Baby Products you Actually Need… And Some you Really Don’t
Baby Products you Actually Need.. And Some you Really Don’t.
When I had my first baby, and honestly still with my second, I WISH that someone would have given me a list of what I actually needed. I had somewhat of an idea of what I actually used and what I wasn’t going to use after having my first. Still, I bought some unnecessary baby crap. Why you might ask? Because ads and stores and marketing tells us we need ALL this baby stuff! Baby essentials!? You mean EVERYTHING in the store??
Now, if you’ve read any of my other posts then you know I am on the beginning of my journey to minimalism and reducing my consumerism. This is especially hard having two kids, because with kids comes lots of STUFF!
So what do you actually need when you’re having a baby and what are you actually going to use?
THINGS YOU NEED
1. Diapers & Wipes
You are going to need diapers and wipes- either disposables or cloth. Why? Because unfortunately babies aren’t born potty trained. (We can talk more about potty training in a future post.)
When it comes to diapers I highly recommend using a natural brand like Seventh Generation or Babyganics. If the package states that they are “natural” and haven’t been through a bleaching process then you’re probably good to go. I only say this because known toxic chemicals called dioxins are emitted during the chlorine bleaching process. To learn more about this check out this article.
2. Car Seat
If you want to go anywhere with your baby then you’re going to need a car seat. There are SO many car seats on the market and it can be extremely overwhelming trying to pick the right one. My biggest tip is to look on Consumer Reports. Most of the “top baby product” posts are advertising, not what products are actually the safest. My top pick based on Consumer Reports is the Chicco Keyfit. If you need help figuring out what the safest baby products are please send me a message! I have done a lot of research and comparisons and would love to help you!
Whether you are breastfeeding or formula feeding, if you ever want to go anywhere then you’re going to need bottles. You’re also going to need a good Bottle Brush. Only because it is really hard to clean bottles with traditional dish scrubs and impossible with a regular sponge. You can use any brand of bottles that you’d like but you don’t need 15 different bottles. Also, skip the 4 ounce bottles and get the larger 8 or 9 ounce option. You will barely use 4 ounce bottles. We really only use 3- 9 ounce Dr. Brown’s Bottles. (I personally prefer the Dr. Brown bottles because the milk comes out slower.)
4. Breast Pump
If you are breastfeeding, to go along with the bottles you’ll need a breast pump and pumping accessories. Most insurance plans are now covering breast pumps and a starter kit for the pump. If you aren’t sure if your insurance plan covers a breast pump, just give them a quick call!
When I say clothes, I don’t mean you need to go buy 100 different baby outfits. The only clothes a baby really needs are onesies, pants, socks and sleepers. Oh, and maybe a hat. I’m not saying you can’t buy those super cute newborn overalls. But is your 3 week old actually going to wear those super cute overalls? No, probably not. You’re going to want some extra onesies and sleepers because babies are messy and diapers leak but just don’t go overboard on the baby clothes. (Use your washing machine!!). Another thing is that most babies grow ridiculously fast. My second son only wore newborn sized clothes for 3 weeks! Keep this in mind when you’re deciding what and how much you need to buy.
6. A Place for Baby to Sleep
I am a huge promoter of co-sleeping. With both my babies I used Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper in our room. My oldest didn’t go into his own room until he was almost 18 months. (& this wasn’t because of a lack of trying!) Eventually your kid will need a crib- when they do I recommend something that grows with your baby. A 4-In-1 Convertible Crib is the way to go.
7. Diaper Bag
And by diaper bag, I mean your purse! You don’t need to go buy an expensive diaper bag. Grab one of your larger purses and you’re good to go! You’ll be able to continue using it after baby is done with diapers and it’ll look nicer than that pastel pink diaper bag with giraffes on it.
8. Baby Carrier
Baby wearing is a huge lifesaver. You can start wearing your baby the day they’re born! I recommend find a baby wearing group in your area. There are tons of different types of baby carriers, a local baby wearing group can help you figure out what works best for you. The type of baby carrier you use is 100% based on comfort and ease of use. This is different for every person. If you’re interested I do have some personal recommendations but they may not work for you.
Yes, you’ll also want some baby blankets and maybe a play mat. A baby bath tub can come in handy but you can also just bathe baby in the tub or shower with you. You can skip the bottle warmers, wipe warmers and automatic formula dispensers! You don’t need the most expensive baby products either. Skip the $1000 stroller and $500 crib set. Your baby is going to shit on this stuff anyways- I mean literal shit. Keep in mind that your baby is going to use most of these things for less than a year! You can always save some money by buying second hand baby products.
Like you, I’m a work in progress and have bought a ton of unnecessary baby stuff over the years. Check back for more posts on being a minimalist mom.