Want just the basics? Don’t have room for much more than that? Here is my list of things I bought, recommend, or saved for our newest addition. The bare minimum this mom of 4 would say you should get in preparation for your new bundles first few months.
Let’s start with the basics, which I have broken down into the following categories:
sleep- play- eat- travel-bathe-diaper
-Crib: a place to sleep in your room… or theirs! A crib/pack and play, or co sleeper… whatever it is you use. We used a pack and play or co sleeper for the first few months which each kid, then they went to their crib.
Everyone has their own ideas on sleep, but the most important thing is that the baby sleeps, can I get an amen, moms?
-Baby chair/swing : I think our babies used their baby chairs more than their actual cribs for the first 3 months. I put them in the living room or wherever I was sitting/recovering for the first few months, and since the newborn life is the sleep life, they slept perfectly in it all day in between nursing and visitors.
-Binkys/pacifiers: I think Jack may be my first binky baby, and I am pretty happy about it, because how cute is a baby sucking on a pacifier?!
-Blankets: I swear by these ones from Aden & Anais (only the bamboo ones!). They are so soft, my husband jokingly says he wishes they made them in adult size. I use them also as a nursing cover, carseat cover, blanket to lay the baby on, and burp rag. I also recently bought these Solly Baby swaddles and love them too! Just as soft and heavier than the muslin, if you have a fall/winter baby.
-A playmat: Anyone will do. Just something to look at for those few hours they are awake as newborns. Jack is just starting to really want to stare at something while he is awake, and watching him kick and coo at the animals that hang from the top, is just adorable. If you want a beautiful one, I had my eyes on this one , but never actually spent the money to buy and ship it here.
This is one of the most complicated and cluttery part of babies gear… Whether nursing or bottle feeding (or both), you need so many things to feed a baby well.
-Burp rags: Something to wipe up the spit up…anything. ha! old t shirts. or something fancy, Lord knows we don’t want to be smelling like cheese from our kids spit up all over us. I use little muslin ones I found in here, but also loved having my favorite thin swaddles around to use as well.
-Boppy/nursing pillow: Save your upper back now, and invest in a good nursing pillow.
-Bottles: I have used these bottles based on the recommendation of one of my first mommy friends 10 years ago! Lots of pieces to wash, but less gassy babies, so I’d say it’s a good return on your investment.
-Breast pump: handpump or normal pump depending on you r budget and how much you will need to pump. I have used both, but really like a good hand pump because you can control the pull/suck.
-Storage bags for milk
-Bottle drying rack
-Nursing cover: a friend recently bought me this one and swears by it! The other three babies, I just used one of the apron looking covers you get at Babies R us.
-Stroller: This could be a dissertation if I wanted. So many strollers, so many price points (from the price of a t shirt to a new car!). I am gearing up to try a couple, but I’d say this is a need. Our city is pretty bumpy and cobblestoney, so I don’t use one here unless we are travelling or I know we will be somewhere that is easily navigated with a stroller. Like a mall, or a specific park.
-Baby carrier: My two go-tos with Jack are the Sollybaby, and the Ergo. With previous babies I used the Moby Wrap, and all sorts of random clip on carriers, but overall I would say I love the Solly and Ergo the best.
The Solly is my favorite for the newborn days, when they just are so sweet, snuggly and sleep on you for a long time. This is particularly helpful for outings, when your baby just sleeps through it all. I will say the Solly, or any wrap for that matter is an investment in your time to put on. I can sling mine on in a minute or so after 9 years of baby wearing, but in that rush of a crying baby, or trying to get out of a car with other kids it adds some time.
The pay off of snuggling your baby though, that’s priceless. The ergo, is fast, and you can carry a kid from newborn until they are about 3…so if I were you, I would get both!
-Carseat: It’s the law! Even in Istanbul, where we don’t have a car and use metros, buses, trams etc… we use our carseat if we are in a taxi. This is the one we have used for the last 3 kiddos, and we really like it.
-Soap: something gentle, pure and delicious smelling
-Bath: I had the big invasive baby bathtub with our oldest, but when it comes down to it throwing this bath seat in a big sink or bathtub is much easier, and takes up way less room. Also, if you travel much- it folds up perfectly for your suitcase!
-Diapers: My all time favorite, which I can’t get in Turkey 🙁 I used them with Nora, and I can testify they work! Also, they are soooo cute!
-Booty creme: To keep the rashes away!
-Changing pad/area: Changing table, floor, pad etc. Somewhere to diaper the little love.
Baby girls clothes, they just about put me over the edge they are so cute! Dressing a girl is fun, and while she has her preferences which can be quite strong, we have managed to only have a few small fights over clothes. She’s 2 people. 2 years old and arguing with me about what she wants to wear. Ok, counseling issues aside, here is what you can find my baby girl running around California in this summer.
Summer time is here! We are getting ready to head from Istanbul to the great old USA, so you may notice I went crazy with the red, white and blue this summer in our capsules. Nothing like declaring your love for your country than a Summer Capsule Wardrobe planned around the flags colors. Ha!
Hopefully I can post some on our travels and time in California. For now, this is what Eli is wearing this summer!
Here is Eli’s Summer Capsule Wardrobe::
9 shirts: 1. american pocket t 2. striped neon tank 3. red pocket henley 4. red, white & blue striped henley 5. grey & white striped pocket t 6.grey basic t shirt 7. Palm Springs 8.blue pocket 9. Giants tank
Evan is our oldest. Kind, sensitive, and always reading. He is 7 and in first grade.
He wears a uniform to school, and those darn shirts are included in his capsule. Also, they are white. Whoever decided to give elementary school kids white uniform shirts should also have been required to supply bleach to the mothers of that school on their dime. White is a no no in my rule book for dressing kids. If they are wearing white, there is a 98% chance it was gifted to them, or required for a social function.
Nora, our baby girl. Can you capsule a baby? Absolutely. I actually think babies and toddlers will be the easiest since they grow so fast, and need new things more often. Before I was capsuling my kids, I realized I would buy them things as needed, when I saw a sale, or just because I felt like they needed something. With her, since she grows so fast, I’m realizing I really like the purchase once a season idea. It lets me strategize this all a bit more.
Nora is spicy and sweet. She is 2 1/2 years old, bossy, smart and so fun! She also has opinions on what she wears, which is really adorable. I have 6 dresses in her capsule, and she has already refused to wear 4 of them… so we will see how this goes, or what makes it in her next capsule now that I can see what she prefers.
My general mode of operating when it comes to kids clothes is to purchase cute items as needed, or buy a load of clothes when there is a sale all completely done by feel. It wouldn’t be uncommon for me to load up my cart, online or in person with a bunch of cute items I found that I felt they needed. Then I would add to their drawers, and eventually we would have clothes on the ground, clothes in the drawers, things that maybe didn’t match each other, and things they never wore because they didn’t really like.
This has lead my kids, to have a jumble of clothes that are mix and match. Some random items have no match, and some are things I purchased on impulse to satisfy the wants of a kid asking,
“mom can i have that Batman shirt…pahleeese??”
Call me cranky and mean, but from now on the answer is “No”. They can have dress up outfits(more on that later), but as for the day to day, they will have 37 pieces, and that is it.
Here are some basic rules I’m using during this project:
–Finalizing a season capsule for each kid, with only 37 pieces. This may seem like a lot or not enough for kids, especially since they go through clothes getting them dirty so fast. But this is what we will start with. Maybe our summer capsule will have less, maybe more. I kept the kids at 37 pieces, like the adults this first time around since we live in a city with weird weather, and tend to travel a bit.
-Socks: all matching all the time. The boys share 20 pairs of the same exact sock. Nora will have 10 pairs of the same socks. This makes laundry, distinguishing whose socks are whose, and finding socks each morning easy.
-No white. Unless it was required from someone else (school uniform, project etc), they will not own white. It’s just a bad idea. Heck, I don’t even wear white unless I am not going to be around my kids for the day. It gets dirty so fast. There will be a day when I wear white, for now I’m happy with grey.
-Color theme. I had my boys fill out this capsule wardrobe planner with me. They shared their favorite colors, how they wanted to look, and even things they did and didn’t want. It was really fun, to hear them describe what they want.
-Shop together. For my middle child, this was a really fun project. He felt so loved that he got to go shopping with me, and pick some fun things out. He really likes dressing up and looking good.