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Baby Essentials on a Budget

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Today I’ve got a no-nonsense complete guide to baby essentials on a budget. My Newborn Must Haves guide contains my most favourite and most used items during the first three months. This guide is the bare basics for those moms out there who are minimalists, working with a budget, or just don’t want any extra baby clutter. In reality, babies really don’t need THAT much! Try searching for items second hand where you can, and keep an eye out for sales. I have linked some of my favourite products below.

Sleeping Essentials

  • Crib: Ikea has a simple and affordable, basic baby crib for $100.00! It’s really all you need. If your space allows for it, you can skip the bassinet all together. Baby can really only use it until they start rolling over, which is around 4 months old. The AAP does recommend that you and baby sleep in the same room for the first 6 months to reduce the risk of sids (but every parent and family is different!)
  • Crib mattress: A firm and quality crib mattress is essential for your baby’s sleep. Considering finding one you like and watch for sales
  • Pacifier: If you are planning on giving your baby a pacifier, you may need a couple different options on hand (since babies are picky). Buy only 1 of each type until you know wha your baby will accept – then buy more. You really only need a few. These were our favourites.
  • Crib sheets: 2 or 3 options is all you need
  • Sound machine: sound machines help create an optimal sleep environment for baby by providing calming sounds and drowning out background noises
  • Nightlight: a nightlight will help you be discrete when doing nighttime feedings/diaper changes. Turning on the light will stimulate your baby and they will want to stay awake! This is worth the investment if you ask me. Or you can go with the hatch which is a bit pricier, but a great 2 in 1
  • Swaddle: decide ahead of time if you want to swaddle your baby by weighing the risks vs benefits. You really only need 1 or 2. Alternatively, purchase a couple sleep sacks to help baby stay warm since infants should not sleep with loose blankets.

Feeding Essentials

  • Bottles: decide if you are planning to breast or bottle feed your baby. You should have some on hand either way, just in case. Babies are super picky, and may not take whatever bottle you give them. Have 1 or 2 single options on hand just in case. Once you know what baby likes – buy a few more. If you are planning to breastfeed, purchase them and leave them in the box along with the receipt so you can return them if they are not needed
  • Bibs: I liked using bandana bibs to protect my little one’s outfits from sit up and drool. This way you could just change the bib rather than going through multiple outfits a day. The feeding bibs at this stage are useless in my opinion
  • Burp cloths/receiving blankets: you just want something to protect your shoulder while you burp baby! You don’t need all of them, just a few of whichever you would prefer. I preferred receiving blankets over burp cloths, but each mom is different

Travel Essentials

  • Carseat: if you’re looking to save money, consider buying a convertible 3 or 4-in-1 option. Bucket seats are convenient, but depending on your babies’ size, you may only get 6-12 months of use out of it. Considering skipping the bucket seat all together if you’re really looking to save money
  • Stroller: This item is not a necessity and really depends on your needs as a family. Travel sets can be handy, but bulky. Alternatively, you can just use a baby carrier. This is not an item you need to purchase before the birth, and you can wait to decide if you need one until later. If you do prefer to get one, choose a light weight option
  • Car mirror: If you will be in the car a lot with your newborn, a car mirror may help alleviate some anxiety by allowing you to see your baby while you are driving. These can be distracting – so you need to weigh the risks and benefits

Changing Essentials

  • Diapers: the cheapest place to purchase diapers is definitely Costco. Their Kirkland brand is rumoured to be made by Huggies. They also typically have huge sales on Huggies Diapers/Wipes every 3 months or so. Watch for sales at stores near you and try to stock up when you can. A lot of places will allow you to exchange un-opened diaper boxes for a different size/brands if you need to. If you are having a shower, consider doing a diaper raffle.
  • Clothing: try purchasing items second hand from a consignment store or online from Facebook market place. Babies grow quickly – especially during the first few months. Many parents I know keep their kids in sleep and play footies all the time. Nothing wrong with that!
  • Diaper rash ointment: Just a small tube or jar is all that’s necessary. You’re not going to know if your baby is prone to diaper rashes until after they are born, so there is no point stocking up
  • Bath products: 1 small bottle of shampoo/body wash and 1 lotion. Again, you’re not going to know what type of skin your baby has until they arrive, so there is no point stocking up just yet. Just have a bottle on hand and ready to go

What You Don’t Need

  • Baby socks/shoes/mitts: they just fall off
  • Diaper bag: you can just use any regular backpack that you have at home. If you don’t currently have one, there are great affordable diaper bag options out there
  • Crib set: baby should not sleep with a blanket or pillow while they are under 12 months of age, as it poses a suffocation risk. Therefore, crib sets are a huge waste of money in my opinion
  • Diaper genie: This is a hot topic between many mom’s. I loved my diaper genie, but it definitely isn’t a necessity. You can just use a regular garbage bin, but I do find them to be great for containing the smell and I had it right next to my infants change station
  • Changing pad: many mom’s just end up changing their babies on the floor with blankets. And once your baby really starts moving, it becomes a pain to change your baby on these anyways. If you really want one, get a portable one such as this one.
  • Pumping supplies: unless you are planning on pumping from the beginning, do not waste your money on a pump unless you need one. One of my biggest wastes of money was my electric pump. If you are breastfeeding and wanting to build a supply, consider using a Haakaa instead. Consider setting the money aside just in case you may need one.
  • Bathtub: you can easily bathe your baby in the sink or with you in the bath. While the baby bath tubs can be convenient, they are not a necessity.
  • Safety kit: There are a lot of items that come in a safety kit that you don’t necessarily need. Grab some nail clippers, a thermometer, and maybe a brush (who knows if your little one will even have hair!)
  • Mobile: while cute, a lot of the mobiles on the market are more distracting and stimulating. Plus, once your baby starts standing they become a hazard.

I hope you enjoyed my no-nonsense baby essentials on a budget list. Of course what is essential to one mom, maybe not be for another. But this list truly is the most basic of the essentials. Did I miss anything? Let me know down below! Until next time, xo.

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