Having a baby is undoubtedly an exciting milestone in your life; it is also surprisingly expensive! Those little bundles of joy come with many needs and requirements that you need to meet if you want to keep them, and you are happy and healthy, so you need to be prepared for the outlay.
That being said, many more products are aimed at babies on the market than you need to bring into your home and your life. So. below, we are going to take a look at the things you do need when shopping for your baby, those things that are nice-to-haves, and the gimmicks that you don’t need, so you don’t end up spending a whole lot of money on a whole lot of unnecessary items when you’re expecting.
The Absolutely-Need-It List
1. 4-in-1 Crib: The Transformer of Baby Furniture
What Is A 4-in-1 crib, and do you need one for your baby? First thing’s first, you’ll want a crib, but not just any crib. Get a 4-in-1 convertible crib. It’s like the Optimus Prime of baby beds, transforming from a crib to a toddler bed, to a daybed, and sometimes even a full-sized bed. It grows with your kid, so you won’t have to shop for another bed until they beg for a car. Plus, it’s a great way to pretend you’re being economical while buying furniture. So, it is worth your money because who wants to spend hundreds of dollars on new beds every few years? No one, right?
2. Car Seat: Non-Negotiable
This one’s non-negotiable. You need a car seat even to leave the hospital with your baby. But here’s the deal: avoid swaying by the one with a built-in espresso machine. A safe, comfortable, and easy-to-install car seat will do the trick. Remember, you’ll use it often, usually with about as much sleep as a nocturnal bat.
3. Stroller: Your New Set of Wheels
A stroller is like your new vehicle, so choose wisely to avoid blowing your budget on something that does not work for you. Ideally, you want something that navigates the jungle of city sidewalks as well as it does a peaceful park trail. Look for one that’s easy to fold because you’ll do that about as often as you say, “No, I don’t need a bag” at the grocery store.
4. A Comfy Carrier or Sling: For Hands-Free Parenting
Sometimes, you’ll want to go places where a stroller is as helpful as a chocolate teapot. That’s when a baby carrier or sling comes in handy. It keeps your hands free and your baby close, which is excellent for bonding and multitasking.
5. Basic Clothing: They Grow Up So Fast
Resist the urge to buy an entire wardrobe of baby couture for your little one, no matter how cute it may be. Stick with the basics: onesies, sleepers, socks, and hats. Remember, babies have this superpower of growing three sizes overnight. Also, baby clothes with snaps are your friend. Zippers are like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube in the dark.
The “Nice-to-Have” List
1. Changing Table: Or Any Flat Surface, Really
A changing table sounds like a great idea until you realize that any flat surface can be a changing table if you want it to. If you’ve got space and budget, sure, get one. If not, a changing pad on the dresser works just as well. Plus, it is a great place to fold (or pile up) laundry.
2. Diaper Pail: Contain the Stink
If you’re going with disposable diapers, a diaper pail is an excellent way to contain the smell of a thousand dirty diapers. It’s unnecessary, but your nose might thank you for having it, nonetheless.
3. Baby Monitor: For the Paranoid Parent in You
If you’re the type to check if the stove is off five times before leaving the house, you might want a baby monitor. It’s great for peace of mind; some even come with video so you can watch your little one sleep (or not sleep, as the case may be).
4. Bottle Warmer: Because Microwaves Are a No-No
If you’re bottle-feeding, a bottle warmer is a handy gadget to have…well, on hand. It will enable you to quickly get your baby’s dinner to just the right temperature without the hotspots that microwaves create, which can be dangerous at worst and annoying at best.
The “Probably-Don’t-Need-It” List
1. Wipe Warmer: Seriously?
Unless you live in the Arctic, a wipe warmer is probably overkill, and your baby will be no less pampered for not having one. Your baby’s bottom will survive room-temperature wipes, right? So why save the cash for something else, like coffee? Because, let me tell you, you’ll need a lot of coffee.
2. Fancy Bedding: Keep It Simple
That 10-piece crib bedding set might look cute, but you only need a few fitted crib sheets and lightweight blankets to keep your little one happy. Remember, safety first – all that extra fluff isn’t recommended for infants anyway and can be a suffocation hazard in some cases, so keep it simple.
3. High-Tech Baby Gadgets: Don’t Break the Bank
A baby gadget that predicts your child’s future career sounds cool, but you don’t need to break the bank on high-tech devices. Stick to the basics and trust your parental instincts. They’re more accurate than you think.
As you can see, shopping for your new baby doesn’t have to mean buying out the entire baby section. Stick to the essentials, sprinkle in a few conveniences, and skip the fluff. Your bank account (and your sanity) will thank you. And remember, the best thing you can give your baby doesn’t come from a store. It’s your love, care, and attention – and maybe a lullaby or two, off-key as they may be.