Baby Gear You Need … And Don’t (Yet)
Let’s be honest, when you’re expecting you’re expected to purchase a lot of items. Sure, you’re going to set up your baby registry and family and friends will be showering you with gifts, but there are some necessities you need to have ready to use the day your household officially increases by one. The flip side, of course, is that there are plenty of items you absolutely don’t need the first weeks and months. Let’s cut through the noise and highlight the must-haves and the can-waits.
Infant Car Seat
It goes without saying that when it comes to things like car seats and strollers safety takes priority over style. But right behind safety is functionality and ease of use. Carrying heavy car seats in and out of the grocery store or pediatricians office can be an awful strain on your body that has been through enough!
We like models such as the Graco SnugRide Click Connect. When unclipped from the base it’s a mere 7.5 pounds, fits even the smallest of babies right out of the gate and goes up to 35 pounds. You’re going to get plenty of mileage out of it. Another upside is that it is compatible with the brand’s strollers.
Speaking of strollers, this is when the options can become overwhelming. Cost is, of course, a factor that will narrow your choices but something to think about before you start looking is your expected day to day activity. For example, if you’re living in a bustling city and expect to be constantly folding it for public transportation or need to maneuver on narrow sidewalks a lighter weight model might be right for you. On the other end of the spectrum are the jogger strollers that combine comfort for the baby and the rugged infrastructure to allow you to get out and exercise. Right in the middle are the everyday strollers that get you around the store or to the local park.
As with a lot of your bigger baby purchases you’re going to want to spend some time in a store talking to people and testing things out even if you plan on purchasing online. Here are some features we consider important you can look for while browsing:
- Since we’re talking about a newborn you need to make sure the stroller can fully recline to a flat surface.
- You’re going to have your hands full so one that can be easily collapsed without watching a YouTube video is a major plus.
- Make sure the fabric and straps are easily detached and washable. You’ll find out why soon enough.
- Depending on when you’re going to be getting the stroller out into the world you need to consider the outdoor elements. So consider one that has a built in sun canopy or a weather shield. Or maybe both!
- As mentioned above having a car seat and stroller combo is a lifesaver, so put that on the list!
Bibs and Burp Cloths
Seems like a no-brainer but believe it or not new parents sometimes find themselves either without these or without any clean ones. So unless you enjoy doing laundry twice a day consider buying them in bulk. WalMart has a great selection. Might as well pick up the extra laundry detergent as well. You can buy all the burp cloths on the shelf but you’ll still run out.
Brand New Clothes
Everyone wants their baby to be the cutest on the block and picking out mini outfits is a lot of fun. But don’t go crazy early on! Infants have a uniform of sorts that gets replaced a half a dozen times a day and eventually disintegrates. Your best bet is simple white cotton onesies. Gerber has a great selection at great prices.
If you’re so inclined to get some cute outfits (or just can’t resist) aim for 6 to 12-month sizes. And recommend that to friends who are shopping for you. Better yet, also encourage friends and family members with baby clothes stuffed in the back of the closet to pass them down.
They say kids grow up fast, but they don’t grow that fast. Shoes are going to be impractical for at least the first six months. Newborns, of course, can’t walk, shoes can cause discomfort and are just going to fall off. Stick with socks. And be prepared for those to fall off also!
One final thought: even when it’s time to lace your baby up opt for the cheaper pair. They’re going to get grown out of at an alarming rate.
An Overflowing Toy Bin
Just like cute shoes and clothes, it’s tempting to fill up your cart and baby registry with toys. But if you do be prepared for them to sit in the closet for a while. Newborns are overstimulated enough just with their surroundings. They aren’t going to immediately gravitate to every toy they see. Plus, most of the time the toys they become fascinated with aren’t toys at all! If you are baby shopping on a budget put toys a little further down the list.
Good luck shopping!