Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Casseroles and Clothes: What do we actually need for this baby?

Did I mention I'm with child? Keeping up with this blog has been a bit of a challenge lately because, well, this blog is not about pregnancy. That's what's on my mind these days, however, so I've just been stuck for what to write about. Today, I give in. Forgive me.

By popular request ... my belly.
We're about seven weeks away, if you can believe it. This "nesting instinct" hasn't exactly kicked in yet, and I'm not sure it will. I'm actually a bit annoyed that I'm stuck in Edinburgh for the time being, while my passport sits in a drawer taunting me daily. And I'm glad I've got a good excuse for not hitting up Pottery Barn Kids, or whatever the local equivalent is. Shopping and decorating are probably the things I am worst at in life, and I don't think that's going to change just because I'm breeding.

Still, I'm starting to wonder what else we need to gather before this thing makes an appearance. Compared to how most Americans have babies, you'd be amazed by our lack of "stuff." I'm both impressed by our restraint and a bit worried. Really, this baby just needs a place to sleep, some clothes to wear, and diapers, right? Thanks to a few generous folks, we're set for the basics.

So is all that other stuff is just ... convenient? I hope so because, also shockingly, we live in a one-bedroom apartment and aren't planning on upgrading. What does a baby actually need? What do we actually need? Frozen casseroles and some swaddling clothes? 

12 comments:

  1. Strong support network including parents with similar parenting values as you. :)

    There's so much stuff - you will figure out what baby LIKES (I bet you really have all you NEED) as you go. It will not be a tragedy if you don't have (for example) a swing. Your little one may not like it. Ours never really did. And if you find - by way of a playdate or such - that you do want one - you can get it then. :)

    The things we have gotten (and continue to get!) the most mileage out of are our carrier/s, a wipes warmer, wool dryer balls and a bumbo.

    We really love the wrap-style Moby carrier (takes a little practice to tie but is sooo versatile and comfy), and (as our guy grew) our Ergo carrier. The wipes warmer may sound like a luxury item, but for us, it improved the quality of many, many thousand of diaper changes. What can I say? Buddy likes a warm bum towelette. ;) The wool dryer balls are cloth-diaper specific (did you decide to go that way for sure?), and if you line dry, may be unnecessary. But they really do help speed up the drying process and do wonders in the dryer with any laundry, I've found. The bumbo you won't get use out of until baby is a bit older, but for us it doubled as a new and exciting way to play/see the world when he had the skills to use it, as well as a feeding seat for a long time (with tray attachment or without - we never needed a high chair until around a year).

    If you breastfeed, I would add a boppy (or whatever feeding pillow you find comfortable - alas, that one is hard to know in advance) and a really good double electric pump, if you think you might ~ever~ need it. Oh - and - if/when you're ready to introduce them, slow-flow bottles. They were a life-saver for our breastfeeding journey. :) And while this is not necessarily a breastfeeding accessory, I also got a LOT of use out of an extra-long iphone cord for charging. I spent a lot of time on the iphone, one-handed while glued to nursing baby. :)

    And yes - casseroles and people to come clean your flat or let you nap. I had a few such offers in the earliest months and was very very silly not to have taken them. :)

    You guys will be great.

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    1. This is great -- thanks. I wish we knew when exactly we're coming home. We're trying not to accumulate stuff in general, but also because we don't know what age he'll be when we return. I'm hoping to get away with just the sling and moses basket while we're here, then get some more stuff when we're back. Who knows:) The long iphone cord is GENIUS -- would never have thought of that, but yes.

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    2. Can you tell me about these wool dryer balls? I'm interested now. :) I cloth diaper but I'm still fresh at it. Almost 3 weeks to be exact.

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    3. Hi Brit! The wool dryer balls were just something I found at Target and decided to try. We have always been told/read not to use dryer sheets with cloth diapers so I picked them up just on a whim. Turns out they do seem to help both with static (not that there's much with the diapers anyway) and drying time. I don't honestly know how they work, but my educated guess is that the wool soaks up more of the wetness as they flop around and the other stuff dries more quickly. I just made sure to buy the natural fiber version (as opposed to something bleached or whatnot).

      Oh - and you may already know this, but we learned the hard way not to put covers in the dryer. The elastic wears out soooo quickly. They tend to line dry pretty quickly so making that switch was easy once we realized why our elastic was all wearing out. :)

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  2. A bouncy seat or a swing , and a stroller or baby wearing device. Don't give in to the desire for baby stuff. It's hard, but so much easier if you don't. And whatever you do don't buy anything new. It's such a waste.

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    1. Totally with you on the used front! I can't believe some moms i meet who "don't do hand-me-downs." Aside from our hippie green beliefs, it saves me from retail stores. I dread Babies R Us. Also, I can't believe you did this TWICE AT ONCE!

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    2. Things I regret buying: "Warmers" (wipe and bottle), such a waste. Convertible cribs, such a good idea, but you will never end up using it as they grow. A breast pump (I had the option to rent one from the OB's office, if that's not an option for you, then definitely buy one, but if you have the option to rent, it's better, IMO) i did my best to not accumulate lots of stuff, and still had way more than we needed. Hopefully you get home before the toys stages. Toys are like rabbits, they multiply fast. And for some reason there's no stopping them.

      Invest in some really good muslin blankets for swaddling, they are essential.

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  3. I think you have your list down! Even if you are in Scotland don't forget the sunscreen :) The things that you need the most you definitely can not buy!

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    1. Great one! I get the rosy cheeks here far too often (even when i've not had any whisky). Sunscreen for sure.

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  4. I think Erin has done a great job! A sling/ wrap and a boppy are the two non-essentials that I consider essentials. I would also be sure your cupboards are fully stocked, because if nursing, you will be seriously hungry!

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