Baby Basics

After learning that she was expecting a baby {hooray!}, a reader sent me the following question:

“I would love to know of anything you would make yourself over buying.
Things you bought that you realize now that you really didn’t need.
Your favorite carrier/car seat/strollers (jogging/regular) and places to buy them for less if you know of good options.
What items would you buy at a garage sale vs buy new? …
I’m pretty much starting with a blank page and trying to do the best I can without spending a fortune. :)”

Oh goodness…all you Moms out there already know that beginning to navigate the world of baby products can be rather daunting – to say the least! The first time I became pregnant, I went to Target before I had even had my first doctor’s appointment and started scanning things for my registry. I had no idea what I was doing and had researched absolutely nothing. Great way to start out, huh?

And if you enter Babies R’ Us without knowing what you need – prepare to be overwhelmed, Momma.

So what do you need for a baby?

I’m going to propose three lists:

  • Baby Basics
  • Beyond Basics
  • Beyond Buying

I’ll share the basics today & the other 2 categories tomorrow.

Let’s start with the basics, shall we?

baby basics

  1. Food: Whether you choose to breastfeed or do formula, this is something you need to provide for your wee one.
  2. Place to sleep: Many options here – but whether you do co-sleeping, bassinet, crib, moses basket, pack&play – baby needs a safe place to sleep.
  3. Clothes to wear: Even if you plan to wrap your child up in a blanket every day, they need to wear something. Personally, I go with normal clothes instead of the blanket route. And you know what? Babies don’t need as many clothes as the stores would have you believe. I mean, I know – oh how I know – how insanely adorable the teeny outfits are. But you don’t need 50. If you do laundry 2x/week and allow for 1 possible blowout a day, you would have plenty of clothes with 7 outfits. And definitely consider your diapering status – disposable or cloth. We currently use disposable, but there are amazing options with cloth diapering that are so easy to use!

Now, I can hear the baby police racing down the street already protesting that there are other life-saving things I didn’t include. Some people swear by a baby swing. Others by an exersaucer. And still others by a playmat. Join me tomorrow as I share the final 2 categories:

  • Beyond Basics
  • Beyond Buying

And get ready to share your favorite item{s} for baby!



  1. Diana Still says:

    I love these kinds of lists! I think you’re exactly right on this. The basics aren’t much 🙂 I’d say buy the place to sleep new (or from a very good friend), but buy clothes from garage sales or consignment sales. Since most people don’t follow your 7 outfits rule (ha!), there are tons of baby clothes for sale that look barely worn!

  2. Laine says:

    It’s SO easy to go overboard with baby stuff! Now with four, it makes me laugh when I think back to my first and the stuff I thought I needed! Lucy had the bare minimum of baby gear and it was perfect. =)

  3. brownsugartoast says:

    Oh, I’m a major fan of yard sales for clothing!! I’ve found amazing deals for my whole family at yard sales!

  4. Keren Threlfall says:

    I have a similar post I’ve been working on…for, oh, about 6 months. 🙂 I agree-you don’t need much, not nearly least as much as we’re told!

    While I was pregnant with Justus, I went to BRU to make a registry (because I got a free gift card for doing so), and I was shocked at how much more was “recommended” than what had been recommend just 4 years earlier when I made a registry with Hana Kate’s pregnancy. (Poor Eden didn’t get a registry. ;))

    We don’t even use a crib, but baby definitely does have a place to sleep! We had 3 outfits for Justus to start out with (perks of not knowing we were having a new gender), but somehow enough appeared after he was born. 🙂 And it was much easier to manage with far fewer.

    Less stuff usually means much less stress–not having to decide between 15 different types of 1 item you don’t need at all, multiplied by about 20 items.

  5. brownsugartoast says:

    YES! And hopefully this post will help especially new mommas who are in that overwhelmed state after seeing all the “essential items” recommended by stores! Less decisions = less stress!

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