Chances are, if you are expecting, you will agonize over what you need for your baby. There is so much “stuff” out there for new parents, everything you find promises to make your life easier – or, their life easier.
From bottle warmers, to wipe warmers, to swings, there are probably way too many things you could by, but few things you actually need.
I’m thankful I didn’t go overboard with any of ours ~ we are now on #5 and people ask us all the time if we are ready and if we have all of the things we need. And quite honestly, we haven’t prepared much at all.
Then again, I don’t really feel like we have to!
Here are 8 BASIC that were a must for us, some of which we already had from previous children.
#1 – A Quality Sling
Although it might not be a necessity for many, for us it is. A good quality sling will last you through many children. It allows your baby (9 months or better) to be close to you at all times… babies are meant to be close to their caregiver and be held and this allows them to feel that sense of trust and security
From Mei Tai Wraps to Ergobaby, there are many slings out there to jump at – the majority of carriers sold out there are bad for the baby’s development, so do your research to find those that are supportive of their development, and that are also comfortable for you, too.
(Note: We have an Ergobaby Carrier, and if you watch Zulily, you will often pick up one there for $60 – $70 on sale, which is a bargain!)
#2 – Diapers
Diapers are a necessity – cloth are even better. They can be reused from baby to baby and there are so many varieties out there that you can choose from. Not familiar with cloth? Check out this post HERE on how to get started with cloth diapers.
If you aren’t up for buying cloth diapers, or even using them, then start stocking up on disposables. There are many ways to save on diapers and you can often times get a head start once you find out you’re expecting.
#3 – Car Seat/Stroller
Chances are…if you have spaced out your children a few years, you will need a Car Seat. If your kids already have car seats from when they were born, and the seats are still relatively new, then you won’t have to buy another. But we bought a new car seat with each child, the stroller we bought at the very beginning of having kids and 5 kids later we are still using it!
Check out your local Target, Walmart or even Babies R Us for sales during the time you are expecting – they will sometimes have gift card offers for spending varied amounts. They might even have a trade-in event where you can trade in your old car seat.
Car Seats don’t have to be expensive to be effective – but you will want something that has features that work for you. Whether a Graco or, a standard seat that works for children 5 lbs to 65 lbs, weigh the pros and cons to detergent what features you absolutely need, your space limitations (in your vehicle) and how often you will be traveling in the car.
#4 – Clothing
It really is silly to spend money on brand new items if you have a new baby – babies grow out of their newborn clothes so quickly, so there really isn’t any need to spend too much.
Look for hand me downs from friends and family, as newborn items are grown out of so quickly they are usually in better shape. It’s not necessary to have a huge closet for the little one – a few simple basics are usually sufficient and if you had children before you can usually hand down those clothes for your little one.
If you do need to buy them a few nice pieces, check online secondhand retailers like Schoola, which commonly offer discounts, and free shipping.
#5 – A Place to Sleep
While some people may want to invest in a crib or bassinet, others might opt to co-sleep – and it really is up to the parents to decide what is best for their child.
Sleeping close to your baby has both physical and emotional benefits. We co-slept with all of ours, and it worked well for us, but if you would rather not, then invest in a crib or, a bassinet, perhaps even a play pen for ease. All of our children slept through the night from day 1, and as a nursing mamma I found that co-sleeping was best for us in the end.
You can also find Arms Reach Co-Sleeper items that convert to a playpen when your baby outgrows – while that might work for others, it might not work for all. In some cases, it might be easier to upgrade to a queen or king bed if you are like us and opt to co-sleep together.
#6 – A Bassinet
Sometimes, Swings and Bouncers can be popular items for new parents – but in reality, they aren’t a completely necessity. Having a bassinet or something that is on wheels that you can push from room to room is very handy to have.
Although you will be holding baby often for feedings, changings and more, you will need somewhere to set the baby down too – so you can use the bathroom, wash dishes or even make dinner. A bassinet ensures you a comfortable place for baby, that is easily movable, and provides a safe place for them to rest in between. Not to mention they are relatively inexpensive.
#7 – Boppy Pillow
This is a must if you are a nursing Mamma – and often times can be used from child to child (to child!) It’s a relatively inexpensive purchase… you can usually find sales and specials on Amazon for them too.
We picked up a FREE slipcover with the purchase of a Boppy on Amazon as a flash sale months ago and tucked it away in the closet. Sure, you can use a pillow if a Boppy is out of your budget. But if you can afford one, it’s something that’s great to have.
#8 – Love and Affection
One of the BEST things you could give, that requires NO cost, is your love and affection.
In the end, your new baby won’t care if you have a bottle warmer, new clothes, or even a brand new car seat – your baby wants your care and love and your warmth as he/she spends the first few months eating and sleeping.