Last weeks of pregnancy mean shopping for baby stuff, right? You know, all those cute outfits, nursery furniture, dummies, bottles, toys, wiper warmers, prams, decorations, changing tables, linens, towels, sleeping bags, books… Internet and parental magazines are loaded with monstrous lists of stuff that seems to be absolutely necessary for human baby to survive. What is REALLY necessary?Â In my humble opinion the list is fairly simple. As an added bonus it’s also short and cheap:
Clothes – if you live in Finland, you can even skip that part and just relay on the famous KELA box. If you are not as lucky and live somewhere else, the contents of the box are really well thought, so just copy that list to your notebook and hit the streets.
Diapers – I’m a huge fan of cloth diapers, so would definitely recommend that option. It’s cheaper, healthier, greener. There is the cuteness factor to consider as well. Cloth diapers are super easy to use- most of them you just put on just like you would put a disposable diaper. Used diapers can be placed in a bucket with a lid (they are not half as smelly as disposable ones, trust me) and wait for washing there. Depending on how many diapers you will buy, you do the laundry every second or every third day. In my experience it’s something like 5 minutes extra per day if you compare to using disposables. Oh, wait. Actually it’s zero. You have to get the disposables from the store and then take them to the trash bin outside, so it evens out. Also worth mentioning that this whole diaper thing is optional as well if you decide to go diaper free. It’s not as crazy as it sounds, really.
Baby carrier – uhm, it means you don’t really-truly need to splash out close to 1kâ‚¬ for a pram/ stroller. You don’t need it. OK, maybe you think you need it, but really, your baby thinks otherwise. Human babies are born to be carried, not wheeled around. Your baby will be happier and calmer being close to you. Her spine and hips will be happier too. She will learn so much more than just looking at the sky from the pram. You will be happier, because you don’t have to push around a heavy, bulky thing and you can go to all the places you used to go (think forest or stairs) without re-routing or other logistical challenges. I can go on and on about this, so I guess another post is coming soon :D
Boobs – right, technically, you cannot buy those. They come attached to the mother. Point here being that if you plan on breastfeeding you can skip the whole formula-bottle-dummy thingy and keep your â‚¬. They are not necessary and in fact, research shows that just having this stuff at home can undermine breastfeeding. So, if you are serious about breastfeeding, skip the artificial feeding stuff. If it truly becomes necessary, you will know where to find it. Educate yourself instead. Learn about Booby Traps, go through the checklist for breastfeeding success, read about normal newborn behavior and relax. It will all work out.
Car sear – this is essential, even if you don’t own a car yourself. You will have to transport your baby every once in a while in a taxi or friend’s car. I’m a big fan of buying things second hand, but not this. When you buy secondhand, you have no idea if it has been in an accident or not. Also, don’t buy a seat just because it’s cheap or because it looks nice. Visit autoliito’s site and study the test results. Then buy whatever has the best score. This is about your baby’s safety. Eeore hit the nail on the head: I’m not saying there won’t be an Accident now, mind you. They’re funny things, Accidents. You never have them till you’re having them. Remember that car seats are just that- car seats. They were not designed to be a universal baby container/ carrier/ travel system. Car seats are for cars, and should be used just there.
Everything else is totally optional. Yes, I mean that cot and the related nursery paraphernalia are optional. Baby expects that he will sleep with mama, not separated. That’s exactly the reason most babies cry when they are left alone. Promise, you will all get way more sleep when you put baby next to you. Yes, it is safe. At least as safe (if not actually safer) than crib.
It’s a short list. But really, babies need responsive parents, not stuff or pretty nursery. They need to be held, fed and feel safe. That’s it. It becomes a bit more complicated later (and you still won’t need a lot of stuff), but that’s a different story.