Visiting a baby store to make the first purchases for your baby is very overwhelming. What brands are best? What big items will be useful? What can you afford? You can search online for the ‘must haves’ and the ‘top registry items’ but it’s best to talk to friends and family who have kids. See what items they used and which ones they regret buying. You may even be lucky and get some hand-me-downs. Here is my input on some of the items we purchased. Hopefully this can help your decisions.
When looking at baby clothing, remember that your baby will grow quite fast in the first few months. My baby outgrew her newborn clothing well before her first month. I was sadly packing up these clothes way sooner then I thought I would. So my advice is to buy many different sizes in addition to nb size like 0-3 months and 3 months. Think about how often you want to do laundry too. The more clothes your baby has will reduce the frequency of laundry duty. Also, if you are planning on having more kids down the road, get some gender neutral clothing that can be re-used despite the gender of your next bundle of joy.
If your friends and family are anything like ours, you will also get a lot of gifts after the baby is born. Our baby got tons of clothes when people came to visit. Keep this in mind when buying all those clothes!
Sleepers are the easiest to dress your baby in at first. You will need quite a few of these as they get dirty very quickly with the constant peeing, pooping and spitting up.
The best purchase we made was a 3 in 1 playpen. This playpen which is by Baby Trend has a changing station, removable bassinet and adjustable mattress. It also has a removeable storage spot on the side where we keep diapers, wipes, diaper cream etc. During the first month or so, you can bring your baby around with you in the removeable bassinet. Although our baby outgrew the bassinet fairly quickly we still found this playpen to be the most useful item by far. We keep this item in our family room and continue to use it all day everyday.
The one and only negative of this item is that the changing station is quite low so your back may not appreciate it over time.
I am conflicted about how to rate our use of our bassinet. We purchased a standard Summer Infant bassinet to keep beside our bed. It’s a great bassinet with a sturdy, firm mattress and it doesn’t take up a lot of room. However if your baby is like mine, he or she will outgrow it quickly. Our baby is just shy of 3 months and she is getting to the point where her head is almost touching the top of the bassinet. So now, we are trying to decide if we should disassemble her crib and bring it in our room or start putting her in her own room to sleep. Overall, bassinets are no doubt great to have, they just might only be useful for a few months. It would be great if you could save some money and get a used one from family or friends.
Furniture for nursery
Buying our baby’s crib was fairly easy. We looked around at a few stores but in the end we decided to go with the same one that a family member had recently purchased. Your choice of crib will decide on your budget, the quality of the material you prefer and whether or not you want one that converts into a bed.
Further to my bassinet review, I would suggest not putting together your crib until you decide if you will need to use it in your room after your baby outgrows their bassinet or if you will leave it in their nursery only.
As for additional furniture, we decided to purchase a chest of drawers from Ikea. We found that the chest of drawers sold at the baby stores were way over priced. They were also pretty small which would limit further use in the future.
If you are formula feeding or pumping you will need many bottles. This will save you time with sterilizing and prepping bottles. I am mostly formula feeding and finding the right bottles for my baby was very challenging. I read many online reviews to see what brands had good ratings, but at the end of the day, your baby’s needs will be unique. Trial and error is the best way to approach this. My advice is to buy only one or two bottles of a specific brand and try them out for a couple weeks before you buy more. I registered for Avent bottles and purchased even more myself, only to find that they caused my baby to have a lot of gas. I had 10-15 bottles that I couldn’t use or return. I then tried out different brands of bottles and finally found the best ones for my baby. Funny enough, the best brand, Essentials was the cheapest. Essentials has a set of 3 bottles for under $7 at Walmart. These bottles have a filter in the nipple which prevents air from going through. The nipple shape and size is also ideal. So if you take away anything from this, try out different bottles before you buy more!
We purchased a simple Bouncer chair which has come in handy. You could get fancier ones that swing as well which keeps your baby occupied for short periods of time. The good thing about the simple one is that you can bring it to different rooms such as the bathroom (if you want to attempt to shower). It allows you to strap in your baby and have him or her in your sights at all times. The larger ones that swing are great, however they are less mobile and take up more space.
I will continue to add to this blog as we try out new products!