When you’re expecting your first child you’ll hear a million opinions on what you need to buy, what you can do without, and what are the “must-have” newborn baby essentials of the year. Most often, the advice will be conflicting, but for good reason. No two babies are the same, nor are the needs of the parents. As a SmartMom, I believe you don’t need to spend a ton on your first child, but there are a few newborn baby essentials you’ll want to invest in.
Whether you’re in a walk-friendly city or a rural “driving is the only option” neighborhood, a safe car seat is a must. You’ll need one to take your newborn home, especially if you are birthing at a hospital. The car seat is one thing you’ll want to buy new. Even my carless cycling friends have a car seat for their Bakfiets Cargo Bike to keep their daughter safe on the roads.
A safe place to sleep is important whether you’re planning to put your newborn in their own room right away, or keep them near your side for several months. Buying a new crib that is up to current safety standards is a must, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Cribs come in all sizes and styles, as well as budgets. In addition, if you plan to keep your baby nearby, invest in a quality bassinet, rock-n-play sleeper, or co-sleeper.
If you plan to breastfeed, you won’t need a ton of feeding supplies right away. If you want to splurge, look into a high quality breast pump that is comfortable to use. If you aren’t planning to breastfeed, invest in a few different types of BPA free bottles. Newborns may be picky with how they feed. Instead of buying one kit, pick-up a few individual bottles until you find what works best.
You can save on pretty much on everything else! What you should think about is how your family operates. Will you be walking a lot? Then maybe a higher quality long lasting stroller may be a good investment. If you’ll be traveling, you might want to look at items that support simple travel, such as formula dispensers. These can save a lot of headaches when you are out for hours each day.
Second-hand items that work for most babies include strollers, swings, high-chairs, booster seats, and toys for older babies and toddlers. Luckily, children’s clothing is less expensive than it used to be, so if you don’t have a friend who can give you hand-me-downs, you can hit the sales racks and make out pretty well.
In the first few months, you really don’t need as much as the ads and magazines will tell you. Keep it simple and save your funds until your newborn is a few months old and you’ve gotten to know their needs a little bit better.