Categorized | New Baby

Items for your baby’s first month

There is no feeling quite like preparing for the birth of a child, especially for those who are having their first. Because of this, many expecting couples tend to make several trips to the nearest baby retail or specialty store to stock up on items bought on impulse rather than need. The feeling that you may have overlooked an important item can be incredibly intense. It makes it more difficult to determine which are necessities rather than just luxury items. When considering what to purchase, you have to stop and really think about what things you cannot do without.

One of the most important baby items to purchase is an infant rear-facing car seat. If the birth takes place at any location other than the parents’ home, the baby will need a safe seat in which to be transported home. Most nurses will not let you drive away with your baby if you do not have a correctly installed seat in your car. If needed, they will gladly help you install the car seat before you take your baby home from the hospital. That way you will be able to safely bring your baby to his doctor appointments as well as any family visits in the coming weeks.

Another item of business to take care of before your baby comes home is how he will be fed – bottle or breast? Your answer will impact many of your other baby purchases. Let’s take bottle-feeding. The number of bottles needed depends on how often you, the parents, plan on washing them. A newborn needs to be fed every two to four hours and will eat less than four ounces of formula in the beginning. It’s much easier to buy four-ounce bottles. But beware of buying too many. Your baby will grow rapidly and may outgrow your four-ounce bottles within just a few months. You know what that means – it’s time to buy eight-ounce bottles to go with your baby’s increasing appetite. Following the manufacturer’s recommendations of caring for your bottles will ensure that they last until they are no longer needed and can then be replaced by the well-known “sippy cup.”

If you opt for breast-feeding your baby, your costs drop drastically. Deleting the cost of formula alone will be staggering. Add in not having to purchase bottles, bottle liners and other assorted accessories, and you will surprise yourself with how much money you save. Breast-feeding is natural and, some say, the best way of providing your baby with nourishment vital for his health and well-being. Regardless, breast-feeding has the tangible benefit of saving you money.

Clothes and diapers are two necessities for a newborn baby. However, the amount spent on them may vary drastically between households depending on your personal preference. A newborn baby will most likely have its diaper changed with each feeding. You could wind up changing 10 to 12 diapers in a 24-hour period. Rather than always using expensive, brand name diapers, I opted for a generic brand of disposable diapers to use at home. I did, however, keep a package of the expensive brand name diapers on hand. These I used for trips to relatives’ homes where an accident of “spillage” would not be appreciated. This method helped cut down on diaper costs and many potentially embarrassing moments.

This same method can be used to cut costs on infant clothes as well. It’s extremely difficult to walk by a display of infant clothing and not want to purchase many outfits “just in case” they could be used. Don’t deny yourself completely. Splurge a little. Your child is only an infant once. You can use those special outfits for family outings or photos. Stylish attire can still be bought from discount or consignment stores as well as clothes more appropriate for simply lounging around at home.

Infant entertainment can send parents’ budgets spiraling out of control. From floor toys and crib mobiles, educational DVDs and the hundreds of different versions of rocking, swinging and bouncing furniture, it’s all there waiting patiently for you to purchase. However, I have noticed, as have many of my mommy friends, children tend to ignore the expensive toys in favor of something as simple as a blanket. I suggest waiting until after your baby is born before purchasing these items. That way, you can justify the need for the items. For example, if a baby struggles to nap during the day in its crib, an infant swing may be just the right transitional item to lull the baby to sleep while allowing the parent have their hands free. However, a baby who would rather sleep in its crib would have little need to be in a swing. During a baby’s first month, parents often get a handle on what captivates their child’s attention. It is easier to wait on some of the more expensive entertainment items than it is to repeatedly pack things up to return to the store. Though if it is necessary to return things, make sure you keep the receipt.

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