:The baby essentials within budget:
When we planned our first baby during summer of 2010, we knew it will be so exciting as well as challenging to keep all the expenses within our available resources (at least after seeing one of our friends “baby-shopping” list)! I am a full time mom, aka not working and my husband is a Nephrology fellow. Therefore,we had to budget everything very carefully. It was really tempting to go to babiesrus or similar store and get carried away with so much things available for babies; and you can not blame yourself: Its your first baby guys!!!
After lots of research before and after Auripra was born, we can tell you the basics that as a first-time parents you have to arrange for before you comeback from the hospital with your newborn. I wish to share our understanding and experience here because some of you are about to or already going through the same process!
Baby Stroller and car-seat
You could buy them as travel system (a travel system includes both). It is really convenient! Many of you may already know that your baby will not be discharged from hospital if you do not show them a baby car-seat at discharge! There are different brands available, such as Graco, Evenflo, Chicco, etc. you could buy them in Amazon, Walmart, Target, Kmart, Burlington Coat Factory, Babiesrus etc.
We bought Graco Alano Travel system (see the pic below), model ellie from Sears for $169.00 (a brother store to Kmart). We are totally happy with its functionality and safety considering its price. It includes the base for car seat, the car seat and the stroller. The stroller is not as light as a feather but not that heavy either. Of course this is personal preference.
|Graco Alano Travel System: Ellie|
Crib, changing table or bassinet for newbies
You can find a lot of options in Walmart of course under $200… not bad huh! We bought a crib and changing table set from walmart for $199. To start with we thought only about crib, but got this great deal so bought the set; believe me changing table had proven itself as an essential from day one. Crib mattress, mattress cover for baby spillage, crib bedding set, changing pad for changing table also need to be purchased separately. Cribs are of different type, some are fixed structure, some can be converted into a toddler bed if you buy an accessory part in future.
|Changing Table with changing pad|
|Crib with mattress & crib bedding( 4 piece set includes a dust raffle, a bumper, a fitted shit, a comforter) standard size|
8-10 sleep and play and body suits (size 3month; do not go for NB aka Newborn size, babies outgrow that within few weeks) 4-5 baby blankets.
If your baby is a winter baby go for “sleep and play” however if she is a summer born go for "body suit" (those with out socks of couse). Believe me, you will not need sleep and play during summer. Babies are mostly sensitive to warm than cold. Our baby used to sweat a lot, so decided to keep her in minimum clothing during her first summer. But, you have to remember that babies are different and you have to keep up with their individual need. Blankets are one size.
|Sleep and Play|
Bathtub with newborn sling (do not fully submerge newbies into the water and avoid any water around the cord area during bath time for first seven-ten days when they still have the cord attached. Giving them just a sponge bath and washing hair if needed is recommended.) Click here to find the one we bought from Target. Always make sure, you dry those hidden areas properly after bath to avoid rash or infection.
|Bathtub with newborn sling|
Hair brush and comb, nail clipper, thermometer for babies. I use the one s shown here. If you want, go crazy for a nail clipper which has magnifying glass, LOL!
|baby comb and brush set|
Baby shampoo, body wash (we bought J&J Head to toe: no tears) and body lotion. If you want, you can buy one full size and one travel size of each of them.
Baby formulas - if you really need to buy! Not to mention breast-milk is the most desirable and THE best food for a newborn upto the age of 4-6 months. However, the baby formulas are really good these days. The Doc says, although the good formulas can almost match the nutritious value of breast milk, formulas does not have any biologic ingredients to help the little one's immune system to get ready to fight the germs around him/her. If you are really going for baby formula, (or if you are pumping out breast-milk) a bottle warmer will be really handy. Click here for the one we are using (I used to think that formula will not dissolve in cold water at all, But that is not true). NOT TO MENTION here about feeding bottles. There are numerous options, we are using Playtex ventaire advanced. The nipple for this bottle comes with three different flow formats(slow for newborns, medium for 4 months and up and fast for 7 months and up) as usual and also it has a standard version and a wide version.
If you register at baby formula manufacturer's website (Similac, Enfamil, Gerber etc) websites, they will send you great coupons. Sometimes, newborns really give us hard time when they start learning how to "latch on" to the breast, if you have decided that you want to breast feed, keep trying and for the time being use breast pump to express your breast milk to feed the baby through a bottle. (I have been there, done that! Had so much trouble myself, finally conquered the process at around 6th week of motherhood!). During this tough time a breast-pump could be so handy. I borrowed the pump (click here) from one of my friends and bought the kit (click here) myself. you can totally reuse a breast-pump as long as you are using your own "cup" to suck out and store your milk.
I should mention here about another companion of mine these days: it is "Mybreastfriend" breast-feeding pillow: Oh, my god! thanks to my friend Dolon, she mentioned about it as I could not feed Auripra while sitting at all. I had to always lay down in bed beside her in order to feed her; but this breastfeeding pillow gave my life back :) I started doing internet, watching TV etc even while feeding in comfortable sitting posture while the baby is on the pillow getting fed. The pillow comes in different color and cover texture, you have to tie a belt around your waist so it does not move at all while the baby is on it, so you can have both of your hands free!
|Mybreastfriend breast-feeding pillow|
I have not mentioned about bib at all, because we found using bib with newborn could be problematic; using a soft washcloth or soft piece of cotton around the neck area is much easier!
Now, these are the things you can not go wrong with. you WILL know what else you need once the baby arrives. For example, my baby does not throw up a lot, that's why we survived really well with only 5-6 sleep and play first few months or if your baby really latch on well from the beginning and you are a stay home mom, you will not probably need a breast-pump (as well as the kit for the pump) at all. Another very important piece of advice: ALWAYS keep the receipts of your shopping (as you can return most stuff up to three months after the purchase date); this is because you will often find something which you know for sure your baby will not use anymore!
Please share your thoughts and queries below. Thank you... finally, congratulations and all the best!!!
Disclaimer: This review is the result of our personal experience and not sponsored by any of the companies I mentioned here. It is now your decision that what you need and what you can afford. It is actually good idea to reuse baby gears (such as newborn suits, socks, mittens, blankets, toys etc) from your friends or families if you want because they outgrow those so quickly that you end up with so many never used or hardly used baby-stuffs!!!