I’ve been seeing these lists a lot in my feeds recently: “10 Things You Need Before Baby Comes“; “What to buy before your baby arrives – the essentials“; “Newborn checklist“; “What to buy for baby“. Want to know my thoughts on them? They’re a crock. All of them.
Really. Do you want to avoid buying something you’ll regret later or find that it never gets used? Are you in a seriously budget-conscious mentality? Are you in survival mode? Then do away with these grandiose lists and take me advice: babies are nearly completely easy to accommodate when it comes to material things (I speak not for their personalities – those indeed need quite a lot of accommodating. Especially when it’s your first).
4 things, peeps. And even these are somewhat negotiable. Read on, fellow searchers.
1. Sleeping apparatus
Our super-duper contraption. I actually made something more like this
until Felicity started crawling all over me. Loved it to pieces.
The baby will sleep. You will sleep. Sometimes that coincides and you think you are in heaven. It’s highly recommended to co-sleep with your baby, and I use this term as the authorities in Canada do, meaning that “Cosleeping refers to a sleeping arrangement in which an infant is within arm’s reach of his or her mother, but not on the same sleeping surface. Sleeping in the same room (ie, room-sharing), but not in the same bed, is cosleeping.” It is recommended that the baby sleep in a structure of some type that keeps them safe. Therefore, some type of sleeping apparatus is called for.
So, a crib, play yard, or a box should suffice for this essential. I’m not picky. I’d even suggest a dresser drawer if I didn’t think aggressive someones out there might ream me out for it. Bottom line: a place to safely sleep.
2. Car Seat
They’re beautiful, aren’t they?
Have a vehicle? Do you use it to get places? If you answered yes, then you’ll need a car seat. Baby isn’t really picky which one you get, despite what you or car seat companies might think. I went into some detail about the car seats we’ve chosen, but choose whatever suits you (and whatever is recommended for the size of your baby) and baby will adapt. Babies are pretty cool like that. If they don’t adapt, then you’re hooped. Refrain from ever leaving your house again and send out creepy help messages on twitter.
3. Diapers and wipes
Even these aren’t really necessary right away (unless you had a home birth, in which case it is necessary right away). Hospitals generally provide what you need while you stay there and often you can sneak out with a supply to last at least the next few changes or so. There are, generally speaking, two options: disposable diapers & cloth diapers. Disposables are easier to use and dispose of, but environmentally are not great for our blessed earth. Cloth diapers are better for the earth (and long-term are cheaper) but you get to clean up the muck. Muckity, muck, muck. We do a combination of both, which both works for us and lays off some of the guilt of using the disposables.
Regarding disposables: unless you’re certain of baby’s size, stick with getting the newborn ones. If baby is smaller than the fit, you can make do until you buy a smaller size (preemie) and you’ll use the bigger size eventually. If baby is bigger than newborn size, then you’re hooped. Make a couple leg holes in a plastic bag and stick baby in it and wrap it around waist until you can get bigger diapers. Then cry. If you don’t yet have a car seat, see recommendation at the end of #2.
Baby will need some type of something to cover them up and keep warm. If you only take transit and it’s summer, there’s a chance you could get away with just a blanket and a baby wrap. But more likely, you’ll want something to bring the kid home in. I suggest a onesie. They’re easy to get a hold of and less finicky on the fit. The one we brought to bring Spencer home in was waaaaay to big for him (being preemie and all), but he still managed to get home in it. It’s purpose was to help keep him warm on the ride back (it was February) and it worked.
While very cute, I wouldn’t recommend an outfit like this to bring baby home in. The kid still looks like a wrinkly potato at this point, dressing it up won’t really change that. And it’s a lot to try to manage when you’re already worried about whether they’ll poop through the diaper, whether they’re hungry or tired, or whether they’re in the car sear properly. Keep it simple.
As I’ve had more kids, I’ve become more fond of the simplicity mentality; life will be complicated enough with adjusting. I suggest not buying more than you know you need and not going fancy. There will be times and places for cute little things, but when you’re leaving the hospital, you’re only thought is desperation to get into your own house again. Especially the bed. Oh goodness, your own sweet bed. Yes, so, keep it simple. Babies can be simple and not expensive if you opt for keeping it down to the 4 essentials that baby needs.
Are you a keep-it-simple type of person?
Sweater: Smart Set
Shoes: Payless Shoes (American Eagle brand)
Necklace: I really have no idea. Possibly Reitmans.
Check out Fine Linen & Purple’s website for more cute outfits for Sundays!