Truth be told, there are not many essentials a healthy baby immediately needs in order to be cared for properly. However, take a walk down any store’s baby aisle and you’ll find an abundant amount of baby item choices, all claiming to be necessary in caring for your newborn.
Some items are made to make your life easier, some items are excessively adorable, and some are just plain silly. Yet not all of these items are imperative; there are only a select few baby products that transition from convenient to crucial. Instead of taking the more expensive route in obtaining baby must-haves, try using alternatives instead.
Clothes: One baby accessory parents often throw their money toward is baby clothes. Realistically, your baby needs about 6 outfits, especially the first few months. To reduce cost of baby clothes, decide which type of clothing you’d prefer and only purchase a few outfits. Gowns are great for late night diaper changes. Sleep’n’plays alternate easily from nighttime to daytime. Likewise, onsies paired with socks are the staple of baby clothes.
Spit rags and bibs: You are not obligated to have both. Spit rags perform well as bibs and vice versa.
Changing table: The best element about a changing table is you absolutely do not need one. The only task a changing table is used for is changing your baby’s diaper on it. Where else are you able to change your poop machine? The floor, of course! Find a soft, comfy blanket instead. If you travel throughout the house with your little one and find yourself changing his or her diaper in every room, a diaper caddy to store his or her diapering demands would be a helpful assistant.
Wipes: Whether you choose to cloth diaper or use disposables on your newborn, it’s extremely easy to make your own wipes. Cut up some old (clean) sheets or towels into small squares. You might save even more money by washing and reusing the wipes, or you may dispose of them once they’ve accomplished their task.
Sleeping arrangements: Many parents purchase a co-sleeper, bassinet, and crib. However, the crib is fine, even for the first night home from the hospital. If you’d prefer to have your snoozer sleeping in the same bedroom as you, by all means, move the crib into your room. There is no urgency to purchase multiple sleeping environments when it is inevitable your baby will eventually be moved to his or her crib. In addition to this, many cribs offer a metamorphosis from infancy to toddlerhood by converting the crib into a daybed.
Crib bedding: Avoid purchasing matching sets of crib sheets, bedding, and nursery items. More often than not, unimportant components are included. You truly only want one or two crib sheets until your child is old enough to use blankets without the risk of SIDS.
Baby Monitor: While a baby monitor is not necessary, it does ease some parents’ worries. However, there is still room to save! Refrain from buying a video monitor. Monitors that provide a live feed will likely keep both you and the baby up at night with constant watch. Instead, opt for a motion sensor or old-fashioned sound monitor to keep close eye on your little one.
Diaper bag: Make your own or use a retired tote bag hiding in your closet.
The most important product you do not want to skimp on is one with your child’s safety in mind. Reused car seats are not recommended. Be sure to purchase a new car seat and double check it against FDA regulations.