Basics for Baby

What do babies really need?

After having two babies and expecting my third (due in just a few weeks!), I’ve learned that babies really don’t need much at all.

With each baby, we’ve pared down more and more and now are left with the basics.

Here’s my list of basics for baby:

Food

If you’re breastfeeding, you provide the food! (And, it’s nice to have a breast pumpand 2-3 bottles as well as nursing bras, camisoles and nursing pads for mama!)

For formula feeding you’ll need bottles, formula, maybe even a bottle warmer.

Diapers and Wipes

If you’re using disposables, you just need diapers, wipes and diaper cream!

If you’re using cloth diapers and planning to do it full time, I recommend a minimum of 20 diapers. Baby should average about 8 diapers a day so 20 is a good number with washing every other day. You’ll also need wipes, dirty diaper storage (either an actual diaper pail or a hanging wet bag) and a small or medium wet bag if you plan to cloth diaper outside the home. And, you’ll need a cloth diaper safe diaper cream and laundry detergent.

Clothing

Baby clothes are adorable but there are a ton of clothes out there that are impractical and maybe even uncomfortable for a baby. For little bitty babies, I prefer cotton body suits, pants and one pieces.

Here are the basics for newborns:

8-10 bodysuits (long or short sleeve depending on season)
4-6 cotton pants
2-6 one piece outfits (long or short rompers)
6-8 sleepers (I personally prefer snaps, others love the zippers)
10 pair of socks
2-4 hats
2-4 pair of mittens

You can get by with less if you are washing clothes regularly. I do a load of laundry nearly every day to stay on top of laundry so we can get by with fewer clothes. If you do laundry less often, you probably will want to have more.

Baby clothes are definitely a fun part of having a baby (especially a first baby) but it’s good to have limits so you don’t get overrun with baby clothes!

A place to sleep

This just depends on your preference. If you’re setting up the nursery in your room, baby can sleep in the crib from day one.

With our first baby, we had a (borrowed) Pack ‘n Play in our room. With our second baby, we had a (borrowed) bassinet in our room. Our second son actually slept better slightly propped so we ended up using our Infant To Toddler Rocker and some nights he co-slept just because it was so much easier!

And you’ll need 2-3 crib sheets and 1-2 crib mattress pad covers. The fancy crib bedding is not necessary. We used bumpers for about 6 months with our first and never with our second.

Car Seat

Infant car seats are not an absolute necessity but are nice. If you have a winter baby, they are more of a need since baby can stay snug in the seat while out and about. For a spring and summer baby, you can get by without one and just start out with a convertible car seat. We have an infant seat that we received when our first baby was born. We used it with our second too since we had it. (Although, we got it out of the car maybe 5 times ever – thanks to a mild winter). We still have that seat so we’ll use it for #3 too.

Blankets

I love muslin swaddle blankets, a four pack should be plenty. They’re great for swaddling, for nursing covers, and to use as crib blankets when baby gets older (My boys still sleep with them in the summer).

A quilt is nice to use as a play mat and thicker blankets (muslin, crocheted or knitted) are nice when it gets cooler. 1 quilt and 1-2 thicker blankets should be plenty.

Bibs/Burp Cloths

4-6 bibs as a minimum, if baby spits up a lot or is a drooler, you’ll need more.

10-12 burp cloths. I prefer thin ‘cloth diapers’, they make great ‘hankies’ too!

Baby Carrier

This is a must have for me because I believe having a baby in a carrier is much easier for mama than lugging a heavy infant seat around and baby would much rather be on mama than in a seat.

I had a Moby Wrap with my first baby. It was very comfortable but tying it up isn’t exactly easy, especially while out of the home.

For my second baby, I purchased a Baby K’tan which feels a lot like a Moby but is much easier! I used the Baby K’tan when he was tiny. When he was about 6 months, I switched to a soft structured carrier, a BOBA 3G.

Toiletries
A bottle of baby shampoo & wash and baby nail clippers. Baby lotion is nice but I almost never use it.

Babies really don’t need much.

There’s no need to spend a lot on expensive baby gear, the latest and greatest baby gadgets and huge wardrobes for tiny babies. Stick to the basics, you’ll have more money and your home will not be overtaken with baby things!

What’s on your baby basics list?

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February 2014 was a month full of baby preparations, playing outside (both in snow and spring like weather!), a lot of reading and savoring time with our 2 little boys.

Naptime

Weston is still struggling with napping on his own. We think he just needs the security of someone nearby to sleep. I’m still rocking him most afternoons (no clue what we’ll do when baby arrives but we’ll manage when the time comes!) On the weekends, John David often lies down with him – and sometimes I’ll find both of them snoozing away which warms my heart!
Preparing for Baby

Early in the month, I was feeling absolutely overwhelmed with what needed to be done to feel ready for baby’s arrival. I finally sat down and made out a list of projects for me, for John David and for us to do together. Getting it out of my head and onto paper immediately eliminated some stress. We posted the list on the fridge and all but 2 items have been completed!
Snow

We woke up to snow on February 11! It ended up snowing the next 2 nights so John David was home with us for those 3 snow days (remember, the south all but shuts down for snow!) The boys enjoyed playing in the snow with their daddy and I’m so glad they have been able to experience snow this winter.

Painted Dining Room

One of the projects on my ‘preparing for baby’ list was to paint the dining room and kitchen. The walls had been painted with flat paint which was very difficult to clean. My mother-in-law came down one weekend and painted for us. She and John David painted the kitchen and dining room walls and all of the trim in those two rooms! It looks great and will be so much easier to keep the walls clean. Kitchen Helper

Another before baby project is making some freezer friendly friends. I’ve made a few casseroles, muffins, beans, granola, soups and more to stock our freezers. Paxton helped me make some biscuits one afternoon. He really enjoyed helping me mix everything, roll out the dough and cut the biscuits out. And, of course he really enjoyed his sample once they were baked. My freezers are overflowing and I’ve had to stop freezer cooking even though I’d love to freeze more. (Something about expecting a baby makes me want to hoard food!) Mama and Weston

We took a few ‘maternity’ pictures – this is my favorite with Weston! I just wanted a few sweet pictures of me with my boys but out of all the pictures we took, only a few were decent. The reality of life with little ones – don’t set expectations!
34 Weeks

This is my favorite of me (and you can see Weston lingering in the background). I was 34 weeks 5 days pregnant here.

eBook Editing

Another big project for February has been finalizing an eBook about cloth diapers! I actually started on this eBook last January and worked on it off and on until this past summer. Then morning sickness hit and I abandoned the project. It’s exciting that the end is so near with this project. I’ll be sharing more soon!

We’re excited about March – unless baby is overdue he/she will arrive this month!

Gender Neutral Newborn Wardrobe

Deciding not to find out the gender of this baby has definitely helped keep things minimal.

I kept a few newborn items that my second son wore and most of those items were neutral so I had a small foundation for this baby’s wardrobe.

Over the past few months, I’ve acquired a few more items and now have a small gender neutral newborn wardrobe.

I’ve been intentional about not acquiring too many things because newborn babies grow fast and all 3 of our children will be sharing a room so I’m keeping their wardrobes minimal so we don’t become overrun with clothing!

All of the items that I’ve purchased have come from a local resale store and we were given some white bodysuits.

All of these clothes are basic, cotton baby clothes. After having 2 babies, I know that I prefer comfortable cotton clothing that is easy to put on a newborn – making those frequent diaper changes easier for baby and mama.

Here’s a glimpse into baby’s wardrobe:

Neutral Newborn Clothes

  • 1 gown
  • 4 white bodysuits (2 aren’t pictured)
  • 2 long sleeve side snap shirts
  • 1 short sleeve side snap shirt
  • 5 pair of cotton pants
  • 2 one piece rompers
  • 1 cotton hat
  • 6 pair of socks
  • 3 pair of mittens

In addition to these clothes, I have a ‘little brother’ bodysuit that was my second son’s and 2 boy sleepers that a baby boy will wear. And, I have several bodysuits and a few one pieces that belonged to my sister’s girls so if baby is a girl,  those items with mix in with these.

And, I am pretty certain family and friends will be gifting us clothes for the new baby – especially if we’re welcoming a daughter.

In no way do I think this is the perfect number of clothes for a new baby. I do think it is a good foundational neutral wardrobe for a newborn.

If we aren’t given any extra clothes for baby, I know this wardrobe will be enough for baby. We’re already averaging a load of laundry a day for our family of 4. I know we’re going to be washing a load daily once baby arrives – there will be 5 people in our family plus burp cloths, swaddle blankets and sheets to wash.

The fact that we do wash clothes frequently allows us to have fewer clothes. If you wash less frequently, it may be a bit scary to have so few clothes and there is nothing wrong with having more clothes for your baby!

With 5 weeks left until my due date, I’m looking forward to meeting the tiny person who will wear these sweet little clothes!

 

How to Replace bumGenius 4.0 Leg Elastic Replacing the leg elastic in bumGenius 4.0 diapers is super easy and helps you get more wear out of your diapers. Most of our 4.0s were purchased before the birth of our second son over 2 years ago and have been worn and washed many times. Being worn by toddlers, repeated washings and age caused the leg elastic to relax and it was time to replace the leg elastic in preparation for the arrival of baby #3!

The bumGenius 4.0 diaper is my favorite diaper, which is why my diaper stash primarily consists of them. We do have several bumGenius 3.0s that are nearly 4 years old, have been worn by 2 babies and have already had the leg elastic replaced.

Replacing the leg elastic in the bumGenius 4.0 is simple since they are designed for easy leg elastic repair. (This is not the case for the 3.0s, the leg casings are completely, making  this process a little more difficult. I’ll be replacing the elastic in our 3.0s for the second time to get some more wear out of those diapers too).

Supplies Needed:

Supplies

  • Elastic (1/4″ elastic, cut in 4.5″ strips)*
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Scissors

*I chose to purchase 1/4″ elastic which will cost me about $2 to replace all the elastic in my diapers. You can purchase a bumGenius Refresher Kit for $1 each (at Sweetbottoms Baby). The refresher kit includes 3 pieces of elastic (2 legs and the back), one set of tab closures and one set of laundry tabs (for the hook and loop diapers).

Directions:

1

Step 1 – Turn diaper inside out.

2

Step 2 – Locate one end of the elastic.

Step 3 -

Step 3 – Pull a bit of the existing elastic out of the seam.

 

Step 4 -

Step 4 – Take a new piece of elastic and sew onto the end of the existing elastic.

Step 5 -

Step 5 – Make sure your stitches are tight and the new elastic is secure on the old piece.

Step 6 -

Step 6 – Sew the opposite end of the new elastic onto the old elastic to prepare to pull it through the seam. Be sure this stitching is secure. You do not want the stitches to come apart while in the leg casing.

Step 7 -

Step 7 – Snip the old elastic near where the new piece is sewn on.

Step 8 -

Step 8 – Once the old elastic has been snipped, prepare to pull the new piece through the casing.

Step 9 -

Step 9 – Go to the opposite end and pull on the existing elastic which will pul the new elastic through the casing.

Step 10 -

Step 10 – The new elastic is through the casing and ready to be sewn on the other side.

Step 11 -

Step 11 – While holding onto the new elastic that has been pulled through (so it doesn’t fall back into the casing), snip off the end of the old elastic. Remove the stitches holding the new and old elastic together.

Step 12 -

Step 12 – It’s now time to sew the new elastic onto the small piece of old elastic.

13

Step 13 – Securely sew the new elastic onto the end of the old elastic.

Step 14 -

Step 14 – Once the new elastic is securely sewn onto the end of the old elastic, you’re finished! You’re replaced one side of the leg elastic!

One Side Replaced

The elastic on the left has been replaced while the right side is the old elastic. You can see the difference replacing the elastic makes.

Replaced Leg Elastic

This shows you the difference replacing the leg elastic can make. The diaper on the left just had the elastic replaced while the diaper on the right has not. Over time and after many wears and washes, the elastic relaxes and makes the diaper bigger. Replacing the leg elastic gives new life to your diapers and makes them able to fit small babies.

It takes me about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on distractions, to replace the elastic in each diaper. It is well worth the time to extend the life of our diapers.

Replacing the back elastic follows the same steps as the leg elastic. The back elastic tends to wear slower so you may not even need to replace it.

Once I finish replacing all of the elastic in our diapers, we’ll have like new diapers ready for our new baby and will only have spent $2!

These diapers have been well worth the investment, 10 of them are nearly 4 years old and the rest are over 2 years old. We haven’t had to purchase any cloth diapers at all for baby number 3 since the ones we already have are in such wonderful shape.

I hope this tutorial helps you replace the leg elastic in your diapers and extend their life!