Popular baby items you may not need
Making a baby registry for your heart baby will be somewhat similar to buying items for any other baby. After all, every baby needs pacifiers and blankets, right? Although many items are similar, there are definitely a few things that make life easier and help you be the “savvy” heart mom I know you can be! In Part I of this blog I suggested some of the essentials that we used the most. Here in Part 2 we’ll discuss a few items you may be tempted to register for but might not use – especially if your baby has an extended hospital stay after birth.
The hospital will supply diapers. So, if you are inpatient for several weeks your little one may outgrow them before going home. I would still buy at least one small package of newborn size to have on hand just in case. We stashed up a whole closet full of diapers bought on sale throughout my pregnancy – enough for more than a year! Unfortunately, all the the newborn diapers sat in that closet untouched while Calvin was in the hospital. As a result, I always had a handy baby shower gift right at home for a long time!
Large bottle sets
Sometimes babies with CHD have difficulty feeding or strong preferences towards a certain type of bottle nipple. After getting used to bottles in the hospital they may only want that certain type. You may want to find out what your baby likes before buying a set of 10+ bottles. Instead, buy 4-5 bottles just to start out.
Lots of newborn outfits
Snap up sleepers and onesies are a must-have. However, lots of newborn sized tops/pants may not be used if you are in the hospital for an extended stay. Cords, tubes, and wires sometimes make it difficult to wear regular outfits without snaps. It’s true that many babies with CHD are smaller for longer. So, weeks after birth those cute newborn outfits may still fit but be in the wrong season. Short sleeve newborn rompers bought for an August baby might finally get some use in October, but by then it may be a little chilly!
If your baby’s heart defect causes them to have lower than normal oxygen saturations, then the Owlet monitor may not be useful to you. The Owlet Smart Sock 2 will continuously alarm if O2 sats are below 80% and the parameters cannot be changed. Your baby’s sats may be lower, especially while sleeping, if they have a “cyanotic” heart defect or a single pumping ventricle (HLHS, HRHS, etc). Your medical team may send you home with a hospital grade monitor if needed so hold off on this one, at least for the registry.
Fancy temporal or ear thermometers
These thermometers, while easy and quick to use (I mean, who doesn’t want to avoid a rectal temp??) have a higher rate of inaccurate readings. A trusty digital thermometer (or two, one for rectal and one for oral/axillary) may save you a trip to the ER or tell you when you really need to go.
This is a very popular item right now. However, for us, it would not have been feasible for Calvin to sleep in the middle of our bed. For the first 6 months of his life he slept connected to his feeding pump and apnea monitor. It would have been a mess of wires for sure. If you are interested in co-sleeping you might want to look into a “sidecar” style crib.
I hope these suggestions are helpful to you as you prepare for the arrival of your sweet bundle!