Oh, the excitement a new baby brings to a couple is palpable! Who can resist dreaming of little baby feet wearing the most adorable baby shoes, and all of the other sweet soft things that go along with them? Nothing gets a bunch of women more excited than shopping for baby things – just ask us.
But here is the deal: most of the stuff marketed towards new moms are not necessary… at all. By the time kid number two rolled around, I had realized a lot of this. I did not go out and buy a bunch of clothes or matching baby bedding sets. I realized that the money spent on such things would be better used elsewhere. Of course there may be those who will swear that they could not live without Gizmo X or DooDad Y, but in general I learned to stick to the basics the second time around.
Babies don’t need much
A car seat, bed, milk and diapers. Really. I remember stressing out that I just HAD to have my daughter’s nursery decorated, stocked and perfect well before her due date, only to not really set foot in it until 3 months later. The second time around, I knew that if I had a car seat installed and a few boxes of diapers and wipes, all would be OK. The truth is that babies will sleep, poop, and eat nonstop for the first few weeks. They don’t care if their room looks like it came out of a magazine or that their diaper bag matches their stroller.
They use things for a VERY short time
Hand me downs are a mom’s best friend. With my first child, I thought that everything should be new and matching. My the time number two came around, I learned to accept the blessings other moms wanted to share. Infant car seats, clothes, strollers, swings, bouncers, toys are all great second hand. Usually they are only used a short time and are in great condition.
You will want the money for other things
Here are some of the things that I wish I could have registered for instead of activity gyms and baby blankets: cleaning service, diapers, formula, babysitting, a dinner out, books to read while nursing. The BEST thing I bought for my second pregnancy was an iPad mini. I was happy to sit in a chair and nurse my bundle of joy 24/7 as long as I could binge watch Scandal or finish the Hunger Games Trilogy while doing so.
So, If you are expecting a baby and feel stressed out trying to make everything perfect, try to learn from what I know now.