10 Dos and Don'ts of Buying for a New Baby
Preparing for a first time baby can be very overwhelming! There's so many things to think about. From where and how you're going to give birth, to how it might effect your job situation, to what you'll need to buy, and so many other things. There are tons of lists out there that will tell you what you should get before baby arrives. However, when going by these lists, I found that many things I put on my registry or bought, could have been skipped or bought later instead of fretting over it from the beginning. There are many things I would have done differently.
So, whether you're planning your baby registry, or buying it all yourself, here are the top things I recommend having for your new baby, versus what things you could pass on. I'm not saying to never purchase these 'don'ts'. For the most part they are things that you could purchase at a later time, and save the money for more important things you'll need for baby right away.
Of course, every mom and baby are different, so do what's best for you!
1. Don't: Button up footies
This is one thing you really don't think about when you're adding cute baby pajamas to your registry! And of course you won't expect anyone who buys the baby gifts to abide by this rule, but skip button up footies if at all possible. You will be glad you did when it's 3 A.M. and your struggling to button up baby after a diaper change and just want to go back to bed.
2. Do: Zipper Pajamas
Instead of the button up footie pajamas, you're going to want to stick with zip ups! They save time and make it so much easier in the middle of the night after a diaper change to get that sleepy baby back to bed. No struggling with annoying buttons or snaps!
3. Don't: Buy lots of newborn clothes
I definitely underestimated how quickly babies grow, especially that first 1-2 months! Because of that, I bought way too many newborn sized clothes. It's hard to resist because they're so tiny and adorable. But, my son probably wore half of the newborn clothes I bought him, he grew so fast. So if you buy any special newborn outfits, don't wait just for special occasions to have your baby to wear them or they might grow out of them before you get a chance. Dress 'em up any time and take lots of pictures!
4. Do: Get a variety of sizes
Instead of mostly newborn, try to get a variety of sizes up to 12 months. I would recommend stocking up sizes 3-9 months if you can. To help those who want to gift baby clothes, make sure to choose different clothing size options on your registry!
One thing I never thought of, is planning for seasons. If you have a baby in January, they'll be six months old in July. So you won't want to buy winter clothes that are size six months. Make sure to plan ahead for the weather as much as you can!
5. Don't: Changing table
One thing I really wanted for my baby's room was a changing table and pad. One of those cute stand alone tables, all organized and pretty. We ended up converting a dresser into a combination changing table. But, for the fist couple of months after my son was born, we probably used that changing center a handful of times. Since it is recommended that baby's sleep in their parents room in their own sleep space, we just ended up changing all his diapers in our room or wherever was convenient. If you do have a nursery, you may not want to be running back and forth to the baby's room just for a quick diaper change all day or night. So, I'm glad I didn't splurge on a fancy changing table like I wanted to.
6. Do: Play pen with changer attachment
Instead of a changing table, we used our Pack'n Play that has an infant changing table attachment. We put it in a common area so it wasn't far from our bedroom or living area; the two places we spent most of our time those fist several weeks. It was very convenient, and also doubled as storage so we didn't have to constantly go to the babies room for extra baby clothes, diapers, etc.
You definitely get a bigger bang for your buck with a play yard like this. It's something you will end up using for years as your baby grows! Since it serves so many purposes, it will save you a lot of money in the long run. And it's so easy to take whenever you travel so you never have to worry about where your child is going to sleep when you stay at a hotel or anywhere else.
7. Do: Travel Bassinet
As mentioned earlier, it's recommended for babies to spend most of their first year in their parents room, in their own sleep space, to prevent SIDS. Some parents may choose to put a crib in their room, and others choose a bassinet for infants. There are a lot of fancy bassinets out there, but to me, they were way too expensive. One to two hundred dollars for something that our baby would only sleep in for a couple of months just wasn't in the budget.
Instead, we founda travel bassinet that was much more affordable, and just as safe. It was a stand up style, that easily folds up. It was more portable for the small spaces in our room, and very convenient to travel!
8. Don't: Muslin blankets for swaddling
This is more of a personal preference. I heard a lot about these blankets while preparing for my baby. But now it seems more like a trend than it is useful. I would suggest not spending too much money on them if you don't have to. When I took my time, I could get a good swaddle with these. But throughout the night, when I was exhausted, it was very difficult to get it right after giving a diaper change. I decided to go a different route for swaddling.
9. Do: Velcro swaddles
Since I didn't have much luck with Muslin swaddles, I found Velcro swaddles that made wrapping baby back up in the middle of the night so much easier. My son always managed to wiggle his arms out of the blanket swaddle and wake himself up all night. But with the Velcro ones, I was able to get a more secure wrap around him that he couldn't undo but was still comfortable. He slept so much better once we started using these!
10. Do: Activities for baby
As your baby gets a little bigger, smarter, and more alert every day, they're going to need something to keep them busy once in a while! And your arms are going to need a rest from holding that sweet little thing all the time. The things that kept my son entertained day after day were a bouncy seat, and a piano play mat/activity mat.
His bouncer had little animals hanging and played music. He loved it and it kept him busy and engaged for long enough that I could get some things done around the house while I kept an eye on him.
At about two months is when I got him the activity mat with piano. He could reach for the hanging toys, and kick his feet to play all kinds of music and sounds. He is four months now and it still keeps him busy for chunks of time throughout the day. It was definitely worth the money!