Sunday, March 25, 2012

durable goods

I don't think I was particularly hysterical with my first pregnancy (being a Peds resident at the time helped--certainly I had a living catalogue before my eyes of all the terrible things that could happen to children, but I also developed a pretty good normative sense of what to freak out about and what else was not such a big deal) but certainly I was as susceptible to the merchandizing opportunity as any other new parent. I don't think we went overboard, but I do remember thinking that our choice of stroller was somehow critical, and also thinking it important that we had a coordinated nursery decor (down to the wallpaper trim) with crib linens to match. Of course, this was back in the days of folly when we thought Cal was going to be sleeping in his own room starting at birth. Oh Michelle of yore, YOU WERE SO YOUNG THEN.

(To be fair, our stroller got much heavier use when we lived in the essentially pedestrian-only culture of Manhattan. Mack, on the other hand, child of suburbia, sat in a stroller maybe a grand total of 20 times in his life.  The rest of the time we just lugged him around in our arms or, you know, shoved him in a duffle bag or something.)

OK, so out of no disrespect to Thing 3, one thing I told myself when we found out we were pregnant was that we were not getting a whole shitload of unecessary stuff this time. Mack was lucky enough to inherit a lot of stuff from Cal's tenure, but you'll remember that we basically liquidated all our baby gear after we moved here last Spring and so, with the exception of a few forgotten toys and some flannel receiving blankets that have since been turned into Absorbancy Rags of Unknown Origin, we're starting from scratch with the new kid. The new kid, who, despite receiving essentially no hand-me-downs from her brothers, will still be clothed in almost exclusively boys clothing for at least the first three months, simply because they were really, really, really on sale after Christmas.

However, there are a few things that I will shell out for again this time around, simply because they worked so well the first two times. Here is a partial list.

Mother's Milkmate Breast Milk Storage Rack and bottles
Sometime later, maybe when I'm actually on maternity leave and have some damn time, I'll do a more detailed post (Again? I feel like maybe I've done this already but people always ask me so maybe I haven't) about the logistics of pumping when you're working at a hospital full-time. But in any event, for those other of you who are contemplating breastfeeding your kids but need to, you know, not actually be present when your kid is eating, this little system works very well, particularly for keeping track of how much milk you have in your fridge and in what order it needs to be consumed. (Human breast milk lasts for about 8 days in the fridge, if recollection holds.) Each bottle holds 4 oz. as has both a stopper and a screw-on cap (so they're leak-proof), and ten bottles can be loaded into the rack, which dispenses from the bottom in the order in which you put them in. At full capacity (and I mean when the kids were eating like hogs but not yet slaking their appetites with solid foods) I was running two and a half to three racks, depending on pumping success. I also ordered a couple of packs of spare bottles, just to have some extras around.

The caveat is that this rack system does take up some more space in your fridge, so you essentially have to clear a shelf (whatever, half a shelf) to fit it in. But I never got into that whole plastic baggie system (something with how floppy and flimsy they were bugged me, I kept spilling stuff everywhere--also it just seemed like a tremendous amount of waste over the course of a year) and the way the rack is designed makes it much easier, I think, for whatever non-me person was feeding the baby to actually keep straight in what order the milk was to be consumed. Anyway, it worked well for the other two. We'll be getting this system again for Thing 3.


Medela Symphony Breast Pump

This was the pump I used with Cal, at least for the first six months. I rented it from some lactationtrix in Manhattan who eventually moved to Westchester (necessitating the equipment return), and after that I bought the Medela Pump in Style, which I used for the rest of Cal's breastfeeding tenure (for whom I pumped for a year), and all of Mack's (for whom I pumped for 10 and a half months, because obviously I LOVE HIM LESS).

The Pump in Style was...well, it was fine. It got the job done. But in comparison, I do think the Symphony worked better. (I'm trying to phrase this in a way that won't squick out people who know me in person, but look, it just sucked out more milk, OK?) So this time around, I'll probably either rent the Symphony, or buy one and resell it afterwards. It's inadvisable, by the way to buy a used single-user pump like the Pump in Style or similar, but because the Symphony is a so-called "hospital grade pump," it's designed for multiple users and therefore is built with a closed system, meaning no human parts can mix with any of the machine parts. The downside of a hospital grade pump is that it is a tank. I know, I had to carry one back and forth to work on the subway for six months. Vertebral compression fractures, ho!

Sleeper Gowns

We had a ton of these lying around from Cal and Mack, and I think that they are great.  They're basically big long muumuu-like gowns for newborns that don't have any zippers, buttons, snaps, nothing--just an elastic band that runs along the bottom seam that keeps the baby's legs semi-bundled.  Diaper changes in the dark?  So easy.  Just pull up the bottom, and pull it back down.  Also, they are adorable.  The pair I showed above are Carter's brand, which seem to hold up the best (the quality of the cotton is very nice too), but a lot of brands make this kind of sleeper--Gerber makes the cheapest version, but they also have a cheaper fabric which means it's thinner and tends to shrink up quite a bit more.  Anyway, it really doesn't matter, the baby's going to wear them for two months max and then they will bust out of them, Hulk-style.  So by all means, get the cheap ones, just means you can have more lying around as extras for the inevitable GI spillage, above or below.

Prefold diapers
Look, I don't want to give anyone the wrong impression, because we definitely don't do the cloth diaper thing. It sounds like it would be nice, because, you know, THE EARTH, and some of those cloth diaper covers are so damn cute I could plotz--but the fact of it is that given that I work full-time I'd feel pretty guilty about essentially inflicting the work and commitment of going cloth-diapers on someone else for most of the day. So we do disposable diapers. But we do have all these cloth diapers around, even to this day, almost seven years after Cal was born. Because they're very useful.

Look, I think I pretty much summed it up here: what you really, really need with a new baby is rags. Just, like, a pile of rags. And these are good rags. First of all, they're soft and smooth, so you can actually put them on or near the baby without worrying that they're too abrasive. Secondly, they're absorbant, owing to their original function. Third, they're small and stow neatly, so you can keep them in stacks everywhere. Lie one under the baby's head when they're sleeping in the crib. Or under they're butt when they're sitting in one of those chair bouncer things that necessitate all poop to shoot up from the top of the diaper. Stow a couple in your diaper bag to use as changing pads. Keep them in a basket in the living room near where you feed the kid. Boom, it's magical, turns potentially big laundry jobs into small ones.  It's also great for cleaning regular things, like your kitchen counters and windows. Oh, and I guess maybe you could use them as diapers too, but I can't give you any advice on that, because I'm too busy killing the planet. Hats off to you cloth diaper parents out there, by the way. You're the real heros. (But! To be able to chuck that whole smelly poop diaper package away en bloc without having to scrape and rinse and soak anything! Priceless!)

How about you guys? What tried and true baby products--not necessarily expensive, but indispensable nonetheless--can you recommend?


  1. Cecily2:13 PM

    Michelle! I always remembered your "rags!" advice and DID/DO find them handy with our little one.

    Other things I've found indispensable:
    1. Ergo baby carrier: nice to have two hands free for shopping, dog-walking, housework, etc plus baby would sleep much more easily in this compared to a stroller; I could carry him for hours and my back was fine.

    2. A pacifier attachment. The thick ribbon kind that attaches to it to clothing. I was deliriously giddy when I found out I didn't have to keep crawling on my hands and knees to find a paci that ALWAYS rolled under some heavy piece of furniture.

    I'm looking forward to other people's comments!

    3. Diaper genie: no stinky diaper smell despite our Blow-Out Prince.

    4. Mittens: Our baby had diva nails; I think I had to cut his nails twice a week minimum to keep him from lacerating his face. Mittens until he went to sleep. Now, we use them for when his thumb/various fingers need to heal from various sucking, pinching injuries.

  2. I have nothing to add, because I'm pregnant with our very first right now, but I'm SO HAPPY you posted this today! Just yesterday I posted on my blog about the sheer confusion and fear that baby's r us struck into mine and my hushand's hearts yesterday. TOO MANY THINGS! I so appreciate posts like this from veteran moms. Thanks!

  3. Anonymous3:00 PM

    I also wanted to say THANK YOU for this post! I'm pregnant with my first kid and due in the fall of my intern year, and needless to say I could use lots of practical tips from other working moms. I actually went looking through the archives for your previous breast-pumping posts a few weeks ago, but I couldn't find them, so I would really appreciate you explaining your system again! Thanks so much!

  4. We had one gown (the rest sleepers with legs) and putting the gown on the baby seemed to be asking the universe to find a reason for me to buckle him into a car seat late at night. (At one point my paged-in-the night plans involved taking the baby to the server room with me.)

    Costco sells packs of 20 or 25 fluffy white facecloths (about 10" square). Those are also a fine choice. It drives me slightly nuts that the diapers don't fold into quarters easily.

  5. CdnPsycRes3:34 PM

    As a cloth diapering mom and full time resident I'd encourage you to think about CD-of course our nanny is doing 2 of the 3 cloth diaper loads of laundry/week.

    The plus side: very infrequent or no poo-splosions up the back or down the legs of the little one.

    If your baby is breast fed (which I gather is your intention) then you don't have to do anything with the poopy diapers but put them in the washing machine because BF poop is entirely water soluble.

    Congratulations on baby3!

    Good luck!

  6. 1. swaddle blankets (the kind with velcro)
    2. boppy
    3. pack n play (crib + changing table in one)
    4. moses basket to leave in bathroom
    5. diaper rash cream
    6. cotton balls instead of wipes (wipe irritated our daughter's rear)

    We also really like the swing. We got one that plugs in so we didn't have to deal with batteries. Our daughter takes most of her naps there.

  7. Emily5:43 PM

    !. The miracle blanket and the sleep sack with swaddler attachment. (We were crib users from the beginning and this was the way we got our kid to sleep in a crib)
    2. Mam pacifiers.
    3. The swing (bulky and best if you can get from someone else since it only lasts a few months but so useful)
    4. The fisher price papasan chair
    5. Diaper wipe warmer
    6. I second the bottle holder (loved it) and the pile of rags (we got a pile of bibs and burp cloths from our friend and they were awesome).

    What about the things you bought and found less useful? That would be a good post. We had a few of those.
    1. Moby wrap (our kid hated most wraps and I can't say I loved them either)
    2. The bumbo (by the time he could hold his head up, he was too porky to fit in it)
    3. High end stroller. Sure, in NYC it's great (that's where we live), but our Maclaren fold up was the one we took on the bus and the subway and everywhere else

    Mostly, I think it's great to get as many things as you can from friends or colleagues who are getting rid of their stuff. Why buy everything new? Not worth it.

  8. Anonymous6:57 PM

    I am a full time anesthesiologist with 3 children, ages 20 months, 4 and 5. I didn't cloth diaper with the first two. With the third I thought "why not try it?" We started when she got home from the hospital and are still doing it. My husband was deployed the first 9 months of her life and it was still doable, and we didn't have a diaper service, I just threw a load of diapers in every couple of days. Easy peasy, especially with the new hybrid systems, which have optonal FLUSHABLE liners, so none of that weird diaper smell hanging around the otherwise darling nursery. I was surprised at how little work it was. As a plus, the diapers are SUPER CUTE! As another plus, no diaper rash until after the first year of her life. Then came kiwi. She has a love/hate relationship with kiwi.

  9. Oh, I forgot to mention in the above post that I am hoarding lap pads, meaning laparotomy pads left over from certain surgeries (obviously unused extras that are usually thrown away), because SPEAKING OF ABSORBANT RAGS, holy crap.

    1. except they subbed our old wonderful absorbent lap pads with flimsy holey ones that were so thin that we had to 4-fold and put two in on one side to hold the bowel in place during C-sections. so cost effective.
      i think we never had so many surgeons teaming up to complain about one single item. so glad they ditched the idea in the end!
      (my Consultant also likes to sneak out those unused disposable towels that we use to wipe our hands after scrubbing!!)

    2. I'm a pediatrician who is called in to attend C-sections, and I admit to hoarding those disposable towels that are packed in with the sterile gowns, too. So useful in the car!

  10. Caroline7:45 PM

    What about a hands' free pumping boustier like Easy Expressions? That was a life saver to me so I could try to multi-task while pumping. I can't imagine pumping without it (I also agree re: hospital grade pump). Other than that, I loved my Miracle Blankets. I wore through them with both of my kids since they loved the swaddle. When I had my second child, I brought some with me to the hospital and started using them at birth. Much easier and a better wrap than hospital blankets (which I still found many uses for at home).

  11. After our first, I would have told you that the MUST HAVE item would be a swaddler of some kind - Miracle Blanket or Swaddle Me. Those were fantastic for getting him to sleep and keeping him there.

    But the 2nd kid didn't like them AT ALL. She hated them with the burning fire of one thousand suns. Guess she wasn't so much into that whole "restrictive movement" thing.

    Since they both had reflux, my only lame advice is what you're already doing - lots of bibs, lots of cloths.

    Oh... I guess there is one thing with the 2nd baby that I'm not sure we could have lived without (hyperbole notwithstanding) - The "rock n play"

    Since she had reflux, it was impossible to put her down flat-like. This thing is at an angle, is portable, and when they fuss in the night, you just reach over and rock it a few times. Magical. MAGICAL.

    I wish I'd had it for the first one.

  12. I'm with you on the rags, but I just had old t-shirts laying around EVERYWHERE! Our little one didn't truly stop spitting up until 8 months. My husband and I have collected free t-shirts from what seems to be a billion trade shows and conferences.

    We cloth diaper, but use a pick up/drop off service and all the mess goes right on in the pail. They provide a pail with a carbon filter so there's no stink in the house either.

  13. Anonymous11:07 PM

    Folks who have commented that they continue to CD while in residency give me hope. I've been CD'ing my DD (15 months) since she was 4 months old and love it. I start my residency this July and was wondering if it was still possible to continue to do so with a nanny. As someone mentioned earlier, there are no poop-splosions up the back or leaks with cloth diapers. I used pocket diapers and they are very similar to disposables in design. I also have done some elimination communication and my daughter poops in the toilet every morning so no poopy diapers!

    I don't have anything to add to the list as most have covered it effectively. I will say I didn't buy a crib so I could access if DD was amenable to co-sleeping. She loves co-cleeping and we are slowly trying to move her into a toddler bed by our bed now. Michelle, if you could make a post about how you worked out getting a dependable nanny and how you swung it financially, it would be a life line! My DH (who will be PGY2 when I start my residency) and I are hashing out all the particulars right now. We both have awful commutes and are considering a live-in.

  14. Ditto the Ergo. Other baby carriers may be cuter or more mainstream but I inherited a used ergo and wore it for 2 kids well into toddlerhood, beat the crap out of it, and am about to pass it on to another mom, still in great shape.

    For the pumping mom going back to work: Lilypadz. These silicone beauties take the place of those disposable cotton numbers that you stick into your bra and that still show through clothing and inevitably make you smell like old cheese. Lilypadz stop the flow of milk and keep you from nipping out and were such a lifesaver when I pumped at work that they are one of my standard gifts.

    Hands free pumping: you can shell out cash for a fancy bustier or you can cut two slits into the cups of an old bra. Guess which one I picked? Worked great and then I tossed it after the second kiddo.

    And lap pads: I accidentally stole one and that damn thing has come in handy so many times (it's a cloth one). Current use: makeshift mattress pad for newly diaper free at night toddler

  15. krista1:09 AM

    My baby must-haves:
    1. baby carrier (like Ergo, Boba, Beco, etc.)
    2. ditto on the prefolds-as-burp-rags
    3. Aden&Anais brand "burpy bibs" baby was an epic spitter, and these spared the car seat straps somewhat.
    4. Earth Mama Angel Baby brand nipple butter for the first few weeks of uncomfortable nipples
    5. Bamboobies brand breast pads (so soft! and not-itchy like the disposable ones!) for the first few weeks of uncontrollable milk spraying
    6. White noise app on my iPhone

    That's really it, other than the obvious diapers, wipes, rash cream, etc. Baby stores trick people into thinking they need so much stuff for babies that is really unnecessary. Oh, and baby clothes...for the newborn stage, I didn't use anything but sleepers! (The sleeper gowns did not work for my baby as she was nearly 22" at birth and therefore had her feet busting out the bottom of those suckers from the get-go.)

  16. 1. Also rec the Symphony- at least the beginning, just because it really does pump a lot more and easier on you. Also, my sister suggested renting rather than buying a pump before you have the baby, just in case (for whatever reason) pumping doesn't work out. Not that you should start out with neg. expectations, but you know...

    2. Nursing hydrogel pads (lots of brands, Lansinoh, etc): pop in fridge while nursing, slap back on afterwards. Thought the cooling gel was way more relief than nipple cream.

    3. Diapers: our compromise was gDiapers, which worked out pretty well. I think having your child in daycare would be a deciding factors, bc most infant daycares we looked into did not allow cloth diapers, whereas I think you can try out a couple options if you have a nanny...?

    About to have #2 and thinking about trying:
    1.Medela Freestyle pump: very small, all parts clip on to you, seems great for really upping your game as a multitasking machine. (Does anyone have tips on how they pump while taking care of a toddler btw??)

    2. Pump adapters: pump right into bags. Yes, also wasteful, but our freezer really will not fit very many bottles, and would save the step from transferring from bottles.

  17. I love my Brest Friend. It's a C-shaped cushion that you clip on around the waist to support the baby while you breast feed. Allows "hands-free"( well, almost) nursing. I'm able to use my laptop or read easily. Plus I can just swivel the cushion when he's done with one side and he's at the other breast albeit in a different "position" ie. cradle to football or vice versa. Very handy especially when the baby's very little.

  18. Great post - and I would love to hear your advice on pumping while in residency. I just had my baby and start residency in July, and I'm not really sure how pumping while a resident will work. Any tips would be much appreciated!

  19. Anonymous10:56 AM

    I'm in the depths of caring for a newborn I'll add a few:
    1. Bottle drying rack
    2. White noise machine
    3. Several types of pacifiers so you can see which one the baby likes (mine will only use one type, and sparingly at best)
    4. Cetaphil wash for the baby, cerave cream to moisturize post-bath: nothing to irritate the skin
    5. Bathtub that fits in your kitchen sink
    6. Rocking chair for feeds
    7. IF you end up bottle feeding for whatever reason and would like not to have to go downstairs, keep a mini-fridge or cooler for the nighttime bottles and a bottle warmer with a pitcher in the room where the baby is sleeping
    8. IF you continue to breast-feed, keep a stash of drinks (gatorade, water bottles) and snacks for those late night feedings to keep up your supply
    9. I second the hands-free pumping bra
    10. They sell these pads that are absorbant that look sort of like the fabric chucks in the hospital that I use as changing table toppers so I'm not always washing the changing pad cover
    11. iphone so you can take a ridiculous amount of pictures of the baby at all hours of the day and text them to your family and Joe when he's at work. (I was the last child in a family of 4 kids, and there are practically zero pics of me as a baby due to it being 1981 at the time-- not that I'm still bitter about it, but make sure to take lots of pics of the new little one so she doesn't feel slighted!)
    12. Aden and anais swaddle blankets and burpy bibs. The blankets are huge and excellent for swaddling. Plus, in a pinch, they work as a good rag.
    13. Play mat for swatting at things and tummy time

  20. I didn't have any of these things with kid 1, but I loved them with kid 2 and will use them with the soon-to-be kid 3...
    The Ergo baby carrier is a must--it has a newborn insert that I will try for the first time with this kid since I didn't get it until #2 was bigger but it is the best carrier I have owned (I have owned a sling, a khatan, and a bjorn).
    Anything Aden and Anais. I absolutely love this brand. Their swaddling blankets are the best, the bib/burp rags are awesome and the sleep sacks are great for the post-swaddle transition. Plus, Michelle, I think you would love the designs. A quick internet search will usually get you a coupon for some % off on their website, otherwise Target and Babies R Us both have more affordable versions in limited designs.
    Snugglebunny swing--it swings side-to-side and also front to back. #2 loved it.

  21. Anonymous4:31 PM

    Hi...not a resident or an attending, but work in a hospital and though we have a nice pumping room for employees and I have been able to find 2 breaks a day to go and pump, I am coming up on 6 months breastfeeding (not exclusively, baby gets about 1 bottle of formula at daycare, because I can only afford two sessions a day and I refuse to get psychotic like with my first and stay up late to pump an extra session). Could you please share your tips on how to stay pumping for a year, or even remotely close to it? I made it to 9 months before I weaned my oldest (stopped pumping at 7.5). The pumping was too much and also the teeth. He started to bite and none of the tips worked. My youngest does not have his top 2 teeth yet (the bottom 2 are in) and I want to see if I can maybe get ahead of the game.

  22. They didn't come out until my son was out of diapers, but I've heard good things about G diapers (convenient like disposable, but have flushable inserts).

    My son is 10, so I'm out of date with the latest stuff, but I liked having a changing station on each level of my house and, also, my son really liked his mechanical swing.

  23. Sarah9:37 AM

    1. Swaddle blankets and sleep sacks
    2. Buttpaste or extra strength Desitin-my son had very sensitive skin, so we would slather this on anytime we saw a hint of red and he never had a bad rash.
    3. Dr. Brown bottles. I pumped while in clinicals of my 3rd year, so he didn't get much breast time and I found that though these have more pieces for cleaning, they did cut down on the amount of air he sucked down thus he was less gassy.
    4. We didn't use wipes for the first 2 months and found those cotton squares with warm water worked well.
    5. My second son is due the beginning of my second year of residency, and we are going to go for the cloth diapers. A couple of my fellow residents do it and have ntohing but good things to say. I've heard recommendations for both gdiapers and thirstees.
    6. Medela breast's amazing. I used the hell out of it and never had any problems.

  24. Laura8:53 PM

    I just want to say thanks for posting about your experiences. I'm a 4th year anesthesia resident in Canada with a 14 month old baby, and was also surprised by how "crunchy" I am...we co-sleep, I'm still nursing (but finally done with pumping at work, yay!) and we cloth diaper. It's nice to know that other medical mamas do the same.

    My must-haves for baby? Only a carrier (we used a Moby wrap), a breast pump (I used the Medela Freestyle) and a bunch of cloth diapers. My kid hated swings, swaddling and pacifiers. She wanted mama and boob, and that was all.

  25. I can't wait for your pumping discussion! I will most likely be pumping as an MS3 or MS4. I think a hard part of it for me will be having to excuse myself to go pump. I don't want to be seen as a slacker, ugh. I nursed twins in the past so hopefully I can pump for one baby okay. :)

    Anyway, I'm considering anesthesia, and I was wondering if you have feedback about the job market and CRNAs taking over a large part of the work? Should I be concerned about the latter? Anesthesia appeals to me a lot because I'm very organized, love pharm and cardio/pulm physio, am interested in procedures and the inpatient side of medicine, want to specialize in something from the start (I'm only an MS1 and already my brain is full, ha!), and I've heard good things about the hours for moms in medicine. Take care!

  26. Mamarama2:20 AM

    How I survived my third child, in no particular order:

    1. Onesies with mitten cuffs built in
    2. co-sleeping (no blankets/pillows/husband--just mama and baby on a bare bed). Co-sleeping allowed me plenty of sleep so the no husband part was worth it.
    3. plugged-in swing--life saver!!!
    4. velcro swaddle
    5. Happiest Baby on the Block DVD
    6. sleep sack
    7. Sleepy Wrap

  27. mamarama2:27 AM

    Oh, forgot the pump. Medela Freestyle all the way. It's tiny but produces a strong suction. I love that I could charge it and not be attached to the electric plug. Love the fact I could pump hands-free. But I didn't bother to learn to use the contraptions for hands-free pumping, I just simply cut 2 slits in my camisole and use that for easy peasy hands-free pumping.

  28. This was a nice thing for baby. The baby things should be durable to use it longer and for babies safety. And the pump are perfect for mother to preserve breast milk.

  29. pedsdoc10:30 AM

    Halo sleepsack. Used with the gowns for easy changes overnight after my guys outgrew being swaddled in receiving blankets (and the Carter's 36 x 40" receiving blankets are the BEST), and we keep it chilly at night.

  30. Marisol12:28 PM

    We swear by the Itz Been baby timer. A handheld timer that lets you know the last time you bottlefed/breastfed/diapered/gave meds, etc. With all the sleep deprivation and multiple caregivers after returning to work, it's hard to remember when the baby last ate/changed/got meds, etc. I know they have apps on the iPhone for this, but this timer can be exchanged between multiple users when other caregivers are involved.

  31. Anonymous3:37 PM

    My MIL went to target and bought BAGS AND BAGS of the cloth diapers and washcloths. My husband and I thought she was out of her mind but rags really are the most useful things to have around. Other stuff we love:
    1. avent soothies pacifiers
    2. swaddle blankets. My son prefers being swaddled with arms out so both blankets and the ones with velcro are all the same for us...
    3. fleece sleepers with feet
    4. medela pump (I have the PIS for work and symphony for home) and a hands free pumping bra
    5. Boppy baby lounger
    6. we use washcloths and warm water instead of wipes
    7. Dr. Browns bottles
    8. Sleepy wrap (like the Moby)

  32. Anonymous1:09 PM

    I used the Ameda pump and loved it. Infinitely portable and a real workhorse. Smaller than medela, too.

  33. Anonymous4:10 PM

    Echo a lot of what others recommend. Couldn't have done without the boppys, face up for chill time, hung over the edge for the reflux/colic attacks- worked great! others mentioned white noise, but why bother with a machine that just makes noise? Big fan of room air cleaners for babys. good noise, removes dust and allergens, and some kinds have the humidification you can run in the wintertime. All three of mine still use their original ones 5-8 years later! didn't ever use a feeding timer- big believer in the 3-6-9-12 method. Always fed on those hours, even at my most insane and sleep deprived, i knew when to feed! Last thing I would always buy again is a bouncy chair with vibration. All three of mine loved them, I took them everywhere, and it always gave me 15 or twenty minutes when I needed both hands for something else. Good luck!

  34. Maggie6:12 PM

    1. Ergo
    2. Bouncy chair (only thing my kid would sleep in when she was sick w/stuffy, runny nose, raspy breathing)
    3. Extra laundry basket with a bed pillow in the bottom (no need for some fancy-schmancy moses basket or bassinette.

    Didn't pump, so for those that breast fed all day:
    4. Spaghetti strap tanks (as bottom layer everyday and you can breast feed without exposing anything)

  35. Might want to consider the Medela Freestyle - itty bitty double electric pump that is battery-operated. I think of it as a step up from the Pump in Style. I pumped round the clock the last 6 months of my chief year in residency and loved it (well, as much as you can love a and I am still using it once a day with my 15 month old. It has held up great and so easy to carry around (I can't imagine lugging around the symphony, wow!). good luck!

  36. -LilyPadz

    -Ergo (though I'm going to try out the Beco Gemini for #2. Love the idea of not needing a newborn insert!)

    -Puj tub. Yeah, it's only good for a couple of months before the baby doesn't fit any more, but it's so nice for newborns.

    -Simple Wishes pumping bustier. For #2 I'm going to try wearing this jobbie under my scrubs, though: . Lift up scrub top, insert flanges and go! Nothing to wrap around yourself or fiddle with. I hope.

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