How many times have we all heard, “You’ll never be ‘ready’ to have a baby”? I quickly became the person receiving this “advice” to the one dishing it out. Truer words have never been spoken. There will ALWAYS be a reason to hold off on growing your family. Trust me.
One of the main concerns new parents typically have is finance-related. After much trial and error, research, and pure luck, I’ve put together a series of posts that will provide money-saving tips for those with a little one (whether it’s your first or seventh child). First, we will discuss one way to be financially-minded before your baby even arrives.
Ahhh, the day you register for baby items…so exciting! And overwhelming. Can I be frank with you for a moment? I cried in the bottle aisle. I literally had tears streaming down my face as I turned to my husband and said, “I have no idea what type of bottle we need!” There were plastic and glass bottles. Some were BPA-free, and others did not mention the chemicals that could potentially harm my child. There were specialty bottles that promised to reduce gas, and others that were “ergonomically” designed for the feeders comfort. And don’t even get me started on the breastfeeding accessories!
Walking in to the big baby stores can be exhilarating. Everything is just so darn cute. I wanted it all! But here’s the kicker: people will actually look at your registry and purchase items you’ve asked for. Hard to believe, huh? Please keep this in mind when you are going crazy with your gun, running up and down the aisles like a kid on Christmas morning.
You may be saying, “But Sarah, I don’t know nothin’ ‘bout birthing no babies.” Translation: “I have no clue what I actually need for a newborn”. Well, I’m here to help. First, ask your friends and family members. *HINT: Ask the people who have given birth in the last few years. Baby products are just like technology…there’s always something faster and more efficient coming out. There are a lot of really cool baby gadgets out there. But do you really need them? The experienced Mommies in your life are invaluable! They can tell you what works best!
Take some time before registering to sit down with your spouse and make a list. So before you even step foot in the baby warehouse, know what would really be a blessing for your growing family. It seems that, most of the time, there are Grandparents, a group of coworkers, or a very generous friend who want to purchase something “large”. So, make sure you have varied price ranges represented on your “wish list”.
Here are some essentials you’ll need:
- Diapers – whether you plan on going the cloth diaper route or the Huggies route, you’ll need a good stockpile of diapers. Unless you plan on using your sleeve (you’ll probably get your chance with some of the poop explosions from your newborn) you will probably want some wipes, as well.
- Burp cloths – Your adorable house will soon be decorated with random burp cloths strewn across furniture. One of the cheapest yet most necessary items for a newborn!
- Bottles – Even if you plan on breastfeeding, you’ll probably want to pump and allow others to feed the baby for you from time to time. Do your research online and see what features in a bottle are most important to you. Please don’t go into the bottle selection blind like I did. you will regret it!
- Breastfeeding – Hey, speaking of breastfeeding, you’ll need the following to aid you in your endeavor: Boppy (or other breastfeeding pillow), Breast Pump (do you research to determine the best pump in your price range), and a GOOD (organic) nipple cream. My favorite is Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter. And don’t forget nursing bras/tank tops.
- Bath Items – You’ll need a baby tub, wash cloths, hooded towels, body/hair wash, and lotion. Be sure and research the ingredients in the items going on your babies skin. A great web site for this is EWG’s Skin Deep, where you see the ingredients in each item and the potential hazards of those ingredients.
- Travel with Baby – Car seat (Again, do your research. Consumer Reports will be a good starting point), stroller, a carrier or sling like the Ergobaby carrier, and a diaper bag.
I’m going to stop there. Obviously, this list is not all-inclusive. You get the idea, though. Gifts from family and friends are inevitable when you are expecting. So why not create a registry that is jam-packed of essential items? After all, each item you receive is one less item you will need to purchase.
Alright all my seasoned Mommy friends…help me and other readers! What essential newborn items am I missing?