I must say that even though this pregnancy was planned and we strongly desire to have another princess in the house, I completely forgot about cost of all the baby gear required to keep her and us comfortable. Even though we already have two girls, I gave away all but one tote of clothing and my breast pump. As I began to make a list, I wanted to be sure to share because if it is one thing we learned with our first child ~ You don't need one of everything. Here is the list of must have baby gear that our family could not go without.
1. Pack and Play- We always purchase the one with the changing table, mobile, music player, all attached. We found out with our first daughter that with breastfeeding, it was much easier to keep her in the room. Plus she never wanted to be far. Every time she was alone in her room or in her crib she would cry until we brought her back with us. This is great to travel with to Nana's and allows her to have something of her own in an unfamiliar place.
2. Travel system- stroller/car seat- Obviously you need a car seat, but I always found it easiest to buy the combo with the matching stroller for neighborhood walks, shopping, and any events we decided to attend.
3. Swing- This is our all time must have lifesaver with both girls so far. Both our girls would nap here and hang out while I did cleaning or cooking dinner.
4. Monitors- While I definitely agree a set of monitors is necessary, especially if you have more than one floor to your home. Don't spend more than $40 on your set. The video surveillance system won't need installed until the teenage years.
5. Breast pump- Working outside the house with the first two girls required an amazing pump. We used the Medela Pump in Style Advanced. I loved it so much its the only piece of baby gear I did keep over the years. There was never a large break time during teaching, so I needed something that could pump quick and I trained myself to use it hands free so that I could eat at the same time. I must have also did some of my planning while pumping, because when I pulled it out to make sure all the parts were there I found math center activities! LOL multi-tasking at its best.
6. Sling- We discovered the amazing benefits of the sling by chance. I was aware of the benefits and bonding opportunities of wearing your infant but we purchased the Baby Bjorn carrier and hated it. I could never adjust it to the correct fit and always felt as though she would fall out. We now have a Moby wrap and also ordered a Seven Slings that I can't wait to try out.
I didn't include the obvious clothing, diapers, wipes, but be sure to grab those too!
What we didn't need that we thought we did as first time parents.
1. wet wipe warmer- While it was nice on the baby to have a warm wipe to have her bottom cleaned, it works just as well if not faster to rub the wipe between your hands a few times.
2. crib and bassinet- We had both of these with the first in addition to the pack and neither were used more than two times.
3. bouncer/vibrating chair- Both our daughters did like this piece of gear, but now they make a swing that has all the elements included. Big money saver to buy a piece of equipment that has multifunctions.
4. diaper pail- (unless cloth diapering)- You will soon realize that the smell of this piece of gear is not worth the convience. Keep some plastic grocery bags close to the changing station and get the diaper out of the house ASAP. With that said, with this child we plan on cloth diapering and I do have a diaper pail and wetbag to keep in the bathroom next to the sprayer. Once she arrives and we get started I'll update you on if the diaper pail becomes a required piece of gear when cloth diapering.
5. boppy pillow- I could never get either girl to nurse while using this. We ending up using the pillow for her to lay inside while I was working on lesson plans or writing and she needed a break from the swing. This item was not on the gear list for Baby 3.
Remember that you don't need one of everything in the newborn stages of development. Do not overspend during this first stage in life, the money saved will come in handy later as she wants to take ballet and gymnastics and violin and piano and, and, and...you get it.
What is the one piece of baby gear you couldn't live without and what is one piece you could have done without? Let us know.