The Most Essential Things You Must Have Before Baby Arrives
The most essential items you should have before your baby arrives are the small things you might overlook and well…the big things too.
They are important to have at hand as they would free you from most of the post-baby arrival expenses that could soon burden you as a new parent.
But before we talk about what the essentials are, let’s first talk about the bumps along the way and how you can avoid them…
One of the most natural things a lot of women begin to think about after they find out they are pregnant is the baby nursery.
They dream about the colour, the theme, the furniture and the design (I must confess,I did too).
While it’s admirable and feeds well into the ecstatic moment of just discovering you’re pregnant, especially for the first time, it would be advisable to be objective about your choices so that you reduce the chances of buying unnecessary things and accumulating junk.
The same applies to new mums, who are over driven by the worry of the huge financial commitment ahead.
However,the flip side of worrying about the financial commitment is the first baby syndrome.
The first baby syndrome…
The first baby syndrome... Is a thing many new mums experience.
It isn’t a bad thing in itself but it makes us plunge money into things that might not be as useful as initially envisaged.
The first baby syndrome, makes us spend money on things our baby might never get to use according to Ayaba, a mother of two young children.
Jeanne, mother of a six-month-old boy, said that although she is a minimalist, she still ended up having a lot of outfits her baby didn’t need.
”I had 20 or 30 outfits”, she said.
Jeanne also said: ‘We bought a lot of cellular blankets because they were recommended by the hospital.”
She would find out later that sleeping bags were more practical for her because they kept baby warm as he couldn’t kick them off like he did his blankets.
And you can’t be practical if you have no budget, no objective or plan!
No budget, no objective, no plan…
Make a list and have a budget…
When resources are scarce and you have a bunch of things competing for limited funds, spending your money wisely becomes a must.
In addition to that, you need to buy smart; have a budget and make a list of every thing you need (an excel sheet on your device will do).
This way, you can start off before the pressure kicks in.
Being pragmatic is key at this time, according to Felicity, a mother of two.
She said that being pragmatic helped her to scale through the hurdles of her first pregnancy.
She had to settle for what was practical in order to avoid frivolous spending by constantly questioning the need to make certain purchases.
For example, was it better to buy a cot, a Moses basket, a carry cot or a play pen?
Practicality and long term use were her guiding objectives during this time.
With your list and budget in place, you now have a rough estimate of how much money you are going to spend.
I would suggest you write the prices of the items on your list and make little room for unforeseen spending. This way you are guided from the get go.
The next arsenal in your weaponry is to be strategic about your spending. You are half-way there, with a list prepared.
With an already prepared list, when friends and family offer to buy you things or if you need to ask for some hand-me-downs, you would know precisely what you need (and don’t be shy to ask if they meet with current safety standards and are in good condition.
We will be talking more about this in subsequent posts). This will help reduce clutter in your home.
Go for bargains…
When you decide to start shopping, it will be a good idea to look out for seasonal offers, deals and coupons where possible. Also, compare prices before you make any purchase. Thrift shops are another good place to find bargains and pre-owned items.
You can also find heavily discounted and pre-owned items on buy and sell apps like ebay, Thredup, Therealreal and Poshmark.
Another way could be, to set aside a big thing (a travel system or a cot and mattress etc) in a local shop near you and pay in installments, a few shops allow that.
Planning your shopping around these can help make your money go far.
On the other hand, if you love customised, handmade or vintage clothes, you may want to try Esty.
Set a monthly goal…
It’s also helpful to have a plan of what you would like to buy for each month, depending on how far gone you are.
You can set a monthly goal. For example, you may decide to buy a big thing like a high chair for instance and small things like beddings, diapers, wipes, nappy rash creams, diaper bags, disposal nappy bags, nursing bras and breast pads, baby bottles and sterilising tablets and things like that, in a month.
By so doing, you will cover a lot of ground before baby arrives.
Now, that we know the potential set backs and how to avoid them, we shall be taking a look at the most essential things to buy before the baby arrives…
The Most Essential Things Are…
The small things
Doing shopping for your baby can be both exciting and daunting at the same time. You would have a deluge of solicited and unsolicited advice from friends and family.
Besides, what works for one, might not work for the other and so you might find yourself in a maze of conflicting opinions and might get all the more confused.
Some of us, might have a clear idea of what we want but might be bugged down on how to go about deciphering what is most essential or not.
Let’s start with the small things or the consumables things.
Mina, a mother of four and grand mother, said:
”When resources are scarce, it’s unnecessary for impulsive buying,” since the baby would only need so much in the first few weeks home
She advised that new mums should invest in practical items like; good quality nursing bras and breast pads,nipple cream,feeding bottles, teats and bottle brush, sterilising tablets (if you are unable to breast feed exclusively),practical clothing items like baby grows and vests- long sleeves, short sleeves and sleeveless, socks, bibs; some cotton nappies, burp cloths, receiver blankets, rattles for sound recognition and things like that.
All the mothers we spoke to agreed that, diapers, baby wipes, disposal nappy bags and nappy rash creams are some small things you should stock up because they run out fast and would be handy for those wet months.
From my experience, stocking up on diapers is a must but be careful not to do too much of the newborn size, one or two packs may be good to start with because babies grow so fast and in some cases, maybe too small for some babies.
The practical thing I did was to stock up on all the other sizes from one – seven. I had a year’s supply.
It has been estimated that babies use about 2500 or more diapers a year. I would say to be on the safe side, you could buy about three boxes of each size. They are about 99 or more per box depending on the size.
You can always stock up for the future as you want. And most importantly, check for expiry dates and hold on to your receipts, just in case.
Just a note of caution here, if you worry about your baby’s skin reaction to certain brands, you might want to wait until your baby arrives. That way, you can test for the best diaper brand for baby before you decide to stock up.
The same applies to baby bath products. My eldest child reacted to certain brands as a baby, we had to keep trying until we found a suitable one for her.
Felicity said that, a secure place for her would be feeding bottles, a sterilising unit for cleaning baby food sets, towels and a few early years toys.
She also said:
Mothers like Ayaba and Jeanne both agree that it isn’t necessary to invest in a lot outfits for babies. Again, they advise it’s best to go easy on the newborn sizes and go for the larger sizes,instead.
In addition, you would also need; one or two cardigans, a shawl, flannels, hats, bootees, muslin squares, hair combs/ brushes, cotton pads, baby scissors, baby thermometer and changing mat.
The big things
When purchasing the big things, you have to bear in mind that they are expensive but good investment for subsequent babies.
For these, we are looking at a cot plus mattress, a sling, a carry cot, buggy, a bouncy chair, a travel system and things like that.
You can get preowned and discounted items like strollers, high chairs and swings from buy and sell apps like eBay and Mecari but be sure that they are in good condition and safe for baby.
Start early, buy smart and always ask for help…
So, mums! This list is inexhaustible and adjustable and could differ from person to person, therefore you can always add to your list and buy as you see fit.
The idea behind it, however, is to help you as a new mum, to navigate through this beautiful journey you are about to embark on, fully equipped. And remember to buy smart, start early and always ask for help.
You can please leave your comments below and tell us what worked for you…
19 thoughts on “The Most Essential Things You Must Have Before Baby Arrives”
Hi Ibi. This is a great guide for getting the most essential things that a baby needs when they get home from the hospital. I wish my wife and I had something like this when we had our son 2 years ago. It’s hard to guess what they will need. We had both a bassinet and a convertible bed/crib and he never ended up sleeping in the bassinet. He only slept in the crib, once it was converted into a bed. I do like the idea of the monthly budget. Sticking to the budget helps eliminate the things that aren’t essential. I didn’t realize that babies use 2500 diapers but it doesn’t surprise me. Thanks for sharing this informative post!
Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Having a baby is very exciting and a great learning experience for new parents.
I am glad this article helped in some ways.
I like what Felicity said about being pragmatic when preparing for your baby and it’s very easy to overspend. It is also good to start shopping early and look for sales to save money otherwise you will end up paying more. Nice article Ibi
Thank you so much for your contribution. I think also think so to. It helps to reduce waste.
Hey Ib, this is a very nice piece, a sure guide for expectant mums especially new ones. I was lucky to be guided by my sis when I was expecting my twin babies, I would have ended up buying lots of stuffs I wouldn’t have need for. Well done sis, sure way to go girl!!!
Thanks so much for your input. It’s always very nice to have someone guide you through this beautiful moment in your life so you avoid spending money needlessly.
I really enjoyed reading your article. I don’t have any kids at the time, but I show this article to my girlfriend. It is going to be very helpful shortly.
I find your strategy of budgeting and list-making to be something crucial not only when you are becoming a parent but also in life generally. Hope this article will reach a lot of new parents and help them on the way.
Keep up with good work.
Thank you very much for insight and that you have something in it you can work with. I wish you and your girl friend the best of luck in the future.
I am delighted that you found this article useful. It is important to be strategic, you are very correct to say that.
I wish you the best of luck in the future and hope you continue to find our tips useful.
Hi IB, I appreciate your choice of simple words and witty expressions such as “no budget, no objective, no plan” especially if you have limited resources.
Secondly, It points out the need to start early, building a scale of preference to avoid the pitfalls of “the overdrive” , and buying smart.
Very instructive IB, thanks a million.
Thank you very much. I am happy to know that you found the information instructive. We will keep our posts coming. Thank you
Interesting!! I remember buying everything and anything like you Ibi. I find the article on list and budget helpful. Buying more neutral colours new born for those who wish to go on more than one trip to delivery room is also wise. I will Sure recommend this to expectant mum.
Thanks so sharing your ideas. Neutral colours are very practical. Thank you for recommending this, this way your next body can use it irrespective of gender. Thank you.
Thanks for sharing this information in such a clear and concise manner. There are certainly some points in this article that are expectant mothers wouldn’t even think of. I completely agree with the suitcase full of unused clothing. Often people give gifts of clothing for newborns, not realising that everyone else had that idea and that the baby will grow out of them relatively fast!
Looking forward to your next post.
Thank you for sharing your experience.
The suitcases full of clothes is always a recent situation.
Hi, thanks for the useful article. My husband and I are expecting our 3rd baby and realize how little a baby actually needs. When we had our first baby, I thought too I needed so much more. But in reality they dont need a bunch of clothing because they outgrow it so fast! And we are finding out a mini play pen is the way to go for the 3rd baby! Good reading!
I am delighted to hear that you found this article helpful. Babies don’t really need much. Experience also teaches us that. Hopefully, you can reuse the things you bought for your other babies for this one.
Take care and talk to you again.
It is very helpful post. You made a good and interesting structure on how to prepare for baby arrival. I will also recommend to my friend to read your posts!
Thank you for your reply. I’m delighted that you found the write up helpful and will recommend it to friends. Please do. Thank you