What do babies really need?

What do babies really need.jpg

A friend of mine is pregnant. Scratch that. About 22 ladies I know are currently pregnant. I am no even exaggerating. 

And several of these are first time mamas. At least two of them made the mistake of asking their Facebook friends what they needed for the baby. The lists made me roll my eyes so hard I was afraid I might dislodge an eyeball. 

My response? Boobs (or bottles!) and some diapers. In fact this was the list given to me by a friend when I was seven months pregnant with my first baby and realized all I had was a crib and three onesies. 

Now that my youngest is nearing two and I have successfully (ahem) mothered two babies out of infancy I can firmly tell you babies do not need as much stuff as people tell you they will. 

I took the liberty of preparing you a list of the things your baby will need and a least of things you just shouldn't waste your time, money and energy on. 

1. A place to sleep, but not necessarily a crib. My children't didn't sleep in a crib until they were three months old.

The oldest slept in a cosleeper someone gave me, the youngest slept in a rock-n-play. 

In reality most babies don't sleep in a crib for a few weeks or even months. 

A pack and play next to the bed is perfect, some come with little basinet attachments or a raised portion for a newborn. You can get them for under $70 on Amazon and while a pack n play isn't as pretty as a crib, it performs the same function, is portable and will grow with your child.

2. Diapers. I feel like this is a big, duh! I don't need to tell you your baby needs diapers, but I will tell you this: you can get cloth diapers for free (sort of)!

DiaperSwapper.com has a section "Free For Shipping." Other mamas will send you their diapers for free, all you have to do is pay shipping. 

If you have decided to forgo cloth diapering (which will save you a lot of $$ but is not for everyone) then sign up for Amazon Mom and order size 1 diapers. 

You can try Amazon Mom for FREE. Unless your baby is really, really tiny (under 8 pounds) there is no point in order newborn diapers because he or she will outgrow them very quickly and you will probably be left with diapers you didn't use. That is like flushing cash down the toilet, in my opinion.

Instead order size ones. And while I think diapers are diapers, I do feel the Swaddlers make for the best infant diapers we tried. 

3. A good carseat. Car seats are the area I don't play around. I am not going to buy a used carseat. Period. This is where I absolutely will spend my money. Head over to Amazon and read the reviews. Do a lot of research on this topic. Okay?

4. Basic clothes and jammies. I had one baby who hated to be naked and another baby who hated to wear clothes. 

This is my opinion on what you need. Five pairs of footed pajamas that zip, five onesies, two little pairs of pants, two gowns, a pack of baby socks and a little knit hat. You really won't need much more than that for your newborn days. 

5. Swaddle blankets. Most babies love to be swaddled and the hospital will load you down with blankets if you ask. Also, people will just give them to you. I had more swaddle blankets than I knew what to do with. 

I think I became some sort of swaddle blanket dumping ground. 

But, for me it came down to the SwaddleMe blanket by Summer Baby. It velcros and you just put the baby in it like a little, adorable burrito. They are slightly pricey but for our family, totally worth the money. 

6. Burp cloths. Just trust me on this one. Go to Target, get the biggest pack they have and have one on your shoulder at all times. 

7. Basic grooming tools, a thermometer and a bottle of baby soap. A bulb syringe, tiny nail clippers, a comb, a thermometer and a bottle of baby wash. I am throwing all of these together because you can buy a kit at Walmart with all of these things in them. And you will use them, trust me. 

8. Gas drops. Babies get gas. Breastfed babies get bas. Formula fed babies get gas. All babies get gas. And when your baby is screaming as 2 a.m. with a rock hard little tummy, you will want these drops. 

Things you might want: 

A baby carrier like a Moby wrap. I say *might because my youngest baby hated the Moby. He was very gassy and only wanted to be held a certain way and the Moby wouldn't allow for it. 

A Boppy pillow. I actually didn't even use my Boppy with my first baby, I just put him on a regular pillow to nurse him. But with my second baby I used it a lot. 

Bottles. If you're formula feeding (or if you're not) you will need bottles. I cannot recommend a brand because both of my children refused bottles. But I hear great things about Dr. Brown's. 

Things you don't need (or can delay buying):

A special changing table- just use a dresser and put a changing pad on top of it. 

A wipe warmer. Really? Are you royalty? 

A high chair. You can get a high chair later and really, I recommend a booster seat, it takes up less space and you can ALWAYS find them on Craigslist. 

Shoes. Did you birth a genius baby that came out walking? 

Bedding. If your baby is sleeping in a crib or basinet just basic sheets are all you need. You don't need extra blankets, a bumper pad or anything else. 

Special towels. Your regular towels will work fine. 

What about you? What would add to the list? 

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