- gauze and A&D ointment (for circumsized boys, but can be used for diaper cream if you have a girl!)
- cotton balls & rubbing alcohol (to clean the umbilical cord stump)
- thermometer and appropriate lube (my rectal thermometer says only to use a water based lube)
- small multi use pads, like the smaller version of these Babies R Us multi-use pads (I used them to line the changing pad cover because Nate liked to have a fecal explosion everyday for the first 4 months)
- different types of BPA FREE pacifiers (babies will take to one kind but not another) - this one has always intrigued me, but I never tried it. Nate never actually took to any really well.
- laundry hamper (you won't believe the amount of laundry you will go through)
- 2 covers for your changing pad, so you'll always have a clean one
- baby nail scissors (their little fingernails are like razors, and I could never use the clippers without cutting Nate's skin)
- mitts (to cover above mentioned Freddy Kruger hands)
- dry wipes (this is more optional - I got used to them in the hospital and when you first get home the baby seems too pure to use real baby wipes on - you just wet the wipes with water)
- lots of soft washclothes (good for so many things: drying their butt after you wipe them, covering the penis so you don't get peed on, cleaning up spit up, sponge baths)
- soap (I orginally used the Johnson & Johnson's, but would now advise against that. Nate had mild eczema and our pediatrician said J&J actually makes babies prone to eczema. We switched to Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic Baby Shampoo & Body Wash, which I absolutely love, but it's expensive. All traces of the eczema are gone. Our Dr. recommended plain white Dove or Ivory bar soap.)
- Motrin prescription (my OB wrote me a prescription for super motrin and it was AWESOME, took care of almost all pain when I was home)
- pads (both nursing pads and giant maxi pads. These Lansinoh ones are great, but there are less cushier - and cheaper - Lansinoh ones that are good too. I thought Medela's were just okay, and Gerber's were horrible.)
- nipple cream (again, liked Lansinoh - use preventatively when you first get home. Watch the oily staining factor on your clothes!)
- Dermoplast Hospital Strength Anesthetic Pain Relieving Spray
- 100 ct. Tucks Medicated Hemorrhoid Pads - For Hygiene and Hemorrhoids
- Stool softener (use preventatively in the beginning - TRUST ME)
- Nursing bras (I really liked several of these Anita bras, which come in really big cup sizes)
Bigger Things/For the Home
- bouncy seat AND swing (I thought I wouldn't need both in our small home, but I did. They are life savers when you have tried everything and you just want the baby to SLEEP!)
- rechargeable batteries (you will spend hundreds of dollars on C & D batteries if you don't go rechargeable - totally worth the investment)
- diaper pail (I really like my Diaper Genie II Elite Pail System)
- thick blanket for tummy time on the floor
- Natural Hand Sanitizer (I was a huge germaphope in the beginning, and it's easier to have a bottle of sanitizer in every room than to make everyone keep washing their hands. But I've read that there are some dangers with certain sanitizer ingredients. I really like BabyGanics Alchohol Free Foaming Hand Sanitizer, and Cleanwell Natural Hand Sanitzer has received good reviews.
- Stain remover (I wish I could recommend a less toxic option, but I use Zout, which works really well on poop and baby food. Unfortunately, I found BabyGanics Stain, Stain, Go Away Stain & Odor Remover to be a waste of time & money.)
- Fragrance free laundry detergent (I like Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent)
- Baby carrier (I'm a big fan of babywearing and all of the benefits that come with it. Whether you plan to "wear" your baby or not, I think most moms find themselves holding the baby a ton in the beginning, and it's really great to have free hands to get things done around the house...or maybe even feed/take care of yourself (!). I know a lot of people like the baby slings, but if you get one, you have to be very careful because there have been infant deaths associated with the use of slings. I liked my standard BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier , but I always wanted the Ergo Baby Carrier , which is supposed to be so comfortable on the back and even comes in an organic option. I also liked my Moby Wrap , but it's not for everyone. You have a lot of options for positions, but it can be complicated learning how to wrap it properly. Also might be too much fabric for a mom of shorter stature.
- mobile (I bought two fancy ones, but Nate always loved the simple one that came with the pack n' play - just three boring bears and a wind up version of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
Resources (I'm a big fan of books, but remember to take everything you read with a grain of salt - info can get outdated quickly, may not be right for your family, or can just be plain old stupid)
- Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care: 8th Edition (a good comprehensive manual)
- Touchpoints-Birth to Three (more in depth look at important stages)
- I DO NOT RECOMMEND Your Baby's First Year Week by Week. It was helpful in the very beginning, but you quickly find that your baby doesn't match up to the mythical "typical" baby. I often disagree with what I read in the book and have literally thrown it across the room a few times. Save yourself the headache.)
- I highly recommend The Happiest Baby on the Block - The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Baby Sleep Longer (DVD). I recommend the DVD over the book, because you can see the fantastic swaddling technique over and over again through the magic of the rewind button.
Everyone's different, but these are the things that really helped me out. Hey, expert parents - anything to add to the list?
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