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Thread: Baby Tips?

  1. #1
    Deal GURU
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Baby Tips?

    Hello Group!

    I've been lurking for over a month now and finally have a question to
    ask. I need ANY baby tips you can think of. My SIL found out on
    Christmas that she is pregnant and due in Aug. The whole family is
    pulling together and starting the great endevour of fitting her up
    for the baby and as many needs as we can all cover a little at a
    time. I'll tell you what we know and are doing and maybe you can give
    me some more great ideas!I am currently sewing homemade diapers out
    of whatever material that is obsorbant that I can get my hands on.
    Wal-Mart just had tons of super obsorbant flannel for a $1 a yard.
    Booties and bibs are already flying from my sewing machine as well.
    We are thrift store, Good-Will, yard sale shoppers as well. She plans
    on breast feeding and we have yet to find a good electric breast pump
    for the times she may need one of her very willing SIL's to play
    Auntie. We want to go cheap on the breast pump but also get something
    that is going to last. Is that a contrary idea? Any ideas? In a
    magazine I saw a highchair seat that straps to a normal chair but we
    are also unsure if that is a better idea or if a normal traditional
    high chair is better. She also plans on making homemade baby food
    when the time comes for that.The crib is covered since my God-Mother
    is loaning us the crib she has used for quite a few babies. Believe
    it or not this old crib actually matches current safety
    recommendations. A car seat is going to undoubtably be a major
    investment we can't avoid. My other questions if any one happens to
    know are as follows: Are baby swings still considered safe? How
    about "Johnny Jump-ups"? How about walkers? Any tips and ideas would
    be great on this whole subject since the youngest in this family is
    12 and we all have cloudy memories. LOL. And last but not least. A
    tip for those that might have unexpected bundles coming in there
    lives. When I first found out my SIL was expecting, I rushed out and
    bought her the book that helped me so much through my
    pregnancies "What to expect,when you are expecting". A couple weeks
    later she went in for WIC and found that they would have given her
    the book for free. Something they didn't do when my children were on
    the way. I don't know if this is just something our county WIC office
    is doing or if it is in all the WIC offices but I would suggest
    checking before purchasing it like I did. To me it was a very
    valuable book and I had no idea it would be given out freely. Hence
    $11 more I could have spent on material for baby items. Thanks for
    all the great ideas I'm sure to get and an apology for the length of
    this! Emmy in Iowa
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  3. #2
    Deal GURU
    Join Date
    Mar 2007


    First, I am so jealous of all the sewing things you are making her!!
    With you sewing alot of things she should have many supplies....
    with wic she should be able to get a loaner breast pump.
    My baby swing was a godsend for my son...too bad they don't make them
    for the older ones...(he's one)
    The fabric strap on highchair would be good for traveling--you can find
    highchairs rather cheaply...and there's one that you can strap to a a highchair without the legs...
    you might see if she can get a carseat from wic--it never huts to ask!!
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  5. #3
    Deal GURU
    Join Date
    Mar 2007


    I would wait to buy the breast pump. It is not something she will need right
    away as it is not recommended to introduce the baby to the bottle too soon ie.
    when breastfeeding is being established. Try Le Leche league for really good
    breastfeeding information and resources in your area. They also lend books. If
    she is going to be pumping a lot there is the option of renting an electric
    pump. I have to be honest and tell you that when I was breastfeeding my son I
    just found it easier to express milk when I needed to. I had a little pump but
    it didn't do that great of job. When I went back to work I used the pump at the
    hospital (where I work) and it was amazing but not something you would buy for
    home use.

    I think a good sturdy highchair is better than those kind that strap onto a
    chair. they do not seem very sturdy. A highchair is used an awful lot and will
    last through several children so it is worth investing in one with the features
    you want. I would make sure it is easy to clean, has a large removable tray and
    has wide stable legs.

    As for the other equipment I found a baby swing was a lifesaver for me. I bought
    my swing second hand. It was in very good shape as baby's only use them for a
    short time before they become too big. I never had a walker for my children
    because they are illegal in Canada.
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  7. #4
    Deal GURU
    Join Date
    Mar 2007


    Check into joining your local Freecycle groups. People are usually
    giving stuff away on those all the time. Also get the word out that
    your looking for baby items to borrow/buy second hand. I've gotten a
    lot of things by just asking if I could borrow it and that person told
    me to keep it. Baby things are so big and take up so much room that a
    lot of times the person just wants it out of their house! You'd be
    surprised how much stuff you can get by just letting people know your
    interested. Also, all babies are different. Some like swings and some
    hate them. I borrowed a swing for my middle child and she hated it.
    I'm glad I didn't spend any money on one. She did however like the
    walker as did my first child. Now, I have my 3rd child and I spend $40
    on a new bouncy seat and he's not crazy about it. You never know till
    you try it out on the kid so borrowing/buying cheap is a good idea.

    Also check garage sales, you can usually find cheap clothes there too.
    IF you find someone who is selling good baby clothes at a good price,
    give them your number and tell them your willing to buy clothes from
    them in the future as their child grows out of them. It's a good deal
    for both of you saving her from dealing with a garage sale and you get
    first dibbs on clothes.

    As for breast pumps, I'd hold off buying one until you were sure
    breastfeeding worked for you. I have breastfed all my kids and
    supplemented with formula when necessary, I was never able to pump
    successfully. My cousin bought a Madela breast pump for $250 and was
    not able to breastfeed. My suggestion is save the money, if you find
    you need it, go buy it. Don't go buy one before the baby is born
    She will need nursing bras but wait until after the baby is born for
    that as well. When her milk comes in she her size will change. For
    example, I left the hospital (bought a bra while I was there) an I was a
    38D Now that my milk has come in, I'm a 38DD or bigger.

    High chair vs booster seat. I've never had a high chair. I bought a
    booster seat that straps onto a chair when my first child was born 5yrs
    ago and have used that ever since. It takes less space, is portable
    (you can take it to a relatives house) and as long as you have a sturdy
    chair to strap it to it's safe. Use common sense; don't strap it to a
    flimsy chair that tips over at the drop of a hat.

    Also, she may like a boppy pillow, since your sewing, you may enjoy
    making her one (there is a pattern for it). I made mine and I love it.
    Check with the pattern manufacturers, there are lots of patterns for
    baby things. I even saw one of those shopping seat covers in a pattern
    book the other day.

    My other "tip" is to get on as many mailing list's as possible. Formula
    companies, and diaper companies. Even if you don't plan on using the
    items right now, later on down the line you may want to try something
    and it's always nice to have a free trial or coupon if you want to buy
    it. Both formula and diaper companies send out free samples of their
    merchandise. I'd also sign up anywhere else that offers baby stuff,
    you'll get tons of coupons. And register at Babies R us or Toys R us,
    they'll put you on their mailing list and you'll get coupons that way
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  9. #5
    Deal GURU
    Join Date
    Mar 2007


    One thing I would highly recommend for making baby food is an immersion
    blender. I used mine constantly for blending up our table food. I never bought
    any commercial baby food except for a little cereal, which I mainly used to
    thicken some fruits and vegetables. I also fed my kids a lot of plain yogurt or
    cottage cheese mixed with fruit, and they loved it. I still use the blender
    constantly for making milkshakes and smoothies, scrambling eggs, pureeing
    canned tomatoes for sauces, beating the lumps out of gravy....I love it!
    I would also recommend a baby sling...nursing babies love to be close to
    mom. I rarely used a stroller, I found it easier to slip on the sling, and
    have my hands free to hold the older kids' hands or do my shopping, whatever I
    needed to do. It was also great on those fussy days at home, when baby
    wanted to be close, but I had work to do. I used the sling for over a year with
    each baby, then switched to a backpack when they were too heavy for the sling.
    I never used a baby swing, and rarely used a stroller. I did use a
    walker a lot when they got to the age that they wanted to be upright instead of
    laying down. I think the new bouncy seats would serve the same purpose and be
    much safer. I never spent much money on baby "stuff". If they have a dry
    diaper, warm clothes, a safe place to sleep, and a mom nearby, that's really
    they need.
    LaLeche League is a wonderful source of information! You may not agree
    with all of their ideas, but that's ok. They are great about respecting
    different opinions and are willing to give whatever advice you ask for.
    The homemade diapers sound wonderful! I would suggest investing in a
    really good diaper pail. Mine was made by Little Tykes, and had a push-open
    lid. It held up through 4 kids and did a great job of containing any odor.
    The boppy pillow also sounds like a great thing to make...that's something I
    always wanted.
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  11. #6
    Deal GURU
    Join Date
    Mar 2007


    1. Go second hand for all toys... if you can find one in your area there are
    some pretty good stores that sell all kinds of second hand baby stuff. Just
    make sure they have all working parts (especially the learning electronic
    toys) Tip bring 4 AA batteries and a screwdriver with you when you shop.
    Pop them in make sure it works. You'll save a ton. PS as a mom get ones
    with off switches. When putting them away you'll save yourself the headache
    of setting others off.

    2. The first three months buy things for mom. They eat, sleep, and poop
    and exhaust mom. So they really don't need much but maybe a nice mobile and
    crib light that has option to play music or not. Get her some nice little
    treats, premade snacks, drinks, maybe her favorite shower wash or something
    of the like. Also if you really want to splurge get her one of those
    layover massage pads to put in the rocker/glider that way all those late
    night feedings can be a bonus relaxation break for her. Remember that you
    rarely have a hand free so books and magazines aren't terribly useful, but
    relaxing music or books on tape are great. PS A good travel swing is really
    really useful if the mom is ever going to leave the house. It is easily
    portable from room to room and to other homes. They also love mirrors from
    day one so a crib mirror that becomes a floor toy later is great.

    3. After that three-six month period little hand toys, lots of batteries,
    wipes, diapers, and the frequently used items like that are useful. My
    daughter loved her swing and bouncer for the first three months and then she
    suddenly decided sitting up was fun and so she played more on the floor than
    anywhere else. She loved her stroller and going outside. Just get one that
    is appropriate to the terrain around her area. I have lots of sidewalks so
    the cheap one is fine but if you are going to be going up and down curbs or
    on rocky roads then one with off road wheels are nice. You can get them at
    second hand stores fairly often though so don't think it is expensive.

    4. Six to nine months you'll want spoons and spill proof dishes for baby
    food. As well this is when the noise making toys and bang together things
    become really popular. Also stuffed animals and books with baby faces are
    great. Also if you can wait don't buy any of the baby holders until around
    six months. You'll figure out the kids favorite way to be held and weight
    and the appropriate sling or hip holder or front holder will be really
    obvious. Also you can take them back at this point within the 30 day return
    at most stores (buy new but at Walmart or Target)

    Hope this helps
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  13. #7
    Deal GURU
    Join Date
    Mar 2007


    Thank you for all the great Baby tips I'm getting! I'm saving every tip for
    use now and in the future! I found 4 freecycle groups here in Iowa close to's nice to be on the corner of 3 counties 30 miles each direction from
    two big cities.I have let my SIL and MIL know everything I have found out and
    they are actively persuing many of these tips as well.
    Well, my MIL is at least, my SIL is having a really bad time with morning
    sickness. My MIL had morning sickness pretty bad when she was carrying my SIL
    but she says SIL is even worse then she very thought she could be. SIL can't
    seem to keep much down for food except crackers and yogurt. Has got us all kinda
    worried since it looks like SIL is LOSING weight. All OB-GYN's are full in area
    and can't get her in till Feb 3. As a child into adult SIL has had many health
    problems. We hope the morning sickness lets up soon. At least the Prenatal
    vitamins her family doc put her on seem to be staying down. Emmy in Iowa
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  15. #8
    Deal GURU
    Join Date
    Mar 2007


    Dear Emmy:

    This subject has come up numerous might want to search the
    archives Liss has just done up for some very valuable info.

    Must say it's been awhile since I had a babe around as well, but there are some
    definite things I found with my kids. Walkers (the traditional ones with
    wheels) were considered "illegal" then........I still used one but in limited
    spaces where there were no stairs. My daughter just used it to sit in & play,
    where as my son who was a real go-getter, loved the freedom it gave him.

    Jumpers have changed in the amount of "springability".....we found this helped
    to strengthen babe's leg muscles. Be sure your not putting in a baby who
    can't support itself.....everything at it's own time. Baby swings are a matter
    of opinion. It bothered my daughter as she was always sensitive to motion, my
    son loved it & would sleep for hours. My thought on most of these
    items......stick to basics unless you can borrow one that is safe & stick any
    money you want to spend on babe in a savings account. They outgrow these things
    so quickly that spending a lot on extras isn't worth it. (I was lucky enough to
    have relatives who were pregnant 5-6 mos ahead of me & we traded stuff back &

    I won't comment on a breast pump as I only breastfed for a short period of time.
    I did have one that was a manual pump.....I just couldn't find the frame of mind
    to pump properly (I know people who just used their hands........thinking there
    was a trick I just never caught on to.)

    High Chair - the seats you mention were available even when I had babies. I was
    more comfortable with a stand alone, more stable chair. (I had a Little Tikes)
    We just set it in the corner when it wasn't being used. I have kept it & still
    use it when any lil strays come over. One of the few things I kept.

    My other lifesaver was a bouncenette..........just a sling that the child layed
    in and it was gently bounced with the foot. Great for a colicky babe.

    I also had a lot of receiving blankets. With that colicky babe came a lot of
    mess after feeding. The also helped as and extra liner in the crib & saved on
    frequent linen changes. These can be made from flannel sheets you can buy for
    next to nothing at a thrift store.

    Big items can be given as gifts by a group, making it easier for mom. I know
    my mom used a large lined laundry hamper for a crib, folded sheets for diapers &
    had a high chair. She had 4 kids........still all alive & breathing today. All
    I am saying here is the KISS (keep it simple, offence!) method
    works best for most things.


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