Babies Babies Everywhere

I really could write a book on this subject, and probably should, but for now a post will have to suffice. I have a ton of friends having babies and that inspired me to write this post. We saved ourselves about $1,000.00 just by cutting through all the hype surrounding the first baby experience, and only getting what we needed, and returning the rest.

If you are expecting that new bundle of joy and overwhelmed by the idea of how much it will cost, and all the hype associated with the baby registry and shower, you are not alone. Stores do that on purpose to capitalize off your new bundle of joy excitement, they would love to convince you that you need to buy the whole store and more, but before you end up with 3 rooms of your house stuffed with mountains of baby gear, I’ll tell you what you need and what you don’t.

Stores are all too willing to hand you their 10 page long registry check list that includes “everything you need for your new baby” unfortunately you could be throwing away precious money on hyped up trendy items, that are grossly overpriced, that you will never use.

First I will tell you what you don’t need to register for, and why, then I will tell you what you do need to register for.

Things you should try to find on consignment or as hand-me-downs first: These are items that your baby will only use for a short amount of time, it will only be a few months at most before he or she will grow out of it. With that logic being used, it’s safe to say that the child that used it before yours, probably only used it for a few months too!

Clothes, most baby gear items such as Exer-saucers, swings, bouncy chairs, jumpers, floor mats, pack and plays, safety gates, furniture, crib & mattress, bassinets, and pretty much any toys.

Things you need to wait to buy: As much tempting as it might be to look at all those bottles and pacifiers, sort through them and decide what you want to use… you should wait, because it’s actually your baby who will decided what he or she likes, try buying just one or two of a brand and trying it out first, it’s not uncommon for one baby to hate one particular brand, that maybe a different child loves. These aren’t things you can decide by reading reviews online or asking for opinions. Breast feeding items should also be purchased on an as need basis. Start with a simple hand pump, if you feel that you need to upgrade, do that later. Don’t spend the $300 on a machine just to find out later that (for whatever reason) breast feeding wasn’t really for you after all. No matter how much you think you will use it, you just never know until that time comes.

Bottles, pacifiers, toys, feeding supplies, expensive breast pumps, and breast milk storage, and supplies.

Things you will get (even though you probably didn’t register for them) and should return: As adorable as they are, stuffed animals, and superfluous baby items are a waste of money. period. This sounds harsh but it’s true. You baby wont remember and really doesn’t care, so neither should you. Return those items to the store, the gifter will never know, then take the money and buy something your baby will really enjoy, like clean diapers, bottles or formula.

Stuffed animals, clothes, plethoras of blankets, receiving blankets, special swaddling blankets, bath care products.

Things you absolutely under no circumstances need: These are the frivolous items the I spoke about above. These are trendy items that will probably go in or out of style before your baby is even born. I look at these items and ask myself…. “People have been having babies for hundreds of years without this stuff, is that something they had? and if not, Is it something they needed?” Then I stick to the staples and throw out the junk. Bedding sets, and matching nursery decor are a waste of money. I repeat. Don’t do it!

Diaper genies, baby food storage products, sleep positioners, expensive “baby safe” laundry detergent, nursing covers, fancy baby proofing supplies, nursery decor, stuffed animals, expensive baby carriers, sheet savers, bumper pads and comforters. Bedding Sets. 

Things you really need to register for (that most people wont buy you anyways): These are the items you need. These are the things that you should buy new instead of consignment, because you and your baby are going to get a lot of use out of them. These should be items that are necessities of baby rearing. Practical everyday items.

Wipes, batteries, diapers, hampers, laundry baskets, storage baskets and units, monitors, breast pump & accessories (manual), about 5 fitted crib sheets, stroller and car seats, highchair, booster seat, thermometer, pack and play, bibs, baby and children’s medicines, and vapor bath, diaper bag, 

Finally, after you showers are all said and done, sort through all of your stuff, use this guideline to help you determine what you need to keep, and what to return. Remember clothes and nursery decor items are super expensive, so try to keep everything in perspective. (A pack of diapers is around $20-$30, and that will last you about 2 weeks. So is that $45 lamp with monkeys, worth keeping? Or would it be better to return it, buy a plain one for $5 and buy yourself  a months worth of diapers? Or save the money for bigger purchases later. 

If you have your heart set on a theme for your nursery, thats fine. Nobody should rob you of that joy, but just don’t get too caught up in it. Do you really need that fitted sheet with monkeys? Or will a plain green one match fine too? If you NEED the one with monkeys…. (I get it) then look around for ones on clearance, or discontinued items. Example: In my nursery, I made curtains out of a crib skirt than was on clearance for $5 instead of buying the matching curtains for $20.

I also found that there are a lot of alternative options too. Like Dreft laundry soap is about $20 for a bottle. You can go buy ALL “free and clear” for about $5, and it does the same job. The Dollar Store also offers comparable items like pacifiers, sippy cups, bottles, and baby toys at about half the cost of specialty places, it’s not a bad idea to supplement your expensive stuff with some less expensive back-ups. I also made myself a baby carrier, swaddlers, and nursing cover instead of buying new. Just look online for great homemade baby gear ideas. These are projects that only take a few hours, cost about $10 to make and could save you hundreds of dollars.

And most importantly. Never put yourself in debt to buy all this stuff. Your baby will not thank you later that you spent $1,500.00 instead of $500. They will never know. Only your wallet will, and thats not going to lie to you when expensive purchases pop up later. You never know what life may throw at you. With a baby comes lots of changes, and with that lot of laundry. Will you need a new washing machine or dryer? How about a bigger car? Or maybe a new, bigger abode? Let’s save the debt accumulation for something that is a little more important than a matching monkey themed nursery.

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