So far, Alex and I have really been hit with the reality of all the things we need to have for our first baby. It is easy to start out thinking of the simple things like needing to have diapers, wipes and cute clothes for your new baby, but there are so many other things to keep in mind as well! I would say that Alex is much more forward thinking than me when it comes to planning for this baby. She spends a lot of time doing research and making lists and sending me ideas of things that she finds. There are some major things to think about material and money wise before you have a baby and we are experiencing them in waves as we prepare for our first. Here are a few of the big ones that we have identified so far.
1) Baby Furniture
Now when I think of baby furniture, I automatically think of a crib and maybe a changing table. But I have come to learn that there is so much more that comes with that. It was very early on that we realized we will need a decent chair both in our room for when our baby girl first comes home and in the nursery for those late night feedings and wake up calls. To me, this will be essential if you want to stay comfortable on the many nights you are up with your little one and don’t want to take them too far from their place of sleep. I envision picking our little girl up with a bottle and sitting right down in the chair to rock her while I feed her and then putting her right back to bed (unless there is changing to be done of course).
I am assuming that most of you have also heard of Pak-N-Plays. This is something that I actually have a little experience with. Alex and I watched our niece when she was 8 months old and the Pak-N-Play my sister gave us to use was so versatile and easy to use. It folded up easily to transport and was easy to set up once we were at our place. Our niece used it to sleep in while she was with us and it was a nice place for her to play in our view to keep her away from chords and things while we fixed food or needed to do something. Definitely a must for traveling as well, I’d say.
I don’t know if everyone will count this as furniture, but bouncers are awesome. I think my niece has used her bouncer seat every single day. It can serve as a place to eat, to sleep, and to just sit and play. They are relatively light and easy to move around and great for the first year. Our niece used to like to sit in her bouncer with a bottle while she would drink and grab her feet.
Lastly is a dresser for your little one. In the crash course on babies that I have had, they may be going through clothes faster than anyone you know. Growing so much so fast means new clothes all the time and places to put them. We already got a decent dresser/changing table on Facebook Marketplace for a great price and it was in really good shape. I think it is essential for anyone to have storage in order to keep you sane.
Now I know this is an obvious one, but I didn’t really realize how many diapers newborn babies go through. I was thinking ‘okay, so maybe 3 a day or so, not too bad’. But no… It is more like 10-12 a day for newborns and the scary thing is that sometimes newborn babies don’t even really stay in newborn diapers for long at all. I was ready to get several boxes of newborn diapers when Alex informed me that sometimes a newborn may only need the newborn size for a little while or not at all. But some people have kind of figured out an estimated number of diapers for each age in months. From what I have seen, it is generally something like this:
- 0-1 Month, at Newborn or Size 1, about 320 Diapers
- 1-5 Months, at Size 2, about 870 Diapers
- 5-9 Months, at Size 3, about 870 Diapers
- 9-12 Months, at Size 4, about 728 Diapers
Now that is a lot of diapers and I believe that is a good estimate in what you may want to start stocking up on. Truth be told, Alex and I haven’t really started stocking up yet… We kind of wanted to wait until we got into our new house so we don’t have to move a bunch more stuff when it comes time. But believe me, we will be starting to stock up very soon!
3) Feeding Accessories
I know that when I thought about feeding a baby I just thought of breastfeeding, bottles, and eventually little jars of baby food, right? Well it is somewhat right and maybe it would have been right years ago. But there are so many different things to help with feeding now. It is kind of crazy. Whether you plan on breastfeeding or formula, you need things for both. With both, there are things that are essential and things that aren’t. So for fun, we will just pick the things that we think are going to be very useful. For breastfeeding, I didn’t even think about the mom needing to pump often and putting away breastmilk for later. So early on for breastfeeding and formula, we need:
- Nursing blankets to cover up (breastfeeding)
- Breastpump for when mom can’t be with baby or if we need to have a supply
- Bottles for pumped milk and for formula
- Bottle warmer (not essential, but very handy)
- Nursing pillow to make things more comfortable
- Nursing bra (I didn’t know these things existed until we went to a baby store. I guess I can see how they would be very handy for mom)
- Lots and lots of formula if you are going that route
- Bibs and burping rags (yeah babies are messy)
- Cleaning and sanitizing accessories for the bottles
- Drying rack
Now once you start introducing your baby to solid food, you are going to need things like spoons, and all of the different foods to try. I have seen that now baby food comes in pouches as well that you can squeeze. To me, this is really cool because you can avoid a lot more mess and they are easy to use.
Now some of you may be lucky enough not to need childcare and have the ability to either stay home with your little one or maybe a relative has offered to watch your baby. But a lot of people, including me, didn’t realize how big a deal childcare was. Now when I say that, I mean that I didn’t realize how hard it was to get into a good program or how much those good programs cost! I don’t think it even popped into our head when we were thinking about budgeting at first. If you are planning on childcare, you have probably heard that you need to start well in advance of your due date because spots fill up quick. We ended up calling several different childcare facilities and just getting prices and what all they offered before doing any tours. We really wanted to have cameras, (yes we would probably be those crazy people at work that are always looking at their kid on camera and freaking out about how the person watching them is doing something wrong) but we were also really concerned about security and the overall feel of the place we were going to be leaving our baby girl. So let me walk you through how the tour went with the place we ended up choosing.
We started by picking a day to meet. What was really cool was the attention to detail of the center we chose. They had already taken note of everything we had talked about on the phone, including our little girls name, when my wife is due, what we were looking for, etc. That went a long way for me because it made it more personal. Before we even went throught the doors, the owner showed us how the security system worked. He showed us the sign in plus the handprint scanner for the door which is only coded for the parents. He let us know how it would work if someone else came to pick up our kid. They would need to have a password that we had chosen as well as notice from us beforehand and two forms of picture ID. The whole orientation on security actually took quite a while. When we finally got through the doors, we were greeted with a very clean and fun atmosphere. It honestly reminded me of school as a little kid with artwork by the kids all over. We were told about their curriculum and what our child would be learning as they progressed through the system. We got to see a newborn area and ask questions to the teacher inside. All of these new areas were full of new security procedures as well. In the end, you could just tell that they really wanted to cover every little thing.
One question that Alex asked which I know is a big thing now days is about vaccinations. Now we believe in vaccinations and our concern was whether they allowed kids in the school that weren’t vaccinated. I wish I would have thought up some more questions like this to ask before taking our tours and I urge anyone else looking at childcare to do the same.
In the end, there are a lot of things to be planning for. It really comes down to your preference and what is feasible for you. We are still in the midst of finding more things we might want or need. But plan! And make sure you ask questions. I am sure we will be learning even long after our first is born. Thanks for hanging around and let us know if you have any questions or if you have any comments. We are open to learning more and can use the help!