by Rose Elder
When you get the amazing news that you are pregnant the excitement is intense. You are so happy that you want everything to be perfect for the arrival of your bundle of joy. Then comes the overwhelming number of questions. What do I need to buy for the baby? How many bottles do I need? Should I buy this stroller of this other one? Do I need a pack and play? Wait, what is a “pack and play”?
When I got pregnant with Alexander I was living in a one bedroom apartment with Adam. I just couldn’t wait to start shopping to have everything ready to go. I am here to tell you that you really don’t need all the cool looking items that baby stores tell you you need. Even just buying the “basic” things you will find yourself filling the closet with all the bulky baby items. I have two boys and we have survived so far and I didn’t get a wipe warmer or a cart cover.
I wrote this post to tell expecting moms that everything will be ok. That babies couldn’t care less about the items you buy, they will only be interested in your arms. So I made a list of items I learned I actually needed to make this life changing experience a bit easier. I also learned the hard way there were some things I was wrong about.
Here are some things I thought I didn’t need but I did!
Clothes- My mother kept telling me not to buy too much newborn or 0-3 months size clothing because babies grow so fast. Well, they do, but what my mother forgot is that a newborn poops and spits up several times a day. I found myself doing laundry everyday, on top of everything else, because I didn’t have enough clothes for him. I am not telling you to buy 100 newborn onesies, but do have around 10-15 pjs in newborn or 0-3 months sizes. Don’t spend too much money on nice outfits at that age because you might change your baby 10 minutes later due to a wet burp. Avoid getting outfits that have white around the collar area, they stain very easily. Just buy a couple of cute ones for baby photos. Get a couple of cotton hats and socks as well.
Bassinet– If you live in a two story house get two portable bassinets. You don’t want to be carrying the bassinet up and down the stairs. Get a multipurpose bassinet. The one I bought is called Tiny Love, it turns into a bouncer as well! It also has different reclining positions in case your baby ends up with reflux.
Sheets- I did’t want to spend money on nice crib sheets (they range between $20-$60) on my first son on top of everything else I needed. I honestly regretted it because I took so many pictures of him in a crib with plain white sheets. With Nicholas, my second, since I already had everything, I did. They make the 1000 pictures a day you take, look a lot nicer.
Sling carrier- Get a sling with an infant insert. Great to do errands around the house, go for walks, have your hands free at the super market, etc. I use Ergo.
Baby Monitor- This is a definite YES! Get one with a camera, and get a decent one. Mine wasn’t too expensive and the image is good. You feel so much better when you see your baby breathe! You get super paranoid the first 6 months.
Diaper pail- They are a pain, and they are big and the replacements are expensive. BUT, I didn’t get one with Alexander and it was a big mistake. You need a diaper pail to keep the bad smell contained. I bought Baby Genie because the bag replacements are sold at Costco.
Diapers and wipes- Obviously you need diapers (newborn size), but get the ones that the stripe changes color when they pee. The first months everything is a bit confusing. You are not experienced and you need the diaper to tell you if your baby peed, end of story.
Car seat- You obviously need a car seat. But make sure the carseat fits your stroller. I believe stores call them “travel systems”. I used the Maxi Cosi Mico with my Bugaboo stroller.
Stroller- With Alexander I purchased the Bugaboo Bee. I wanted something small and compact so I would use it for many years. I still use it (no need for an umbrella stroller), it has been an excellent stroller. Later we got the Bumbleride Speed. Sometimes the Bugaboo wasn’t a good fit for running of driving around the grassy areas at the park. Either one is a great option.
Baby shampoo and wash– I use the Young Living baby shampoo and baby wash. When I run out and I need some I like the Tom’s one. Get a natural sponge to apply so you don’t waste too much. Unless your baby has eczema or any skin dermatitis, you don’t need lotion.
Towels- I believe 2 baby towels are more than enough.
Baby gym– I got a very nice one. I wish I had just gotten an Ikea one. They are bulky too, so try to get a simple one.
Bumper- They are not recommended because the baby can suffocate. I did use one with both of my kids. Since they slept in the bassinet for the first 6 months when I transferred them to the crib they were perfectly capable of turning away if they couldn’t breathe for any reason. Why get one? They will get their limbs caught on the crib bars or hit themselves when they are tossing and turning. All that wakes them up and believe me, you don’t want that!
Humidifier- Yes! Specially if your baby is born in the cold months. This is a life saver when they are congested or have a cough.
First Aid- Its good to have ibuprofen and acetaminophen in case they get a fever. You will also need a good thermometer. A good diaper rash cream like Triple Paste. Alexander never got rashes, but when he did it was very handy to have it. Other than that I think you are good. I also have essential oils that I used a lot with Alexander. I have hold off on Nicholas because of his allergies.
Bottles– Do get 2-3 bottles, each one of a different brand to see which one baby prefers. Don’t buy more than one of each until you know that’s the one your baby likes. Neither of my children ever took the bottle, no matter how much I tried. I nursed Alexander for a year and a half and by then he was sucking water from a straw. Nicholas did exactly the same. What would I’ve done with a bunch of bottles taking up space!
Rocking Chair– I never got one because in my first apartment the floor creaked. Then I didn’t want to get one with Nicholas because they take so much space and I am done having kiddos. If you have the space I would get one. I still nurse my second boy and I sit uncomfortably on the bed to nurse him to this day!
Breast Pump- I didn’t use mine a lot, but it was handy. Obviously if you are going back to work you will need one if you plan to nurse. Other than that maybe a manual pump suffices. I got my electric one free through my insurance, lots of insurances do that, so maybe try that route. Message me if you want mine! I’m done with it. Get breast pads by the way!
Pacifiers– This is definitely personal. But if you ask me: YES YES YES YES YES!!! Buy several popular brands and have them boiled and ready to go. At first they don’t want it. You might even have to force it in a little, don’t be shy.
Security Blankie– This is a definite yes. Since Nicholas was a newborn and crying, sometimes the pacifier wouldn’t suffice. As soon as he felt that soft cuddly blankie he was quiet as can be. I love “Little Giraffe” blankies. They are pricy, but it’s the one my sons love. It is a life saver for both of us!
Don’t Install the Crib Right Away- You don’t need a crib right away. I set Alexander’s room super early and it was just wasted space. The first 6 months, specially if you are nursing, they will either sleep in a bassinet next to you, or if you throw the towel after the 3 feed, he/she will end up in your bed. By the time you put them in their own room your might one something more interactive for them to play in.
No Baby Tub- If you have a bathtub at home don’t get an expensive baby tub. Either get an inflatable one or bathe the baby in the regular tub. They are so bulky I couldn’t wait to get rid of mine! There are large sponges that are sold so you can lie the baby on them while in the bath. They are $5 and they are life savers!
No Nursing Pillow- I purchased a nursing pillow : “My Breast Friend”. I used if maybe 10 times total and never used it again. Once you get a hang of nursing you won’t use it anymore. They take so much space I felt relieved when I got rid of it! If you want one, borrow one.
Changing table- I never ever used mine. I felt more comfortable changing him on my bed with a pad underneath. It just felt like a safer option. Plus they take so much space you can totally live without!
Blankets- Maybe get one you love, but people will give you a ton! It is a very popular gift and I have two drawers full of them. I used my 2-3 favorites and the rest are just taking up space. Same with burp clothes. You need them and lots of people will gift them to you.
Pack and Play- I have mixed feelings about this one. They take so much space and you won’t use them very often. They are handy when you travel, or when you go stay at your parents house.
I believe you will do well with just these items. You will get gifts from your friends, in-laws, parents and parent friends, so wait for those. You might be surprised at all the amazing things they will give you!
Nice Wednesday everyone!