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What do newborns sleep in and other silly questions from me

(34 Posts)
BonaDea Mon 28-Jan-13 11:58:15

Ok mumsnetters, help me out here. There are some things I need answers to and feel too embarassed to ask such silly questions in real life (incidentally, money is not really an issue so I don't mind buying things I need, but I detest clutter for useless stuff - understand that there will be clutter, but most of it seems needed!):

1. Can I use a 0-6 month grobag sleeping bag (or JL equivalent) for a newborn? Or at that stage should they be wrapped in a blanket instead? I have two such sleeping bags - if I can use them right away, do I need more?

2. How many blankets do I need to buy and what are they used for? Have a cosy fleece carseat / pram blanket for outside use, a largeish soft cotton blanket and one cellular blanket. This doesn't seem enough. Is the baby wrapped in a blanket while at home being held or is it just in a vest / babygro? Is a blanket only really used for sleeping, whether in pram or cot or are there other uses? I feel I need more cellular blankets, but how many to buy (was keen not to get too many as we don't know sex and would prefer not to have all white for stain purposes!!)

3. Should I buy a baby bath? We have a really large, shallow and long sink in our bathroom which a friend who stayed recently said was perfect for bathing her little one. Would a baby bath be a waste of time? Someone else mentioned a baby bath is better because you can use it in any room and, for example, living room is often warmer / cosier and more spacious.

4. Do I need a bouncer? We have opted not to have a moses basket - baby has a cot upstairs and downstairs will sleep in pram which is completely lie flat and has a safe mattress. The pram can be wheeled from room to room downstairs if I am doing stuff. I also have a moby wrap sling and plan to have the baby in that quite a bit, even at home as I figure it will keep him / her close and safe but allow me to have hands free. Do I need a bouncer as well to keep the baby safely strapped into something when it is not sleeping nor in the sling? Thought, for example, that a bouncer might be useful for when I am in the shower or cooking when I might not be able to use either the sling or pram?

5. As I plan to have the baby's downstairs 'bed' as it's pram (if indeed he / she will ever want to be put down which I understand is not a given at first), I assume should buy sheets for the pram? Or not? I take it one doesn't use sheets on the pram when out and about, only if the baby is at home sleeping?

Ok, those are the main burning issues at the moment blush. Be gentle with me....

havingastress Mon 28-Jan-13 12:09:46

Oooh well firstly congratulations! grin

I would say you will get so many different opinions on all of your above questions. You will probably even find yourself that you change things as/when your baby is here depending what he/she likes!

These are my answers:

1. After 3 weeks of hell and no sleeping, we found that swaddling a newborn was the way to go (check out Harvey Karp The Happiest Baby)..all to do with the belief that for the first 3 months they are still foetus like and need to feel secure. So no. My 12 wk old is not in a grobag yet. However, we have recently (last week!) stopped swaddling her and she's under a blanket.

2. I have far too many blankets. Seriously. You don't need that many! One to wrap around her/him in the carseat. One for the pram if you're taking them out (this can be the same blanket!!) and possibly 2 for in the house. That's it.

3. We bathed our DD in the kitchen sink until last week when we realised she's now a little big for it. Mind you, she was only 6 lbs at birth, and only weighs 11lb now. If you have a big baby, you probably will need a baby bath from the word go! We actually enjoy using the baby bath. It's part of her bedtime routine.

4. You definitely need a bouncer. We got a baby bjorn one. Ridiculous price, but omg, has it been worth it's weight in gold. She's always in it when I'm having a shower :D

I also think you should re-think about the moses reason they are so good is because the baby can feel the sides and the bottom and feel secure. Cots are HUGE for newborns. At 12 weeks my dd is STILL in her moses basket - albeit it, the moses is now placed inside the cot! We are thinking of making the transition to cot when she's about 4.5 months. How are you thinking of tucking her in into the cot?! You see, if it were me, our newborn swaddled in a cot just wouldn't work! Refer back to Harvey Karp's book.

5. yes, the pram mattress needs a sheet. Mine stays on all the time, and I've only used the pram as a cot for a couple of nights whilst we stayed at my mums.

All babies are different. Like I said, you will get lots of advice etc, some you will take, some you won't! It's all good. Do what works for you and your baby. We went onto Harvey Karp because my DD was crying and waking up every 2 hours..I just couldn't cope any more. Once swaddled she started sleeping in the night for 4 hrs and now at 12 weeks she sleeps from 8.30pm til 8am grin with just a break for her dream feed at 11pm when I wake up. Brilliant. I could kiss the man ha.

ladymia Mon 28-Jan-13 12:21:47

i'm watching this thread as i have the same questions! smile

BonaDea Mon 28-Jan-13 12:24:41

Hi having a stress and thanks for the advice! Will check out Harvey Karp, it sounds like you really rate him!

On the moses basket - we've actually bought a co-sleeper cot, so it is not anywhere near so big as a proper big cot and will be attached to our bed with one side completely missing, so that there will be a feeling of security I hope from being so close to me, and hopefully to help with the night time feeds. It should last a bit longer than a moses basket too - we are both tall and expect our LO to be tall so worried we'd only get a few weeks out of MB.

notso Mon 28-Jan-13 12:26:53

1. You can use a sleeping bag for a newborn if they are over a certain weight, and you need to make sure they can't slip down inside it. For that reason I have always used sheets and blankets until about 3 months or once they start really kicking the covers off, one bottom sheet, one top sheet and a blanket is cold weather. Lot's of people swaddle with a large muslin or shaped wrap in the early days but mine hated this. Two sleeping bags is plenty, I only have one winter and one summer one, I do have a tumble dryer though so can wash/dry in a day.

2. I would say you need a couple of cellular type blankets. I had about 8 but that was far too many IMO. The baby shouldn't need to be wrapped in a blanket while being held indoors.

3. Baby bath, some love them some hate them. I loved mine, I bathed mine in the nice warm kitchen on the worktop, right near the sink so I could just shunt it over the sink and pull out the plug to empty it. I had SPD or back pain in all my pregnancies so bending over the big bath was not possible in the first few weeks.
Whatever you decide I would get a support to put in the sink or baby bath, Newborns are incredibly hard to handle when wet. I found the support like a mesh ski slope to be best. Some supports are very high so the baby is hardly in the water or you have to fill the bath very full, I would look for a low lying one.

4. Bouncer/rocker is essential IMO. Mine takes weight up to 40lbs, my 2 year old and my 9 month old use it daily. I have had many types over four DC and found the simpler ones to be best and longer lasting, the worst we had was an all singing all dancing battery operated vibrating and musical one, it was on Ebay after two weeks!

5.If it has a mattress I would use a sheet all the time in the house and out and about. If it is just the seat which lies flat then I still like to have some kind of covering, seat liner or just a muslin or you could end up having to wash the whole pram cover daily! I like to use a fitted sheet on a mattress and then I lay a muslin over the top to catch any sick/snot etc then you only have to change the muslin not the whole sheet all the time and the will probably be lot's of times!

I don't think any of your questions are silly BTW! Congratulations and good luck.

Guntie Mon 28-Jan-13 12:27:31

I could have written this thread.. Thanks OP! I'll follow along...

havingastress Mon 28-Jan-13 12:27:39

oh and re. blankets. Our daughter was (still is mostly!) in a vest with a babygro on top. Possibly has a cardi on sometimes, but really depends how warm/cold it is. I got a grobag egg temperature thing (really good!) which keeps the house at a good temp. We definitely don't wrap her in a blanket in the house (unless she's sleeping and she goes under one!)

havingastress Mon 28-Jan-13 12:32:10

Well...let's just put it this friend had a baby 2 weeks before me and still hasn't had a full nights sleep...I like to keep it quiet that we're pretty much back to normal grin as it feels in rl/fb that we're being smug or just lucky..

I don't think it's luck! I think it's down to Harvey Karp! grin (you can check it out on Youtube for free before you invest in the DVD! But even that is only £3 or something on Amazon)

Oh. Your side cot thing sounds lovely. Definitely be easier than a moses for feeding etc.

I also don't think any of your questions were silly grin Exciting times ahead!

emeraldgirl1 Mon 28-Jan-13 12:46:44

Oooh, am following this one too!! smile

I was asking about what newborns wear a few months ago, don't know if that thread would be helpful to you at all and don't know how to find it but you may be more tech-savvy than me!!

All the info given sounds extremely useful to me. I had no idea up until y'day that pram sheets were even a 'thing'!!

BigPigLittlePig Mon 28-Jan-13 13:03:40

Congratulations! Don't feel stupid, these are the sort of things I should have asked but didn't before my LO was born. She's now 9 weeks old. Here's what I've found -

1. She spent the first few weeks co-sleeping with us anyway (not something I was expecting) and by that I mean on me. She has a crib by the side of my bed. Since then we've gradually introduced the grobag and she's just in the past few nights got used to it. Swaddling was brilliant to begin with, we just used a big muslin (now it makes her cross as she likes to wriggle, lots!)

2.We have about 5 blankets in total. In reality, we keep one downstairs, two in her crib and the others are in a cupboard. You don't need many. If you end up having a particularly sicky baby and need more, you can always buy them at a later date.

3. We used the sink to begin with. She hated baths, and i mean hated them, so for the first 6 weeks she would only have one maybe once a week, and we would just make sure her face/bottom were clean (unneccessary clutter = top and tail bowl by the way!). She loves baths now, but still only has them a couple of times a week as they over excite her rather than wind her down, so are no good at making her sleepy. She has a plastic bath chair which goes in the main bath, and usually one of us or her step-sister go in the bath too. I would use your bathroom sink to begin with personally!

4. A bouncer is handy. I have found the sling to be much more handy though as LO is quite clingy. Again, perhaps wait til the baby is here and see what sort of temperament he/she has.

5. A muslin or blanket over the pram will limit the amount of washing of the pram you need to do smile

Hope some of those ramblings are useful. Good luck!

BonaDea Mon 28-Jan-13 13:47:59

Thank you everyone - all great tips!

I have quite a lot of muslins, but sounds like I need more. Will also add pram sheets and a bouncer to the list!

GaryBuseysTeeth Mon 28-Jan-13 13:48:43

1. I didn't (DS was winterborn & the heating was on full whack so he slept in a vest & babygro) until 2 months. I have 3 in each size (one in the wash, one on baby & one spare) because they don't tumble dry well (they misshapen & shrink oddly).

2. I bought/was given about 10 blankets. I never used one ever with DS & won't use them with this one either.

3. Don't bother, massive bit of plastic to take up space. If you want to, I'd recommend getting a nice deep washing up bowl because then at least you can use it once baby has outgrown it.
Most newborns I've known hated baths so lived with just a flannel wash for the first few months!

4. I would go for a swing over a bouncer (cheap ones at kiddicare for £50), because the movement will lull them to sleep (hopefully).
My DS hated the bouncer & went in it twice (screamed his lungs out) before we gave up), never complained about the swing, just got too heavy for it.

5. I would 'save' the sheets for when you're out & about and just use a towel/pillow case as a base for when you're inside.

havingastress Mon 28-Jan-13 17:32:04

You can never ever ever have too many muslins. grin (or bibs!)

tomatoplantproject Mon 28-Jan-13 17:51:00

Don't forget that amazon & John Lewis are your friends and you can always buy stuff as you need it. I'm trying not to buy too much and have been given loads of stuff that is still in good condition some unused eg grow bags that my friends dd didn't like.

I could have got by with 2 blankets - one for dd's crib and one for out and about. I also use her out and about one as a mat to put her on. I have lots of cellular blankets I haven't used. Dd is 11 weeks and I've started to put her in grow bags in her crib during her daytime naps so it's not such a shock when she moves to her cot at night.

I had a moby wrap that I used for the first 5 weeks and it was a godsend. We were then given a baby bjorn and I haven't touched the moby. Whereas the baby bjorn is amazing and I use it every day.

I don't think you can put a newborn in a chair but once you can they are ace.

I've got loads of clothes that we were given and won't be worn - dd wears a vest and a baby grow and if we go out a snowsuit. I find everything else too much of a faff and am a bit lazy.

We used our bathroom sink to begin with and then started using plastic chair thing for bath.

My big recommendation is a nappy bin by tommy tippee that seals nappies and odours up. I bought it in the sale and get the cylinders to go in when they're on special offer.

Congratulations and enjoy those first few weeks!

BonaDea Mon 28-Jan-13 19:22:03

Thank you everyone - feel enlightened and like I have a plan!

SaggyOldPregnantCatpuss Mon 28-Jan-13 19:45:33

Just take the baby in the bath with you. Its lovely.
And pillow cases make great pram sheets, and are much cheaper.

pipsytwos Mon 28-Jan-13 20:07:14

I used merino wool go go sleeping bags 0-2years from newborn. They have poppers to make the arm gaps smaller. The midwife had a heart attack though when she saw the length of it and warned us about her moving down it. It wasn't possible though because of the poppers. Not sure if growbags are the same thing.

I've never had baby bath, me or partner bath with her. It's lovely.

I've never had a bouncer, I think you aren't supposed to put newborns in them anyway until they can hold their head. I had a Doomoo, it's been great, it's suitable from birth and because it's soft and sinks in with the shape of their head is doesn't contribute to flat head syndrome. I also have a baby pillow from lilla kuddis baby pillows for her to be in the pram and while sleeping also to prevent flat head. I would recommend, they've been fab.

Get a couple of swaddle blankets if you want to swaddle, but don't go over board- I did and there was seriously no need! A couple of blankets for the pram for out and about but you won't need more.

Congratulations!! grin

MJP1 Mon 28-Jan-13 20:37:52

oooh BonaDea
these are great questions to ask I could have written these myself, on have 2 weeks left and I thought I was pretty clued up but now realise i know nothing, I may add a few more questions to this.

When are you due ? Im 11th feb with 1st baby a little girl ?

BonaDea Mon 28-Jan-13 20:45:28

Well, glad it isn't just me wondering. Am 30 + 5 and due to be induced around the 38 wks mark... So about 7 weeks left to get ready for the shock of our lives!!!

mamabrownbear Mon 28-Jan-13 21:28:05

Really helpful thread. I've felt overwhelmed with the idea of what we have to get. I want to focus on what we need and so many friends have offered us stuff that if we need anything else it will have to he bought then. Top tip re Harvey Karp, will check that out!

pipsytwos Mon 28-Jan-13 21:33:43

Ps, I have 3 sleeping bags, 2 standard weight and 1 winter weight. I used a blanket indoors only if cold. As dd was born in August I just used a blanket for a sheet, pillow and a blanket on top to go out in the pram, but now I have a big fleecy footmuff thing because it's so cold. You'll get the idea as you go along. I felt like I had no idea about the basics but it just sort of all came together as I was in it.

I dressed dd in a short sleeve body vest and then a babygrow when she was newborn but as it got colder I gave her long sleeve body, babygrow and cardi. Now and then she wears an actual outfit but to be honest I got her really nice babygrows for out and standard ones for nighttime.

Oo one thing I love is baby nighties, they are like a sack and have a drawstring at the bottom, so easy to change baby during the night etc. Natural baby shower have gorgeous merino wool ones, bit pricey but if money is a problem they are worth it. Also I have a couple of piccalilly ones, love them.

Hope that helps

doublecakeplease Mon 28-Jan-13 21:40:22

I stressed about all of this 12 months ago - we didn't have a clue!! Never really held a baby then had a tiny, prem DS and just learned together what worked for us as a family. You'll find your way - some babies are big enough to go straight into a sleeping bag, some like to be swaddled, you'll know :-)

doublecakeplease Mon 28-Jan-13 21:45:35

Ooh - 2 tips which i'd never have figured for myself:
- pillow case or muslin under babies' head saves changing the whole cot when they posset / puke. Just change pillow case or whatever
- vests have vented shoulders so that they can be pulled down the child's body if they make a mess rather than pulling them over the head and spreading sick or poo into their hair - who knew??

Conana Mon 28-Jan-13 22:10:21

Congratulations! How exciting, I'm just going to sound like a bit of a 'know it all' here as I'm pregnant with no. 3 and deciding what new kit I want to get. Hope you don't mind, I guess I'm just addicted to thinking about baby gear!

If money isn't an issue I'd actually go for more stuff, we were really stingy with no. 1 and even used the pram carrycot as the only bed (we lived in a flat). When we had no. 2 I went out and bought a load of stuff, lots of if we didn't really need but even if you only use it once or twice, if you're losing the plot with a hysterical newborn it's still worth it!

We bought a co-sleeper cot with no. 2 but I'm actually hesitant to use it with no. 3 because he ended up by my side for 12 months (might have happened anyway) and waking up all night, which was not great! dd was in the pram carrycot and converted well to her own cot at 5 months so I'm tempted to get a moses basket with no. 3. This is in no way meant to sound scary and I'm sure no. 2 being a clingy baby had a lot to do with it! (He sleeps beautifully now at 17 months)

1. I never used a sleeping bag straight away as I think they look a bit lost-ds was 10lb 4oz and still seemed too small. Swaddling worked wonders from the start with dd but not with ds, however he loved it when he got colic around 4 weeks and we continued to 7 months. I bought jojo maman swaddling robe and pod but it is incredible how good tiny babies are at breaking free. My dh perfected a technique of literally rolling them up in a large muslin and tying the end at the bottom-worked a treat. We used aden and anais large muslins- also wonderful for shade in pram in the summer and when a blanket is too hot.

2. I've always found myself swamped with blankets that I don't need-remember it's also the kind of thing people love to give you as presents. Sounds like you've got enough to me.

3. Like I said, I think just get a bath, they're not too expensive and you might just want to try it out. If you have a baby that feels calmed in water you might want to be giving them an extra bath in the day and like you said, maybe in the lounge where it's warm. We used our bath, the sink and the baby bath, flexibility is a godsend with babies!

4. I'd recommend getting some kind of baby seat, like it's been said, so useful for if baby is awake when you need a shower. We bought all singing, swinging one for no. 2 but reverted to the cheapest mothercare one as he liked the freeflow bounce rather than a solid back.

Other random things-my ultimate best baby buys are a sheepskin and sleepytot baby comforter.

Good luck and enjoy!

LimelightsontheChristmastree Mon 28-Jan-13 22:36:18

(1) Depends on your baby. From memory you're not supposed to use sleeping bags for the first few weeks - until you're sure their head can't fit through the neck basically. Your baby might want to be swaddled or might hate it. You might put them straight in a sleeping bag. They might prefer a blanket tucked in in the usual way, they might end up in bed with you. Sorry not to be more definite.

X2 of each weight in each size is enough. One on, one in the wash.

(2) You have plenty! My DC have a knitted blanket each which they still sleep with (for comfort these days). I have an ENORMOUS pile of cellular/fleece/crocheted shawls and blankets which have never been used!

If you use sleeping bags, you'll barely use blankets except to keep the chill out occasionally. Your baby will probably have a cardigan or something on during the day etc.

(3) You don't need a baby bath. They're heavy, a PITA to empty, and pointless. When your baby is tiny you may well want to bring them in the bath with you. And one of those dirt cheap fabric supports for the normal bath is fine.

(4) Bouncy chair is not un-useful although your baby might hate it - some do especially when tiny.

You will need something smaller than a cot for your baby to sleep in upstairs I would say but the carry cot from your pram will cover that.

Great that you have a moby - you might find that you barely put your baby down, at least to begin with. Slings are brilliantly convenient and if your baby is anything like mine will make them sleep and sleep. Persist with it if they don't initially take to it.

(5) You might want a bottom sheet, possibly not. Neither of mine were fans of the pram so I didn't use it much (massive waste of money). My youngest who is a winter baby slept on a sheepskin in her Moses basket when she wasn't in bed with me and her Dad. It was worth its weight in gold that sheepskin!

Hope that's helpful!

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