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Friday, September 2, 2011

‘Gearing Up for Baby’ Has Begun! Plus…The List

Today marks the kick-off of Gearing Up for Baby on This Week for Dinner! With my due date just over 2 weeks away, I am in major nesting and preparation mode. I thought it would be fun to share some of that with you…and maybe throw in a few REALLY cute giveaways along the way. Besides, I’m not cooking anything very exciting right now, so I gotta give you something to read on this here blog!

Don’t worry, I’ll still get the weekly menus up and we’ll still talk some food for the next few weeks, but there will also be lots of other fun stuff mixed in. I’m even going to do some car seat and stroller reviewing because I think that is one of the hardest things to buy! I have years of good and bad experiences, so hopefully it will be helpful for a few of you. (Teaser: Orbit Baby provided me with their G2 Travel System to review…I received it yesterday…it’s amazing…but more on that later…)

To kick everything off, I have a gift for you. Something that, until now, only went to a few close friends. But I’ve decided it’s time that this something make a public appearance, and that something is The List.

My sister-in-law Jessica and I were pregnant with our first babies at the same time. Cate came first, so I was the guinea pig in the “new mom” department. Not long after Cate was born, Jess called me on the phone and said, “Okay, now that you’ve had the baby, what stuff do I really need to get?” We spent a good amount of time talking, with Jess dutifully typing away. That was how The List was born.

The List is meant to be a guide…all babies and moms are different! That said, it’s a good jumping-off point for figuring out what baby supplies you need. I know it’s been helpful for a lot of my friends, and I actually was very grateful to have it myself when it was time to get ready for Baby #3!

Click here to see The List!

And, as always, please leave comments if you have your own baby shopping list advice!


  1. 1

    Good luck! I am well past this stage but remember it vividly…a colicy baby will do that for you. 🙂 For a fussy baby, I highly recommend the moby wrap.

    • Jane Maynard

      that darn colic! it’s funny you say how you remember it all vividly…my grandmother had terrible nausea for all seven of her pregnancies, so when I get sick during pregnancy she’s the one I call to commiserate with…I loved it when she said, “They say you forget, but I NEVER forgot.” 🙂

  2. 2

    Good luck!!

  3. Something I’ve always told my friends and I’ll definitely do it again with this baby is get two sets of sheets, waterproof mattress pad included. I will put the sheets and mattress pad on then a second set on top of that. So when there’s an accident in the middle of the night and you’re stumbling around in the dark trying not to make the baby cry and wake up everyone in the house you can just take the top layer off and have a clean set of sheets ready to go.

    • Jane Maynard

      THAT is an awesome piece of advice, and one I’ve never thought of! THANK YOU!!! and I’m spreading the word on this one…you know how they always ask for advice at baby showers? this is the perfect!

  4. 4

    For me, the big item that I couldn’t live without was the flannel waterproof lap pads. They are flat and thin so I didn’t worry about putting them in their crib. I put them on top of the sheet and then just switched them out if there was an accident in the middle of the night. I also used them for changing pads, car seat protectors, burp cloths, etc. (As a side note, the ones I purchased from Target were TERRIBLE).

    I loved using a large hand towel as a changing pad for my diaper bag. That way if it gets dirty, you can throw it in the washer (the changing pads that come with the diaper bags usually have a texture that loves to cling to dirt or leakages).

    Fels Naptha works miracles on cleaning diaper blow-out stains.

    • Jane Maynard

      I’ve never thought of using the lap pads for anything beyond having them on the changing table…but now I’m going to use them everywhere! 😉

      also, great tip on the hand towel.

      and I’ll have to keep an eye out for Fels Naptha – never even heard of it!

  5. 5

    My baby #3 is now 15 months old and I found that having a baby carrier has been a life saver over and over again. I have a Boba, but another favorite of mine is the Beco (just google either one – pricey, but sooo worth it!). Moby’s are fabulous for the tiny infant stage too. There’s something about the 3rd one – they usually get dragged along to everything the other 2 are doing. Plus, when you are trying to make dinner and help with homework at the same time, baby carriers are a life saver, since that is always when baby wants to be held! Best wishes to you and your family! 🙂

    • Jane Maynard

      thank you for sharing the names of the carriers you love…the ones I tried on the first two pregnancies were okay, but not great. will definitely be trying these out!

  6. 6

    Wonderful hints! Especially the yellow spongy thing for baths. So much easier and I thought it seemed a lot more comfortable for my boy. I saw you mentioned that a nurse said that baby powder isn’t good to use. The reason is- the talcum powder can be harmful to lungs. It can even cause lung problems such as asthma. Cornstarch based powder is safer.

  7. Some ideas that might help someone…

    Just to throw out there – Awhile back, when I checked Consumer Reports, they said they would NEVER recommend the Orbit because, in their crash tests, the infant seat came out of the base on the low impact crash tests on several tries. I would check Consumer Reports to see if this has been fixed!

    We don’t have one, but my sister has the fairly new Chicco Liteway. It is very similar to the Maclaren, but it reclines all the way, is way cheaper, and has storage underneath.

    Britax recently remodeled all of their seats and increased weight limits, so the seats last longer. Yeah! Also, when we had our second, someone suggested that we move our 2 year old to the Britax Frontier 85 and give her old Marathon to the new baby. The Frontier 85 is only forward facing (can use from 25 lbs.) and is a five point harness until the child gets big enough for a booster, at which time, it turns into a belt positioning booster and should last them until they are car seat/booster free. This saved us from buying extra car seats.

    With our first, we loved the Pampers Swaddlers. Then, with our second, Pampers redesigned them and people were reporting the babies getting rashes from them and that is just what happened with our second. Bummer!

    We highly recommend cloth diaper services! In the LA area, it is Dy-Dee Diaper Service. In this day and age, pins are no longer needed. With the cloth diaper and Velcro wrap cover (we used Proraps), we never had newborn poop blowouts like we did when using disposables (we still used disposables on trips). With our second, we also use a snappi (for whatever reason, we didn’t need it on our first). The diaper service provides a pail and we just throw the dirty diaper in, poop and all, just like a disposable. We also used cloth wipes that we would wet with water from this:

    • Jane Maynard

      love all the great advice, christine!

      of course, I contacted Orbit right away. The Consumer Reports applies to their first generation car seat, which is not the one I have or that is being sold right now. That said, they also offered this information: “their concerns have been refuted by every subsequent test and piece of research conducted by regulatory agencies and independent labs, including the government regulatory authority, NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Orbit Baby’s products have always consistently met all federal safety standards and our real-world safety record is spotless with no reported injuries or car seat separations.” they have more comprehensive information on their website:

      here is a third-party article about it all, too:

      ANYWAY…all of that applies to the older model, anyway. but I am glad to have seen all the info regardless!

      thanks again, christine!!!

    My first only took one bottle her entire life and my second took only 1 oz. from a bottle ever! But”¦I have the Medela Freestyle and I recommend spending the extra money if you need a pump. It is super small, doesn’t require you to buy batteries (you recharge it and the charge lasts a long time) and seems to work well.

    With my first, I LOVED the Bravado Body Silk Seamless nursing bra. Now, I am in LOVE with the more “bra looking” Bravado Bliss. Trust me, between our two girls, I’ve been wearing nursing bras for almost 3 ½ years straight! Right before and right after giving birth, I liked the Medela sleep bra for holding in the nursing pads (I used the Lansinoh brand pads).

    MITS: I was advised not to use mits and keep the baby’s nails short (filing or clipping) because the baby needs their hands to explore. Just thought I’d throw this out there.

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Oxyclean! It gets everything out (even from stained hand me downs!) If it is really bad, leave it in the Oxyclean and hot water for several days (I’d add a little hot water each day to make it bubble up some more).

    Dermoplast spray (the hospital gave it to me and we bought more at the drugstore) to numb the “under area.”
    For nipple cream, I used the Lansinoh brand (the hospital gave me some to start).

    For the newborn stage, I LOVE my Peanut Shell sling. It is super simple and I carried my babies everywhere in them. When they are older, it is great for carrying the on your hip through the airport.

    After the newborn stage, I HIGHLY recommend the new Beco carrier, the Beco Gemini. It is very similar to the Ergo, which is popular right now, but WAY better! The Bjorn was killing me and I had tried the Ergo on a trip with my first daughter and she hated it (when awake, she wants to face out and see the world) and I thought it was uncomfortable, so I had to find a solution. The Beco Gemini was it! It puts the weight on your hips and waist, like the Ergo, but gives you the option of crossing the straps in the back (much more comfortable) and, the most important part, gives you the option of having the baby face out (you snap two flaps in to make the crotch area narrower when facing the baby out. With it, you can wear the baby on your front (facing in or out), on your hip, or on your back. I can carry my 15 month old for hours with no problem around Disneyland, the zoo, Sea World in the Gemini. The only cons I’ve found are the sleeping hood, if you use it, seems like the strings go right across the baby’s head, so I don’t usually use it and her head just snuggles into me.

  9. 9
    Jane Maynard

    Christine, AWESOME! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE getting updated info on gear and you gave such great detailed info! 🙂

    Orbit is on their second generation design, so I will find out about those Consumer Reports findings and let you know what I find out. Definitely curious myself, of course!

  10. 10

    i also love love love pampers swaddlers.. however the “new” cruisers no longer have the mesh lining and i think the new ones are awful!! the swaddlers that i have in size 1 right now do have the mesh though. They must of just switched the cruisers, it makes me sad lol. so now ive been using the huggies organic for my older one.(however they have a weird smell to them)very disapointed in pampers though

  11. 11

    Great list! It sure helps having baby #1 and #2 as guinea pigs. : ) One thing I’d like to mention, though, is that now the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending that you keep your baby rear facing in their car seat until 2 years old. So that’s one thing to keep in mind when shopping for car seats.

    • Jane Maynard

      that is great to hear! I mentioned keeping your children rear-facing as long as possible in the list because so often people are very eager to get kids forward-facing. hopefully this new recommendation will get more kids rear-facing for longer!! (and I think I may go in and update the PDF when I get a free minute!)

  12. 12

    Ok, just wanted to add one more thing: for clothing for baby, look for the sleepers with a zipper. It is so much easier on Mommy’s tired brain to zip up jammies than fumble with snaps that never seem to line up. Another thing I loved with my newborns was nightgowns. It made changing diapers in the night a snap!

  13. 13

    Great list! My 1st bebe is 4 months and it was useful to know more about other options out there. But what is “the yellow spongy thing for bath”?

  14. 14

    Best of wishes for an easy delivery Jane. My “baby” is 12 now and he has 2 older sisters– 19 & 21. I agree that the youngest one is always going to the older ones “stuff” but they seem to grow up even more quickly so be sure to hold baby as much as possible! 🙂 The one thing that I really look back on and enjoy is a 1ST YEAR BABY CALENDAR. I got one with my first child and then bought one for the other two. They all had Beatrix Potter ones. I kept it handy and literally jotted something down each day (i.e.-all the firsts but also Mommy thoughts). I hope they enjoy them someday when they have kids of their own. Otherwise, it looks like you’ve got everything covered! Good Luck!

    • Jane Maynard

      that is a FABULOUS idea, and maybe easier than a baby book. and I’m certain that your kids will LOVE having that!!! 🙂

    • Stacy

      I thought it was much easier than a baby book. My son’s baby book is still in the box with all of the baby cards. But, I do have the calendar to make filling it in much easier–now just to find the time! 🙂

  15. 15

    Jane, I noticed you added Pampers to your list–do you know about Amazon Mom? They have giant boxes of Pampers Baby Dry for SUPER cheap if you sign up for their Subscribe & Save program (which is free, and you can “subscribe” to one thing and then unsubscribe as soon as it is shipped if you want to). We are on a med school budget but using that I can get Pampers for cheaper than Kirkland diapers! I think our last box was 222 size 3s for about $30ish.

    • Jane Maynard

      my sister-in-law was telling me about Amazon Mom…I NEED TO GET SIGNED UP!!! especially since we’re about to go through bazillions of diapers! 🙂 thanks, jamie!

  16. 16
    Aisling Cadmus

    There were a few things I decided to get for my second baby who came along this past July. I got to splurge more this time, because I didn’t need as much. The first thing on my list was a new rocking chair

    – I love the rocking chairs that my spa has. The Puff Chair is the best chair….soooo comfortable. I wanted to get it for my first child, but had a hard time finding it. Once I found out what it was called I made sure to get it for this pregnancy. It is great for before the baby comes and recovery. I can’t figure out why they don’t sell it in baby stores.
    – Next I needed a double stroller. I did lots of research and found the Baby Jogger City Select with two seats. I also picked up the Bassinet. It has lots of accessories, which of course are extra. You can also pick up the attachment that makes the infant seat in it and there is an attachment to make the seats highchairs. There is also a glider board that you can attach to the back for an older kid to stand on. The stroller is super easy to push and is well worth the price tag.
    – Another thing I needed was a new monitor. I got the MobiCam DXR which has a video camera with night vision. It is capable of having 4 cameras that you can see in one screen. I have yet to get the extra cameras, but can’t wait to put one in my three year olds room and the playroom.
    – I also picked up some California Baby products including: the Calendula Healing Cream. It is the best all-purpose lotion. It works for just about everything. I found that it works awesome for infant acne. I also use it on his little baby behind and all his little creases. I bought the California Baby diaper cream which is much nicer than any of the thick gross smelling stuff I used with my first son. I also bought the Lavender Calendula Shampoo which makes his hair smell sooooo good.
    – I bought a lovely nipple cream made of all natural ingredients. It is called Motherlove Nipple Cream and I like to use it as a lip cream too. It smooths on super nice.

  17. 17
    Alison Poirier

    My major find (Thanks to Cynthia N., from Playschool) Caldesene Medicated Powder., especially with boys! It has Zinc Oxide which is in the Butt Paste, but with one little “spritze” you have covered all the major areas that are hard to reach on a boy. This has been my go to with #3 and love it. NOw at 2 he asks for that powder, even when it is appropriate.

    The reason the nurse told you no powder is because if they inhale the talc it is bad for their lungs. Cornstarch based powder is ok because it can be absorbed by the body where the talc cannot. Talc is a solid base, cornstarch is a plant base (I think, ask Nate) It’s something like that.

  18. 18

    Those Lilypadz (silicone nursing shields) are awesome. My number one baby must have. Totally changed my life. I totally recommend them. Definitely worth the $22.

    The teacher at my newborn class for my first baby told us that Dreft is just watered-down laundry detergent (very expensive water!), so just use a regular free-and-clear detergent instead.

    Thanks so much for the list! Awesome and thorough! I will share it with all the new mothers I know. Good luck. PS–for a boy baby, if you are going to circumcise, “butter” the inside of the diaper with vaseline–trick that the RN at the hospital gave us. That way, baby boy will not stick to the diaper as he’s healing.

  19. 19

    PS–I love the Pikkolo baby carrier. It is appropriate for babies from newborn to 35 pounds. It’s like the Ergo, but you can also put the baby forward facing on your front (not an option with the Ergo). Also agree with the Moby wrap for colicky babies. That darn colic!

  20. 20
    Lamont Teisberg

    If you backpack, you know what I’m talking about. A lightweight daypack is fine for lugging 20 lbs of textbooks from class to class, but if you want to be able to hike for an hour with 40 lbs you have to shift the weight from your shoulders to your hips.

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