What you ACTUALLY need for a baby.
Last week, I saw a link to this post on mom logic announcing another recall for a baby item. This time for an “infant recliner”. The linked article didn’t specify what the “infant recliner” was used for and frankly, I could really only come up with one good reason why you’d buy something like that and then put your baby in it.
Reflux, in case you were wondering. Some babies have really bad reflux and need to stay upright after feedings.
But that led me to think about how strongly parents are marketed to. How long the “must have” lists for babies have become. I feel like, after three kids, I know what you need on your baby must have list. And, since I’m feeling chatty, I’ll share.
Jamie’s Quick and Dirty list of things you need to have for your baby
(Somehow quick and dirty doesn’t seem to go with a baby and the title lacks pizazz but there you go)
- You need a way to feed your baby Look, I’m a breastfeeder. Littlebit was breastfed for 24 months and Baby Bee is 13 months and can’t even go four hours over night without nursing. The first thing I’m going to say is that you should TRY to nurse your baby. I’m fully aware that some women can not for physical reasons and I’m not here to guilt you. It’s just one free thing you can do that’s good for your baby. If you can’t breastfeed, you need something to feed your baby with. You probably don’t need to spend a gazillion dollars on special bottles. Your baby will probably hate them. The Princess liked the Johnson’s healthflow. Littlebit got Avent (tossed, because they were cancer bottles) and Baby Bee got something that had a nipple shaped like an actual boob a la Meet The Fockers. The fancy schmancy, hoity toity bottles we bought for the Princess? Unused. She never took to them. Consider buying a small package at first to get you through the first day or so and then pick up more if your baby is doing well.
- You need a place for your baby to sleep-You don’t need a fancy nursery or a crib that costs a million dollars (but that your baby will only sleep in for three years if you’re super lucky or 18 months if you have a climber). You an chose to co-sleep, but if space and money is limited, a pack and play is fine. You don’t need a fancy crib bedding set either. A good tight fitting mattress, tight fighting sheets and a a few lightweight blankets work wonderfully.
- You need things for your baby to wear In truth, your newborn is going to be wearing sleepers most of the time. You’ll find they’re the easiest things to dress your baby in and work around. If you’re breastfeeding, you’re going to have blow outs, so make sure you have enough to get you through a few sleeper changes a day. The sweet little outfits ARE adorable, but dresses on newborns aren’t very practical and little two piece outfits ride up. Socks never seem to stay on, so once piece sleepers just make things easier on baby and parents. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t indulge on some special outfits for fun, but sleepers are just easier.
- You MUST have a safe way to transport your baby in a car A safe, good fitting, well rated BRAND NEW car seat is one of the most important purchases you’re ever going to make for your baby. Seriously. Do NOT skimp in this department! I can’t add enough exclamation points to that sentence. You don’t have spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars to get your baby a safe seat for the car, but a good fitting, well rated BRAND NEW seat is critical. Don’t take that task lightly.
That’s it. That’s all you REALLY need. Everything else is marketing and filler. But, if you can’t adhere to such a spartan list…
Nine Things You Absolutely Do Not Need For Your Baby!
- Infant towels-total waste. Too small. Use your own towels. They work just as good and probably feel nicer. Infant washclothes are equally useless.
- Expensive detergent for infants-Buy detergents for the whole family contianing no perfumes or dyes. Same outcome, lower cost
- Butt Wipe Warmer-they just dry out the wipes. If you’re concerned your wipes are too cold, just hold them in your hand for a few seconds before wiping your baby
- More than one bottle of baby lotion-Return the extras. Even if you lotion your baby DAILY, it’s going to take a LONG time to through that one bottle. I’m not sure I ever finished one.
- A Travel System-Somewhere out there, someone is wondering WTF I’m talking bout. Here’s the thing. 1) Those infant carriers? They’re heavy, man. 2) The strollers that comes with them? They’re huge. I would recommend new moms skip the infant carrier. Get a convertible car seat (more bang for your buck) and a carrier that allows you to carry your baby on your person. It really is easier, but I know that’s asking a lot. Those giant strollers really aren’t what they’re cracked up to be. You can’t even maneuver some of them in stores made to shop for children (like Gymboree? Forget it!)
- Shoes -they can’t even keep their socks on. Save your shoe money for when they’re older
- Stuffed Animals-trust me, they multiply. Buy/keep a few that are special/keepsakes and ditch the rest. You. will. THANK me.
- Bumper for your crib-I’ve had three kids. I’ve never used a crib bumper. I’ve never had a baby get tangled in the crib rails in any way that is dangerous or harmful. Do they bump their heads on the slats? Occasionally, but still in no way that is harmful or dangerous.
- Anything super fancy that has multiple uses-They just don’t work as well as separate pieces. I know this sounds weird since I’ve seem to be on a money saving tangent, but that bathtub that converts into a bath seat isn’t going to work as well as a bathtub and a separate bath ring. Trust me.