Thursday, June 5, 2014

Purposeful Parenting: Essentials for Life with a Newborn

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There are very few items one needs for living with a newborn. But the few items you need are pretty important to making life go smoothly. What is an essential will vary person to person, but here are the items Jason and I could not have lived without for the first few months:
  • Receiving blankets
    • We had several blankets, but if we ever have another baby, I will make a few more. We used them all the time for the first six months for various reasons.
  • Burp cloths
    • We did not have enough of these, though we made do with what we had. If we have another, I will be making at least 6 more. These are useful for several things as well. 
  • Sleepers
    • We only used sleepers in the beginning to dress Bug. If you live in a warmer climate, you may find onesies and pants to be more appropriate (or just onesies, depending on how hot it is where you live!). We live in Michigan, and Bug was born in March, so it was quite cold. 
  • Bottles/breast pump/breasts
    • Let's face it: you need some way to get num nums into your baby's belly. You at least need breasts. I find a pump is really useful to get your supply up, and if you plan to be away from your baby for more than two hours for the first six months, you will need some sort of pump to extract milk, unless you want to hand express. If, for whatever reason, your baby isn't getting breast milk, you'll need formula. 
  • Diapers and wipes
    • Whether cloth or disposable, you'll need diapers and wipes. Oddly, I love cloth diapers, and I disliked cloth wipes. If we have another, I will re-visit cloth wipes. 
  • Car seat 
    • Most everyone will tell you not to buy a used car seat. Here's what I'll tell you: do what works best for you. If you feel comfortable buying used, do that. If you feel comfortable only buying new, do that. I bought a used car seat, and I have no regrets. We have since obtained a brand new car seat, so we'll be recycling our original soon. I would recommend buying a travel system: a car seat with accompanying stroller. I also recommend buying a car seat that goes up to 30 or more pounds. 
  • Baby bath tub
    • A friend gave us one shortly after Bug was born. She is a year old and still uses this, albeit without the sling. This has been one of the most useful items ever. 
  • Bassinet
    • For some reason, I thought, when I was pregnant, this would be a stupid item to purchase. So we did not. Then, Bug was born and for a million reasons, I didn't just want one; I needed one. We borrowed one, but if we have another baby, a new bassinet is at the top of my wish list. Bassinets are useful if your baby has jaundice or you or your hubby do not want to co-sleep. I also found it useful to pop Bug in the bassinet, then wheel the bassinet from room to room as I did chores to keep her super close to me. 
  • Carrier
    • We found baby-wearing to be absolutely joyful. Jason did more of the baby-wearing around the house, and I did more of the baby-wearing outside of the house. Whatever works for you, that is what works. We were given a carrier for free and found that it worked wonderfully. I would love, love, love to have a Boba carrier, and if we have another, that will be on my wish list. If you can't afford or don't want to afford a Boba, we used one of those $30 or so carriers you can get everywhere (Walmart, Target, etc.). 
Everyone will tell you babies are expensive. Honestly, we paid more for Bug's birth than anything else. Only buying essentials keeps costs very low. I still stand by my conviction that babies don't need a baby swing, a crib, a bouncer, a million outfits, and so on to grow into productive humans. I got a lot of flak from what I assume are well-meaning people for not wanting, in particular, a bouncer or swing. Bug is a clever girl and does not seem to be ill-affected by my choices. At the end of the day, you need to do what works for you, no matter if it's not what anyone else is doing. 

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