Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Top 5 Newborn Essentials

If you read my post yesterday, you know I'm not using the term "need", as I believe all a baby really needs is his or her [nursing] mommy. My top 5 items collectively cost around: $650, having said that, you don't "need" all these items, but if I was going to just buy 5 items for my baby these would be them.

These items allow you to diaper them, carry them, feed them, travel them, and lay them down. Mind you, to make this list 5 and not 6---they will be naked unless you of course---clothe them. That's what grandparents are for! A pack of 5 onesizes are $10 either way.

My 5 Newborn Essentials:

1. Cloth Diapers & Wipes @ $250
2. ErgoInfant Insert @ $150
3. Nursing cover @ $30
4. Car Seat @ $120
5. Pack N Play @ $100

Photo Credit: Cloth Diaper Talk Blog

Newborns poop. A lot. I'd say a fair average is 12 diaper changes a day. I'm not going to lie,Pamper Swaddlers size Newborn are awesome! However, at about $.25 a pop you will be doing some expensive throwing away those first few months years.

I wrote a post already explaining my love for cloth diapering, so let me be concise here and say, in about 2-4 months [depending on how many you buy] you can purchase all the diapers you'd need for the first three years of your child's life OR you could keep throwing away $50-75 a month [depending on the brand & amount used daily].

Did I mention you can hand those down to the next child? Can't do that with a disposable.

Recommendation for a newborn diapers:
BumGenius 4.0 [Recommend 12-24 for newborn]
[I purchase from, but amazon has similar prices]

Recommendation for baby wipes:
Disposable [found at Costco]

Photo Credit:

I've been a baby wearer as long as I've been a mom. I purchased an Ergo more than 5 years ago and still use it weekly while I clean, cook, watch the older kids at the park, grocery shop, hike, etc. When you have one child, I suppose the option to always sit and hold them is an option [that I took for months in my PJ's], but after you have two...that option is long gone. You have to be on your feet chasing one, while keeping the other happily bouncing around [my preference...on my back!].

I think baby wearing is good for their digestive system, their brain, and most importantly their heart. Held babies are happy babies. Puts mine right to sleep or entertains & hushes up a cranky baby.

There is no way I could take care of my house or the other children with it.

I like the Ergo because it's ergonomically made for your body and thus takes all the pressure off your shoulders and back and puts it on your hips...where we were meant to carry weight. The infant insert is a great addition for those first few months.

I can still carry my three year old in it [not that I do got legs buddy, walk]. My husband likes to wear it, and it's got the option to wear on your front, back, or side. Don't be fooled by imitations, at least borrow someone's before purchasing and see if you can wear "those others brands" for more than a few hours. I will say, I now also own a Boba and it is very similar to the Ergo. If you have extra money, I enjoy using a Karma Baby sling those first few weeks, months, but if I had to just purchase one thing, it would be the Ergo.

Photo Credit: Junior Towne Website

I would have made "Breastfeeding" for #3, but you can't exactly purchase that, which is is the point---it saves you hundreds of dollars! Not all women can breastfeed, or choose to, and I respect that, so in that case replace nursing cover with formula---a babies gotta eat! If you can breastfeed I highly recommend it for several reasons, one being, saving money. Formula costs around $30 a week, give or take depending on type and amount. Imagine saving around $1000+ their first 12 months!

Having said all that, a nursing cover is a very practical and easy way to make nursing in public, and or around your friends & family in your home modest experience for everyone. I saw one before I had my first at a baby expo and thought they were so silly and dumb. Fast forward twelve months later of carrying around a huge heavy hot blanket that the baby constantly ripped off my chest and it was my first purchase for baby #2.

They are small, light weight, can fold up easily and be stored in your Ergo. I also use mine as a little blanket sometimes for the baby in their carseat. I purchased one online from BeBe Au Lait [also known as Hooter Hiders], but now they sell them almost everywhere for different brands and at different prices. You can even sew your own!

Photo Credit: Grace Snugride Infant Car Seat Blog

One of the mistakes I made as a first time mom was buying the wrong carseat. I didn't know what I was looking for. I bought a $250+ carseat that was:

a. too heavy
b. too bulky to fit in restaurant booths
c. didn't fit on grocery cart bars
d. sat my baby up way too straight
e. had an uncomfortable handle for carrying
f. had a shade that didn't move or cover the babies face

Thankfully there was Craigslist to rid myself of my mistake and I went out an bought a much better one that met my above personal requirements, didn't break the bank and just so happen to be highly rated with Consumer Reports.

There are two types of carseats for infants. Those that are infant carriers [can be carried into a store and or attach to a stroller] [up to 30+ lbs], and convertible carseats, those who grow with your child [5-70 lbs]. I personally like the infant carriers because I like to take the babies in places in their seat [especially when they fall asleep], but I would say that the best buy for your buck would be a convertible.

I bought the Graco Snugride, it was the top a few years ago. Light and comfty.

According to Consumer Reports: [currently]

The top 5 infant carseats are: 

1. Chicco KeyFit
2. Maxi-Cosi Mico
3. The First Years Via 1450
4. Safety 1st Designer 22
5. Graco Snugride

The top 5 convertible carseats are:

1.  Cosco Scenera
2. Evenflo Symphony
3. Graco ComfortSport
4. Maxi-Cosi Priori
5. Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite

Photo Credit: Costco Baby High Chair Blog

By far, probably my most treasured and used item through out having these three boys has been our pack n play. We did buy a Ikea crib [$129], but looking back it probably wasn't necessary. Pack n plays take up less space in a room, cost less, travel well and sleep a child just as easily. They wash easily too and you can even buy a cover to protect them. They last kids still sleep in a pack n play at my moms that is 14 years old and looks like new. We've traveled to 8 states for work, and many more states for vacations dragging the same pack n play with us everywhere. Currently, it's been Moses "crib" the last year.

Save your money on a changing table...they come with one! Save your money on a expensive mobile...they come with one! Save your money on several bouncy seats and other safe places to hold the baby. The pack and play is as good for sleeping as it is for letting them safely play with some soft toys in.

It nicely pulls up close to your bed those first few days, weeks, months like a co-sleeper, or is perfect in a room by itself. Mine is no longer available for purchase, but I think this Safety 1st one for $100 is a great buy since it comes with all the bells and whistles. You can find them plain for around $40, or fancy for over $300. Don't be deceived, anything around $70-100 is more than sufficient.

---Keep in mind---
You can find all these items at Consignment Sales, Consignment shops, 
your friends closet, eBay, Craigslist, or Goodwill. Ask around!
Or make yourself, well except for the carseat maybe!


  1. Great list! I got a wrap this time around and like it much better for the newborn stage than I do the Ergo w infant insert. I still love my Ergo for them as they get older. I have worn baby in wrap with toddler on my back in Ergo.

  2. Awesome list! We were given all the above at our baby shower, except I bought a few more diapers. I love our BumGenius, but fill out the stash with prefolds which are a little more economical. Thanks for refocusing new moms on what really matters! Oh, and while Ergo is my favorite, too... I loved my Moby wrap those first few months :-)

  3. I put a nursing cover on my registry, Papillion I think was the style/color. Anyway it was black and magenta, real pretty. I didn't care that it was pink and I am having a boy - hey, I wanted something pretty and feminine for me!! Well my sister decided that I couldn't have pink since my baby is a boy and got me the same thing but in blue and chocolate! I thought that was funny!

    Instead of the Ergo, my SIL got me fabric to make a baby carrier. I totally like the idea and hope I like using it once the baby comes. I went to for instructional videos. My mom said that she didn't trust just using the fabric to hold the baby, I replied that the women in Africa wear their babies with fabric everyday! She wasn't sure how to respond to that and quite frankly I was surprised I said it. Usually I am not good with quick combacks!

    Since my son will be the first on my side of the family, my mom, sister, and grandmothers went nuts buying things for the baby. They got all the big items (crib, travel system, changing table, dresser, pack n play, crib bedding, etc.) Think of how much all that costs, then add in shipping! They live in Ohio and we are in Atlanta! We have not had to buy one thing! I am truly thankful for everything, but feel a bit guilty that they spent so much! Thankfully everything can be used for future childern, boy or girl.

    I will be cloth diapering after about a month and will be using the 4.0. I love the designer ones - too cute! They are a little more but I can deal with that!

  4. Love it - people are already starting to ask what I "need" for our new baby girl. If it was a boy I'd say clothes...since it's a girl I say NOTHING! :) There are a couple little things I'll pick up but my only "big" purchase will be some sort of carrier. I've heard good things about Ergos, slings and more. No idea what I want though :)

  5. I'm an "old mom", not new or expecting....great list!... But I must add the peg perego carrier carseat was the only one that fit my little bitty inisfree perfectly... Not making her up to straight and not making me have to stuff blankets around her to hold her in (she was born 5.1 and was 4.14 two days later).
    I never used a nursing cover... Or a blanket actually.... With the boys and not Until someone made me conscious of it with inisfree (yes, I was one of THOSE people).... Then I only used it at church so the other person would be more comfortable around me. If I was to do it again, I'd probably get a nursing cover for in public.



Related Posts with Thumbnails