Did You Use all that Stuff??

I’ve had two babies now, and while I’m by no means an expert, I think I’ve finally figured something out, something I’ve seen on dozens of mom blogs and had my own mom tell me hundreds of times (while I’ve rocked back and forth in a corner in a panic as I wept over having nothing for the impending baby). Babies don’t really need a lot. Really. I think I might have even said this at some point, but I’m not entirely sure I believed it. You might recall my little list of stuff that I really wanted waaaaaaay back last August (wow…almost a year ago!). Now, the list wasn’t very long (unlike my registry, which was big, then small, then huge again when I was told I was having a surprise baby shower a week after M. was born and had to register for some stuff), but one has to wonder if I actually use those very particular items that I really, really wanted.

breastpump

So, first of all, the breast pump. I, very inexpensively, bought the Medela Pump In Style Advanced from my cousin several months ago and I use it three times a day, five days a week at work (and let me just say, work has beenĀ awesome about my pumping). I really like this pump. I don’t don’t get a ton when I pump – I’m lucky if I get just enough for M. for the next day while I’m at work – but I feel as though a lesser pump would probably have totally messed up my supply and we’d be formula feeding right now. It’s comfortable, efficient, and I like that it comes in a pretty discreet looking black shoulder bag. If you’re in the market for a pump, or your insurance company provides you with a choice in what you can pick, totally go for Medela.

orig-black-300

Second we had the Moby wrap. Holy freaking God-send. I love this thing. I had originally received a homemade one from my cousin (the one who sold me the breast pump) and unfortunately, I’m a bit wider than her (she’s like, a fitness rock star), and it didn’t fit me all that well. Bummer. BUT my really lovely co-workers through me a baby shower, and as one of my gifts, a friend gave me her very gently used Moby, which fits perfectly.

But back to the wrap.

I’ve read about a lot of people finding it difficult to use, lots of fabric, tough wrap around, too hot for baby, yada yada yada. I have not had any of these issues. After looking at the booklet of directions that came with it and a couple of YouTube videos, I was golden. There is a lot of fabric and I don’t consider the wrap “poppable” (i.e. you can easily put baby in and out without rewrapping), BUT the advantages (super calm, happy, sleepy baby) outweigh the disadvantages. Also, in the super hot weather we’ve had in the last couple of days, I haven’t noticed any baby discomfort and I’m not uncomfortable, either, though honestly, everywhere we go when it’s really hot is either air conditioned or in the water, so there isn’t a huge chance for baby and me to get too hot.

Third, we had the car seat, and we went with the one our friends had. It’s cute and safe – all I could ask for.

cosleeper

Fourth, the Arms Reach Co-Sleeper. We did buy this and we do use it…most of the time. M. does go to bed in his own space much better than E. ever did (she was sleeping in my hospital bed after she was born, for Pete’s sake). That said, there are plenty of nights were I end up pulling M. into bed with me, letting me snuggle in the crook of my arm.

Was it worth the money spent (about $160)? Well, between the storage in the bottom (we have limited storage space) and the amount of time M. actually uses it, I’d say, so far, yes, but it also depends how long M. is able to use the co-sleeper. If I only get six months out of it, I don’t know if it will have been worth it for our family.

clothdiapers

Finally, theĀ cloth diapers. While I had thought we would have to spend a whole bunch of money on them, it ended up not being a whole lot. I bought about 10 cloth pocket diapers (a waterproof cloth shell with a microfiber insert) from my cousin (yep, same cousin as before) for about $30 and then my mom gave me a dozen for Christmas. I was also given a dozen gDiapers from a friend at work (the same friend who gave me her Moby).

Do we use the cloth diapers? Heck yes we do! Do we use them all the time? Nope, but only because we were given a crap ton of disposables (which we STILL haven’t gotten all the way through). As soon as the disposables are gone/no longer fit, I’m cloth diapering exclusively.

I love, love, love the brand of cloth diaper we use (Kawaii). They’re inexpensive (less than $6 a diaper), hold up well, don’t leak, and are pretty cute (always important, right?). I also enjoyed the gDiapers when M. was smaller, but I felt they were a bit leakier and I didn’t like how I would have had to buy larger sizes as M. got bigger if I had decided to use those (I just had size small, which only goes up to 14 lbs., so they’re too small for M. now).

So, I think that about covers it all. There are a few other things I had wanted and ended up getting and loving (my Boppy, for one), but this post is already way too long. So far, I’m really happy that I don’t have any useless baby items, and I’m hoping when we go round three (yep, I’m already thinking about another kiddo) we won’t have much of anything to buy!

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Baby Wants, The Official List

Babies, in theory, don’t require a lot of “stuff”, I feel. They need a place to sleep, food, some kind sort of place or article of clothing for pottying, and light entertainment. And, if you plan to co-sleep (which we are and have been doing) and breastfeed (I’d like to), then that doesn’t leave much of anything to buy besides diapers and a couple of colorful toys (if that). Yet, when you have a baby, you end up with a lot of stuff, either because people want to give you a particular item (registered for or not) or because you can’t resist the total cuteness or supposed functionality or ingeniousness of an item.

We have a TON of “leftovers” from E. People were really generous with us (in part, because I was a poor college student and DH was working his butt off at three part time jobs waiting for something to open full-time, and also in part because we have awesome, loving friends, family members, and co-workers). By the time it was all said and done we had three swings, two bouncy chairs, three pack ‘n’ plays, a crib, more toys than any small child, never mind an infant, could play with, and enough clothes (ranging from brand spanking new to “my kid stopped fitting into this yesterday”) that we didn’t have to buy E. anything until she was two and not repeat an outfit once. For realz.

So because of folks generosity and their foresight in purchasing, either for us or for themselves at some point, gender neutral items (except for the clothes and the small army of pink bunnies we have in our possession), I don’t think there are a lot of big ticket items we’ll be needing to buy for this little friend.

I say, not a lot, because there are a few items I feel we will *need*. Originally, the list was a lot longer, but I’ve since paired it down to my perceived essentials. And I’ve broken these essentials into a couple of categories: Absolute must haves or I will cry and I should really have these but the world will not come crashing down if it can’t happen…I will just have the sadz.

So, from category one:

* Breast Pump If I’m going to go back to work at some point and plan to breastfeed or provide breast milk then I need a pump. This is the one I’d like.

* A Moby Wrap This. I want this. I had a wrap that I’ve failed to find (if I come across it, I’ll nix this buy, but I really, really like the Moby wrap (and baby wearing in general – it was so perfect with E.).

* Car Seat Don’t have one, need one, will be getting one from a family friend. Yay!

And from category two:

* Arms Reach Co-Sleeper We co-slept with E. for just over a year and it was perfect for us (far less perfect when she, at three, decided she needed to be back in our bed, which we foolishly didn’t fight at first, and now this is the first week in well over a year where I am actually going to bed sans small heater curled up using my pillow). Anyway, long story short, I feel like a co-sleeper is sort of what we need. We have our space in bed, but the baby is right there. Perfect.

* Cloth Diapers I really, really want to cloth diaper. Like, hardcore. I think it’s economical, ecologically friendly, and just plain cute. However, the initial financial investment is pretty darn expensive (like $300…ick). If we can find a way to accumulate cloth diapers without driving ourselves into poverty at the same time, it’s totally on.