Parenthood comes with all new stresses (and joys…SO MANY joys). Don’t let the idea of baby stuff taking over your house stress you out. I’m here today to tell you what you REALLY need for baby (and what you shouldn’t waste your money on)!
1- A Swing – I LOVE the cradle swings. I had both… the cradle swing and the regular swing, but the cradle swing far outweighed the other one, in my opinion. Plus, this swing healed our baby’s flat spot on her head- the Doctors were amazed, but we owe it all to this swing because it kept her head from falling to the one side that she favored when she rested).
2- Infant Car Seat and stroller combo – This was such a great investment for me! It is SO easy to click out the car seat from the base and pop it right into the stroller. You can be in and out of the car and on your way to the store in a matter of seconds! No need to wrestle with taking the baby in and out of the seat and then into the stroller again, ESPECIALLY if the baby is sleeping!
3- Diapers & Wipes – Trust me that you need more than you think, but don’t get talked into only buying size Newborn. Our kids jumped straight from Premie diapers (I had 4 & 5-pound babies) to size 1-2.
We use Luvs at night because they keep our babies dry in their sleep. TIP: USE A SIZE BIGGER AT NIGHT!
In the daytime, we can use any, but we find the Huggies Slip-ones are easiest to use (you can see how I use those here)
4- Breast Pump – I seriously lived with mine by my side. I exclusively breastfed two of our children (I was blessed with an abundant supply, so I didn’t have to use it too often, but nonetheless, having an electric pump was a game-changer for me, and it allowed me to provide our children with breast milk for a year.)
PS- remember that you can order larger flanges. One size does not fit all (which most new moms don’t realize because the pumps only come with one size).
Here is the one that I had Here is the one that I WISH I had bought (the hands-free electric pump). Oh- if you get a pump, be sure to buy either a hands-free pumping bra or just use a sports bra in a larger size, and put it down over the flanges to get hands-free pumping sessions. PPS- be sure to check with your insurance company before purchasing a pump- MOST companies cover a variety of breast pumps FOR FREE! You’ll be spending enough money on that sweet baby throughout the years, save all you can now!
5- Bath Tub – You DO NOT need to get an expensive tub. The most basic tub will be fine. You will only use this for a few months. I had our kids in the real tub as soon as they could sit with me supporting them) This basic one will work (First Years Newborn to toddler with a sling).
6- Baby Carriers/Sling – There are so many to pick from, and this is something that you may have to determine with trial and error … I certainly went through about five before I found one to work with my petite frame (did I mention that I am only 4’11?)
7- Some Sort of Chair to Eat in (NOT A HIGH CHAIR) – You don’t have to get a high chair. I had a high-chair with baby # 1 and #2. I did not have one for baby # 3 or #4. I also fed our first two babies at 4 months, and I didn’t feed our third & fourth babies until six months. This gave them more time to learn to sit, allowing me to go right from the breast or bottle (in my arms) to a booster seat.
You can instead go straight to a booster seat like this they come in the price range from $30 & up past $50.
8- A Crib – I know a lot of moms that use bassinets, pack n plays and more, but in my opinion, just get the crib. (Get one with fixed sides that will then become a toddler bed and a full bed,( like this one,) Your child will use it for two years or more. It is worth the money (they cost as little as $90 if you get a crib that doesn’t convert), and you will get your use out of them. Plus, you can get a safe, cheap mattress that is comfortable for baby. They are safe, too.
Pediatricians recommend that you keep them in your room at first, but I never did only because I had #9…
9- Video Monitor – THIS WAS MY SAVING GRACE FOR MY SANITY! This Summer video monitor is the one that we have, and worth every penny. We bought our first one when our first son was born seven years ago and have replaced it once. I still use it (now I have two cameras- one in our nursery and one in the playroom). I could peek at our baby when I would hear a cry without walking into the room.
10- Car Seat Cover – I used this to keep the germs, sun & roaming hands away from the baby. Although not on Walmart.com’s registry, I loved this Car Seat Canopy. I used mine every day & it was worth every cent, too (oh, wait- it’s free with promo code YMF4).
11- Bottles – even if you breastfeed, it’s best to have a few bottles on hand for times when the baby is too stuffy to nurse or in case you are not feeling well (if you are sick or on medicine, you will want to give your baby formula or frozen breast milk. I gave our baby breast milk while taking amoxicillin, and she had an allergic reaction and had to be hospitalized for four days… and prior to giving her breast milk, I called THREE pharmacists to be sure that this was OK. They all said yes, but clearly it wasn’t. Having a bottle with formula on hand would have prevented this). I also had a cheap bottle warmer, and I used it every single day for my pumped milk. It was worth the money to me (the whole $15 or so that that I paid for it!)
12-A Play Yard – this won’t be used RIGHT AWAY with a newborn, but believe me… this thing is a lifesaver. As much as you’ll want to soak in those sweet baby snuggles all day every day, there will come a time when you need to put the baby down in a safe space. This portable play yard from Regalo is AH-MAZ-ING. It’s so easy to set up (I can do it one-handed!) and is great for indoor and outdoor use! This may not be every-day-essential, but my kids loved it and it was definitely a summer essential for afternoons in the backyard or beach trips!
13- A Diaper Bag – kids need a TON of stuff when you leave the house – diapers, wipes, snacks, extra clothes, the list seems to go on and on… Just because you have to carry all their stuff with you all the time, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style! You have to check out the Big Sweety Diaper Bag – it’s my FAVORITE diaper bag ever – it is stylish, practical, and can totally be used for a personal bag when your kids are big enough to carry their own stuff!
And just as a FUN (but SOOO useful) extra:
14- a Stroller Rocker! – this thing is incredible! The Rockit stroller rocker saves your hands from having to walk around forever to keep your baby asleep. It gently rocks the stroller for you (battery-powered!) so you can have your hands free to play with your other kids, read a book, or simply just relax while your baby sleeps soundly!
What you DON’T WANT TO WASTE YOUR MONEY ON:
1- A big, beautiful, fluffy bumper. They are dangerous and your baby can suffocate. Get a breathable one if you want one.
2- The quilt. Unless you are going to hang it in your baby’s room, it is a huge waste of money
3- Shoes. Your baby will probably never wear shoes (unless you buy that one cute pair for pictures to announce your pregnancy to everyone).
3- Their own cute matching laundry basket. Let’s be honest- they go through about five outfits a day. I would take them off and throw them into the growing pile in the laundry room. I didn’t want the smell of spit-up in our baby’s beautiful nursery.
4- A diaper pail. They smell worse than the diapers themselves! I just threw them into the garbage can in the bathroom and emptied it at the end of the day. (I would line them with Walmart bags from my grocery shopping trip and at the end of the day, grab it and take it outside.)
5- Wipe Warmer. They dry out your wipes and you will need to spend more money on new wipes than the warmer itself!
6- Changing Table. They look great, but you probably won’t use it. I NEVER did. I am short, as I said above, so I always have (and still do) change our baby on the floor, right by her pretty pink basket filled with diapers. With our first son, I just used a changing pad on his dresser. It was a low dresser and the changing pad worked out great.
7- Bassinet. If you have OLDER siblings, just be careful with a bassinet. We were given one for baby #2, and our toddler would pull on it (if you have ever pulled on them, you can see that they easily tip). After one pull with a little tilting, we gave it right back. I was not going to have another worry on my mind! Plus, the crib was in his room and our pack and play were set up downstairs, so we had all of the safe-sleeping space that we needed.
8- Baby Detergent. You can find perfume-free detergent out there cheaper than the ‘baby detergent,’ but see if your baby does OK with what you already use. With baby #1, we used only Dreft, but after baby #2, 3 & 4 came, we were using Tide or whatever we had on hand.
9- High Chair. As I mentioned above, you don’t need a high-chair. You can go straight to a less expensive booster seat
What was your most used and most un-used baby item?