Whether you’re a new or seasoned parent, welcoming a new baby into your home is almost always a nerve-wracking experience. Do you splurge on the high-end products or stick with the basics? And what are the basics anyway? Being prepared is vital, but it’s always easy to go overboard.
Stock up on the Essentials
Essentials are those items that you use day in and day out. Diapers, wipes, clothing and bottles—if you bottle feed—are a must have. If you breastfeed, you’ll want to invest in a pump and storage bags, particularly if you plan to continue breastfeeding after you go back to work.
When your child gets older a sippy cup can help transition into a larger cup and eliminate bottles from your daily life. Many websites offer reviews of sippy cups so you can see what parents loved and hated about particular brands and models.
A diaper bag is another essential, especially if you plan to leave the house with your infant. This handy tool has enough room to store all of your diapers, change of clothes and other necessities. They come in different sizes and styles, for men and women alike.
Ignore the Hype Products
It seems like every time you turn around, there’s a new “must-have” product for parents. Some of them are innovative and pretty to look at, but the truth is it’s likely a novelty product that will phase out within a year or two. This doesn’t mean you can’t splurge if you want to, but think long and hard about whether it will see a lot of use. If you don’t see yourself using the product daily, then it’s not really a must-have. There’s also the space consideration to keep in mind. If you live in a smaller house or apartment, it doesn’t take long for clutter to accumulate.
One of the biggest things that new parents do is shop too much, and yes, there is such a thing. Stocking up on the essentials is one thing, but try not to go overboard when buying clothing. Babies grow at an astronomical rate, and many parents are left with clothes that are too small with tags still on because they never had the chance to use them. If you see an outfit—or several—that you must have, try buying them one or two sizes up to get more use out of them.
If you’re buying lots of diapers, buy in several sizes to accommodate growing babies. If you end up with too many leftover clothing items or diapers, you can always donate to a local homeless or women’s shelter to help those down on their luck.
The bottom line is, it’s always exciting welcoming a new baby into your home. Being prepared helps take the stress off but as long as you have the essentials the other stuff—such as high-tech toys and gadgets—can wait. The only things you really need are the bare essentials: food, clothes and diapers.