Clearly when it comes to kids, especially our first, we tend to think we “need” every new gadget on the market. Well, after eight kids between the three of us, we’ve come up with a list of items that you can save a lot of money on and those that are just worth the pretty penny.
– Breast Pump – Dipti was an exclusive pumper so this one is near and dear to her heart. Thankfully most insurance companies now cover all or most of the cost of a breast pump so take advantage and get a good one. Dipti tried a few (post to come) but ended up loving her Medela Pump in Style Advanced and it was worth every penny. Even if you don’t plan on exclusively pumping, having a reliable pump in your back pocket is worth it when you’re just starting out.
– Infant car seat – This one is pretty simple – safety first. Regulations on car seats are changing on the daily it seems so make sure you’re getting a model that abides by the rules. With that being said, don’t be shy to ask your friends if they have one you can borrow – these bad boys only last a year or two before the little nuggets need “toddler” ones.
– Convertible Crib & Mattress – A good crib is worth the investment, especially if it is the convertible kind that you can use in your child’s toddler years. Again, if you plan for multiple kids, you may be able to transition the older one into a bed and then reuse the crib with number 2 (or 8 in our case)! Mattresses are great now, they come with a “infant side” and “toddler side” so you get quite the use out of them! With many of our cribs, we have been able to pass them down to the kids cousins, friends, etc. which makes the investment all the more worth it.
– Dresser/Changing Table – The one thing the three of us learned early on is that a changing table can come in all shapes and forms. We’ve used the IKEA 6-drawer dresser with the changing mat on top (fastened of course) and got double the use out of it. Invest in good furniture so you can keep it until your baby is ready for their big kid furniture.
– Diaper Bag – This is one that you will need for the long haul and you won’t want it falling apart on your long trip across town. Invest in something with compartments that is comfortable to hold on your shoulder and that attaches easily to the stroller. Remember our infinite diaper bags that we still use?
– Bottles – This one is tricky because sometimes you end up testing a bunch of brands before you find one you like, or you may be one of the lucky few who is good to go with your first pick. Since you will likely use these for some time, and maybe even with your future children (minus new nipples for the bottles), it is worth investing in a good set of bottles. HOWEVER, sometimes, you are able to find all the brands at discount stores like TJMaxx and Marshalls. Always keep an eye out for a good bargain, especially if you are in your trial stage.
– Baby Monitor – You will likely be obsessive in the beginning with wanting to make sure your baby is breathing, or if he or she is sleeping, awake, what facial expression is happening, etc. Believe us, we have all been there (at least with the first). Well, this camera/system is likely to keep you sane those first few months/years (we still use ours and our oldest are 8 years old).
– Baby Swing – All of our kids spent their first few weeks in a swing or godiyu. They do everything the baby needs – soothe, sway, sing, light up, stay still – everything! Invest in a good one that will make your life easier in the whirlwind that is newborn life!
– Photos – take lots of them and get them taken! We’ve seen so many friends gifting new parents a photo session for their new baby and it’s the best gift ever! If you haven’t gotten it gifted to you, spend the money and get professional photos taken of the baby (ok if you don’t want your baby sleeping naked on a pillow we get it, but fully clothed pictures are just as cute)!
– Toys – Gosh, you move through these things so fast, and honestly, kids are just fine playing with your tupperware (you can get those at the dollar store!) or wrapping paper. You are better off getting a few simple things to learn letters, colors, shapes and then use what you already have for them to learn to make noise and stack and sort. Also, hand-me-downs RULE! Start a friend rotation with similarly aged kids so that every 3 months its like your kid has new toys, except you didn’t have to buy them!
– Clothes – Again, invest in comfort over looks. You may need 3 party outfits for a whole year because they grow out of their clothes at lightening speed. Kids use clothes for a max of 2-3 months at a time, and some skip sizes all together. Also let’s face it, most things will get puked on, peed/pooped on, or spilled on. No need to waste too much of your hard earned dough on fancy fabrics for babies! This may change as they become potty trained, feed themselves without needing bibs and can hold down their meals, but until then, SAVE!
– Crib sheets – if your kids are anything like some of ours, your sheets with get peed on, puked on, and mystery stains will appear on the daily. Get yourself to TJMaxx or Target and get a few pairs of $10 pure cotton sheets.
– Swaddles/Blankets – This one is yet another one that you may have to trial with the babies. Some of ours loved to be swaddled with the large muslins while the others needed Halo sacks tightly wrapped to stay put. Don’t go crazy buying 10 swaddles. They don’t need more than 2 – one that’s being used and the other that’s in the wash. They don’t need a washing every day so go easy on loading up on them!
– Nursing Pillow – This one works for some and just doesn’t cut it for most. The three of us never really took to them (especially after we bought every kind on the market with baby #1). We always ended up just putting a regular pillow right under our nursing arm and that did the job perfectly! The babies grow out of that really quickly.
There you have it, a beginners list of where to splurge and save on your baby products wish list!