Your baby’s birth is just around the corner—congrats on making it through most of your pregnancy!
Now that you are nearing the exciting day of your little one’s arrival, perhaps it’s time to take the list down off the refrigerator and head out to the store to pick up those essentials—and maybe a few nice-to-haves—before the big day.
It can be a bit overwhelming to start the process of accumulating all the essentials; between the sheer volume that is needed, prices for baby items and making sure you have the proper equipment to care for your baby well, even the most experienced shopper can have a freak-out moment.
Watch for Sales
Equipment for babies can be very expensive; watching for when things are on sale will help you save some money when purchasing the essentials. As older models of strollers, car seats, and cribs are becoming obsolete, they will often be deeply discounted. If you are not a mom who needs the latest for your child, perhaps one of these older models will work for you. There will be time for more expensive purchases later; start with what you can handle financially, and purchase additional items when you can.
Do Your Safety Checks
When purchasing baby items like bouncer seats, car seats and strollers, do your research to see what safety ratings exist for these items. Look for recalls and issues with damaged or broken parts, and make sure that there are no injuries associated with the use of these items. Steer clear of products with safety recalls or questions about the integrity of the product; there are plenty of options out there for you to consider that do check out in the safety department. The more you can purchase with confidence, the more at ease you will feel when using these items to care for your baby.
Don’t Buy a Ton of Clothes Initially
While it may be tempting to purchase that ridiculously tiny set of khakis for your newborn, you are likely to abandon items quickly as the need for multiple diaper changes and feedings drives you toward something more comfortable. Purchase some soft newborn sleepers and outfits that will be easy to get your baby in and out of; you can add more of the cute stuff later as you are able to diversify your outings and your wardrobe.
Double Up on Your Diaper Stations
You may want to purchase all of your big-ticket items right away, but the reality is that you will not need them all immediately. One thing you can simply not skimp on is a diaper station on every level of your house. Save yourself some valuable time by tucking diapers, wipes, cream, and tissues in several rooms of your house. You’ll stress less knowing that if your little one experiences a blowout, you won’t have to spend time searching for all the essentials.
Start With One Stroller
As you take your baby home from the hospital, just know that you really only need the type of stroller that accommodates a car seat. You don’t need to find the Cadillac of strollers until well after your child is able to transition from one seated position to another. Take some time, evaluate what your needs are, and look for gently used strollers that will do the trick. Why buy new when a gently used one will do?
Invest in a Good Baby Carrier
It is inevitable—you will need to have your hands free at a time when junior needs to be held, coddled or consoled. Investing in a baby carrier that is safe for your back and the baby will give you freedom and comfort that you will appreciate as you maintain the delicate balancing act of “momming” and housework.
Make a Bouncy Seat One of Your Top Priorities
With all of the gadgets and gizmos that are available for new parents in the name of convenience, you need to weed through what is essential versus what is nice to have. A bouncy seat should be at the top of your list, a must-have for those first formative months when the baby is not ready to crawl and explore yet wants to view the world in comfort and safety.
Don’t Buy Everything at Once!
You won’t need solid food feeding items when you arrive home from the hospital. Similarly, some of the more comprehensive toys, games and stuffed animals will not be needed until your baby is months older. When making your list of what you would like to purchase, prioritize it by month of development, so you can purchase these items at the appropriate time. Spend your starting baby budget on only the essentials that are needed for feeding, clothing, bathing, and sleeping. After all, this is what your first few months will entail!
Stock Up the Medicine Cabinet
Yes, your little darling will need some personal-care items too. These are things that are not thought of when shopping for your little one, but you can surely feel the discomfort of finding out you need them when they are scarce.
Consider stocking up on the following items for use in caring for your baby:
- Baby sunscreen
- Gum and teething gel
- Diaper ointment
- Nail clippers
- Q tips and diaper wipes
- Boogie wipes
- Aspirator and saline solution
Don’t worry, if you are not familiar with many of the items on this list, in no time at all, you will be!
Set Up Your Registry!
Why do all of the shopping yourself when you can pick out items to be gifted to you? Having a baby shower is one of the most exciting parts of expecting a baby. People want to shower you with gifts, and it is better to get something that you truly want via your registry than hoping people will give you what you want and need. Look forward to receiving gifts in combination with your own purchases, and you’ll find that you are more prepared than you realize.
What an exciting time for you and your family! Anticipate the arrival of this little bundle of joy, prepare for the arrival by making smart and savvy purchases and add as you go! Enjoy the exhilarating ride that is parenting!