There are lots of baby items out that you do not need for your newborn baby but there are plenty of other parents, family members and adverts telling you otherwise. Parents of past generations have raised children successfully with very few ‘baby-specific’ items – some of the things we call “must-haves” were not even in existence until a few years ago.
Here are some of the vital things that you will need during the new baby stage. Cutting down on clutter and spending less on “stuff” is a valuable exercise and will give you the physical and mental space you need to make the right buying decisions.
I came across an article on thinkbaby.org that also provides some really good ways to save money when your expecting. I am particularly in favour of making your own baby food because it saves money and you know what’s going into the food!
#01. Baby Clothes
It is something every parent looks forward to; shopping for their baby’s clothes. However, you do not need the extravagance of a wardrobe that most mainstream baby registries will have you believe. Plus, newborns are messy. They will go through several outfits on a daily basis which makes those tiny fancy outfits seem over-the-top for everyday use.
All you need is a stash of onesies; pants, socks, sweater, little t-shirts, and a lightweight hat, with a few more layers for colder weather.
#02. Swaddle Blankets
Swaddle blankets are incredibly versatile and have some different functions. Primarily they are for swaddling your child, but they make an excellent blanket for some tummy time, they tuck in neatly for use in a stroller and offer a protective layer for your shoulder when burping. You might not know ahead of time whether your baby will enjoy being swaddled, but it is always good to have them within your reach.
#03. Infant Travel Essentials
According to Sam at MovingBabies.com, the best convertible car seats make a convenient, flexible addition to your list of minimalist essentials. A baby car seat is a non-negotiable if you have a car and need to transport your newborn from place to place. Every country in the world has a law that recommends having an excellent and safety-tested child car seat.
The bill also states that infants should stay in rear-facing seats until they weigh at least 20 pounds, can pull themselves up to stand, or reach one year of age. Most hospitals do not even release you if you do not have a baby car seat for your child. The car seats protect your baby from bodily harm in case of a collision.
There are many travel items that will be very useful depending on where you live. If you cycle a lot, a bike trailer for taking your child out cycling will be really useful, but if you live in a hilly neighbourhood you will get more use from an ergonomic child carrier.
#04. Cloth Diapers
Diapers are essential (and often significant) component of every parent’s budget. If you want to minimize your impact on the environment, cloth diapers are a great option. They are also economical. You might also need to add some baby wipes, diaper liners to that list.
#05. A Carry-Go Playard
A functional and reliable pack ‘n’ play or co-sleeper can do it all from when your child is a newborn to when they become toddlers. You can keep it right up beside the bed in the early months of frequent nighttime nursing, and then transition it to a playpen style as your baby grows. It also packs up easily for travelling.
Remember, not everything you come across is essential. Even things your friends recommend as crucial might not be. Children are different. Some will prefer a bassinet or crib, and another will mostly sleep in their carrier during the day and in the bed at night. Where possible ‘borrow before you buy’ to make sure that the item you want to go purchasing is one that you need. So, get to observe your baby’s reactions to some of these items before you decide to purchase them. It will not only help you save; but will also avoid unnecessary clutter.