Preparing for a new baby is so fun! It’s a new adventure in so many ways. You’re discovering how to be a parent, setting up nurseries, childproofing the home & all the while growing a baby. Things can get overwhelming pretty quickly.
Where do you even begin?
One of the 1st things to start with is deciding what you WANT for your baby, what you NEED for your baby, & your budget. It is possible to have a baby on a budget! You can find out how here.
Stores are jam packed with baby stuff. Which can make it pretty darn hard to make a decision.
What’s really necessary? What’s going to be a waste?
Well, I’ll help you out & give you some direction.
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The Must Haves For Baby
Crib & mattress
You can save money by buying a convertible crib.
That way it will grow with your baby & you won’t have to constantly re-buy furniture.
I would also suggest shopping around for your crib & crib mattress. It does not have to cost a fortune.
You will need a minimum of 2 in case of accidents. 1 sheet could be in the wash & the other on the crib.
You really need this. It will save your mattress from the normal mess that comes with a little one.
Make sure the dresser can be used to grow with your baby through the years.
Check out the ultimate guide to finding the best diaper for you baby.
Swaddle Blankets & Heavier Blankets
Blankets are very versatile.
Use them as a play mat, changing mat, to keep baby warm, nursing cover, or car seat cover.
I would suggest only using heavier blankets in the winter months or as a play mat because babies can overheat quickly.
Be sure to also be mindful of how heavy the blanket is that you are placing on your baby.
Quilts are generally too heavy but are great for tummy time.
For these I suggest using cloth diapers. They are extremely absorbent, especially compared to the regular burp cloths. I loved using these with my kiddos.
Make sure the chair has a reclining position & that it is adjustable. That way it can grow with you as well & help to save money. You can find my favorite high chair here.
Save money by buying bigger size bottles instead of the small ones.
That way you will not have to by more bottles once your baby outgrows drinking 4 ounces at a time.
Bottle Drying Rack
Drying racks are amazing! They’re perfect for holding all of those little baby items items that you have to wash. By far my favorite drying rack is by Boon.
Yes, you do need something to carry all of your baby’s stuff when you go out.
Try to look for something that has multiple pockets & is roomy.Diaper backpacks are perfect because they won’t weigh down your shoulder & they’re awesome for Dad.
Bowls, Plates, & Utensils
You don’t need a lot of these. But having plastic is a when involving children is a must. You never know when your baby may grab the bowl of peas & splatter you with it-trust me.
When it comes to feeding baby real food, I suggest getting 1-2 bibs that have pockets.
I love them!
I’ve tried a variety of baby tubs but my favorite by far is this one.
Car Seat & Stroller
These are 2 more expensive items. However, you can get a great deal if you buy a travel set that includes both like this Graco travel system.
Yes, your baby needs clothes.
No, your baby does not need a different outfit for every day of the month.
Be sure to get clothes in a variety of sizes but limit the amount of each size. Babies grow so fast that its a waste to buy so many clothes.
You don’t have to pay for this.
You can use a free white noise app on an old cell phone.
White noise is an absolute must in our house. It helps both of our kids get to sleep.
If you do decide to use one, be sure its about as loud as a shower running & that its constantly running through the night. The ones that cut off after 45 minutes or so, aren’t as effective.
Your baby will quickly begin to move around & you will probably want them on a surface that they can’t roll off of like the floor or a bed. They also outgrow them super fast.
Then what do you do with it? Just take up space.
If you do decide that you want a changing station of some sort then consider a tabletop changing pad like this one.
You can put the pad on top of a dresser.
Pack ‘n’ Play
These are great for travel. But before you buy it, look at how much you intend to travel for that first year.
Also look at where you will be staying, & see if there are other sleep accommodations.
Try co-sleeping for a couple of days. If you’re staying in a hotel, check to see if they offer a crib. Many hotels do & they are usually free of charge.
Activity Play Yard
These are a great tool for keeping your baby entertained. However, you can stimulate just as much if not even more than a toy.
Related: Learn how to actively play with your baby without a play yard here.
This one is up to you.
With our first we did just fine without having a monitor. Now, with our second, it’s a great convenience to be able to keep an eye on him but we can easily hear him as well.
Take these factors into consideration before deciding on a monitor.
- How big is your home? Would you be able to hear your baby crying?
- Are you going to focus more on the monitor than other things when the baby is sleeping? I know it sounds crazy but I have known some people who watch their monitor more than TV.
- Will you be spending anytime outside of the house while baby is sleeping? By this I mean would you be outside in the yard at any point.
- Are there other siblings who must be watched as well?
I get it these are very appealing & convenient.
However, if you don’t truly need it. Babies outgrow these about as fast as clothes. We were gifted a bouncy seat & I kept it to give it a try.
By the time my son was 3 months old, the chunk fella couldn’t fit in it.
Put the focus on tummy time or floor play. If you need activity ideas for baby play you can find them here.
Yes, they need stimulation & it’s ok to buy some.
But you can make a variety of toys for them using things you already have around the house.
Related: Check out my list of DIY baby toys here.
I will admit this one a hard one for me, I wasn’t quite sure what category to put this in. While I did love my glider my daughter did not.
She preferred a circular motion when being soothed instead of the back & forth. Years later after getting rid of it, I don’t miss it with my son.
For feedings I just sit on the couch or bed.
If he needs extra soothing & I’m tired of standing, I just use an exercise ball.
I know that sounds funny, but an exercise ball allows you to do a range of different motions to soothe your baby. For an added benefit you can get a workout in.
I would suggest getting one.
It’s the best think for expressing milk.
You can even get them for free through your insurance company. If you’re not breastfeeding, then you don’t need one.
**Sidenote/mommy tip, if you’re strictly formula feeding it’s ok! Don’t let others make you feel bad!
This one is up to you as well.
It’s really just another method of self soothing for babies. So if you want a pacifier then get one.
If you don’t want to have to deal with weaning your baby off of it later then don’t.
Personally, we did not & both of my children learned to soothe themselves. And I love that free deal!
Babies have very sensitive skin & it can get very easily irritated.
That does not mean that you need to spend a large amount of money on baby detergent. You can use a detergent that is hypoallergenic.
What You Don’t Need For Your Baby
- Wipes warmer
- Multiple gadgets. By this I mean you don’t need a swing, a jumper, a exersaucer, & a bouncy seat.
- Bassinet or attachable co-sleeper
- Diaper trash can
- Crib bumper
- Fancy bedding
Remember, it’s ok to buy stuff outside of this guide. Mainly because it’s just that a guide.
Stay organized during your pregnancy. Hop on over to our shop & grab your pregnancy manager.
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