Looking Forward to Baby in Montana - 5 Baby Must Haves

Baby products are constantly changing! I had my first child a little over 10 years ago and I can’t believe how many more products retailers are convincing new parents to buy since I had her. I recently helped a friend with her baby shower registry, and I was overwhelmed by the choices. I was a minimalist parent…and we were living on very little money since my first was born while my husband was in grad school and I was going to be a stay at home parent. These are a few “must haves” in my opinion.

Feeding supplies:

No matter how you decide to feed your child, every new parent will need to buy some feeding supplies. If you are inducing lactation, you’ll need a breast pump. I recommend renting a hospital grade pump for inducing lactation. You’ll also want to purchase extra pump parts in case something breaks or is dirty. You don’t want to risk getting engorged, ouch. Besides being the intake coordinator for Montana Surrogacy, I am also a certified lactation educator, so if you are considering inducing lactation, send me a message and I can point you in the right direction. Unless you are exclusively breastfeeding, you’ll need bottles. Then there’s breastmilk storage bags, bottle cleaning supplies, a lot of burp cloths and a breastfeeding pillow (good for bottle feeding too). I recommend getting a couple of different kinds of bottles to see what your baby prefers before purchasing a lot of one kind. One of my favorite feeding products for parents whose children are born via surrogacy is the supplemental nursing system. .The SNS can be used by men and women and it can be filled with formula or breastmilk. This is a great way to bond with your baby! It also helps increase milk supply in people who have induced lactation…and guess what…men and women can both induce lactation!

Baby carrier:

The one product that saved my sanity was my baby carrier. There are so many great ones out there now! I didn’t even own a stroller until my first was 2.5 years old when I had given birth to my second. We lived in Washington D.C. and using a stroller with just one child wasn’t very practical. Riding the metro was much easier with my daughter in a baby carrier rather than trying to find a spot for a stroller to fit. I could also breastfeed her while she was in the carrier, so I got all of my grocery shopping done while she nursed! She also napped in it so I wasn’t stuck in my house during nap time and I didn’t have to plan my schedule around naps! The carrier enabled me to continue hiking after I had a baby. It was important for me to find a way to still do the things that made me happy before I had kids. If a baby carrier isn’t for you, there are a lot of amazing strollers to choose from!

Car seat:

Unless you don’t own a car, every new parent will need to purchase a car seat. Here I am again, the odd one who didn’t own a car with 2 kids. We lived in a town that we could use public transportation and bike or walk to everything we needed so I didn’t need to worry about car seats for a while. We purchased a nice bike trailer instead. Again, there are many car seats to choose from so do your research and pick the one that is best for your family.

Diapers:

Babies poop a lot. They also pee a lot. Diapers are very important…unless you are doing elimination communication. I never had the patience for EC but a few of my friends did it with success and they never had to change a diaper. There are disposable diapers or cloth diapers. I exclusively cloth diapered my first child and cloth diapered my second during the day and disposable diapered at night. Cloth diapers have come a long way since the safety pin days. My older relatives gave me a hard time about using cloth diapers but for our family it was actually easier. Instead of running to the store every time we ran out of diapers, I just threw them in the washing machine. Also, remember from above, we were struggling financially so cloth diapers saved us a lot of money. Do what works for your family!

Swaddling blankets:

My kids hated being swaddled! Again, are you seeing a trend? I didn’t fit into the typical parenting mold. Every single parent I knew swore by swaddling. I tried swaddling them and they would just cry until I unwrapped them. I would see all of these babies swaddled up like cute little burritos and my babies were sprawled out, limbs all over the place. I wanted them to be wrapped up in the cute swaddling blankets but they weren’t having it. BUT, for most parents, swaddling is a life saver. So, buy a few cute swaddling blankets and give it a try.

Of course you’ll also need some clothes, that’s an important one especially if you have a winter baby. My favorite clothes were zip up pajamas, so you don’t have to do snaps in the middle of the night. There are a lot of baby items marketed to new parents that you might buy and never use. I always advise new parents to just get the necessities and get as much second-hand items as possible because babies aren’t hard on things so you usually can’t even tell it’s second hand. Amazon baby registry can be an overwhelming place that I never want to visit again!

Amber Campanelli ~ The Honest Surrogate