I need what?!?
Newborn babies are so small, and yet that big box retailer around the corner would have you believe the list of things you need is never-ending. So I will give you a list of what we needed and what we did without (a ton!) We have definitely made do with the minimalist approach! Save some money, and avoid buying something until you are absolutely sure you need it!
What we didn’t need/ haven’t bought:
1) A stroller – seriously! After we spent some time in China we decided we were going to try to get by without one (because not very many people had one over there) and so far we haven’t needed it. (We do have a jogger, but I will get to that)
2) Play mat/gym thingy – I am not even sure what they are called, but we didn’t buy one, and I don’t think T feels like she missed out!
3) Exersaucer - We didn’t buy one for three big reasons. 1- we didn’t have space 2- some studies show that too much time in them can be bad for their hips. 3- that is a ton of plastic that will end up in the landfill!
4) Bouncer – Again, we didn’t have space, but we did just fine without it!
5) Swing – Some parents will swear by these, but again, we did just fine without one.
6) The bumbo chair (I think this is what it is called) – Your child will learn to sit up just fine without it, I promise!
7) Wipe warmers and special trash cans for dirty diapers - We just have a wicker basket with a waterproof liner. If you really want warm wipes, you could always keep an old coffee thermos that spits out water with warmed water ready for a dry washcloth.
8) Crib bedding set. I am actually not sure why these are even sold anymore when the general consensus states that the bumpers are dangerous.
9) Shoes – Okay you might want one or two pair of soft-soled shoes for pictures, but don’t go overboard, because they can just wear socks until they start walking!
10) Bottle warmers-we just use warm water out of the tap in a glass jar to warm milk when we need to, and many kiddos don’t mind it cold!
What we have needed/used the heck out of:
1) Her carseat. This is one area that we really didn’t want to skimp on. We chose one that was Oeko-tek certified because many of them are toxic, and we knew she would be spending lots of time in it
2) A glider - God bless the person who invented this chair. It was really helpful when T was fussy and I wanted somewhere comfortable to nurse her. We bought it used on Craigslist. Eventually I am going to make a new cushion for it – another post!
3)Changing table – Again, many people find it unnecessary, but we still change almost every single diaper on it. Our absurdly large pile of cloth diapers needs an organization system. If you were using disposables you could probably get by without one. On another note, we did buy it used on Craigslist for $20.
4) A good crib and mattress - We didn’t want to buy our crib used because of the numerous recalls, but also because we really wanted a crib made with non-toxic materials. We didn’t want off-gassing of VOCs while munchkin was dreaming of sugar plum fairies. We did however, buy her organic mattress used. It cost about $600 new, and I figured anyone that would spend that much on a mattress, probably took care of it.
5) Highchair – Some people just go straight to the booster seat when they start solids, but we found a highchair that is completely recyclable, and it was a good deal (even if it is neon green!) T likes sitting in it while I am making dinner and what not.
6) Video monitor – many people may say they aren’t necessary, but we love ours (even in our tiny two story duplex). I have also been able to mow the lawn with it while she was sleeping and keep a constant eye on her. You probably want a monitor of some sort.
7) A good breast pump. Even though I only work a few hours a week, having a good breast pump makes it that much easier to pump milk for when I will be gone. Further, it makes it easier to pump in my short break at work!
8) A jogger – we found the super jogger used on craigslist for $15 and it works like a dream. We go for walks or jogs nearly every day, so it was an absolute must!
9) Pack-n-Play- Many people do not need one, but we have two large dogs who are very clumsy, and with a very limited space, it was pretty much a must so we could rest easy that T wouldn’t be trampled. You can find these used on Craigslist. Ours came from my lovely SIL!
10) A carrier (or two or three)- It takes most parents several tries before they find the perfect carrier for them. We literally used our moby every single day for the first few months. Now we have graduated to a sling and an ergo, and I am about to buy a woven wrap. Your area may have baby wearing meetings where thoughtful mamas get together and help you choose the right carrier for your kiddo, so look for one of these to try several out!
And finally, a good camera or phone that takes videos, because you are definitely going to want to capture every little smirk, smile, and coo!