I’ve been working on this list that would eventually become a post for a long time. I have a lot of items I’ve found useful and others I found to be a waste.* I’ve found common items that aren’t even baby items to use that cost half the price of what’s advertised specifically for baby. It’s amazing the amount of items we are inundated with on a daily basis, all claiming to be NEEDED for a new baby. It’s not true. Take this all in stride and think about what you actually need before you purchase it. There’s been a lot of wasted money in my household and a lot of grateful advice along the way.
- Once Mila began drinking bottles, I purchased a small plastic basket that I keep near the kitchen sink. You can find this in the storage, laundry, or kitchen section of just about any store and it costs about $3. I use this to toss in all the pieces of Mila’s bottles, her pacifiers, bowls, spoons, etc. that need to be washed. Everything gets rinsed before going into the basket and this has been the best at keeping everything together and away from slipping down the drain.
- I received flannel blankets at my baby shower that I used as receiving blankets, swaddles, blankets for Mila when she was real little. When she outgrew this, (really even before because I had so many), I cut them in half with a pair of pinking shears, and used them as burp clothes. I was shocked at how much stores charge for burp cloths and most of them don’t absorb real well. I found that the thin flannel of these blankets worked great for cleaning up spills and spit-up, too.
- I learned quickly that different style bibs were important for different things. When your baby drools like crazy, you either change her clothes three times a day or you purchase a cloth bib with a plastic back. This way, the drool doesn’t seep through the bib and soak your baby’s clothes, too. When Mila began eating more foods and feeding herself, her bibs would become stained. Make sure you have a stash of (cheap) bibs that you don’t mind having ruined or tossed in the trash.
- Aquaphor has become a staple at Mila’s changing table. We’ve used this to heal baby acne, random bumps and rashes, scraps and small cuts, (after they’ve been cleaned, of course). It really is a miracle ointment. Even today we use this to help heal her mosquito bites.
- Desitin is another ointment we keep handy and not for diaper rash. When Mila was first teething she drooled so much (“[more than] the kitchen sink”, as once pointed out) that she developed a rash under her chin and on her neck. She was so little she really didn’t have a neck, which meant that the skin in that area couldn’t air out and a rash developed. A small amount of Desitin rubbed on her neck took the rash right away. I’m sure this isn’t strictly a Desitin thing and that other diaper rash ointments could be used, it’s just what we had available.
- Mesh fruit/veggie bag: This worked great for bananas especially, when I wanted to keep the mess to a minimum and not worry about Mila choking on large pieces of food.