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 Post subject: baby gear
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:18 pm 
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im sure this is a really stupid question but i feel really overwhelmed. how do you like go about picking out baby gear?
cribs? slings? furniture? diaper bags? misc crepe that i havent even thought of.
im looking on amazon and im just.....confused.

i have no idea what i want. i have no idea what i need. i dont know jackshit about any of this stuff.

also im really irritated that there is no gender neutral stuff.
we're not gonna find out the sex of the baby and i REALLY hate pink/purple/frilly/princess shiitake for girls.
i would have no issue putting a girl baby in blue/boy stuff but all the boy stuff i see is mainly sports themed.
i just dont really like sports.

my husband and i went to babies r us to just wander around. we dont actually need anything yet but we just wanted to look. we walked around and were like "what the fizzle is that? what the fizzle do you do with this thing?" lol it was quite comical

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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:29 pm 
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I read lots of the threads on the playground about baby stuff and that was helpful. Also, I never went to babies r us or any big baby store-I found that too overwhelming. I just read a lot of amazon reviews and other Internet research, talking to friends, etc.

I'm so glad that I did so much reading and research on most stuff big and small during pregnancy because after birth I had no time for that shiitake.


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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:37 am 
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My midwife gave me a very helpful list that had the essential stuff for the hospital and the first weeks on it. It saved me from feeling totally overwhelmed. Then I took that list to a friend with a small baby and asked her what she thought was necessary. She gave me many useful tips, too. So I recommend talking to friends, midwifes, etc.
Many friends also offered to give us their old slings, strollers, beds, etc. We bought almost nothing new.


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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:45 am 
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You need a carseat. Want one that will last a long time so you don't need to buy anything new? Get a convertible one up to 50+ pounds. Prefer one of those removable buckets so you don't have to wake the baby up if s/he falls asleep? Get one of those, but realize you'll have to trade it in around a year-ish depending on the size of your baby. Like most people we just bought whatever Consumer Reports said, ie the Chicco Keyfit 30.

You'll probably want to prevent the kid from pooping all over the place. Interested in cloth? Check out the cloth diapering thread. Prefer disposables? Buy a pack of a few dozen NB size and a bigger pack of size 1s (swaddlers or li'l snugglers or equivalent), it will depend on the size of the baby. Buy a big ol' plastic tub of wipes.

You might want to put clothes on your baby. People will buy you clothes. However, you could get two 3-packs of sleepers, one in NB and one in 0-3mo. You might also want some blankets - again, this is one of those things people will buy you a ton of, but they won't necessarily be the practical kind - I recommend getting a pack of swaddling size blankets like the Aiden & Anais ones. Before the baby arrives, wash all this stuff in a "free" detergent. We had a baby in July in Virginia, though, so clothes were optional. Oh, and a pack of hand mittens were useful to keep the kid from clawing her face off. Gerber has ones that match the 3-pack of sleepers. I didn't love the clothes with the built-in hand covers as much, because our baby was a spindly-armed beanpole.

Don't worry about toys yet. Babies don't give a rat's asparagus about stuff until about 4 months and beyond. Same with books, really, although we read a lot to ours when she was in the 2-6 month range. If you do get books, board books are nice for when they get to the paper-eating stage.

Furniture: there is nothing you absolutely need, not even a crib. I found a changing table handy to have. It was nice to have one of those vibrating seats (the fisher price zen collection is gender neutral and not completely garish, so that's what we got) to plunk the baby in for the first 4 months. We had a family heirloom cradle but never did buy a crib. Don't worry about a high chair for a few months, your newborn will not be eating solids. We had a pack & play type thing, which is where V took a lot of her naps, but if she'd had a crib it would've been fairly redundant. We used it almost never as a playpen because she would scream her forking head off if left in it for 30 seconds while I took a dump.

Feeding: You'll probably want to feed your baby. If you're planning on nursing, think about whether you want a pump, and a "my brest friend" is very handy, but really in terms of money before you know what you need your money would probably be best spent on a private lactation consultant visit. That was worth more to us in the first few weeks than any object!!! If you're planning on formula-feeding, you'll want bottles, a bottle brush, formula.. I wouldn't bother with sterilizers but I'm lazy.

Cleaning: at some point, your baby will need to be washed. It's helpful but not strictly necessary to have a basic baby tub (we have one that came with a mesh thing for newborns, a reclining thing for pre-sitting babies, and a sitting end for up to toddlers), and some baby wash and/or shampoo. If you want you can get a little washcloth and towel set, hooded towels, baby bathrobes, etc. If you don't want, it turns out regular towels dry babies just as well. I found a kneeling pad extraordinarily helpful for bathtime, got a nice big one from amazon that I think was a "gardening supply." Newborns don't need to be washed very often. You can wait until after birth to get this stuff.

Other things: don't worry about bumbos or jumparoos yet. I didn't find a baby monitor useful until much later - they're really great when your kid is taking independent naps for hours at a time, and it's invaluable now that we're in a house with a lot of traffic noise, but I really didn't find it that useful with a newborn. Gliders might be nice if you don't have any other furniture in the house, but we did so I never felt like I needed one. Strollers and carriers are nice to have at some point but honestly we didn't use either very much immediately. For carriers, we liked a wrap (moby style) for the first ~12 weeks and a structured carrier (Ergo baby + infant insert) after that, but see the baby carrier thread for other opinions. For strollers, we started out with just a bob ironman with the infant seat adaptor, and later got a simple umbrella stroller.

That's really pretty much what you "need," although we certainly ordered a lot of things from Amazon in the couple weeks following birth. The thing is, though, it's hard to know what you need ahead of time, because all babies really are different. If you have an aversion to collecting a lot of stuff, you need way less than the manufacturers of said stuff would have you believe. Stores will still be open after your baby is born.


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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:07 am 
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Annak's spot on with all her info. Definitely don't worry about toys/bibs/food-related items yet.

I would also add that you might want to look into what you'd like to use when you need to set baby down. A blanket on the floor works, but sometimes it's nice to have a swing (we didn't with our first, did with our second). Consider that swings are large though - it will take up a lot of space.

Alternately, you can tote your little one around in a baby-carrier. The baby-wearing thread here is fantastic. Ring slings and wraps are great for newborns, especially because you can breastfeed in them (if you do breastfeed), though wraps take a little practice. The stretchy kind (ie jersey knit as opposed to woven material) are really nice when baby is teeny-tiny and oh so cuddly.

Yes, you will need a car seat, and as annak mentioned above, you'll want to decide between the more cost-efficient transitional type or the infant sized car seat that you can easily take out of the car and carry a sleeping baby in. Those kinds can also be purchased as a set with a stroller, or you can buy a stroller made for car seats to sit on. Or you could buy one of those big fancy cradle-style strollers, which are super expensive, but look pretty wonderful. [I personally went with the smaller car seat, since I have the next size up already anyway, and if I want to use a stroller before baby can sit up, I can buy the stroller that holds car seats on top. So far, we're avoiding buying a large stroller, and once Zeph can sit up, we've got a stroller we saved from when Iz was little.]

Definitely look into used items for larger/more expensive purchases EXCEPT car seats. But really, cloth diapers (if you want to use them), baby carriers, etc can all be found used.

Most important thing: if you don't think you'll need it directly after birth, remember you can go shopping for things later. You can send your partner or family or friends out to fetch things for you, such as extra onesies. It's also nice to get out and wander a little bit with your sweet little baby, so you can pop him/her in a wrap/sling/what-have-you and make a short trip to the store once you're up to it.

Make sure you really like the items you are purchasing, particularly the larger items that you'll use longer. You'll be seeing/using them all the time, they'll be in all your photographs, etc, so you may as well pick things you like. I didn't do that the first time, because I really had no money, but now that I'm not so entirely broke, I've bought less items, but nicer ones and it's really been a lot nicer.

One last tip - do not buy loads of tiny newborn/size 0 clothing. Unless you have a preemie, this size of clothing will probably only fit for maybe a week. If you have loads, you won't even get to use them all anyway, so just buy a few. Or rather, perhaps don't buy any if you're receiving lots of gifts.

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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:34 am 
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Great advice given above!

I highly recommend avoiding browsing the big baby stores if you're feeling overwhelmed. I didn't set foot in babies r us or similar until after my little one was born, and I'm glad. There is so much crepe out there that you don't need.

Only thing I haven't seen mentioned above-- diaper bags are not necessary. I've never bought one and just use a really large purse that I had pre-baby. If you have no backpacks or large purses that are big enough to hold several diapers, changing mat, a change of clothes for baby, bottles (if needed), and snacks, sure, look into getting one. But, I think most of us already have a bag that will work fine.


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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:45 pm 
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I think you need much less stuff for a newborn than other people (and of course manufacturers of stuff) might tell you is necessary. You can also get so much from other people whose kids have outgrown it. I don't even know many people who have kids and we managed to get almost everything we needed from the few people we know who do. That included a convertible carseat, which has worked totally fine for us since Scarlett was born (although we did buy this $10 Snuzzler thing that gives her some cushioning until she gets bigger), and a regular stroller, not the newborn kind (the City Mini), which works just fine for a young baby if you lay them as flat as it goes (oh, and we also use the Snuzzler in the stroller). I guess some people think before 6 months or so the baby is supposed to face you in the stroller, but apparently it's not totally necessary. We don't really use the stroller much though, and didn't at all for the first six weeks or so, because it just felt better to have her close to us in carriers. I agree that the Moby was great at first, and now that she's heavy we mostly use a mei tai. We use a diaper service that my partner's parents help pay for as their gift to us, and we LOVE it! It makes cloth diapers so easy. All the covers we have were given to us by people we know whose kids were done with them. Someone also gave me her old Boppy breastfeeding pillow.

Other extra stuff that we didn't need but thought would be nice we put on a registry and it was bought for us by relatives and family friends. We basically chose a few things that we thought were the least ugly and plastic-y. We really like the Baby Bjorn bouncy seat, although it's expensive. It seems like you can use it for a long time though by taking off the crotch harness thing so a toddler can use it as a chair. We also got this really cute Skip Hop Treetop Friends play mat that comes with some toys you can detach and hang from anywhere, and at 3 months Scarlett is just starting to enjoy it. You definitely don't need anything like that. You can just put a blanket on the floor! I got a breast pump through my health insurance, and we only have (and have only needed) one bottle, the Comotomo, which we love because it only has two parts and is extremely easy to clean. We use an old backpack as a diaper bag, and we got a changing pad and to-go wet bag made by someone on Etsy (we put it on our registry) and it's super cute.

We don't have a crib, or an extra bedroom, and we're not moving until Scarlett will be about a year old. We bought a $10 dresser, painted it, and put a changing pad on top of it and use that as her changing table and to hold all of her stuff. I made a mobile of knit bumblebees and flowers that hangs over her changing station, and she loves it! The dresser set-up is all we have as far as a "nursery." Almost all of her clothes were given to us except for a few things we bought at thrift stores just for fun.

I think that's all we have! Our apartment is totally not overrun by baby stuff (yet.. haha) and we feel like we have everything we need and some stuff we don't. We're really happy that our carseat and stroller will last us a few years.


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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:58 pm 
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Annak's post owns it.

Get as much secondhand as you can, and don't feel like you have to have EVERYTHING before the baby gets here.

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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:11 pm 
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I used a consumer reports guide to baby products that I bought for sale from a bookstore that was closing. I also had a couple coworkers that were super excited about their baby stuff and typed up their recommendations for me. I looked at those a lot. I also looked for suggestions from the PPK. Finally, when there was a product I couldn't decide on, I would search it in Amazon and look at the reviews. This was especially helpful for bouncers/swings, which I had the most trouble picking out.


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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:46 pm 
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thanks for all the advice everyone. its extremely helpful!!!

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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:33 pm 
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A couple things to have for yourself, super duper maxi pads (if you have a vaginal birth, not sure a out csections) and nipple cream and pads.

Also, if you can swing it, an iPad. Seriously, it is awesome cause you can Internet and watch tv on it and carry it with two fingers.


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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:18 pm 
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You'll need pads whether you have a vaginal birth or C-section. Locchia only comes out one way. I bought a couple of big packs of super pads, but found that I didn't need any more than I was sent home from the hospital with, so you might also put this on your list of "husband can run out and buy if I need."


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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:12 pm 
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Chip Strong
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Agreed. I don't use pads normally so I didn't want to get any more than I needed. It's an easy thing to go out and buy.


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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:24 pm 
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well, my baby showed up rather unexpectedly over a month early. i hadn't even had the little baby shower my friend had organized yet. so literally, we had NOTHING when she arrived. i am a bit of a procrastinator and felt overwhelmed, like you, so i'd put off buying anything. i think i had a couple of pieces of clothing that people had given as gifts. and i'd made up my cloth diaper order, but hadn't actually placed it yet.

anyway, it was literally fine. we felt like idiots, but stores, surprise surprise, continue to operate after babies are born. i know, i too was operating under the assumption that we would never be able to enter a store again after the baby was here.

anyway, my mom arrived with a bunch of baby clothes and blankets and a bassinet and took my husband to ikea to buy a crib, mattress and some bedding and a change table. i wrote out a list of stuff for me (pads, witch hazel, nipple cream and breast pads) and had someone go grab it from the store. i ordered diapers and a baby carrier online from bed a few days pp. we went on outings to the store to grab little things as we realized we needed them.

while it wasn't ideal (i highly recommend having a couple of blankets, sleepers, a crib/bassinet, post partum supplies and a car seat BEFORE you hit 35 weeks, for example), it was a good way to avoid going overboard with buying unneeded items. and you will be going to the store and buying stuff that you forgot or didn't realize you needed anyway... i'd never have been prepared for needing a pump and pump parts and various remedies and supplies for thrush, for example.

the only reason i'd recommend someone be really really over the top prepared before the baby comes rather than buying stuff bit by bit as needed is if you think you won't have any family help (if it had been just me and mr bird, getting to the store would have been much more difficult) or if it's hard to get to stores where you are.


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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:20 pm 
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I don't think I mentioned it here, but you can get amazon prime for something like the first six months after you give birth for free. It is awesome! And it alleviates you having to go to the store and you can just pace an order when you think of stuff. The baby store near us is open weird hours so it was great to just have things delivered.


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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:45 pm 
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We bought almost nothing before the Emperor was born, operating on the premise that we would then realize things we needed and go out and buy them. We discovered that while stores still existed, we actually really didn't need most of the stuff we were on the fence about, and I was glad we didn't buy it.

With the Emperor we basically had: diapers (we did cloth, but whatever), some clothes (mostly gifts, I think we bought 1 pack of gowns/man dresses which we loved), a carrier (mobywrap to start with), a carseat (we did the infant carseat and I'm glad we did, but as other people said, it's not really a must if you want to go straight to a convertible), and somewhere to put the baby down occasionally (in our case, a bouncy seat; other options include a swing, a crib, a blanket on the floor, etc, etc).

We never set up a nursery. He still doesn't have his own room at 3. (He has his own bed in our really large bedroom.) I talked to him about it recently and he was horrified by the prospect that we might someday make him be in his own room, which made me sort of laugh and sort of cringe.

I'm not saying this is the way everyone should go, I'm just saying: if you are a minimalist and hate buying a lot of crepe, it is okay to maintain that part of your personality when you have kids. New babies especially just don't really NEED a whole bunch of crepe.

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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:55 am 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
We bought almost nothing before the Emperor was born, operating on the premise that we would then realize things we needed and go out and buy them. We discovered that while stores still existed, we actually really didn't need most of the stuff we were on the fence about, and I was glad we didn't buy it.

With the Emperor we basically had: diapers (we did cloth, but whatever), some clothes (mostly gifts, I think we bought 1 pack of gowns/man dresses which we loved), a carrier (mobywrap to start with), a carseat (we did the infant carseat and I'm glad we did, but as other people said, it's not really a must if you want to go straight to a convertible), and somewhere to put the baby down occasionally (in our case, a bouncy seat; other options include a swing, a crib, a blanket on the floor, etc, etc).

We never set up a nursery.


We made very similar experiences and got mosty the same things. We got a stroller for free from a coworker and an infant caseat from my sister. The only things we bought were a diaper-changing table and a co-sleeping bed. But we could totally have done without the changing table, the stroller, and the co-sleeper in the first weeks/months. I thing the most important things to get are clothes, diapers and a baby carrier (or stroller).


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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:40 am 
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I would add a Boppy to the things to get before you birth if you are breastfeedings. It was so much easier than pillows and every bit helps when you're trying to get started. And I agree that its really nice to have a good camera and a laptop, as well as comfortable clothes for you. I really liked my nightdress from Gillian & Murphy because it was so soft and easier to nurse in than the giant hospital gown. I made a thread after I had Leela that listed what I thought was useful at the time: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=15940&hilit=Learned

I got a ton of gifts and stuff that I bought while panicking that we wouldn't have enough, that we never used. I have 2 baby tubs full of bath stuff (she hates baths), I have 4 bouncy chairs, none of which she liked, I got a ton of baby bottles (never unpacked), 3 boppy's with 6 covers (I used 1), wipe warmer (never opened). All the stuff is going to a charity shop this month.

We never did a nursery, she hated her co-sleeper (so we have 3 sets of sheets for that which haven't been used). We had lots of swaddling cloths and ended up liking the ones we got free from the hospital most.

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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:40 am 
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We never used a diaper changing table-- we usually just put out a blanket or a large-size cloth diaper on the living-room floor and change our baby there. We did this with the big one, and we continue to do so with the little one.

This way we don't have to worry that the critter will get all squirmy and try to crawl or roll off the table or anything, and we don't have a piece of furniture in the house that we'll use for two years and then have to dispose of.

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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:53 am 
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and we don't have a piece of furniture in the house that we'll use for two years and then have to dispose of.[/quote]

We bought one of those molded changing pads and put it on top of a dresser - so far working just fine and for me I appreciate not having to get up and down off the floor to change him. Especially in the first week or two when I would really have to try to not pass out when moving from sitting to standing.

For swaddling I love the big anais and aiden blankets. They are breathable and since they are so big they are very forgiving for when you are first swaddling and maybe don't get things situated just right!


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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:06 pm 
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Oh yeah, I loved my boppy. I didn't get it right away because I thought it was ridiculous to spend $40 on a pillow. Oh, it was a great investment! Get one!

We used our changing table for the first four months or so, then Grey started getting squirmy. Nw we change him on a pad on the bed or floor. I use the changing table to hold my different detergents and whatnot for laundry.


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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:44 pm 
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annasrobbie wrote:
and we don't have a piece of furniture in the house that we'll use for two years and then have to dispose of.


We bought one of those molded changing pads and put it on top of a dresser - so far working just fine and for me I appreciate not having to get up and down off the floor to change him. Especially in the first week or two when I would really have to try to not pass out when moving from sitting to standing.
[/quote]

your assessment of what will be a good investment also changes with whether you are planning to have only one kid or more than one. our crib, for example, cost $80, and got used solidly for 2 years with one kid, will be used for at least one year with the next one, and then get sold on craigslist for about $30. i didn't get a change table with tzipi, but i've decided i want one this time... i changed her on a change pad on a dresser, but the dresser is really not a great height, and in any case, is mostly being used in tzipi's room now.


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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:36 pm 
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We also did the molded changing pad on top of the dresser thing. They make ones you can actually screw into your dresser if you want more security (we didn't bother with that). We keep all the changing stuff on top of the same dresser, but we haven't used the changing pad for many moons now. All changes now happen standing up because she won't lay down for them. I think a changing pad is one of those "if you want" things - if your bed is high enough, it's just as comfortable to change them there. We also did a lot of changes on a blanket sitting on the couch when she was teeny.


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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:53 pm 
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I got a super-cute changing pad and 2 cheaper Ikea ones to put on the dressers in the bedroom and playroom. Never used them. Just changed her on the bed. Our bed is pretty high though, so its easy enough on your back. Another thing going to Leche de Mama this month....

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 Post subject: Re: baby gear
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:19 pm 
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I love my changing table. I wasn't going to get one, and planned to use the top of a dresser, but then I realized I had no place to store all the diapers, covers, blankets, towels, etc. I use a diaper service, so we are talking 80 diapers a week. So glad I got the changing table. It has bins to store all the diapers and related crape.


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