While prepping for Baby Piper to join our family I found myself torn between my desire to simplify and my need to feel prepared for everything. To keep my shopping habits in line, I decided to consult one of my experts, Lindsay, from Search for the Simple to help me get down to what I truly needed.
She was kind enough to write a guest post on this very topic as well…..
I sat at a couch, shifting my weight from side to side trying to get comfortable while looking over the list in my hands. Diapers, wipes, blankets, wipe warmer (why do the wipes need to be warm?), furniture, and sound machines. It was a LONG list. Then the associate game me a device and let me loose in the store. I was registering for my first baby.
With entire stores filled floor to ceiling with baby gear (Buy Buy Baby, I’m looking at you), it can be very hard to determine what you actually need when bringing a new baby home. We are parents of 3 children. Baby #1 was a great way to learn what baby items we really needed and which were taking up space and resources. By the time baby #3 came around, we were much more comfortable in our skin as parents and much more savvy when it came to what we really needed for the baby.
If you’re a parent-to-be, these are my top 6 items you should have when you welcome baby home.
There is pretty much no avoiding this one. You will need diapers of some sort. When choosing diapers, your lifestyle and budget are important factors. We chose cloth diapers and used them about 80% of the time. I stay at home with the kids, so the diaper laundry always gets done. And with the amount of time kids spend in diapers, having the least chemicals on their delicate skin was important to me. Cloth diapers are more economical, eco-friendly, and have fewer chemicals than disposables. And it’s actually not as gross or time consuming as you might think. But they’re not for everyone. There are lots of great disposable diaper options out there these days that are better for baby and the environment.
2. Sleepers or Onesies
I remember getting so many cute little baby boy outfits at my first baby shower for our oldest. The problem was when it came time to take the clothes off the hanger and put them on the baby, they weren’t always the most practical. Flash forward 5 years to Baby #3. He LIVES in sleepers. They are comfy, warm, and great for sleep and playtime. You could get 10 sleepers in each baby size and that should be enough to clothe your baby for the whole first year. Onesies are great for babies in the summer months and our 3 spent lots of time in onesies. Of course, throw a few cute outfits in too. Practicality isn’t everything.
3. Somewhere to sleep
My very frugal husband loves to remind me that Warren Buffet used a dresser drawer in lieu of a crib for his daughter. Baby will need somewhere to sleep. Whether that is a crib, bassinet, or pack and play, choose safety and function. All our baby furniture was bought used or given to us by generous friends.
4. Glass bottles
Nursing babies will need to take a bottle from time to time. Glass bottles are easy to clean and sterilize, are more durable than plastic bottles, and you can safely heat what’s inside without worry about leaching as you do with plastic. Four bottles were enough for us and two of our 3 kids used them.
5. Muslin Blankets
All three of our children slept best swaddled as infants. We had the Velcro swaddlers for baby #1 and he would wake at the sound of Velcro when he broke the swaddle. Not good. When baby #2 came along, we bought a 4 pack of muslin blankets. I think it’s been one of my top baby purchases and I often give them as shower gifts. Muslin blankets are lightweight, breathable, and stretchy for a snug swaddle. They are truly multipurpose. We have used them as nursing covers, sunshades, burp clothes, handkerchiefs, toys, and capes for the older two.
6. Baby Carrier
Last but not least, I would highly recommend a baby carrier. Our three loved to be held but at some point I needed free hands to get things done around the house. Baby carriers are also a lifesaver when you have other children to tend. They are great for everyday use around the house, traveling, shopping, and even hiking. We have used various carriers over the years from a wrap to sling to a mei tai and now a structured carrier (Ergo). The wrap and structured have been my favorites and most versatile with regard to baby positioning and maximum weight and age you can wear baby. Carriers can be a little expensive, but it was one of our most frequently used items and worth the investment. You can often find them used on many websites, making them much more affordable. Our Ergo was purchased used online from a mama who wore 4 kids in it and it was still very sturdy for our youngest guy.
It’s very easy to get overwhelmed on that first registry trip, or really any trip down a baby aisle. But remember that people have been raising babies since the beginning of time without wipe warmers. With a few simple items, lots of love, and plenty of grace, you are going to be a great parent.