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What do I really need? I don't want to be a sucker!

Forum: 2013 Playroom


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March 31st, 2013, 12:40 PM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 599
This is our first baby, and we're completely ignorant. This is also my mother's first grandchild, and she has gone crazy buying for him/her already (I wont need clothes, blankets, sheets, etc). We live in an apartment that doesn't have a crazy amount of space, so we need to limit the purchase of bulky items.
Since my mom's shopping adventure, my aunts are now trying to figure out what they can get, because apparently all shopping must be done as quickly as possible. So, apparently we have to get busy and put a registry together. DH and I don't want to get stuck with a bunch of stuff that we wont use/need that we'll have to turn around and sell. My question is...what do we really NEED, what would be nice to have (that we will definitely use), and what do people buy that they don't use?
What items are worth a good investment, and what specific brands/styles do you recommend and why?
We live in Vancouver. Does anyone have any suggestions on where we should set up the registry?
Thanks for the help ladies!
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March 31st, 2013, 03:04 PM
TnPhotoMama81's Avatar Wife/Mommy/Photographer
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Location: Oneida, TN
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There were a lot of things I don't think are really needed. I don't see the purpose in buying a changing table. We just use the bed. We also didn't use the baby tub we got with our first too. We used it for him for a bit but not with our daughter. It really was just in the way and was annoying to store etc. We just put a hand towel in the bottom of our tub so they are not sliding around all over the place.

Also you won't need a high chair right off. I love using the Bumbo at first and there is a tray that they sell to fit on it too. The swing is nice to have. Our babies loved napping in the swing but it is one of those things you use for a short amount of time. We also used the jumperoo for several months. Once she started crawling though she didn't want anything to do with it and wanted to be mobile.

We didn't even have a crib when our son was born and he slept in a pack and play until he was 2 We live in a very small home though and we really cannot have huge items all over the place that take up tons of room.

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March 31st, 2013, 03:04 PM
mommy2lilmen's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Delta, BC Canada
Posts: 2,927
Vancouver BC Canada? I know there is one in Washington and somewhere else. I live in Vancouver area of BC Id say Babies R Us is a good place for starters. I will send a link here of what you should get, minimal stuff. Get at your discretion not cus the market shows ALL this stuff. We got a bouncy, barely used it, we got a jumperoo barely used it, we got a baby bath barely used it. I got the bath rack sling meshy thingy and put it in the tub and that folds up into a drawer and was $2 cheap! small, non space taking. lol I went by the first link when I restarted my baby days 3 years ago!


Mommy to 7 boys and 1 girl!
Sean 21, Justin 17, Kevin 16, Jayson 134 Bryce 8, Seth 7, Kade 5 & Alyssa 4
4 babies 94,95,99, 08~TL April 2003 & Sept 2013 TR May 2008

Blessed with 1 son with Autism and 1 daughter with Down Syndrome child she was also born with Pulmonary Hypertension, Oxygen dependence, complete AVSD, Hirschsprungs, GJ tube dependant and many more health issues
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March 31st, 2013, 03:27 PM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 755
Aside from clothes and sheets ...

You need :
Vibrating bouncy seat
Activity mat
Swing - I recommend the fisher price papassan swing ... It swings left right and back and forth. Some babies like one motion over the other. It's expensive .... I found one used on Craigslist for $25. Best purchase for my dd. it was her fav place to be until 7 months.
Activity bar for the carseat
Bundle me type thing for the carseat and stroller.
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March 31st, 2013, 03:44 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,755
I didn't need a swing, a bouncy seat, or a highchair. If you're very short on space, some moms will use a pack n play instead of a crib. Also, try holding out on bulky toys (like walkers or play areas) until they're old enough to use them. I used to live in a very small apartment, and the big toys just drove me nuts.

My must haves we're a good baby carrier (like a moby or ring sling, see if you can find a local place to try some out and see what you like) a good carseat, and I thought swaddling blankets were nice to have (not every baby likes them, my daughter loved them but my son was unimpressed)
I can't think of anything else being necessary, aside from the obvious (diapers, clothes, that sort of thing)

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March 31st, 2013, 06:35 PM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 599
That's very helpful! Thanks to everyone!

Mommy2lilmen, yes we live in Vancouver BC.
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March 31st, 2013, 06:35 PM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 599
That's very helpful! Thanks to everyone!

Mommy2lilmen, yes we live in Vancouver BC.
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March 31st, 2013, 06:39 PM
TaraJo29's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,755
Hmm. Good question.

I consider these essentials:

- clothes, blankets, sheets, carseat (no surprise)
- a good head support for the baby's head in the carseat
- a budle me lite good for fall, and a normal fleecy bundle me for colder weather (these are great b/c they are snuggly, can't be kicked off or fall off into a mud puddle, and also protect the seat in case baby poops or pees in the seat. Much easier to take off and wash than the actual car seat cover.
- car seat strap covers so the straps don't cut into the baby's neck.
- a simple stroller that reclines so that baby can lay down while sleeping (this is one thing that gets really over-done, IMO. They make some gargantuan strollers that are so needlessly bulky and if you have no place to store it besides your trunk or your apartment, you need to be careful to get a simple/smaller version. The only essential is that it reclines, IMO).
- a cheap umbrella stroller (super easy to transport, fit in small places, great for when baby is older and can sit up)
- a baby swing! I consider this essential because my babies have all loved them. Essential feature to me is that, again, it reclines in a comfortable position for newborns because the younger they are the more they tend to be happy in it and it's a great nappy spot. Do not get one where baby has to be a in a sitting-up position because newborns can't do that. Also, if you have limited space, I recommend a travel swing instead of a full-sized one because they are smaller and also can be easily moved from room to room (i.e. you can put it in the bathroom when you need to take a shower, so you can keep an eye on baby).
- burp cloths (nothing fancy necessary, but good to have a lot on hand to catch spit up)
- a bassinet (even one that goes on the floor, not necessarily with a big stand. I like them on the floor beside the bed because then I can roll over and see the baby immediately without getting up. If it's on a big stand, I'd have to get *up* for the 100th time just to see in the bassinet to see "what that noise is" and that the baby is fine. ) Another option is a co-sleeper like the clear-view co-sleeper that hooks onto your bed. OR you can just put the baby in the bed with you if you're comfortable with that, and that's less stuff that you need.
- a play pen. Can be baby's bed when you're at grandma's or a friend's house, can be baby's bed in general when they get too big for the bassinet, and is a lot more portable and easy to store than a crib which, when the baby is too old for it, can't be stuck in the closet. Although you can turn some cribs into toddler beds. But after that, you are still stuck with storing it. Just stuff to think about.
-safety gates (do not go cheap on these. Don't buy the cheap wooden ones b/c they will break. I wouldn't even get the plastic ones if you can afford not to. If you have a high-traffic area that baby should not freely go through, get a good wooden one or a metal one that is permanently affixed (the only thing that is permanently on the door frame, though, is a little white disk and if you need to take that off later there will only be 1 hole from each disk where the screw was). I also got a TALL one after being really frustrated at my toddlers putting a pack of diapers down and climbing OVER the plastic gates. Drove me insane. My 5th toddler doesn't climb over this sucker. LOL It's steel and almost 4 feet tall and locks on its own after you go through it.
-safety stuffs like outlet covers and cabinet lockers. Even if it's not dangerous stuff in the cabinet, if you don't want to see the contents all over the floor a year from now, just lock it up.
-a health kit and other health items (a good thermometer, baby clippers, boogie sucker, Desitin, infant tylenol, Mylicon gas drops, baby oil for the almost-inevitable cradle cap, foaming baby soap, a fine comb).
-Lansinoh for you if you plan to breastfeed

Things that are nice to have but not *essential* for me:

- a carrier
- an activity mat for when baby can lay on the floor and play with toys but gets bored b/c they can't go anywhere yet

Not a good use of space if you don't have much, IMO:

- a full sized swing
- a jumperoo (I bought one and it was kinda nice for a short period of time, but they are pretty dang big when you get them home and generally don't collapse down for storage)
- a bouncy seat. I think the swing does the trick if it has a bit of entertainment (the dangling toys which you can switch out, music, and a few lights)
- a changing table (totally not necessary, IMO, though cute and great if you have a whole nursery or a big house, but I do not.)
- a baby tub. They are nice for the first 6 months and after the baby can sit up, it's easier to stick the in the sink, IMO. And if you have a tub, you could just put a towel down for baby to lay down for the first 6 months, like someone else said.

Another fun thing you can put on your registry if you need ideas is maybe a Scrapbook or photo album.

Also, I would put on some cute board books and first baby toys. Chew toys, squeaky toys, soft toys, maybe toys you can hook onto the car seat or stoller for when baby starts getting interested. People love to buy babies toys and if you put them on the registry, you can pick out exactly which ones you'd like.

That's all I can think of right now! Hope that helps.
Mom to Titus (12), Isaiah (10), Noelle (8), Joel (6), Hannah (4), Elijah (1), and baby due Nov 4!

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March 31st, 2013, 06:47 PM
TaraJo29's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,755
Oh, duh, I forgot a high chair. You don't need it immediately, but might as well put it on the registry if you have family pining to buy you gifts, right? I buy the ones that hook onto a chair b/c they save more space than a stand-alone high chair (plus you don't trip over them as much).

I think a Bumbo (with a tray) would be really nice to have for that period of time when baby wants to be with you but can't crawl around. You can just put the bumbo on the floor with a few toys while you do the dishes, during that frustrating time that they want to be sitting up but you can't hold them all day. I might get one this time since that aren't that big.
Mom to Titus (12), Isaiah (10), Noelle (8), Joel (6), Hannah (4), Elijah (1), and baby due Nov 4!

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March 31st, 2013, 07:00 PM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 678
I second the idea of getting a bumbo..they are great for sitting the baby up near you.

Also, if you are really short on space, I'd get a pack n play that has the bassinet/infant sleeper and changing pad. That way you have a place to change the baby and for the baby to sleep when they are really young and then you can convert it to a regular play pen and they can continue sleeping in that instead of buying a bassinet, changing table and crib. Once the baby is a bit older, I changed them on the floor, couch, bed etc.
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March 31st, 2013, 07:45 PM
babybatax2's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 5,141
Just remember, it is not safe to add extras to your carseat!

I say a spot to sleep, clothes, bouncy...that's it in the beginning!
TayAnd2Angels and Babybear4 like this.
stephanie, wife to adam, mommy to rylan, dakota, and baby girl on the way!

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March 31st, 2013, 07:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 386
Must haves for me are:
~cheap burp cloths/spitup rags. the gerber cloth diapers are cheap and work great!
~For bath time, I just got a foam thing to lay bathtub. When not in use, it could be folded in half and stored under the sink or in the small linen cabinet. The bathtub was only used for her "first bath" and then just sat around
~a baby carrier. for me, it was so much easier to put the baby in the sling than to lug that stupid bucket carseat around. Plus, when baby is in the sling, random strangers aren't as likely to come up and touch the bay or get in it's face.
~A blanket that is bigger and thicker than a receiving blanket. I didn't use activity mats, instead just put a blanket on the floor and had little toys for baby to play with.
~Instead of a huge high chair, just a simple little booster seat that straps to a regular chair was great, especially when I was short on room. many of them come with trays that you can snap on, or you can just pull the chair up to the table. Babies aren't developmentally ready to eat solid food until they are able to sit up on their own, so all these bulky reclining high chairs or booster seats are a waste of space and money
~lightweight stroller. I had a big stroller, but most of the time I didn't go anywhere that I needed that much space. a small leightweight stroller was easier to lug and push around and still able to carry everything I needed for most trips.
~SOMETHING that you can put the baby down in. Whether that be a vibrating bouncy seat, a swing, playpen with toys, whatever. You need something that you can put your baby in. You probably will be so busy hugging and snuggling your newborn for the first week or two that the don't get used much, but then real life catches up to you and you have a mountain on laundry and/or dishes that need done, the floors need vacuumed or mopped, etc.
~Glider (or rocking chair). I cannot tell you how much time I spent in my glider with my babies. My mom, grandma, grandpa, aunt, cousins, etc loved to sit in it and rock them, too. Even now, we still use it to read books. When my kids (who are now 5 and 7) get upset, they STILL like to cuddle and rock in that thing.

If you are looking for things that people can buy you, don't be afraid to look down the line and register for things that you won't need immediately, but will definitely need at some point. Baby dishes and utensils, a potty seat, bath toys, larger sizes of clothes. Even things like decorations for the baby's room. Maybe a neat picture frame or customized wall art. One of my favorite gifts was a really neat handmade growth chart at a local art show that hangs on the wall. Another thing my family likes to do is to pay for an experience instead of an item. For example, instead of buying more toys or clothes that the baby doesn't really need, someone paid for us to have professional family portraits done.
Megan, mom of:
DD ~ September 2005
DS ~ October 2007
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March 31st, 2013, 08:53 PM
beckiethedoula's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: the land of milk and honey, UT
Posts: 2,089

-Boobs or formula and bottles
-Something to catch pee and poop (disposable or reusable, up to you)
-Something to wipe a poopy butt
-Weather appropriate clothing
-A car seat (do not add bundle me's or shoulder covers or headrests that are not included with the original seat as they have been shown to interfere with the seats ability to function properly and could cause your baby to be injured in an accident.)
-A safe sleep space. (Which could be anything from your bed to a fancy pants crib)

That's really it for NEED.

Handy to have:
-a carrier or wrap or sling or good stroller. (Depends on your taste)
-a pack n play
-a snot sucker
-swaddle blankets
-a fancy seat of some kind (bouncy, swinging, or otherwise)

That's about everything that I use in the first 6 months - year...

There are lots of super fun extras to buy for you baby though, so have a blast going through the store and finding things that look awesome!

ETA: THERMOMETER!!! I prefer rectal until their mobile then an ear (tympanic) thermometer from then on. Buy the expensive ones. They're more accurate and last much longer!

ETA: I write "poop shoot" on my rectal thermometer so my DH doesn't accidentally put it in his mouth...

Last edited by beckiethedoula; March 31st, 2013 at 08:57 PM.
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March 31st, 2013, 09:08 PM
jensma's Avatar Katie: mommy to Ty & Em
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 12,928
oh gosh i could make a huge list of what you "don't" need. of course a lot of that dpeneds on your wants and needs too. i had it all for my son and of course didn't use half of it, but its kind of trial and error too. you don't need a zillion blankets, especially the cute ones. they're pretty useless, 2 or 3 is plenty. you don't need 9 million bibs, if your kid is a drooler you can get more later. you def don't need a full high chair. i agree with the list of stuff tarajo posted that you don't need b/c they're big. now my first NEEDED the swing...he lived in it. he was in it until the motor wore out. my daughter could have cared less. neither of them cared for the bouncy chair and it was pretty expensive so that was annoying. they both really liked the jumperoo but the johnny jumper would be just as useful and take up far less space. i got the glider for my 2nd and it really wasn't needed or even that useful. neither of my kids really liked being rocked. i didn't need a monitor. we've used it maybe 3x in 2.5 years. we didn't buy our 2nd a crib either. she is still sleeping in a pack n play in our room. changing table serves as nothing but storage space...total waste. no need for crib bedding at all...a cute sheet and maybe a skirt is all i would get if i were to buy that stuff over again

I have a rock n play sleeper which i absolutely swear by for the first few months. it folds up and is easy to drag around the house. i put the baby right next to my bed and would pick her up to nurse then put her back when she was done. sooo easy. Also try to avoid getting 90328984 baby toys. omg they're annoying. its totally cute for like 4m then its just like great, now what do i do with these. i'll be delighted to get rid of the ones we have because they're barely used. seriously my babies did NOT care about rattles. i have a couple of favorites but the 100s i feel like i have are overkill. all of the cutesy stuff like diaper stacker and stuff...total junk as far as we're concerned. i also dislike newborn socks on the whole, and tons of hats. we just never used them.

i'm sure there is much much more, but that'll do for now.

things i had to have:
swing, it was the only thing that made my first happy
stroller, but a small/light weight one over a travel system is much preferred imo.
nursing cover
breast pump
stretchy swaddle blankets
onesies, esp the ones with fold over mittens for newborns.
rock n play sleeper
pack n play
nose frida/saline spray
gas drops
i loved the bumbo too

Have Faith, Expect Miracles

SHHHH!! Don't mention Pregnancy on FB please!!

Last edited by jensma; March 31st, 2013 at 09:15 PM.
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April 1st, 2013, 12:46 PM
Posts: n/a
I'm gonna jump in and say, yes the bumbo is a great space saver but I HATED mine. They are so unsafe. Granted, I just stopped using mine when they recalled them
And added a strap but I didn't like it anyway. The leg holes were to small and my baby wasnt that fat, you have to sit it on the floor for safety reasons, and if your baby arches his back enough he will fall out!
They make high chairs that fold up or even ones that you can strap to your kitchen chair, that's a much better option in my opinion.
I know people that swear by the bumbo, but it didnt work for us.

I agree, changing tables aren't a must but if you can buy a chest of drawers that you can put a a changing pad on that would be a great space saver. I didnt like my bassinet, I used a pack and play. I would say a swing is close to a must. It was my sons favorite for quite a bit of time. No, on the diaper genie though we enjoyed ours its not a must. Hardly used the bouncy, vibrating seat.

You'll get mixed opinions I'm sure, but I would say the bare necisities would be
Clothes, blankets, socks, diapers, formula or breast milk, at least one bottle, pacifiers if you plan to use them though you will get one from the hospital probabably, pump if you are a working mom, storage bags, nursing pads, nursing bra, crib or pack and play, baby wipes or wet wash clothes work too, baby soap, baby lotion, rattles and teething rings. You can buy toys as the baby gets bigger if space is an issue. I may have left something out lol
Oh, rocking chair if you don't already have one!!

Oh oh! And a cool most humidifier!!
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April 1st, 2013, 02:00 PM
WorkerBeeMama's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Southern California
Posts: 4,486
Here are some of my essentials:

Bottle Brush
Extra newborn nipples (bottles usually come with size 3-6 months)
Bottle Drying Rack (Optional if you don't plan on air drying)
Baby first aid kit
burp cloths
baby bath
baby towels (optional)
sling or wrap or carrier
car seat
extra car seat base if needed
vibrating bouncy seat - my kids lived in these!!
crib mattress
Nursing pads
breast pump
breast milk storage bags
nursing bra
nursing cover
formula (lots of it if you plan on formula feeding so you don't have to run out and get some last minute)
rattles or newborn toys
baby wash
diaper cream

Mindy & Josh
Mama to 3 beautiful girls!
DD - Maya (11), DD - Sophia (7)
, & DD - Jane (0)

11/04 09/12 12/12
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April 1st, 2013, 02:36 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 10,537
I echo the not adding anything to the carseat. If it doesn't come WITH the carseat, then it is generally not tested for safety.

My needs:
Shelley, mom to:

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April 1st, 2013, 06:38 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,619
Mattress pad and sheets, burp clothes (we had a 12 pack of cloth diapers) receiving blankets- 5 you don't really need more if you have a washer and dryer, 2-3 heavy blankets, a carrier- baby wearing, pacifiers at least 3, a swing- a travel size is super nice cause you can take it with you visiting, a folding sling type bather, and a bassinet or pack and play.
If you're nursing you don't need much more for the first few months, other than clothes and diapers/wipes... And if you have people will to buy the diapers and wipes let them! You can stash them under beds, just make sure you remember to separate the sizes and know where you put which size.
Make a pregnancy ticker

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April 1st, 2013, 07:18 PM
Sk8ermaiden's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 5,791
This is what we bought for E. We had nothing we didn't need, and needed nothing else.

We bought a crib, mattress pad and sheet, and a mobile.

We bought hooded towels and washcloths.

DH made a changing table and we bought a contour pad and cover. We love this, but I would skip it in a small space.

We bought a travel swing and bouncer (used.) In a small space I would just get one, and definitely travel size!

Bought some Desitin and baby wash.

Nipple cream, a pump, soothies, breast pads, a FEW pacis, and a COUPLE bottles. Do not buy a ton of one kind!!! Tons of babies will only take this or that bottle or paci, especially if you breastfeed! You won't know ahead of time.

Gosh, that might be it except diapers.

In your case, you do NOT want to stock up on the future stuff, unless you can keep it in boxes somewhere out of the way until you need it. Things like a convertible carseat, a jumparoo, a high chair will just take up a ton of space. Wait until you can get rid of the swing and then bring in the jumper, etc.

I would set family members loose buying board books and toys. They charge a criminal fortune for that stuff, they don't take up a ton of space, and you will use them. That said, if you have the storage space, or mom would let you store stuff at her house, add a jumparoo, high chair, bumbo etc.

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April 1st, 2013, 11:16 PM
TayAnd2Angels's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Fresno, CA
Posts: 9,274
Originally Posted by jensma View Post
I have a rock n play sleeper which i absolutely swear by for the first few months. it folds up and is easy to drag around the house. i put the baby right next to my bed and would pick her up to nurse then put her back when she was done.
Rylan loved this, but unfortunately it gave her severe flat head. Check the reviews to make sure you are getting an updated version that doesn't cause flat head and doesn't have mold issues.

And don't forget a Boppy if you are BF.
Thank you Kiliki for my beautiful siggy!

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