Photo by Amanda_Jeanne
Have you been buying things for the new baby?
I don't have much. I've bought him two onesies and a pair of Batman PJ's with a little detachable Velcro cape. The Navy offers a free program for expectant parents called "Budgeting for Baby" which I attended, and at the end you get a little bag called "Baby's First Seabag" and they throw in lots of onesies, bibs, receiving blankets, booties, and a crocheted afghan, so those are all the baby supplies I have for now.
I've been afraid to buy things because I didn't want to "jinx" my pregnancy, and also we're in the process of moving, so I figured that would be less stuff to pack and unpack.
Did you register and, if so, how did you approach what you registered for?
I registered at Babies R Us and Target but I haven't put many items on the lists so far. I will probably keep the registries very simple, asking for the stuff we really need like diapers or burp cloths. I don't want to ask for an expensive travel system or baby furniture. The baby won't remember or know what he's sitting or sleeping in, and I'm sure he isn't going to get angry with me if I get an inexpensive item versus an expensive one.
What do you feel you really *need* for the baby? What are the essentials, and what can you live without?
I feel the baby will need clothing, diapers and wipes, a safe place to sleep (whether it's a crib, bassinet, or co-sleeping), a car seat, stroller or sling, a simple baby first aid kit, and we'll need feeding tools (bottles and a breast pump).
Personally, I think changing tables are pointless. You could just as easily change the baby on the floor or the couch with a towel underneath. There are a lot of products out there that seem nifty, but moms for thousands of years have gotten by just fine without wipe warmers and exersaucers.
Tips or strategies on buying smartly for baby in general?
Not everything has to be new. Craigslist is great for bargains on all kinds of baby things. If you have friends or family who have kids and saved their old furniture and things, see if you can get some hand-me-downs. (I have a cousin who gave me a nice high chair and baby bathtub, and a lot of girls I work with are bringing me some of their old baby clothes.)
Clip coupons, shop online, and compare prices before you head out to a store. Ask other moms what things they couldn't live without so you know what NOT to waste your money on.
You can do things little by little, too. A girl I work with started to buy a box of diapers with each paycheck after she passed the 12 week mark and she's due next month, so now she has a nice stock pile ready!
Every mom wants the best for their new bundle, but at the same time you have to keep in mind that the baby won't remember about all of the "stuff" in his babyhood. The main thing they will need is a lot of love and affection -- and that's always free and easy to give!
How are you trying to save money as you prepare for your new baby? What things are you skipping, getting used, or trying to do in a more pared-down way?