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Trying to plan out your baby registry is fun and exciting. There are so many shiny, beautiful baby items and new gadgets to choose from. Every pregnancy magazine seems to boast of baby wear and accessories you absolutely need to have. So, the question is, what baby items do you actually need?
The truth of it all is, the baby industry is a big money maker; just like the wedding industry. Big brands are going to showcase their newest items in flashy ads that scream out to expectant parents, you need this now! But really, there’s a high possibility you don’t.
Daniel and I decided when we first moved in together that we want to make our best efforts to live minimalist lifestyles. We still have quite a few boxes in storage, but overall we ask ourselves before we make any purchase, do we really need this? With a tight budget, this has saved us a great deal of money. And SANITY. Because clutter just makes us insane.
When I found out I was pregnant, we were living in a tiny studio apartment. It was perfect for us, but it was not an ideal space for guests let alone roomy enough for a baby to be moving around. Luckily, we moved to a slightly more spacious apartment that accommodates our growing family. But even so, it is eye-opening when you realize how much space just a few baby items take up!
Society will make you think you need certain things for your family and baby that you really may never use. If you are on a tight budget and don’t have access to all these new expensive items, it can feel like a dagger to the heart that you cannot provide all these things to your new little one. I remember reading in a baby book not to fall for the hype! Only getting what you truly need will allow you to keep extra money in your bank account, and it will make your life at home less cluttered (which, believe me, will be less stressful when you have a crying newborn at home).
I have put together a list of the larger-scale baby items you actually need. These items are some of the best-rated at Target. Of course, make sure you have plenty of clothes and diapers, but those are the smaller details I will share in another post.
- Graco 4Ever Convertible Car Seat. A car seat will need to be installed before you head to the hospital to deliver your baby. This one grows with your child so you can use it for years to come!
- GO by Goldbug Clouds Duo Car Seat Head Support. This is something my husband and I wished we had known we needed for our baby’s car seat. Luckily, Bethie’s neck is fine. But if your car seat does not provide proper head support, this is important to keep babies head and neck stable.
- Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play. This was a life saver for Daniel and I! Bethie only wanted to sleep in our arms, but we were able to rock her to sleep in this Rock ‘n Play (and these sleep-deprived parents were able to get some shut-eye ourselves).
- Aden® by Aden + Anais® Muslin Swaddles. The material is breathable, and they feel like a hug around your little babe. Plus, they are so versatile–you can use them as a cover-up while nursing and a burp cloth as well.
- Gerber Onesies. You will not have enough onesies! These short sleeved onesies are great for the hot days we spent with Bethie when we brought her home from the hospital in the July heat. Long-sleeved onesies are ideal for colder climates.
- Modela Breast Pump & Accessories. I did not have this breast pump, but everyone I have spoken to swears by this one! All of the accessories may seem excessive, but the bottles and bag that come in this kit are perfect for travel.
- Burt’s Bees Baby® Beekeeper™ Wearable Blanket Organic Cotton. Now that studies find blankets or anything in the crib with baby may be linked to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), a wearable blanket or swaddle is your best option to keep baby warm and snug.
- Child Craft Abbott™ Dressing Table. You can change the baby on a blanket on the floor or bed. But a changing table will ease you of the back ache of constantly bending over! Something you will want to avoid after recently giving birth to a small human.
- Dapple 2x Baby Laundry Detergent, Fragrance Free. I love this one because it is environmentally friendly and doesn’t contain all the nasty chemicals found in other detergents. Plus, fragrance free is perfect for baby’s sensitive skin.
- Arm’s Reach Ideal Ezee™ 3-in-1 Co-Sleeper® Bassinet. This bassinet is wonderful because baby can sleep next to you without the risk of suffocation (co-sleeping with baby in bed greatly increases possibility of SIDS). All those night time feedings will be so much easier with baby by your side.
- Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature All in One Newborn Starter Set. If you are exclusively breastfeeding, you may be able to avoid needing bottles right away. I especially love that these ones are BPA-free. But you should have some on hand either way. There’s nothing worse than a screaming hungry baby and no back up plan if breast milk production is low.
OTHER IMPORTANT ITEMS
- Fisher-Price Deluxe Take-Along Swing and Seat. This is a baby item that is not necessary, but there were times Daniel and I wished we had it for those especially gassy, fussy, restless baby days. A baby swing may help you catch a nap and give your tired arms a rest.
What were some baby items you absolutely could not live without?