Saturday, September 17, 2011

What a Baby Actually NEEDS

In these last couple weeks before Baby 2 comes, I've still got a HUGE list of things I'd like to do.

We've had a very productive week and most of the essential things are done.

I've been working on a NEED vs. WANT list for baby, and I've got 4 things I can think of that are actual needs, and everything else is just icing.

NEEDS for Baby 2:

1. Place for baby to sleep - - - - - - - - -CHECK! we put together the crib last night.

2. Something for baby to wear - - - - - CHECK! all the neutral items we own for babies under 6 months have been washed and dried and were nicely folded until Monkey's nap this afternoon.

3. A carseat for baby - - - - - - - - - - - (almost) CHECK! this is a gift from my parents, and is still living at their house. They have a pink cover for the carrier carseat, but we have a yellow cover here, so we're set boy or girl...

4. Diapers and wipes for baby - - - - - CHECK! I've got some cloth (some pre-folds, some all-in-ones...) and I've got a closet full of bags of disposable diapers which I'm sure we'll go through as well (I found some great deals on diapers, which combined with coupons to really nice prices)

WANTS for Baby 2:

1. A seat for baby - - - - - - - - - - - - - CHECK! (three times over) we found a brand new Exersaucer for 5 dollars that is staying with my parents. We also have a Bumbo seat that has been used by a friend for the past year, and we have a bouncy musical chair that vibrates (also $5, this time at a yard sale).

2. A basinette or playpen - - - - - - - - - CHECK! (on both items) we were given the playpen for Monkey's first Christmas, and we were given a Moses basket from Hubby's Aunt and got to bring it home when we visited a couple weeks ago.

3. A carrier - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -CHECK! We have a Snugglie (sp?) that we got back when Monkey was an infant, as well as one I picked up this summer from kijiji. I would love a wrap carrier, so that's on my "dream gift" list, but I'll be fine with what we have (that's why these are WANTS)

4. Toys/blankets/stuffed creatures - - - -These are items that we don't actually WANT (or need), but we have more than enough and have been trying to give them away since Monkey was born. I think the "go-to" gift for a baby when you don't know what to get is a stuffed toy or a blanket.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it goes to show how easily things pile up when there's a baby on the way. There are so many lists out there that have all kinds of extra things listed as "NEEDS" but really you don't need them. Other things I can think of include:

-Breast Pump... This could be moved to the NEED list if you are a mother who has to go back to work before Baby is weaned. I am fortunate to be staying home with the kids this time, so I will not need this item, but it is very important.

-Baby monitor....we have a 2 bedroom apartment... if the baby is crying you can hear it at the other end of our floor.

-Wipe warmer or bottle warmer... these are for the pampered baby... I never even considered getting one

-Matching bed spread set with bumper pads, curtains, sheets.... your baby will not die if he's got uncoordinated sheets... and usually if you get an expensive set, that's the set that will be ruined by explosive poop or vomit... stick with something that will keep baby warm and that fits your budget.

-SHOES for babies... while these are ridiculously cute, they serve NO purpose, so they are not at all essential.

-Mobiles... once again, it's cute, but not essential. When you're changing baby's diaper, the funny faces you make trying to hold your breath and not breathe in the poop smell will be entertaining enough to keep your baby's attention. It's actually better for the baby to look at your face than at some expensive plastic floating object... save the money and invest in your time instead.

-Swings/Jolly Jumpers... these are very useful for some "Me" time, but they are not NEEDS, especially in our case when we already have a vibrating chair, an exersaucer, AND a Bumbo...

-High chairs.... For the first 6 months of your baby's life, she doesn't even need to TRY solid food, so getting one of these chairs before a daily meal time is common will waste your money and your space. If you have a bouncy chair (or a Bumbo) these can be used instead of a high chair, and if you want to save even more space, try the chair that attatches to the table and folds up when dinner is done.

-A changing table... Not an essential piece of furniture. A baby can be changed on any solid surface (couch, the floor, counters, dressers...) and after baby is out of diapers, you can keep all the other surfaces for their intended purposes. We used a dresser when we didn't use the floor, and now it's still as useful as it was before Monkey came along. A very helpful thing might be a changing PAD, but you can always use receiving blankets or towels if you don't have a changing pad.

A baby does not need to break your budget. People who say babies cost thousands of dollars in their first year are insane. It is absolutely possible to spend your entire years salary to have the "perfect" supplies for your baby, but it is also very possible to stick to a budget of only a few hundred dollars and not compromise your baby's safety, and still have all the essentials.

The number one thing a baby needs is love, and as far as I know, you shouldn't have to spend a penny on that. Love your baby, and that will make up for any no-name, or second hand, or mismatched anything in their life...


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