by Lilly Gordon
Pregnancy is an exciting time. Sure, your feet might swell, you might get terrible heartburn, and you could expand a bit...but the end result is a beautiful baby -- a baby that you grew inside your body. What could be more exciting! If you're like most women, shopping for your new baby is an exciting time, too!
The baby business in North America is a multi-billion dollar industry with everything available from headbands for baby girls to stuffed animals that lull your baby to sleep with soothing noises. It can all be a little overwhelming for a new Mom.
While a few impractical items can be a blast to buy, you may find that you're blowing a lot of cash on these cutie-pie items, probably at the time when it's necessary to be saving money. If you are close to your maternity leave, or simply on a fixed budget, it’s best to stick to the basics.
Where Can I Get the Basics?
Any American or Canadian baby store and most big lot supermarkets carry the basics, so you shouldn't have to look very hard. Here's a helpful hint: if it's hard to find, don't bother! If you're tired and / or short on time, do some surfing: take a look at online baby boutiques. The prices are generally comparable and everything gets shipped to your door.
What Are the Basics?
Here is a list of the essentials to have on hand after your little one arrives:
- Diapers (and wipes): Whether you are using disposable or cloth diapers, supplies of this necessity should always be in surplus! New babies go through 6-8 diapers per day.
- Bum barriers: A cute way of saying somekind of protective barrier between your baby's bum and the messiness that's sure to occur in the diaper. You will have many choices. Skip the diaper rash cream until you need it.
- Sleep wear: Sleepers are a must-have. Your baby will more then likely live in these wonderfully comfy garments for the first three months of their existence. Try to find sleepers with easy snaps up the front and around the legs.
- Baby blankets: A great, inexpensive tool for every new Mom. Simple flannel baby blankets are available in packages of three or more at most baby stores. A great nighttime alternative to the blankets is an infant sleep sack. These are little "bags" that you can do up around the baby's body while only the head and arms are free. My kids loved theirs and they are not a suffocation risk.
- Burp Pads: It's always a good idea to have one package of burp pads laying around to catch the spittle and (ugh) vomit after feeding time.
- Bottle: Even if you are planning to breastfeed, you may need a bottle every now and then.
- Breast Pump: If you are planning to breastfeed, a simple hand pump will do for those really tired days or in a pinch if you have to dash out and leave baby behind with Dad. If you'll be pumping regularly, research and purchase a quality pump.
- Baby washcloths: You may go through dozens of these in your first week. Easily washable and really handy, you'll want a few packages of these.
You can (and probably will) go above and beyond this list, however the fact is, even if you only stock these basics, you will be just fine AND have some money left over to have a couple of date nights sometime, in the distant future!
Lilly Gordon is a freelance web publisher and author and enjoys writing on a variety of topics. She is a wife and mother of two and specializes in babies, burp pads and diaper changing.