Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Infamous Baby Checklist - With Mom & Eco-Commentary

Last week I printed this list without Mom & Eco-Advice.  Here's the same list with the helpful advice from my mom, friends, and some of the research I've done.

General Great Mom Advice: Bring an extra outfit for the baby and an extra shirt for yourself wherever you go, you never know when the baby will mess one of your outfits up! 

  • Outfit/socks
  • Receiving Blanket
    • Mom Advice: Make sure your blankets are big enough to swaddle the baby.  You need at least 36" sides on your blanket to make this easy, preferably 40".
    • Eco-Advice: I found this large, organic blanket at Target.
  • Diapers & Wipes / Diaper Bag
    • Eco-Advice: I'll be using cloth diapers and cloth wipes.  I'll also check the extra purses/bags in my closet to see if they'll work as a diaper bag before purchasing one.  A nice bag seems like an easy thing to get second-hand also.
  • Carseat
    • Mom Advice: In this case, safety should probably trump eco-living. recommends Chicco Keyfit and Chicco Keyfit 30, which both received Excellent or Very Good ratings for various safety features and ease-of-use and come as part of a travel system.
  • Crib
  • Waterproof Crib Mattress
    • Mom Advice: You should not be able to fit more than two fingers between the mattress and your crib sides as your baby can be trapped if there is too much space.
  • Fitted Crib Sheets
    • Mom Advice: Make sure you have at least two sets because they'll get dirty often.
    • Eco-Advice: Lots of great organic options for crib sheets.
  • Storage for Baby Clothes & Gear (Dresser)
    • Eco-Advice:  It took our new tiny master bedroom for us to realize that if we got rid of some clothes we don't use, the baby can just use our second dresser.  That'll save us between $250-$500.
  • Receiving Blankets (see Hospital section) - 3
  • Baby Monitor
    • Mom Advice: You don't need one of these if you can hear your baby crying from all over the house.  [I won't be getting one.]
  • Colorful Mobile
    • Mom Advice: This is also a luxury item, but a colorful one can provide something stimulating for your baby to look at.
      Habitat Musical Mobile
  • Rocking Chair


Since babies grow so fast, the "stages" refered to here are 1) 0-3 months, 2) 3-6 months, 3) 6-9 months, and 4) 9-12 months.  Eco-Advice: I'd like to make a blanket plug for organic gear and second-hand items.  There is some question as to whether the fire-retardant chemicals used in some lines of baby clothing causes cancer, thyroid, nervous, and reproductive system damage.  If you buy pre-used clothing, washing the item several times has usually removed the chemical treatments, so you save money and can feel better about what you're putting on your child!
  • Pajamas/Sleepers - 3 to 6 per stage
    • Mom Advice: Get ones with feet (a.k.a. "barbaloot suits" as my dad called them when I was growing up), so you don't have to deal with socks.
  • Onesies - 3 to 6 per stage
    Hudson Baby Organic Bodysuit - Peanut Ecru - 6-9 Months
  • Socks - 2 per stage
  • Sleep Sack
    • Mom Advice: Unnecessary, you can do the same thing with a swaddling blanket.
  • Sweaters
  • Snow Suit/Jacket
    • Mom Advice: Sometimes the extra layers don't allow the carseat harness to fit correctly.  Another option for winter would be to get a carseat cover like this one.
  • Warm Hat
    • Interesting Fact: In Africa, almost all little babies had a knit stocking cap on their heads, even on the hottest days.  I think it was to protect them from being sunburnt!
  • Swim Suit / Sun Hat / Sunglasses
    • Mom Advice: Make sure the suit is large enough to fit over a swim diaper.
  • Cloth Diapers - 36
    • Mom Advice: This will have you doing laundry every three days or so.  My father-in-law thinks you'll want to do it sooner than that because of the smell!
  • Diaper Covers (if not using all-in-ones)
  • Dirty Diaper Pails
    • Mom Advice: I originally thought I'd need two of these, but got some good advice from the moms on the BabyCenter Cloth Diaper forum.  Most of them use only one container: a normal garbage can with a locked top.  They also mentioned these PlanetWise pail liners, which are easy to wash with the diapers.
  • Wet Bag - Used for cloth diapering on-the-go
  • Diaper Wipes (see Hospital section for a link to organic, reusable ones)
  • Petroleum Jelly or A+D Ointment
  • Diaper Rash with Zinc Oxide
    • Mom Advice: This is most-used.
  • Thermometer
    • Mom Advice: The hospital usually gives you one.
  • Bulb Syringe
    • Mom Advice: The hospital usually gives you one.
  • Plastic Infant Tub
    Fisher-Price Precious Planet Whale of a Tub
    • Mom/Eco-Advice: I just used the sink until the baby was big enough to sit up in the tub.
  • Inflatable Baby Tub
    • Mom/Eco-Advice: No need for this as you'll be holding onto your baby in the big bathtub anyway.
  • Baby Nail Clippers
    • Mom Advice: Sometimes the hospital will give you one.
    • Eco-Advice: Scissors will also work.
  • Baby Shampoo & Soap
  • Washclothes
    • Eco-Advice: You probably have enough of these already, there's no need for special baby ones.
  • Bath Toys - After 6 Months 
    • Eco-Advice: I've heard safe household items, like tupperware can be just as exciting as specially-made yellow submarine. 

Chicco Cortina KeyFit 30 Travel System in Adventure

  • Carseat (see Hospital section)
  • Stroller
  • Front Carrier (until baby can hold up her head)
  • Back Carrier - At around 6 months
    • Mom Advice: Go shopping for this with the baby so you can find one that's comfortable for both of you.
    • Eco-Advice: I think these carriers are going to be an important first step in introducing my kids to one of my favorite nature activities - hiking!!
  • Portable Crib
    • Eco-Advice: I'm a sucker for anything that promises to allow me to travel with my baby more easily.  I'm not sure if this is absolutely necessary yet as a lot of hotels will provide cribs if you request them.
  •  Breast Pads
  • Lanolin Cream
  • Cloth Diapers or Burp Cloths - 12
  • Bottles
    • Eco-Advice: Most bottles are now BPA-free, but there are other substances recently discovered to cause cancer still found in baby bottles.  While there are plenty of plastic bottles that are made without these substances, I'm left wondering what are they going to find next?  So, I decided to go with glass bottles - a little heavier, but worth the peace of mind.  Most glass baby bottles come with a protective plastic coating to help prevent breaks if they are dropped.
  • Freezer Bags

  • High Chair 
    • Mom Advice: Get one that sits on top of a regular chair to save space.
    • Eco-Advice: They still sell wooden high chairs, which is far more biodegradable than the popular plastic ones.
  • Food Processor
    • Mom Advice: A cheaper, more portable alternative is a food mill like this one.
    • Eco-Advice: I plan to make all of my baby foods myself, preferably from organic/natural ingredients.
  • Baby Spoons - 2
  • Plastic Baby Bowls - 4-6
    • Mom/Eco-Advice: We just used our regular bowls.
  • Sippy Cups
    • Eco-Advice: Again, you definitely need BPA-free cups here.
  • Bibs


Now this is an interesting subject! I've been to plenty of moms' houses covered in plastic kid toys and have vowed never to let that become my house!

One of the best ideas I've heard of is  It's like Netflix, but for children's toys.  You pay a monthly membership fee and get toys sent to your home.  You return them when you're done and if your kids gets attached, there's a way to buy the toy and keep it.  I think it's brilliant since you're sharing toys with other kids and you never get stuck with too many toys your child is no longer interested in sitting around your house.

 If you're less worried about clutter and more worried about the sustainability/safety of the toys, there seem to be a lot of organic/sustainable options out there, just search for them.  I, for one, am a big fan of these organic fruits and vegetables - could playing with your healthy food make you more likely to want to eat it??


  1. I'm thinking more than 3-6 onesies are needed as they could easily go through 3 per day and are in them constantly when they are little (either alone in warm weather or under regular clothes in cold weather). I agree that socks on their feet tend to get kicked off but they make a great substitute for mittens on their hands to protect them from scratching themselves when they're brand new.

  2. Good point, I've heard the same thing about the onesies! Any moms out there have a good guess at how many onesies you want to have on hand per stage?

  3. We probably had about a dozen (got a lot as gifts). I think it really depends on the baby. Some babies go through clothes much faster than others.