Thursday, March 12, 2009

Experts vs Reality....part 1

When we found out we were chosen by "K," to adopt Samuel, I went on the internet and found a list of things that "the experts say" you should have for a baby and then I created my list of needs and wants. Stores can be overwhelming and you can go broke buying a lot that you don't need or will get as gifts anyway, so try not to go too crazy. You'll get tons of stuff at your shower and babies grow out of clothes so quickly that you won't need a lot of outfits in any one size. I have a few things that Samuel only wore once or things he never wore because he was born in December and they were newborn summer outfits. Also, the best places to shop for baby stuff are yard sales and second hand stores. You'll save a ton of money.

Over the next few posts I will list the stuff I have that has worked for us. Don't feel like you have to buy everything at once.

First of all, I bought the following books and found them VERY HELPFUL. They all have great information and I've learned that no one way is right or will work for every baby. So read a lot, but pick and choose what works for you.


Here are the items for SLEEPING, DIAPERING and THE CAR that I use:


Crib: This is the first thing Richard and I bought for Samuel. We planned the rest of his room around it. We also spent a little extra, and got one that converts into his first bed and came with the firm mattress.

Crib Sheets and mattress pad: I have two of each so I can wash one set.

Crib bumpers: We got these to match the colors in the room. They tie to the crib and keep him from bumping his head.

Monitor: We have a $15.00, Fisher Price monitor and it works great. I do wish we had bought one with two receivers, so that I didn't have to move it twice a day, from our bedroom to the living room. Some people have the video monitors, but, in my opinion, if you want to watch your baby sleep, your not going to get much rest or anything done and you may as well stay in the same room all the time.

Miracle Blanket: I used this for swaddling. Samuel fell asleep this way every night, for the first month. After that he liked having his arms loose, so I used it less and less. Large receiving blankets work great for this too. 

Pac-N-Play: I got this from my brother, who had twins. It comes with an attachment to make it a bassinet, which I used for the first few weeks. It's also portable, so I will use it as a bed when we travel and a playpen when he gets older. I didn't use the changing table attachment.

Vibrating Chair: I used this A LOT! In the beginning, Samuel, would fall asleep in this when nothing else worked. He still likes it, but I don't have to use it as much to put him to sleep. Now he just enjoys sitting in it during the day. This is a must have!

Boppy Pillow: Although this is used for nursing, I use it to prop Samuel up and he slept on it for the first few weeks, until I transitioned him to his belly! Yes, Samuel sleeps on his belly....and he is just fine!

Night Light: You won't want your baby to have too much light at night and you'll need a way to get around without stubbing your toes. We found really cute patio lights, in the shape of hot air balloons, at Target. We strung them along the top of the wall as a decoration and realized they were perfect for a little light too.

White Noise Machine: We bought one from Conair for about $20.00 and it's been wonderful. It has 8 different noises, including a heart beat noise and waves. Samuel love it.


Dresser: This was the second thing we bought for Samuel. We went to an unfinished furniture store and bought a low one (below chest high) that we stained ourselves to match the crib. This is another piece of furniture that we didn't mind spending a little more on since it will, hopefully, be with him all the way through highschool. Personally, I've never wanted a changing table. I've always thought they were pointless, since a lot of the time, I change Samuel in whatever room I'm in at the time. So, we got a foam changing pad for the top and it doubles as his changing table right now. The lower drawers have clothes and the two smaller, upper drawers have diapers, wipes and butt cream etc.

Diaper Pail: Diaper Genie's require you to use their refill bags, so I bought a Diaper Champ. I used it for the first 2 weeks, but the handle kept getting stuck. So, out of frustration I went back to just a large trash can with a lid.

Diaper Bag: I got a cheap small one, free, from the pediatrician, that I use for quick trips and my sister bought me a great, large one that fits tons of stuff for long trips or visits.

Wet Wipes: I have found that the store brand is just as good as the expensive kind. Plus, I can buy them in bulk and save even more money.

Rash Cream: I use Desitin (creamy). We haven't had any issues yet, with diaper rash, so this stuff lasts forever.

Diapers: I have found that Pampers work best for girls and Huggies work better for boys. They have more padding up front. I started with Pampers Swaddlers, but only while he was a newborn. Once he moved up to 1's, I changed brands.


Car Seat: This is a must have, obviously. Spend the extra money and get one that converts from infant to toddler. You'll save money, in the long run. Because of safety, this is not an area that you want to scrimp on.

Fitted, (fleece lined) Cover: I found this at a second hand store for $2.00. It's elastic and fits over the infant seat. It has a zipper and a cut out for Samuel's head, so he stays nice and warm. I liked using this because the blanket I was putting over the handle made carrying him awkward and it kept falling off.

Mirror: I have one strapped on the seat in front of Samuel and one hangs from my rear-view mirror. These were very cheap and that way my review mirror is used just for driving.

Stroller: I have two strollers. One came with the car seat and I leave it in the back of my car. The other I found, used, at a yard sale and I leave it just outside the front door for walks around the neighborbood.

In part 2 I'll list things for THE BATH, MEDICAL NEEDS, and FEEDING.


Kris said...

I am all about minimizing baby stuff. Megan has MANY fewer toys than some of her friends (and cousins!), but she still has so much fun with so little. There's truly no reason to have a houseful of toys they only play with a little.

As for diapering...I also use a changing pad on top of her dresser (I specially went looking for a dresser the exact height I needed--in fact, we found ours at an antique shop). But I don't bother with any diaper collection bins. I have a small bin on the dresser for diapers and bags. I use the bags you get at the grocery store (and ILs also collect them for us--or we would run out too fast!). I simply put the dirty diaper--it works really well when they are poopy and you have to use wipes as the baggie is right there to collect them--in the baggie, tie it up and toss in the trash in the garage. There is no smell in the house that way. Sometimes I let a few wet diapers collect before I take the bag out, but sometimes I don't. It just depends. To keep the bags nice and neat in her room, I stuff them in empty tissue boxes for storage. Then they are handy without making a mess. Super cheap, super easy.

M/J Granata said...

Tracey... I am taking notes! We have not purchased much because we don't know exactly what to get... there are so many options out there... so many decisions! Thanks!
Julie G

Kristi B said...

I hope you don't mind me following your blog. My husband and I are just beginning the adoption process. I'm really enjoying your great posts and book reviews!!