There are entire stores dedicated to baby gear, which makes these tiny creatures seem like complicated and expensive members of the family! The truth, though, is that babies need just a fraction of what is available.
That’s not to say that things like Boppy pillows and baby swings aren’t nice additions, because they are! We had those, plus a separate cradle for those early weeks, an exercauser for older babies and a variety of slings.
With that said, here’s my list of what you need, what’s nice to have and what (in my opinion) is just silly:
- a car seat: I prefer to start my babies out in a convertible car seat rather than a separate infant carrier
- a place for baby to sleep: crib, pack ‘n play, cosleeper, your bed
- stroller: a simple umbrella stroller works great for older babies
- baby monitor: we sleep with a fan, so this has always been a necessity for us
Nice to Have
- changing table/pad: we change our babies on the couch or the floor
- bouncy seat: some babies like ‘em, some not so much
- swing: a swing saved our sanity with a couple of our daughters, but it’s definitely not a necessity
- infant car seat: as I mentioned, we start out with a convertible car seat that will last for years
- wipes warmer: just hold the wipe in your hand for a few seconds and you’re good to go
- a quilt to match your nursery bedding set
- diaper genie: wrap the diapers in a plastic bag instead, or switch to cloth
- baby tub: nice for that middle stage when baby can’t sit up yet, but they’re so big and bulky
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And at the Trading Cradles parenting blog, you’ll find everything from inspirational videos to crafts & activities for the whole family.
What else is on your needs, nice to have and just silly lists? Do you disagree with any of mine?