Having a baby is so much fun. if you are like me and love to shop, it can be a bit bad for your bank account. With my first daughter, I wanted so many things. my eyes were much bigger than my pockets. Overtime after having more kids I now know what things are worth it and what things are not.
this is a list of my top 5 must-haves for babies no matter if you’re a new or seasoned mom.
this one is pretty self-explanatory. Unless you are planning on exclusively Co-sleeping having a bassinet is a must-have. in the first couple of months you will be waking up in the middle of the night to feed your baby and having them right up close to your bed is a lifesaver. I have had a couple of different sleeping arrangements over the time I’ve had babies. With my first baby, we took one side of the crib off of a mini crib and put it up against our bed. It worked best for us because I was recovering from a C-section and rolling over to my baby next to me with no barriers was useful. For my second baby, we purchased a $50 bassinet off of Walmart. It worked. it was a plain white bassinet. However, with this baby, we found a game changer! The 4moms bassinet. This one is VERY PRICEY. We were lucky enough to find ours at the thrift store and have it gifted to us very generously by my in-laws. Which I talk about in my birth story here. There are so many settings and ways it moves. Our baby loves it and at 1 month old wakes up only 1 time per night.
I know what you are thinking. Bassinet, diapers. These are things that are known. Here is the thing about babies. They are only as expensive as you make them, Sure my bassinet was a couple of hundred dollars but that was a choice. Just like diapers are a choice. I posted about our cloth diapering journey here. It has seriously saved us hundreds of dollars using cloth instead of disposables. The start-up cost was not much either. I shopped thrift stores and sales and I built my stash over a couple of months. I spend about $200 on a full stash of 30 nb diapers and 35 one-size diapers. The washing has not noticeably increased our water or electric bill. Cloth diapers are a must-have baby product for me.
3. baby wrap/carrier
When you have more than one young child you know that "rest" is not in their vocabulary. It seems like every time you sit down they must have something that is just out of their reach or there is another mess to clean up. Being able to just wrap up your baby or stick them in a carrier and continue on your day is a lifesaver. It is also super beneficial for you and your baby. it helps regulate their temperature and heart rate and even prevents flat head syndrome. Babywearing is a must-have especially when you have more than one child. Baby wraps can get expensive however I have purchased them at thrift stores or been given all my wraps, slings, and carriers. I have not paid more than fifteen dollars for one carrier.
4. Baby clothes
This will depend on where you live and your climate. Where I live it does not get very cold but it gets in the triple digits, I'm talking 111 triple digits. For us, we need a lot more onesies than someone with a colder climate. I only shop at thrift stores for the most part. I have purchased single baby clothes that have cost me pennies compared to the original purchase price and they still look brand new. I also utilize the Facebook marketplace. Many times people are giving away bags of clothing for very cheap or free. I have gotten hundreds of dollars in free baby clothes. Here is a list of the amount of each type of clothing you need for your baby. If you live in a warmer climate add extra onesies if you live in a cooler climate add some more PJs.
a few hats
socks (these socks are magic they dont fall off, I only needed 1 pack)
That's it! Of course, you can purchase more but that is all you absolutely need.
Now this one is tricky because I don't mean swaddles for swaddling. Let me explain. There has been recent research to suggest that swaddling can do more harm than good (you can read about that here) Inhibiting a baby's natural motion in any way can cause issues in development as well as the risks associated with swaddling, which is why I am not suggesting them for actual swaddling. Now I did swaddle my baby for about 3 weeks. It was out of both habit and survival. But now I was able to slowly transition her out and she is no longer in a swaddle at 4 weeks. I love having my muslin swaddled around for anything and everything. They are light and breathable and can turn into a changing table or burp cloth in an instant. They are very versatile and useful.
That's all you need! Babies do not have to be expensive and even my list is full of optional purchases. You could pick up a bunch of clothing off of Facebook marketplace and a couple of packs of flour sack towels at Walmart and only spend $20. Babies are not expensive unless you make them expensive. Don't fall for all of the marketing tactics businesses use but also don't feel shamed for purchasing items that you don't need but like! It's fun to shop and sometimes it is nice to buy things that make your life just a little bit easier.