There are so many articles on what you need for baby, but, in reality, it’s really a very personal decision. Once you have the kid you realize right away what you really need and what you don’t, but to prepare for baby, it’s important to think long and hard about your life. No, not your purpose in life but what you’ve got going on. What do you do? Where do you go? Where will baby go? What season will baby be born it? Answering questions like these realistically will help you avoid getting crazy with that scanner at the store. Come on, it’s not your wedding registry! (P.S. Go nuts with that one. YAY!)
When I was pregnant with Lincoln I wanted every baby item ever made -- in blue. Then I started asking friends who told me what I’d use every day (nail files) and what I’d never use (a newborn snowsuit). I followed their instructions and was pretty much set with stuff I used frequently in gender-neutral colors and not a lot of random baby swingers and rockers and bouncers all over the place. This was an amazing help when Reagan came around. There wasn’t much I needed. I didn’t even have a baby shower. When people asked what I needed, I told them if they MUST get something, I’d take burp clothes, receiving blankets, and clothes bigger than six months. I needed those! (Oh, and money. No one gave me money, though.)
Having experience from the first, I knew to base what I was getting/keeping for number two on what babies do: eat, sleep, poo, and wear clothes. Now, sure, there was a good chance Reagan may not have liked something Lincoln liked, but going minimal with this one and waiting until I actually met the kid was key to having baby number two on the cheap (and keeping my house orderly enough for my four-year-old to still run around).
Y’all know I’m breastfeeding (and went back to work). So, Reagan needed bottles for daycare, and I needed a pump and some accessories. Currently, Reagan eats three times at daycare. That means three bottles a day. I have six for her so I’m able to rotate and not wash bottles every day. I had a pump and got new tubing for this time around.
We are co-sleepers by accident. We do have a crib, which was given to us by someone at work when we had Lincoln, and we have a co-sleeper my husband made for Reagan. A bassinet or something else small that could go in a bedroom the first few months would be good if you want baby close (but, not as close as in the bed with you) and a crib for later is perfect. We have a pack ‘n’ play from when Lincoln was little that we never took anywhere and never put Linc in to play. We have that downstairs just to change her on and lay her in if she’s asleep and we’re all downstairs and want to put her down. I’m still not sure the real reason for a pack ‘n’ play or how much use they get at someone else’s house. But, again, it’s all in what YOU need.
Pooing (and peeing)
Diapers – any type. Wipes – any type. Done! We do have a diaper genie for the stank.
Borrow, borrow, borrow! Take, take, take! We are very lucky (in more ways than one) to be good friends with a family with three boys. I’ve never had to buy Lincoln more than a few pairs of pants or shorts and some shirts when he changed sizes or seasons. My friend commented on how she tried to give these clothes to others but they scoffed and only wanted new clothes for their new babies. Not me! Give me the sleep ‘n’ plays that have only been worn twice. I’ll take the outfit sets with the tags still attached! Pass on the semi-faded play clothes that my kids will, well, play in. Everything is as good as new with a little spin in the washing machine, right?
For Reagan, we’ve acquired lovely little girl things from another good friend who has a daughter a few months older than Reagan, and, again, I’ve had to buy very little. (And she looks GORGEOUS!)
Babies need stuff to look at and “play” with, but nothing is a good as your face and hands the first few months, right? Reagan can’t get enough of my stupid face when I sing songs or talk to her about our day.
Also, it is a good idea to have a place to put the baby down once in a while. We have a bouncy seat for the kitchen and a jumparoo for the family room (before that was a swing). We’re never upstairs unless we’re going to bed so we just put her in bed (safely, of course).
We also have the minimal toiletries and some towels and wash cloths along with a little seat for the bath tub.
And, yes, a car seat and stroller, and though I believe in being minimal with baby stuff, I must be honest and say we have two bases for the car seat – one for my car and one for my husbands. It is SO worth it to us.
What advice do you have for a new mom who asks “What do I need for baby?” What can’t you live without? What did you think you needed but later found you didn’t?