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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Must Haves

I have a long list of things I need to do today. We're getting all ready for family that's coming for Christmas. Both my sisters (and their families) will be here for the holidays... and I'm so excited to spend the next couple of weeks with them. It's going to be wonderful! I have to make the most of today, getting cleaning and general chores around the house done, so that I can just sit and relax once they're here.

We've also been busy preparing ourselves for Baby Boy. We have the bassinet and changing table set up. The clothes are washed and ready to be used and dirtied. I've been working on making a mobile that I hope turns out how my mind has already created it. As I've gone through boxes and tubs of baby stuff, I've been reminded of how much we've acquired over the last couple of years. I can hardly believe we will actually be able to use it all.

But, I need help. There are things we still need to get. This is where you all come in. I know there are things that mothers out there just cannot live without. What are your must haves? 

And, for adoptive mothers out there, any advice about the best bottles and formula? And, about health insurance... what did you do? Is it best to add the baby to your current plan or to get the baby his own health plan? When I called my insurance provider, the lady I talked to was very unhelpful and left me with more questions than answers. 

Oh, and have any of you tried cloth diapers? Pros? Cons?

Am I missing anything?!


Erica said...

Best Bottles: Dr. Brown's, hands down.

Best formula: depends on whether Baby Boy is lactose intolerant or not, but I prefer Similac Soy.

Cloth diapers: (to me) not worth the hassle. When my baby was a newborn up to size 2 I used mostly Pampers Swaddlers, and now I use Luvs exclusively. But, I've heard a lot of people say that Huggies are great for boys - and they always have those at Costco with a coupon.

As for must, must, must haves.. mittens, about five different brands of pacifier so you can see what kind he likes, large receiving blankets for swaddling, tons of wipes.. Oh, a wipe warmer for the first months on his sensitive little bum (but don't buy one - add that to your gift registry). Um... if I think of anything else I'll post again! Oh, and it's winter - so one of those car seat covers that completely covers him up.. the bunting style ones.. so no one dares touch him during cold and flu season. (They have a hole in the middle that unzips for you to look in..)

Erica said...

One more thing - some type of carrier.. whichever kind you prefer - sling, Moby, Maya wrap, or Baby Bjorn - they are soooo handy in the earlier months. I used a Baby Bjorn with my daughter.. she LOVED it.

Head Nurse or Patient- you be the judge said...

I grew up mothering four quite younger siblings, diapered both ways- and green or not- you could not pay me to go back to cloth diapers, but that is my personal, experienced opinion- plus two of my kids have super sensitive skin and can't even use different kinds of toilet paper without problems. It has been years since my heart-grown baby was on a bottle- but we ended up using soy formula because he did better on that- less colicy. And I have a good friend who was able to nurse her heartgrown baby. She got pregnant about a month before the one was born and they are 8 months apart.

After 4 kids- there is no one hard fast rule to anything :) Certain babies like certain things. My heart-grown loved his face covered to sleep! I made sure to buy him loose woven blankies and several of the same so we would never be in trouble having lost a special one. My youngest sister did the same with a stuffed monkey her son got attached to- she found two more on ebay and rotates them out so he doesn't get too stuck to a certain one's feel or smell. I haven't had a baby in 8 years and so many things have changed since then. Best wishes and trust your heart. Heart Grown or Womb Grown- you will just know. I promise. :) and- as one who has been there at least a little- I am so overjoyed for you. My heartgrown baby will be 13 in a month. Time will fly so fast.

Heffalump said...

Being that you are expecting, you might be able to nurse your older boy. You might ask your doctor what they think about that.
I tried cloth diapers for a bit and hated them. Mostly because my son got a diaper rash really easily with them because the moisture was right there next to his skin where disposables wick it away somewhat. I think you can get diaper liners though that help with that if you decide to try cloth.
I agree that a baby carrier is a great thing to have. We used a front pack and later a back pack. Having them in a carrier at church and etc also kept everyone from trying to steal the baby (meaning those ladies at church that think they are helping by holding your baby for you all the time). I personally love holding my babies, so I hate it when other people try to take them.
Also, I really recommend a highchair that can recline for infants to be in. Ours is a booster style one that straps to a regular kitchen chair. When my daughter was a baby I would have her in the kitchen with me when I cooked dinner and she would just be in the seat. The one we have reclines enough for newborns to be in, and it was nice at dinner too to have the baby near our level and with us while we ate.
I'm so excited for you and hope you have a great Christmas!

Chelsea said...

My must haves include a carrier - I like the slings for when they are little. I like to keep my babies close, it's easier to carry than a bulky carset, makes it possible to take 2 babies out by yourself, and I loved carrying my first around because he was adopted and I liked to bond with him by carrying him around all the time sort of like you do with your baby when you are pregnant if that makes sense.

Also, my first 2 are 13 months apart and the baby swing was a lifesaver once baby #2 entered the scene.

After going through lots of bottles, Avent are my favorite. If you do decide to use the Dr Browns bottles, I have quite a few I would be happy to send you if you want them just email me your address

You should be able to add your son to your current insurance plan - it shouldn't be hard or complicated. I would call and talk to someone else and if they aren't helpful I would consider switching your whole family to a different plan (unless you are stuck with it because of work or something.) With most insurance companies, adding an adopted child is just as easy as adding a child that is born to you.

Congratulations and best wishes!

mindyluwho said...

Definitely disposable. I grew up changing cloth diapers and hated them!

I loved my baby sling. It was so handy when I needed to do things, but the baby wanted to be held.

That's all I can think's amazing how much you can forget in 7 years!

I'm so excited for you!!!

Orr Family said...

I Love Advent bottles and would not use anything else! I also hated Similiac, it smells really gross when it is spit up! Non of my children were bad though, so I used enfamil, and I loved it, it mixed better, and my children seemed to stomach it better, and not smelly! Slings are wonderful, and your hands are soon going to be super busy so that is a must, as well as a swing!

I am a huge supporter of cloth diapers, I have used several different types, and fuzzy bunz are my favorite! I say do it, you will not regret it! There are disposable liners I would recommend to cut down on the work. It catches the yucky stuff you put it down the potty and then just wash the diaper, it makes it so much easier! My children get less rashes, but you have to change them right when they go, unlike disposables which they can pee in several times before you change them! If you change them right away they will not get a rash! Most of all though just enjoy being a mother, you will figure it all out and find your own favorites and ways to do things!

Anonymous said...

I prefer Pampers for boys, not Huggies. I will never cloth diaper. My time is worth more to me. Although I know that there are nice kinds of cloth now, that are nothing like the old fashioned kind.

I prefer Enfamil over Similac. It mixes better, smells better, and doesn't stain clothes as easily. Mu adopted child threw up Similac and loved Enfamil.

I liked my sling and I think they are great, BUT I wonder if you would have a hard time using one while being pregnant.

I think wipe warmers are a waste of money and space.

Must haves:
*a small sectioned container for pre-measuring formula,
*a car seat cover for the cold winter months,
*lots of burp cloths and blankets, *night gowns for the first several weeks (you are going to be changing so many diapers late at night! The nightgowns make it tons easier at 3am!),
*a boppy (they are not just for nursing! They are great for propping, feeding, tummy time, etc.),
*my babies were colicy so Gripe Water was a BIG must for us, *swaddling blankets,
*Infant Tylenol, until 6 months then Infant Motrin.

Brenley said...

You will have two little ones at the same time to take care of so I would say don't do cloth diapers. I think there is alot of time to take to wash them and care for diaper properly and with to babies you don't have that time.

I liked AVENT but they seriously have issues with leaking sometimes if you don't put the lid on JUST right.

I would say start baby boy on a store brand formula then if he is colicky or spitting up then find one that is will help with sensitivities. I loved the Costco brand formula. But then we found out Mac was allergic to milk and had to switch to soy which Costco brand doesn't make.

I would be prepared for colic by getting some "Gripe Water". I have heard it does wonders. Mac didnt have a problem so I never had to use it.

And their shouldn't be any problem in adding an adopted child. It should be just like adding any child. If there is, I would make a stink until you get some answers.

We lived just fine without all the high tech baby gear, there is no need for it. They may be fun, but not needed.

You live in a warm place so you probably won't need a warm cover for the car seat but they have those really cool little blankets that attach to the handle of the carseat the covers the whole carseat without smothering baby. If you are into sewing you could probably find a tutorial online and make one yourself.

There are also these little containers, that you will find by the baby bottle accesories, that you can premeasure the formula out and it has little slots to put it in and you throw it in the diaper bag and fill your bottles up with the correct amount of water and when baby is hungry when you are out and about you are able to just dump the formula in the bottle without having to measure or bring along a huge container of formula. (does that make any sense?)Here is a picture

I would also recommend getting just essentials and after baby comes and you need something then go and buy it. It saves you money by not buying a ton of stuff that you think you need and then never use.

Also you need to find a pediatrician before baby boy is born because baby will have to go in just a few days after he is born.

Brenley said...

Here is a picture of the car seat blanket...

Jolie said...

As adoptive parents, we've put our baby on our insurance plan with no problems.

I started our baby out on Enfamil formula with Avent bottles. But by two weeks old we learned that he had colic and wasn't tolerating the lactose. The doctor had us switch to Dr. Brown bottles because the baby gets less air with them and it helps with colic. Also we had to switch him to Similac soy formula. may start out using one kind of bottle and formula and have your doctor tell you to use something completely different. So I learned to be flexible. And for our baby, the Dr. Brown bottles did have a big improvement with his colic and fussiness. I hated all the little parts to rinse out but at 3:00 in the morning I'd rather have a few little parts to wash than a baby crying in pain. But every baby is different and you just have to experiment to find out what works best for your baby.

Jolie said...

As for diapers, I've heard from several moms that Pampers have less leaks for boys. I've always used Pampers and I've really liked them, but they are a bit more pricey.

Jolie said...

And yes, get a pediatrician lined up that is on your insurance plan. I just told them I was adopting a baby, told them when the baby was due and they told me to call as soon as he was born to set up his first check-up. We took him to the doctor at 4 days old. Take copies of your placement papers that you'll sign at the time of placement to prove to the doctor that you are the legal guardians. Also, the doctor will want copies of the birth parent health history if you have it. Try to find out as much as you can at the hospital about any immunizations, lab work, newborn screenings, etc. that your baby had while still in the hospital so that you can give that imfornation to the pediatrician. If your baby happens to be born before the end of the year, contact me and I'll tell you how to get a "Temporary Adoption Identification Number" from the IRS for your baby so that you can claim him as a dependent on your 2009 taxes because you likely won't be able to get a social security number for him until after the adoption is finalized. At least that's how it worked for us. There are lots of little extras to do when adopting but it so worth it.

Ashley said...

I asked the exact same question two years ago, today actually.

Give me an hour and I'll blog about it.

JessicaP said...

Wow - the only thing a Mom likes to talk about more than the things she thinks a baby needs is how her labor went.

I use the Target formula for my kids - its $8 less a can than the name brands. Of course it does depend on what your baby will tolerate. And its still up in the air whether or not I've permanently damaged my babies' IQs. I haven't noticed a difference in bottles yet either - I've even used the 3-pak gerber bottles that cost like $5 for all of them on my 4 month old and he has survived it. Again - its all in the sensitivity of the baby. And gosh I'm a cheap Mom!

I love my baby bjorn almost as much as my children. But don't buy one. Instead send your address to me in an email please. I've been meaning to ask you to do that. I second the idea of having pacifiers on hand at the beginning, a thermometer for those moments of paranoia when you think your baby is at 105 degrees but really is at 99, and I like to have more PJs for the first three months than outfits - somehow its just easier. For what its worth...

I'm giddy for you guys!

brossettelewis said...

The things I LOVED:
-45"x45" flannel blankets (they wrap snug and stay secure when wrapping them for sleep)
-Costco/kirkland diapers & wipes, I thought about cloth but really it comes out even with all the washing, liners, & stuff you buy w/ cloth to make it easier.
- crib sheets, there is always one in the wash w/ two little men.
-a boppy (w/ or w/o nursing), it's almost like a 2nd set of hands.
- I am so excited for you!!!!
- a variety of binks and bottles, some little ones are picky on nipples.
- wireless, you are feeding all the time... (those all night feedings were nice w/ the light of the computer and not having to get up to turn off a light)


Inkling said...

Here are my favorites:

Bathtub: The First Years - it has a side for newborns and then the other side for toddlers. It is big enough and sturdy enough to use for at least the first six months. You can find it at Target or Walmart.

So you can keep working or take a shower: A Jolly Jumper (hangs on the door or sometimes comes with its own stand - works for when they are six months or older), an exersaucer - this is my sanity saver for when I'm trying to make dinner or have to open the oven safely - and my little guy is nearly a year), and a baby pappason chair (that's how I got a shower for the first few months - I strapped him in it and put it on the floor just outside the tub)

Bottles: I really like the plastic Born Free ones. They seemed to help with my baby's tummy issues.

Pump (for the second baby boy if you go the route of nursing): I really like the Ameda Purely Yours pump. It can operate with batteries, a plug, or with a car adapter. We use it a lot these days.

Books: my hands down favorite board book is "I Love You Little One" by Nancy Tafuri - beautiful words and illustrations.

Diapers: We don't use cloth diapers because my birth injuries kept me in bed for the first few months and it takes our washer/dryer combo about four hours to do one load. So we LOVE Pampers. I started with Huggies, tried generic, but ended up with Pampers when I got great sales and found that they worked the best for my little one.

I am so excited for you! You are always in my prayers as you await the arrival of these two precious boys.

Inkling said...

p.s. Baby Carrier: A Hotsling pouch for the first three months and then an Ergo Carrier after that. The Ergo is good up to 40 pounds, and it is actually better ergonomically for the baby's spine and pelvis than the Baby Bjorn. You can also wear the Ergo on your front, on your back, or on your side. I have the Ergo carrier and the pouch purse that attaches to it so that I'm totally hands free at the grocery store. Their customer service is fabulous, and it's my all time favorite carrier even more than my ring sling and pouch carriers because of how comfortable it is for me to wear for long times.

KieraAnne said...

When my son refused to nurse one day (and everday thereafter) we tried lots of different formulas. Enfamil with lipils was the only one he liked. The others all gave him gas and made him fussy.
My sister-in-law does cloth diapers and likes them. I personally do not think it's worth getting that up close and personal with poop. Wiping it off their bums is enough, I don't want to wring it out of their diapers on top of that.
I'd say make sure you have a pacifier (we like nuk) and a string/clip thing to attach it to them since they will drop it on the floor approximately 1000 times a day otherwise. I'm sure you'll be fine though, so don't worry!

KieraAnne said...

Oh yeah; diapers we love Huggies. Pampers has some added scent or something so as soon as it's wet you smell baby powder very stongly. This irritates my allergies and I found it very annoying. Luvs didn't seem to stretch as much. Huggies though has too long "fluffy" bits around the legs that you have to be sure to pull out or they'll create a breach in the wall and it won't be pretty. ;) We liked Avent bottles.

Jared,Tamara +Kylie Morgan said...

I LOVED Avent bottles. So easy to clean and they've never leaked. Unless you count the one time in the middle of the night when I was half asleep, didn't screw the lid onto the threads correctly and basically poured half the bottle on my daughter :). Don't over-tighten them and you'll be fine.

One thing we did with our DD was that we got her used to room temperature bottle feedings from the start. It made our life so much easier. We'd have room temperature water sitting in her bottles ready to go and would put the formula in as needed. It made night feedings very easy because I could just grab the bottle off the bed stand, put in the formula and we were ready to go.

We used the generic Target equivalent of Enfamil. When you are going through a can a week I just couldn't justify $25 a can for Enfamil when she tolerated the $12 generic just as well. It doesn't mix as easily, but for half the cost it works just as well. We use target generic diapers during the day and Huggies at night. Target generics have always leaked during the nights for us, but work just fine for daytime.

Juwmama said...

I would go with the generic comment as well . . . Walmart formula has worked for us, I'm sure Target is much the same. As for diapers, we actually like the Costco diapers the best. My sister (mother of 6) has always raved about Pampers. Huggies always leak for us no matter what!!! As for cloth diapers - I have a few friends who use the G-diapers. Look into those. I would agree with an earlier comment, though, that with two babies you may just want to stick with disposable at least until you all get in an easy rhythm and the babies start pooping less! :-)

What are you going to do with ALL of this information??? Every baby, every mother is so different. As I was reading through the comments I found myself saying, "Yes!" and "No way, not for me" throughout! :-) So, good luck. I wouldn't stock up on too much of anything at this point. J. and I didn't even have a carseat when John was born (he was premature!) and we still survived. There's a LOT of time to get what you need, and to find what works for YOU. :-) It's just so exciting to be planning for all of this, though, so have fun!!

Calamity Jane said...

Stock up on sleep........make sure your account is full because you are going to be making some withdrawls in the near future. The demand will always delightfully exceed the suply! I am so exiceted!

Allred Mom said...

You have so much motherly instinct, you will know exactly what you need to do for your little boys. The best advice I can give you is to rely on that!
You're going to do great!

Love ya!

Carrot Jello said...

Megan, when you think of cloth diapers, think of this...

then think again.

I was thinking this last night...
Always pack an extra outfit, and receiving blanket in case of blowouts, and buy some small, scented trash bags to put in the diaper bag for stinky diapers.
Why I was thinking that in the middle of the night, I don't know.

Sam and Lacey said...

I would say put the baby on your insurance especially if you have a deductable because then if he uses any of the insurance it all goes to the same deductable. Does that make sense? Also with you being pregnant then you will probably have some out of pocket expenses too. I guess it jut depends on your insurance. Also don't forget to get reimbursed by your insurance company for the adoption. Not all insurances have this but all in Utah do because it is the law. So check with your insurance. We had no clue about it until nic was 6 months old. They reimbursed us 4,000. SWEET! Also check with your employer or your husbands employer. They reimbursed us $2500. Just things to look into.

On the bottles- I don't like the playtex ones. I like the evenflo purely comfort ones. I know this sounds weird but maybe you might want to see if you can find someone to donate their breast milk. I had mine fom the twins. So I used it for the first month. I think it is so good. If not it isn't a big deal. The Costco brand is by far the cheapest. My peditrican also said it is made by simulac (sp?) He liked it and didn't seem to give him any problems. It just depends on the baby. I would just say don't jump around with ton of formulas. Find one and stick to it. It is too hard for their tummy to have too many types. Okay too much info probably. I say you will figure it out. Just listen to yourself. So many people have all their ideas. It is sometimes hard to have so many opinons. Good luck. Let me know if you need anything. I still need your adderss. Email me at with it if you can.

Kelly said...

Look what you've unleashed by asking for advice! Who can resist tossing in their two cents. :-) Isn't it funny how everyone's opinion can be so different?

I won't give you a bunch of my likes and dislikes. I've read some comments that I totally agreed with and others that just didn't work for us. There really is an overwhelming abundance of options - which can be nice, or can make life more difficult.

Since you asked about diapers - have you heard of "gdiapers"? I can't recommend them as I've never used them, but I am definitely intrigued by the idea - they are a cloth/disposable hybrid. You can look them up online some time.

Good luck getting everything ready! I'm sure you are QUITE prepared!!

Merry Christmas!