As a mother of four children under age 8 I have learned that the makers of baby products want you to believe that all ‘cute things that you cannot resist for your first baby’ are necessities. With my first child, my gift registry rivaled the Royal Wedding. By child number four I asked for diapers and wipes. In addition, living on a budget is putting it lightly, so I always try and find products that serve double duty. I have made a list of the 8 things that I actually could not do without.
- Infant Carrier Car Seat. The infant car seat is a given. 2 of my 4 kids preferred to sleep in their infant carrier instead of the crib or cradle. Try them out and find the handle that is most comfortable for you. Your baby might only weigh 5 pounds, but trust me your arm will tire quickly. After they out grow the infant seat, I suggest really investing in the big daddy seats. My youngest son is still in his and he is pushing 4. Our biggest issue with the large seats was finding one that had enough cushion in the seat. I figured my rear doesn’t feel great after a long car ride and the baby’s probably doesn’t either.
- Diapers and Wipes. I have literally been changing diapers for the last 9 years. I would suggest to start buying diapers in a variety of sizes as soon as you hit your second trimester. Also, try out a couple of different brands. With newborns I used Pampers Swaddlers after that I use Huggies. I have found Huggies and Target brand diapers work best for my kids, but it took a lot of peed and pooped through clothes to find that out. As far as wipes, I used any brand that is thick and unscented. My children all have sensitive skin so after a lot of butt paste I just stuck with unscented. Wipes serve multiple uses as well. They get the deodorant line off your shirt, they clean the vinyl in your car or house, not to mention they make great make up remover towels.
- Bottles. Whether you are breastfeeding or not, at some point you are going to need to use a bottle. My children each preferred a different type of bottle. With each baby I would buy a variety of different bottles from children’s consignment stores and then purchase the correct nipples new. Once we figured out which they preferred then we would go buy a ton of them.
- Cloth Diapers. No, I never ventured into using cloth diapers for their intended purpose. They make excellent burp clothes. They are soft, durable, and can be bleached. They were always on my gift registry. After baby doesn’t need them anymore they make great pot holders, hot pads, and dust cloths.
- Stain Remover Spray. When dry, formula turns into yellow cement sent to ruin your baby’s cutest outfit. In my laundry room I keep the baby clothes separate and hose them down before I throw them in the wash.
- A Boppy Type Pillow. I like the Boppy pillow, but any type of ‘breastfeeding’ pillow works. These are great for feeding time, to take a nap with your baby, for tummy time once they get control of their head, and to prop them up when they go to sleep if they are prone to spit up or have acid reflux. Bonus, they make great pillows for adults too when your baby outgrows it.
- Clothes. It is certainly hard to resist all of those cute newborn outfits. They will outgrow them before you get to put them on more than a handful of times. I always bought a few new things and the rest of their clothes came from baby consignment stores and sales. The people in your life will usually buy tons of outfits so have no fear of your child running out of clothes. P.S. you would be amazed at the types of bodily fluid such a small child can produce…. gently used clothing and stain remover spray will be your best friend.
- Love. You can never love a baby too much. There is no such thing as holding them too much. Hold them, hug them, kiss them, and love them as much as you can because we are lucky to be blessed with children.