I have started to plan for my first baby’s arrival from the first few month of my pregnancy. We were living from paycheck-to-paycheck, and budgeting was a must.
There are a ton of cute and even cuter baby items for sale in the shops and on the internet all the time. I felt it very hard to restrain myself and just pass by without buying those super sweet baby items. What is essential and what can I live without was a paramount question.
I had to decide what I will be budgeting for and by when I will need these items. I knew I won’t need them until baby comes, but what if baby decides to come 3-4 weeks early? Hind side, it was great to have the essentials in place as it turned out to be very tiring to go out and about with a huge baby belly from 36 weeks on.
Once I was clear what we must have before baby arrives, I looked around to see the price ranges and worked out how much I will have to set aside in the upcoming months. In fact if I have seen an essential item on special, available for a very good price, I bought it 2-3 months before my due date.
I will give you my essentials list in a moment, but let me start with the items you might think of as essentials, but in fact you can be without and you can use that money for more important items.
What items Are unnecessary if you are on a budget?
1. Infant Car-seat with detachable base – it might sound like a great idea and if you are not on a tight budget, you can invest in one. I do not consider it essential as it can be used for a short time. A simple baby-carrier did the job for me, when I took my infant out of the car. Instead of that I got a baby-car seat that can be used from infant to 4 years old.
2. Change-table: I got a chest of drawers with a change-table section on the top, but most of the time I changed my babies on the bed anyways.
3. Baby-monitor: I have never used it and did not miss it either. I have found that as a mother, my ears never sleep, and I woke up to the smallest noise if it came from my children’s bedroom, next to ours.
4. Crib-mobile: a newborn spends most of the time sleeping. Both my daughter and son frequently fall a sleep while feeding. Than I just lay them down in the cot. We didn’t have a crib mobile and I didn’t find it as a missing item.
5. White noise machine: if a baby doesn’t fall a sleep easily, it’s not because of the back ground noise, but because their tummy hurts or they are otherwise uncomfortable. White noise machine will not fix that. On the rare occasions my daughter would not settle, playing music and cradling her worked magic.
6. Wipe-warmer: I didn’t see any need for this item. When the wipe was very cold at winter, I held it in my hand for 20 second to warm it up little. It didn’t need a fancy appliance.
7. Hips of 0000 baby clothes: some blogs say that you need 7-14 sets of baby clothes. Although you might have to change your baby 2-3 times a day, it is impossible to tell in advance how big the baby will be at arrival. Additionally, the babies grow so much within their first few weeks that they need the next size up. Most of the clothes shopping can be done once baby is here and I found it better to buy one size larger bodysuits and jumpsuits than the actual size of the baby . Handy tip, if you are planning to have more babies in the future, buy baby items in gender natural colors and prints as they will not get worn in that short time while their fit, and can be used by multiple babies in the family.
What Are The Essentials?
1. Baby car-seat: it is illegal to carry babies and children in a car without a proper car-seat, and you will need it to take your baby home. There are car-seats you can use from 0-8 years old, which is a bonus, as you don’t need to buy a booster chair later.
2. Baby carrier: I have used BabyBjorn – Original and I loved it as it was comfortable. It has wide solder and back straps which distributes the babies weight evenly on one’s back. Although I have never tried a sling type of baby-carrier, it does not seem to be such design that would be comfortable for both baby and mum.
3. Cot or bassinet. It is very obvious why you need it from day one, so I won’t elaborate on it.
4. At least two unisex cot sheet sets or sheet sets for bassinet. You might find yourself to change the cot sheet 2-3 times a day in the first few months.
5. Cot blankets. You need more than one, in case of an accident, and cold weather.
6. Baby bottle to give baby water, for access breast milk, or formula if no breast milk. I used Phillips Avent Classic Pp Bottle it was easy to clean and wasn’t leaking.
7. Nappies: washable, reusable nappies if you are concerned about the environment, or disposable nappies will be needed from they one. If you choose disposable nappies, the cheapest might not be the best. I have tried several brands and not all worked for us the same. Huggies worked well and surprisingly, the Coles’ Comfy bot’s nappies performed well too, and didn’t cause nappy rush.
8. Pram or Stroller: it is important to take baby out for a walk to the fresh air and mummy needs the walk too. A pram or stroller makes it very easy and enjoyable. Most pram’s have several settings, and can be adjusted lay down the back, if baby falls a sleep.
9. Water-proof mattress cover for the cot mattress is a very handy item. It helps you to keep the mattress clean and dry, one less thing to worry about.
10. Towels and face-washers – these are needed to wash and dry your baby, and the face-washers will be in frequent use during the day after feeds.
I'm Etelka Koshemakin - a mother of two wonderful children, a wife, a healthy lifestyle enthusiastic, and a business woman. Through my blog posts I aim to inspire other mums to discover their inner genius, set it free to create a healthy, balanced and fun life for their family. Connect with me to get awesome tips and videos.
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