I live in a small home that doesn’t have a lot of space, so it was a little challenging when we found out we were having a baby because having a baby comes with a lot of things. We also don’t make a lot of money and having a baby is certainly pricey. We had to be wise in the decisions we made on what to buy.
Luckily, I am a simplifier at heart and don’t need a lot to be satisfied. I only buy things that are necessities and I love getting rid of things that are not. The thought of all the things we were going to need was extremely overwhelming for me though, I had to get creative to make sure we had the room we needed to make our living situation comfortable.
We live on a tight budget, so I shopped around a ton to get the best deals for what we needed. I am not the type of person who needs the latest fads and I am ok with buying SOME things used, so this helped our situation a lot.
TOP ADVICE AND MUST HAVES
1. Diapers and Wipes- You will go through so many diapers and wipes. This will be one of your bigger expenses.
- Target brand diapers are by far the cheapest I have found. We don’t have a Target where I live, so I order mine online, purchase them with my Red Card and get free shipping and 5% off! Costco brand diapers are pretty good too, but we don’t have a Costco where I live either.
- Start pulling money aside NOW and put it somewhere you won’t touch it. This will help you have a good supply of money for diapers. So many people advised me to buy diapers whenever we had a chance, but I found this to be difficult because we ran out of space to store them and you never know how long they’ll be in certain sizes, so saving money for diapers is genius!
2. Clothes- If you have older children and don’t already have a good supply of clothes from them or haven’t been given a lot of clothes by other people, then this is a big expense! If this is your first child then you’ll most likely get a lot of clothes from your baby shower, people just can’t resist buying baby clothes, which is wonderful for you because they are definitely needed.
- I am not one who cares to have my children dress in expensive top brand clothes. I am not trying to make this come across negatively, if you buy top brand clothes, it’s not a bad thing; I just can’t afford it.
- I purchase a lot of my children’s clothes from Ross, Target, and Wal-Mart. You can also find good deals at second hand stores.
- You’ll need a lot of onesies.
3. Rock n’ Play Sleeper- These are amazing! They fold up so thin to easily take places and to store. These can help a lot with acid reflux and babies that spit up a lot.
- The one I bought go HERE
4. Crib- I don’t find it necessary to purchase a really expensive crib, but this is just my opinion and completely your choice. Crib shopping can be stressful, there are so many out there, it’s hard to choose from them all. It certainly is fun though and makes things become “real” real fast.
5. Bassinet- I definitely don’t think it’s necessary to buy an expensive one of these since they won’t be sleeping in it for very long. You may not even need one of these at all depending on if you want your baby to sleep in the same room as you and how much space you have.
- Some people feel best with their baby sleeping in the same room as them for a while. I did with all of my babies. It makes things so much easier too. I had a bassinet for my first two and with my twins they just slept in their Rock n’ Plays.
- Some people just put the baby’s crib right in their room with them; or use a Pack n’ Play. There are so many things out there you can buy. So, this is completely up to you.
6. Bouncer- These certainly do come in handy, but I don’t feel it’s very safe to put your baby in it for a couple months depending on the kind you get. The one I had I didn’t feel supported my baby’s head and neck very good and could easily block their airway, but it’s a definite must have when they are a little bigger.
7. Swing- You may feel you won’t need one of these if you have a Rock n’ Play.
- I had a 4Moms MamaRoo, but it broke after seven months of using it. I loved how small and compact it was, it didn’t take up a lot of room, but I don’t think I’d ever buy another one since it wasn’t very durable and pretty pricey.
8. Johnny Jump Up- Your baby won’t be able to use this for a while, but it’s a must have and so much fun for baby and for you.
9. Jumperoo- I loved my Jumperoo and so did all of my babies, but if you have the Johnny Jump Up you may not need one of these and can just safe your money.
- Go HERE for an idea of what one is
10. Exersaucer- I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Exesaucer and neither were my babies, but I think I put them in it too late.
- The second your baby can start standing on your legs pretty good and holding their head up well is the time to probably put them in the Exersaucer. I did it too late I think.
11. Baby Floor Play Mat- these are really good for your baby and can be used as early as you want. They are surprisingly quite expensive so if you can find a used one that would be awesome.
- For an idea of one go HERE
12. High Chair- My kitchen is pretty small and high chairs can take up a lot of room. This depends on your kitchen space and what kind you want to buy.
- Cosco high chairs are smaller and fold up so thin. I bought Cosco brand for my twins since I had to have two high chairs. I love them. We take them with us everywhere because they are easily portable. They are low in cost too. The only thing I don’t like is the fabric seat and belt buckles aren’t machine washable, there’s no way to detach it from the chair. Sooo dumb!
- HERE is a link to the kind I bought. I bought this one for my daughter and a blue one for my son.
13. Burp Rags (only if your babies are pukers)- All my babies were pukers!
- I just buy cloth diapers for my burp rags, they are amazing at absorbing all the spit up and don’t cost too much.
14. Bibs (only if your babies are pukers)- as I mentioned above. If your babies spit up a lot, bibs will save your life! It’ll keep you from change their outfits multiple times a day.
- HERE is a link to the kind of bibs I bought that worked great for little babies.
15. Crib Sheet Saver- If you have spit up babies, these saved me from doing tons of laundry and changing sheets all day.
- You can find the sheet savers HERE
16. Video Monitor- You need a video monitor to be able to see and hear your baby, but also for your enjoyment as your baby gets older it’s so fun to be able to see what they do in their cribs when you’re not around.
- The brand I bought was V–tech. I have really liked this brand.
17. Snuza Hero Baby Movement Monitor- I have a love, hate relationship with these things. These are a little like the Owlet pulse monitor, but way cheaper.
- They monitor the movement of your baby’s belly when they’re sleeping, and it alarms you if it doesn’t detect movement after 20 seconds.
- There were more false alarms more than anything and it got really annoying, but I am a worrier and SIDS is my biggest fear! With my twins being preemies, I was an even bigger mess than with my other children, so I was grateful for these and it put my mind at ease when I went to sleep at night.
- HERE is a link to purchase this
18. Infant Baby Bath– I just bought a basic, plastic baby bath and have had no problems.
19. Car Seat– I did a ton of research and our budget was certainly tight. I wanted a good car seat, but one that didn’t break the bank.
- I bought Graco Snugride Click Connect 35. These hold babies from 4-35lbs and 32” long.
- These are also the lightest car seats I could find. The car seat alone is only 7 lbs. I wanted a light car seat because those things are hard to lug around.
- My only complaint about these car seats is the canopy. It got in the way of the handle a lot and didn’t give good enough coverage for me, but nothing a cute canopy cover wouldn’t fix.
- HERE is a link to the one I bought
20. Stroller- This was a killer for me to figure out because I needed one that wouldn’t take up the entire trunk of my car.
- There are so many out there it’s insane. This is totally your choice and you buy whatever you feel you need, but here is a suggestion. The Baby Trend Snap n’ Go Stroller is amazing because it is super light weight and easy to fold. It folds up thin too. You just put your car seat on it and go.
- If you could buy it used it would be a better deal because it’s not a stroller that can grow with you. Once your baby is out of the infant car seat you’d have to buy another stroller, but there are a lot of cheap strollers out there that will do the job just fine when you need it to.
- Think about what you need and want and go from there. You may have other children and may need a double or even triple stroller depending on your situation.
21. Muslim Swaddle Blankets- I absolutely love these blankets, but they have some pretty pricey ones out there. There are so others that are the exact same material, but cheaper. I went the cheaper route and bought a lot from Wal-Mart and Amazon.
22. Sleep Sacks- I am a big believer in never putting anything loose in my baby’s crib when they are old enough to roll over and move around. Once they start moving around I stop swaddling them and transition them over to sleep sacks to keep them warm and safe. I love them. They have lots of different kinds out there and they have some that can grow with your child as they get older. These can be pretty pricey, but I feel are totally worth it.
23. Double Breast Pump– No matter what, unless you plan to use formula right from the start you will want and need a good breast pump.
- I used Medela and it was so nice! A good pump makes a world of difference.
- Make sure you have an extra set of flanges, so you don’t have to do as many dishes.
- For the one I have go HERE
24. Bottles– With my first two baby’s I used glass bottles and loved them. With my twins I used Dr. Brown’s bottles and loved those.
25. Bottle Warmer- If you are strictly pumping then a bottle warmer is an absolute life saver!
- I couldn’t nurse because my babies had to have their milk fortified with formula for more calories and nursing just wasn’t happening for me. I strictly pumped and a bottle warmer helped so much!
- If you are doing formula there is no need for this because you can make the bottle with warm water already.
- I had the Dr. Brown’s bottle warmer, but I am sure any kind would work just fine.
- The one I had go HERE
26. Bobby (Nursing Pillow)- These are amazing for nursing and also to just lay your baby on. They are pretty pricey though, but a must have.
- Go HERE for a good bamboo one
27. Baby Carrier- Everyone I know raves about the Moby Wrap, but I never used one before. I have heard amazing things about it though.
- I personally loved this carrier. Infantino Cuddle Up Ergonomic Hoodie Carrier
- Go HERE to purchase. It’s so easy to use and can hold up to 40 pounds. I love the hoodie on it to help support baby’s head when it falls asleep.
28. Pack n’ Play- These are portable cribs that fold up fairly small. These are amazing and a must have. You can take it anywhere to have your baby play in or sleep in.
- They have a lot out there and the price range is huge. I don’t find it necessary to purchase an expensive one with all these crazy gadgets unless it’s something that’s necessary for you.
- HERE is a good one that’s not too pricey and basic
29. Cool Mist Humidifier- Whatever you do make sure you buy a cool mist humidifier because they work so much better than the warm mist.
- I love this one and it’s not too pricey, go HERE
30. Nose Frida- The bulb you get from the hospital that sucks all the guck out of your baby’s mouth after it’s born is wonderful for sucking out all your baby’s boogies, but the Nose Frida is pretty amazing as well! I promise you won’t get any of your baby’s boogers in your mouth.
- Go HERE to purchase and learn more about it.
31. Baby Wipes Warmer- I always thought that these were a waste of money with my other children until I got one as a gift and oh my word it makes the world of difference when changing your little baby’s bottoms. They don’t scream and cry the entire time they are being changed. They’re miracles.
32. Baby Mitts- I personally say don’t waste your money on these and just use socks, they stay on better and you should already have some anyway. Most baby outfits come with the covers built right on the long sleeve onesie’s anyway.
33. Baby Basics
- Nail Clippers- remember you can’t clip baby’s nails for quite a while until after the skin behind it stops growing with the nail.
- Baby brush and comb
- Diaper Rash cream- honestly, I think Vaseline works better than anything else.
- Baby Vicks
- Thermometer- I think the kind you put in their ear or move across their forehead are the best, they are pricey though, but last a long time and work well, so it’s worth it.
- Children’s Tylenol and Ibuprofen. DO NOT EVER buy Infant Tylenol and Ibuprofen, they cost more for way less. Your pediatrician will give you doses that correlate with Children’s Tylenol and Ibuprofen.
- Saline solution- this stuff is amazing to help get dry boogies out of your baby’s nose.
- Binkies- I’d wait on buying these until your baby is born because you never know what they will like. See how they do with the hospital one first and go from there or buy the kind you want them to like and don’t let the hospital give them any other kind except for that one.
This list is not in any particular order. It’s simply just a list.
Well, there you have it! I can’t think of anything else that are absolute must haves! I know this is super intense and overwhelming. There are a lot of these things you really can do without and will be just fine. If you don’t have the money or room for it all that’s ok. Some of these things you may not even want and that’s ok too. There may be a lot your baby might not even like and you won’t know that until it’s here.
A lot of these things you won’t need until your baby gets older, which is nice because it will give you time to gradually buy things and will help with space because you’ll be rotating things out for when your baby is older. Like your swing and bouncer will eventually be replaced with the Exersaucer and Jumperoo. It’ll all work out, I promise.
Just see what’s best for you and your family. It’s all a big experiment. Good luck! Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.