You just found out you're expecting. Excited, you jump online and sign up for all the freebies and coupons and dive head first into baby content. The next day, you open your inbox to find it is overflowing with emails about products, gadgets, furniture, toys and endless lists of the things you NEED for baby - talk about overwhelming.
Having a new baby is one of the easiest times to overspend, but can also be the most important time to be smart in your spending.
Some things you'll want/need to buy new. When you do, choosing high quality items that are built to last mean you can use it for another child of your own, sell or trade it, or pay it forward to an expecting friend. You can also get a lot of things second-hand if you're pinching pennies.
The absolute essentials list is pretty small. On day 1 with a new baby, you need:
Somewhere for baby to sleep
Whether it’s a crib, bassinet or playpen, the most important thing is that you have somewhere you know is safe so you can all sleep easier.
Ways to get your baby from A to B
If you use a vehicle, and will be bringing baby home from the hospital, a car seat will make it onto that essential list. Most people will also opt for a stroller and/or baby carrier. Both of these are things you should try before you buy and things you can potentially wait on or buy second hand.
Whether you're going cloth or disposables, you'll want to have enough diapers on hand that you aren't rushing out to a 24 hour shop to buy some. Some babies will fit into newborn diapers, but some might not. Having a couple of sizes to get you through the first little while isn't a bad idea.
And don't forget the wipes!
Of course your little one will need something to wear... probably a lot of things. Babies go through more outfit changes than an awards show host, so having a selection of easy-on/easy-off clothes is essential.
Face cloths, receiving blankets, swaddling blankets, and towels are all things you'll probably use multiple times a day. Having a good stockpile on hand is important for all those adorable little messes.
If needed - Breast pump, bottles and/or formula
For those mamas that pump or formula feed, these are essential for day 1. Pumps can often be rented and formula is a great thing to sign up for free samples of before the baby arrives.
The honourary mentions:
Once you have the bare minimums, there are some things that can make life a lot easier. Here are some that parents say time and again are life savers:
You may be able to get away with a regular cushion but a lot of breastfeeding moms swear by special breastfeeding cushions. Knowing nursing can be challenging, having something to keep you comfortable could make a world of difference.
Baby swing/bouncy chair
Some babies hate them, so best to try one out before you purchase one, but for some parents these are a gift from the gods.
Being able to put baby down to nap so you can eat with both your hands free and watch Netflix? Yes please.
Depending on where baby will be sleeping and the size of your home, having either a video or audio monitor can be the peace of mind you want.
The most important “Must Have” for any new parent, though, can’t be bought in a store or picked up second hand; the thing most parents must have is the support of family and friends as they adjust to new life as parents.