Esther & Julie share some tips on shopping for baby time!
Take a breath, momma. When you get that nesting urge, it can all feel overwhelming when you look at those long lists of things you "need"! Here are a few tips we've collected to keep it simple (and hopefully, save you some moolah).
If you're on a super tight budget (or tight on space), consider a pack-and-play or scour Craigslist and your local children's resale stores (gold!) for one that's gently used but a fraction of the price. For the first couple months, you may be co-sleeping or using a cradle, so if you don't find a doable deal right away, don't stress.
2.) Changing table
Meet your new workstation. You'll definitely want one to organize all those diapers, onesies, and wipes you'll be plowing through soon. One thing you don't need? A nice fuzzy cover for the changing pad. You'll be wiping and sanitizing that pad multiple times a day. Fun times ahead! Find one that will function as a dresser or toy organizer through their toddler years to get more bang for your buck. You may even want to keep a changing pad, some diapers, and a pack of wipes close in the rooms you spend the most time in.
3.) Rocking chair
Make sure you can get reallllly comfy. You may be more comfortable nursing in a big smushy armchair, but the rocking chair will come in handy when baby just won't go to sleep and you can't walk them around any more.
4.) Baby carrier
There are soooo many wonderful baby carrier options these days. Our recommendation: wait 'til baby's born then try out a few from friends' or head to the store to take a few different styles for a spin. You can go as minimal as a sling or Moby wrap, or more geared-up like the ever-popular Ergo.
> Julie's pick: For the first couple months, I'm loving this super simple wrap shirt from give-back company Lalabu.
4.) Diaper bag
Really any spacious tote bag (especially if waterproof!) will do just as well! Pack in some of those plastic grocery bags you're always trying to recycle and use them to keep stinky items separated. Pockets and partitions can make your life a lot easier so explore the inside before you make an impulse purchase (if you're opting for a tote bag instead, large makeup pouches can be great for organizing clean wipes, diapers, and all the things you need for a life on the go with baby).
5.) Diaper pail
You'll really appreciate having a good diaper pail. Really. Read those reviews and look for something that contains smell well... because yeah, it's gonna be getting a little stinky up in here.
Trust us, resist the urge to spend $$$ on designer baby wear! And talk about fast fashion -- in the first few months, these babes transition from size to size in the space of weeks. You'll likely be getting piles and piles from baby showers and as hand-me-downs, so you can save a lot of money by resisting the urge to splurge at this point in time. However -- we will add that it can be really important for you to feel like you're purchasing something special for your baby, so don't go on total strike, either.
It'll be a little while before baby will be able to grasp and play with toys. A soft stuffed animal or rattle is sufficient, but no need to go crazy... she'll likely just really want your attention and snuggles more than anything. Your keys and small (non-pointy) gadgets will be fascinating for a while!
> Julie's favorites: these sweet animals from Mulxiply, the fun little friends from Dsenyo
Baby won't be too interested in a books for a while, though it may give you something to do as you rock and sing to sleep!
> Julie's favorites: On the Night You Were Born.. and anything by P.D. Eastman or Dr. Seuss
9.) Swings and bouncers
The thing you'll hear over and over is "every baby is different" ... and it's totally true. What works for other parents in getting babies to relax (or even better, sleep!) could be different from what will work for your baby. Check with your fellow parentals and see who has a sleeper, rocker, bouncer, etc that you could borrow to try out with baby and you'll know what works for sure before you need to buy.
10.) Baby bathtub
Chances are, your parents just bathed you in the kitchen (hipster gasp!). You know we're fans over here of not purchasing items with limited use, and this generally goes on that list. As soon as your wee one can sit up steadily (around 5+ months), they can enjoy a shallow bath in the regular tub. In the meantime, you can use boring towels to properly prop them up in the sink or tub.
11.) High chair
This won't need to be used til baby is at least a few months old and is comfortable feeding while sitting up. Chances are, she may just wanna be snuggled as you eat in the first few months... and who can say no to that? Consider whether you'll want to travel with it, how much room you have... and how squirmy your kiddo is!
12.) Baby food processor
With milk being baby's exclusive food for the first few months, no need for this cool gadget 'til later! But you can still search and gather some tasty recipes to try so that you're ready to work that tool when baby is ready. (And hey, if the people you send your registry to want to get one for you, don't stop them!)
Instead of lathering them up in chemical-laden 'screen, keep them well shaded with long-sleeved clothing and an adorable sun hat. Easing them into sun exposure is a good thing... gotta get that Vitamin D! The best sun protection for the wee little ones in their first few months is to spend limited time out in the sun. Sunscreen is useful when they are a few months old; use those dollars for diaper creams and lotions, which baby may need most in the beginning!
> Julie's pick: Badger Stick (read this article for some good info!)
14.) Sound machine
Yes. Just yes. Babies are used to a lot of noise in the womb (the equivalent of a street corner in New York City!), so "peace and quiet" can actually be stressful for them. You'll be using this all the way through toddler years so invest in one that will last!
> Julie's pick: Sleep Easy Sound Conditioner
>Esther's pick: Dohm Dual Speed White Noise Machine
15.) Baby monitor
You'll want one of these for their major peace of mind when baby is finally asleep but out of your sight. What to look for: video, pan/zoom features, night vision (obviously), audio, a couple hours of battery life, ability to disconnect and travel with it... and because of some recent stories about hacking, we recommend looking for one that doesn't connect to your wi-fi.
> Julie's pick: Levana Astra
still looking for the perfect gift for you or a friend?