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Friday, August 6, 2010

baby gear part 2

Ok, so, my little list of baby gear in that last post is really simplified. But that is the point I guess. It’s what I would say you really do NEED. The other things can be great to have, for convenience, or amusement for your child, etc. and of course, as your kid gets older the list of things grows when their wants or tastes come into play. (I plan on posting about toys and managing/controlling them taking over your life later, as I have Things To Say on this topic. I will talk more about baby toys there too.)

Also, to add to that post. The point was not “Thou shalt not buy excessive baby gear and plastic crap for your kids.” It’s unavoidable. It’s gonna happen. The point was to not feel the pressure to buy it. Get it if you want, sure, but don’t feel like one has to own a bouncy seat to parent. One does not.

Plus, as an aside. I have, or have had, ALL the excessive crap. I am trying to limit it. And, as I said, were I to do it again in a few years and repurchase for baby, I would do it differently from the get go.

And it is not, do you buy plastic or organic or don't you. Those kind of dividing lines in parenting make me tired. All the labels, are you green, are you mainstream, etc. Forget it. We are mommies trying to figure this shit out. You know? Pardon my french.

And, now, the fun part, as I know a few of you nice readers are in the baby way for the first time I thought I might share a more detailed list of my favorites, and expanded into some of the miscellaneous gear that is not essential but nice and/or convenient to have.

I call it my “best of baby things” list. [Note: I have not used some of this, just admired from afar. I am too cheap for some of it. Many things I reproduced on my own…but, in any case] Here goes:


Ultimate baby wrap/Maya wrap

Maya ring sling/or Hotsling type pouch (I loved my fleece pouch by Kangaroo Korner but just saw they have gone out of business!)

Jogging stroller – loved my simple Kolcraft for 1 kid, love my Babytrend double for 2

Miracle swaddle blanket, 2 (although your kid may or may not appreciate the swaddle, babycakes required it, babydear hated it)

3 cotton gowns, small (really like Under the Nile for these)

3 snap up sleepers, medium (Hanna Andersson are great)

2-3 old school fleece sleepers (I find mine used, nobody makes them like they used to!)

1-2 wool sleepers (I really really want one of these for next baby! er. um. or whatever.)

3-4 cotton/bamboo/silk shirts

3-4 cotton/bamboo/silk pants

Wool silk blend long sleeve onesie

Wool silk blend leggings

Amber teething necklace (read here how they work)

A couple little cutesie outfit for that inevitable church/grandmas house outing where your baby is expected to look particularly adorable. I have half a dozen little dresses for baby dear for this purpose. I gravitate to Baby Gap for this sort of thing.

Cotton hats 2-3

Knitted hat (SOOOO easy to make)

Smartwool socks, infant and baby size (I have and like)

Cotton socks (I confess to buying socks from Walmart)

Tights (this or Maggie brand are cute, but I was given several I like)

Knitted button up sweater, buy old school, make, have grandma make, or buy from Gap.

Disana wool leggings (I make my own), baby and toddler size

Disana wool overalls (I make my own), baby and toddler size

Wool romper

Wool/silk wrap

Danish wool jumpsuit (how I want this!)

Danish wool balaclava (umm, so dang cute, I tried to make one for baby dear and she refused to wear it)

Cashmere footie leggings, newborn size (always wanted to have or make, never had)

Cashmere blanket (never had, sniff.)

Quilt, get grandma or someone to make one. Every baby needs a quilt.

Large flannel swaddle blankets (NOT the Gerber cheap-o brand they aren’t big enough for a good swaddle, I made my own)

Cotton pilot cap (I like Hanna Andersson for this, we dressed baby dear in this hat from day one. I heart this hat) newborn and baby size

Hanna Andersson sock/moccasin things (great for indoor or carrides, etc, same as above. Got these for both kids and they are great) baby and toddler size

2 pacifiers (my kids would ONLY take two different brands, babies mouths need different shapes, my son wanted the Aveda kind, my daughter the Soothie kind – I wanted them both to use the all natural expensive rubber kind, they both refused)

Kleen Kanteen sippy cup and sports bottle (I confess to using plastic sippy cups, I understand they are Bad For Your Kid but…getting a plastic sippy cup chucked at you in the car is much more pleasant than a Kleen Kanteen)

Bamboo spoon and fork and little dish

Fleece lined bunting

Fleece lined baby Uggs/slippers

Soft sole leather shoes, 2 (Robeez type things, I make my own)

Soft sole fabric shoes, 2 (again, I make my own)

Arms Reach Co-Sleeper

Crib, Ikea models are nice and simple and affordable

Stokke wooden high chair (expensive, pretty, don’t have it) or Ikea plastic high chair (small, cheap. Have it. Love it.)

Contured changing pad, 2 covers

Also handy to have:

Bumbo seat. I used to tell people, absolutely buy one but upon reflection I have hardly used mine. Maybe if I had gotten the snap on trays they have for them now? Eh. Its sitting in my closet.

Baby monitor, being rather neurotic about babycakes sleep when he was little we have used our monitor nearly every night for four years. Simple is best, with multiple channel options though so you don’t end up listening in on the neighbor kids fighting with their parents over taking a bath or not.

Bouncy seat, I did use mine a lot. I prefer simple, with no gadgets.

Playmat. Our son adored his playmat, especially the mirror attachment, and would stare and coo at it. Little girl, not so much. Guess she would rather stare and coo and big brother. I did get her a new one from Ikea, so cute, and she did like it for a spell (brother's old one being covered in spit-up from his horribly spitty days.)

Bassinette I liked having a small one in the kitchen or living room for those early months so baby could sleep while I cooked, cleaned, read stories to big brother. But I am neurotic like that, as you should know by now.

Diapering - I plan a proper post on cloth diapering because I am so infatuated with it but for now, this list can suffice.

Prefolds, 1 dozen infant size, one dozen larger size

Thristies diaper covers, 1 newborn, 2 small, 2 medium, 2 large (I have many brands of covers but like these the best)

Hemp/fleece liners 6-8 (I have bought some and made many)

Stacinator wool cover - 2

Bamboo fleece or cotton fitted diapers, Thirsties 4-5 (I have made my own, bought a few)

Thirsties/BumGenious/Happy Heiny or some other pocket diaper 5-6 (the best one for you will depend on your babies body type, my fat chunk babies aren’t great with BG’s but if I had to pick one I do like the Thirsties the best, in terms of design/quality. I have one of each of these brands and have made many of my own, some more successfully than others.)

I also use wool leggings/woolies, whatever you want to call them, made by Disana (or yourself very very easily if you can cut up a wool sweater and sew a few seams!) wool leggings/pants can be used as a cover, especially if lanolized, which is easy to do. It breathes, clears up any rash in a jiffy (yes I just said jiffy, what of it?) and, well, its nice. I love my woolies. I have made more than a dozen, plus several pairs of kick ass wool overalls.

Nature Baby or 7th Generation disposable diapers. Yes, there is a time in a place for disposables. In fact, in our family we do disposables for night time, after a certain age my babies bladders just wet through cloth diapers no matter what combination I used. Also, I love Nature Baby but I do confess to using regular old Huggies or whatever when we can’t get to/afford the good all natural cotton kind, which is frequently.)

And that is my list...Ummm. What else... any other must have’s mommies? What are some of your favorite brands?

A word re baby clothing. I find it particularly irksome when babies are dressed up in jeans/dresses or other big peoples clothes. In my opinion babies should look like babies. I never put an oxford shirt on my 3 month old, or tiny jeans on my baby girl. I don’t like halter tops or bikini swimsuits for little baby girls. It just seems…wrong. Maybe because I myself am not a fan of jeans and/or fancy uncomfortable clothing, I figure, how can they possibly be comfortable for a tiny baby? My babies typically wear sleepers (yes even to church!) at home they often wear wool leggings (homemade) and a little cute shirt. We do have some dress up clothes for baby girl, how can one resist! Same goes for shoes. Babies need flexible soles to learn to walk. I make my own, but that is because I am cheap, there are a lot of great ones out there, leather or cloth. I broke down and bought a pair for baby dear, no time to sew really these days, just the generic Target brand. I don’t do decorative shoes for newborns, because again, it just looks wrong to me. Also, when babies have dangly fat legs hanging out of frilly dresses, in say, March (which is cold here) I feel like shouting, get that baby a blanket! Give her some Babylegs at least! (I don't actually shout though.) Also, shirts and onesies that say things like "Daddy's Spoiled Brat" or "Ladies Man" makes me kinda crazy. Really? Do you really want to encourage that? Ok. I am done.

Ok, but yes, the clothing you put on your child is of course a subjective choice, just as you might clothe yourself. So of course, no judgement. But one does have personal preferences...and as it IS my blog… (if I were the type I would put a smiley face with a little goofy sticking out tongue here to suggest my humorous tone but alas, I never use that one.) Also, I obviously live in the frozen north where wool is practical/required. I love wool. You living in Florida may not, of course, share my coveting of the boiled wool romper from Denmark. Ha.

Also, this is very much ideal. My reality is of course much more…umm, real. My kids wear whatever people give them, and gladly, and a few things bought by mama, fewer things bought new. Also little man loves his super hero shirts lately, he even has light up Ironman shoes. They are tacky but he LOVES them. I can’t wait to see how baby dear dresses herself down the line. She recently has fallen in love with shoes, her favorites being sparkly pink ballet slippers that she picked out herself. Lord help us. Hardly the classic European design I would dress them in! But hey, that is what my life is about, and this blog really, ideal and reality and the meshing thereof (insert smiley face guy).


  1. one reader suggests this website for gently used baby stuff...

  2. YAY, now I finally know what those pilot caps are CALLED! I wanted one for Gabriel and I spent a fruitless while googling "caps with earflaps" and such and ending up with a ton of results featuring snow hats with pompoms. I never did get him one... next baby, I guess!

    Agree with you about the soft baby clothes...except that 90% of Gabriel's wardrobe is made up of people's gifts (here people don't do the baby registry, everyone just brings you clothes when they meet the baby for the first time) and they LOVE to go the little jeans/overalls/button-down shirt route. So he wears them. I do avoid dressing him in things emblazoned with brand names and fake athletic teams and cartoony stuff and so forth. But what he mostly has spent his time in this summer are one-piece rompers. Comfy and cool.

    And yay cloth diapers! I like Thirsties and BumGenius too. Plus, I'm a fan of GroBaby (now GroVia).

  3. Grovia? havent tried it. maybe next kid :)
    its particularly challenging to find good clothes with little boys. i just want CLOTHES. not advertisements! we have given in to classic superhero shirts but try to stop there. last summer i was so fed up with it i made him these awesome long shorts with elastic (so he could wear again this summer!) with big treasure pockets on the side...he still loves them!

    more posting to be done on making kids clothes...


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