Babies are cute, but they can be friggin expensive! Between diapers, car seats, and strollers it can get overwhelming. Especially if you are already starting to think about their college education!
It’s natural for you to want the best for your baby, but parents often overdo it the first time around. The reality is that you need much less crap than you think. Even the stuff that you do need does not have to be that fancy. It’s a little-known fact that new parents often don’t use over half the “necessities” they acquire.
In the first year of life, you only need a few essentials. Here are some suggestions to keep baby life simple and cost-effective…
- Consider whether you really need a fancy stroller. I purchased one before my daughter was born and used it maybe 3 times. I preferred to wear her in a carrier since strollers can get clunky and burdensome. You can always get a simple umbrella stroller for when your baby is 6 months, but before that they are so light you might just want to wear them. Babies often prefer that anyway so they can be closer to you.
- Wait until after your baby is born to choose and/or purchase a baby swing. I had a very expensive one that swung and vibrated in all different directions. My daughter hated it and used it only once. She just wanted to be on me ALL DAY.
- Do not purchase a bassinet. This is another mistake I made. My daughter only wanted to sleep with me. A much better choice is to purchase a temporary bed rail so your baby is safe sleeping next to you. If you find it’s too crowded in bed you can always get a bassinet later. The key is to experiment and determine your needs first
- DO NOT get them fancy clothes. I know, I know… you really want to see him in the baby football jersey just like daddy. It will spit, throw up, and poop on it. Keep it simple with zip-up onesies.
- Finally, do not feel like you need to upgrade your living space for at least 2 years. The kid is going to sleep with you for the first stretch of their life, and if you allow it they will keep sleeping with you. It’s true that you need a place to put their stuff, but in the first couple of years of life, it can all be kept in an extra dresser. If you feel like you need a space for toys… you don’t. No matter how many cute little animals you get for them they will only want your phone, the remote, and any other inanimate object in your living room.
This baby thing is way simpler than it seems… at least when it comes to stockpiling stuff. As long as you have some diapers, a few onesies, and milk storage (which may be a boob) you are in good shape to get started with Fatherhood.