When you’re having a baby, the things you need to prepare for them can be overwhelming and costly. In fact, a recent study on Mom Like You Mean It found that the average parent spends at least $20,000 on their baby in the first year alone. Half of that amount is spent on labor and delivery charges, while the other half is spent on baby items.
Sadly, not all moms can afford to spend that much, but it doesn’t mean you have to compromise on giving quality care. When it comes to baby essentials, it’s all about planning your finances and knowing how to split your budget wisely.
Below, we’ve listed some of the baby essentials worth splurging on, and which ones you should skip.
Baby Essentials – What Should I Splurge On?
1. A Convertible Crib
A convertible crib is expensive, but it’s an investment that will save you money in the long run. This type of crib is one that can transition with your baby, from infancy to preschool. It comes with the full-sized crib, plus the bed conversion kit. While every crib passes safety standards before hitting the stores, not all are made with the same quality materials. Babyletto’s Hudson 3-in-1 convertible crib boasts a sturdy frame and is GreenGuard-approved, too. This means that it’s 100% chemical-free, making it completely non-toxic for your baby.
2. A Durable Stroller
Every parent could use a stroller to take their baby out on walks. When choosing a stroller, look at three things: a strong frame, high-quality wheels, and well-made fabric. Colugo’s new stroller line hits every criterion, with the added feature of being able to carry strollers like a shoulder bag since they’re lightweight. They’re also waterproof and weather-proof, so no need to worry about taking it out when the weather isn’t being so kind.
If you have twins or more than one baby, then a double stroller is what you need. However, most double strollers take up too much space, which can make navigating alleyways and doorways a huge problem. The double strollers by iCandy come in the tandem variety, so they’re much slimmer and more compact. They can even be converted from a double to the single stroller, making it a versatile and cost-efficient pick. Because they are made with quality materials, these strollers are less susceptible to wear and tear. After all, strollers are meant to last as your babies grow older, or even for when you have future kids you can pass them on too.
3. A Safe Car Seat
When taking your baby out in the car, remember to do so in the safest car seat you can find. Britax’s car seats are equipped with Safecell technology, which includes features like an impact-absorbing base, impact-stabilizing steel frame, and a tether. It even has an energy-absorbing shell that will cushion your baby, in case you do get into an accident. It’s one of the more expensive options out there, but you should never skimp on your baby’s safety.
4. A Breast Pump
According to an article on Moms Love Best, breastfeeding has a ton of health benefits aside from keeping babies well-fed. Breast milk is high in nutrients that will help develop your baby’s immune system. It even lowers the risk of high blood pressure and breast cancer for mothers. For this reason, a breast pump will be every mom’s best friend during this period. While any breast pump can help you lactate more, the Spectra S breast pumps are more comfortable to use, as they allow you to control the strength and speed of the suction cup.
Baby Essentials – What To Skip?
1. Baby Clothes
It’s tempting to spoil your little one with baby clothes, but it’s no secret that your baby will outgrow them in no time. When thinking of how many baby clothes you should have, consider how often you do your laundry. For instance, if you plan to wash once a week, then you might need the following:
• Seven bodysuits
• Three to five pairs of pants
• Two hats
• Five to seven pairs of socks
• Two to three swaddles
• Four sleepers
If you’re willing to do your laundry twice a week, then you can get away with buying just half the pieces listed above. Your local climate is another thing to keep in mind. If you live somewhere cold, then you’ll want to add a couple of sweaters and mittens into the mix.
2. A Highchair
Although a high chair might seem like an essential, it is actually an unnecessary expense. Not only are they expensive, but they also take up a lot of space. Instead, consider getting a chair booster, which usually costs just $50 and can be stowed away easily when not in use. Fisher-Price’s booster seat is safe, comfortable, and easy to clean. Its tray even fits in your dishwater.
3. A Bottle Warmer
There are no added benefits to giving your baby warm or cold milk. It’s simply a matter of taste. If your child has a preference for warm milk, however, you can simply grab a big bowl, fill it up with warm water and submerge the bottle in it for a couple of minutes. You’d be surprised at how fast it heats up—no fancy gadgets needed.
4. A Changing Table
You’ll need a flat, elevated space to change diapers on, but you don’t need to buy a new changing table. Instead, you can opt to repurpose an old dresser, or just get a changing mat that you can rollover any flat surface (including a firm mattress). This portable changing pad from Obecome is a great option, with its compact design making it ideal for travel.