Is it necessary to spend thousands of dollars on a new baby? NO. Retrain your brain to understand this way of thinking. Material things do not equal love. Your baby does not have to be a cash cow for stupid corporate America. All they do is take advantage the naivety of moms-to-be.
While I was on Amazon, I was recommended all sorts of baby products. Having had a baby once before, I could tell they were scamming me. I didn't need all of that crap they were telling me to buy! It's simply a marketing ploy.
So what's really necessary? I've outlined a list of things that you can either live without or are actually worth the investment. Next to the items, I've added the average cost of the item purchased new. That said, if you plan on buying these things, buy them used! One last note - having something like a swing, bouncy seat, jumperoo, etc. can be extremely convenient when wearing baby or holding baby isn't practical. However, you do not need to buy one of each! Just buy one and call it a day.
There are only three items that I've listed as essentials for babies. Everything else is debatable. For the 'maybes' wait to buy them until you actually need them, if you even need them at all.
Not necessary. Co-sleep.
Bathtubs - $20
Not necessary. Co-bathe.
Not necessary. Co-sleep.
Bottles - $50
Not necessary. If you're planning on breastfeeding, don't even bother getting any while you're pregnant. They are discouraging in those first few weeks. If nursing doesn't work out, cross that bridge when you get there.
Breastpump - $150
Maybe. If you can't stay home with your baby to nurse, it might be a good idea to invest in one. You can buy these used on Craigslist. If you do buy one used ONLY buy a closed-system pump. If you can't afford to buy one, most cities have places where you can rent them. Hospitals have rentals that are honestly better than ANY pump you will ever be able to buy.
Bouncy Seats - $30
Not necessary. However, there will be times that you do not want to hold or wear baby and baby doesn't want to be laying down. Cooking over a stove is dangerous with baby in your arms. These are a great alternative and are cheaper than swings, especially if you can find one on Craigslist.
Carseats - $150
Necessary. DO NOT SKIMP ON THIS ONE. Cars are dangerous machines. Even if you do not own a car and rely on public transit, these come in handy, especially when you have an emergency and need a friend to drive you somewhere, take a cab, etc. Find one with good reviews. If you live in a place where you can't ride a bus, invest in a good carseat. This is the one thing you should have before your baby is born, if you plan on leaving your house at all, or in most cases, leaving the hospital. If you cannot afford one, most states have programs where carseats are given out for free! Check with your local Highway Patrol office or your local hospital.
Changing table - $100
Not necessary. Buy a changing pad for on-the-go and use it around the house. You can sanitize and wash it easier too.
Clothes - $20 per outfit
Necessary. You can't have a baby running around naked in the elements, sadly. However, their clothes don't need to cost an arm and a leg. My son's wardrobe up to one year of age is complete after spending about $50. BUY USED and look for sales. Your baby will outgrow his clothes very quickly. Look for consignment stores for higher quality outfits and sign up for their e-mail lists if they have them so you know when they will be having sales. Stores like Savers and Goodwill also have top quality, name brand items for less than 1/4 of the price you would pay for them brand new! For stores like Savers and Goodwill, different colored tags will be marked down during specific times of the month. Go here to find out what sales are offered and when:
Diaper Pails - $40
Not Necessary. Let me begin by saying Diaper Genies are Satanic in nature. They are HORRENDOUS for the environment and they smell terrible. Don't get one. Buy a cheap trash can with a lid, and you now have a diaper pail.
Disposable Diapers - $3,000
Maybe. There are alternatives to diapering believe it or not. Elimination communication potty trains babies before one year of age and does not require diapering. If you do plan on diapering, look into cloth. Buy one diaper a week for half of your pregnancy, and you will be set on diapers until your baby potty trains. That gives you twenty diapers to work with. Some cheap brands that don't suck are Alva Baby, Kerr Bear Kids, Sunbabies or Cotton Babies prefolds. When you're done with your cloth diapers, re-sell them on Craigslist!
Feeding Pillows - $30
Not necessary. A regular old bed pillow works just as well as a Boppy pillow.
Humidifiers - $25
Maybe. You can steam up your bathroom and get the same effect, or use saline drops made of seasalt and water. Don't buy one unless you absolutely need one.
Jumperoos - $100
Not necessary. Baby will survive without a jumperoo. They are nice to have, but it isn't a big deal if baby doesn't have one.
Monitors - $20
Not necessary. Keep your baby close. Unless you have a huge house - don't bother with them. In that case, you may want a set. In all of my time in our 1700 square foot house, however, I've never used them.
Playards - $100
Not necessary. What are these things anyway? Giant cages for babies?
Receiving blankets - $15
Not necessary. I'm still not sure what purpose these things serve. All I know is I like to cut them up to make cloth wipes or stuff into pocket diapers.
Soft Carriers - $50
Necessary. Rather than splurging on a Moby wrap (which is just expensive Jersey-knit cotton, if I might add), find a 40% off coupon for your favorite craft store, buy some Jersey-knit cotton or another material you like and make your own Fauxby wrap. All you have to do is buy 5.5 yards, cut it in half long ways and voila - instant wrap, no sewing required. Mine cost $30, and I got two wraps out of it. You do not have to use Jersey-knit either.
Special detergent - $15
Not necessary. Buy All Free and Clear instead for clothes. It is not necessary to buy Dreft from Babies 'R' Us or other detergents that are overpriced and frankly, overrated.
Special Shampoos and Soaps - $15
Not necessary. Babies actually do not need soap at all. You can get away with not using soap for at least a year, or if it's an emergency, you can just use a nice soft soap like Dove. Instead of soaps, use coconut oil in the bath and pat the baby dry. Believe me when I say baby will not be missing out on the petroleum products!
Strollers - $100
Not Necessary. With the amount of money you spend on a stroller, you can easily invest in another baby-wearing device. Strollers are convenient at places like zoo's, aquariums and theme parks, but really - think about it. You can rent strollers for a couple bucks when you do things like that.
Swings - $100
Not Necessary. I will admit this is the only way I've been able to get consecutive hours of zzz's in both of my children's first few months of life. This is recommended when using Happiest Baby On the Block techniques. Convenient? Yes. Necessary? No. A nice pair of arms would work just as well.
Toys - Endless
Not necessary. Plenty of other things can entertain a baby - tupperwear, spoons, books, etc. Your face is the most priceless toy for your baby. If you do buy toys, only buy a few! Do not buy a lot of them. When you're swimming in them, you will regret it!
Wipe Warmer - $15
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