Monday, March 9, 2015

What Does Baby Need?

I have read so many different articles and blogs about what people think are essential for babies to have. Sure there are some important things, but often I find that people are saying things like swings and wipes warmers are essential. Much of what is essential depends on when the baby is born (winter vs. summer baby, etc.), personal choices (cloth diapering, etc.) and what is important to you, and also how much emphasis you put on convenience and ease over necessity and budget.

 I believe that having a baby does not need to be expensive. I do not have a large budget to spend on this baby, nor did I have much at all to spend on Elanor. We did get a lot of help from family (our stroller was bought for us, along with tons of clothes, a start on our cloth diapers, and numerous gift cards). We were very blessed by this and grateful. Elanor did happen to be the first grandchild on both sides, so everyone was pretty excited! 

Here are some items I do think people should have :
{I did not use "need" as a baby really only needs to be fed and loved (also maybe some clothes or blankets)}

A cradle/bassinet/box-- 
something to put your baby in while they are small and still nursing at night. I never felt comfortable co-sleeping and could not sleep soundly if baby was in bed with me, so something for the baby to sleep in while in my room was important for us.

A crib-- 
we got ours at a garage sale for cheap and the mattress at IKEA. Elanor slept in her crib until she was just over 2--climbing out had become an issue. 

Of course your baby needs something to wear. So much of this depends on what time of year your baby is born. Some essentials are: onesies-at least a weeks worth, pants/ leggings-- a couple pair, socks/booties-if a winter baby this is much more important, a nice dress/outfit, a cardigan, a snow suit if a winter baby, a couple hats and 4 or so zip up pajamas. Everything else is just nice to have. It is fun to dress up a baby, but again you don't need it all. Let your family and friends take care of that if possible with baby showers, etc.

We do cloth, which I really love. You have to initially spend a bit more, but you save so much in the long run. I am going to do cloth wipes as well this time around. Cloth diapering is so much easier than one would think. I love the Green Mountain Diapers website.

A carrier/stroller--
It is really nice to have a way to transport your baby other than carrying. My parents got us a jogging stroller, which I highly recommend as it is versatile and can go on dirt, gravel, etc. I did not have a good carrier with Elanor but I just got an Ergo (for a great price at Kid2Kid, as it was barely used!). I am really excited to try it out. I've been told that having a carrier like an Ergo or some sort of wrap are better than the main steam brands such as Evenflo or Baby Bjorn as those types of carriers can cause damage to the baby's hips. I don't know much about it, but I've heard it often.

A car seat--
Of course if you have a car, you have to have a car seat. I prefer the convertible typed that go from 5lbs to 40lbs. It saves you money and I'm not a fan of the infant car seats as you can't use them that long and they are super heavy and it has always bugged me that some people keep their babies in there all the time.

Swaddle blankets--
My sister is getting me some muslin ones which I'm excited about, they are great for the summer as they are so light. 

Not as Important, but nice to have:

Some sort of bouncer or swing--
It is nice to have somewhere to put your baby when you are showering or cooking.

a bumbo--
I did not have one for Elanor, but my mother-in-law got me one for Christmas and I'm really excited to have it!

breast pump/bottles/formula--
I did not ever use these, but I know for some people these are on the necessary list. If you breast feed, it is nice to have a pump, so you can go out at times when the baby needs to be fed.

Food mill--
This is basically a super inexpensive way to make baby food. You just put your steamed vegetables/fruit in and it mashes up the food as you grind the top.

Quilts/assorted blankets--
These are nice for baby to lay on, sleep with, take outside/out on walks. Plus, who doesn't love a homemade quilt or a cozy knitted blanket?

Baby toys/mobile/books--
I pretty much think books are necessary and we read to Elanor right from the beginning. As for toys, I do not like plastic toys or toys that require batteries. I like wood and fabric toys. We also made a lot of toys, which Elanor actually liked more than the toys people bought her. Also, a mobile with black and white designs really fascinate babies.

I am not sure if this is helpful to anyone, but it was fun for me to think about. Are there any items I left off the list?

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