Starting Solids – Feeding Supplies

Nikita is going to be 6 months old this weekend and I will need to start her on solid foods. How exciting! I feel like I’ve been given a clean slate and asked to draw on it. Till now I’ve never had to worry about whether she is having nutritious food or not since breast milk has all the nutrition she needs. But now its on us to make sure she gets a balanced meal!

I’ve been reading up a lot lately on starting babies on solid food – what to feed, how much to feed, the consistency etc. I find myself incessantly mulling over what should be her first food.  Should I go with the traditional rice cereal or should I start with sweet potato or apple puree. I haven’t quite made up my mind yet. Most likely will start with rice cereal. Anyway I guess the order doesn’t really matter. Well, that is not all the decision making to be done. Ah! if only life were that simple. Lol.

The next thing to sort out is should I buy iron-fortified rice cereal from the supermarket or should I try and whip up my own at home. Initially I was concerned that feeding home made rice cereal will deprive Nikki of iron. But having read up further on the subject I am convinced that extra iron is not necessary and in fact may be harmful for babies. Its amazing how much this iron-fortified stuff has been marketed.

Here is what I am going to start with. Later on,  I’ll try doing something similar with other cereals like barley, buckwheat, quinoa too.

Homemade Brown Rice Cereal using  Organic Short Grain Brown Rice

Adding just one extra step  in making rice cereal – wash the rice and leave it for drying in a strainer . Once fully dry, roast it for 2-3 minutes before grinding it into a powder.

Homemade Oatmeal Cereal for Babies using Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats Whole Grain

As for vegetables and fruits, I am going to start off steaming/boiling, pureeing and then freezing it in freezer trays. I am really excited and must add – a tad nervous (the dreaded constipation, night wakings  and who knows what!) about starting solids. What an experience it will be for Nikita having only tasted breast milk all her life – well maybe I should say breast milk of different flavors. And what an experience it will be for me – feeding. Will she be eager to eat? Will she like it? Will it be a joyful experience or will I come to dread it?

25th is a Sunday. Nikita is getting her 6 month shots on Monday, the 26th. So I am thinking, maybe I’ll hold off until the weekend after her shots to start her on solids. And of course I want Vikram to be present too for the big moment! So I think Oct 1st it shall be!

Let the meals begin!

Here are the Feeding Supplies that I’ve got so far

1.High Chair

I looked at several high chairs and narrowed it down to these 3 – OXO Tot Seedling High ChairGraco Swift Fold LX Highchair and phil&teds Poppy Highchair. Even though I really liked the OXO Tot seedling High Chair, it has a pretty large footprint. I wanted a fold-able high chair to stow away between meals so I opted for the Graco Swift Fold.

Graco Swift Fold LX Highchair

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Other Useful Links:

Best High Chairs of 2016

2016 Moms’ Picks: Best highchairs

2. A Splat Mat for the High Chair

My apartment has carpet flooring and I felt a splat mat to catch messes will be a must-have!

KidKusion High Chair Splat Mat

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3. Infant Spoons -for baby’s soft gums

 

Munchkin Soft-Tip Infant Spoons – 6pk

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4. Bowls

Munchkin 5 Pack Multi Bowl

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5. Freezer Trays

I am going to try  Storing Homemade Baby Food Using the Ice Cube Tray – Freezer Bag Method.  Any freezer trays would do. I wanted one with lids. So I got these.

OXO Tot Baby Food Freezer Tray

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Freezing Homemade Baby Food

6. Freezer Bags / Freezer Storage Containers

Ziploc Slider Freezer Bags

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OXO Tot Baby Blocks Freezer Storage Containers

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7. Bibs

I am sure that things are going to get super messy when starting solids. These are some of the bibs that am going to start off with and see how they hold up.

Bumkins Waterproof SuperBib

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BABYBJORN Soft Bib

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Tommee Tippee Explora Easi Roll Bib

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Other Useful Links:

Best Food Bibs & Smocks for Babies & Toddlers

How to choose the best baby bib for your child

8. Things from your kitchen –  Food processor/ Blender for pureeing vegetables/fruits, Strainer, Steamer/Cooker for steaming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things I bought for my newborn

When I was pregnant and needed to start shopping for baby stuff, I was absolutely clueless on the plethora of products that a tiny human being could use. As always I turned to the internet for help.  I read several blogs and articles and was soon overwhelmed. Do I really need all of that stuff? How much of it would be actually useful? I panicked and reached out to my sister for help. With her help I was able to go about buying the things that I needed.

I figured putting down my experience could help someone in the same boat.

I’ve broken down the things to buy into categories like Sleeping, Nursing, Bathing, Getting Around, Diapering, Clothing, Medicine Cabinet and Others. In addition to the products I bought, when possible I’ll also try to give alternative choices and other useful links that you can consider based on your needs and likes.

By no means am I saying that these are the best products available. What works for one baby may not necessarily work for another. At the very least, this blog could serve as a basic checklist of things to buy and give you some ideas on what to look for.

 

Sleeping

Before I had a baby, I was so ignorant on the subject that I didn’t even know that babies need to nap so frequently! I soon learnt that a baby spends a lot of its time sleeping. Needless to say it is very important to provide a safe and comfortable environment for the baby to sleep.

It is considered dangerous (due to SIDS risk) to keep anything in the crib like loose blankets, crib bumpers, soft toys etc. So I skipped all of that and kept it to the bare basics.

1. Crib

DaVinci Kalani 4-in-1 Convertible Crib with Toddler Rail

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Other useful links:

How to buy a crib

Crib Bedding Buying Guide

2. Fitted Crib Sheets

I bought 3 sheets.

Ziggy Baby Jersey Cotton Fitted Crib Sheet Set, Grey/White, 2 Pack

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YourEcoFamily Muslin Fitted Crib Sheet – Certified Organic Cotton – Pre-Washed Softest Mattress Sheet For Your Baby, Toddler Boy or Girl – High Quality (Bumble Bee)

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3. Mattress Pads

Buy at least 2 of these so you have one handy in case of leaks.

American Baby Company Waterproof Fitted Crib and Toddler Protective Mattress Pad Cover

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4. Crib Mattress

Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams White Crib Mattress

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5. Hammock

Even though I bought this hammock as an alternative sleeping space (maybe for naps), my baby did not really like being in a hammock. So this was hardly used except for a handful of times when she was a newborn. But if you are looking to buy a hammock, this is a really nice one and of very good quality.

Koala Hammock

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SUNNY – Warming Blanket for the Kaya & Koala Hammocks

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6. Baby Carrier

This single item has been my absolute savior and I could not have survived the initial months without this! I used this carrier for a majority of my baby’s naps until she was about 5 and a half months old. She was a cat napper and refused to sleep more than 40 minutes in the crib (and that is on good days!). The carrier was the only way she would nap up to 2-3 hours.This gave me my sanity. Also, there is nothing sweeter than your baby snuggling against your chest and sleeping peacefully. I would highly recommend a baby carrier.

As to the types of carriers, there are several of them – structured carriers, sling wraps etc. This is one I used. ErgoBaby is another popular brand.

Manduca Baby Carrier

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Other useful links:

Baby Carriers – a baby and parents’ best friend

7. Sleeping Bag / Muslin Cloth Swaddle

Most newborns sleep better when swaddled. You could either use a regular muslin cloth for swaddling or buy one of the wearable blankets that make swaddling a breeze.

I initially only had the muslin cloth swaddles and my questionable skills at swaddling soon led me to buy the halo sleep sack. The halo sleep sack has cotton, muslin and micro fleece versions based on your preference.

Muslin Swaddle Blankets

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HALO 100% Cotton SleepSack Swaddle

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Other useful links:

Our Favorite Swaddles

Other things that you may consider buying: 

Bassinet, Co-sleeper, Swing, Baby Monitor, Crib Mobile, Crib Skirts (decorative purpose only)

 

Nursing

I plan to exclusively breast feed my baby for the first 6 months and if possible even beyond. So I do not have any idea on what feeding supplies would be needed when formula feeding.

1. Nursing pillow

I considered the following 2 options and ended up buying the my brest friend nursing pillow. It has held up well in these 6 months and I have washed the cover several times in the washer. It provides good back support as well.

My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow

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Boppy Nursing Pillow

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2. Burp cloths/ receiving blankets

These are small thin flannel cloths that are perfect as burp cloths to clean spit ups. They are too small to be used for swaddling though.

Luvable Friends 4-Pack Flannel Receiving Blankets

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3. Bibs

The bandana style bibs that I got were slightly bigger for my newborn. They are expensive but very soft and of good quality. I used the Ikea bibs extensively and with $4 for 3 bibs you can’t go wrong 🙂

Baby Bandana Drool Bibs By Daulia

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Ikea Bib

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Bathing

I remember how terrified I was to bathe my newborn! Newborns don’t need to be bathed until their umblical cord falls off. I just used a washcloth for the first 10-15 days to wipe her down and then moved on to bathing her in a bath tub.

1. Baby bath tub

This baby bath tub has a mesh sling with headrest that you can use until baby is a little bit older. After that, you can remove the sling and just use it like a regular tub.

The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe Newborn To Toddler Tub

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2. Washcloths and cotton balls

The Motherhood Collection 6 ULTRA SOFT Baby Bath Washcloths

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2. Hooded towel

Any towel will do. The hooded ones are just cute!

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3. Massage Oil

I use coconut oil for massaging baby. Other popular choices are almond oil, mustard oil, grape seed oil, olive oil.

Kirkland Signature Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Cold Pressed Unrefined

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Other useful links:

Top 10 Baby Massage Oils

 

4. Shampoo and Body Wash

I use only one product as both shampoo and body wash. At least one less item to deal with!

Babo Botanicals Moisturizing Baby Shampoo and Wash Oatmilk Calendula

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Other useful links:

Safe Baby Wash, Bubble Bath & Soap Guide

Safe Baby/Kid Shampoo Guide

 

5. Moisturizing Body Lotion

Babo Botanicals Oatmilk Calendula Moisturizing Baby Lotion

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Other useful links:

Safe Baby Lotion Guide

 

Getting Around

1. Stroller

I wanted a light weight stroller and chose the Cruz. Of course there are several other good options. I chose between the Uppababy Cruz, Stokke Scoot and the Bugaboo Bee

UPPAbaby 2015 Cruz Stroller

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Other useful links:

Stroller Buying Guide

2. Infant Car Seat

Even though I used the infant car seat, this is one of those purchases that in retrospect I feel I could have skipped. Yes it was useful and easy to snap the car seat from the car to the stroller. But I used this only for a very short time. When my baby was around 5 months , I moved on to the bigger car seat even though I could have actually used this for longer (I sold this in Craigslist for a good price. So no regrets 😉 ).

Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30 Infant Car Seat

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3. Adapter for infant car seat

UPPAbaby Infant Car Seat Adapter for Graco

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4. Car Seat

Britax USA Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat

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Guide to the Best & Safest Convertible Car Seats of 2016

 

Diapering

1. Diapers

Huggies Little Snugglers Baby Diapers

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2. Changing Table

This changing table has no doubt been a very useful addition to my baby’s nursery. The 4 drawers help me keep all baby things in one place neatly organized. It does not have safety straps though. But so far I haven’t missed it terribly.  One thing that I really like about this table is that it converts into a desk when the child gets older.

Ikea’s Changing Table

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3. Wet Wipes

HUGGIES Simply Clean Baby Wipes

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Huggies Simply Clean Baby Wipes -Portable packs

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Other useful links:

Safe Diaper Wipe Guide

Wet Vs Dry Wipes

Top 10 Best Baby Wipes

4. Diaper Cream

I use diaper cream for night time and Vaseline during day time.

Babo Botanicals Soothing Diaper Cream

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Other useful links:

Safe Diaper Rash Cream Guide

5. Vaseline Unscented Petroleum Jelly

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6. Changing Pad and Cover

I use this changing pad on the changing table as a soft surface for baby to lay on. However, the sides keep getting deflated and I’ve stopped bothering to re-inflate them.

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7. Diaper Pail / Trash Can with Lid

So far I’ve only used a regular trash can with lid for throwing away soiled diapers. But I may consider buying a diaper pail if things get a little too stinky on starting solids 😀

8. Hand Sanitizer

 

Clothing

Keep in mind the weather when you buy clothes and buying accordingly.

1.Basic Onesies – About 10-15

2. Sleep -n -Plays – About 4-5

3. Caps

4. Socks

 

Medicine Cabinet

Make an at-home medicine kit and stock it with these essentials.

1.Digital Thermometer

A thermometer is a must-have when you have a baby at home. Rectal thermometers give the most accurate results

Safety 1st Gentle Read Rectal Thermometer

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Other useful links:

What’s The Best Baby Thermometer? (Mom’s Guide 2016)

How to buy a thermometer

2.Infant Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

3. Saline Nose Drops

Little Remedies Noses Saline Spray/Drops

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4.Bulb Syringe (Nasal Aspirator)

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5. Gripe Water

For those crazy nights when nothing worked I tried gripe water (with the approval of the pediatrician). But I am not sure if it was much help. Anyway, if you decide to get gripe water make sure to get a brand that does not have alcohol and sucrose. I used this one.

Mommys Bliss Gripe Water Original

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Other useful links:

Best Gripe Water for Infants

Gripe Water for newborns and babies

6. Antibiotic Cream for small cuts or scratches – this is something I’ve been meaning to get but haven’t so far.

 

Others

1. Baby Nail Cutter / Nail File

Initially I was scared to cut my baby’s nails and got a nail file. But soon I felt that it was not enough to do the job and got a nail cutter instead.

Safety 1st Steady Grip Infant Clipper

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Baby Nail File by baby blue giraffe

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2. Laundry Detergent

There is no need to buy a separate laundry detergent for baby. But I wanted to use a fragrance free hypoallergenic laundry detergent. I also did not want to spend too much money on very expensive laundry detergents. So I switched to this one for the entire family and so far it has worked fine for us.

Seventh Generation Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent – Free and Clear

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Other useful links:

Safe Laundry Detergent Guide 

3. Laundry Basket – I like to keep baby’s clothes separate from ours.

4. Rocker/ Bouncer

A rocker/bouncer gives you a place to plop the baby down besides the floor and keeps the baby entertained for a while. There are so many rockers/bouncers and you could choose just any of them. I got this one.

Fisher-Price Infant To Toddler Rocker

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5. Humidifier

When my newborn was about a month old she had a runny nose. My sister recommended that I get a humidifier and it helped tremendously. I use it only with water and not with essential oils.

Ultransmit Aroma VIVI Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser, High Capacity Diffuser with Auto Shut- Off.

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6. Sunscreen

7.  Weighing Scale

During the initial days of having the baby, I was paranoid that she was not gaining enough weight and rushed to buy a weighing scale. Now its just lying in a corner gathering dust. I hardly ever use it. But I am just listing it here since I did buy it.

Health o meter Grow with Me 2-in-1 Baby to Toddler Scale with Growth Chart Book

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8. Diaper Bag

I hate the typical mommy diaper bags and just bought a large regular bag that I use as a diaper bag.

9. Pacifier

I did not use a pacifier for my baby. If you choose to use one, the below links may be helpful.

Pacifiers: Pros, cons, and smart ways to use them

Choosing a pacifier

15 Best Pacifiers — How to Find the Right One for Your Baby

10. Board Books

A newborn’s developing eyes are stimulated by high contrast board books. I got a couple of them. You can also make DIY high contrast charts and pictures.

Baby Animals Black and White

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Look, Look!

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11. Wall Decals for Nursery

Walls decals and stickers are a fun way to spruce up a nursery. I stuck these on the walls at the time not realizing how captivated my little one would be with these pictures. She loves looking at them and happily chats away with her animal friends!

Nursery Wall Sticker Decals for Boys and Girls Children’s Wall D¨¦cor Art Sticker Zoo Wall Decals

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Baby Kids Safari Animals Train Wall Stickers 

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Rainbow Fox Forest Animals and Owls wall stickers

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12. Play Gym

A play gym is a brightly colored interactive mat for your baby to play on. In the newborn stage they don’t actively play in it. But my baby loved looking at the lights in it. I was careful not to overstimulate her since newborns can get over tired easily.

But around the 3 months stage is when she really started enjoying this play gym. She would entertain herself in it for up to 30 minutes at a time, batting at the toys and “talking” to them. That gave me just enough time to have dinner cooked!

Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Gym

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So that was all the things I bought for my newborn. Phew! That list felt endless.