Baby Boot Camp: Do Babies Really Need All That Stuff?

Sona Charaipotra

Kenzie's Hideout
Photo by Momma0f2girls
As a new first-time mom -- yes, I'm typing this with one hand -- I'll be exploring the often stressful, always magical first six weeks of little one's life with the scoop on things like car seats, cradle cap, cuddle time, and other newborn issues in CafeMom's Baby Boot Camp.

Right before Kavya was born, my husband and I bought our first place -- a really lovely one-bedroom duplex in Jersey City, just across the river from Manhattan. It makes for an easy commute, it's nestled between two parks and lots of little shops and restaurants, and with two floors, it feels like a little house.

Little being the operative word.

While our apartment oozes charm (we've got exposed brick, high ceilings, and lots of sunlight), it clocks in at just over 700 square feet. We knew it'd be a tight fit -- even when there were just two of us -- but we needed to find something we could carry on our budget.

And so Kavi shares our room. And our living room. And our kitchen. And our bathroom. You're probably starting to get the picture. Who knew that babies could need so much stuff? We've got the high chair stashed away in the building's communal basement and we got rid of that massive swing (she wasn't fond of it anyway), but there's the crib, the bouncer (which takes up most of our tiny living room's floor space), the play mat, the stroller, the car seat, the diaper disposal, the diaper basket, changing pads, and other paraphernalia, plus toys and books and who knows what else. Plus bottles, the bottle warmer, sterilizer, and my pump. That's just our streamlined, apartment-friendly version of the baby must-have list. Not to mention Kavi's dresser full of cute frocks, onesies, and rompers.

It all adds up fast -- money-wise, but also in terms of space. And while we love our little one, we also want to feel like grown-ups with a grown-up home -- space for our own books and toys (my husband is a tech junkie), real furniture, and adult conversation. Stepping over a swing or bouncer to get to the cozy couch isn't very conducive to that.

Guess it's time to trim the baby gear shopping list some more. Kavi will have to do without the jumper, the pack-n-play, the glider, and its partner, the ottoman. At least until we can afford to give her a room of her own. I think she'll manage. At least we'll know better when we have the next one.

What baby gear would you nix from your newborn necessities list?

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