The time around the arrival of a new baby can be very exciting for the parents as well as those who surround them. Everyone is waiting anxiously for the new bundle of joy to come; love permeates the air.
It can also be a time of great spending. Many parents invest a lot of money in preparing for their babies. Parenting.com estimates that parents spend an average of $6,000 preparing for their babies. This includes spending money on items such as car seats, clothes and strollers. First-time parents may even go overboard and spend more on top-of-the-line products as well as some products that aren’t really necessary.
The absolute necessities
If you’re preparing for a baby, be sure the following necessities make your preparation list.
1. Baby clothes
You’ll need to have something for the baby to wear when they begin their life on this planet. While new-born clothes may seem cute, they aren’t practical. Anyone will tell you that babies grow very quickly. You should therefore ensure that you purchase clothes that are not only warm but also large enough for the baby to grow into in a few months.
Some basic pieces to include in your baby’s wardrobe are:
- All-in-one suits
- Sun hats
- Bootees or socks
New born babies spend majority of their day in dreamland. Adequate sleep is necessary for their growth and development. You should therefore ensure that your baby has a comfortable place to lay their head. It should be safe and warm. It should also be near you.
Be sure to obtain:
- A crib, cot or Moses basket
- A firm mattress that fits snugly into the cot
- Light blankets
- Sheets for covering the mattress
It is important to avoid duvets and pillows in your baby’s crib or cot no matter how cute they seem. These can be hazardous to your baby when they are less than a year old. Babies can be suffocated by pillows. Duvets can also make the baby overheat.
3. New born nappies
You’ll need to change your baby’s nappies between 10 to 12 times in a day in the first few weeks. You should therefore purchase enough nappies to last a while. You should also stock up on wet wipes and nappy sacks. Even if you’re planning to use reusable nappies, ensure you have some disposable nappies handy for a rainy day or an afternoon on the go.
4. Feeding equipment
If you’re planning to breastfeed, invest in some nursing bras, breast pads and some nipple cream. If you plan to bottle feed you’ll need teats, bottles, brushes, bottle brushes, bottle sterilizing equipment and a breast pump. You should also purchase some cotton bibs.
5. Traveling equipment
You’ll also need something for moving around with the baby. What you choose will depend on your preferences and requirements. However, you should make sure that it’s safe and comfortable for the baby. Some choices include baby carriers, prams and pushchairs.
Saving on your baby’s arrival
The US Department of Agriculture estimates that the average family spends over $245,000 on raising a child from its birth to the age of 18. This cost doesn’t include college fees. It therefore makes sense to try and save as much as possible in preparation for your baby.
You can begin by searching for the best baby deals online and in stores. Be sure to only purchase top-of-the-line products when they provide;
- Long-term use
- Safety (e.g. car seats)
- Daily use (e.g. strollers)
You may also want to consider borrowing some items from friends and family. Items such as cots and cribs can be reused as long as they’re still in good condition.
As you await your new bundle of joy, keep the above preparation tips in mind to make things as smooth as possible.