What Do You Need for a Newborn Baby. The top 5 things that you need for a newborn baby that will save you a lot of space in your house AND will save you a LOT of money, too!
When I found out I was pregnant with my oldest son, I had no idea what I needed for him. The best resource I found was to build a baby registry and see what they recommended. By the time I had finished my registry, I was well over $1,000 worth of stuff!
If I had been thinking, when Babies R Us or Amazon tells you that you need 600 things for this little person, it’s because they want to sell that much stuff. If they were being honest you really only “need” a few things. You really don’t need to take out a second mortgage to afford a baby!
Here’s all that you really need for that precious and expensive bundle of joy:
1. A place for them to sleep.
You don’t need a $5,000 crib and changing table. All you need is a pack n play. You can use a pack n play from the time they are born until they’re ready for a big bed. You can even get a pack n play with a changing attachment if you’d like. But honestly, chances are that you’ll just wind up changing your baby on the couch, floor, bed, or any other moderately flat surface you can use… especially as they get older.
Using a pack n play as your baby’s bed is great for many reasons.
It saves space, money, AND if you travel, your baby won’t need to get used to sleeping somewhere strange. We travel a lot, so having our pack n play as our baby’s main bed has been so wonderful! He’s never cranky when we travel because he’s actually IN his own bed.
Ask friends and family if they have an old pack n play for you to use before you go out a buy a new one. Consignment stores and yard sales are a great place to find pack n plays for a fraction of the price of new ones.
Related post: Prepare for a New Baby When You are Broke
2. A car seat
The best thing to do is ask a friend to borrow their infant carrier for a few months. You’ll only need it for 6 months before your baby gets too big to carry in it comfortably. Then you’ll want to move him a rear-facing convertible car seat that works for babies from 5-45+ pounds.
Or, save money and go right for the convertible car seat without ever getting an infant carrier. They work for a newborn, and you’re going to need one anyway as your baby grows. Again, yard sales and consignment stores are a great place to find car seats at a small fraction of the cost of a new seat!
Update: There have been many suggestions that buying a car seat used is absolutely not ok. My suggestion remains to ask friends or family for their infant carrier before going out to buy a brand new one that will only be used for 6 months.
If you don’t have friends or family who could help you out, call your local consignment store and ask if they can tell if a car seat had been in an accident.
At a yard sale, you can ask the seller why they’re choosing to sell their infant carrier. Chances are really good that the honest answer is “my baby grew out of it,” and not “I was in a car accident that totaled my car but I’ll sell you this car seat.” Of course, use your discretion! But for me, this has been the only way that I’ve purchased
Of course, use your discretion! But for me, this has been the only way that I’ve purchased car seats for my children.
3. A baby carrier
If my baby is having a bad day or teething, I need my Ergo. Even if I’m at the grocery store, I always put him right in the Ergo. Hikes? Ergo. Sick and screaming? Ergo. Making dinner? Ergo. Trying to get the big kids to bed? Ergo.
Another awesome consignment store find.
Related post: How to Live on One Low Income
4. A bouncy seat or a swing
As much as I love babywearing and holding my baby, I need some time not connected to my newborn. A bouncy seat or swing is the perfect place for your little one where you can keep them moving in some way while you cook, or clean or (let’s be real here) sit down with ice cream and watch Netflix while the baby is asleep.
Never, and I mean never, buy a swing or bouncy seat new. They are one of those outrageously expensive things that you can find consigned for 75% off the price of a new one.
Related post: 7 Ways to Still Date Your Spouse When Money is Tight
5. Swaddle blankets
Whoever brought back the swaddle blanket, I thank you! Not only does it really help baby sleep, but how cute are baby burritos! You can use the blankets to swaddle your baby, as a nursing cover, and as a blanket for them as they grow. They’re really great.
But swaddle blankets are so expensive. I’m sorry, why do I need to pay $50 for 4 blankets?! You can get the same muslin that is used in the blankets and make your own (here’s how). If you have a sewing machine, you can make these. I’ve made 8 of them for my sons for around $15 (and that includes the dye that I used to tie-dye them, too).
Obvious things that you’ll need…
Of course, there are basics that you will need: basic clothes, receiving blankets, a diaper bag, and diapers (I’m a huge advocate for cloth diapers because they save so much money AND are so much better for the environment).
Bottom line here when it comes to what do you need for a newborn baby…
There aren’t actually a whole lot of things that you need for a newborn baby! Honestly, there aren’t! I was SO scared when I was adding up the prices of everything when I looked up what do I need for a newborn baby. It was shocking how much it all would have been!
But babies are small. They don’t need a whole lot of stuff. Most of the things that you’ll see when you search for what do you need for a newborn will be things more for the parents – posh nursery decor, a $900 rocking chair, baby shoes… everything that makes parents oooh and ahhhh over baby things. But just remember: just because it’s cute doesn’t mean that it’s one of the things you need for a newborn baby.
Answer this question each time you buy something: “What do I NEED for a newborn baby?” Not “what do I WANT?”
Get as much as you can from hand-me-downs of friends who are done having kids, or borrow it from friends. You’ll use the baby clothes a handful of times before your baby outgrows them and it’s pointless to spend a fortune on clothes (take it from someone who spent $250 on just newborn clothes that her baby didn’t even fit in because he was 9 pounds 9 ounces when he was born)!
If you can’t get anything from friends or family, go to a consignment store. Their prices are great and you can always consign it again once you’re done!
Related posts for moms:
- 5 Best Time Management Hacks for Busy Moms
- How I Afford to be a Stay at Home Mom
- How I Earn Money as a Stay-at-Home Mom
- Best Time Management Tips for Busy Moms
- 20 Crazy Easy Green Cleaning Recipes
- 6 Steps to Drastically Reduce Your Grocery Budget
- An Honest Review of Stitch Fix on a Budget
- We Live on ONE Income
- 11 Expenses to Stop Spending Money On
- 5 Easy Ways to Save Money on Laundry
- 10 Purchases That Will Save You Thousands This Year
- I Haven’t Spent a PENNY on Laundry All Year
- 2 Ingredient DIY Laundry Detergent
- 10 Crazy Money Saving Amazon Hacks
- 10 Money Saving Challenges to Start Today!
Did you overbuy for your first baby? What did you get for your second baby?
What Do You Need for a Newborn Baby. The top 5 things you need for a newborn baby that will save you a lot of space in your house AND will save you a LOT of money, too!
Join the FREE 10 Day Side Hustles That Work Challenge!
Here's my challenge to you:
Can you pay for your grocery bill with your side hustle?
Take the challenge!
(PS - NONE of them have to do with sales!)
Bring in extra income without having to spend a penny. I want to share with you the side hustles that I love that help my family every month.