What will baby need? (It’s a Baby Shower!)

July 31, 2013 in Friends and Family, Future

Katie Ryder with her grandmother Lona Kewley

Experienced moms, help our expectant parents with their baby registry! What items did you use during infancy that will be a big help for new parents of a baby with Down syndrome? Expectant moms, ask follow-up questions, or talk about the supplies you have already.

Lets get the list started with a few of our “must have” items:

Two products for congestion are an absolute must, the NoseFrida, otherwise known as the snot sucker (I know, it looks gross, but trust us), and saline mist.

And since research shows the benefits of sign language for our kids, put Signing Time videos on your list. The videos are fun, the songs are catchy, and your other kids will enjoy them too.

Finally, every parent of a child with Down syndrome should have a copy of Will Schermerhorn’s DVD “Down Syndrome – The First 18 Months.”  Check out Will’s website to order the film.

There are many items that can be specifically helpful for babies with Down syndrome, but experienced parents of infants with Down syndrome also emphasize that they need or want the same things any baby needs. So, please help us by sharing items you found particularly useful for a baby with Down syndrome and also those things you found generally helpful, wonderful, beautiful, or clever.

We have lots of great suggestions below and would love to hear more!

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23 Responses

  1. Lori says:

    The one thing I liked the most was more for when they start touching things but a great gift none the less. Toys that over tacktile stimulation and musical toys. As far as baby stuff, nothing really is coming to mind.

  2. Alison says:

    The Nuk Brush came in handy a lot for us. They have a Nuk Brush training toothbrush set at Babies R Us for very cheap.

    I have heard a lot of great things about Maroon Spoons. I really wish I would have put them on my registry.

  3. Amy says:

    Primo EuroBath tub- I loved this for all three of my kids, and especially for my little guy with designer genes. Since it took him longer to sit up, the size was wonderful to accommodate him laying back longer. Kids can also sit up on the opposite side until they are at least 2 years old- very roomy and much more secure than just the big tub. Those little infant tubs don’t last long since they are so small.

  4. Tara says:

    Owen LOVES his Leapfrog Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo toy. It takes very little effort to make it spin, so he can reach out and spin it himself..and he’s only 4 months. Very motivating for tummy and side time on the floor.

    I also like the Graco Stroller Frame that works with my car seat as a stroller. Very light and easy to fold and unfold!

  5. Tara says:

    Owen is not a big swing fan…but he loves his bouncer vibrating seat.

  6. Missy says:

    I wrote a blog post about things you might want if your baby has Down syndrome!


  7. Kelly says:

    Rechargable batteries and charger. Everything needs batteries- swing, toys, crib soother – that was such a great gift

  8. Lorianne says:

    Mounawrap to keep baby close to mama. :)

  9. Rachel says:

    An foldable infant gym and a Boppy for the baby to rest his head and shoulders on. It makes it much easier for him to lift his arms to go after the toys.

  10. Christine says:

    Baby K’Tan is a great way to wear your baby.

    A swing that rocks from left to right to help baby sleep (IF that is an issue)

    Make sure to get a high chair that has support for the feet and that will grow with the child. The foot support so the knees and lower legs are at a 45 degree angle is VERY important.

    A baby monitor with a camera was really helpful.

    A great colorful mat for tummy time.

    Projection mobile for the crib with music. This was awesome!! Great for building those eye tracking muscles!!

  11. Caroline says:

    Here are some of the things I couldn’t live with out:
    -Nose Frida.
    -Summer Infant Swaddles.
    -Gym for tummy time.
    -Aveno Products for sensible skin.
    -Nuk Brush.
    -Boopy Pillow

  12. Sarah says:

    The only thing I found that I needed that was a little different as a result of Adam having Down syndome was that he needed infant rattles and other early toys that he could hold onto with his shorter fingers and thumbs. Some of the others we had were just too big around for him to be able to grip.

  13. Deb says:

    These are some things I found particularly helpful!

    -A colorful floor gym/mat
    -A floor mirror that can lay flat or stand up
    -Nosefrida (snot sucker)
    -Aveeno unscented baby wash
    -cetaphil lotion
    -A good thermometer such as Braun thermoscan
    -Video monitor
    -Crane humidifier
    -Toysmith Teether Ball
    -Crayola Jumbles

  14. Holly F. says:

    I would recommend the books:

    Gifts 1 & 2.

  15. Kerin says:

    If mom is planning to breastfeed, have contact info for a good lactation consultant!! It can make all the difference in the experience for mom & baby.

    As for stuff: we found that it was good to have a nice variety of small toys that can be hung from activity gyms or car seat handles and put on the floor as LOTS of tummy time is a must for those gross motor skills. Also, we didn’t use a bouncy seat as we didn’t want to get too much in the habit of having our little one just sitting around, but to improve sleeping (when congestion was really bad) and for when we really needed a good seat for him before he had head control, the Fisher Price Rock-N-Play was wonderful! I highly recommend it to everyone…

    I also recommend the book, “Gross Motor Skills in Children with Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals” by Patricia C. Winders P.T. It’s been an invaluable resource for me, even with weekly PT. I know many others who found it helpful as well.

  16. Missy says:

    I agree – a good thermometer is a must for any kids! The Kidz-Med VeraTemp is the only one we have found consistently gives an accurate reading and lasts.


  17. Anna T says:

    If you’re planning on breastfeeding I second getting in touch a good lactation consultant that has experience with Ds. Along those lines the book, “The Nursing Moms Companion” by Huggins is great for general information. Purchase a good double-breast pump or have a plan in place to rent a double-pump professional grade pump from the hospital/birthing center, etc… if necessary (gift certificates to rent a pump make a great shower gift!)!

    I also second the Baby K’tan (great for keeping your baby’s legs together while babywearing).

    We also LOVED the Lamaze Chime Garden for motivating our little one to reach out, etc…, it starts with a very light touch:


    Have on hand the book, “Babies with Down Syndrome: A New Parents’ Guide”. If you start reading it and aren’t “ready” put it down and keep it on the shelf as a “resource”. I referred to it often in the 1st year.

    Other resources are the Gross Motor Skills in Children with Down Syndrome and Early Communication Skills for Children with Down Syndrome (our local library surprisingly has the Speech book).

    Most importantly enjoy your pregnancy and getting ready for your sweet baby!! My little boy is now 2 years old and is a joy and delight!!

  18. Kerry says:

    - boppy pillow – great for nursing, tummy time, sitting support, elevation if congested…it has 1,001 uses!

    - a good humidifier

    - baby sense or angelcare motion monitor – goes under mattress and alarms if baby stops breathing. Helped me sleep much much easier!

    - play mirror for tummy time

    - fun, bright, engaging playmat/playgym

    These are just my Ds specific items, though they are great for all babies!! Happy shopping! :)

  19. Elissa says:

    I honestly think getting “Different” stuff for a baby shower would have made me feel different. I did not have a prenatal diagnosis, but looking back, I think I would have just wanted the normal baby stuff. Plus, some of our kiddos with DS don’t need any of the specialty stuff. My daughter has needed very few of the specialty items. She did; however, need all of the very same baby items my child without DS needed when she was a baby.

  20. Stephanie says:

    A CD player and lots of instrumental lullabyes would be a fabulous gift. My son has loved music since he was in the womb. I borrowed a ton of CD’s from the library and burned my own copies. He still listens to them at night before going to bed–very soothing for him and he’s now 4.

    I also second having a good humidifier. We like the Crane animal models–my son is partial to the elephant!

  21. I highly recommend babywearing, especially for babies and toddlers with Down Syndrome. Some of my favorite carriers include ring slings and woven wraps. I wrote a blog post abut it here:

  22. Missy says:

    A mom recommended seat.

  23. Chong says:

    superb article on baby monitors. I have 2 kids and
    we purchased a new baby monitor for each child. The problem we found was that it was difficult to compare the features –
    this article is a great help for parents looking to
    buy a baby monitor!

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