One of my friends is starting to try to get pregnant and contacted me about baby related items that I liked and didn't like.
Here is what I told her.
A great resource is the book Baby Bargains.
Pump- I used the Medela Pump in Style Advanced until about a month ago. I loved it.
The Medela Pump & Save Storage Bags 50-pk were great. They hook onto the pump parts and can go right into the fridge or freezer. Make sure that you buy a hands free bra. I used this one
Don’t be afraid to call a lactation consultant. They helped me a lot through the first few months and all the way up through my production issues during the past year.
Cloth diapers- I found out about my favorite cloth diapers when Sam was about 4 months old-- SmartiPants . What I like best about them is that you don't have to take the insert out before you throw them in the washing machine, they are one size and adjust from newborn through potty training (no need to buy multiple sizes), they are reasonably priced, and they are snaps and not Velcro. I didn't want Sam to be able to undo them as he got older. My daycare does not allow cloth, so he goes into cloth when he gets home and on weekends.
Some things to buy if you go cloth
1. Wet bag
2. Charlie's soap doesn't leave build-up on diapers
3. Diaper sprayer
4. Diaper pail
5. Diaper pail liner- Dump the cloth diapers into the washing machine with the liner. All clean and you don’t have to touch anything.
Disposable diapers- we like Huggies
If you use disposable, get the Baby Trend Diaper Champ. You can use normal trash bags and not have more things to buy.
You can never have too many burp cloths, fitted sheets and blankets. Sam just loved to spit up all the time. We were constantly changing our clothes and grabbing clean burp cloths, crib sheets and blankets. A few crib pads are good too. You can also never have enough hangers.
The best newborn swaddle product that I have used is Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe, but I hear that the Miracle Blanket is awesome too.
After he doesn’t need to be swaddled, the Halo sleep sacks are awesome. They come in different fabrics (fleece, cotton, etc. for different temperatures).
Bottles- We initially only had the ones that came with the Medela Pump in Style Advanced plus another 3-4. As Sam got older and went into daycare, we hated washing bottles every day, so we bought 8-10 more of the small size (5oz). Now, he drinks 8-10 oz of whole milk at a time and we have moved onto the 9oz Avent bottles. We never bought the sterilizer or drying rack. You just have to boil them once and then they can go into the dishwasher. We did buy a dishwasher basket to keep everything together.
Bottle warmers are a waste. Just run warm water over the bottle to get to the correct temperature.
Bumbo sitter seat- Some people like it. Sam may have sat in it twice. We mailed it to my sister. Maybe she will use it with her son more.
Bassinet- We didn’t buy one. Sam went straight into his crib in his room which is right next door to ours. I kept the monitor plugged in and stared at it in case he made the slightest noise. I’m anal that way. I didn’t get a lot of sleep for the first few months.
Pack N Play- I have never used ours. My mother-in-law did when she babysat a few times.
Travel system- we got the Chicco Key Fit30, Cortina stroller and an extra base for our other vehicle. If you have a small trunk, the stroller is kind of big, but we have an SUV. We just bought an umbrella stroller for him within the past few weeks. You may want to get one sooner.
Sam just loved this gym- Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies & Lights Deluxe Gym
Highchair- Fisher-Price Space Saver High Chair
Swing- we have the Fisher-Price Open-Top Cradle Swing, but I didn’t put Sam in it much, Brian did.
Sam did like his bouncer a lot. He loved the vibration. It gave me some time to relax when he was sleeping.
Rocker- we did not buy a glider, we bought a wood rocking chair so that we could use it in a different room after we took it out of Sam’s room.
The BabyBjorn carrier came in handy a lot. It was nice having Sam next to Brian when we were walking around or in a store and not in the stroller.
We love this tub and used it up until a few weeks ago.
A wipe warmer is not necessary, but we got one for a gift, so we use it in Sam’s room. The warm wipes did not upset him the way the cold ones did during his middle of the night diaper changes.
Evenflo SmartSteps Exersaucer Mega- Sam used one up until he started cruising. He still pulls himself up around it and plays with it from the outside instead of the inside.
Boppy Bare Naked with Slipcover- It’s just as easy to use an extra pillow. A waste.
Gate- You won’t need a gate until crawling. You can hold of on that for a while.
Bedding set- A waste of money unless you want it for the design. You shouldn’t put up the bumper pad, we never used the blanket (you aren’t supposed to)- use swaddle or sleep sacks.
Sheet saver- you aren’t supposed to have anything in the bed with the baby.
Changing pad- one for every floor. You don’t want to have to run all over the house.
Changing pad cover- not needed. We just used a towel.
That's my 2 cents. These are my opinions. Mine, and mine alone.
Please let me know if there any items that you couldn't live without during the early party of your child's life, please let me know. I love to pass on good advise.