One of my blog readers is 15 weeks pregnant, and she wanted to know the kinds of things I’m buying now before our baby is born around the end of the year.
Since we have a pretty small apartment, we’ve been trying to keep the baby supplies to a minimum. I figure that we can start with what we identify as “needs” or “strong wants” before he’s born, and then we can always go shopping after his arrival. It might be a bit tricky to shop with a newborn during the winter, but hey, that’s what the internet is for!
Of course, everyone’s list will be different. Here’s what I’m getting before he’s born. Afterwards, who knows?
Place for Baby to sleep:
– We’ve chosen a crib for this. We’ll need a crib, mattress, mattress protector (I think), and some good fitted sheets.
– We do plan on getting a pack & play for daytime use. Some people use the bassinet part of it until they reach 15 pounds, to keep their babies in the parent’s bedroom. We might do this, but we haven’t totally decided. If you’re getting a pack & play, you might also want a mattress pad and fitted sheets for it.
– Car seat. And I think we’re going to get a car seat mat to lay below it. I had our seat installed for a few days and it’s already leaving a heavy indention. I don’t want to totally ruin my car’s back seat! (By the way, if you’ve been following my personal blog, you might recall that I wasn’t sure if our seat would fit. It does! I took it to a certified car seat technician and when he tightened the LATCH system, the seat fit snugly. Yay!)
– We’re opting not to use a stroller for the first few months. Instead, we’ll wear our baby using carriers and slings/wraps. My husband picked out a carrier he liked at Once Upon a Child for $15, and I’ll order a sling and a wrap online. Seems like serious baby-wearers swear by having a few different carriers in their arsenal. I can always resell them on eBay if I need to.
– I’ve been keeping track of our baby clothes so I know exactly what we have and what we still need. You can see my clothes spreadsheet here. I chose the newborn T-shirts so he’ll have something to wear before his umbilical cord falls off. I have just a few onesies in the newborn size and I’m not sure if I’ll get any more. It’s hard to say, since I don’t know how much he’ll weigh when he’s born and how quickly he’ll reach 8+ pounds. Even if he’s under 8 pounds for a week or two, he’ll still need something to wear during that time, and I don’t want to do laundry every day. Yay for sleepers that fit a wide range of sizes, right?
– Other clothes we’ve received have been gifts or things Shane and I have picked up at yard sales or Once Upon a Child. Our 0-3 months category looks good, and we’ve got a great start on our 6-9 month sizes, but we could use some more clothes in the 3-6 month size. Obviously, this can wait until after he’s born and I can get a better idea on how fast he grows and in which season. Still, if I find some deals on clothes in this size before he’s born, I’m probably going to buy some in advance just because I want to.
I haven’t bought a pack of diapers or wipes in awhile. The sales haven’t been super great lately (in my opinion) but I might head over to Rite Aid this week to get a pack of Pampers jumbos for $7.50 after coupon and rebate. Not sure.
I’ve been keeping a diaper inventory and my stash has really grown. Unless I find some more size 1s on super clearance, I don’t think I’ll buy any more of that size until after my baby is born and we’re certain we need them. I have 530 in that size. It’s looking like I’ll need more in size 2 (256 right now) and size 3 (240).
My 1,026 diapers have cost $70.89, or about $0.069 each.
I have 1,237 wipes, and paid $19.78, or about $0.015 each.
As I’ve said in the past, I know that babies grow at different rates and they might go from one size to the next rapidly. Or, they might take a long time to do so. And, some babies simply don’t respond well to certain brands of diapers. So, all of this stocking up in advance could come back to bite me.
Surely some of the diapers in my stash will work. For the ones that don’t, I have no problem with donating them to charity.
If you’re planning on nursing (I hope to), then you’ve got most of your supplies already. I will likely pick up a few nursing bras, camisoles, breast cream and pads.
I’m probably going to have some lactation consultants help me out until we get a handle on things. Our insurance might pick up some of the tab, but even if they don’t, we’ll spring for it.
After we get going, we might decide that I’d like a breast pump or other nursing accessories. I won’t buy those things until there’s an actual need for them.
Thermometer, nasal aspirator, etc. Also, fingernail clippers, petroleum jelly (for said thermometer) and stuff for the umbilical cord. Etc., etc.
– Towels, washcloths, some kind of cleanser for Baby, cotton balls for belly button, etc.
We found a nifty baby bathtub with shower sprayer for $5 at a yard sale. We thought about washing him in our sink, but I think the tub will work well, though it isn’t totaly necessary.
To me, the list that I’ve just compiled seems to be among the most basic things a new mom could require before the baby is born. We aren’t stopping there, though.
We’ve already bought a few children’s books and a diaper bag. And, we need a good organization system to keep all of this baby gear in place. I’m still working on that, and I’ll share with you what I’ve come up with.
If we decide we need a swing or bouncy seat or whatever else, we’ll get it after he’s born. Cuz we don’t need everything before his birth day. We’ll still be able to shop, either in store or online. Or if we really are too frazzled, we can send a grandma or a friend to the store. It’ll be ok. And hey, we might find out we don’t want to get some of those things after all.
To see a complete inventory of everything we’ve bought for Baby (or because of him), you can visit my spreadsheet here. It’s kind of a lot of money so far ($908) and we aren’t done yet.
Because we’ve gradually made these purchases and have set aside a savings account for baby things, it really hasn’t felt like a huge impact on our budget. I guess that’s one of the perks of pregnancy lasting for 3/4 of a year: plenty of time to prepare!
Helpful resources for baby gear:
A visual guide to saving money with baby The Simple Dollar
How to control pre-baby clutter from Unclutterer