Every expectant mother wants to be 100% prepared for her new arrival. We nest, it’s only natural.
Companies know how to cash in on this and they present mums to be with exuberant lists of what they will ‘need’ for their new baby.
In reality you don’t need an awful lot.
What you don’t need
Now I will admit to diligently buying everything on the ‘list’ for my first. After all they were the experts and I was the novice first timer. I spent up big and bought the lot.
Well things didn’t get used, got washed but never used or lay dormant in their boxes. What a waste.
You don’t need – nappy wrappers, small muslin wraps, heaps of baby clothes, stuffed toys, highchair (at least nor straight away), bath seats, baby bath, bath toys, positioning devices for a sleeping baby, change table, nappy bag… Perhaps a shorter list would be what you do need..
What do you REALLY need for a new baby?
Newborns eat, sleep and poo. That’s it. They really don’t need a lot of stuff. Keeping in mind many people may want to gift things to you, it really is possible to keep costs low for a new baby.
Keep in mind that while secon hand does save you money it is essential car seats brand new and to replace a car seat if it’s been involved in an accident. Ensure all cots, prams and car seats meet the current safety standards.
You will need baby clothes. Now these are so cute, but trust me fiddly outfits are useless with tiny babies, they hate being dressed and undressed, you are better off with onesies. 6 long sleeved, 6 short sleeved and a few packets of singlets should suffice. A few pairs of socks and a jumper to keep baby warm. A few sun hats for summer or beanies for winter. Better yet, buy some wool and knitting needles and make yout baby a beanie while you anxiously await her arrival. I find my patterns at http://www.knittingpatterncentral.com. As for size, most babies fit 000 even if they’re a bit big at first. If funds are tight skip buying 0000 or buy off eBay.
Nappies. Either 20 MCNs, 20 terry cloth towels or a box of newborn nappies.
Somewhere for baby to sleep. Either your bed, a bassinet by your bed, a baby hammock or a cot in your room.
A car seat to come home in.
Large muslin wraps. I have 3 large good quality bamboo wraps that I used when he was 5 weeks prem and still use at almost 7 months. I have also wrapped my 2 year old with one.
A baby carrier. Now these may be seen as a nice to have but truly they’re an essential to the attachment parent. I used a mei tai when my babe was tiny and now we use an ergo and a moby style wrap. Huggabubs also get a good rep.
Prams are nice to have but you can put off buying that until baby is born. Same with a high chair, you won’t need a high chair for at least 6 months. You can bathe a baby in a sink, an adult tub with only a little water or you can shower together.
DO NOT BUY BOTTLES OR FORMULA IF YOU INTEND TO BREASTFEED. Even if you’ve been told to just in case, don’t. Those bottles and tin of formula could be the enemy to your breastfeeding success. If you’re planning on going back to work you can still breastfeed and I’d wait to buy a pump and feeding equipment until well after feeding is established.
Don’t forget to get yourself fitted for a maternity bra and buy some tops you’ll be comfortable feeding in. I prefer tops that button up myself.
Certainly not essential but we bought a glider chair off eBay and I use it every single day to settle my son for sleep or to feed when he’s distracted.
You can buy changing mats for about $20 which on any hard surface makes a great changing space.
As for decoration, well a few wall stickers that are removable can jazz up any space but if your nursery is just a glorified nappy room, I wouldn’t really bother.
As for toys, for some reason people give stuffed animals to newborns. Tiny newbies only care about milk, sleep and looking at your face. Don’t buy any yourself, accept the gifts and put them away. When your child is a toddler they will love the absolute fur off them! Infants love contrast in colors and textures, a rattle, a simple play mat and a mobile is really all you need. We have used the same bouncer for both children and I find it so useful, for putting baby down to go to the toilet, change my toddlers nappy, while cooking dinner (some tasks like handling hot pans or draining hot liquids really do require two hands). We use it sparingly (maybe 10 minutes all up every day) but it is handy. It doesn’t need to be anything flash, ours cost maybe $50.
We spent $200 on an electronic swing when our first was a baby, she hated it, our second also hates it, we’re donating it to our MoPS group this Friday.
You can buy what you like for your baby, but there is nothing worse then looking at a pile of stuff bought for a child that was never used and then adding up in your head how much money you could have saved or spent on other things. Take it from me, I could have bought a Thermomix so much sooner