I wrote this article a while ago for a parenting site. It.. erm.. wasn’t picked up by them. But I like it, so I’m blogging it here on RRSAHM instead. Enjoy.
Being pregnant for the first time can be a minefield of insecurities, decisions and, potentially, shopping guilt. Entering a baby product store can be a mind blowing adventure- there are literally thousands of products to choose from, all serving a different purpose, all with different benefits. Some you need, and many you can really do without.
Shopping for your first baby is so exciting, and can be overwhelming. Do your research, talk to other parents and keep your eye out for specials. But, most importantly, don’t get duped- many baby products are total unnecessary and a huge waste of money.
Often, couples expecting their first baby are on the brink of losing one income for an indefinite amount of time, and having an extra mouth to feed- it’s probably not the time to be spending up big. Despite that, it’s easy to spend a few thousand dollars setting yourself and your baby up with products that will only be used for twelve months or so.
So, to avoid being ripped off and ending up with a growing toddler and a garage full of dusty baby products that have never really been used, follow these tips for shopping economically for a newborn.
• Have a list. And try to stick to it. Keep it handy so when friends ask what you need, you can easily let them know.
• Don’t buy until after your baby shower, if you’re having one. You’ll be amazed at how much stuff you can cross off that list after unwrapping your gifts.
• Keep it simple. I know- tiny tutus, vests, suits and shoes are super cute. But honestly, they are a pain to keep on a curly squishy tiny baby, and you won’t get much use out of them. So….
• Have a ‘fun shopping’ limit. Set yourself a limit of, say $100, depending on your budget for ‘fun stuff’. Not for practical needs, but for gorgeous clothes, sweet soft toys and maybe one or two itty bitty pairs of shoes. And a tutu.
So with those hints in mind, what is it that you really need to buy for a newborn baby? Start with these basics. Keep it simple- there’s plenty of time for over organising later.
• A car capsule. Consider hiring one of these, because you may not use it for long- but you will be grateful every time you lift the whole capsule, sleeping baby included, out of the car.
• A maxi carseat. This is for after the capsule. Research car seats well, and buy one that will last as long as possible- preferably right up until your child is of school age.
• Jumpsuits, singlets and socks. The basic newborn baby wardrobe. A safe bet for size is 000 and 00, with a handful of 0000’s thrown in in case bub is really little.
• Nappies, wipes, nappy bags and nappy cream. Unscented wipes are best for newborns, and a nappy cream that provides a barrier is essential.
• Muslin wraps. Lots and lots of them, as big as possible. For wrapping tiny babies tight and removing tiny spew stains from your shoulder.
• Sorbolene cream. Sorbelene can replace shampoo, bath wash and baby moisturiser, all of which aren’t really necessary and can harm sensitive skin.
• A cot. A cradle or crib is smaller and less bulky, but optional- don’t spend hundreds on one when your baby will only use it for a few short months. Most babies can go straight into a cot from birth, following SIDS and Kids Guidelines.
• A good pram. If you are going to splurge on anything, make it your pram- it’s one thing you will use almost every day. Purchase one that is durable and converts from newborn (lying flat) to toddler (sitting upright).
Save your hard earned cash, and buy minimally for a newborn. Above all, remember that a baby is a baby for only a few short months, but they’ll be a child for much, much longer- and they’ll be much more expensive.