Baby Essentials: Birth to Three Months
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Preparing to welcome a baby into the world is such a joyful time…..but it can also be extremely overwhelming. You buy all of the “What To Expect…..” books, make list upon list of what you’ll need and start buying. $2,000 later, you sit and gaze at the mounds of baby stuff and think “we’re all set”! And then, your baby arrives, and you realize that 80% of the things you were told you absolutely needed are still in their respective packages, collecting dust.
I was ^that mom^ when I was pregnant with our first baby. Now, I’m pregnant with our second, and I realized that some of the things on those “must have” lists are completely unnecessary; especially in the first 3 months. The last thing you need to do when you’re about to welcome a baby into your family is waste money. So, I’m here to tell you what you’ll actually need to make it through the first few months of your baby’s life!
*Disclaimer – Please note that this is solely my opinion and what was a must have for me might not be a necessity for you!
I know, I know. Everything you’ve read has probably said that babies HATE bassinets. That wasn’t the case with my little one, though. We got the Graco Travel Lite crib, which is basically a mini Pack-n-Play, and it was where our daughter slept the entire first year of her life. We kept it right beside our bed, which made it easy to check on her and soothe her throughout the night. There was nothing fancy about it (no vibrations or rocking) but she loved it and so did we! I especially liked the fact that it was sturdy, portable, compact, and versatile. It’s also around $80, so if you’re on a budget, this would be the perfect multi use product!
This was a big lifesaver for me, although I didn’t get one until our daughter was 6 months old. We found the Tula brand and I swooned over all of their gorgeous prints They also had an enormous group of loyal followers, which convinced me that this carrier was the best you could get. I love baby wearing because it allows you to be a multitasking pro all while cuddling your little cutie! When my daughter was being super clingy, I’d throw her in my Tula and she would calm down almost instantly. It also allowed me to get some much needed house work done and was a staple when we were traveling!
Now, when it comes to baby clothes, it’s easy to go overboard. You’ll want to buy all of the teeny tiny outfits and accessories you see. RESIST THE URGE. Trying to dress your newborn in a frilly dress or jeans with suspenders is nearly impossible and kind of impractical. When you’re shopping for baby clothes, keep this in mind: you will likely be homebodies for the first month or so. Most of the super cute outfits you bought will stay on hangers in the closet until they’re too small for your little one. And you’ll regret spending $20 on an outfit that never got worn. My advice? Pick up a couple sets of trusty Gerber onesies, some leggings, socks, and a few footed sleepers and call it a day. I promise you will get to dress your munchkin in all of those absolutely irresistible outfits, but keep it simple while they’re tiny!
This may or may not be a must have, depending on your lifestyle, but it’s worth mentioning because our stroller is still being used to this day. As I mentioned above, I didn’t really discover baby wearing until our daughter was 6 months old. I wore her quite a bit, but it was nice to have a stroller for situations where I couldn’t (or didn’t want to) wear her. And, news flash…..you don’t have to get anything fancy. Go for something lightweight, easy to clean, and simple. You’ll thank yourself later!
Diapers + Wipes
You’re probably thinking “uhh, DUH. Of course my kid will need diapers and wipes” and you’re right, but hear me out. So many people will tell you to stock up. “Buy 10 boxes of diapers in each size and 5 boxes of wipes every month before your baby is born!” Guys, I promise you….you will not need that stuff stockpiled. Before our daughter was born, we had two boxes of newborn diapers, two boxes of size 1 diapers, and one box of wipes. The diapers were used up in about 2 months, but the wipes lasted us 4 months! You never know how big your baby will be when it’s born, so buying tons of diapers beforehand may turn out to be a waste of money. Get a couple boxes of newborn and size 1 diapers and a big box of wipes, then wait for your little one to arrive before you start buying more. *Tip: If you’re wanting to be prepared for the extra costs before your baby is born, buy gift cards to use after baby arrives!
This is one of those baby items that may or may not be a hit with your little one, so keep that in mind. When I was pregnant with my daughter, the 4 Moms Mamaroo was all the rage, so naturally I just had to have it. My daughter liked it, but I wouldn’t label it a lifesaver. This time around, we are trying out the Nuna Leaf, because of its simplicity and high weight limit. This swing can hold up to 130 lbs, which could come in handy if an older sibling wants to explore baby’s hangout. It can be hard to choose which swing to get (if any) but remember that swings are either loved or hated by babies. You won’t know what your baby likes until he or she is here, so buy one that you love but keep the receipt!
As you’ve been going down the lists of what you’ll need for baby, you’ve probably seen the words receiving blankets. When I was preparing for my first baby’s arrival, I went out and bought 4 packs of those suckers. Wanna guess how many I used regularly? ZERO. Sure, they pick up spit up pretty well, but a simple burp cloth does the same job and takes up much less room in your diaper bag! Luckily, a few weeks before my daughter was born, I was gifted something that would become one of my holy grail baby items: muslin blankets. You guys, these blankets are the shit; soft, breathable, and extremely versatile. Skip out on buying loads of receiving blankets and get you a couple muslin blankets. They might just become your favorite blanket, too!
This is another DUH one. Your baby can’t go home with you unless you’ve got a proper car seat, so it’s the most necessary item you’ll have to buy. When choosing a seat, just know that every seat passes the same safety tests, so you don’t have to spend $400 to ensure your baby has the “best” seat! Every seat is safe, as long as you are using it correctly. Infants will typically use a bucket seat (one with a handle, so you can carry it). But, they can also use convertible car seats, so long as they meet the minimum height and weight requirements. I personally enjoyed having a seat I could carry into places we went during those first few months. Convertible seats come in handy if you want to get more bang for your buck. These seats will be able to grow with your child, often through their first few years of life, depending on the height and weight limits of the seat. Whatever route you choose to go, it is important to always follow the recommendations for your baby’s car seat and car seat safety in general!
*This next one is based on my personal choice. It will not apply to everyone.
I chose not to breastfeed for personal reasons, so I needed to buy bottles. It was so overwhelming and confusing for me to pick which ones to get. I eventually just bought a Dr. Brown’s bottle set (with various sized bottles) and called it a day. You can imagine the panic that set in when we brought our daughter home and she wouldn’t take the bottle. So, we went out and bought a 3 pack set of every bottle brand available. Eventually, we found one that she would take. This time around, I’m going to learn from my mistake and buy the 3 pack sets again. Babies are quirky little creatures. You can’t be sure what they’ll like before they’re here and as they grow, their preferences change with them. If you choose to formula feed or pump, bottles will be essential. Buy the 4 oz, 3 pack sets of bottles from a couple different brands, just to start out. Once your baby picks their preferred bottle and starts drinking more, you can go from there!
Miscellaneous (All the small things you’ll need…..)
- Bath Essentials – Soap, wash cloths, tub, etc.
- Bottle Accessories – Brush, dish soap, etc.
- Grooming Kit – Soft brush, nail clippers, etc.
- Medicine Kit
- Boppy Pillow (or something similar)
There may be other items you’ll need for your baby, but buy them whenever the need arises! Save yourself some money and sanity; only buy the bare minimum for those first few months with your precious bundle of joy! Just think, with all the money you save, you will be able to get endless Starbucks and take out for dinner every night if you want to. And, trust me…..you’ll want to!
Happy baby shopping, everyone!