What You Need and Don’t Need For New Baby
If you are planning on having a child, it can be confusing with all the gadgets that are available for newborns. When I was pregnant, we took a trip to Babies R Us, and I literally had to leave the store because it was so overwhelming with all the furniture, clothes, and items the store says you can’t live without. Actually, we found that babies really don’t need that much stuff. Obviously, you need diapers, food, a carseat, and clothes. In a primitive sense you could get by just fine with those things only, but there are some baby items that make life easier. Here is my top five list of new baby items you might need and ones you surely don’t.
Things We Couldn’t Live Without
- Pack ‘N’ Play. We used this every day. These are especially useful after your baby starts moving around. If you need somewhere safe to put them down for a few minutes, the playpen is perfect. These also make great travel beds and changing tables.
- Boppy. This is a u-shaped pillow that you can lay a newborn on for feeding or naps. It supports their head. When they take forever to eat and it’s two in the morning, your arm gets really tired. I actually didn’t know about these and found a used one in a bag of stuff my sister-in-law gave me. It was a lifesaver.
- Zip up Footie Pajamas. I’m not sure why, but most of the little one piece baby outfits have a million snaps that you have to open and close to change a diaper. We found some with zippers, and that’s all we used at night. Again, at two A.M after that long feeding, when you’re trying to unsnap all these snaps in the dark, you get some funny results. Zipper jammies were way easier.
- Shopping Cart Cover. This is a piece of material with elastic and leg holes that goes over the shopping cart seat. Yes, I guess germs build an immune system, but babies get enough on their own without licking the shopping cart.
- Fold up Changing Table Cover. If you’ve ever looked at a changing table in a public restroom, they are pretty nasty. I would not let my child’s bare butt touch one. We had a small fold up cover that was made of plastic. You could clean it easily, and it fit in the diaper bag. It also worked great to lay in the floor or seat of the car. You will have a major diaper blow out at the most inconvenient time in a public place. Might as well be prepared.
Things You Should Skip
- Bottle or Wipe Warmers. I think these were invented to get stressed parents to spend more money. “Oh, if you touch the baby’s bottom with a cold cloth, he will surely drop out of school to join a band.” If you choose to use formula, serve it at room temperature. That way, if you aren’t at home, you won’t have to ask to use the microwave at the gas station to heat up a bottle.
- Designer Clothes. This is a no brainer, but I have actually been in a store that sells designer baby and kid’s clothes. $115 for a pair of True Religion kiddie jeans. You’ve got to have more money that sense to buy these. Babies wear clothes for about three months before they outgrow them, and they don’t argue with you about what to wear. Take advantage!
- Diaper Genie. Some may disagree, but these disgust me to no end. For those who may not know, a Diaper Genie is kind of like a trash compactor for dirty diapers. We just took the smelly ones outside to the trash. Cloth diapers might be another good option, like the ones used Michelle and Jake at I Heart Budgets. If we had it to do over, I would consider those. Even if you use disposables, I don’t think you need a genie. Something about squishing poopie diapers just doesn’t seem right.
- Baby Bathtub. Again, you might disagree. We had one of these, but our tub is pretty deep and I couldn’t bend over that far without throwing out my back. We used the sink, or I got in the tub with our daughter. It actually was one of my favorite parts of the day. We got clean, read bath books, and had a great time.
- Shoes. Until your child is walking, shoes are for decoration only. Little baby Nikes are insanely cute, but have absolutely no purpose. Just get lots of socks. If you think the dryer is good at eating grown up socks, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
There you have my top five list of things you need and don’t need for a new baby. Of course you will probably get all kinds of gifts. Some will be more useful that others. If you get a Diaper Genie or baby Kobe Bryant shoes, just say thanks and enjoy. Honestly, you can get by with very little in the early months. You will have plenty of time to fill up the house with bicycles, Disney Princesses, and Thomas the Trains later on.
What were your most used baby items? What was the most outrageous baby gift you received?
Too funny how everyone’s preferences vary. I would put “baby bathtub” on the must-have list and “fold up changing table cover” on the not needed list! My main bathtub is deep as well, and when my husband travels, I don’t have the luxury of getting in the tub with the baby because my other two (under 5) would have their run of the house in the meantime. So I quickly wash the baby in his tub on the counter or one of those mesh seats that sits down in our shallow guest tub. I also don’t have the patience to carry around and keep one of those folding covers clean – I get disposable ones or just change the baby on the back of my SUV’s fold-down rear door before going into the store/after coming out. 🙂
Thanks for pointing that out. I don’t have multiple children or some of those priorities might change.
The first time I went into a Babies R Us to buy a baby shower gift off a registry I nearly had a panic attack. There are just SO MANY PRODUCTS in those stores! Something similar happened to me the first time I went into a Costco as an adult, but that was volume- and not number-induced.
I am that way as well. Maybe it’s from living in a small town, but ginormous stores make me nervous.
We are planning on going the plain trash can route for diapers. Stick a little baking soda in there and take it out each night and we will have a lot of money on the diaper genie refills
Good for you. I feel like I’m on a quest to wipe out the diaper genie!
This is such a helpful post! My wife and I are planning on going baby shopping on the weekend for our first bub and these type of articles are a god send.
Congrats on the bundle of joy. It can surely be overwhelming to know what to get.
My daughters are in college, so it’s been a long while since I’ve had any thoughts on baby products. Nonetheless, you’ve made a great list, Kim!
I’m sure the list just gets more expensive as you go along.