When it comes to preparing for baby, there are some non-negotiable items you really need. You’re going to need diapers, for one, and a safe, new car seat. But there are plenty of things you can either do without or buy later as your budget allows. Save money now by holding off on purchasing these items:
A baby crib can be a big ticket item, but it’s also not something you need right away. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that new parents room-share with their babies for the first several months of life to decrease the risk of sudden infant death. Laying your little one to sleep in a co-sleeper or pack and play beside your bed makes for less disruption during middle-of-the-night wakings.
To use your baby budget wisely, focus on items that multi-task. A bassinet, while adorable and nice in theory, will only last your child about five months before he or she outgrows it. While a pack and play might not be the nicest-looking investment you’ve ever made, most will grow with your son or daughter. Many styles include a bassinet feature that snaps off when your little one no longer needs it. Use this piece of furniture for sleep-time and play.
It can certainly be tempting to want to grab every sweet onesie you see. But exercise restraint here. Once your baby arrives, you may find the clothes you purchased are either too small or too big. Once he or she has grown into the big pieces, they may be out of season. What’s more, everyone loves buying baby clothes. Your friends and family will most likely help you stock up, so this is an area you can really save on. Buy a few onesies and pajamas to carry you through the first week or two of your baby’s life. Then, when you have a more accurate idea of his or her size, you can hit the baby shops.
News flash: Newborns spend most of their time sleeping and eating. There’s just no time for toys. Very young babies also don’t have a well-developed vision just yet. For the first month of life, your little one will see no farther than 8 to 10 inches. As the first two months go on, your baby’s vision will start to strengthen and improve. Don’t feel the need to load up on toys before your baby is ready for them. The first objects your son or daughter will have an interest in are those that are highly contrasted – think black, white and red.
What’s on your list to buy as you prepare for baby? Share with us in the comments below!
Read more: Pregnancy to-do – Build a baby budget