New Parent: Things to buy

Before my daughter was born I used one of these lists to buy the essential things I would need for a newborn.  I set a budget and bought strictly what was needed.  When I say strictly I mean I didn’t buy something if it wasn’t on the list, it could’ve been cute, shiny or even on sale;  if it wasn’t on the list it wasn’t on my cart.

The lists were a good guide, and here are a few extra pointers from a new parent:

–  I don’t use a changing table or a changing mattress.  I use the top of the dresser (made to be a changing table) with a portable changing pad.  I fold it whenever I want the room to look extra tidy and it fulfils the purpose perfectly.  Baby J has a changing table at the in-laws and I don’t feel I’m missing out on any extra comfort at home.  For the first six weeks I didn’t changed baby J anywhere but in my bed anyway.

–  I bought the Boppy for extra comfort during breastfeeding.  It provides amazing comfort not only for breastfeeding, but overall support during bed hours (cuddling, playing) because it adjusts to many positions, it has good height and it’s just adaptable to many uses.  But you know what’s also highly adaptable, and much cheaper?  A pillow.  The same pillow you use to sleep has all the possibilities.  In fact, whenever the Boppy wasn’t at arm’s reach (because you can’t manoeuvre with a newborn in your arms) I just used a pillow.  I stocked on pillows when I moved to make sure I had at least two pillows on every room, including the nursery;  best investment ever.  One of those pillows now resides in the SVU and has also served as a changing pad, not to mention it has saved my life during long commutes when I’ve passed out from exhaustion.  So yes, pillows.

–  If I had to choose between having the nursery’s furniture or one of this wheeled bassinets for a newborn, I would choose the bassinet in a heart beat.  That’s not the one we have, but our bassinet has been a lifesaver.  When you have to breastfeed every hour and half the entire twenty four hours of the day in an infinite loop having the baby as close as possible is the most ideal situation for both of you.  Plus, there’s nothing like waking up anytime during the night and checking the baby with just a peek from the comfort of your bed.

–  I bought and received a lot of milk gear (bottles, storage, drying racks, etc.) and I didn’t use any of it during the first two months.  As a full time breastfeeder, I actually don’t use any of it on a daily basis.  I would say you only need all the gear if you are not going to breastfeed full time or if it doesn’t go as planned (and my views on that are an entire different post), so for someone who is preparing to breastfeed full time; try it first, you can always buy anything you need later.

–  We bought a car seat/stroller combo that I absolutely love, but, if I was to choose one again I would buy a three in one car seat.  You can use them up to booster size and save the hassle of buying two additional things.

Buying baby things can be overwhelming, there are so many choices and so many nice-to-haves that aren’t really needed that you can loose yourself into mountains of useless (and in most  cases, significant space takers) gear that, if you want to maintain a budget friendly experience, I strongly suggest preparing a check list (or using one that’s already made, you have to love the internet) and sticking to it.  I found that I really needed very few things during the first month.  That was a surprise because media and baby stores make you think you need a lot of things (wipes warmers, fancy night lights, toys… it never ends).

For the record the indispensable for a newborn is a tit with milk, wet wipes and clean diapers.  Have a good week!

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