What do you really need to buy for a new baby?
Shopping for a baby-to-come is great fun and, if you’re like most expectant parents, you’ll want to get the best of everything for your little one. If you have unlimited resources, that’s fine, but these days most of us are keeping track of every penny. Give some thought to what items really need to be top-of-the-line, or even on your list. Be realistic. There may be a huge difference between what you want and what you need. Seek out sales and don’t forget the Internet; many of the pregnancy and baby sites have great stores and great deals. Make a list of “must haves” and be careful around all the super cute theme products – it’s hard to stop when there are 37 matching items!
What do you really need? Diapers! Think about going green and using washable cloth – save money and the environment. You really should buy a new car seat for your baby, and a new crib if you can afford one. But if you buy these items used, or borrow them, be sure they meet current safety standards. Read Consumer Reports information on safe products. Do you need a cradle or bassinet? Not really. I know a couple who lived in a tiny apartment for the first two or three months after the baby was born. They had no room for furniture so they emptied a bureau drawer, bought a mattress that just fit in the drawer (they come in lots of sizes), put the drawer on the floor near them and had an instant bed for Junior. That covered their bases for about three months, when they moved into a larger space and bought a crib.
Chat with your friends and relatives about starting a clothes swap. Babies outgrow their clothes much faster than they wear them out. It’s very helpful to rotate clothes from a larger baby to a smaller one, especially if you live in a cold climate in the winter where snowsuits and other gear are a must. Save the fancy new duds that the grandparents give you for special occasions and use the recycled ones everyday. What suggestions do you have?