A LIST OF THINGS YOU REALLY NEED FOR THE NEW BABY;

Choose natural materials that breathe, simple designs and avoid products with fragrance, petrolatum, mineral oil and synthetic fibers. Less ingredients is always better!


3-5 Newborn (small) cotton outfits with long legs and sleeves (no matter what season).

3 long sleeved Kimono shirts.

A hat with ties and ear coverage; Pilot cap. Beanie hats do not stay on when baby moves around.

3 pairs of socks; make sure the elastic is good around the ankle. Non-Kick off baby booties are great.

5 cotton swaddling blankets; approximately 30 to 35 inches square. Not too thick nor too big. Preferably made of a stretchy material; thermal or jersey knit. If you buy Aden+Anais swaddle blankets; don't get the ones made of Bamboo, they are horrible!

2 Woombies; for that hard to swaddle baby. Get the original or the convertible version so you can use it as baby grows out of swaddling too. The smallest size doesn't last long, get size 14-19 lbs.www.woombie.com

1 or 2 thicker blankets. Cotton or wool. At least 40x40 inches. Great for floor time or in the stroller.

1-2 dozen cloth diapers (burp cloths)-for burping and lots more. You can not have enough of these! The best ones are Gerber's "diaper service" quality, birdseye flatfold or the organic birdseye 3-ply. Do not get cloth diapers with absorbent padding! They are too bulky and don't absorb well!

2 baby bath towels- it is easier to dry a small baby with a light weight, stretchy towel.

Brush and/or comb with regular size handles.

2-3 packs of unscented newborn diapers or cloth diapers with covers. Don't buy too many newborn size, baby grows quickly and as soon as the umbilical cord comes off you can use size 1 diapers. I like: Seventh generation, Earth's best, Nature baby care, Huggies naturals and Babies 'r' us generic brand. (Pampers diapers are scented- gross). Good cloth diaper covers; Nikky and Imse Vimse.

Unscented/Fragrance free baby wipes or thick paper towels and a bowl of water. Earth's best and Seventh generation have good wipes.

Diaper ointment - Use only when baby has a rash, not to prevent one. Avoid ingredients like fragrance, mineral oil and petrolatum. Desitin is scented(Yuck!) Aveeno Baby Organic harvest diaper rash cream, Earth Mama baby Angel baby bottom cream, Burt's Bee diaper ointment and seventh generation all rate high at the ewg.org web site.

Diaper pail; it should be easy to open and have a large opening, preferably with a foot pedal. Diaper Decor works well. You can also get a small Brabantia trash can(pedal bin) that works with small grocery bags(5 or 12 liter)

Mild baby shampoo, soap and lotion. Baby skin should not be exposed to artificial fragrances and preservatives like in Johnson&Johnson products. I like: California baby, Burt's bees, Earth Mama Angel Baby, seventh generation, Weleda Calendula shampoo and body wash and Aveeno baby organics. Baby shampoo can be used on the body as well, it is the exact same product as the baby wash. Bar soap is milder and has fewer ingredients than liquid soap and is also better for the environment. My favorite is Kiss my face's Olive soap; super mild.

Regular size nail scissors - nail clippers are hard to use and difficult to hold on to. You also risk cutting more than nails with them.

Digital rectal thermometer. Doctors will ask for a rectal temp if baby has a fever.

Baby fever reducer- just in case (Saccharin and color free)

4 pacifiers; Gerber soft center pacifiers 0+. (Round shield, bulb tip, latex, soft center pacifiers works best). Another option is Mam "air" 6+ months. Do not get pacifiers in newborn size, they are too small!

1 Pacifier clip; a good way to keep track of baby's paci. Avoid velcro fasteners, they tend to fail.

1 pacifier storage box to keep the pacifier clean in the diaper bag.

6-8 baby bottles; Buy plain Evenflo glass bottles or any bottle with a standard opening so that you can switch to another brand of nipple if you need to. Most bottles with larger openings don't interchange with other brands. Don't buy gimmicky bottles that have straws, vents, angles and hard to clean shapes; They are difficult to wash and are expensive. Small bottles (4 oz) are cute, but not necessary, as you use them for a very a short time, buy 8 oz right away, to save money. Most slow flow nipples are pretty fast so get a few different brands of to see which one matches your baby's sucking best. It should take the baby around 20 minutes to finish a bottle. Latex nipples generally work better than silicon but are hard to find.

Nipple basket for dishwasher. OXO, Munchkin and Prince Lionheart have good ones. Make sure you can use it for different size nipples and rings or you will have pieces all over the dish washer.

Bottle drying rack: Skip Hop splash and OXO Tot have good ones. You want it to be sturdy and easy to clean. A draining feature is a plus. Racks that fold up will collapse if you put glass bottles on them; don't buy!

Bottle brush: OXO Tot has a great one that comes with a stand that saves counter space and keeps the brush clean and dry.

Brushes for nipples and pumping parts; "OXO straw and sippy cup cleaning set" is great.

Diaper bag; easy to wipe off, sturdy, long straps and not too big. Back packs are great. Skip Hop has good diaper bags.

Changing table or counter space. Plus 2 covers for changing table.Queen size pillow cases also work well as covers.

Stroller; it should recline and be easy to fold with good size wheels, sturdy and lightweight. Figure out how and where you are going to use it most before you get a specific kind. Inflatable wheels can get flats, buckles should be easy to use. Maclaren, Inglesina and Maxi Cosi have good umbrella strollers.

Car seat; light weight, easy to buckle. More bells and whistles does not mean better. Maxi Cosi Mico is a very light weight infant car seat, weighing in at 8 lbs. That is 3 lbs less than most car seats which makes a big difference when carrying it around. Make sure you can use the seat without the base too, that way a second base does not need to be purchased.

A crib with a healthy mattress. www.naturepedic.com and IKEA, both have good ones. (IKEA makes conventional mattresses, but they are free of the most problematic fire retardants, known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDE's), 3 fitted cotton sheets (stretchable, jersey sheets are easier to put on the mattress)and 2 breathable, cotton mattress pads. www.naturepedic.com has an organic cotton protector pad & a quilted mattress topper that is great. Choose a waterproof pad only if the mattress isn't. Regular bath towels are the same size as a baby mattress so if you are a little crafty you can easily sew elastic onto one and use it as a mattress pad. Lastly; a thin bumper pad (no more than 1/2 inch thick). IKEA has thin bumpers, a good mattress pad(vyssa lull) and bedding(2 jersey sheets for $9.99).

Laundry detergent- Unscented laundry detergent. ALL free, Tide free, Seventh generation. Most baby detergents, like Dreft, are fragranced. Yuck! Buy unscented laundry detergent and use it for the whole family. Don't use fabric softener on baby's things; it just adds chemicals and makes things less absorbent and smelly.

Saline drops- great to have around if baby gets a stuffy nose. Drops of breast milk works great too both for clogged tear ducts and stuffy noses.

Baby bath tub-get one that actually gets your baby wet or buy just a plain baby bath sponge to put at the bottom of your sink or tub. The reclining seats with hammocks and gadgets will not keep your baby wet and warm. IKEA has a great plain bath tub. I bathe babies in the regular bath tub after a couple of months, they love it.

A digital alarm clock that is easy to read in the dark, a must for those 2am feedings.

If your doctor recommends vitamin D drops buy; Carlson baby D drops or "Just D" by sunlight vitamins (both without sweeteners and food coloring)

Another brilliant product that I think every baby should have, is the Levana movement monitor; a little baby beeper that goes off if the baby doesn't move/ breathe for 15 seconds. Take the worry out of tummy time and flat baby heads and get one.


Although the things below are not absolutely necessary; THESE ARE SOME OF MY OTHER FAVORITES:

Electric water kettle made of glass (for boiling water); saves energy, heats quickly and shuts off automatically. Perfect for formula, tea, coffee or porridge. Kalorik 1.7 L electric kettle is a great example but Hamilton Beach, Bodum and Breville has them too.

The best bouncy seat: Baby Bjorn Balance. Reclines and has a great bounce. From 0 to 24 months. I love versatile products like this that lasts for a long time and has no batteries. Splurge on the wooden/googly eyed toy bar. Babies love it.

Baby carrier: Baby Bjorn. The regular one is easier to use. The "Active" is trickier but has lumbar support.

Baby gym: Haba, Selecta and IKEA all have good ones.

Changing table: Stokke and IKEA has great ones with the correct height and angle for your back.

Nursing shirts: Boob.

Nursing pillow: "My breast friend". A silly name but a really good, flat nursing pillow that works better than the Boppy.

My favorite twin feeding pillow; www.twinznursingpillow.com, perfect for feeding both babies at the same time.

Nursing night gown: Japanese weekend . Criss- cross front.

Great wooden toys: Haba and Selecta.

Bibs, potties, diaper bags, baby carriers: Baby Bjorn.

Bottle/ food warmer: Dr. Brown's and Munchkin has good ones. Get a warmer with a water reservoir so you don't have to measure water every time you use it.

Gliders: Dutailier. Make sure the fabric is removable and washable(there will be spit up). The reclining version is nice. Whatever chair you, get make sure it has comfortable armrests for all those feeding sessions.

High chair: Stokke , The Svan and Anka are nice, simple ones. IKEA has quite a few no fuss high chairs for less.

Washable nursing pads: Medela.

Pump: Medela Pump n' Style or rental.

Milk collection shells from Medela; save leaking milk, don't waste it.

Formula: The European brand Holle also has a good, organic, stage 1 formula. It is hard to find. Check E-bay for sellers."Baby's Only" milk based formula is my #2 pick. Find it at www.naturesone.com The can says "toddler formula" but it is also for infants. Seventh generation's milk based is my #3 choice because it smells like fish. Hipp formula is also organic and rated high in quality. Powdered formula's, mixed correctly are, safer, lighter in color, thinner (like breast milk) better and cost less.

Formula mixing pitcher; Dr. Brown's formula mixing pitcher. For twins; get the 2 qt Rubbermaid mixing pitcher. Or get a large glass measuring cup, with a lid, from Pyrex.

ITEMS TO AVOID AROUND THE BABY/ NOT NECESSARY:

Anything antibacterial(triclosan)! Do not use hand soap, dish washing liquid or any other product with Triclosan around the baby. Some tooth pastes have Triclosan(like Colgate total). If you are nursing; switch! My favorite is Tom's of Maine's "Wicked fresh". Nothing artificial and no sweeteners. Tom's of Maine also has good kid's tooth paste without, cancer causing, artificial sweeteners, preservatives and coloring.

Stay away from artificially scented items, especially wipes, skin products, detergents and diapers. Dreft is scented. Mustela is not a good baby brand. Desitin is both fragranced and contains petrolatum; don't use it! Avoid products with mineral oil and petrolatum.

Do not use lap pads, rubber sheets, all in one sheets and non breathable items around baby's sleeping area. Most mattresses are plastic. If you do not get a natural mattress, make sure you have a cotton mattress pad. www.companystore.com and naturepedic.com has good ones. Or make one from a regular bath towel.

Strong smelling cleaning products. Buy natural products like Seventh generation.

Synthetic fibers like fleece and polyester, especially when it comes to clothing and bedding. Don't keep stuffed animals too close to baby, they are treated with flame retardants and leach chemicals for months. Wash them if you can.

Positioners are not necessary and can cause flat heads. They are also treated with flame retardants which are not good for your health. Use a rolled up blanket instead to change baby's position. If you buy items for the baby that can not be washed, air them out for at least a couple of weeks before use, to get rid of harmful PBDE's.

Bottle sterilizers: Not necessary for a healthy baby unless you do not have running water at your house.

Diaper wipe warmers; unnecessary in every way. Room temperature wipes is a nice relief for that little tush stuck in a hot diaper all day.

Rubbing alcohol/alcohol wipes for the umbilical cord; some hospitals still use them but most do not. Cord will come off by itself. Keep it clean and dry. No baths before the cord is off. Sponge baths are completely unnecessary and disliked by all babies and me.

Mylicon drops; gas drops that I have never found to make a difference. In tests with placebos, no effect was noted.

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