Part 5 of our series once again deals with a list – of course not the same as Part 3! :) Since Ági’s baby girl had left the hospital and became acquainted with her new home, we are now admitted behind the scenes. We’ll see which items are necessary, which ones are practical, and which ones are unnecessary additions to make a comfortable home for a newborn and her parents. (Read the previous parts here, here, here, and here.) Ágnes Szabó recalls the changes in their household.
The onslaught of shopping and other kinds of advice doesn’t stop after the baby is born. The internet doesn’t help either, as every site regards different items recommended, or outright essential. We also took a baby gear list as a basis (items in the list can be seen next to the main text, on both sides – ed.), but we tried to stay within reasonable bounds.
Baby room equipment
– Baby cot + mattress (we recommend coconut mattresses), diaper changer
– A shelf near the diaper changer to keep everything at hand for baby care and dressing
– 1 baby bedding set
– 2 sets of bed linen
– 2 rubber sheets
– Baby cot bumper (it’s practical, the baby won’t bump its head)
– A couple of thinner or thicker covers, depending on the season
– Night light
– Wardrobe for the baby clothes
– Breath monitor and baby monitor, the purchase of which is always up to the parents
We wanted our baby girl to have her own room, so we started the operation by rethinking our existing rooms. The library got sacrificed; it became our daughter’s room. She got a multi-functional crib that could later be turned into a youth bed with a shelf and a table. We bought a coconut mattress because many sources tell that it’s good for the baby and because we like to sleep on harder surfaces ourselves. The baby room is also equipped with a multi-shelf wardrobe with drawers and boxes, a hanger wardrobe, and a nursing chair.
The nursing chair was the first thing we got, in fact, it was a Christmas present. Great invention. It’s a rocking chair with a rocking footrest, so you can even sleep in it if feeding gets drawn-out… We also bought a soft fluffy rug and a salt lamp (I think it’s ideal for breastfeeding at night), so the room really got comfortable and cozy.
What you definitely need if you want your baby to sleep in its own bed (not the parents’ bed) is a baby blanket and a thin pillow, a waterproof mattress cover and 2 or 3 rubber sheets. We also have a bedding set with matching linen, but these aren’t for a newborn, so we could’ve bought them much later. To further help independent sleep, we bought a baby monitor, including a breath monitor. It wasn’t too much more expensive than a simple baby monitor, but I personally sleep easier at night with the breath monitor also available. This function can be switched off later.
Layette for summer babies
Most baby shops already pay attention and offer clothes fitting to the actual season, making it easier for parents. While in fall or winter you’ll find warm clothes on the shelves, in spring or summer you’ll find thinner ones.
– Size 50 and 56 thicker cotton bodysuits and long-sleeved jumpsuits (5-6 pieces each size, it might be worth waiting for the baby to be born, as size 50-56 may only fit for a week. Also, don’t forget those who’ll buy clothes for your baby, along with the toys)
– Socks (not too tight)
– At least 2 small caps (only if the baby scratches a lot)
– Cardigan, pram coat
– Slim, sleeveless sleeping bag
– Traditional swaddle (optional)
– 20 cloth diapers
Our baby was born in the summer, so we have selected the clothes accordingly. Of all the clothes we got, maybe 1 or 2 were new ones, all the others we bought or received used. Fortunately, babies grow fast, so the first sizes don’t get worn out. I prepared for my baby girl’s arrival with size 50s and 56s: ten bodysuits, five pairs of very tiny (I don’t think they are even numbered) socks, one pair of stockings, one pair of gloves (handy against scratching), two cardigans, four or five pants, four or five jumpsuits, three playsuits (short-sleeved jumpsuits) and two swaddles. Of these, the swaddles and gloves were never used in the end. There are some very fancy sounding items on the baby gear list that I didn’t really recognize. Pram coat was my favorite. Why would a pram need a coat? Later, of course, I found out that pram coat means, basically, cardigan. I suppose this is just another marketing trick to make us go shopping for this very important accessory, and while we’re at it, buy some other stuff as well. Fortunately, we didn’t fall for it.
Baby gear for the bathroom
– Baby bath + rack
– 2-3 bath towels
– Bathing sponge or washcloth
– Bath thermometer
The next big thing was bathroom stuff. First, we needed a baby bath. There are many types available, so we were free to choose whichever fits in our bathroom in a comfortable yet practical way. Since the room’s quite small, racks were out of the question as we would’ve had to disassemble it every night, or it would be in the way. In the end, we decided to get one that has a sling and a plug. My husband built a rack for it, which we store above our bathtub. So, no need to bend over to the baby bath, and it’s easy to empty it as well. You also need some bath towels, two should be enough. We also have a couple of bathing sponges, a bath thermometer (the latter we only used a few times before we learned to set the correct temperature). We bought some baby shampoo and shower gel, but since in the first three and a half months we only ever used the shampoo, and even that only three times, these aren’t essential.
Baby care accessories
Stuff you need for the treatment of the umbilical stump is prescribed by the pediatrician. These can vary, as some recommend alcohol, others hydrogen peroxide. It’s worth asking around in your hospital, as all of them require different things. Further items you need are cotton swabs and dressings. Check if your hospital can provide everything, if not, you need to buy everything before giving birth. Your health visitor can help you.
Before and after bathing and during changing diapers, we need a few baby care products. In the first few days, to treat the umbilical stump, have the things prescribed by the pediatrician (alcohol and cotton swabs) ready at home. We used disposable diapers in the first few weeks, and in the first two months we didn’t use washable diapers (we didn’t have the right type), so the diaper rash cream we’d got came in handy. Today we’re using washable diapers (you can read about these in a previous article here), with these we don’t need to use any cream.
There are many different types of baby wipes available. We’re using compostable ones, thus reducing the amount of disposed waste.
I bought one pack of the smallest diapers, and I received two large packs as a gift, these lasted through the first period. I’ve bought the washable kit used, at a really good price (I probably don’t need to worry about this before potty training). Before bathing, I always massage my baby girl, so we also bought a bottle of unscented baby oil.
Additional equipment we have at home: thermometer, scales (it was a gift, we probably wouldn’t have bought one), a baby cup, a baby bottle, (I won a kit), a breast pump (got it as a present), bra liners, a nail clipper (tombola prize). I didn’t change the laundry detergent or the fabric softener. Since I never liked all the fancy “colors detergents”, I use one for whites, and I never changed that. Things I bought to keep the diapers clean are ox gall soap, disinfectant, lanolin and a small washbasin.
Other sites recommend items we didn’t find important. These include sterilizers, bottle heaters, pre-purchased medicine kits, hairbrush (this can probably wait) and diaper bins.
When it came to transporting the baby, it was important for us to have a good quality, easily foldable, unisex pram, so we weren’t stingy with it. It was a good buy, even though our daughter prefers carriers over the pram. We got the carriers as gifts, so we didn’t have to spend on them. We have a flexible carrier wrap, a strap carrier, and a ring sling. I like all of them. They were a life saver during the stomach pain period. In the car we’re using the carrier from the stroller, so we only needed an Isofix dock base, which we could buy second-hand at a very good price.
We hadn’t bought these in advance, but got them along the way: a lounge chair, (borrowed) and a nose cleaner (an electric one, not a vacuum attachment, I think those aren’t practical). It’s also true for the latter that it’s not worth being stingy.
All in all, we invested a considerable amount of time and money in the preparations, but it was all well worth it, we managed to create a comfortable, practical living space that makes even the hard days easier. To avoid receiving thirty diaper cakes and two hundred jumpsuits, I asked my friends via Facebook to rather gift us vouchers if they really wish to contribute to our everyday life. Fortunately, in most cases we did receive really useful gifts.
Source of featured image: pexels.com
Source of data in the speech bubbles: here
Translation by Ádám Hittaller