Infant Nursing and Diaper Products 101

Wow you’re expecting a baby! You’re excited and you find yourself telling all your family and friends, but inside you’re also a little scared. Babies don’t come with a manual. There are so many products out there; it’s hard to know what product will be right for you and your precious baby.

Many companies make good products, but some of the products you try may interact with your baby’s sensitive skin. While you are getting to know your baby and trying out the creams, lotions, soaps, and diapers it will be a sort of trial and error. Then you will find out your favorites or what your budget will allow.

There are many decisions besides what products you’d like for your little one. Will you nurse or use formula? Do you prefer disposable diapers or cloth diapers? Who will carry the diaper bag mom or dad, and what style will dad be ok with? As the baby grows how will you carry the little princess? Will you use just your arms, a sling, a front or back carrier that leaves your arms free?

DIAPERS
Your first baby gets the best diapers money can buy. At least that’s how it went for us when we had our daughter. We left the hospital with Huggies. Huggies are a great brand of diapers. However some diapers will react to your child’s skin. As you begin to notice the cost of diapers you may reevaluate how much money will be spent these products. There are also other name brands that are good quality and easy on the wallet, such as Pampers and Luvs. Then there are the off brand and store brand items: Walgreens, Meijer, Target, Kroger, and Wal*Mart brands. As you rotate and try out all these kind of diapers, you will find your favorite, the one that works best for you, your baby, and your budget! Pampers Swaddlers size newborn cost approximately $10 for a small pack. Whereas Huggies Baby Shaped size 4 with a larger pack with run you about $16-20.00 depending on the store you shop at.

CLOTH DIAPERS
What if you decide not to invest in disposable diapers, but you feel much more comfortable with the ole fashion cloth diapering system. I have known a few families who did the cloth diapering for some time. You should first compare the cost of disposable diapers with cloth diapers. There is the initial purchase of the cloth diapers themselves, the plastic liners for their little bottom, safety pins, bleach. If you’d rather not be responsible for rinsing out and cleaning these little stink bombs, there is the added cost of hiring a diaper service that washes, bleaches, and returns clean diapers to you.
There are on line web sites that you can order cloth diapers from also: www.babycenterstore.com, www.thebabymarketplace.com, and www.cottonbabies.com .
Some products available on the market are:
1. Gerber Prefold Premium 6 Ply (6 pack) $10-$16.00
2. Kushies- Ultra All in One (5 pack)- comes as the liner and the plastic protective liner $38-56.00.
3. You can also purchase just the liners that will run around $12.00.

COTTON DIAPERS
Many of the disposable diapers today are not made of cotton. If you prefer to use an authentic material for your baby’s bottom verses the man made absorbent polysodium acrylate, choosing cloth diapers will be your best choice. Many are cotton made.

SWIM DIAPERS
Swim diapers are great to have on the shelf. They are a wonderful alternative to the exploding diaper we remember. These diapers are designed to let your baby have fun in the water and let you not worry about when the explosion will occur. They are built to keep water out and hold the mess in. And during the summer unless you swim a lot, one pack will last for a few trips to the pool. Huggies makes swimmers for run for about $8.00.

DIAPER BAGS
When it comes to the all purpose, multi-sex diaper bag, there are plenty to choose from. Manufactures and designers today are in the business of making sure the dad feels at ease carrying all the essentials around over their shoulder. At Wal*Mart you can find a few simple diaper bags to choose from that will suit you and the man in your life or the single father.
Just a few are:
1. Eastport Diaper Bags offer a variety:
– The Messenger Bag $20.00
– The Eastport Backpack also around $20.00
– The Baby Duffel $20.00
2. Jeep Tote Diaper Bag (in blue) is about $19.00
– and the Mini- Tote is about $15.00
3. Baby Einstein- Large Diaper Tote (in brown) carries over the shoulder and is very sleek. It costs around $25.00.

When looking for a diaper bag, consider how many items you will carry around with you when the baby is less than one year. You’ll need lots of pockets and room for the all of baby’s belongings and yours. Each one of the bags listed comes with lots of carrying space.

BABY SLINGS
Carrying that sweet little one can start to weigh you down. As the baby grows or if you’re nursing consider using a baby sling to give both arms some freedom. When the baby slings first came out, there were many crafty women who could sew their own and make using the sling look so easy. You could get a homemade sling as a gift. It may cost a bit more money, but many stores and designers also offer several varieties to choose from. Of course there are also hundreds of prints to match your taste. As for the sling looking easy to use, it may take a few tries or a friend to show you the ins and outs of working the technique.
Target is just one retail store that offers baby slings:
1. Peanut Shell Regular Sling $45-50.00 (allows for cradle, front, or rear facing positions).
2. Ultimate 5-in- 1 Baby Wrap Carrier cost around $40.00 and offers you five positions to tote baby around.
3. Hot Slings Baby Carrier is front facing only and is approximately $40.00.

BREAST PUMPS
So you have decided to nurse your baby. But do you nurse full time; let the father feed, what about trips out of the house or going back to work? If baby can’t get to you for a feeding, the next best thing is your breast milk. Breast milk can be stored in the refrigerator and in the freezer. So to get this milk from you to the frig or freezer, you will have to manually pump or use a breast pump available at most stores. Breast pumps come in different styles as well: pump one at a time, both at once, manually use the pump or electric pumping. Take a look at your situation and what’s available to decide which pump you like best for you and your infant’s feeding needs. And because they can cost a lot of money, maybe ask some of friends who’ve been down this road if they kept their pump. A good sterilization will work just fine to get you storing that milk. Breast pumps are available in stores by Evenflo, Playtex, The First Years, and many others.

NURSING PADS
Nursing pads are a must if you’re nursing your baby! When that milk first comes in, it comes in fast and can leak all over you. And your shirt! When wearing a nursing bra, they have hidden pockets, most of them, and you can slide a pad right in there. There is more than one kind to choose from: disposable pads, washable pads, pads with sticky tape, etc. Make sure when traveling, you pack extra. Pack them in the diaper bag, your purse, or in the glove compartment of your car. Gerber and Lansinoh make disposable nursing pads and Lilypadz offers reusable pads.

MEDELA PRODUCTS
Medela offers many great products for mothers who breast feed their infants and use a pump. Available to you are: disposable nursing pads, breast pumps and accessory kits, Soft Shells for Inverted and Sore Nipples, Quick Clean Wipes, and Tender Care Wipes. These products help the new mother in a variety of ways.

Jumping into the baby retail product lines can be confusing and overwhelming. Start slow and get to know the products before you become a loyal consumer of just one. There are many name brands and a large number of retail stores now offer their own brands of baby care products. Good luck baby