Mommy Matters: The REALISTIC Baby Starter Pack!

It’s round two for me… and I can’t help but realize how much i spent on unnecessary (useless) baby items the first time around! Haha I credit it to my inexperience and overthinking whilst pregnant for the first time.

THIS is a realistic list of baby things you will really need and appreciate, and the least amount of baby things you will need to survive your first year with your baby.

I’ll divide the list into to two parts: pregnancy & delivery, and first year with baby.

Pregnancy & Delivery

  • Comfortable Maternity Clothes – whether you purchase actual maternity clothes OR just wear regular clothes which are a size up from your pre-baby size, the important factor is that you are comfortable in what you wear!
  • Comfortable footwear – heels are always sexier BUT you won’t feel as sexy if you happen to fall flat on your belly. I suggest keep to low wedges if you “must” wear heels, or wear flats throughout your pregnancy.
  • Lighter Bags – Being pregnant means gaining a LOT of weight in odd places. Having lighter bags will lessen the pressure on your back and all other places. (yes, I suggest forgetting those designer leather bags for a few months)
  • Pregnancy Support – I swear by my Blanqi maternity tank tops and leggings!
  • Healthy Food & Vitamins – remember, whatever you eat, your baby eats! Try your best to steer clear of junk food, processed food, and fatty food! you’ll thank yourself in the long run!
  • The Practical Hospital Bag (I’ll post about this very soon!)

First Year with Baby

  • Baby Bathing Essentials:

Supplies:  A bottle of your choice for your baby’s first shampoo and soap – I suggest getting a mild one just to be sure your baby’s skin won’t get irritated. Three baby towels. You don’t have to throw the used towel into the wash/laundry after every use anyway.  Three should be enough. haha

Baby Bathing Items – Choose a mesh type bathing lounger + plastic tub for your baby. It doesn’t look nice but it does help you bathe your baby easily. In my experience, my baby just slides down on those fancy rubber ones.  (remember, for the first few weeks, you can’t and should not bathe your baby right away. You need to wait for all wounds to heal first. this includes the belly button, and the circumcision if your baby had one)

Baby Grooming Kit – a soft hair brush, a small toothed comb, a nasal aspirator, baby nail cutters/trimmers, thermometer, cotton (lots of it!), cotton buds for babies (for boogers, not the ears! it’s bad to put anything into your baby’s ears. If at some point in time you get worried about your baby’s earwax, go to your doctor instead of trying to clean it yourself.)

  • An Appropriate Amount of Baby Clothes – It’s easy to waste money on baby clothes because we assume that they need so many pieces of clothing when actually… they grow out of their outfits faster than you can use all of them! see my simplified list per age bracket below!

Newborn to 3 months: have about 10 basic sets (each would consist of a baby bonnet, a tie-side top/button top, bottoms, booties, and mittens), 3 onesies for sleeping, and 2 or 3 going out outfits

4-6 months: have about 5 basic sets, 5 matching outfit sets (each would consist of a cute top, a pair of bottoms, booties/shoes, a bonnet, and a pair of mittens-but only up to about 4 or 5 months only though.. by 6 months they can do without the mittens), 5 onesies for sleeping, and 5 going out outfits.

7-9 months: 10 matching outfit sets, you can buy them 1 pair of walking shoes now, 7 onesies for sleeping, and 7 going out outfits

10-12 months: 10 matching outfit sets (because they can get a little messy already!), 7 onesies, 7 going out outfits, and their bday outfit!

  • Burp Bibs – you will need about 6 burp bibs. Throw 3 into the washer once they’ve been soiled and you can keep the remaining 3 as back-up while you wait for them to get washed.
  • Baby Bibs – this also differs per age and if you start bottle-feeding already or not! Generally, if you breastfeed and latch directly all the time, you need fewer bibs… bibs are handy when you start bottle feeding. – I’d say you will need at least 6, adding more once they reach the teething stage since they drool alot!
  • Swaddles – I suggest get 6 as well. you can also apply the wash cycle same as the burp bibs.
  • Breastfeeding essentials – if you breast feed your baby, here are a few essentials you need and how much of what item you will need!

Nursing Cover – I suggest having two nursing covers, both neutral in color BUT one should be a light shade, and the other a darker one… just in case you want your outfits to match them.

Nursing Pads – I suggest buy washable nursing pads. Having 6 pairs is enough. If you “must” use disposable nursing pads, do buy one pack at a time because those disposable pads are not that comfy either haha

Lanolin – buy it per tube, and have your partner or hubby buy you another once you’re almost out.

Breastfeeding Pumps – I suggest getting the electric Medela Freestyle Pump, and a HaaKaa Manual Pump! Both will be your bestfriends! haha

  • Sterilizers: I highly recommend a UV sterilizer like Ecomom. Unlike steam sterilizers, UV sterilizers do EVERYTHING – drying, sanitizing, and deodorizing. haha
  • Bottles: I highly recommend Playtex’s Ventaire bottles! They really do reduce the chances for colic and gas!

If you want just the basic number of bottles, I’d say 5 sets is enough – start with five “slow” flow nipples, three 4oz bottles, and two 8oz bottles. I suggest this combo so you won’t have to “waste” your smaller bottles once your baby can take in more milk. Buy the faster flow nipples when you need them and keep the number at five or so.

If you’re formula feeding at the start (0-3months), your baby takes in 1-2oz every feeding, increasing as the months go by. Also, for the first few months the closest/shortest feeding interval you’ll have is about 2 hours in between each feeding. This means you’ll be using a bottle every two hours. If you have the UV sterilizer it will help you dry your bottles stat! Haha so you won’t need a lot of bottles. I like keeping 2 bottles on standby at all times. So by the time I use up 3 bottles, I wash that batch and put them into the Ecomom – my 3 sets of bottles are ready to be used in an hour!

*** IF YOU GO OUT A LOT OR TRAVEL FREQUENTLY, I highly suggest you get ONE Playtex’s disposable bottle/body! – this made everything easier for me and my family! a little more costly but it meant less bulk, less hassle for bottle washing, and meant easy feeding while on the go! You’ll only need one Playtex travel bottle, and a box of disposable inserts just in case you need it. You can still use the nipples you have from your Ventaire bottles too!

  • Stroller: Honestly, I only bought one stroller when I gave birth to my eldest, but in two years, I’ve been gifted with several better ones! HAHA One stroller is enough.. choose a stroller which can be used from newborn to toddler would be great! (Pick one with a backrest that can lay flat – this means it’s safe for a newborn baby) You’ll love your stroller, especially when you’re out with baby!

Based from those which I have with me, my stroller suggestions (in heirarchy of usefulness):

Looping Squizz – A great travel stroller which is safe for newborns up to 3 years of age – about 6.5kg so you can bring this into the cabin with you.

Mclaren Techno XT – A nice foldable stroller which can also be used from newborn up to 5 years of age – about 7 kg so it can also be used for travels but you’d need to include this together with your check-in luggage.

Chicco Urban Stroller – It converts from a baby bassinet to a toddler stroller. best option for newborn safety and length of use. This is probably the most sturdy stroller I have right now.

  • Car seat: I know it’s not norm for parents to use car seats in Manila BUT it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Also, it makes it easier for you if you don’t really want to be hassled into trying to secure your baby in your arms while the car is moving for the whole duration of the trip. – I suggest to pick one which can also be used from newborn to toddler age. There are lots of brands to choose from, do read up on reviews and always check the padding of the car seat. The highest price doesn’t always mean it’s the best choice.
  • Crib: Honestly, the best and most practical buy would be a 3-in-1 option. Which means it can be used as a bassinet, playpen, and co-sleeper. Again, I suggest this for the practicality and space saving benefits.
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