my kids used them a comforters.

:lol: i think they are great, maybe I should start a 101 uses for a muslin cloth!!!
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