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Bringing home baby, what you really need

Updated on November 5, 2012

What do you really need as a new parent?

While I was pregnant, I remember more than one occasion when I was walking through Babies R Us and broke down in tears because of frustration and lack of guidance. I got differing opinions from everyone on everything! A little guidance however can go a long way; having a list of items that are needed and items that are wanted can help a lot! Just knowing that you have a list of needed items like a crib, dresser, playard by no particular brand can help. I have a lot of friends who are pregnant or just recently had babies, so I hope this helps! I fashioned our nursery and house in the most cost effective way and cut out almost all unnecessary costs!

Items truly NEEDED:

A playard- we got a pack n play with the changer, side caddy, and removable bassinet. This has been a savior. We use the removable bassinet to put the baby to sleep downstairs and transfer her into her nursery without waking her. We just place the entire bassinet in the crib so we don't even have to take her out! If you are rooming in the first few months, the pack n play is great in the bedroom as well, from what I hear.

A crib- A crib is obviously a must... when we put ours together we put it on the lowest setting so that we never had to take it apart again, this may not be advisable if you are on the shorter side, however, since it may be hard to get the baby in and out. We bought one that also will turn into a toddler bed and twin bed to grow with the baby.

A stroller/car seat travel system- We bought the baby trend stroller and car seat jogger combo. The carseat clips into the base in the car and then goes directly into the jogging stroller. This was a pretty inexpensive system and we absolutely love it. The front wheel can be slipped into a stationary position to make jogging easier. This system is great if you like to walk a lot and are always on the go. I have noticed, however, that the stroller is on the larger side so it may be difficult to store in smaller cars; it will take up your entire trunk!

A monitor- So they have some extremely cool video monitors... also outrageously expensive. If that is your style feel free to buy them, a run of the mill audio monitor works perfectly fine though... I do suggest getting one with 2 receivers though, we have one permanently in our bedroom and one that floats around the house with us, usually in the kitchen though.

Bottles- We use Dr. Brown, it reduces the air that she takes in while eating. There are a lot of parts to clean in this bottle so if you are typically just a quick wash and reuse, this may not be the bottle for you. Our daughter has very little gas and has spit up maybe 5 times in 2 months.

Diapers- Pampers are a little on the expensive side, but we haven't had a problem with them. I've heard luvs are cheaper and as good though. We had a sample of costco's brand and they worked perfectly fine so we may be switching.

Formula- Even if you are planning on breastfeeding, it is a good idea to have some on hand in case a situation ever happens when you need it. We use Enfamil, they send out free samples and a ton of coupons when you register with them. Also, Costco sells them in packs of 3 for $45 then you use the $5 coupon, you almost can't beat that! If you don't mind using the generic brand, that can cut cost as well.

Wipes- there are a million brands of wipes, I swear, typically you don't need the sensitive type. I wouldn't buy too many of one type until you know if your baby will have a reaction!

Soaps/lotions- Another thing that I wouldn't buy too much of one since you won't know if your baby will be sensitive. We bought a little bit of baby magic (I like the smell of the blossom kind) and a little first of Johnson's (no reactions to either).

Clothes- Don't buy too many newborn outfits... you're baby may be born larger than they fit! You can always buy more after the baby is born! We took the approach of buying a few newborn outfits, a bunch of 0-3 outfits and a few outfits of the upcoming sizes, why buy the other sizes you ask... you're baby will hit growth spurts and it is nice to be prepared so that one day you don't wake up and realize a diaper is all that fits... and barely!

Binkies- I bought a ton of one kind... then I realized she hated them. The hospital will probably give you a few different kinds so you can gauge what kind your baby does and doesn't like. The orthodontics ones are nice...

Bibs- I like the cloth ones since she isn't eating solids yet so I just use them to wipe formula dribble. They wash nicely since formula doesn't stain. I may or may not switch to plasticy ones when she starts solids since they may be easier to wipe down.

Receiving blankets- these are burp blankets, FYI. I use them for damn near everything, burping, a blanket on warmer days, swaddling...\

A diaper bag- Get a nice one... becomes your new purse for the next few years. Also, get the most absurd one you can find to embarass your husband when he has to carry it ;-)

Medicines- I struggled on whether to put this under good to have or necessary- it is necessary if you need it but you may go over board and buy everything... we have gas drops in the house... if the situation ever comes up we'll run down the street and get other supplies. Baby tylenol may be nice to have readily available though.

Grooming supplies- those nail clippers are necessary and you'll see why rather quickly. They usually come in a set, we have a set in her room and a travel set in her diaper bag.

A bath- makes bathing baby easier, especially when they are past the point of using the sink!

Thermometer- self explanatory... you need one, so spend the money and get a good one... mine was 40 bucks, I've already used it 15 or so times!

Things you need

Baby bath!
Baby bath!
Stroller with clip on car seat
Stroller with clip on car seat
Pack n Play with changer, bassinet, and side caddy... it also vibrates and plays music
Pack n Play with changer, bassinet, and side caddy... it also vibrates and plays music
Crib with decorations you can swap out... sorry its so dark, the flash made it look weird!!
Crib with decorations you can swap out... sorry its so dark, the flash made it look weird!!

Things that are great to have and you can buy over time!

A dresser that is about as high as your ribs- This does double duty... it stores clothing, diapers, and changing supplies and doubles as a changing table. I didn't discover this on accident, I put a lot of thought into it and my mom drove a dresser from Pennsylvania to Kentucky for me...

A glider- I freaking love our glider, it was outrageously expensive and not entirely necessary but it helps a lot in late night feedings and when I read to her.

A swing- We use the fisher price cuddle one... it looks like a bassinet on a rod and goes multi directional. The thing is nifty to say the least! On the nights where she is exceptionally testy, I put her in that to sleep and her rage subsides. It plays music, swings 3 directions, has moving rotating stuffed birds, and a mirror for her to look at herself in. It is soft and well padded as well!

A high chair- Not necessary for when you bring the baby home, but crucial later on down the road! I'd say buy one between 4-6 months. We have one and it's still in the box since she's only 2 months!

A night table- it catches a lot of the stuff you just need to set down. I put mine beside the glider for easily grabbed books and bottles, we put her monitor on it and sound machine.

A playgym- I say optional because they won't really enjoy/use it until about 1-2 months (0+ label is bullshit!)

A boppy pillow (or a similar thing) - I put this as optional because if you can't afford it it isn't crucial but if you can... just buy it. It helps with breastfeeding, tummy time, and just to prop the baby up to develop muscles.

A crib set- totally cute in the room, comes with a few decorations, but totally unnecessary. All you need are tight fitting sheets for now since they can't use a blanket for sleep yet. We use ours for a playmat in her room since our carpet is rough.

A bumbo seat- Ignore the recall, just don't be a moron! They aren't safe on high surfaces with your child unattended. Your bumbo is not your babysitter, especially by a stove...

A swaddler- I haven't used mine yet, if I weren't using a bassinet in her crib, I probably would. It is to keep your baby warm, safe, and stable.

A Diaper Genie- I'm not sure how the generic one works, but the actually brand name one is great. The nursery never smells! However, a garbage can with febreze scented trashbags works well in other places in the house like a kitchen.

Toys- Not really necessary until they are a little older since they are really able to control their movement. We have a rattle that she likes and a playgym. Other than that, she has a lion fuzzy mat for tummy time that she loves!

Baby brezza- It cooks, it blends, it's great if you want to make your own baby food! But you can also steam it in a pot and use a blender if you don't have the extra $100.

Organizational stuff- bins, hamper, diaper caddy for on top of the dresser- they all help keep you sane!

A carrier that slips over your head or wraps around- Some people love them, some people hate them... I'm on the cusp. I used mine once to get chores down when she didn't want to be put down. I think men like them a lot though.

Nice to have...

Rib height dresser, Formula, Wipes, Green Diaper caddy, Diaper Genie
Rib height dresser, Formula, Wipes, Green Diaper caddy, Diaper Genie
Swing, Glider, Night Table, Bumbo Seat, Bedding (what she's using as a mat)
Swing, Glider, Night Table, Bumbo Seat, Bedding (what she's using as a mat)
Green Organizational Bins, Lion playmat (it's hanging to dry, machine washable), 50 fuzzy blankets I've never used (and one that I have), receiving blankets, swaddler that I've never used (hanging above the blankets), clothes in every size.
Green Organizational Bins, Lion playmat (it's hanging to dry, machine washable), 50 fuzzy blankets I've never used (and one that I have), receiving blankets, swaddler that I've never used (hanging above the blankets), clothes in every size.
High chair
High chair
Boppy Pillow
Boppy Pillow

Most unnecessary things ever...

A wipe warmer- tell your kid to buck up. On that note, I have one, unopened, beside her dresser. Thanks, mom, but I'm exchanging it for diapers or formula next time I'm at Walmart.

Stuffed animals- Go ahead buy a million, they don't care about them for a while. Also, they can suffocate, so never put them in their bassinet or cribs until they are older- like over a year old.

A million fuzzy blankets- you need, like, two, one for when the other is in the wash! They can't sleep with them so you only really need to keep on with your carrier and one for everyday use.

Baby detergent- Most babies aren't allergic to regular detergent... you usually don't need the special brands unless your baby has allergies.

Again, If you want to buy these things, more power to you. A lot of people think having a baby is expensive, and it is, but you can drastically cut the costs by not buying unnecessary things. When you are at the store, think to yourself, when will my baby use this?- if it isn't for months, don't buy it for months to spread out your expensive purchases. Is this for safety, comfort, or just cute?- if it is just for cuteness, if you can afford it, buy it; if you can't, bypass it until you can! My baby never goes without but trust me, I regret buying the 4 million hair bows that she never wears and the 50 books she won't understand for a year or 2. Buy one thing at a time and when you need it to reduce on wasteful spending! Also, to reduce spending, if you plan on having more than one child, for the expensive things, buy gender neutral! My crib bedding is tan, the pack n play is a blue/green pattern, my stroller and car seat are green and gray, the nursery is brown with green and pink accessories (just swap out the pink for a boy).

** If I missed anything, let me know in the comments section and I'll add it! Hope it helped!

What was your FAVORITE and most useful baby extra?

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    • Prettypanther88 profile image

      Prettypanther88 5 years ago from Louisville, KY

      That's exactly what I use mine for too! If she is gassy I lay her over it as well! But of you're running low of funds it's one of those things that you could use another thing like a pack n play for... I love mine! There are a lot of thing I put on the nice to have list that I couldn't live without

    • profile image

      Jennifer 5 years ago

      Totally agree with most of this!!! Although, i did find the bobby pillow as something in needed immediately! It was great for sitting on the couch with my son and not having to hold him because i always seemed to wake him up each time i moved just a tiny bit. So feeding him and then placing him beside me laying in his boppy was a MUST and i could sit there and get school work done or just relax and watch some tv :)