Updated on January 25, 2016
The Monarch Mommy’s Ultimate Baby Registry Series – Part 3: Diapering & Toiletries
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Welcome to the third instalment of my Ultimate Baby Registry Series. I’ve already addressed feeding, the nursery, and baby’s clothing in the first two weeks, and now it’s time to talk about diapering and toiletries. In case you missed weeks one and two you can read them HERE and HERE. You’re going to spend the greater part of your baby’s first two years (or more) knee elbow in diapers. Whether those are cloth or disposables, changing baby’s diaper is a pretty big part of parenting in the early years. I’m going to cover what you do and do not need at the changing station, and what you want in baby’s toiletry kit. There are a few things I’ll be talking about that you aren’t going to need every day or even right away, but they are items that you want on hand at the ready just in case. Sometimes it’s better to be prepared and save yourself a late night trip to the only drugstore or pharmacy in town that’s still open at 3am. Let’s get right into it! Diapering and toiletries here we come!
Change table (don’t need): You don’t need a proper change table in the nursery. It’s just an extra piece of furniture that you really don’t need. The top of the dresser works perfectly as a change table and saves you from buying yet another piece of furniture for the baby.
Change pad (need): A standard contoured change pad like THIS ONE is all you need.
Change pad cover (need): You’ll want at least two change pad covers. Until you master the art of changing a diaper without getting pee or poop on yourself, your partner, your baby, or the change pad, you can use a receiving blanket to protect your change pad cover so you’re not washing both covers every day.
Diaper caddy/wipes organizer (need): It’s really handy to have some way of organizing wipes/bum cream and other items you’ll want to keep at arm’s reach at the changing station. I use the Prince Lionheart Dresser Top Diaper Depot to store cloth wipes, bum cream, baby lotion, a thermometer, nail clippers, etc.
Diaper cream (need): Because I use cloth diapers, I do need to use a cloth diaper safe bum cream. My favourite is Grandma El’s Diaper Rash Ointment. As an added bonus, this stuff works really well on any chaffing or skin irritation your baby may have outside the diaper area.
Diaper disposal system (need): If you’re going the disposable route, you’ll need a system that keeps stink at bay. Though I’ve never used it myself (because cloth diapers!), the Diaper Genie is a popular choice. For those that are cloth diapering, the “disposal system” will be a laundry pail or large hanging wet bag (waterproof bag) for soiled cloth diapers and wipes. The Planet Wise Hanging Wet/Dry bag is one of my favourite options and is available to purchase at Lagoon Baby. I also love the Funky Fluff Hanging Diaper Pail available to purchase at Bumbini Cloth Diaper Company.
Wipes (need): We use cloth wipes and just store them dry and run them under the tap at each diaper change. It works great for us. My all time favourite brand of cloth wipes is Grovia! They are available for purchase from Bumbini Cloth Diaper Company in Canada and from Nicki’s Diapers in the US. If you’d prefer to use disposable wipes, I’ve tried (and liked) Huggies Natural Care wipes.
Wipes warmer (don’t need): No, your child doesn’t need to have their bum wiped with a luxuriously warm wipe. Petit Prince is lucky if I wet his cloth wipe with water that isn’t cold. You can’t take a wipes warmer with you everywhere you go, and you will have to change diapers everywhere you go. There’s no need to get your baby used to a cozy warm wipe. It may just make diaper changes away from home shocking and cold! But seriously, you really don’t need this.
Diapers (need): Whether you go with cloth diapers or disposable diapers, you’re going to need diapers. I highly recommend purchasing enough newborn cloth diapers to start using them at least part time right away, if you’re going with cloth diapers. Interested in cloth diapers, but not sure you want to commit? Many cloth diaper retailers offer a trial program for a nominal fee. These programs allow you to try a variety of brands and diaper styles for a trial period to see what you like, what you don’t, and what fits your baby best. In Canada, one such retailer is Bumbini Cloth Diaper Company, and in the US Nicki’s Diapers offers a 15 day trial period for any diapers you buy. Want to know more about what you need to get started with cloth diapers? I’ve got a post about that very topic.
If you are going the disposable route, don’t go overboard with the really small sizes. Some babies won’t fit into newborn disposable diapers at all, others will need preemie size disposables. Size 1 disposables will be outgrown fairly quickly as well, so resist the temptation to stock on up on the smaller sizes before baby arrives.
Baby Brush (nice to have): You don’t really need this, but the odds are good someone will get you a toiletry kit that comes with one anyway. In all fairness, my kids are born with little to no hair and don’t grow enough hair to require brushing for at least a year. If your child ends up developing a case of cradle cap, a baby brush can really help to remove those flakes (after applying a light oil and letting it soak in).
Nail files (need): You’ll want nail files to use until you get up the nerve to use clippers. It’s okay, you’ll get there.
Baby soap/shampoo (need): I love Live Clean Baby Shampoo & Wash. It’s still what we use for The Heir even now!
Hooded towels (need): I’d suggest having two hooded towels. They just make bundling up that cold and wet baby a little bit easier thus reducing the length of time they’ll be screaming after they come out of the tub.
Infant acetaminophen (need): This is something you’ll want to have on hand because when your baby needs it, you don’t want to be without it. Keep in mind that infant ibuprofen (advil/motrin) is not to be used until baby is at least 6 months old, but acetaminophen is safe from 3 months. If you need to use it before 3 months of age, consult your family doctor first. Always use the dose that corresponds to your baby’s weight on the dosage chart on the bottle and if you’re not sure how much to give, contact your family doctor.
Nasal aspirator (need): Go for the Hydrasense Nasal Aspirator. It’s awesome. It has replaceable filters, and it comes with some saline solution drops that are a godsend when baby gets a cold.
Baby Bathtub (need): The Fisher Price Precious Planet Whale of a Tub is great. Not the most subtle piece of baby gear you’ll own, but it works really well.
Baby thermometer (need): Although an ear thermometer is extremely convenient, they are not reliable until your child is at least 18-24 months old. A thermometer for use under the armpit is reliable from birth and easy to use. Do yourself a favour, and buy one that gets a reading quickly. 30 seconds may not seem like a long time, but when you’re trying to hold it in position while holding your squirmy baby’s arm down against their side, 30 seconds feels like an eternity. This Vicks SpeedRead Digital Thermometer can get you an accurate reading is as little as 8 seconds.
Wash cloths (need): Like receiving blankets, you’ll use these for everything. You’ll want 10-12 of them.
Cold mist humidifier (need): This is essential when baby gets a cold. Better to have it in advance than to have to send your partner out to buy one once baby is already sick. THIS ONE works great.
Gripe water (need): Gripe Water is something we bought before The Heir was born, but have never needed to use. It’s supposed to help if baby is gassy and it’s handy to have on hand just in case you need it.
Vitamin D Drops (need): If you’re breastfeeding, baby will need a vitamin D supplement. The Jamieson Baby D-Drops are great.
Hopefully this clears up some of the questions you’ve had about what you really need in terms of diapering items and toiletry items for your new baby. Next week I’ll be covering getting around with baby!
Is there anything you’d add to this list?