Triplets... Stuff (Do's and Don't's)
Preparing for your bundle of joy(s)!!!
So many folks that I know who are pregnant have all asked me for some "momma"/"baby" advice as they are all new to parenthood and think because I have 3.. I might be some type of a baby expert. I'm a first time momma so of course I laugh when I think of that because to be honest, I'm no expert, I just don't know any better.. LOL!! Granted having triplets is definitely a bit different than having a singleton, but then again some basic rules apply no matter how many babies you pop out. :)
I have been collecting my thoughts, lessons learned and Do's and Don't's over the past year so I could pass along what I have learned to new mommies/daddies as we can all use a little help along the way!!
The one thing that I have always told myself is that ALL babies are unique and individuals... even though I popped out 3 at the same time, they are all TOTALLY different!!!They will all grow/develop/advance at their own pace!!
DON’T COMPARE when other moms brag that their baby is doing something at the age your baby isn’t… trust me.. they will all pick up things at their own time! Sometimes I would even compare my three when one started crawling and the others weren't or when one starting holding the bottle and the others didn't.. but then I stopped and reminded myself that even though they were all born at the same time, they were all individuals and I needed to treat them as such. They all have their own personalities and would do things when THEY were ready and to be honest they all were first in something different whether it be crawling, sitting or their first tooth!!
Below are my thoughts on different items/topics (they are in no particular order).
Dr. Browns - too many parts to clean and Avent leaks. Nuk -LOVED LOVED LOVED!!!! Nuk does not have a lot of parts to clean and is orthodontically approved (not to mention cute/fun/pretty bottles). However, it pretty much depends on which one your baby likes. We even tried Tommie Tippee and our babies didn't like any of them except for Nuk. We felt that Nuk gave them the best grip on the nipple and they didn’t spill.
Bottle Sterilizer – NO NEED!!!! Waste of time/money. Even our pediatrician told us we didn’t need to sterilize everything. We wash our bottles with hot soap/water and that is good enough.
Bottle drying rack – loved the First Years modular drying rack – lots of room and keeps things neatly organized. We had Dr. Browns too, but didn’t like the design and bottles kept falling over.
RaZbaby Keep-it-Kleen Pacifier - love it because when they drop it, the flaps automatically close so it doesn't get dirty (only seen at babies r us and online). Only bad thing is that the baby won't be able to re-open it (until about 7 months), but even with regular paci's they won't be able to pick them up and put them back in their mouth for a long time. Only 1 of ours used paci's in the beginning (for a short period of time and only like 20-30 mins at a time), but now none of them do. After figuring out that they can put their fingers in their mouth, they preferred to do that to soothe themselves, then use a paci.
Personally I think it's a waste of money because baby will grow out of it so fast. If you do get one, get one that automatically swings AND get one from a consignment sale.
SWINGS, BOUNCY SEATS, PACK-N-PLAYS
If you can get these used/from friend/consignment sale - do that instead of spending the money. The bouncy seats they will grow out of within 5-6 months. We liked the bouncy seats that vibrate, but didn't like the ones that swing (none of our babies liked that one). The swings might last you until 7 months and the pack-n-plays will last a long time, but not necessary to buy new. Since our babies were preemies we ended getting a little big longer usage time out of our swings/bouncies, but within the last 2 months or so, they can easily flip out of them and it's extremely unsafe. Also - I would get these items with a 5-point harness instead of a 3-point harness to increase the longevity of use.
Once baby starts to move around they will do everything in their power to not be strapped in. One of ours is so fidgety that around 7 months she was hanging head down in the swing because it was a 3-point harness and she wasn't strapped back. From that day forward she wasn't allowed to sit in that swing anymore. Also, once baby reaches a certain weight, you'll notice the swing isn't as grounded as it use to be which means there are chances of the swing tipping over.
LIFESAVOR for nap time!! If you're going to buy a swing make sure it plugs into the wall (don't get battery operated only). you'll be surprised how quickly the swing will go thru batteries so if you get one with only batteries - invest in re-chargeables. Swings are so expensive - if I were you I would buy from a consignment sale or get a used one from a friend. Try to scope out multiples clubs in your areas and find out when they have their consignment sales - you will find things at like a 50-75% discount. Example - we got brand new Baby Bjorns for $25 when in the store they cost over $100. Considering we have only used our Baby Bjorns a handful of times I'm so happy I didn't get them new.
We have 2 of these and LOVE them. We have made great use of them and continue to use them on a daily basis. We only got 2 cribs because we thought the kids could sleep together for a while before they would need to be separated (boy were we wrong) so we actually use one of the pack-n-plays as a crib. These are also great when traveling as they fold up nicely and tightly and give baby a comforting feeling when sleeping in an unfamiliar environment.
We got one as a gift and we made use of it for the first 3-4 months as we had the diaper depot in the nursery. It did come in handy when the babies needed a diaper change during the night and had a poopoo diaper. If it was just pee then we usually just tossed that diaper into the trashcan and made sure to empty out the trash every day. We initially thought it was handy, but as we started to go through so many diapers and the depot kept filling up so quickly we decided to stop using it. I wouldn't consider this a necessity and if you don't have a multiple story house and can toss them into your main trashcan easily, just do that. The baggies are expensive for the diaper depot and to be honest the dollar store sells these scented diaper bags which eliminate the smell and it's 75 bags for $1.. can't beat that. Babies cost can add up - save that money!!
Not really a necessity. To be honest, just get the changing pad and put it on top of the dresser. You're going to end up changing your baby on the floor majority of the time or if you have a pack-n-play that has a changing table. We live in a townhouse and our nursery was upstairs, the babies were only in their nursery during the night so we only used the changing table at night. Once the babies started sleeping through the night and we didn't have to change their diapers at night, we stopped using the changing pad all together. During the daytime, we had them downstairs and would use the changing table that came with the pack-n-play. Even today, we'll change them on there or on the floor.
Don't waste your money on fancy ones unless of course you want one just to be fashionable. However, get one with a lot of pockets to keep things separated so you're not digging to find what you need at the last minute. I found some great ones for $5 at a consignment sale. However, I ended up using the same diaper bag that I gave my sister when her first daughter was born 8 years ago. That diaper bag has been definitely made good use of!!
My recommendation: buy brand new - too many safety regulations - no reason to take a risk. There are so many cribs out there that are conversion cribs which are great because you can use the same crib into adulthood.
The crib comforter set - beware that bumpers can only be used for a short period of time. Once the baby starts grabbing, they have to be removed because they could choke on the ties. Also - no blankets or anything should be in the crib so really the comforter set ends up being only for decorations. I received one set as a gift and bought 1 set and both the comforters are sitting pretty in the corner and we probably won't even use them until the babies turn 2. The only thing I used from the sets was the skirt and the bedsheet.
LOVE LOVE LOVE halo sleep sacks - I would use this from day one instead of loose swaddle blankets. We didn't because our babies were too small, but as soon as they fit that's all we were using and we still use them.
Don't get a lot of swaddle blankets (if any) - people will get these for you I'm sure. Once the babies start to move around, they won't keep their hands in there anyway so they are useless.
Also - once they start moving around it's very dangerous to have the blankie in the crib with them because it could get on their face and they could suffocate - so the halo sleep sacks are awesome as they allow movement without risk.
Clothes, socks, shoes (shoes - they won't even wear for the first few months and these days they have the cutest socks that look like shoes) - don't buy alot of these items. You will get tons from people. You will be shocked how quickly baby will grow out of things. I was removing stuff from their closet like once every 3 weeks and some stuff they wore only once. Again, I know as a new parent you're thinking you may want baby to have all NEW clothes, shoes, etc.. but trust me.. baby clothes are expensive for the amount of times they are actually worn and the clothes that you will end up getting (if hand-me-downs) will look like new.
The best outfits were the jumpers where babies feet are covered - babies hate socks and will constantly take them off. These outfits cover them from top to bottom so they are always warm.
The cotton ones are useless (cute but useless). Make sure the bibs you are using when feeding have a plastic backing because the cotton ones - if it spills on their bib - it will go straight thru to their clothes. Honestly - i wouldn't spend a lot of money on these. I know as a new parent, you probably want to get everything brand new, but I would get these from a consignment sale or some other source. The formula (especially depending on which one you use) can stain the bibs pretty badly and you're just going to throw them away. Ex: Powder based vs ready to feed - Ready to feed will stain the bibs yellow and make them stinky.. to be honest, we don't even really use bibs that often (for the last few months, we don’t use bibs at all). We just use hand towels or soft washcloths because they are more durable and thicker.
That's the other thing about Nuk bottles - felt like the nipple was a better fit so they didn't spill alot, only when they were done eating, but kept eating. With the other bottles, they would spill a lot!
No Dreft- try it out if you want to make sure baby doesn't have sensitivity issues - if none, then totally fine to use regular detergent. The dye free ones won't take out the smell of formula/puke, etc when washed. We use Tide (same detergent we use for us) and the babies have no problems.
We weren't a fan of Huggies - they were too bulky and we couldn't always tell when the diaper was full until it was soaking wet and started leaking. Pampers was okay during the day time, but once they started sleeping through the night - pampers wouldn't hold (even the night time diapers). We really liked fisher-price happy days and nights and Luvs cause they are super absorbent. Especially at night- these didn't leak even if we didn't change them for 12 hours. Surprisingly, they give the best protection and are the cheapest too (Fisher-Price Happy Days and Nights is hard to find).
Join amazon moms - very affordable (large discount). If you also join Amazon Subscribe and Save and Prime you’ll get an even bigger discount.
Diapers.com also gives discounts when you first sign up.
Babies r us - if you shop online and try to return in the store - you will only get store credit so if you want to return items bought online you have to mail it back to get your money back (what a pain). Babies 'r' Us - sign up for their rewards program.
BuyBuyBaby also honors the 20% coupon from Bed Bath and Beyond.
FYI: The other thing I learned the hard way. Someone gave us a gift, but wasn't something we could use so tried returning it to babies r' us and they scan it and know if it's from their store or not even if they have the exact item.
Check evrewards.com and retailmenot.com for rebates and coupon codes. Sign up for Zulily (sample sales).
I don't recommend getting a night nurse unless baby comes home with some medical issues as night nannies tend to be very expensive. However, I highly recommend getting a night nanny even if you have a singleton at least for a few hours so you can get at least 5-6 straight hours of sleep because baby eats every 2 hours (in the beginning). If breastfeeding, I recommend feeding during the day and pumping so you can bottle feed at night and get some solid sleep. If you can get solid sleep, it will be so much easier to function during the day and you won't feel so exhausted all the time.
Even if you have someone just for the first 3-4 months before baby is sleeping through the night it is totally worth it. Our babies were sleeping through the night by 4 months, but of course there were times where one or all three would wake up once, but not to feed, just needed to be soothed back to sleep. Getting up for 10-15 minutes was a lot easier then getting up every 2-3 hours every night.
Care.com and Sitterycity.com are great places to check for help. You can check references (see pics, work history, etc). Be very careful with craigslist.com - there are a lot of scam artist on there.
From day one I highly recommend having baby sleep in their own room so they get accustomed to not sleeping with you. They will get VERY attached VERY quickly and it will be very difficult to change their sleeping habits down the road - even just 1 month in. I also highly recommend having and keeping baby on a strict sleeping schedule (even if it seems like the hardest thing to do) - you will be very thankful for it a few months down the road because you will at least know what to expect and when to expect it. At 7 months old our babies were typically taking naps around the same time every day and definitely by 6:30pm they are ready for bed to where they will wake up by 7/730 and play by themselves. We will get them around 8/830 to start the day and feed them, but it's great because we know exactly what to expect and can plan our days around that. My friend followed a very strict schedule as well and her baby is sleeping through the night at 3 months.
Also - once baby doesn't need to eat at night anymore (around 4 months), but they wake up and need to be soothed back to sleep - don't pick them up and rock them, sing to them, etc.. it's best to keep them in the crib and just pat them back to sleep. If you pick them up, they will expect it and will not teach themselves how to soothe themselves. Just remember - it's all business at night - don't talk to them, etc... because they will become stimulated and it will be hard to get them to go back to sleep. After 4 months, you won't really need to feed baby at night, so you won't have to change babies diaper either unless of course baby poops.
Around 9/10 months you can start putting baby in their crib and letting them learn to fall asleep on their own. Play the same music everyday so they get accustomed to it and when they hear that music they will know it’s bedtime. For the longest time we had a routine where we would let our babies fall asleep in the swing and once they were knocked out we would transfer them into their cribs. Well, as they got older and they started to understand and needed the swing to fall asleep. I didn't want this to become a habit so we recently started putting them in their crib to fall asleep when they showed us signs that they were ready for bed. The first 2-3 days were very hard as they would scream and yell at the top of their lungs because they didn't know what was going on and they were so use to having their swing to put them to sleep. We would check on them periodically to make sure they were okay, but come to find out all the screaming and yelling.. but absolutely NO TEARS!!! So as each day went by, it got easier and easier and they got use to the idea that when they were put in their cribs they knew it was bedtime. Now they will 'cry' for about 10 mins and then fall asleep, sleeping through the night.
Noise when babies are sleeping – keep it noisy.. babies can sleep through anything if they are trained that way from day one. Ours can sleep with the tv blaring/dogs barking/music playing… and it’s great! In fact when it’s too quiet, they wake up.. LOL! I’ve spoken to other parents who talk about how much of a pain it is when they have to have it completely quiet and can’t get anything done when babies are napping.
We are finally on whole milk.. woohoo!!! Formula is expensive!!! We liked Similac Sensitive for gas and fussiness. We tried Enfamil, but it gave a lot of gas to all 3.We also tried the ready to feed formula, but our babies didn't really like it that much and the smell if they spit up was horrible not to mention the stain that wouldn't come out.
If your baby has a lot of reflux (1 of ours did) we had her sleeping in a bouncy seat and then we purchased a nap nanny and that has worked wonders. Your best friend will be Gripe Water and Gas Drops - it's very safe and will give your baby instant relief when their tummy aches. For constipation - there are some moves that you can do to help push on babies tummy. Massaging them is also very good.
When they start eating solids - magic bullet/blend/food processor (I'm sure we all have one of these in our homes) does the job - don't need to get all those fancy baby food making gadgets. Also - when they start eating solids, you can give baby prune juice to help with constipation (I buy pitted prunes and puree them and majorly dilute with water adding a teeney tineey bit of sugar and it works wonders). Also, once they start eating solids, baby can eat everything except of course honey.
Baby Powder – this is not necessary to use when changing baby, in fact I don't recommend using it at all. If baby inhales the powder it could be dangerous. The less you use the better.. just some diaper rash cream if bum becomes red… we use A&D as it’s not so thick.
We use Johnson & Johnson baby products (Rita Shah).
One of our babies would put her fingers in her mouth and then touch her cheeks so all the saliva would inflame her cheeks and she would break out. I tried Vaseline and Eucerin for baby's but nothing really worked. Then a friend of mine recommended Gentle Nature Baby Eczema Cream and that worked wonders!! Within 2 days most of the bumps on her cheeks were gone!!
Wipe Warmer – initially we didn’t use this as we didn’t see the point. We use it now because the babies are downstairs all day and it’s a little bit colder in that room than their nursery. To be honest.. you can get away with not having one. If you keep the lid open after taking out the wipes… they get cold anyway, so you basically have to take out the wipe, shut the lid and then open again if you want to keep the wipes warm… kinda pointless. We will probably stop using soon. If you do get one… get the brand from Prince Lionheart.
Bumbo seat – we didn’t get the bumbo seat because of the recalls (which we realized were user error) but we got the bebepod flex plus seats instead… love these because there is a strap to strap them in (bumbo doesn’t have this) and there is a strap so you can strap these to chairs when they get a little older (bumbo doesn’t have this) and it comes with a interchangeable holder so you can put a tray to feed them and when not feeding, add a toy (Bumbo doesn’t have this option either). This is a transitional seat, so once baby starts eating solids, I would get a high chair so they learn about meal time and manners and eating together as a family at the dinner table. Of course you don't want to put the bumbo seat on a raised surface, so we had to sit on the floor when feeding the babies - I'd say we made decent use of these seats, but since we have 3 it was a necessity for us to get high chairs as if we used these strapped to our chairs, we'd lose 3 chairs when we only have 4 chairs and a 2 seater bench for our dining table.
When baby gets a little bit older – most people get the exersaucer, but to be honest.. it’s really really bad for babies development… even though almost every family in the world has one :)!!
I can't really provide any insight as I didn’t do this because I wasn’t producing! All I can tell you on this subject is that it’s VERY exhausting and you have to be in the right mood/state of mind to be able to produce nicely.. stress/exhaustion will not help your cause. Also, you have the first 7 days to produce and if you don’t produce by then you’re probably not going to… don’t get discouraged in the beginning as it takes some time, but DO NOT stress yourself out about it either.
After MUCH research we decided to go with the Peg Perego Car Seats and Triplet Stroller - BIG BIG mistake. As new parents we wanted the BEST/Fanciest and the SAFEST for our cargo and of course the advertising sold us. The Peg Perego Car Seats are GREAT especially for preemie's because it has extra cushion and impact protection, however, the car seats are REALLY heavy! The Triplet Stroller was the worst decision we could have made. Not only is it VERY expensive, it doesn't fit anywhere so you can't take the stroller when you're going out. What's the point in that??!! Right now we are using the triplet stroller as our neighborhood stroller and we got a Double Snap-n-Go from a friend which is what we use whenever we go out that requires driving. The triplet stroller doesn't fit in the car or regular sized elevators. We traded in our SUV and got a minivan thinking it would fit in there, but NOPE. The only elevators the triplet stroller will fit is in hospital grade elevators. Ever since the kids started sitting, they hate sitting in the double stroller when we go anywhere since they have to always be in their infant car seats when using the stroller and they can't sit up and see everything. We decided to buy a Double and Single Graco Umbrella Stroller and just link the 2 strollers together to make a triplet stroller. This should make ours and theirs experience alot better when we go places because we can finally take a stroller with us that they can sit up in and enjoy the view.
Get gates up by the time baby is 6 months. You'll be surprised how quickly baby will try to crawl and all of a sudden they are actually crawling. For some reason as soon as baby starts crawling, steps start looking VERY VERY appealing!!
Here is some additional advice I received from others that I thought I could share.
Rupal - I read a few books and a few blogs and came to realize that all the information was just general information and I wasn't ever going to be really prepared until I was put into the situation. Don't get wrapped up into everything you read in books because just remember EVERY BABY/situation is DIFFERENT. Then again, I guess my situation was a little bit different then alot of others out there and there's not much information on preparing for triplets.
- "I swear by the Happiest Baby on the Block book and DVD. Nothing worked quite like it in the first 4 weeks". - "I LOVE the Baby Whisperer. Many friends follow this for getting your baby to learn how to sleep and eat well" . - "I read Happiest Baby and used some of the techniques, but mostly it was a long winded explanation of ideas I heard elsewhere. I read the first bit of Baby Whisperer too".
Bottles/Paci's: Others Advice - "I've heard great things about Avent and Dr. Brown's and use Avent BPA Free. I was turned on to them for two reasons: (1) in my breastfeeding class, they said Avent bottles were the closest to a real nipple so there were less confusion and gas issues; and (2) ease of use for baby to easily hold the bottle themselves. However, some complain about leakage (as with any bottle) but you can see that the nipples need to be pulled and sort of clicked into place".
- "I got Avent, but a few months in my baby started refusing them and I switched to the Medela bottles that came with the breastpump (personal preference). I also got the Avent warmer and no complaints there. I got Lansinoh storage bags for freezing based on online reviews and those have been fine so far as well, just be sure to thaw them in a container in case they leak (Medela are much more expensive and had complaints)".
- "If you're going to nurse, Avent does make a conversion kit to go with the Medela pump, but also heard that Medela bottles are not that great. I got the Medela pump and the Avent conversion kit. Worked like a charm".
- Note: don't buy a sterlizer if you have a dishwasher and have city water. You don't need it. We use Munchkin dishwasher baskets instead.
Others Advice: After MUCH research, I decided as follows (w/ reasons):
1. Peg Perego Car Seat - I know, I know, it's expensive and fancy as I'm told. But, my other choice was the Chicco Key Fit, which I also really liked but it didn't fit with the infant carseat adaptor for the BOB stroller. That said, the number of times, I'll use the BOB and the Peg carseat will probably be limited, so I should have saved some $$ and gotten the Chicco anyway! However, I LOVE the Peg because it also had SIP - Side Impact Protection - and is really well cushioned. But, the Peg car seat is REALLY heavy!
The Chicco stroller apparently got the highest safety ratings in 2010 and you can use a conversion kit to attach it to just about any stroller. They're all really heavy.
2. The Snap-n-Go Stroller :: every time we use it, my husband remarks how easy and great it is. DEFINITELY a must have!
I didn't get one, I just use my regular stroller - the Uppababy. A bit of a process to get in and out of the trunk but I really like my stroller with bassinet attachment (it's supposed to be good for infants to be flat on their backs instead of on an incline in their carseat). I also got the Maclaren umbrella stroller for when she's a little older for trips to the mall, etc, but for DC city streets I'm glad I got a solid stroller with big wheels and shocks. And we used the bassinet piece of our stroller as her night time bassinet as well (with a stand), so we didn't have to buy a separate bassinet to use for just a few months.
3. For daily use and walks and jogs, we chose the BOB Revolution with 12" Aluminum Wheels. WE LOVE IT! It was between this and the Bugaboo Cameleon and we're happy with our choice. Most of my friends have either a BOB or a Bugaboo and all love either one. I cannot say enough good things about the BOB!!! If you're going the jog stroller route - make sure you get one with a front wheel that turns 360 degrees.
I didn't get a jogging stroller bc I was realistic about not jogging. And you can't use them for newborns, which I guess is why you'd get a Snap-n-Go.
4. Umbrella stroller: Maclaren Quest. All have great reviews. The Uppababy had a lot of recall issues.
Others Advice: The Chicco pack-n-play with the vibration and music was a lifesavor the first few weeks. We used it as a bassinet (they can be placed in 2 positions) for the first month in our room. LOVED IT! It's a little more bulky than the Graco (which are also fantastic!), but not that much more.
Others Advice: The Fisher Price Rainforest Swing is great. Heard good things about the Soothing Sounds Swing too..
Rupal: I wasn't a fan of the sling and maybe that's because I am short I didn't feel like I was carrying the sling well with the baby inside. I just felt like the baby was cramped and uncomfortable.
Others Advice: The Chicco Deluxe Carrier is great!! Also recommend the Baby Bjorn Sport. Recommendations for the sling would be the Hot Sling. The Ergobaby is supposed to be better for baby's hips and it has an infant insert so it can be used early on. I got the sport version which can be used in the front or back, but the main downside is it only faces inward.
Others Advice: Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn - Great stuff and not overly matchy/thematic. Plus, the only thing you won't use for years is the bumper. The quilts, sheets, etc are all sized for toddler beds too (same matress as a crib). Serena & Lillie is the best if you want to splurge.
Rupal: We were looking into some very expensive monitors, but you don't need to get something super fancy. Honestly, it just needs to have good range and pick up sounds. We ended up just getting a cheap monitor from Target and it has treated us well. We were thinking of getting a video monitor as well, but after reading reviews/blogs we immediately decided against getting a video monitor. You have to be very careful with this because if another house has the right frequency, they can see what is on your monitor.
Others Advice: "Get a GOOD monitor. Register for a good one--hopefully someone will splurge on you. The cheap ones are so staticky and will make you crazy. Originally, we had a Fisher Price one and it stunk. We took it back. We now have the Graco imonitor with vibration and they ROCK! LOVE THEM!"
"My house is small so this is less important, but I got a pretty standard sound-only monitor and it's working just fine. I do like that it records the temperature in her room bc it can get cold in there. I have lots of friends who love their video monitors, I just wasn't into it".
Rupal: We didn't buy a sound/noise machine. Just download an app on your phone/ipad and it does the trick.
Others Advice: "MUST HAVE! We have the Sleep Sheep in the travel size (you can clip it on a stroller and/or take it with you anywhere) and LOVE IT. Couldn't survive nights without it.
"The ones from Brookstone are also good and the Sleep Sheep".
Others Advice: "The Medela Advanced Double - it's expensive but wait for a Babies R Us coupon and you'll get lots off. I ended up not using the pump but maybe 10 times... but if you plan on having more babies, you'll never know their nursing situation so most say just to get this one off from the beginning. I am not sure if I agree... but my friends who do pump (and some who have contributed here) swear by this pump. If I didn't have the double, I'd get the single Medela Swing. I wouldn't buy a manual or anything but Medela. I'd also recommend Medela nursing bras and tanks - the BEST!"
"The Medela freestyle is a double pump and hands free. I now realize I probably could have gotten a single pump as a stay at home mom, but if you're going to be on the run a lot might want to get it. Also get nursing pads for leaking - Lansinoh is a great brand and Lanolin cream. The Medela cooling/soothing gel pads are good, but used them maybe 3 times. The Medela bras - I got one in nude and one in black, plus a really lightweight one to hold the pads in while sleeping - that one is a MUST. I recommend waiting until after the birth to get all but the lightweight one to ensure you get the right size - my hospital offered them onsite after delivery. I'm now to the point where I'm also looking for one with underwire".
Rupal: We never used "burp clothes". We actually just put a wash cloth over our shoulder. The burp clothes we found to be annoying.
Others Advice: "Get five million burb cloths--they are so useful for everything. Cloth diapers make the best burp clothes - I think they're by Gerber".
"I use a million cloths and blankets of all shapes, sizes and weights, many of which I got as gifts. Also a ton of bibs to keep outfits dry".
Others Advice: "We got the Diaper Champ because we didn't want to have to deal with special garbage bags. The other brand has special bags you have to use. Recently heard of a friend getting the other one and she did not like it. Best to go with the tried and true Diaper Champ".
"Like it fine, although downstairs we just use a small foot-operated garbage bin that's great too because it's hands free. I use Seventh Generation Wipes that I like for the price ( we buy in bulk from Diapers.com), and I'd also recommend keeping hand sanitizer near your changing table - I got Babyganics tangerine. For diapers, I use the tried and true Pampers Swaddlers - diapers are too expensive to get anything fancy and I don't think it's necessary unless you have a specific issue".
Others Advice: "We have the swing instead of a bouncy seat and that's working fine for now.
"The Fisher Price bouncy seat with hanging birds - it vibrates, but also bounces when baby moves which is good for development - most do one or the other. Baby loved staring at the birds at a younger age!
Our baby is 5 months and is obsessed with his Exersaucer. It's by Evenflo. "Friends also swear by the Fisher Price Bouncy seats though. Can't go wrong here!"
Others Advice: "The Fisher Price Space Saver so as to not have another chair around the table. Either way you go, do what's best for you".
Others Advice: "The Tiny Love Playmat - it's great for tummy time! Also good reviews for the Baby Einstein playmats. The Fisher Price mat is great".
Others Advice: "When I was learning to nurse, I liked the My BreastFriend. Now, I still use that or the Boppy. You'll want 2 if you're going to nurse most of the time. I keep 1 in the nursery and 1 downstairs".
Rupal: The boppy pillow is great for when baby starts sitting up. It will give them some stability.
Others Advice: "LOVE the SwaddleMe Swaddle Blankets. The Miracle Blanket works okay, but it is more expensive"
"If you are planning on nursing, splurge on a nice, comfy chair for the nursery. Your back will thank you!! Make sure it rocks!"
"Put a CD player in your nursery - for all the lullaby and sing-along CDs. Not sure if you can get them on iTunes and go that route though too".
"A BundleMe is so key for a winter baby!"
"We use the Aiden & Anais blankets for everything - as blankets and pillows, for burping, for wiping up spit, for shielding the stroller from rain, etc. We have a ton of them, which is good because they're so versatile". "Get infant toys in bright contrasting colors (particularly black and white and red). Also register for a "lovey" toy (blankets with little animal heads)". "The best outfits for little ones have footies and optional hand covers, and snap/zip across the chest (especially for before the umbilical cord falls off - you don't want to pull onesies over it, and even after that they're just easier). Dawn Price has lots of awesome stuff". "Mustela bath stuff - pricey but smells good and is very gentle. I like it a lot. Don't get the newborn set, just pick out what you need".