At sixteen weeks pregnant to date, I'm feeling my baby move a bit and getting a little more horizontal in the belly region. We've interviewed a great doula, are considering midwife-assisted vs. unassisted birth, and starting to talk about the stuff we might need before the baby arrives. In pondering baby shower registries and requests for wish lists from friends, I'm realizing that the "usual" list of baby gear don't fully apply to us.
As both my partner and I are fully committed to gentle parenting, including incorporating attachment parenting (AP) techniques such as babywearing, co-sleeping, exclusive breastfeeding and practicing elimination communication, at first blush there seems to be little we might need. However, after giving it a little more thought, I can see that even without the strollers, bottles and diapers, there are plenty of things this new family will need straight from birth.
My Top Five Expectant Mother Newborn Needs:
1. Natural fiber baby clothes and accessories.
While the “natural” in natural parenting style refers more to low-tech practices than organic fabrics and foods, I am a big supporter of natural textile and farming practices when it comes to my shopping dollars, and believe in the importance of choosing organic cotton. So, my baby shower list will include lots of natural cotton socks, swaddling blankets and onesies.
2. Organic cotton baby wrap.
The Boba Wrap (originally Sleepy Wrap) was initially coined “the best place after the womb” and after the joy of wearing a close friend’s baby in the wrap just once, I have a peak into why. My partner and I are both looking forward to holding our baby close to our hearts, giving lots of skin-to-skin contact, and helping our baby feel as secure and held as possible in Boba's organic cotton baby wrap (and it’s super comfy for parents, too!).
3. Side-car style crib.
Co-sleeping/bedsharing advocate Dr. Sears recommends a side-car crib as a way to keep baby at arm’s reach for easy night-time breastfeeding. While we plan to safely sharing our bed with baby as the healthiest way to support baby’s breathing, feeding and comfort needs, having a side-car crib will help create flexibility for when I may feel dangerously over tired, or when intimacy may request a little more space in the bed.
4. Breastfeeding bras and pads.
While a number of new bras are going to be needed before I give birth (I’m already outgrowing some), stocking up on natural fiber maternity bras and reusable wool nursing pads in the last months is definitely on my to-do list to be well prepared for breastfeeding (in the underdoodles department, anyway).
5. Cloth diaper flats.
I’m very inspired by moms I know and have seen online that herald the joys and benefits of elimination communication (EC) (the practice of listening and responding to our baby's need to eliminate). We plan to practice EC from birth, but I’ll use some simple flat folded cloth diapers to start, and for times when potty opportunities may be hard to come by (like on the long metro rides uptown) – for a little added insurance when the baby is still very young. While I adore the cuteness of all the modern cloth diapers available now, since we won’t be relying on them much, I prefer to keep it simple with flats (oganic cotton preferred, of course).
Have a few things on your “must have from birth” list? I’d love to hear about them!
Photo credit and shout out: I found the adorable organic cotton sushi onesie above by Nicole Leon of LEFTright (and lots of other great handmade organic baby items) on Etsy.