The arrival of baby Louie has not lost its excitement around here. Still, my approach on preparation has been drastically different than when I was getting ready for Brody. With a second pregnancy, there is a slight adjustment to where the money goes. You want to spend money on where it really counts, and with looking back to my first newborn, there is a better understanding of what is worth buying, what can be an easy DIY, and what isn't necessary all together.
This is a list tailored for my particular family. We have one 6-year old boy and another boy one the way, so we are already cutting this list in half because of all the hand-me-downs. Still, I hope this list helps out all the new mothers out there! Trust me, as adorable as baby items may seem, you will want the least amount of clutter around the house. Our mothers did it without all the bells and whistles so we can too!
Need: Crib and Mattress
This is your number one. You want to put some research into this as well, because your little one will spend so much time there. Look into reviews and safety descriptions! Thankfully, we saved Brody's crib, so we're all set in this department. Don't forget the mattress!
Need: Waterproof Mattress Pad
Warning: Babies pee through their diapers sometimes. I highly suggest layering your mattress with a crib sheet, then the pad, then a second crib sheet. This waterproof pad will help you out when you need to clean this up in the middle of the night. All you would have to do is take off the wet crib sheet and pad, and lay your newborn back into his/her crib. Better than stumbling around in the dark, trying to find a fresh sheet while your little one is screaming your ear off, right?
Need: Crib Sheets
I would suggest 5-6 crib sheets. I almost put this in the DIY section, but crib sheets are pretty inexpensive nowadays, as long as you stick to the basic white. If you're going for super cute patterns for your nursery, then give the DIY tutorials a shot (this is a great one by Fancy Napkin). You can even repurpose your old sheets into crib sheets! I just don't find it worth it to buy gorgeous crib sheets because babies pee and poop on them so much.
Receiving blankets and thin crib sheets are great for the little bundle of joy. You'll use them in all kinds of ways: swaddling, car seat covers, tummy time, etc. For whatever reason, we still have all of Brody's old blankets so we've saved dinero on this as well - whoohoo!
Need: Closet and/or Dresser
As small as they are, these babies are divas. Tons of clothes and accessories, even when you try to minimize. Designate a dresser and/or closet for all their onesies, socks, blankets, sheets. It will help you keep organized, which is vital during those crazy afternoons (and you will have crazy afternoons).
Need: Diapers, Wipes, and Cream
YES YES and YES. During the first few months, I remember going through about 60-70 diapers a week with Brody. Diaper cream should be right next to the wipes because you never know when your little pooper will develop a rash. I highly suggest having some sort of diaper raffle at your baby shower, just to get as many diapers as you can. If there is anything you will need, it's these three things.
Need: Changing Area
I don't mean a changing table. I mean a changing area with changing pad. Changing tables seem a bit too expensive to me just to change a diaper. Plus, you'll be changing the kid in all sorts of places (the couch, the bed, a changing table at the local Target) so this table doesn't exactly do anything spectacular. If anything, use the top of dresser as the changing area! Just put the changing pad on there and it's nice and comfy for both you and your baby.
Need: Night Light
This is more for the parents rather than the baby. It's ideal during the night when it's feeding time, changing time, or you just want to check on them. Nobody wants to trip over a toy, crash into the dresser, and wake up the baby for the next 20 minutes.
Need: Sound Machine
This is more of a necessity for me. We live on a busy nighttime street so a sound machine would be a great way to drown out all the crazy hoopla from outside. Some sound machines are combined with a night light, which is a much better deal.
Need: Baby Monitor
We live in a two-story townhome so this is a big yes. I'm not a fan of the video monitors (they creep me out a bit), so I opt for the sound ones. Even though I can hear crying from downstairs, it is much easier to soothe a baby when they are just whimpering rather than reaching them once they are full out crying.
Need: Baby Onesies
You will probably change your kid two to three times a day, if you're lucky. I would get a ton of white ones for your every day routine. Save the adorable suits for family outings or special occasions. Yes, baby clothes are the cutest thing on Earth, but don't go overboard. They will grow out of them fast. For example, say you find ten ridiculously cute Disney outfits and you buy them all in 6-9 months. Chances are that at least four of those will barely get used because your little one is no longer that little. Be practical.
Oh and wait until AFTER all your baby showers before you go shopping. Your guests will probably buy the cute gift sets rather than the diaper genie.
Need: Baby Socks
Keep those toes warm and clean! Don't spend too much on the bright colors or patterns. You'll probably end up using the basic white socks most of the time, especially since babies kick them off.
Need: Baby Bathtub
Gotta keep them clean somehow, right? Yes, you will need this, but I would suggest the spongy one than can conform to the sink rather than the big tubs. The big tubs are hard to store (is it me, or are they made to not fit anywhere?).
Need: Baby Shampoo/Wash Combo
Try to get the shampoo and wash combinations. They save you time and money! The only reason to deter from this logic is if your baby's skin has special needs.
Need: Baby Healthcare Kit
I am a big fan of the American Red Cross kits. They include nail clippers, which you will definitely need. Baby nails grow fast and they will accidentally scratch their faces, so you want to clip those little claws before they hurt themselves. They also have the nasal aspirator, which is perfect if/when they get sick (they don't know how to blow their noses yet). Tons of goodies in there for a pretty good price, and you will use every single tool in there.
Need: Bottles & Pacifiers
Feeding time when your boob is not available! Yes, it's great to breastfeed, but you also want to give dad a chance for this type of bonding time. Putting your breast milk in a bottle for dad to be able to comfort and feed his offspring too is such a big deal. In regards to pacifiers, get at least four of them. Babies will spit them out, especially when you aren't looking, so they will get lost. You will need the backup.
Need: High Chair
I suggest the kind that can be tied to a chair at the dinner table. I hated the tall one because it was so hard to store. It always seemed to be in the way! At least the ones that attach to the seat stay there. Keep in mind, these seats get MESSY. Don't get the fancy printed ones because it is not worth paying extra just for the cute circus print to get smothered in carrot puree.
Need: Diaper Backpack
So over the diaper messenger bag! Balancing a kid in one arm and the bag in the other was such a hassle. I always felt like I was walking sideways. Those bags get so heavy! It's not just diapers in there; it's also wipes, full bottles, change of clothes, and snacks. If you're smart, you're also using it as your purse, because nobody wants to carry their purse and a diaper bag around. This is why a backpack is much easier to carry because you have both your shoulders sharing the weight.
Need: Stroller & Car Seat
I suggest getting the combos, where the seat fits right into the stroller. This helps out if your newborn is napping. The transfer won't wake him/her up! I would also suggest buying an extra car seat adapter (one for each parent) instead of buying two car seats. The baby will only be in one car seat, so all you would have to do is switch them from car to car. Most companies have a way to order the extra adapter.
Need: Baby Sling
This is a matter of convenience on family outings. It makes the day much easier when you have a bit of help carrying an extra 10 pounds. I wouldn't advise using it daily at home because your back will start to ache.
DIY: Baby Mobile
Babies don't care about these things. Seriously, they are unimpressed. Still, if you really want this addition to the crib, why not make your own? No store bought mobile will compare to your handmade mobile over your kid's crib. This is one of my favorite mobile tutorials by Honest to Nod.
I've always thought quilts should be handmade with love. I'm not a fan of the store-bought ones; they seem so generic and boring. The grandmas-to-be are probably making them for you now, but you could totally make your own! This is one by Shwin & Shwin is one of the coolest tutorials I've seen on Pinterest.
DIY: Crib Skirt
You really don't need one of these. It's just décor. Still, if you really want to have a crib sheet hide what's going on underneath the crib, make it yourself. Cherished Bliss shows us the easiest crib sheet tutorial ever!
DIY: Baby Towel
By do-it-yourself, I mean just use a normal towel for your baby. Babies do not require special material to get dry! Save your money for something else.
DIY: Wash Glove
Don't buy 30 wash cloths please! They're so small and relatively inefficient when washing a squirming newborn. Gloves made of terry cloth are so much easier, and you can make them yourself out of your old towels! Check out this tutorial by Martha Stewart.
DIY: Burp Cloths
Anything can be made into a burp cloth. Old t-shirts, blankets, practically any cotton fabric can be made into one of these. Don't spend your money on something that will get spit on. You will need a tons of them, so make them yourself! Two Twenty One gives you an easy tutorial and you will be so glad when you use it!
Much like the burp cloths, your bibs get messy! Rarely will you see the embroidered quote "My Mommy Loves Me" because it will be covered in green peas. The Purl Bee gives a great step-by-step process on making your own bibs.
Pass: Diaper Trash Bin
The only reason I would have one of these is because of our two-story home. I'm not going to go downstairs to the garage to throw a diaper away in the middle of the night. The rule is to throw away the dirty diapers first thing in the morning.
Why? Because these bins get SMEEEEEELLLLLLY!!! If you can throw the diaper away immediately, do so. If you still have plastic bags, use them specifically to throw them away (we don't ever since the new California law eliminating them from grocery stores). Diaper bins tend to help us forget the bags are getting filled with poop so when it's time to empty them, it's a pretty miserable chore.
Pass: Baby Shoes
Babies don't walk. They don't need $40 shoes that they're grow out of in a month. Plus, they will kick one off when you are not looking and you will never see it again.
Pass: Baby Brush/Comb
Don't need it; not when they are this young. Plus, most healthcare kits include a brush, so there is no need to buy one separately.
Pass: Rocking Chair/Glider
I inherited a glider this time around, but I didn't need one. I was just fine without one when I had Brody. Sure, they are cool and make you feel fancy, but it's a huge waste of space in a nursery. It is also risky: curious baby hands tend to find the smallest nooks to explore, and a rocking chair can hurt a little crawlers fingers in a split second.
Pass: Baby Sweaters/Coats
Sweaters and coats are cute and all, but they'll grow out of them in weeks. They are way overpriced too. If you get them as gifts - great! If not, just use a long sleeved onesie and a blanket.
Well, that's my list as a second-time mommy. I'm sure I will think of other items later, but this is a pretty good start for anyone on a budget. Hope this helps out the newbies out there!
Experienced mommies: What would you add? Comment below!
Hi! I'm Amy
I draw, make, and occasionally tell a story.