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August 22, 2007




I have been reading your wonderful blog for some time now and have been enjoying it all. It is a very exciting time for you and it is an excellent idea getting ready before the birth.

I have three children, including my little one, who is nearly 5 months old. You will find that you will be tired from lack of sleep mostly. Especially, the first two months. Those are the hardest, trying to get enough sleep and rest, establishing breastfeeding, etc. Please don't be disheartened by your babies cries, that's how they communicate. When they are so little, there's always a reason why they cry.

Nappies, wipes, baby cream, baby bath, towel, and of course, baby clothes are the basics you will need. I am breastfeeding my baby on demand, so I had no real need for a breastpump, plus I stay home, so Mummy's always available. :) It hurts very much the first 2-3 weeks, you just have to get through that. Don't forget breastpads, you will need them.

I have not used a baby sling with my babies, the first one disliked it. I have had a rocker with all of them, though my little one has hardly used it so far. Some of them are just shaped wrong, so babies don't look comfortable. Once he's able to sit well, he can use a high chair. We go out with the pram. At home during the day, I have a portable cot set-up for baby and at night, he's in his cot bed.

I have found that nappies leak, they leak a lot. Therefore, there are lots of clothes changes. Have lots of basic items and a few going out/party clothes for them. You can always buy more stylish/fashionable/fussy clothes for them later.

Having some nice stretchy cotton blankets to wrap them in is useful. About 2 months old, our little one was bored at looking at the ceiling, so we got a baby toy with hanging items that he can touch and later on kick with his feet. It will also convert into a flat toy that he can use when he's sitting and crawling.

If it is available to you, please ask for help. Everyone at some stage needs a break and without support, it can get hard.

That's about it for now. Feel free to ask more questions and I'm hoping all goes well for you.




out here you can rent a pump from a hospital before you buy one to save money and make sure you want/need it.

Also about detergent, what you should look for is something perfume free, even stupid old dreft which is "the baby" detergent has freamin perfume in it. You can totally use normal detergent but what is best is something free of dyes and perfumes, some of the baby marketed stuff is the same but over priced, plus some of it smells nasty lol.

All you really need when you have a baby is a place for the baby to sleep (we got a basinettte for ourbedroom) and eventually a crib but lots of people don't use the crib for 3 months, depends on your preference, with your space limitations you may want a crib right away and no basinette etc.

All else you need are some newborns and 3 months size clothing and a place to change diapers, with WIPES! I have been told you need wipes, diapers and breastmilk and thats mostly all babies need for the start.

Additionally I have gotten a boppy and a bouncer at my sister (mother of 2 under 3) recomendation. She said cloth diapers make the best and cheapest burp cloths and come in big time handy. I also got "butt paste" from target which is GREAT for diaper rash.


You may get a number of for/against the bouncer comments. I think it depends whether you think you will want to hold your baby a lot to soothe him, or whether you will want to be able to put him down for periods of time. I used a sling a lot more than a bouncer.

Do you sleep on a futon? You may want to try and find a Moses Basket
because you can set it next to you on the floor. I see them a lot in Japanese craft books, so I would think you could find them in Tokyo. They are nice because they are portable as well.


how exciting for you both! 7 weeks will fly by...

things i found useful:

sling - i loved the hug-a-bub. a bit tricky to get the hang of, but once you're used to it fantastic. more supportive than a baby bjorn type sling, and excellent for settling the baby when they're small and need heaps of cuddling. hands free.

rocker/bouncer - my son got really bored lying in his pram, and loved to sit up and take in the world in his bouncer. ours had a toy bar on the front that he could swat and grab at.

good luck! love kimberley


Wow, only 7 weeks! I have 3 to go now, and can't believe how quickly the time is going. I am definitely going to come back and read all your comments because I need to know this too - I'm torn between not wanting to get too much stuff and not missing anything essential.


definitely get a poo diaper holder, we have one that flips the diaper in and does not require any special bags. i found the boppy really helpful, especially with twins. we bought so many items the day after we got home because i could not anticipate anything. you will likely need 7-9 diapers a day at first because they poop/pee almost every time they eat. at first. and that is usually every three hours. we could not use the bjorn until they were a bit bigger and our boys are totally not into the bouncy chair/swing things so you might hold off until you meet the little one and see what their preference is. so, lots of diapers, good wipes (we use 7th gen and they seem to keep the boys clean without chemicals) a & d ointment (really prevents diaper rash), burp clothes, onesies, and lots of time and patience, those first weeks are magical and bewildering (well, i still feel that way and they are 4 months this week). ikea has great cribs for great prices but we did not use ours until 8 weeks. ummm, if you will nurse get medela's lanolin, purelan 100, total nipple saver and okay for baby. and i second the pump rental...until you know how that will go too. congrats, those weeks will fly by.


can't wait to meet that little guy! that 52 days will just fly by. and just think in 52 days, it has got to be cooler!


i agree with everything mamie says. i can't stress enough the importance of PLENTY of burp cloths. you may not need them right away but if you don't have a laundry at home, you will definitely want a lot of them. camille is a spit-up baby. she still spits-up a lot when she gets excited. we go through 5 to 7 burp cloths in a day some days! gross but you get used to it. definitely a separate trash can for nappies with a lid. i just got an oxo trash can. works fine. i lysol it at every trash liner change to keep it fresh.

if you nurse, definitely get the pure lanolin stuff and start using it now! :) that and *blush* rough up your nipples. god, i can't believe that i typed that into a comment field.

and you know that i've already recommended the baby whisperer and dunstan baby lanugage. those will both be godsends those first few weeks when you're trying to figure out what your baby needs.

sling or bouncer? totally going to have to depend on dudley. i had both and camille HATED the three different kinds of slings i got but LOVES her bouncy chair. she's quite independent. i just now am starting to carry her around in the baby bjorn because she likes to face outward from me and see the world. she doesn't like my other great carrier that forces her to face me :) what a little stinker!


Oh girl, remember Flynn came three weeks early, so it is good to get this stuff done now and be prepared...and don't forget to pack your overnight bag and one for Dudley too for the hospital stay. And, take your own pillow...hospital pillows suck.

Definitely get a Costco giant box of Newborn diapers...they really don't last long, but those might last a couple of weeks, maybe three. It's amazing how many of those and wipes you go through. We got bulk wipes too.

We have liked our diaper bin for the dirty poo...and we use a wipe warmer, but it is a little frivolous.

Flynn loves being snuggles in his slings...and if they don't feel like laying down and want to be held 24/7, it keeps you hands free so you can get things done...and you will need lightweight flannel cotton blankies to swaddle them. It helps them to sleep at night and feel secure.

If you are planning on going back to work or having someone other than yourself feeding him, you will need a pump...get an electric one...the hand pumps take forever.

We and other friends have a Bumbo chair...Flynn's not big enough to use it yet, but when they can sit their head up, it's a way to keep them preoccupied so you can get house work done and it helps them to learn to sit up...they love it.

We have a development graphic mobile on the crib...Flynn is all about it...it was like $25 from Manhattan Toys. It's simple, but what they need for development skills and it's wonderful. He is now also liking his entertainment mat and swing. It just took him a while to get big enough to use them now that he is cooing and learning more about his hands and legs and music and shapes...so cute to watch him. I'll have a post soon of a video of that.

I agree...Dunstan Baby Language and Baby Whisper rock...must haves....as well as the mentions about breast products (pads and lanolin cream).

We keep lots of pacifiers around and they still seem to disappear (the pugs grab them too)...get ones that look more like a breast nipple.

Since I freeze breast milk and have lots of bottles too, I ended up getting a little bottle warmer...it's wonderful...and also have a steamer to sterilize everything from pump accessories to bottles and pacifiers.

It's absolutely amazing all the crap you need...it takes over the house sometimes...don't let it carry you away..we try to keep the home looking as adult as possible and have Flynn's things in his room.

We have two boppy pillows: one for the nursery and one for the tv room. They are wonderful...highly recommend for nursing and just hang out time.

And, we have really enjoyed having a monitor to hear him when he is in bed...especially when you are so dead asleep, sometimes we don't hear him crying unless that thing is blaring in our ears.

Hope those tips help...you will be fine and well prepared. If you don't get everything you need now...you will figure out what is important as you learn more about Dudley.


No littles of my own, but seen my cousins run ragged on theirs. The thing you really need is a bit of help and you can recruit now. I think you and D can survive without some material goods are you're both fairly inventive, but no one survives very well on next to no sleep for three+ months.


useful items...

-small wash cloths for bathing - first couple of days you'll be doing sponge baths. sometimes the hospital will provide you with washing necessities (small wash bowl, samples of shampoo/body wash)

-alcohol and swabs - to clean baby's belly button.

-small nail clippers, diaper rash creme (desitin, A&D, Aquaphor - or whatever they have in jp).

-wipes/diapers - it seems you can never have too many of these around. head to costco and stock up!

-planning on breastfeeding? lanolin for your nipples, breast pads, a comfortable nursing bra (spend the money on this as you'll be using it for the next couple of months!).

-breast pump - sometimes hospitals will let you rent one if you don't want to buy one. they are a bit pricey.

-burp cloths...you can never have too many of these!

-we borrowed a small portable swing for noah from my sister, which he loved when he was more like 3 months old. we used to bounce him in our arms on one of those big excercise balls. i think he liked the bouncing a lot. i did have a rocker/slider for nursing which I LOVED.

-a boppy. loved it and made feeding so much more comfortable.

-noah loved the bjorn. i bought a maya sling, but couldn't get the darn thing to work. if you'd like to borrow, let me know and i'll send it your way (along with dvd).

that's all i can think of! remember to use your friends as resources as to help with providing food for you the first couple of days! trust me, they all will be willing to help you out!


The Baby Bjorn is great so you won't have to push a stroller everywhere. I found a changing table a waste of space. I ended up using a square pillow or the floor and that was all we needed, although I know you said you already bought one (just be careful because the child can fall off!)

breast pump. I used the electric kind from the hospital and it was large and ungainly and loud. So, I got the one by Avent and it worked like a charm even though it was a hand pump. When I got good at it, it took far less time than the electric one. I found it was helpful to pump once in awhile so my husband could do the middle-of-the night feeding and I could sleep. Every child is different, but if you are lucky your baby will take both the bottle and the breast so you won't be under pressure to be available every, single minute.

Lots of burp cloths, like a couple dozen. You'll use them for everything. We used cloth diapers as burp cloths, the ones with the cute prints on them (we still have them five years later and my daughter uses them as "dolly blankets."

And the one thing I really noticed, was that even with the special diaper pail, the house stunk. Once we figured out that we could just use old grocery bags and drop the soiled diaper inside and take it out of doors immediately, we were finally free of stink. No matter how fancy those things are, oy, they stink, especially when you have to put in a new bag.

What I learned the most, looking back, is less is more. Your baby will just be needing you in the beginning and will probably sleep more than you think he/she would.

And, the Baby Whisperer book was the BEST thing I ever read.


Used my breast pump ALL THE TIME. It's great if you work or need a night out. Just freeze the breast milk by putting it in a ziploc-style bag and laying it on its side. Then you can defrost it by running it under some hot water for a few seconds.

Never used the slings/carriers/bouncy swing things. Used the HECK out of those walkie toys with the wheels and the tray that let the little dudes scoot around. Doubled as a high chair (handy when living in small Japanese apartments).

DIAPER RASH OINTMENT. You'd be surprised. You might get lucky and not need it often, but when you do need it, you need it now!

Baby shampoo. I still use this for my knits.

Lots and lots of those thin burping blankets. I used them for wrapping the baby, cleaning the baby, using as a nursing screen, sopping up messes--you name it.

A sense of humor and lots of common sense. There is simply no way to prepare a human for the experience of having their own child. Best of luck!


I'm a step-mom and a grandma so I've never raised my own babies but I've listened to, observed and knitted for several new moms. So many of you recommend getting plenty of burp cloths. I knit tons of them using a simple pattern out of this book called Mason-Dixon Knitting. Check out the customer images at;


These burp cloths are fun, fast and inexpensive to knit out of dishcloth cotton. Can you get this book over there? The bibs are also adorable and fast. They seem to be a bit big for brand new babies but everybody LOVED them after the baby grew a bit.

So happy for you two over there in Tokyo. I'm a Halvsie from Iwakuni living in Eastern Oregon. I've enjoyed reading about your adventures in Japan.

Steph VW

Hey Kat - one thing I learned from working as a caregiver:
You can go through a lot of wipes, but you can cut down the number if you do a preliminary "swipe" with the cleaner part of the diaper before you take it completely off the baby. It's a trick of the Nanny-trade.

I'll email you the list the pharmacists in my office devised for new moms.


New born babies seem fragile, but are incredibly durable and I'm a firm believer that most germs make babies stronger not weaker. Don't make yourself crazy sanitizing everything, clean yes, wacko no. I'm with Wendy on the diaper pail. Stock up on plastic bags, ask your friends and neighbors to save them for you - you'll need them. Then bag, double or triple if nec and get rid of immediately! Diaper pails tend to require special this and that, not things you'll find at your local kombini. Nursing camisole's are great. lanolin - a little goes a long way and is really good to have. Don't forget maxipads and a beer or many for yourself : )


I'm not a mom but I am a dog mom and I have thrown a LOT of baby showers. Things that people want and have found useful:
receiving blankets
diapers, diapers, diapers...
receiving blankets - I made them, they LOVE them...
nipple ice packs - for sore nursing...
Baby detergent

extra somethings:
wipey warmers


Ditto on the boppy pillow (the u-shaped pillow)- all my friends who are moms love them. Also, lots of onesies and burp clothes. Although I'm not a mom, every baby I hold seems to enjoy puking on me. Burp clothes save me every time.


Hi! Just popping out of hiding...been reading your blog for a while. Definitely a baby sling, but get one that will grow with them until they're past 12 months. I'm carrying my 14mth old in it when she gets tired sideways on my hip at the moment.

Good luck!


hi kat. i brought my baby back to japan a month after giving birth in australia nearly one year ago.
i try to keep it very minimal as far as supplies go.
a sling in really useful.in the first few months i used an aprica sling which held the baby horizontally and supported the spine and head.you can borrow it if you like.after 3months we moved onto the baby bjorn which is great holding her vertical.hana loves it..it supports your back too.not very pretty compared to slings but hey..
prams are a bit jamma in tokyo so i tried to put it off for as long as possible.
a baby bath.ours fit in the kitchen sink which was useful.with a plug so no lifting with heavy water.
muslin square cloth for wrapping baby (if you will swaddle?) we did for monthhhhhs.when its cooler we made flanalette ones.
im not sure about nappy rash creme in japan but i got some from australia (sudacreme) which was very good and do you know pawpaw cream/thats good too.
i have some lanolin based creme which saved me when i started breasfeeding.you may not need it but i can give you an unopened tube if you need.
baby soap.
baby clothes washing soap.
baby wipes. try to find the least chemically ones.some have about a thousand ingredients when a warm face washer served my sisters babies fine.
you can hire electric breastpumps if you need, they are pretty expensive to buy.
cotton buds for belly button and wiping eyes.
thats about it.
we used cloth nappies for the first few months so not usre about how many disposables youll need but you will use them anyway so order as many as you can store :-)

if i think of anything else ill let you know.


How exciting anticipating your new baby-(sigh!).

A sling of some kind is essential (at least is was for my two, to get them to sleep. It easily slips off so baby doesn't wake up either). "New Native" is lightweight and can be ordered according to your height.
Here's a link to another one that's a funky version of the traditional Japanese/Chinese versions that Japanese women USED to use (perhaps for when the baby is a little older) :

Also, you can rent lots of baby things, like moses baskets, cribs, etc, that you won't use for very long from a few companies in Japan. I can't remember the names, but many hospitals have catalogs near the maternity waiting rooms.

All the best! Hope your piggies don't get too jealous of the new addition!



Woo, I think everything's been pretty much covered. I can't emphasize enough how great the Boppy is - it's perfect for resting your arms and the baby upon when you're nursing. And it's also perfect for popping the little guy into all on his own - the Martian loved hanging out in ours, and often fell asleep there.


Oh, and large bags of frozen peas (or edamame) work much better than ice packs for when the milk comes in and you're feeling a little achey in the boob department.

I got a boxful of cloth diapers from my local La Leche League that I used for burp cloths and liked them much better than the standard cloths - they're thicker and a lot more absorbent.

Good luck and take care, chica!


I have a few minutes to respond, I didn't read what was written up top so this might be repeated but here's what I used incessantly the first weeks.

1) Cloth nappies that were made into burp towels. Like the ones our parents used on us growing up.

2) My boppy. I breastfed and it really saved me because of my cesarean. I was really weak and unable to hold me nearly 11 lbs baby. And it's really useful when you're sitting at the dinner table or in bed or at the computer. The baby has a nice snuggly place to snooze after eating.

3) My maya wrap. I still use it today. I LOVE IT. It's perfectly made and the size is great and easy to tuck into your diaper bag, backpack, whatever. www.mayawrap.com

4) Lansinoh nipple cream. I was glad to have this on had because my nipples were not ready for what they were intended for. This cream saved me and it's homeopathic and completely safe for the baby to ingest.

5) Breast pump. I didn't have one of these the first month and when Max was three weeks old I got Mastitis and was terrible sick. Pump. Pump. Pump. so you won't get engorgement. My body made too much milk for my Max if you can believe that. :)

You'll do great... I can't wait to "meet" Dudley. I bet he'll have beautiful baby thighs for you to kiss. :)


I'd recommend "The Nursing Mother's Companion" by Kathleen Huggins. It is the most informative book I have read on the subject of breastfeeding and I trust it readily which is something I usually do not do but it's practical and informative. Easy to read. I also use a boppy. I alot of people have said they prefer "My Breast Friend" versus it. I also use a moby wrap and I bought a descrete nursing shawl too. Handmade. I'm 36 weeks this Tuesday. So not too long for me to go either. You'll do fine. :)


Hope I'm not echoing too much, but if I am, forgive me:

Forget the Diaper Genie with its proprietary bags and awkward, ecologically disastrous waste. It's all about the Diaper Champ. It has an air-lock to trap foul odors, takes regular white medium kitchen garbage bags, and holds around 40-50 diapers. You can't beat it with a stick.

Also, not sure if they have them there, but Huggies premium diapers (maroon wrapper here in the US) for the first 6 months followed by regular Huggies (white and red wrapper or box) thereafter virtually guarantees no diaper leaks—except when they get old enough to start putting their feet in the air and peeing whilst grabbing their ankles :| Other diapers aren't even close, there's a reason Huggies has that ad campaign "baby-shaped diapers," and after one 2am crib cleaning from cheap ones, I think most people are convinced :) Also the Huggies Supreme wipes are so efficient, even the messiest diaper never takes more than 4 to get my goog spotless (whereas the flimsy, inexpensive ones are again, far more wasteful AND you get the mess all over your hands--yes, you'll still need to wash with the Huggies ones, but they make for a smoother diaper change). And they're nice and soft unlike the cheaper ones that can irritate their sensitive skin with their harsh cloth AND harsh fragances/chemicals.

Don't have a C-Section if you can help it! I had one and even with the lame 2 week Percocet prescription I was given I was barely able to get out of bed without a LOT of pain until the 6th month post-partum (slept sitting up for 6 months). If you're stuck with it, then a good propper-up pillow, like Target's new (in stores only, tried to find a pic) pink corduroy back rest pillow, will make a huge difference.

Don't bother with getting them too many outfits for the 0-3 months, they AND YOU will be happier if they are comfortable. To this end, short-sleeve onesies with stretchy cotton pants get the job done just fine, and the pants come with such cute patterns now that it's like an "outfit" anyway.

Other than that, my only advice is to enjoy it while it lasts, and take LOTS of pictures! It's hard to tell them later: "You used to do this one thing that was so cute, but I forget what it was and how you did it." I just had my girl last May and it feels like she's ready for college already. :)


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