Resharing a blog post from Alix's blog, Call Me Crunchy
What do you need to have before baby arrives? Sing with me, “Look for the bare necessities. The simple bare necessities.” Preparing for baby is an exciting and joyous time. Do not let all the commercialization bog you down. Be a minimalist and save your money by only purchasing essentials that can be re-used with several children. Having new, trendy baby items can be fun, however, your baby will not notice if you stick to the basics.
Car Seat –
A safe car seat is a must. I was lucky to have a friend who had major mommy experience (3 kids then, 4 kids now) and she spoke highly of the Chicco Keyfit 30 car seat. It is a lightweight car seat that is extremely easy to install. I received the Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System as a shower gift and it comes with the car seat, base, and stroller. This travel system is extremely versatile. The stroller can be opened/closed with one hand, which is very helpful when your other hand is holding a baby. The seat of the stroller detaches for those first few months when you use the stroller as a car seat caddy. This makes transitions from car to walking around flawless and easy. Bottom line, if you can afford to get the Bravo Travel System, go ahead and splurge! If you have a tight budget, put it on your registry or just buy the car seat. We love the travel system, especially in Rainfall, which is a great gender neutral print that hides stains well.
This is my favorite of all the must-have items. Nothing excites me more about parenthood than the world of cloth diapers. Okay, maybe that is an exaggeration…but there are just so many different brands, styles and prints! You can really have a lot of fun with this part of parenthood. The greatest part about cloth diapering is that you invest in a cloth diaper stash and never buy diapers again! Cloth diapers can be used for multiple children if they are taken care of and washed properly. If you do plan to purchase cloth diapers, I would pick one retailer to order from so you can rack up rewards points. We use disposables every once in a while when we travel and I highly recommend Bambo Nature and Seventh Generation. I have tried several disposable brands during our travels and these two were the most durable and reliable. Disposable diapers are convenient when traveling, but I’m always glad to get home to our cute cloth diapers.
Baby has to eat! Breast milk is a healthy, natural, and affordable way to feed your baby. Breastfeeding is recommended exclusively for at least six months; however, the WHO recommends breastfeeding for the first two years as it provides multiple health benefits for both mother and baby. Breastfeeding is great for bonding mother and baby. It is also always conveniently ready for whenever baby gets hungry. If you plan to breastfeed, you will likely want a nursing pillow, washable nursing pads and organic nipple cream. Also, make sure to keep plenty of healthy snacks on hand because breastfeeding may increase your appetite. If you will be pumping, make sure to contact your insurance to see if they will provide you with a breast pump. If baby is not fed at the breast, make sure to have some bottles. My favorite are Lifefactory glass bottles. Each bottle is in a protective silicon sleeve, is dishwasher safe, and grows with baby through life stages (nipple, sippy cap and leak-proof cap). Although we never needed it, we did keep a can of Earth’s Best formula at home in case of an emergency.
Sleeping Accommodations –
Where is baby going to sleep? Whether you co-sleep or not, make sure you have a safe place for baby to rest their sweet little head. For the first month or so, my little man slept in a rocker sleeper since he was so small. The bassinet was too large when he was just a mere 5lbs 3oz and the rocker sleeper made him feel comfy cozy. At a month old, he would start the night sleeping in the bassinet but would end up in the bed with us. My little man did not begin sleeping in his crib until shortly after he turned six months. However, if you’d like to plan ahead, purchase a multi-functional crib to save money and resources.
First Aid Kit –
You hope not to have any complications but, just in case, keep a first aid kit handy. This can include things such as a thermometer, infant medication, teething rub, a good rash cream, and a nasal aspirator. I have a caddy that sits on top of the changing table. I filled one side with cloth wipes and the other side with my first aid items. We know exactly where to go to find these important items which is a relief when we are overwhelmed and need it immediately.
Technically, I listed more than five items BUT, with these five essential needs covered, you will be fully prepared for the first six months.
Enjoy your new bundle of joy. Time flies by!