Since the future mom life world is overrun with articles telling you what you need to buy for your newborn baby, I thought I’d add my own take on the topic. The truth of the matter is you don’t need a lot and therefore don’t need to spend a lot. I am all about not having to spend money on transient baby things…this leaves me more money for Pinkberry and shoes n’shit.
List of baby’s absolute needs:
A place to sleep. This can be a crib, mini crib, a baby tub with adequate padding, or your bed. The last one is free.
Food. Formula or your boobs. Boobs are free.
A place to shit. You have the choices of disposible diapers, cloth diapers, and the toilet via elimination communication (which will probably make use of either or both kinds of diaper). I am an EC and cloth diaper STAN and will likely have a dedicated entry for each. Cloth + EC is the cheapest route, followed by cloth only, cloth + disposables, disposables + EC, and then disposables only. I’ll stop here because I can talk for hours about diapers and EC. HOURS.
You. Lots of hugs, cuddles, cheek nomming, and a general state of being closely held. This is also free.
Now that the spartan list is over, consider the following which I consider to be EXTREMELY helpful.
A pacifier. Hopefully you get one from the hospital. If your baby is in to this one, buy another for backup. They can be really picky about pacifiers, so if one doesn’t work out, find one that is shaped differently.
A huge swaddle blanket. They function as everything: swaddler, nursing cover, sun screen, burp cloth, etc.
A rocker or bouncer. There’s no telling if your baby is more of a rocker or a bouncer until s/he gets here. If you can’t borrow one to test it out first, find one on craigslist. They’re awesome because they double as baby distractions and napping places.
A carrier. I love the Moby. I hate that the Moby is $45 for a long piece of jersey. If you’re crafty, buy 2 – 3 yards of the stuff, cut it in half lengthwise and sew the pieces together. You need this because you get the benefit of holding your baby (which s/he loves) while being able to do shit (which YOU will love).
Clothes. Babies don’t need 3 outfits a day. 10 short sleeved onesies, 5 long sleeved ones (reverse these numbers if it’s cold where you are), 3 pairs of pants, 3 pairs of shorts, 1 jacket and 10 pairs of socks (and a mesh bag to wash them in since they disappear like CRAZY), is all you really need. Adjust for weather conditions (hats for sunny places, fuzzy onepieces with feet for cold places, natch).
A travel system. Car seats that have matching strollers that they can click in and out of are EVERYTHING. If you don’t want to buy new, inherit one from someone you TRUST COMPLETELY. Do not use a car seat that has been in an accident. Period.
DASSIT. That is it, that is all. Everything else is (sometimes useful) fluff that you can pass by if your budget is tight. Babies under 3 – 4 months old can’t see too well and can’t really move around, so precious little is needed to entertain them. Seriously. Wave a bright ribbon around or make a funny face – HOURS of baby merriment.
Go forth and scrimp!