Help with baby supplies

kellyengFebruary 15, 2006

Hi everyone! This is such a busy & informative conversation area, I thought I might find some wonderful responses.

My sister lives in NJ and has an 8 month old. They will be visiting us in TX in April for the first time with baby. I want to surprise sis with a bunch of baby supplies so that it will make traveling easier for her & then we'll have some stuff for later visits. I'm not sure what to get. Of course diapers, wipes and the like but what about larger stuff like a high chair or a place for the baby to sleep? I need stuff that folds and stores easily. Any ideas?

-kelly

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sigh

Kelly,

What a sweet idea! Find out what formula the baby takes (if she does) and have some on hand. You might also want to pick up a Pack & Play. They're portable play yards that double as cribs & we bring one with us whenever we travel. They fold up into an easily stored rectangle and you can usually get a basic model (you won't need the basinet or changing table kind) at Target or WalMart for around 40$. Pick up a fitted crib sheet or two while you're there to cover the P&P's mattress with...less for your sister to carry.

You could get a portable booster seat- those fold up pretty small & some come with trays so they can double as high chairs. Fisher Price makes a high chair that pretty much folds up flat...as does Cosco I think.

You also might want to think about an ultrasaucer. Those are great for babies that aren't walking yet as it provides them with a host of things to entertain themselves with in addition to being a good place to park them for awhile if you need your lap back.

And I highly reccomend something like the Fisher Price infant to toddler rocker- it's a bouncer that can then be used as a rocking chair so it's got a much longer range of usefulness than a bouncy seat. William used to nap in his on occasion, too. It was another item that I found very handy to have when we travelled.

Best of luck & enjoy your niece!

Nina

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 5:49PM
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proudmamato4

Go to yard sales or consignment baby shops. You will get the best deals. Too bad you don't live near me...I'm trying to unload all sorts of stuff. Definately get either a booster seat or one of those seats that attaches to a kitchen table. You don't need a huge highchair. You are sweet!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 6:10PM
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susanfnp

Your sister will love it if you baby-proof as much of your home as you can so the baby (who at ?10 months will be cruising if not starting to walk) can have as much freedom for "independence" as possible (not that s/he won't need constant supervision or that you won't need a way to confine him/her sometimes, too, in a playpen or crib). To baby-proof you need to put everything poisonous, sharp, small (chokable), or breakable either up high or in locked or baby-latched cabinets; put covers over electrical outlets; put gates to block access to stairs; and have a way to close off rooms that aren't baby-safe.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 6:34PM
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blsdgal

The single most important thing in my life (ok--exaggerating here a bit) when my twins were about that age....my exersaucers. I had two of them, and honest to Gosh they saved my sanity. A pain in the butt to put together but worth every moment!

I had the Safety First and the Evenflo.

Here is a link that might be useful: lifesaving device (for the mom)

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 7:39PM
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bungalowbees

Ask your sister how they normally sleep, and what would help her sleep well at your place. Don't assume! Maybe she sleeps with her baby, all or part of the night, or likes to when traveling. Maybe she needs a co-sleeper gadget or maybe she likes a crib in another room. They might even sleep on the floor for safety, who knows! See if she needs extra pillows (for herself!) or anything else she hates to leave behind.

My sister loved it when I had a car seat already hooked up in the car (she was flying).

Ask, because there might be "necessities" you don't think of that would be more important than any surprise. Anticipation is part of the thrill of any present.

Safe age-appropriate toys would be great as they tend to be either too bulky to travel or too precious to risk losing en route.

Maybe you can borrow a couple things from friends in-between kids, and of course consignment shops are great resources. Next time she visits she'll probably need all different stuff!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 8:33PM
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snookums

I didn't see anyone mention a stroller - maybe a lightweight stroller for you to keep at your house so she doesn't have to travel with one.

You are a wonderful sister!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 10:03PM
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sweeby

My mom and her friends all started having grandkids at about the same time, and together, they formed a sort of "Grandmothers Club." They each picked up various odds and ends (as listed above) and stored it all at the member's house who had the last visit, then passsed it all around to whoever needed it next. Maybe you could have a "Godmothers' Club"?

Or easier still, do you have any friends with kids a few years older? By that time, they will have outgrown all the stuff, but Mom may not be willing to part with it permanently in case of future kids. But she might be happy to loan --

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 10:13PM
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cupofkindness

Borrow as much as you can from friends so you don't have to store this gear between visits. Needs will change rapidly anyway, making what you buy now unnecessary in the near future. Remember, when your visiting you are there to help her with the baby, you won't need all of the equipment that a mother ordinarily needs to keep her baby occupied as she does work around her own home. I'd say get a nice big blanket for the floor, a few plastic things from the kitchen to play with, and that's it. If your sister brings a car seat, the baby can be fed while buckled and seated in it, wearing a bib. Borrow the bed, borrow the high chair and give your precious little niece something really special down the road, like her high school ring. Really, investing in this stuff is unnecessary. If you feel that you must buy something, buy good quality wooden blocks in natural and colored styles. You will get years of mileage out of blocks. We called our babies our little building inspectors, for some strange reason they absolutely love to knock down any structure built in front of them, effectvely telling us that we just don't pass inspection, our construction just isn't up to standard. That can go on for hours. You can put a cutting board on the floor and build blocks from there. Make sure that the blocks can be chewed, in other words, skip the dollar store blocks with the questionable paint. Keep it simple. And what a wonderful sister you are for thinking about this visit so generously. Can we stop by for a visit too?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 10:13PM
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cupofkindness

Snookums stroller suggestion is great. I had one with a tray that fit across the front, which made it our rolling high chair. I really miss that stroller.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 10:14PM
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paigect

kelly you are a great sister!

To the other wonderful advice I will add that I noted you were going to surprise her with these things. The best surprise would be to tell her in advance. That way she won't try to lug the stuff with her only to find it's already there.

Exersaucers are great and readily available second hand. But they only use them until they start walking (about a year). Johnny jump ups are also great - - they hang from the doorway casing like a swing and let the baby bounce around. But you need to have good strong doorway casing. Longer term things are babyproofing, pack n' play (if she uses one), and the high chair mentioned above that attaches to the kitchen chair and turns into a booster seat.

If you have sharp corners like a glass coffee table or a raised stone hearth, you should consider the white foam stripping they sell at baby stores to pad the edges and corners. I can't tell you how many bruises ds had on his head at that age.

I wouldn't buy a car seat or stroller without checking with her first. I always flew with a car seat and a stroller. The stroller for wheeling through the airport, the car seat for sitting on the plane. Kids behave so much better on a plane when belted in.

Also, people can be picky about brand of diaper, so you might want to check that out in advance. Whatever you do, don't buy the cheapest! You really do get what you pay for with diapers.

So I guess my message is, it's hard to anticipate what to buy without checking with her first. But you could do some strategic fishing for info to preserve some of the surprise.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 10:19PM
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kellyeng

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 9:55AM
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kellyeng

Oops! I was wanting to post a pic of my nephew but I have the size wrong and accidentally hit submit.

Anyway, there he is - get your magnifying glass out!

Thank you all for the wonderful suggestions. I wasn't planning on surprising sis when she gets here. I was wanting to first figure out how much everything would cost then talk to her. Also, she hasn't traveled with him yet and she doesn't even know what would be good traveling gear.

Little Nathaniel will be 10 mos. old in April but he was 2 months premature so he's about 2 mos. behind developmentally. Hopefully he'll be crawling by then.

I have a friend that has a 3 yo and didn't think to ask to borrow her stuff. I was looking forward to doing some baby shopping but borrowing some stuff would be very helpful.

Thanks again!

-Kelly

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 10:03AM
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kellyeng

Okay, I have a resized pic. Sorry, I'm just a proud Aunt! He's my one and only nephew and probably the only one I'll ever have. I have an 18 yo son so it's been a long time since I've had a chance to love on a baby. I've been to NJ three times since he was born and just can't get enough!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 10:28AM
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sigh

Whoa! Somebody slap a fig leaf on that little guy :).

He's absolutely gorgeous! And don't worry about his being a preemie. He'll catch up & leave the other kids in the dust. My little guy goes to daycare with a boy that was 2 months premature & while it did take him awhile to catch up with the other children as far as crawling and walking now he's 28 months & there's no stopping him.

You've gotten some awsome suggestions here. I can't believe that I forgot to suggest a stroller (slap) and babyproofing (slap). If you really feel the urge to do some baby shopping I've got a bunch of babies R Us coupons that expire at the end of this month & I'd be delighted to send them to you.

Nina

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 1:37PM
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amanda_t

Wow, what a cute cute guy!! Just adorable!! Congratulations!

In addition to the "big" stuff, ask your sister what kinds of food he and she like to have, and stock up. One thing I don't like about traveling with my baby is that, in addition to all the diapers and clothes and other supplies, you always have to bring a cooler with milk and tons of food. Such a hassle. For once I'd love to get to my inlaws and they've already got kid and baby-friendly food ready. Hm... maybe this is just an issue with my inlaws?? ;) At any rate, it would be one less thing she'd have to travel with. It also wouldn't hurt to pick up a baby thermometer and some baby Tylenol or Motrin, in case she forgets to bring hers. Nothing is worse than being away from home and your kiddo gets sick, and you don't have what you need to make him feel better.

Enjoy your visit, you sound like a really great aunt already! :)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 4:24PM
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sue36

OMG! The exersaucer! When DH and I visited his brother we left there swearing we would never allow one of those in our house. I had the biggest migraine going, all that sqeaking, bouncing, clanking, arrgg!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 4:30PM
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paigect

Ahhh, but Sue, what happens when the child does not have the exersaucer can be much noisier and more annoying than the squeaking, bouncing, clanking! I had one of those babies who wanted constant stimulation and always wanted to be in an upright position, and although he didn't fit in the first version of the exersaucer (too tall), I sincerely wished that he did. We relied on the Johnny Jump Up and an old-fashioned walker-type thing without wheels instead. Otherwise, there would have been lots of baby screaming in my house. :-)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 6:00PM
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sue36

Paigect,

You can tell I don't have kids. I was also thinking about how that thing would destroy my wood floors!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 7:26PM
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cupofkindness

Kelly:

What a precious nephew! Thank you for posting a picture. Another cute thing for little ones is food toys, they can chew on them when they're babies and then start their own restaurant when they are toddlers. Even my 10 year old still plays with the food toys.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 8:36AM
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librarymom03

I "second" EVERYTHING that paigect said!

You will be saving her an enormous amount of stress and worry
by asking her in advance.

Also: Consider your surprize gift(s) also. Is it something she's going to have to lug back or pay an extra hefty luggage
fee to take with her on the plane?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 11:27AM
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kellyeng

Oh, I absolutely plan on talking to her about what she wants. But before I offer, I want to have an idea of what I can afford. Like I said before, she has never traveled with him before and doesn't even know what to get. I guess the surprise part is doing the research. We will store all the baby stuff here. She has what she needs at home.

I went on-line to see how much his formula and diapers cost. Geez, I'm glad I'm not having anymore!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 11:34AM
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dulcinea

All excellent suggestions stated above. What I appreciate most when I travel is knowing that the kids are safe at night so that I can rest...what that means for your sister ie big bed, pack and play, mattress on the floor...

A place and supplies to wash the babe (very cute BTW) find out what she uses.

His food and diapers since these things are heavy and cumbersome to transport.

Maybe some spare clothes in his size...accidents do happen. Easy to find and cheap at a thrift store.

I would see if you can get your hands on a decent stroller if you want to go for a walk since they are so much nicer than the umbrella type I usually travel with. The advantage with the better strollers is that they can nap in there since the seats usually recline.

You are totally on the right track but I felt compelled to put my 2 cents in. I'm sure your sis will appreciate your kindness.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 2:13PM
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