lilibeth: (Default)
lilibeth ([personal profile] lilibeth) wrote2008-12-12 12:53 pm

Baby Gear Notes from a Friend

All of these are from a friend in CA with twin boys (now 4) and a girl (now 1.5).  I, obviously, don't have any experience with any of it, so I can't comment or debate the merits of her advice, but am hoping to glean whatever wisdom I can from others.

A Brief Dissertation on Changing Table/Diaper bag/Medicine Cabinet/Car: 

Diaper Bag
: I use the Skip Hop; it's utilitarian, not too big, and Ben doesn't mind it.  It's lasted to kid #3.  I'm guessing you will want a cuter bag.

Strollers: I like MacLaren and Zooper strollers for the portable type.  I don't have a rec. for a single SUV or jogger.  I wouldn't recommend the brand we used for the boys (Valco).

Car Seat: Britax, Britax, Britax.  We used Marathons with the boys, they go up to 65 lbs.  Leah is in a Roundabout because it fits into our car.  You will probably want an infant seat (the type that clicks in and out); they are convenient, but heavy and some babies hate them (Isaac).  If you go this route, get a used snap n go to wheel the infant seat around in.  We used the Graco Snugride infant seat.  We skipped that with Leah because we couldn't fit it into the car.  So she went right into the Roundabout and did fine. And I used the sling a lot on outings.

By the way, keep your kiddo rear facing as long as the weight limit in the car seat allows.  It is so much safer for the kiddo.  Leah is still rear facing.  Also, keep them in a 5 pt harness until they're 18.

Changing table:
Diapers, wipes, diaper ointment, lotion, hand sanitizer all within easy reach.  (I have this in a basket next to the changing pad).
In a drawer: Baby nail clippers, thermometer, alcohol swabs & vaseline (to take temperatures), q-tips, aquaphor (for minor scratches, eczema patches on baby, etc.).
Optional: paper towels to lay down under baby for really messy situations and plastic bags for the same.  (We actually don't use a diaper pail with Leah; wet dipes get put in the kitchen garbage pail, messy dipes get bagged and put in the outside garbage).

Diaper bag:
Diapers, small pack of wipes (come with a pop top), travel-size hand sanitizer, travel size handi-wipes, empty plastic bags (for yuck dipes), tiny first aid kit (Target), small diaper ointment, chapstick, hand lotion or aquaphor, sunscreen (babies can't wear this until 6 months), small bottle infant tylenol (tip: dose the babies before their vaccinations; it's totally safe and helps)
Change of clothes (or at least a clean onesie or sleeper and keep extra clothes/dipes in the car).
Changing mat OR a small receiving blanket for changes on the go
Water bottle and snacks (for you!); bottle or sippy for baby; snacks for babies over 6 mos.
Teething toys/rattles/board books (later on)

Medicine Cabinet:
Infant Tylenol (for first 6 months); Infant Motrin (6 months on--get the dye free kind); Pedialyte; Hylands teething tablets for later (homeopathic-tiny pills that melt in their mouths); neosporin (for scratches); 1% hydrocortisone (for rashes)

By EVERY sink in house: gentle hand soap, towels, hand sanitizer, hand lotion or aquaphor.  (Your hands will get incredibly dry with all the washing, and with hormonal stuff.  If hand lotion is not enough use aquaphor liberally.  It really works.)

Tide Free and All Free and Clear are both good for laundry.  Shout is good for stains.  Keep the Shout wherever it's going to be remembered.  I actually keep ours under the bathroom sink, because that's where I rinse out icky baby things.

In the car: extra dipes and wipes and changes of clothes; pop-up container of hand-wipes (for adults and toddlers)

A Brief Dissertation on Baby Hygene Products:  I think it's safest to assume that you may have a baby with sensitive skin and/or allergies. I USED to like the California Babies Super Sensitive line of baby wash/shampoo (one product) and lotion. It's free of everything that might irritate a babies' skin (for example, if you have an allergy or sensitive baby, lots of products have nut oils or shea in them--big no-nos). The boys had cradle cap bad. We wound up having to use Neutragena T-Sal shampoo on their heads, plus hydrocortisone 1% ointment on their eyebrows on dr's recommendation later on to clear it up.

HOWEVER, Jake wound up reacting to the Calif. babies products. We now use the Walgreen's version of "All Clear" shampoo. It has nothing to react too, and leaves the kids' hair nice and soft. It's not "no tears" however.

We wash all the kids with Dove Sensitive skin bar soap. I use Aveeno Soothing Baby Lotion on Leah's very itchy dry skin liberally after bath. Eventually I will have to find non-reactive products for Miss Leah's curls. Once baby hits 6 months, I like the Coppertone babies sunscreen (in the pink bottle). It smells pefumey and has chemical sunscreens but it works on my kids (see below).

As for diaper ointment, I really like A&D (the old school clear kind in the gold and white tube). It smells distinctive, but goes on easily and makes a good non-drying/non-irritating barrier. I don't like the zinc based ones, because you have to work hard to wipe it off between changes, which I think irritates the skin. Also, Isaac and Leah are both sensitive to zinc (it makes them rash up, and they react to zinc based "natural" sunscreen; so much for nature being better than chemistry). If you wind up with diaper rash, try Boudreaux Butt Paste (available widely) or if it's a really bad case, Triple Paste (but only if there's no sensitivity to zinc).

Aquaphor is awesome for any dry or eczema patches on babies and parents (both Ben and I wound up with severely dry hands from all the hand washing). If babies have eczema, apply the aquaphor on their still wet skin after bath to lock the moisture in.

Hydrocortisone 1% is good to have on hand for random rashes.

A Brief Dissertation on Diapers:  We used disposables.  This is an area where you get what you pay for.  The more expensive versions are more comfy for babies and work better.  We used Pampers with the boys and Leah when she was small.  Swaddlers until size 2-3, then Cruisers.  I'm now using Huggies for Leah.  Huggies overnights rock.  Also, used (and still use) Pampers Sensitive wipes; they're thick, not too wet, and don't have any icky scent.

By the way, diapers can't really be too big as long as they are snug around the leg holes.  They CAN be too small.  If you start getting lots of leaks, it might be time to size up (no matter what the package says about weights).

Around here, Target is the cheapest for diapers.  Especially if you clip coupons and save the coupons that are often included in the larger boxes of diapers.  Costco (around here) only carries Huggies (which I didn't like with the boys).

A Brief Dissertation on Baby Wearing:  Ergo rocks.  Though I haven't figured out how to get Leah on my back, so I still do the front carry with her (which she barely tolerates now).  I don't think the infant insert is worth it though.  We only used it a couple of times.  Instead, use a sling when they're tiny.  The kangaroo cozy is good, though it's fleece and that won't work for your due date.  However, I can also recommend the peanut shell sling which worked for baby and I until about 4 months; it's a tighter fitting one, so it might work for you, too, and it comes in lots of fun patterns.  Many moms love the Moby wrap.  That might work well for you since it's entirely adjustable.  If you can try these on ahead of time, you have plenty of time to seek them out used.  Or, ask for the Ergo for a present (that's what I did).

[identity profile] 2008-12-12 06:07 pm (UTC)(link)
This is fun (and reminds me of a few things I forgot to put on my list)

[identity profile] 2008-12-17 02:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Jeff and I will gladly take the Amby off your hands... obviously no rush, so when you get a chance you can send me an address to which I can send a check. eep! Baby Gear!

[identity profile] 2008-12-12 08:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Cloth diapers rock. We started at month 4 and didn't go back outside of daycare. As the bean is tiny, our Mediums basically fit until potty training. We also used cloth wipes at home.

[identity profile] 2008-12-12 09:16 pm (UTC)(link)
I've got Stephanie's comments on cloth marked for future reference. With all the new stuff we'll be facing, I'm glad to get the perspectives from people who neither have endless amounts of time, money or energy. (Thinking of the professor who told me how she couldn't survive without her night nurse and nanny.)

[identity profile] 2008-12-13 07:50 am (UTC)(link)
I think she did them from day one. Well, technically, so did we, but we stopped when we got home from our cloth-using hospital!

Me, I'd still have a stock of disposables for the first two/three weeks, when everything is a horrible blur of blah.

[identity profile] 2008-12-13 02:26 pm (UTC)(link)
My mother's standard gift for new parents is 3-6 months of diaper service. I used to think, "Boring!" but now I'm thinking, "Brilliant!"

It's a decision in which Jeff will have to be involved as he is the Chair of the Laundry Committee.

[identity profile] 2008-12-13 12:47 am (UTC)(link)
I only know about what my bro and SIL are doing with my nephew, but they have FuzziBunz for diapers and love them --

They also use some kind of all natural disposable when necessary but the Fuzzibunz do really well. They have these inserts (also cloth) that you can double up for night, and shake out so you don't have to touch it (I guess). They are also getting for Xmas a hose that attaches to the toilet some way so they can hose off the diaper before you throw them in the wash.

We had my nephew here for a week (and will have him for two weeks in Jan) and it was really easy, take the diaper off, throw it by the washing machine, then when a few pile up, pull the inserts out, toss the diapers and insert in the machine for a quick load.

They only brought 7 or 8 diapers and inserts for the week and there was never an issue of not having a clean diaper. Although a lot of laundry was done, by my poor CutieHead nephew is a puker and we didn't have bibs so he went through a lot of outfits. And we threw a spare insert over him when changing just so we wouldn't get soaked.

You can't use diaper rash cream with the FuzziBunz, but that hasn't been an issue since he was swtiched to cloth.

Also, a trick Mom picked up from somewhere is to tuck a baby wipe in your cleavage when you get ready to change and then when you wipe the baby it's not so cold.

Oh! And Get a Boppy! Those things rock, CutieHead Nephew takes plenty of naps all propped up in his, plus it does make feeding a lot easier by taking some stress off your shoulder.

Oh! Check out thrift stores and second hand stores for things like vibrating baby seats, Boppys, extra sheets, mobiles, pack in plays (those protable crib things). Most things are washable and or get steam clean (if you have a portable steamer) and it can save money. Mom found the portable crib thing for under $20, it works fine.

[identity profile] 2008-12-13 02:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Jeff is going to have to be involved in the diaper decision, as he is #1 laundry do-er in our house. I realize that dynamic will change while I am home initially, but eventually he's going to have to pitch in and as that is one of the household chores he's comfortable being responsible for...

There's a lot of stuff offered on our community parents' listserv, and after I've picked people's brains, (yum, brains!) I'll keep a list next to my computer so I know what to try to claim, and what my mother can look for -- she is the Queen of Used Stuff and, being retired, has plenty of time to scour stores. She loves having items to actually look for!

[identity profile] 2008-12-13 12:53 am (UTC)(link)
I thought of something else.

Mom knew that Bro and SIL and baby would be coming and staying and that it's a long drive from Charleston (7 hours) with baby, dog, and parents. So she got her self set up with a nursery. Now she had a spare room and could do it and she has friends with grandbabies just a bit older than the Nephew. But she got a bunch of stuff second hand -- stroller, pack in play, bouncy seat, crib, etc. Between the free and second hand she spent about $100.

I don't know how close you are to your parents and in laws and how much traveling you are doing, but it has been a huge saver for everyone, and less stuff to lug around. Don' tknow how you 'd introduce that idea to your parents and whatnot but it was easier when all the family had to bring was baby, clothes, diaper and feeding thnings.

[identity profile] 2008-12-13 02:30 pm (UTC)(link)
Heh, this is grandchild #6 for my parents, so while I'm lost in the woods they know their stuff. They, and my sister are about 2 hours away in Richmond. That sister still has all of her baby stuff (her youngest is 10!) so we'll be going through piles to see what can be used, and it's likely that some of it will be consigned to G'ma's house.

[identity profile] 2008-12-13 02:46 am (UTC)(link)
Keep them in a 5 point harness until they're 18??? Hah! I'm suddenly imagining teenagers being like "Mooooooooom, come ON, I'm old enough to DRIVE, can I please wear a normal seatbelt???"

[identity profile] 2008-12-13 02:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Ha! My sisters have mentioned that it's a good thing the car seat/booster seat rules have an "or" in them so that the kid can move to a different set up when they reach (age) OR (weight) because otherwise some of them might have been in a baby seat until they were 10 having been small and skinny.