Parents are using their money more wisely during tough economic times. Purchasing necessary baby gear is done on a budget just like all major purchases. It is possible to get everything needed for your new baby and stay within your means if you remember to stick with the basic essential items you need for your new baby.
You will have to have a car seat in order to take your baby home from the hospital. Plan on needing a car seat for the trip home even if you do not have a car. You do not have to buy the most expensive seat, but you need to buy a safe one. You need to buy a car seat which will be rear facing for your infant so make sure the item you pick meets this standard. The benefit of the infant car seat / carrier is that it allows you to take baby out of the car without needing to disturb her and remove her from the car seat.
If you want to save money, consider buying a convertible car seat. These seats can be used in the rear facing and in the forward facing configurations, so you will be able to use the convertible car seat past your baby’s first year. Always check the weight limit on the seat and get one with the highest possible weight limit so you can get the most use of this item.
Whether you choose cloth diapers or disposables, you will need a nice supply of diapers when your baby is born. Stock up on diapers when you can since newborns can go through between eight and ten diapers per day. It is a good idea to keep receipts, though, as you may find that there is a brand that you do not like or that your baby is sensitive to.
Baby clothes are one thing that everyone loves to buy. You can generally expect to get many items of clothing if you have a baby shower. However, you do not need tons of little tiny clothes, because your baby will outgrow them quickly. Get a couple of packages of onsies, about six sleepers, and two or three “going out” outfits in the smallest couple of sizes, and then wait to see how big your baby is and how quickly he grows. Do not forget to get some blankets, even if it is warm where you life. If you live in a cold climate, invest in some warm blankets and warmer clothes.
Unless you plan to co-sleep with your baby, you will need a place for her to sleep. Your baby will likely outgrow a bassinet rather quickly. If you are looking to stretch your budget, purchase a nice, but affordable, crib. You will need at least three crib sheets and a mattress pad for the crib, but you do not need the fancy ornamental blankets and bumpers. Baby will be fine using a traditional blanket without the decorations.
Stroller or Carrier
A stroller or infant carrier is a must if you intend to go anywhere with your baby. You do not necessarily need both, but you will need an easy way to transport baby on shopping trips and walks. A stroller is probably the most frugal choice, because it can be used by your child well into the preschool years, but you may feel more comfortable having your baby close in a carrier.