What do I really need for a newborn?

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Hi everyone,

I have made a terrible financial mistake against the advice I have long read on this forum: Not only did I get married - I'm having a child!
In my multiple years of lurking I remember reading quite a few posts on what you REALLY need for a newborn (and toddler - I'm given to understand these things grow rather fast).  I haven't been able to find what I'm looking for by searching so I am throwing myself at your mercy and asking for advice.

My wife and I live in a 1 bedroom apartment (maybe 650-700) square feet so the primary concern is space more so than economy (though obviously I wouldn't mind saving some money as well).
In particular I'm curious about recommendations for things like high ROI toys (I remember something about a bouncer that was some sort of godsend).  And we're definitely looking to leverage hand me downs (lots of friends recently had kids so we're stealing clothes, strollers, car seats etc.).

Any and all advice welcome!

Thanks

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Diaper Genie - used.
They're $35 new - and with a bit of soap and water, $5 used.

camiolo (Aug. 21, 2016 @ 8:35p) |

Waste of money. I always tossed my kid's clothing in with ours and use the same soaps and shampoos that we use on them.

Seity (Aug. 22, 2016 @ 2:35p) |

That's why the whole family switched to free and clear laundry detergent.

stanolshefski (Aug. 22, 2016 @ 4:39p) |

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Diapers, breast pump, bottles, cooler, nipples,cleaning wand, swaddles, old tablet with YouTube .... That's all you need to survive

rwongsmu said:   Diapers, breast pump, bottles, cooler, nipples,cleaning wand, swaddles, old tablet with YouTube .... That's all you need to survive
  What's a cleaning wand? That one is new to me.


Small crib or bassinet unless you want to be sleeping with your child until the are 5 or so. It will be tough on the child for sure and sometimes the parent(s) to put the kid in their own bed once you have co-slept for a while and it will likely kill your bedroom intimacy while they are sleeping with you.

lots and lots of mney

br435 said:   My wife and I live in a 1 bedroom apartment (maybe 650-700) square feet so the primary concern is space more so than economy...
 

Please don't start thinking you need a bigger apartment, house or car for your infant.  They're small and don't take up a lot of space.  You'll do just fine in your 1 bedroom apartment for a (long) while.   



bottle brush
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br435 said:   
rwongsmu said:   Diapers, breast pump, bottles, cooler, nipples,cleaning wand, swaddles, old tablet with YouTube .... That's all you need to survive
  What's a cleaning wand? That one is new to me.
 

Probably a bottle brush.

An infant swing was a sanity saver for us. He actually slept in the thing for the first couple of months.....he would flat not sleep in a regular crib until about 3-4 months, and from research that's not unusual. I was worried with safety, but our doctor said it was fine. Also a white noise machine. And swaddle sacks..

Basically you are trying to recreate the womb as close as possible.

I wouldn't worry about buying a lot of toys and crap at this point. The first few months they aren't doing much. We did have some kind of bouncy seat/lounger, that he could be strapped into and it vibrated. Those are cheap and good to have when a break from holding them is needed.

Congrats and enjoy. It'll fly by....even though it won't feel like it the first couple months.

And don't stress too much, nobody really knows what they are doing the 1st time. We sure didn't but he survived, LOL.

rufflesinc said:   lots and lots of mney

Babies are cheap...unless you are paying for daycare.

rascott said:   
rufflesinc said:   lots and lots of mney

Babies are cheap...unless you are paying for daycare.

  i plan to wait until i retire

I agree, you really don't need extra space for at least the first year or two. As new parents you will most likely try to keep the child nearby anyway.

I would 100% recommend you make sure the baby has its own bed, and that it ALWAYS sleeps in it. Do not make the mistake of letting the baby sleep on you, or in your bed, you will pay for it for years. With your size apartment I would recommend you just get a bassinet for at least the first year. It will save you a ton of space over a crib, and you will be able to move it around. I would try to get used to letting the child sleep in the living room, and not always within the same room as you. Again this will pay off in the long run. Letting the child sleep with you, or even in the same room as you, can be a hard habit to break in the long run.

Outside of that, I wouldn't by a ton of stuff in advance. Bottles and accessories, some clothes, ect.. If you are having a baby shower, you might get almost everything you need from it. Don't buy a ton of newborn diapers, you might not end up needing any if the baby is big when born. A lot of people make this mistake and have to end up wasting them. A lot will depend on your individual child. We had one child that loved to be in a swing/bouncer all the time, and one child that totally hated it. I would wait until the child is born, and then buy those things at WalMart, and test them out with him/her. If they like it, keep it, if not, return it.

hairybeast said:   Small crib or bassinet unless you want to be sleeping with your child until the are 5 or so. It will be tough on the child for sure and sometimes the parent(s) to put the kid in their own bed once you have co-slept for a while and it will likely kill your bedroom intimacy while they are sleeping with you.
  
Michigan's CPS and HHS runs ads on TV pretty regularly (HHS bullet point list) about the danger of sleeping in the same bed as your baby. Their main point is the risk of rolling over on the baby or suffocating in blankets and their recommendation is alone on their back in an empty crib.

As far as cloths, toys, strollers (depending on location) there are local groups on facebook that people post there baby stuff for sale. Kids grow and change needs so quick that these items are often unused or show little signs of use. Also you can look for a www.onceuponachild.com store they have very nice new/second hand items for sale.

You can get a lot of the toys, strollers, high chairs, monitors, bouncers, walkers, and clothes at a second hand store called Once Upon a Child. They have stores all over the US. Items are usually in fabulous condition and about 20-30% of the actual retail cost.

hairybeast said:   Small crib or bassinet unless you want to be sleeping with your child until the are 5 or so. It will be tough on the child for sure and sometimes the parent(s) to put the kid in their own bed once you have co-slept for a while and it will likely kill your bedroom intimacy while they are sleeping with you.
  A pack and play works great for this when they're under the age of 1.

dcwilbur said:   
br435 said:   My wife and I live in a 1 bedroom apartment (maybe 650-700) square feet so the primary concern is space more so than economy...
Please don't start thinking you need a bigger apartment, house or car for your infant.  They're small and don't take up a lot of space.  You'll do just fine in your 1 bedroom apartment for a (long) while.   

  Before we moved to a different area, we had a one bedroom apartment (condo technically) and I worked at home.

SpiderPKT said:   As far as cloths, toys, strollers (depending on location) there are local groups on facebook that people post there baby stuff for sale. Kids grow and change needs so quick that these items are often unused or show little signs of use. Also you can look for a www.onceuponachild.com store they have very nice new/second hand items for sale.
  If you're lucky, there will be people giving stuff away (i.e. clothes, bottles, etc.).

The only thing you really should buy new is a car seat.

Not sure if you're being sarcastic or you are genuinely scared of having a baby. Either ways, the baby is there now (well almost). You cannot go back in time. Take it as a blessing. Look at all the benefits - STRESSBUSTER and SMILE MACHINE. You didn't say how much you are making. But as long as your household income can cover for basic needs - clothes, food, diapers and daycare (if both are working), you will be ok. Savings - look out for deals. Consignment sales, multiple FB groups with online garage sales, craigslist, fiends and family. Little babies do not need toys. They need same things as adults - food, clothing and shelter.

The fact that you are looking for advice, tells me you do want to give it your 110%. which is great. You'll love being a parent. Enjoy this time. Congrats!

rufflesinc said:   lots and lots of mney
  We get it. You don't think having kids is a good idea financially.

No need for a crib. Use a dresser drawer, says the American Academy of Pediatrics: http://www.georgiahealthnews.com/2011/09/deaths-sleeping-babies-...

stanolshefski said:   
hairybeast said:   Small crib or bassinet unless you want to be sleeping with your child until the are 5 or so. It will be tough on the child for sure and sometimes the parent(s) to put the kid in their own bed once you have co-slept for a while and it will likely kill your bedroom intimacy while they are sleeping with you.
  A pack and play works great for this when they're under the age of 1.

  A pack-and-play will work great until they are two, unless they are 95%+ in height.

taylor0987 said:   No need for a crib. Use a dresser drawer, says the American Academy of Pediatrics: http://www.georgiahealthnews.com/2011/09/deaths-sleeping-babies-...
  A laundry basket works too. 

A membership to Sam's Club or Costco (maybe Amazon Mom)... the savings from just diapers and wipes alone was well worth it. Many babies have sensitive skin and cannot use the cheapest diapers... and the cheapest diapers can cost you big time in terms of ruining other things and your sanity. So, we had to do Huggies, but the generics at these stores are also good. We only used this for our third child and we could have probably saved enough to go on a nice vacation had we used it for our first two.

Dus10 said:   A membership to Sam's Club or Costco (maybe Amazon Mom)... the savings from just diapers and wipes alone was well worth it. Many babies have sensitive skin and cannot use the cheapest diapers... and the cheapest diapers can cost you big time in terms of ruining other things and your sanity. So, we had to do Huggies, but the generics at these stores are also good. We only used this for our third child and we could have probably saved enough to go on a nice vacation had we used it for our first two.

Defiantly do the Amazon Mom thing for diapers and wipes. Great prices and one less thing to have to mess with or remember.

I agree, don't get the cheap diapers. Pampers or Huggies. I don't see diapers being the expense that people make them out to be.

From Amazon the value packs get the cost of Pampers down to under 20c per diaper....so at worst a couple dollars per day. And that's when they are real little going through a lot of them.

Freecycle and craigslist to get stuff free/cheap.
Safe place to sleep, diapers, a few outfits, car seat.
We built our own bed attachment cosleeper for the first few months. Cost $30 in materials. Then he went into a pack and play for the next two years until moving into a twin bed.
Never had a problem with cheap diapers. There are ways to get the name brand with coupons deals for good prices.
Extras you don't necessarily need: baby swing or bouncer. Both my boys hated the bouncer, but the baby swing saved my life! Sadly you won't know which your kid will like.
Extra some love and some hate: Diaper pail. I love my diaper genie. I've been using it for 6 years straight between my two boys. We take our own garbage to the dump, so only once a month. Having it not stink of diapers is worth every cent.
Another life saver for my boys was a white noise/sound machine of some kind to help them sleep.
If you really want to save money, breastfeed. Sadly, I couldn't produce enough milk and had to combo feed. Get every free sample of formula you can get your hands on and get some from your pediatrician too. I was able to get about 6 months worth of formula needed to supplement my own milk free and then bought the generic store brand to get me to the 1 year mark when I could supplement with cow's milk.

Black market babies have great resell value. That's the fatwallet solution here.

Lots and lots and lots of coffee. Make sure to check out Hot Deals occasionally....

You DONT need a new car/minivan/SUV.

resist the temptation to buy toys for babies just because they are "cute" or you think they will love it. They probably won't. Before you know it your apartment will be littered with toys your kid never plays with and you won't want to throw it away because they are "Good toys" and you can't sell it because its all really just crap.

Also, this problem becomes exponentially worse as they get older. Grandparents/Aunts/Uncles/Friends all want to be the favorite, so they bring crap over every time they visit. Your life will be consumed by batteries and bubble machines. Set the precedent early. One to five good quality toys will be plenty for the first year. Then maybe one or two new toys each year, getting rid of the old stuff as you go.

Toys are so cheap now that every kid has everything and it completely ruins them. They become entitled and start to expect stuff every time someone walks through the door. We've had to institute a no gifts just for showing up rule and only one gift on birthday and christmas.

Your wife has most of what you'll need, bewbs.  The rest you'll figure out.

ceobeaver said:   
Toys are so cheap now that every kid has everything and it completely ruins them. They become entitled and start to expect stuff every time someone walks through the door. We've had to institute a no gifts just for showing up rule and only one gift on birthday and christmas.

  But if they are so cheap ...

once you are in "the network" you can get a lot of things free.  We dump off literally garbage bags full of clothing at people's houses with children younger than ours all the time.  Everybody wants to get rid of their stuff, you can be the recipient of that stuff if the word gets out.  You shouldn't have to spend a penny on newborn-1 year clothes, or really, if you get linked up with the right people, after that for a long time.  Somebody just gave us boxes and boxes of diapers, but that's more common at older ages as they get close to potty training.  Breast pumps are often covered under insurance, and people are always looking to get rid of those, and bottles, too, usually for free.  Sounds like you know people already so just get that stream rolling and you don't have to worry about buying much.  Car seats, strollers, etc too, usually people dump them for free or close to it. 

You'll probably end up buying some diapers and wipes. 

Sign up with formula companies for coupons. Don't think baby will never have formula - you don't know so you might as well have those coupons ready.

bluegreenturtle said:   
  Car seats, strollers, etc too, usually people dump them for free or close to it. 

 


  Always buy critical safety equipment new, and register it with the manufacturer so you get notified of recalls.


Also... a used car seat sounds like a disgusting proposition.  
It's one thing to deal with your own kid's filth, but I unless you are buying a completely new seat cover for a used car seat, I'm not sure I could be made to believe that the seat was clean...

arch8ngel said:   
Also... a used car seat sounds like a disgusting proposition.  
It's one thing to deal with your own kid's filth, but I unless you are buying a completely new seat cover for a used car seat, I'm not sure I could be made to believe that the seat was clean...

  I draw the line between vaccination and germaphobia. Vaccinations are necessary. Pets and dirt are OK to help the immune system development after one year from birth.

Must haves: Car seat, safe sleeping space (pnp, crib, cosleeper...something), clothing, diapers

My additional must haves: baby carrier (K'tan for newborn, Ergo for older), burp cloths, at least one place to put the baby like swing or bouncer (baby may only like one or the other), comfortable place to change baby (I bought a pnp w/the changer top and have used the changer top on the bed in our bedroom for the lasty 2.5yrs...even without the pnp), breastpump and bottles (if working) or bottles if formula.

Things we really needed multiples of: burp cloths, changing table covers, blankets.

Pen & paper. Track your baby's schedule (food, naps, diaper changes), once you start to see patterns you can slowly adjust the baby's schedule to more closely align with yours. We use the EASY schedule (eat, activity, sleep, you time) and it worked great for our kids but YMMV.

http://noobmommy.com/2008/12/easy-routine-from-baby-whisperer.ht...

Skipping 87 Messages...
Seity said:   
br435 said:   Thank you all for the advice! Very much appreciated.

A more specific question - any thoughts on the need for baby specific washing detergents (for clothes, bottles, dishes)? Infant specific shampoos?

  Waste of money. I always tossed my kid's clothing in with ours and use the same soaps and shampoos that we use on them.

  That's why the whole family switched to free and clear laundry detergent.



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