When I had my first, Ms. Aly, I wanted to buy every gadget and gizmo there was available. Unfortunately I wasn’t financially able to give into my wants so we got by with the minimum and I mean bare minimum! Baby number two was a bit more fortunate and I was gifted some baby tech and splurged on a couple of items. 10 years later and baby #3, I was wiser, but still suffered from “new mom syndrome” since there was so much new cool stuff you could get that seemed would make life with baby easier!
I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum frugal and fancy free! So, what would I recommend for new moms? Your in luck I’ve created a list of “Must Haves” and “Nice to Have” items! This list is baby gear only, clothing, diapers and toys are not included in this list.
Here’s a tip: Start a baby registry at your favourite baby boutique or even Babies R’Us (When you sign up at Babies R’ Us you get a bag of free goodies!!)
This post contains affiliate links but these are items I have actually purchased!
Crib and Dresser
With each of my babies I had a crib and dresser, and they are #1 on my list. Can you imagine living without your bed? Uncomfortable. And a dresser for your clothes? It gets kinda messy… yea, I’ve been there! I recommend getting a crib that grows with your baby from newborn all the way to full sized! For the frugal mom, find a crib and dresser that you absolutely love (within your price range of course) and watch for it to go on sale. Start saving up for it since it will be the most expensive items you will buy. Add it to your registry too! If your lucky (or blessed) your friends and/or family with gift it!!
A Comfy Chair
I have this one on my must have list because trying to feed your little one, bottle or breast, in the middle of the night in an uncomfortable chair is a no go! I also recommend having it in the nursery to reduce the risk of waking your little one on the way back to the crib! I revamped a rocker we were given for Christmas quite a few years ago, and DIY’ed a rocking foot rest for added comfort!
Pack n’ Play as a Side Sleeper
This one is a “three-fer”?! I got a Pack n’ Play that came with a change table and bassinet (on sale!). It is recommended by doctors and nurses alike, that baby sleeps in a bassinet next to your bed for the first 6 months… unrealistic in my opinion, we made it to about 3 or 4 months before I had to move him to his crib. I realized that every time he fussed (in his sleep) I would rush to sooth him which is what would wake him! That and he got too tall for it! A Pack n’ Play also works great for a “crib” if you travel and for the obvious use… a safe play area!
This is one of those items that I am glad I had but is short lived. When Mr. Grey was around 3 months old, the only way I could get him to nap was either to rock and walk or… his swing. It was a life saver to be honest, there was no way for him to get injured while I was in the shower or preparing dinner. Now that he is 7 months old, he uses it very little now that he is mobile!!
A Booster Seat
A booster seat is a great inexpensive buy, especially if you get one that grows with your little one. I got my at Walmart for $2o but you can also find them here on Amazon. I recommend a booster seat because it is portable, and if you already have a dining table and chairs, you can save yourself some mulah with this one.
Walking the mall, grocery shopping or even just around the house, a baby carrier is probably one of my absolutely must have items! There isn’t much to say about it other than trust me… its a good idea!
Video Baby Monitor
This is a staple item for me. About 2 months ago our video baby monitor crapped out right before I was about to go to bed. I sat on my bed for at least 15 minutes trying to decide what to do. I ended up sleeping on the floor of Mr. Grey’s nursery so I could be there just in case. The next morning I called the manufacturer for a replacement, then went and bought a regular audio monitor until the replacement came in the mail. Although it was a relief that I would be able to hear Mr. Grey if he woke… it was still not as satisfying as being able to see him sleeping soundly.
Alright, that’s it for my Must Haves! Short list right?! Well, there’s still a few things I think are nice to have but definitely not necessary. Here they are:
Nice to Have
The Diaper Genie was one of those splurge items I picked up with my older son. While it was nice to have it had a few short comings, like emptying it! lol It worked great, it kept the dirty diaper smell at bay, but in a 4 level town house, going to the third level every time I needed to change a diaper with a 1 and a half year old in tow, let’s just say… diapers didn’t always make it into the dang thing! Then you also had to buy replacement bags.
Exersaucer/Jolly Jumper/Activity Jumper
So, I have this activity play seat that bounces, it’s definitely nice to have to keep little Mr. Grey occupied when I have something I need to do, but he is one of those babies who’s attention span is super short! He lasts maybe 10 to 15 minutes max at this point, and that is for the entire day because once he’s been in it the buttons, bells and whistles loose their wow factor.
Don’t get this one confused with the one above. This bouncy chair is meant for the younger age, from 0 – 3 or 4 months of age. While it is nice to have this seat to set baby down when they are younger, it is one of those items that are used for a short period of time.
I could go either way with this one. A highchair can be one of those items that is not needed especially if you have a small space or a dining table with space enough for a booster seat. Although if you are just starting your family and only have a table and 2 chairs a high chair would be cheaper than purchasing a new table and chairs.
Sound Machine/Sound Soother
I love our sound machine but I’ve put it in the nice to have list because it’s not one of those items that everyone will need. I have a noisy house, literally, our house moans, groans and knocks sporadically thought the day and night especially in the winter when we have the heat on. So having a sound machine helps drown out the unhelpful noise and as a bonus, it acts as a trigger for letting Mr. Grey know it is time for bed!!
This one is not a must have for me because I am breastfeeding, however, when we do make the occasional bottle it was definitely helpful in preventing overheating the breast milk. Now that Mr. Grey is eating solids, it can be used to warm his baby food.
So, that’s my list! Do you have any must haves you would recommend that are not on this list? Leave a comment, let me know!!