Will and I actually haven’t used all that much stuff for Lydia’s first month, but I mostly did a bunch of research for the things we did buy, so I thought I’d share our list of gear for other people who might be interested!
We inherited a few packs of disposables from a friend’s baby. My plan was to use them until Lydia was done producing meconium, and that they’d be good to have around in any case. We ended up using them until her cord stump fell off, which happened on day four. I think it happened quickly because she mostly wasn’t more than a diaper, so it got to air out.)
Before she was born, we had bought two dozen OsoCozy infant diapers, one dozen in 4x6x4, and one dozen in 4x8x4.
They were really long for a newborn, and, at 8 lb, Lydia was a pretty big newborn!
The diapers were fluffy, absorbent, and seemed pretty high-quality overall, but I’m really not crazy about the proportions. They worked okay with the big diaper covers Will’s aunt had made us, but most of the time we were doing without a cover so we could know right away when she peed and better learn her patterns. We ended up getting an EC belt, and, being longer, they work pretty well belted, but I ended up preferring Snappis, for the times when we weren’t using a cover, at least for now. We did try folding them them over to make them shorter, but that got bulky and didn’t work that well.
Two dozen was also not as many as we wanted. I had been thinking that we’d be able to get away with having fewer diapers because we’d be doing EC, but it didn’t work out that way. For one thing, the first week and a half or so was more about noticing her patterns and cuing with her than actually successfully pottying her very much, and we were also changing her diapers as soon as we noticed that she was wet, so she wouldn’t get used to sitting in a wet diaper, so I think we ended up using more diapers than we would have if we hadn’t been ECing.
We ended up getting one dozen Cloth-eez prefolds each in newborn and small from Green Mountain Diapers. Those were similarly fluffy, absorbent, and high-quality, but they don’t have as many layers as the more absorbent OsoCozy diapers. That didn’t matter a ton for us, since we change them right away. They’re wider though, which I very much prefer. It doesn’t matter a ton for folding them up inside a cover, but it really helps when we’re using them with Snappis, which is what we do all day unless we’re taking her out or having other people hold her a lot.
Will’s aunt had made us four small diaper covers, but they’re still pretty huge on Lydia. We use them at night (with the thicker OsoCozy prefolds), but we also got a Bummis Super Whisper Wrap in the newborn size, so we could have something that actually fit her really well and would work better under clothes. However, at almost a month, she is already close to outgrowing this cover, so I’ve ordered one more that’s a little bigger and another one that has snaps to make it different sizes. (I can review those once we get them.) The Bummis Super Brite Cover is a good size, and I like that the inside is exposed PUL, since that means we can wipe it clean and not always have to wash it every time we change her.
We did get a top hat potty with a cozy to make it less cold for Lydia to sit on, but we actually haven’t used them much yet. (I also don’t think she cares about the temperature, based on what I’ve seen.) If I’d had it from the beginning, I might have used it more, because I was mostly staying in bed for the whole first week, but we didn’t get this until the second week, and by that point we had gotten in the habit of taking her to the bathroom sink. The nice thing about the sink is that we can watch her in the mirror and see what she’s doing. I expect we’ll use this more as we’re increasingly out and about with the baby, but maybe not.
We had this wet bag from the beginning, which was great for keeping in the diaper bag, but we quickly realized we needed something to use at home. (I guess we could have just used garbage bags, but I wanted something we wouldn’t have to keep buying.) We got two large pail liners from Green Mountain Diapers, Mommy’s Touch in flight and Blueberry in monkeys. I like both patterns, and the bags are fine. We switch them out so we can wash them with the prefolds and covers.
I also didn’t want to use disposable wipes, both because I don’t think they’re ideal for the baby’s skin, and I didn’t want to have to keep buying them, so we got these wipes, one dozen small and two dozen large. I like having the option of the two surfaces. Especially since we’re ECing, we rarely use much surface area of the wipe at all, so in retrospect I probably would have gotten more of the smaller ones. I thought we might end up putting them in a wipes warmer, in which case the small would have fit better, but instead we just kept the wipes solution at room temperature, and that seemed to work fine.
For a wipes solution, we used this mixed with water stored in these spray bottles (we have two). I like that it doesn’t have too many ingredients, and it does seem to be more effective than just using water.
We got a diaper bag and changing pad from Will’s aunt too, so we used those. A regular bag and a blanket, towel, or big prefold diaper could substitute pretty easily if you don’t want to buy either of these things, but I’ve liked having them.
We inherited a bunch of clothes, and I bought a few things because I wanted them, and because they would be more EC-friendly. Onesies don’t work so well with EC because they take longer to get off, so I got some baby T-shirts, elastic waist pants, and long newborn socks. The long socks actually seem too tight around her chunky thighs in newborn size, so I don’t always pull them up all the way, but they definitely stay on better than other baby socks I’ve had experience with.
The other clothes I ended up picking out were from Babysoy.
We’ve gotten a bunch of clothes as gifts too, so we’re definitely not lacking in this department. Especially because when Lydia is at home, which has been the vast majority of the time so far, she mostly just wears a prefold diaper and a Snappi, no clothes, to facilitate skin to skin contact.
We have some non-plastic bottles that we inherited from Izzy and a manual pump that we bought, but I haven’t used them at all yet, so I can’t comment there. Eventually, I would like to pump to give me the option to be away from the baby for longer than usual, but I haven’t gotten to that point yet.
I did end up getting a Boppy pillow. I didn’t do any research about whether it would be better than a Brest friend or something else similar, but it works fine. I’ve used it for nursing sometimes, and also found that it was good for sitting on when I was still healing. My basic recommendation here is that having a bunch of blankets and pillows of various shapes and sizes around is good for making nursing as hands-free as possible.
I mostly used laid-back positions for breastfeeding at the beginning, which didn’t go all that well with the Boppy, but within a week I was already switching things up a bunch.
We inherited a rear-facing carseat, so we just used that for the car.
We also inherited a green Moby, and I had already bought a purple one, so we have two. It’s nice to be able to use one while the other one is in the wash, but if I were picking now, I would probably pick two different wraps instead of two of the exact same kind. I haven’t used woven wraps yet, though I’m probably going to get one soon, but I’d at least get a Boba wrap to compare, and because they’re somewhat shorter.
I could easily do with a much shorter wrap than the Moby, but it ultimately doesn’t matter that much. It takes a little while to get the Moby on, but it’s quite comfortable for walking around and doing stuff, and I like that I can get it pretty tight. I think it makes Lydia calmer to have it that way, in the same way that swaddling would (though we haven’t tried that yet).
I also ended up getting a Maya wrap ring sling a little after the birth, because I thought that would be nice to have too. The ring sling is really fast to get her in and out of, and is easier for hands-free breastfeeding, so I am definitely glad I have it. I wish I’d have it from the very beginning. It’s not quite as ergonomic, and I don’t feel as comfortable bending down and picking things up a bunch, but it’s great to have in the rotation.
We had an Ergo, but we didn’t get the infant insert, since people didn’t seem to love it, and my plan had been to use the Moby at the beginning. Yesterday, I tried Lydia in the Ergo without the insert just to see how it was, and I think it actually worked pretty well. I was going to use a blanket as an insert if it seemed like she needed it, but she seemed fine. Her legs fit inside in the froggy position, and her head was supported. The straps needed to be tightened quite a bit for it to work, but I think I’ll end up using this a fair amount too, now that I’ve tried it.
Lydia sleeps in the bed with us, so there’s not too much gear involved here. We did get a waterproof mattress cover to put under our sheet, which I would definitely recommend if you want to keep your mattress clean, and I would have wanted this even if she were sleeping somewhere else, since we hung out on the bed with her quite often, especially at first.
We inherited a baby swing, a vibrating seat, and another seat that moves in a few different ways that we haven’t used yet. The swing seems like the best of the lot, but Lydia doesn’t seem that crazy about it. Once we put her in there and she fell asleep, but in general she prefers to be closer to us (and I prefer to be closer to her). I think it’s likely we could get her used to sitting in these seats, and that it’s likely she’ll be more okay with them as she’s older, but right now I use the swing pretty infrequently, mostly when I want to put her down and go to the bathroom.
We have some swaddle blankets, but haven’t really used them. We might in the future though.
I have needed some light to wrange night-time feeding (though I expect I won’t forever). At first, Will had set up a great station for me by the side of the bed with food, water, and everything else I might want, so we put a lamp there, which worked pretty well. Now, we’ve retired that, and I have a motion-activated night light. I would have preferred a red LED, so it wouldn’t mess with our circadian rhythms, but given that it’s off when we’re not moving, I doubt it matters much.
I’d love to hear other people’s recommendations here, but I think at this age there isn’t much she’s capable of playing with. We inherited a bunch of toys and gotten some as gifts, but so far the only ones we’ve used have been some high-contrast blocks for her to look at.
It’s been hard for me to use my computer while nursing (though I’m actually doing so semi-functionally now), but reading on my iPad has worked really well. Will and I also played a ton of Dominion while I was in bed, because I could mostly do that one-handed.