(Does this post seem familiar? You may have seen it before…I’m shutting down my other blog and reposting some of my favorites over here.)
Kids come with stuff
It’s amazing that something so small can require so many supplies! It starts while you are still in the hospital-you come home with a bag brimming with hospital freebies, cards, gifts, diapers….and on top of that, you have a baby. The number of things that find their way into your home after having a child can easily overwhelm you. How do you balance necessity with simplicity?
Discern your needs. Stick to the basics:
A safe place to sleep is essential. Your definition of a “safe place” will depend on your personal preferences, but it can be a crib, co-sleeper, or in bed with mom and dad.
Unless you live someplace very warm, you’re going to need clothing. Consider your actual needs, though. Where are you taking your baby? How often can you do laundry? What will you actually dress your child in? Don’t stock your drawers with stacks of tiny frilly dresses if you are only going to put your daughter in sleepers. Babies outgrow their clothing so fast, it’s impractical to buy multiple outfits that they will only wear once.
Some folks do eliminate communication with their children and skip diapers altogether, but the majority of the western world still depends on them. Cloth or disposable is up to you! Disposables are convenient but are expensive. Their cost can be cut considerably by watching sales and clipping coupons. Cloth has the advantage of savings over time but you do have to make an initial financial outlay, and they do add more laundry. Personally, I am a huge fan of cloth, but this is another area where you have to make a personal decision.
Breastfeeding is healthy and inexpensive and cuts out the need for any bottles or feeding paraphernalia. If this is not an option for you, then you will need to turn to bottles and formula. Be sure to shop the sales, and always ask your pediatrician for samples!
You might just prefer your arms, but sometimes a little help is nice. Parents who have cars will need a proper car seat-this one is a necessity. A baby carrier is nice as well, especially for doing housework or going for walks. We use an Ergo and a Moby and I would highly recommend them both! We also have a Baby Trend stroller, which I use primarily for walks around the neighborhood. It’s a great stroller if you have two little ones! I’m a big fan of the Baby Trend strollers in general-they have excellent customer service and good quality products for a decent price.
Your list of baby needs might be longer or shorter, but I urge you to think carefully before buying the latest and greatest baby gadget. And of course, remember the most basic and important necessity: love!