Last week we had a baby shower for A. Afterwards she went on baby stuff shopping and asked me a couple of questions about the things she’ll need to buy.
As a mom-to-be, there are a lot of things to get in order to prepare for the baby. Some you can borrow, some you need to buy.
Here’s a list of what a mom-to-be will need for her newborn, based on my experience:
1. Baby clothes: the first things that come to mind when we think of “baby shopping”. My sister initially gave me some, since she had 2 boys of her own. But I still bought ones for G, since it’s so much fun to check out and buy cute baby outfits. Before buying, I read up on what items should be included in the layette. The advice in a number of baby/pregnancy websites was to not buy the smallest size, since babies grow awfully fast and they’ll be using the clothes for only a few months. So when it was my turn to buy the clothes, I bought most, if not all the items, in “Medium” size. This plan backfired, because G was underweight when he was born, and the clothes I got for him were a little too loose. Also, I didn’t get too many items. The thing was, since G was small for his gestational age, even the newborn diapers were loose, so leakage was a major problem during the first few weeks. After about two weeks, we realized that we were going through his clothes sooner than they can be washed, dried and ironed, so A went to the mall to get him some more, this time in the smallest size available so that they would fit him better (Don’t worry; G was able to gain weight quickly and was within the desired weight range by 3 months :)).
Included in the clothes category are:
a. tops (side-tie, etc.);
b. bottoms (mostly, I got pajamas since G was born during the cool season);
e. socks (I prefer them to booties, which always manages to come off as soon as you get them on the baby; Enfant and Mothercare has nice, soft, durable ones);
f. washcloths and burping pads;
g. receiving blankets (not just for swaddling baby; I also use them as an additional layer on the crib/bassinet/bed);
h. bath towels (a couple will do; there are swaddling blankets with terry cloth-like material on the other side, but I did not really like them; I love the ones we got from Baby Martel);
i. cloth diapers, if you don’t intend to use disposable ones (gauze cloth diapers are also multi-purpose, they can be used as burping cloths, etc.).
2. Diapers and other diaper-changing paraphernalia:
a. diapers, either disposables (I use Pampers Active Baby ’cause it’s soft and breathable for day, and Huggies Comfort at night) or cloth diapers;
b. baby wipes (make sure they’re alcohol-free; the ones I use are Pigeon and Giggles), but I read that for the first month you’re not supposed to use baby wipes, and that baby’s diaper area should be cleaned using only cotton pads/balls soaked in sterile water (I didn’t know this then, and used baby wipes from the start);
c. changing pads;
d. I don’t use baby powder; they’re not necessary and could be potentially harmful to the baby (talc inhalation is dangerous to babies). Luckily G had no problems regarding diaper rash, though I highly recommend No Rash diaper creams – they can be used for diaper rash and other itchy skin irritations. I used it on G’s neck, which got reddish when he gained weight (di na nahanginan ang leeg :P). It doesn’t contain steroids so it’s very safe to use. I got mine from G’s pedia, who was the one who recommended it; it’s only available at New South Star Drug.
3. Feeding paraphernalia:
a. baby bottles, preferably BPA-free ones. BPA has been linked to certain endocrinal (?) diseases, and obesity. Thing is, BPA-free bottles are usually more costly. For example, Pigeon’s are around P700 per bottle, I think. Avent’s are also expensive. There are other more affordable BPA-free ones on the market, like The First Years, and Ainon; for nipples, I suggest peristaltic ones; you may also want to get those anti-colic ones offered in the market;
d. sterilizer. I use Chicco steam sterilizer, which my sister got for me. I like it very much and you can put so much into it; sterilizing time is 15 minutes, I think. There are also other types of sterilizers, including the ones which are a throwback to what our moms used (big pots filled with water), and those which you put inside a microwave.
Now, thing is, when I was pregnant, I always said that I will exclusively breastfeed (I wasn’t able to do this right away, but that story is for a separate post). My mistake was that I did not read up enough on it before I gave birth. And due to my ignorance, I thought I wouldn’t be needing bottles and such. Hence, some of the bottles I have were given to me by my sister as gifts, and some were bought by A. What I learned was that regardless of your feeding choice, you should get bottles still, in reserve, in case exclusive breastfeeding or cup feeding does not work out as well as you thought :).
e. powder milk container, for formula feeding;
f. sterilized water – I use Dr. Edwards; they deliver sterilized water in individual bottles to your home by the case, so it’s really hassle-free; you just have to call or text them 🙂
4. Breast pump – it’s such a HUGE help, and was my constant companion for much of G’s first year, more so when I went back to work. Mine is a Pigeon battery-operated pump; I have an adaptor so I can plug it in instead, and used the batteries only when there are no plugs available, such as when I’m pumping in the car, or when there is a brownout (it’s more powerful when plugged in). A breast pump was essential especially for me, since G had to stay in the NICU for 7 days and I wasn’t able to breastfeed him directly for that duration (when I do get the chance to be with him, he sleeps!). It was tough, and as a result of our delayed breastfeeding his milk needs were much more than what I was producing by the time we took him home. I had to play catch up, which was a source of frustration and tears, but we made it eventually. My pump was single barrel, with an additional outlet for another barrel; however, the stores don’t sell spare barrels so I had to pump using just one, alternating each breast. It was more tedious and time-consuming, and they say that double-barrel pumps are more effective at increasing milk production aside from being time-savers. Also good pumps are Medela daw. And I heard from a law school classmate that The First Years has a double-barrel pump which aren’t as costly as Medelas or Avents.
There are also manual pumps, but that would be even slower than electric/battery operated pumps, and would make your arms ache, I think. 🙂 At least with my electric pump, I was able to multi-task (i.e. working while pumping).
For these pumping sessions outside, you’ll need nursing covers as well (though receiving blankets may work in a pinch, but nursing covers will stay put); they are also used for breastfeeding in public (though G doesn’t like being covered when feeding, haha).
5. You’ll have to get coolers too, to store the breast milk when you are outside the house. I got a Rubbermaid one (costs less than P1k), and put ice everyday before going to work.
6. baby clothes detergent: I bought Perla before I gave birth, but my sister soon introduced me to Cycles, which is really intended for baby’s clothes. Anyway I also heard that Perla, as delicate as we may think it is, is actually still quite harsh for a baby.
7. grooming essentials:
a. baby wash – choose hypoallergenic ones; I use Huggies baby wash (it’s not available locally though, my tita gets it for me at Duty Free), and when I run out and there’s no new supply of Huggies I use Lactacyd Toddler Tubs;
b. grooming kit – I love Safety 1st’s grooming kit; it has nail clippers, baby nail files, infant and toddler toothbrushes, infant hairbrush and combs, and even mittens;
c. baby tub – when my baby was born, my cousins gave me a baby tub from Safety 1st, where you can place your baby in a reclining position while giving him a bath. Eventually Safety 1st came out with a tub which your baby can use from infancy to toddlerhood.
8. breastfeeding pillow: so that your arms won’t get tired while breastfeeding your baby.
(Possible) Future post: baby equipment and appliances, and stuff for baby who’s already on solids 🙂