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Attachment Parenting

What do I need for a new baby?
From Our AP Forum Archives
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From kiwicaleb ~ Hi moms! I was over at SC1 and someone posted a list of baby things they found very helpful (with their previous children). A lot of swings; that bouncy, vibrating chair; playpen, etc, etc. I'm wondering if I really need this stuff. I plan on using the sling pretty much all the time.

Just wondering what everyone else's experience is. We will be having a bassinet for when the baby is very young (my anxiety, no other reason), and the baby will be sleeping right next to the bed. I know I'll need cloth diapers and such, but what about all that extra equipment, what have you all used?

From SusanH ~ We didn't buy much ourselves, but we did get some things as gifts that were totally unnecessary. Here's what I found useful and what I didn't use at all . . .


  • swing - I didn't use it much, but I did like having it. A bouncy seat would have worked just as well.
  • sling - indispensable!
  • car seat, obviously
  • baby bathtub not essential, but we still use ours
  • clothes, blankets, diapers, books, toys
  • high chair didn't need it until she was around 10 11 months

Didn't use:

  • bassinet she wouldn't sleep in it
  • elaborate SUV type stroller (Trendsetter Travel System) total waste of money, I'm glad it was a gift!
  • bottles, formula samples
  • breast pump I did pump but ended up dumping my freezer stash because she refused all bottles

Didn't even buy, never missed it:

  • playpen
  • crib
  • exersaucer
  • baby monitor
  • changing table

From Ursula ~ I do like having a bouncy chair, as you can't eat hot foods over a baby in a sling, nor can you cook with one as it's dangerous. We did get a stroller so I could go on longer walks and DH can take the baby when he runs. I didn't think we'd get a stroller so soon, but I walk about 3 hours per day total, so I really like the jogger stroller.

Otherwise, we don't have a swing and our baby refuses to stay asleep in the bassinet.

Other necessaries for us are books, Lansinoh, stuff for making homemade baby wipes, and I like having a baby bathtub.

From oz's mommy ~ Things we acquired and didn't really need . . .

  • a crib ~ we gave it away because we only used it for storage
  • a stroller ~ we use the sling or a grocery cart instead
  • pacifiers, formula related stuff, bottle contraptions . . . we only used Avent bottles ~ they convert to sippy cups, too!
    a johnny jump up ~ ds hated it
  • Avent Isis breast pump ~ barely used it straight from the tap was so much easier! But I still think it was useful for engorgement.
  • Happy Baby Food grinder ~ ds prefers to feed himself he still hates to have food spooned at him.

We did buy a used exersaucer and used it a fair bit for this active child it was the only way to put him down for a few minutes before he could really hold himself up.

Fisher price makes a nice blue convertible rocker chair. It has a 3 point seat strap for infants, and it converts to a toddler chair. We love ours.

A foam pad to bathe ds in the sink was very handy. We didn't get a baby bathtub. And we still bathe that boy in the sink without the pad.

Get a SLING!!!!!!!!!!!! It's indispensable!

From Liisa ~ I have also found that a lot of things that I have, I have never used, or I have only used them because they were there. But, now that I don't use one, I am glad I had a changing table (it was actually the kind that goes on top of the play pen). It was a great place to keep all the diapering stuff and diaper pail.

Things I couldn't have lived without (in no particular order):

  • Baby Bjorn
  • Sling (Maya wrap, but I just ordered an OTSBH, we'll see how we like it)
  • changing area
  • car seat
  • lots of baby hats (also a winter baby)
  • clothes (in size 3 6)
  • lots of socks, wash cloths, diapers for spit up, nail clippers.
  • Johnny Jump up (she now goes in it while I shower).

Things I could have lived with out:

  • Crib
  • Bassinet (used it for 15 minutes once)
  • Bathtub (she showered with me)
  • Stroller (although I just got one as a gift and we have used it a few times)
  • Swing

Didn't have, didn't miss:

  • Bouncy chair
  • Exersaucer
  • Baby monitor

Technically, we could live without almost anything. All we really need are boobs and diapers!

From sdipert ~ We have a big family and probably got every baby gadget available. I, of course, love my sling. He has only slept in his crib once for maybe and hour . . . the only good thing I can say about that is fortunately we got one that later will change into a daybed and a full size bed . . . also it looks really pretty in the nursery with all his stuffed animals in it!

I like the swing and the bouncy chair for when I need to go to the bathroom, take a shower, make dinner, do the dishes . . . those kinds of things but he only stay in it a max of about 10 minutes.

I do like my stroller because I often go to the mall with him by myself during the day, but I have to admit I carry him more and use the stroller as a shopping cart!

The baby bath tub . . . I used it once and found that it was too much trouble to drag out so when he was first born I would give him a bath in the sink and now he takes a bath in the tub . . . although I do have a mat that I got for $3 at Walmart that holds their head up out of the water so they can lay and play.

I love receiving blankets!!! I found that I never had too many . . . I also had a 5 lb baby and he was cold a lot even though he was born the end of April. Now they are great for nursing.

Playpen - haven't used it yet!

A toy that plays music and lights up to go on the car seat . . . my son screams in the car because he has to ride looking at the back of the seat and this helps to entertain him for a short distance.

From huntergirl ~ Things we don't own and don't miss:

  • Crib
  • Playpen
  • Highchair (we eat at a low table with pillows and we hold them or let them stand)
  • Baby bathtub (kitchen sink, perfect size, perfect height)
  • Swing
  • Johnny Jump up (got one as a gift and gave it away)
  • Pacifiers
  • Baby monitor (never did understand why you can't just listen anymore)
  • Changing table (we use a butcher block kitchen island, much prettier and useful later, too)
  • Exersaucer and other parent substitute type toys

Things we couldn't do without:

  • Dr. Sears books and website
  • Slings (we own three of them!)
  • Stroller (didn't get it until DD2 came along, but it's a necessity now with five kids)
  • Bouncy seats (didn't get them until the twins came along, can't always carry twins in the sling)
  • Breast pump (DH and the girls love feeding the babies)
  • Diaper Genie (we use disposables, this thing is great!)

From dini ~ Use:

  • swing while cooking
  • slings - have Maya Wrap and OTSBH. use both
  • car seat
  • baby bathtub used for first month. Now bathe or shower with him
  • clothes
  • baby blankets (lots!)
  • cloth diapers (100/wk!), diaper wraps (9)
  • cloth wipes, books, toys
  • extra changing pads
  • large waterproof crib/lap pad (put on my side of bed to absorb leaks from me and baby)
  • bassinet - lay him down occasionally when he's sleeping and the house is too hot to hold him
  • breast pump - Medela Pump In Style. Hubby feeds him by spoon when I have to go out. I also donate my milk. Helps with engorgement too!
  • Lansinoh
  • Dr. Sears books and "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding"

Don't use (or use too little to be worth $):

  • elaborate SUV type stroller (EvenFlo) used three times while out. Great changing table and stuff hauler, but too bulky.
  • baby bjorn. He hates it. Other people love it though.
  • formula samples from hospital.

Didn't even buy, never miss it:

  • bottles
  • playpen
  • crib
  • exersaucer
  • baby monitor
  • changing table
  • pacifier

From Gayesy ~ Good question! What we used:

  • sling
  • swing helped occasionally when my arms wore out from rocking (he was very unsettled, and wanted constant motion, so the swing was good from time to time. I always sat with him of course and sang to him etc)
  • cot did come in handy when he got to the crawling stage used it for naps when he wasn't in the sling and I wasn't napping with him. With this baby I think we will just use a mattress on the floor though.
  • nappies
  • cute little clothes
  • light blankets for swaddling or just putting around baby if it is cool
  • pram - we didn't use it much but it did come in handy if we were out for long periods of time and Thomas was taking a nap (when he got too heavy to carry around for two hours!)
  • high chair - we got one that has different height adjustments and can have the tray completely removed so it worked well for the table, piano, computer, basically anything that he needed to sit at and needed to reach!
  • some little toys as they get older, and maybe a rug of some sort so that you can put them down for floor play at someone else's house and not have to worry too much about the state of the floor!
  • books
  • some sort of nappy bag with a change mat no need for it to be very big if you are nursing of course.
  • little rocker chair for occasional use

We did also have a change table and baby monitor and we did use them but could have done without.

From CrystalbusyMom ~ What we own and don't use:

  • a crib
  • a changing table (makes a expensive sturdy book shelf though!)
  • a snuggli baby carrier (hurts my back)
  • breastpump (tried pumping once and hated it)
  • pacifers and bottles
  • a baby walker
  • a baby swing
  • a pretty basinette (makes a fun "tent" for toddlers though and nice doll holder. We have it sitting off the "base/stand thingie" and sat it on the floor. The children put the "hood put up" and cover it with a sheet and both sit inside of it. When not used as a tent, it is "home" for dd's dolls.

What we don't own and don't miss:

  • a playpen

What we DO use:

  • the sling
  • the TODAY'S KIDS wagon with extension so that we can put Justin in a car seat and pull all 3 offspring for long walks and for zoo trips (I use the sling the majority of the time and rotate holding him and getting breaks.)
  • the exersaucer (only for 5 minutes at a time - Mommies do need showers!)
  • the johnny jumper (again only for 5 minutes)
  • the strollers (umbrella, a double and a heavy duty single one) needed when you have 3 children under the age of 5

From Janessa ~ Everyone's covered most things pretty well. Something nobody mentioned but we use all the time are "flannel lap pads" - we use them as changing pads. We don't have or want a changing table, so we just use these things anywhere we happen to be changing Ford. It keeps the poop from getting on whatever surface we put him on. They come in a three pack at Target. We have a dozen of them.

From Stacey2 ~ We have used a lot of receiving blankets, *toys*, bibs and onesies, and bouncy seat. IMO the bouncy seat is a good deal because they're inexpensive but fill a need to have somewhere soothing and safe sometimes swing is good for same thing but much more costly. We've used both and at times they've been lifesavers. We've only used the baby bathtub a few times, and could do without it. The tub is much better, with Mommy in it too to hold him steady. The crib is nice for naps, but not essential. The changing table was nice early on when I hated the thought of kneeling on the floor soon after giving birth. Now he's too long for it to be convenient though. We could have done without it, but it was pretty inexpensive. Toys we got a lot on sale and secondhand. The more the merrier and we have tons of them. Bibs we can't get enough of with all the drooling. Got the playpen as a gift but have no use for it. An activity gym is really fun if you get one where you can change out the toys with links.

From t.anger ~ I'm a shop a holic so I've bought tons of stuff that we never used! Some of the stuff we never used is:

  • A fancy expensive bouncing seat; Hilding hated it!
  • Baby monitor, I didn't trust it!
  • A crib + equipment and "bouncing feet" that makes the crib rock. We have used it three times!
  • Baby bathtub, we prefer family baths in the big tub.
  • Toys! Hilding has never been much for toys; he prefers playing with towels and kitchen equipment.
    Three baby toys would have been enough, he had 30!
  • Our first pram . . . Hilding didn't like the pram until he could sit in it at 4 months.

Things we couldn't live without were:

  • A big black diaper bag with room for everything!
  • An old fashioned, cheap bouncing seat. Hilding sat in it when we were eating.
  • Baby Björn and sling, of course!
  • A U shaped nursing pillow that made nursing in front of the TV really comfortable. (Hilding liked to nurse a lot in the evening the first months).
  • Also I used a nipple protection the first 4 months because Hilding couldn't take the breast without it (I have flat nipples).
  • And since we live in The Nation of Huge and Pricy Prams, we probably couldn't have lived without our prams either. They are great for shopping bags anyway!

From wenzday ~ Well I LOVED my monitor! I am actually going to buy another! My son has been in his own room since about 12 months and yes I can hear him without it but I want to hear him all the time! Heck if you turn it up you can listen to him breathe and that helps me get a good night's sleep. Even when we co slept I would get him to sleep and sneak away sometimes and without that monitor I think he would have landed on the floor too many times! Ugh!

I also loved my strollers. I couldn't carry him much past 6 7 months because he was SO darned heavy! I love my sling especially for the house. I think I'll be able to carry this second one more though since I am stronger and used to carrying my almost 30 lb.er!

I never used the crib at all for the first year . . . it was pretty but seemed like a waste. My son LOVES his crib so much now though that it sort of made up for it. Actually I don't know HOW I will get him out of it! I hope this new baby will co-sleep well since there is NO way I am buying another crib!

From SusanH ~ OMG, how could I forget the nursing pillow? I love my Boppy! We still use it occasionally Susy likes to sleep on my lap while I'm using the computer.

From sdipert ~ I forgot the boppy pillow also!! And I could not live without it. Great for those hours of nursing in the beginning and now ds loves to sit or lay in it.

From Nisi ~ I think we use less stuff than almost everyone! What I liked:

  • Sling . . . I use it from about 2 months old to a year
  • Diapers . . . cloth, cloth wipes, and disposables
  • Clothes . . ..but not too many in the small sizes. Both my boys were in 12 or 18 month sizes by 3 months old
    receiving blankets . . . good for burp cloths, changing pads, play mats on the grass, and oh yeah blankets.
  • Bouncy seat . . . nice to have when the baby is small so you have somewhere else to put him down. Just get a cheap, non vibrating one, though
  • Car seats . . . gotta have them!
  • Strollers . . . not a necessity, but fits my lifestyle. I walk or jog a lot (2 6 miles per day usually) with the boys, and have a huge fleet of strollers for every occasion

Things we have that are pretty worthless:

  • exersaucer
  • jolly jumper
  • bottles and formula
  • play pen (pack n play)
  • diaper bag . . . I just stick a few diapers and a pack of wipes in my purse and a receiving blanket over my shoulder.
  • swing
  • crib bumpers or fancy expensive crib bedding

I HATE most of the stuff they sell in baby stores; it is designed so parents don't actually have to hold or play with their babies themselves! Some things can be nice, like someone said, mommies need to take a shower sometimes too, and it's nice to have a way to entertain the baby for a few minutes, but most people overuse and abuse these baby devices. Since most of these things are so expensive, though, I just can't see getting them.

From robinack33 ~ Sling, or baby carrier, bouncy seat, floor mirror that you can set up next to baby's head. (Brett loved looking at himself) I never used the pack and play, bassinet (well two weeks) or baby swing.

From Flatfork ~ I absolutely could not have lived without my stroller that reclined to laying position. I use it for him sleeping a lot. I have a big yard and am on the go a lot. It holds a lot of stuff too. Didn't use my sling as much as I wanted to because it hurt my neck; I have a pinched nerve, and the chiropractor told me to not look at my baby while I nursed . . .NOT!

  • An old fashioned baby crank swing was great.
  • Used no crib
  • no bouncy
  • no johnny jump up
  • No walker; he walked practically as soon as he could sit up by himself!
  • No changing table, BUT I love my changing pad with curved up edges! We put it on the bathroom counter-top.
  • Parenting backpack was invaluable.
  • Bottles worked in a pinch and work for water, great in freezer half filled then add water, lasts a long time.
  • Lots of receiving blankets, for when they get one of those throw up viruses that lasts for 24 hours STRAIGHT! You will end up using every sheet and towel in your house.

From emmabsmom ~ I agree with Wenzday, I love my baby monitor!! Em co slept exclusively for six months and still does whenever she wants. I was so paranoid when she first moved to her bed that I slept with the monitor on my pillow. I could hear her every breath! I still use it to hear her stirring about. If I didn't have the monitor, I wouldn't be able to hear her until she really starting crying loudly because I have a slight hearing impairment. Anyway, here's my list . . .

Our must haves:

  • breast pads
  • Lansinoh
  • Boppy
  • Big, overstuffed rocking chair with ottoman for nursing (dd has started calling it "nini chair" and pulls me to it when she wants "nini")
  • bouncy chair
  • diaper genie
  • changing table - still use it
  • crib - which she chose to sleep in because daddy snores too loud to stay in the big bed (however, not immediately necessary)
  • button down shirts (for me) and a nursing cover up for NIP. Many people don't like the cover up but I loved it. It stayed on and offered us a lot of privacy in those early months when she seemed to nurse 24 hours a day. It had a loop in the neckline which allowed eye contact, too
  • Avent Isis pump for mommy to go to nursing school and playtex nurser bottles
  • swing
  • lightweight stroller. I have the Graco metrolite and cannot say enough good things about it. I go to the mall almost every weekend.
  • car seat
  • snuggli
  • receiving blankets
  • onesies from Baby Gap. They are sooooo much softer and nicer than any other brand. They are so worth the price. Emma lived in them around the house.
  • travel diaper changing pad. The tables in most public rest rooms are filthy
  • bottle warmer to help daddy get the temp right and to avoid microwaving

Things never bought and didn't miss:

  • bassinette
  • playpen
  • pacifiers
  • formula
  • walker

Thing we didn't need but had:

  • baby wipes warmer - should have been called wipe dryer It was recalled anyway.
  • SUV stroller - too big and hard to manoeuver through stores
  • baby food warmer

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