Baby on a Budget. What to Buy and What to Skip

So, it has definitely been a minute! My Computer finally quit on me and I was living through my phone for about the last 8 months. Finally, I’m back! What did you guys miss?

WE’RE PREGNANT!!!!!

7 Months to be exact with baby boy number 2!

Kaston Lambert Wicker

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I am determined to be completely ready upon arrival without going broke. Thankfully I have one kid under my belt so I know what I will need vs. what I will be wasting money on.

I do not claim to be an expert, and every mom has different opinions because every child is different. While my child may demand a high setting vibrating chair your’s may be scared of them all together. In a world of motherhood magazines shoving $600 high chairs in your face, I feel the need to bring some reality to the situation. I present to you…

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Broken down into 4 lists

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Here, we have the bigger ticket items you will want to invest in. Don’t fret, you can get them cheaper than you think.

1. Bassinet with wheels. While the magazines show a graceful sleeping baby in a nursery while mom is doing her household work, this will not be logical always. You will spend more time running in to check your babies breathing than actually doing ANY housework. Being able to roll your sleeping baby with you around your home will offer you peace of mind and save you a lot of panic. Roll it right next to your bed at night for close comfort without co-sleeping. Between $40-$70 at Wal-Mart. You can often find these in consignment and resale stores as well.

2. Crib.  These are expensive! Buying new is crazy!!! Sometimes you get lucky and a family member hands one down from a recent baby. A good bet is to look at online resale sites. Think Craigslists, ebay, facebook buy sell and trade pages. (Join as many facebook swap pages related to baby as you can). Check up to date safety recalls before purchasing from somebody other than a retailer. My mom found mine for $20 at a garage sale in excellent shape!

3. Backpack Diaper Bag. Why they even make shoulder bags I will never know. When you are packing a combined weight of what feels like 80 lbs. (infant carrier and baby) The last thing you want is to balance an over stuffed diaper bag on your other arm. Don’t stress about finding an actual double strapped diaper bag. Look into actual backpacks and book bag style bags. It will open up your possibilities endlessly, just won’t say “Diaper” on the tag.

4. Boppy Pillow. This little simple yet wonderful device is a must if you choose to breast feed. It was a blessing during recovery from my c-section. It will double as a tummy time pillow down the road. My son spent more time laid in or on his boppy pillow than in his crib. Great for napping away from home. Can be found cheap online or if  you or someone you know sews, it is a super simple project.

5. Carseat Stroller Combo. We all know you can’t leave the hospital without a carseat ready, but some people think they can skip the stroller. If you can, kudos to you and your deity like upper body strength. Carseats are HEAVY! If you plan on going ANYWHERE that doesn’t provide a buggy, that’s a shopping cart to those of you above the Mason Dixon, you will want… no… NEED a stroller than fits your infant carrier.

6. Vibrating Chair. This really varies by child. Your child may prefer a swing or to be carried in a baby wearing device. However, I have found that with any baby I have come in contact with, a gentle vibrating or slight bounce from one of these type chairs will give your arms a break… how long of a break depends on your little one.

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These are optional. While all these are great to have, when you are on a budget, they are not always necessary. Varies based on you and your child’s preferences.

1. Bumbo Chair. These are great for when baby starts to eat baby food or starts to get curious yet can’t sit up alone yet. Great to have but you won’t notice you don’t have it either.

2.  Bibs. I know, I know, this is the most basic baby need you think. While I did use them, the majority of the time they were used as a wash cloth or burp rag and never an actual bib. I found they never stopped any food or milk from creeping into the crevices of my son’s neck and trying to use them as rags to clean up was only frustrating. This I leave up to you.

3. Swing. Much like the vibrating chair this varies by child. I know babies who do not like being in them at all while my son never wanted to get out of his. Another of those things that would be wonderful to have but you may not notice you don’t.

4. Detergent. Now i know some people are going to disagree, but I am a “bring on the immunities” type mom. I may have washed one load in dreft then just washed with out own. I mean he was going to be held, cuddled, and laid on all type of surfaces in many different places so it seemed pointless. This will all depend on your child’s needs.

5. Rocker. This may need to go on the ‘need” list. I have heard this is something kids become accustomed to. So if you don’t start out rocking them in anything other than your arms they may never cry to be rocked. My first had stomach problems so we did spend a many of night in the rocking chair.

6. Baby Monitor. With the ease of a rolling bassinet I never much used or needed ours. The only occurrence of using one I can recall is when having company on a hot night, I left my sleeping child in the cool house while we visited on the back porch. I still found myself running back and forth anyway to check in on him.

7. Shoes. Your infant can not walk. While shoes are adorable and my favorite part of a newborn wardrobe they are simply not necessary. Your little one will most likely end up out of them anyway. So unless you have a photo session or big event, skip on the shoes until baby is bigger to save a good bit of money.

8. (not pictured) NURSERY. That’s right. I was so excited to decorate for baby first go round. I went all out! He slept in a bassinet by my bed the first 9 months. By time he was crib ready he was already sharing a room with his big brother. A COMPLETE WASTE. Baby is to small to play in a nursery alone and you are not going to spend all day just sitting in this room so baby can stare at his/her perfectly coordinated room. It is nice, Do not get me wrong, you can store all the gobs of baby stuff there, but don;t stress if you can’t have one. We actually chose not to have one this go round.

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All the small things you will absolutely need and guess what? Most can be found at your local dollar store! Buying these over time will save you tons as the big delivery draws near.

1. Diapers. My advice? Buy a pack EVERYTIME you go grocery shopping. Many babies have reactions to certain brands and you can’t predict that but stores will exchange them down the road!  Don’t just buy newborn, baby will grow and will grow quick.

2. Wipes. They don’t get as much credit as the diapers but they get used just as much if not more. They clean butts, faces, bottles, pacifiers, fingers, sticky tables, you name it! for the next several years you will ALWAYS want a pack handy.

3. Diaper Cream. Diapers make butts red, all you need to know.

4. Lotions, Shampoos, Washes. If you have a shower you will get this stuff and believe me, it will be plenty. I still have bottles from 3 year ago. If you aren’t having a shower only invest a few bottles of each, don’t over do it.

5. Travel Size Necessities. Get all the things I just listed in #4 in travel size. These things, full size, are small but weighty and when put into a diaper bag can feel like bricks. Invest in diaper bag only smaller versions.

6. Gas Drops. I had some bought for me but being a new mom didn’t know when to use them. After having a very fussy son my sister popped a drop in his mouth and it was like liquid magic. It is SUPER cheap as well.

7. Crib Sheets. You really don’t NEED all the fancy and ridiculously expensive crib bedding. I made mine this go round. You Baby isn’t suppose to sleep with a a blanket, bumpers have been recommended against, so sheets are all you need for sleeping baby.

8. ZipLock Bags. These will save your diaper bags and purse. Also great for organizing clothes for quick changes. See what I mean by clicking here

9. Nose Bulb and Thermometer (not pictured). Babies have boogers. period. You  will be obsessed with your babies temperature.

10. Burp cloths. Your best bet is to use actual wash/dish cloths. Cloth diapers are not as absorbent of spit up as you think. They do not grip to your shoulder. I highly recommend investing in pretty dish cloths. Muuuch cheaper as well.

11. Bottles. These you may want to wait before throwing money at. I went through several different brands before finding ones my son was comfortable with. After buying Dr. Browns and every other expensive brand, it ended up being the cheapest most basic bottles on the market.

12. Clippers. Baby has nails like a cat. They are vicious and grow faster than arm pit hair.

13. Breast Pump. If you plan to breast feed this is a no brainer. Very expensive to buy but you can rent them or get blessed with being able to borrow one for free like me!

14. Receiving Blankets. You will use these more than you could ever know. they will be diaper change mats, sun blocks, rags, pillows, and lastly actual blankets. Get as many as you can!!!

15. Socks. Babies tiny feet release heat, trap it in with socks! Their toe nails are also vicious.

16. Bottle Cleaner. A rag won’t cut it, just buy this $0.99 little brush at the dollar store.

17. Infant Stabilizer. It has been said you should not use anything that did not come with your carrier. Your carrier will not hold up babies head. If you don’t buy this you will have one of 2 options. Always have somebody to hold babies head in the car, or you will most likely roll of blankets and stuff around babies head to keep it up. The latter is more likely and I promise you, it will fail more than it works. Just buy this wonderful piece of pillow for baby!

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This list should have been a lot longer but I was short on time

1. Pack-n-play or play pen.  Unless you travel a LOT with baby, skip this. You have a crib, you have a bassinet, you have a floor to play in. So unless you are skipping the others, skip this.

2. Changing Table. They are pretty, they match the crib, they make a nursery look put together buuuut, you will never use it for anything other than a catch all. Baby needs diaper change? You are going to change him/her right in the crib, on the couch, on the floor, on the dining table, in your bed, on a blanket draped over any flat surface period. Why pay hundreds of dollars for another flat surface????

3. Baby Towels and Wash Clothes. Baby wash cloths are super soft but you can really do without. Baby towels have the absorbent quality of a plastic bag. Literally, a thin piece of super soft yet super water resilient fabric. just stick to your own towels .

4. Baby Bath Tub. Baby can fit in sink. I had a fancy little baby bath with all the bells and whistles and found a folded towel in the bottom of my tub was the much better alternative and baby thought so as well. just skip it! Takes up sooo much space without any good reason to.

So there is my list. There are a million things to buy for baby, but in today’s economy you get what you can and shouldn’t waste on anything that you won’t get your full dollar out of.

If you see anything I missed please let me know! So excited for our baby number 2 who will actually make child #5 in our blended family!

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One thought on “Baby on a Budget. What to Buy and What to Skip

  1. Pingback: Round Baby beds and cots are original-style to your room Nurse Now! - Choose My Room

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