What baby items do you need, or are best for a baby??

[deleted account] ( 12 moms have responded )

My youngest is 5yrs old, and I've noticed so much has changed since he was born. We are soon to be foster parents, and we are taking babies through 4yrs. I need to be prepared for a newborn (I pretty much have everything for a 2-4 yr old), but I'm not sure what the best products are out there? Is it better to cloth diaper (it was practically unheard of out here when my daughter was born), I can't nurse, and now all the formulas have added brain things?? (DHA and stuff?) and these PABA free bottles? What is that all about? Not that I have alot of experience bottle feeding in the first place.. my middle son was the only one who actually used a bottle on a regular basis (from 8m to 12m), so do is there a certain amount newborns need? Do they have to use bottled water, or is tap water fine too??(since now I'm being told that is all that bottled water is anyway?), do you have to boil it? And what about burping? I never had to burp my babies, but I have a friend whose baby is always burped, is the rule for that the same as nursing?? I want to be as prepared as possible for this!

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Rebekah - posted on 08/12/2009

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Don't stress too much. There are so many things out there now for babies, it's crazy, and really you don't need most of it. As for your questions... Formula can be tricky, you'll have to find the right formula that works best for the baby. I had to switch 4 times before I finally found the right formula to work with my son, since my milk dried up by the time he was 12 weeks old. As for the amount, with a newborn, take it small - make a few ounces, if baby wants more you'll know, then make a couple more. Otherwise you'll have waste and formula is too expensive to waste. My son took 4oz. bottles until 6 months old, then increased from there. But every baby is different. Most newborn babies need to be burped - whether it's in-between the bottle feeding or after the feeding, the baby will let you know. When formula feeding it's best to use nursery water than tap water, because it's distilled and has killed all foreign contaminates - wouldn't want to upset a new belly or make a baby sick. Cloth diapers is cheaper, but does increase the laundry - so that's a personal choice for yourself. I hate laundry, so I do the disposables - and I've found really good deals. Check into WIC, you should be able to get formula for each foster baby - each state is different as to which formula it is. Again, you'll have to test a formula to see how your baby reacts to it.

As far as other things that would be a necessity... well obviously a crib, blankets, onesies, burp cloths, etc. Things that are nice to have are swing, slings (great to move around with while baby is snug against you, great bonding experience, and you'll be hands-free), stuff with lights and sounds. But those aren't necessary, really depends on your lifestyle. :)

You'll know what to do. God is your strength and He will give you wisdom. Babies really need just love!!! :)

Monica - posted on 08/11/2009

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Hello Suzanne!

I don't know if Foster parents get WIC, but if you do, your vouchers will be for Enfamil formula, which my son used and it's good. Store brands are good too, and come in the same varieties as the name brand formulas, so if you want to go cheap the store brands will work just fine. As for bottles and BPA, most bottles are now BPA-free, and will usually say so on the package. You don't need to sterilize anything, just wash it before you use it. I used the simple, inexpensive Gerber bottles, they come in a 5-ounce and a 9-ounce variety. Most bottles are dishwasher safe too, I put mine on the top rack and used a special dishwasher bag for the nipples and caps (you can find these at Wal-Mart and probably other retailers as well.) That said, you will probably still want a bottle/nipple scrubber for washing by hand. I used unfiltered tap water for my son's bottles and he's perfectly healthy. It doesn't have to be warm, just room temperature, and some babies will even drink it cold. Also, one thing that is wonderful are the tumblers in which you can fill with a pre-measured amount of formula beforehand, just shake it out when you need it, and it saves time. You want to burp the baby after every couple of ounces. Most newborns only take about 2 ounces at a time, so burp after every ounce. For diapers, cloth diapers really are a pain, but if you really want to use them it's your choice. If you'd rather use disposables, I like Pampers best, but you might have to experiment to see what works best. I know some people like the store brands just fine, but they didn't fit my son right and leaked. Luvs are cheaper than Pampers or Huggies, but they gave my son a rash, so I can't use them. Pampers and Huggies are the same in price, but I found the Pampers fit my son better. The Pampers Swaddlers are great for brand-new babies, they almost feel like cloth diapers. If you do choose disposables, I recommend getting the Diaper Genie II. I have one and I love the thing, it's handy and really holds in the smell. Also, you will need burp cloths! Lots of them, you will use them! All babies spit up, but in my experience with my own child and taking care of others, formula-fed babies tend to spit up more than breast-fed babies. Plain old cloth diapers work great for this, and you can usually find them in bulk packages, so don't bother with the fancy expensive burp cloths that have cute patterns and stuff on them. Waste of money.
If you need any other tips let me know.

Holli - posted on 07/31/2009

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Most of my family is in foster care. The kids should all be on WIC, and WIC has a list of certain foods/formulas/etc.
Last I heard you also have to go to regular classes (at least in Texas) and those really help! If it is not mandatory where you are, you may wanna go just for learning sake.

If you have any foster-specific questions you are welcome to msg me and I will ask and fwd the official foster mommy reply to ya!
Good luck! They are gonna be so fun... My family loves em so much we have a habit of keeping them (one aunt has adopted 5 of hers, the other kept 4 haha).

[deleted account]

Bethany, that is so true! I jusst placed my Brita pitcher on the counter and in the middle of the night, it cut my bottle prep time in half. :)

Bethany - posted on 07/24/2009

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I forgot to tell you my number-one-make-your-life-easier-with-formula tip!!! (Although maybe you know this from bottle-feeding your son) Use room temperature water! I always assumed that babies needed warm bottles but they don't- and I never had to deal with a screaming hungry child while I search the store for a place to heat up a bottle.

I would make up the bottles one at a time- just pour in the powder and bring a bottle of water with me which I would add when I needed it (since they are only good for an hour). This made things so much easier! I'm glad to see you are getting so much good tips and advice! :~D

Katie - posted on 07/24/2009

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What an amazing journey God is taking you on. I have a 11 month old, so I can answer some of your questions. (What has worked best for me and my husband)
I live in Canada and all bottles or anything containing BPA are banned. The chemical is harmful once heated. So if the plastic number is a 7, it has BPA. BPA is linked to cancers and other harmful diseases later in life.

I am using Enfamil, but I heard store brands are just as good. A lot of my friends use the walmart brand and their babies love it. The government is suppose to regulate all the formulas so that they all contain the right amount of ingredients for babies. Once the infant is 1 you can introduce cow's milk.
One thing I found to be a wonderful investment was the fisher price Rain forest vibrating chair, but she became too big for it once she was 6 months. It was not an item I really needed, but it was really nice to have.

Blessing to you and your family~

[deleted account]

Hello and God bless you for fostering! I tried to use cloth diapers and I just couldn't do it. I used disposables for all 4 of my kids. I breastfed my kids so I have no idea about formulas but I would do as a PP said and get one of those Brita or Pur water filter pitchers for the water. There is so much junk in the water where I live that I couldn't imagine feeding that to a baby! You don't have to boil it but I'd definitely filter it. I had to burp my breastfed babies a lot because acid reflux runs in my family. If there was a bubble in there and I didn't get it out very soon after feeding, it would come out by itself and bring the whole feeding up with it! I'd definitely burp a bottle fed baby. I'm sure they get a lot more air out of a bottle than from the breast. As you know, having had kids, you don't need nearly as much "stuff" as most new moms think. They just need a safe place to sleep. One of those fold up things that look like a playpen but have a place for changing on top would be great. They could sleep, play, change and the whole thing in the same area and then you could fold it up when you didn't need it. In my opinion a SWING is vital. I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't had a swing for my kids. My favorite was a really quiet one that sat on the floor. It was only about knee high and folded up into a very small size. Formula, diapers, a place to sleep, something to put them in to amuse themselves when you need to put them down, something to catch the spitup... maybe a few onesies, and lots of love. That will probably cover most situations!

[deleted account]

BPA is a potentially harmful chemical found in plastic baby bottles. Most manufacturers are producing bottles without the chemical nowadays.
I would also recommend Gripe Water. It has all natural and safe fennel tea-it was a total lifesaver when it came to my gassy baby. And it worked really fast too!

Heather - posted on 07/21/2009

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Okay, that's a lot of questions! I will try and help you the best I can.

Cloth diapers are more expensive to start, but cheaper in the long run and better for the environment, you can either wash them your self or have them sent out. They have really cool ones now that are pre-fitted? I'm not sure that is what they are called, but you don't have to fold them, they have velcro. They have some with built in plastic covers too. But those are all more expensive then just the regular pre-fold ones. And the pre-fold aren't as size specific.

If you qualify for WIC (I think all foster parents do?) then they make you get Enfimil (sp) but if not I recommend Carnation Good Start (it might not be called that anymore... I think they changed it's name...) But it is the closest thing to real breast milk, and it's pretty cheap too! DHA is contained in breast milk, it's a good thing.

I have never heard of PABA free bottles... Sorry. Cant help you there. I can tell you that unless the child has gas problems that cheap bottles work just fine, then buy good nipples. The ones with drop in liners are easiest, but also create a lot of waste. We only used those for travel.

GET GAS DROPS!!!! That's my best baby advice.

As far as the water goes, I was told that as long as your cities water supply is fit for drinking that it is best because it contains flouride (sp?). If it's not then filtered or bottled is okay too. You don't have to boil it. In the winter they recommend boiling it to warm it, but you can microwave it as long as you shake it really well afterwards. Formula doesn't get hot spots like breast milk. Also if you can use tap water then you can just run it warm. :) Just make sure it isn't too warm. If you drop some on your wrist it should barely feel warm.

Burping depends on the baby. I have twin girls, and one needed burped every 5 minutes, and the other only burped on rare occasion, and it wasn't because of anything we did.

I hope that helps. I will be praying for the best for you, your family, and your coming children!

Bethany - posted on 07/20/2009

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I just have a couple of answers to your questions (but by answers I mean "what worked for us" since everyone always has different opinions!!!) For formula- buy store brands! As far as I'm concerned they are just as good and so much cheaper! I didn't switch early enough :~D As for the amount of formula that totally depends- my son didn't drink more than 4 oz at a time until he was like 8 months old! (While I think others move up to 6-8 at like 2 or 3 months!) I didn't boil (or sterlize the bottles after the first time) but did use bottled water until he was older (5 or 6 months?) then I used filtered tap water or just plain tap water (you are probably right that it's all the same- but it made me feel better since I wasn't sterilizing! haha!). I always burped him...but I thought that was standard even though I was mostly nursing. I agree with Heather that it is probably more important for formual/bottle babies.

I did splurge for the DHA- figured it couldn't hurt and the store brand had it too ;~) I think all new bottles (at least from the mainstream companies-not sure about dollars stores and the like) are PABA free...ok- that's all the "answers" I have :~D

I think it takes really special families to become foster families! Good for you and I wish you all the best! :~D

[deleted account]

What an amazing, God-inspired thing to be a foster parent! :) I have always admired this.

While, I don't have too much experience as I just have the one, I did have to formula feed for a little bit in the beginning before I was able to switch to exclusively breastfeeding. Formula is a lot harder to digest and that's why burping them is so important. I didn't realize this at first and was feeding my poor son too fast and too much and he developed acid reflux-so sad! I hadn't realized his tummy was about the size of his little fist and he really only needed 1-2 ounces at a time. I burped him probably at least three times during those 1-2 ounces. It was hard because he wouldn't want to stop eating to burp. Needless to say, I was so happy just to be bf and not have to worry about burping as much! :)

With the water, my city's water supply wasn't the best, so I got a brita water pitcher to save time and frustration (and money from buying bottled water.)

Here is a good site for formula feeding that I really liked:

http://www.babycenter.com/choosing-and-u...

I've probably said a lot of things you already know having been a parent longer than I have. :) Best wishes to you and your family!

[deleted account]

What an amazing, God-inspired thing to be a foster parent! :) I have always admired this.

While, I don't have too much experience as I just have the one, I did have to formula feed for a little bit in the beginning before I was able to switch to exclusively breastfeeding. Formula is a lot harder to digest and that's why burping them is so important. I didn't realize this at first and was feeding my poor son too fast and too much and he developed acid reflux-so sad! I hadn't realized his tummy was about the size of his little fist and he really only needed 1-2 ounces at a time. I burped him probably at least three times during those 1-2 ounces. It was hard because he wouldn't want to stop eating to burp. Needless to say, I was so happy just to be bf and not have to worry about burping as much! :)

With the water, my city's water supply wasn't the best, so I got a brita water pitcher to save time and frustration (and money from buying bottled water.)

Here is a good site for formula feeding that I really liked:

http://www.babycenter.com/choosing-and-u...

I've probably said a lot of things you already know having been a parent longer than I have. :) Best wishes to you and your family!

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