Prospective and new parents often rush out to buy everything that a baby could possibly want or need even though this isn’t practical if you’re on a budget. Even if this isn’t the case for you, things that you buy still may not ever be used and can turn out to be a big waste of money. Note that I won’t be listing absolutely every item that you could feasibly need/want – think of it more as a list for those who want their new baby to be fully kitted out without going overboard on the spending front.
- Crib/Moses bed/Travel cot. The baby will obviously need somewhere to sleep but new parents often disagree on the form that the sleeping arrangements should take. This one is probably a matter of personal choice.
- Bedding. Whatever type of bed you choose, you’ll need blankets and sheets for bedding. A waterproof mattress is also advisable.
- Baby monitor. It’s not realistic to be with your baby every second of the day so you’ll need a baby monitor to be able to keep tabs while you’re in another room.
- Changing mat. Technically speaking this isn’t strictly an absolute essential. Many new parents just use the floor instead but a changing mat can be useful to prevent you from having to keep bending down to the floor every time a baby needs changing. To protect your back, you may consider this to be a necessary item.
- Diapers/Diaper bags/Diaper ointment. These are self-explanatory so I won’t go into details on this one!
- Stroller. This one is pretty self-explanatory for when you’re traveling on foot. Until your baby is old enough to support its head by itself, you’ll need a stroller that reclines. This can be one of the most expensive purchases you’ll make for a new baby.
- Car seat. If you’ve got a car and are planning to take the baby out and about in it, a car seat is a must. This is one area not to be skimped on – you don’t want to put your baby’s safety at risk. Ideally, look for one with top-notch safety reviews for piece of mind.
- Baby sling. Even if you’ve got a car, there might be situations when you don’t want to travel this way and a baby sling can be an ideal way to transport a small baby on foot if a stroller would be too much hassle to set up and maneuver.
- Sterilizer/Feeding bottles/Bottle brush. This comes down to whether you’re going to be breastfeeding or using formula milk. If it’s the latter, you’ll need feeding bottles and a sterilizer.
- Nursing bras/Nursing pads/Nipple cream. If you’re going to be breastfeeding, these items can make it easier. Baby/parenting websites often advise having at least six nursing bras.
Most new parents receive a lot of baby outfits from friends and family so you may be able to get away with buying predominantly essentials like:
- Babygros (somewhere between six and eight is recommended)
- Bodysuits (again, six to eight is recommended)
If you’re not lucky enough to be helped out in the clothing department, you’ll also need:
- One-piece outfits
- One-piece pajamas
- Fleece outfits for winter
If you can borrow these items from friends, do so as chances are that your baby won’t need them for too long. For this reason, you probably won’t want to buy most of them brand new, especially if money is already tight.
- Moses basket
- Newborn clothing
- Baby bath
- Baby bouncer
If money isn’t plentiful, you may not be in a position to buy brand new items. You can get some absolute second-hand bargains if you want to go down this route. I would never buy things like car seats second-hand because of the safety aspect, but you can buy a lot of the items mentioned in this post second-hand if needs be. Shopping online is another alternative, because you can shop around and maybe find discounts.
What are your suggestions for preparing for a new baby if you’re on a budget?
(photo credit: jessicafm)