With my first pregnancy, I was convinced I needed the complete Babies R Us 2010 catalogue and that if I failed to provide my child with it's entirety; I would be a failure. It was overwhelming! No one told us that our baby's needs were actually quite minimal, and I alone would cover the majority of them. We were also so focused on acquiring everything we needed that we often opted for the cheaper version of things so we could buy more.
Within a years time; we had donated most of the massive plastic baby gear,, sold our cost-effective necessities on kijiji to buy the better version, and then we're gifted so many of the other things we stressed about purchasing. So after baby #2, with an increased hatred for the smell of new plastic and a dislike for baby stuff every where, I really slimmed down on my idea of what you truly need to prepare for a baby. A friend of mine, had recently asked for some suggestions on what they should buy for their first baby. Here's my list of baby gear that I actually found helpful and is worth the $.
Cloth Diapers! With baby #1 we bought a lot of kawaii pocket diapers off an online co-op. We paid $250 for a set that would require washing 2x/ week. We still have them for baby #2. Wow! The money we have saved!!
There are lots of great affordable cloth diaper options though- look around!
Wipe Cubes are a finding from the second baby but I love them! I have bought one of these containers and with my child at 9 months old we still have enough to last months longer. I only use 1 cube per week and dissolve the solution into spray bottles. Pair that with some inexpensive baby cloths and voila baby wipes for a year for under $15!!
Muslin swaddle blankets. So I think these are a little trendy right now, but they are pretty great! They're soft, light weight for the summer, don't take up much room in your diaper bag, and are the perfect size to swaddle, canopy, etc.
Lavender essential oil. We use it in the humidifier in the nursery, on her stuffed animal, in the bath, and on her feet when congested.
Coconut oil is also a house hold favourite. We use in the bath, for eczema, on minor cuts, breast feeding nipple balm, diaper rash, in place of baby lotion, and I also use it for oil pulling.
Infant probiotics! I LOVE probiotics! I especially love how these ones are liquid. They are so easy to administer to babies. So helpful for upset tummies in the early months! I've also put some directly onto a diaper yeast infection which it helped to clear it up overnight!
We went through 3 car seats before falling in love with this one. Works from birth to 90+lbs, last longer than the average car seat before expiring, is very narrow, and easy to adjust! The price makes me cringe every time I see it but it really was a great investment for us! They also go on sale every now and then.
Socks were pretty much pointless the first 2 years, without robeez shoes. This is the only way we could get them to stay on.
We originally had one of the "travel system" stroller carseat combo but after a Canadian winter and then moving out of town we noticed it was only good for mall walking, which we never did. We sold it on kijiji and bought a quiny buzz. I like it but it has it's faults too. Do research!
Baby carriers- Do not buy a snuggli, these things feel like torture for the parent wearing them and the baby doesn't look all too comfy either. I loved our ring slings, woven wraps, and mei-tie.
This is a very recent discovery! It is incredible! Goodbye boogers!
A bassinet was also nice to be able to have a safe place for babe to nap that i could easily pick the basket off the top and move to another area of the house.
I would encourage all expectant parents to splurge on these items and not stress about the rest! Friends and family will buy and give you their old clothes. Friends who already have kids are always looking to get rid of baby gear! Babies are much more interested in our faces than anything Baby Einstien has ever created. Plus when you get the massive plastic baby gear second hand it doesn't smell so bad :)
Most importantly prepare yourselves with support! Labour support, breastfeeding support, extra dinners, extra hands to hold the baby while you shower, a listening ear, and a friend to visit that won't skip a beat when your house looks like a hurricane had just passed through. It makes such a difference!