Laid Back Layette
Joshua cleared out two dresser drawers for Henriette’s layette, and although we have accumulated more items than I’ve listed below from gifts, this is all we really need.
- 4 long-sleeved onesies : I’ve found that the Carter’s brand newborn size fit Henriette the best in her first month (she was 7 lbs. 5 oz. at birth).
- 4 short-sleeved onesies : We inherited a few inexpensive Gerber brand newborn size, and these work well.
- 4 footed pajama suits : I prefer the pajama suits with zippers rather than snaps.
- 1 party dress : For special occasions and photo shoots :)
- 4 pairs of socks : The smaller, the better.
- 4 pairs of pants : Length is the key factor here. As long as they are short, NB and 0 – 3 Mo. fit Henriette (mostly because she has quite the booty with her cloth diapers).
- 3 hats : This number might seem a bit excessive, but they have a way of collecting spit-up.
- 1 bath towel : We were given a cute rubber ducky hooded blanket, and while a normal blanket would suffice, I must admit that I find it cute as hell.
- 5 wash cloths : No need to buy separate ones for the baby, but we did, and I like that they are softer.
- 3 swaddling blankets : Three is the perfect number for the occasional diaper or spit-up accident.
- 2 “other” blankets : We have about a bajillion “other” blankets, and they’re useful for late-night feedings, extra warmth in bed, sunbathing, and tucking Henriette into her car seat. I’ve decided to use all of ours, but I’d say you really only need two. They’re popular gifts, so you’ll probably accumulate more :)
Cheap Cloth Diapering
There are tons of options when it comes to cloth diapering. All-in-one options or those with separate inserts would be nice, but they’re significantly more expensive.
- 24 infant prefold cloth diapers : I’ve read that you should have 36, but we threw caution to the wind and just purchased 18. 6 more would give us a little more wiggle room with washing – as it is, we have to do 2 -3 loads of diapers a day. We bought the Bumkins brand, and they come in sets of six.
- 3 waterproof covers : We made the novice mistake of trying to let Henriette go without waterproof covers at first. After she soaked a few outfits, we went to the Giggling Green Bean and bought three Rump-a-rooz adjustable snap covers.
- 3 snappis : While I prefer the look of old-fashioned diaper pins, these are quite a bit easier. Plastic “teeth” grip either side of the diaper and provide a quick, snug fit.
- 1 portable diaper changing pad : We eschewed a changing table in favor of a cheap plastic pad that we but on our ottoman. Cheap and functional.
- 2 hand towels : To lay on top of the changing pad. I learned this the hard way, and Henriette gave herself a piss bath.
- 1 extra laundry basket : Because I’d rather keep sh**ty diapers separate from our clothes.
- 1 bag wet wipes : We considered buying cloth ones or making our own, but it just seems like too much. After all, even we use disposable toilet paper.
- 1 box of disposable diapers : Just in case your washing machine breaks, or if you would like to go out and not worry about carrying around a diaper filled with sour-smelling yellow sh**, or if you have family or friends who would like to help diaper and who have not received a prefold tutorial – although it IS funny to watch them try, or if you forget to keep up with the laundry.
Here’s the deal: for the first month, I spent the vast majority of my waking hours breastfeeding. When you spend so much time doing something, there are bound to be some accouterments that go along.
- 1 nursing cover : I’ve gone without one of these for over a month, but I just ordered one through etsy. If you’re not comfortable with the idea of being practically topless for the first week or breastfeeding in front of close family and friends, you’ll need one much earlier. Although you could use a blanket when you go out in public, I’d like the boning across the top so I can see Henriette (and prevent her from tearing off – ouch).
- 1 pillow : You could get by without a special breastfeeding pillow, but when you spend hours after hours after hours breastfeeding, it’s worth splurging on something that makes you and the baby more comfortable. We bought the Boppy, but it’s not my favorite – the sides slope down, and you need another booster pillow to make it comfortable. I’ve heard that My Brest Friend is preferable.
- 1 pack of comfort gels : I was given these at the hospital. For the first week of breastfeeding, I put these in the freezer and then used them as nipple covers. If you’ve never thought that it would feel really nice to put your nips on ice, just wait until the first week of breastfeeding…
- 1 nipple cream : I actually don’t think that this is absolutely necessary. After the first week, I preferred to keep mine dry.
- 3 boxes of disposable nursing pads : Eventually, I think I’ll convert to washable pads, but for now, these keep thrush at bay and prevent me from leaking through everything I wear.
- 3 nursing bras : I also own a couple of tanks, but I prefer the bras. The tanks are ill-fitting and unattractive, but the bras aren’t as bad.
- A rotation of nursing-ready tops : Button-ups work well, as do tops with stretchy necklines. Cardigans and zip-ups add warmth.
- 1 breast pump : For the working lady or for the bumpy first weeks of breastfeeding. I have the double electric Medela.
- 2 bottles : Hopefully, you won’t need these for the first month, but if you do, I like Dr. Brown’s glass bottles.
- 1 box of breastmilk storage bags : I have Lansinoh.
- Entertainment : Don’t get me wrong; I love staring at Henriette, singing to her, and otherwise babbling on, but breastfeeding is a full-time and sometimes painful job, so a little entertainment goes a long way. Netflix helps me through late-night feedings, music is a must, and conversations are the best. Anything that requires both hands is out of the question, and even those that require just one hand (reading, surfing the net) are less than desirable.
Before we had Henriette, we decided to buy the most basic supplies and then find out what we needed after she was born. This meant that we bought what we actually needed, rather than what we thought we might need.
- 1 car seat : We got the Chicco, and we love how it just snaps in.
- 1 bag for outings : Diaper bags aren’t really necessary; I just use an oversize bag and stuff it with 4 diapers, 1 change of clothes, the changing pad, wet wipes, and the nursing cover.
- 1 baby carrier : We love our Ergo (and Henriette loves the infant insert, aka the “Pita Pocket”), but lots of people like the Moby. The Ergo is a bit more practical/ multi-purpose, but the Moby is more cuddly. If you’d rather not spend 40 dollars on a piece of branded fabric, just pick out 5 yards of a stretchy fabric for half the price (which is what I did).
- 1 gentle soap : To keep baby smelling nice.
- 1 gentle lotion : Baby skin might be seriously soft, but it gets dry.
If You’d Like…
Not really necessary, but things you might want.
- 1 breastfeeding cocktail : I take a prenatal, lactaid support, acidophilus, Blessed Thistle, Vitamin C, Krill Oil, Fenugreek, and a tincture called Mother Love. I’m so doctored up with Fenugreek that both baby and I smell like Maple Syrup.
- Pediatric Probiotic : For happy baby tummies. We use a syringe to give this to Henriette.
- Stroller : We have a Chariot which doubles as a jogging stroller and a bike trailer. We don’t have a snap ‘n go stroller for the car seat, but I understand the appeal – those suckers are heavy. Otherwise, we’d rather just carry her :)
- Rocking Chair : I don’t have one, but I can understand the appeal.
We’ve done without…
- Separate Bedroom or Crib : Henriette sleeps between us.
- Baby Bath Tub : We’ve taken a couple of baths with Henriette (which she seems to enjoy – up until the point when she gets out and gets cold), but showers are her favorite. At first, I though she would scream bloody murder when the spray hit her face, but she was perfectly content.
- 4 Door Car : We’re doing just fine with our 2 door, thank you very much.