In today's overloaded world it can be very challenging for new parents to know what is an essential item for the journey they are about to embark upon!
As I loaded my vehicle down this week, (after 2 moves with in 6 months) preparing to sell off most of my baby gear, I realized that I in the past three years & two rounds of babies, my inner minimalist finally realized how much stuff we aquired that we never really needed or used and which if the items were most practical.
So here is my practical mom's list of 10 essentials (minus clothing) in no particular order that we have to have for a mew baby especially if you are on a budget!
1. Breast Pump & Bottles
Especially for working moms but also for any one a chance for getting away and detach from baby for a while, a good double electric breast pump is essential! I have had a couple if pumps and in my experience Medela was by far my top rate pump and worth the money for a pump that lasts! Save some money by using reusable milk storage bottles or milk trays over all those plastic storage bags!
2. Diaper Bag
I have over stuffed my bag too many times to count and on kid two it's still going strong! As a cloth diapering family we needed a large open middle and have enjoyed a couple of organizer pockets on the outside!
3. Nursing Pads
...Lest you want to soak every bra you own in no time flat, breast pads are a great buy! I loved my trim and absorbent organic cotton ones but there are lots of fabrics to choose from to keep you dry.
4. Bed Rails
Even if you don't co-sleep at some point you will get use of a safety bed rail. We had to get one for our toddler in her big girl bed (when she is in it) and for king size bed for our youngest who is a roller!
5. Baby Monitor
Another essential for piece of mind Do you can feel free to get up and do things like bathe while baby naps or sleeps. This is a must-have.
Even though we went old school with a "lights and sound" monitor those fancy video monitors make it easy to see what's going on even if you can't always hear or interpret sounds.
6. Waterproof Mattress Pads & Spare Sheets!
Babies are peeing machines! Just leave a diaper off for as long as you can stand it and you'll see what I mean! Our kiddos have all turned out to be pretty heavy wetters and sometimes no matter the diaper... It leaks! Whether you and your baby sleep in a King size bed or baby is in a crib, a couple of waterproof mattress pads will definitely be helpful!
7. Infant Carrier
We have tried a few carriers in our baby days and have found it is essential especially past one kid! Hands-free is the way to be! We (I) most loved the convenience of a buckling carrier and have enjoyed a smaller soft structured carrier by Eddie Bauer (7-27lbs) and our most recent addition, an Ergo Baby. We started using the Ergo when baby 2 was past the infant insert stage and big sister can still ride in it too at a whopping 35+ pounds on my hips!!!
We kicked our Baby Bjorn to the curb and kept our Moby Wrap around as a back up/ spare.
8. Car Seat
We had insane schedules when both our babes were little so an infant car seat (non-converting) and travel system with two+ bases was an essential that we placed on our very limited registry!
9. Pack N Play
We used ours as a changing station & bassinet (pre rolling over) and as a traveling crib when we went someplace that cosleeping in same bed was not conducive or for the eventual overnight trip to Grandparents houses.
10. Cloth Diapers & Wipes
The best cost saving measure you can take is using cloth diapers. There are many brands and styles but be on the look out for brands that carry great features at a reasonable price and with a great warranty! We love bumGenius, Fuzzibunz, Flip, GroVia, Bottom Bumpers, Osocozy, Kissaluvs, and Thirsties! Whether sized diapers or one-size, All-in-One or prefold, you can save thousands of dollars for one child in diapers and the use again or sell when finished with them!
What are your top "baby" products that you couldn't live without? What brands were your favorites or had the best quality and built-in value?