Oct 12, 2017

Baby Stuff - What I Liked, What I Didn't, and What I Wished We Had Bought

I should probably chop this into several posts, but I don't wanna so you get this one monstrous post of all the baby "stuff" opinions I have.

To Bring to the Hospital for Delivery

You get so much advice about what to bring to the hospital and what you'll NEED as soon as you bring that baby home.  We did our best to sift through what was actually necessary and what was superfluous or a luxury, and I think our "must haves" ended up being different than any other list.

1. A Pillow & Blanket

For your spouse or whoever might be in the waiting room with you.  I was well taken care of, but Ryan was exhausted and his nap on the bench they have for spouses looked pretty uncomfortable.

2. Clothes to Wear Home

Bring stretchy pants that fit during the middle of your pregnancy.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who was surprised and disappointed that after having the baby I still looked about 5 months pregnant.  Definitely don't bring your pre-pregnancy clothes unless you want yet another trigger for all those unstable hormones!

3. That's It

Seriously, all that advice about bringing slippers and a robe and so on, just no.  All that means is extra stuff in your hospital bag that you won't use and then have to make sure you grab when you switch rooms after.  They provide you with a hospital gown, and an extra one for your backside if you want to roam the hallways.  You get socks with grip on the bottom, and the delivery table/bed thing is messy enough that you probably don't want to use your own version of anything from home.  They also provide all the necessities for feminine hygiene, thank goodness!  I can guarantee that nothing you currently have at home is going to suffice for what your body will do after having a baby.

You could bring clothes for your baby, but the hospital provides basic onesies, and plenty of blankets for swaddling.  All the hospital babies are almost constantly swaddled.  They also provide little hats and tons of diapers.  You really don't need to bring a diaper bag to the hospital.  You do need your baby's car seat in the car, and if you know ahead of time you won't be breast feeding, you could bring bottles and formula.  (Honestly, I'll probably smuggle this in next time even though we will be trying to breast feed again because I'm not going to listen to a hungry baby screaming for hours instead of sleeping while the hospital reassures us that "You can't run out of milk."  Hahahaha, bullshit.)

To Buy for Your Home

1. Diaper Pails!

I thought, "Surely this is unnecessary" but then my mom pointed out that maybe our garage wouldn't smell so bad if we didn't have dog poop bags out in the regular trash bin.  So we bought one and started using it for that before we even brought the baby home and IT WAS AWESOME!!!  They're so good at containing the smell.  We have one in the garage for diapers changed on the main floor and one in our bathroom upstairs and neither smells at all if they're closed and locked.  When the upstairs one gets a bit fragrant upon opening, I sprinkle in some baking soda and that helps keep the odors inside.

2. Play Mat

Somewhere around 4 months we started using this and it was the first toy that Orion interacted with and held his interest.  It was such a relief to have him able to be entertained for even 10 minutes at a time!  AND he still plays with it now at 8 months, which is pretty enduring considering how fast babies change.

Ours was a fun, jungle themed one and it has music and lights and all that, but we didn't always use those and it still worked pretty well.  I think any play mat with dangly things hanging over would work fine.

3. Bouncy Seat

Some people swear by baby swings, or the "Mommaroo," but our baby loves his bouncy seat.  That thing has entertained him for countless hours AND after he started getting more mobile was a nice, safe place to put him while I did chores or, you know, used the bathroom.  In general, having some sort of thing you can put your baby in and know that they're not going to hit their head, or get into something dangerous, is a godsend.

4. Food Masher Thing

We've mostly been feeding Orion from off our plates but at some point he decided he didn't need to bother with gumming/chewing.  So now we've kind of regressed and we mash things up for him to make sure he doesn't choke.  It's basically the baby version of a mortar and pestle.  Sorry I don't have an actual product name but I'm sure some inventive googling will successfully pull it up!

5. Glider

Expensive, yes, but amazing for feeding and rocking to sleep!  I'm a little sad that Orion's outgrown this and doesn't let me rock him to sleep anymore, but this was a total must have during the early days and maybe we'll use it again at some point in  the future.

Things People Recommended That We Did Not Need

1. Wipe Warmer

You can just hold them in your palm for a second - problem solved.  But then again, maybe our baby was less sensitive than the child of the recommendor.

2. Baby Food Processor

We really haven't been making special foods for the baby, and when we do the food masher works fine.  It doesn't need to be a special puree.

3. Baby Utensils

I mean, no one specifically recommended this, but I find myself not really using them ever.  How do I feed my baby, you ask?  With my hands.  Straight from the highchair tray.  We're heathens, I guess.

Things I Wish We Had Gotten

1. Baby Changing Table

For the most part, people were right and you just change the baby wherever you happen to be in the house.  But in the early newborn stages, I was feeding him and changing him in the closet (on the floor) so Ryan could get some sleep and my back hurt all the time from constantly hunching over.  A changing table would have been nice!

2. Dresser

This is not a must have and I know it, but the organizer part of me really hates that we don't have one central location for baby clothes.  I thought we'd move them into his room when he started sleeping there, but instead we kept them and in the morning I just go get him and bring him into our room to get ready.  It actually works pretty well, but we'll need something at some point, right?

Bonus Tips

  1. Footie pajamas are much easier with a zipper instead of snaps
  2. For bibs, the opposite!  They have them mostly in snaps or velcro and the velcro will attach itself to other clothes in the wash and mess your delicate laceys up.  Snaps = far superior.
  3. You probably won't have to buy any newborn or 3 month onesies.  We only started having to buy clothes around the 6 month mark because so many people bought us stuff.
  4. You cannot have too many receiving blankets - you'll be using these to wipe up bodily fluids, swaddle the baby, pad uncomfortable services, and as blankets in mildly chilly weather.  A coworker was very generous and gave us their (massive) pile of receiving blankets.  At the time, while grateful, I couldn't help but wonder, "Why on earth are there so many?"  Now I know.

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