From the moment I found out about our little bun in the oven, I started thinking about what I’m going to do differently and what I’ll do exactly the same as my first baby. Since I’m currently on my minimalist kick, I know for sure that I won’t be buying a bunch of junk I don’t need.
Ronnie had a TON of crap. And I mean crap. I had everything from a million bottles to 4 different shopping cart covers to 2 bouncers, a swing, a jumparoo, and a dining room so full of toys that I had to move my table out. Some things worked and some things didn’t. It was a gamble every time I bought something new, and more often than not, it was a waste of money. I did get good deals on this crap due to yard sales, freecycle, and craigslist, however, I still spent more money on baby gear than was necessary.
This time, I’m taking a whole new approach. I don’t expect a baby shower this time around and, really, I’d feel guilty having another one. Family and friends came out of the wood works three years ago to shower us with very generous gifts. It just wouldn’t be right to ask for more. That means we’re going to have to purchase everything on our own this time – why not make it as simple as possible?
Luckily, I was able to keep some of the big-ticket and sentimental items from Ronnie’s baby days.
- A convertible crib. Right now, Ronnie is still using this crib as a toddler bed, but I figure that a big boy bed would be a perfect Christmas gift this year. Then, Ronnie could pass his crib down to his little brother or sister.
- A pack-n-play with bassinet and changing table. While I actually love the idea of this, it was too big to move around from room to room. I had it in our room for the first 6 months of Ronnie’s life so he could sleep next to me. It wasn’t too convenient, though, when I had to sit up and reach over the side to pat his back. What was convenient was the fact that it would break down and we could take it on vacation or outside with us. Its definitely something I’m keeping around and I’m sure we’ll get a ton of use out of it for the new baby.
- Boppy. What baby doesn’t have a boppy these days? I used this from the moment Ronnie was born till he could sit up on his own. Its so convenient for feedings and as a little prop for naps (under supervision!).
- Sleepers, Onsies, and Baby Clothes. If we have another boy, we’re set on clothes. I had some of the most adorable stuff for Ronnie! Some of it will even work for a girl, too.
- Graco Infant Seat and Stroller Set. It was definitely a pain in the butt trying to find a place to store this, but I’m super glad that I’m not going to have to shell out another $180 for this baby essential.
- Sheets, Blankets & Baby Toys. I kept a few of my favorite blankets, like the one we brought Ronnie home from the hospital in and the two that his great-grandma croched for him. I think a few is really enough to keep the new baby swaddled and warm. We still use all the same sheets and comforters on Ronnie’s toddler bed that we used in his crib. I’m sure these will just get passed down as well.
So, that’s a good start, but babies need a little more loot than that. Here’s what I’m thinking:
- Super minimalist Puj Bath Tub ($39.99). I actually went through 3 different baby tubs with Ronnie and hated every one of them. My problem came when bath time was over and it was time for my shower. I had to move and shuffle the tub around the bathroom when I needed the space. Its so not convenient. This little Puj tub is made out of foam and bends into place to support baby in any bathroom sink. When you’re done bathing, it hangs flat on the bathroom door. Super amazing and its got my vote. I can’t wait to try it.
- Organic Moby Wrap ($59.95). From what I’ve read, this is the ultimate in baby-wearing for plus-sized moms. At a 40DDD bust size, the little Hotsling I used with Ronnie was so uncomfortable that I couldn’t take more than 30 minutes of it. I’m hoping to be able to try this one out. The ergonomical design definitely appeals to me since I’ve had a bout with sciatica for the past 6 months. I definitely want to do more of the attachment parenting style with this one. I ventured into the arena with Ronnie, but it was next to impossible because I ran a 24-hour FCC home nursery with 3 other babies at any given time and my husband was deployed. I was able to hold Ronnie all night long, but not much more.
- Arms Reach Mini Convertible Natural Co-Sleeper ($189.99). This goes along with what I was saying earlier regarding the pack-n-play. I kept it right by my bed so Ronnie could sleep next to me, but he often times ended up in the bed with me because I couldn’t reach him while I was laying down. With a co-sleeper, the new baby could be sleeping in the bassinet while I still have access to him/her. I love this idea because this particular one serves as a co-sleeper, bassinet, play pen, and changing table – all in one! We’ll also be able to move it around from room to room as often as we need because of its small size. Even if the baby is napping in the bassinet, I can have him/her close to me. I like that. Its definitely the big ticket item, but I think it will be worth it.
- American Red Cross Health Care Kit ($13.65). While this is something that I actually still have and use from Ronnie’s baby days, I think it would be appropriate to buy the new baby his/her own.
- Huggies Pure & Natural Diapers. I’d love to be the ultra eco-friendly mommy and use cloth diapers, but I’ll be honest and say that I just don’t have the balls for it. I actually bought a set for Ronnie at one point and got scared before I even opened the package. I ended up sending them back for a refund. I use these Huggies Pure & Natural diapers for Ronnie’s nights now, so I expect to use the same for the new baby. Who knows though, baby might decide he/she wants something else and I’ll have to find an alternative.
- Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow 4oz Wide Neck Bottles -BPA Free ($9.99 for a set of two). My plan is to breast feed, but as I found out with my first, the baby doesn’t always stick to your plan. Pumping for the first month just to give him breast milk was exhausting, so I’m hoping this one with latch on quick. With Ronnie, I had more bottles than I could keep up with. The top rack of my dishwasher stayed full with bottles. A friend of mine, who had her baby a few months after me, totally opened my eyes when I found out she only used one bottle – ever. She’d feed the baby, wash the bottle, and use it again. Genius! It sounds so simple, yet most new moms stock up on tons and tons to make sure we “have enough.” When the bottle got grimey from the wear and tear, she’d toss it and buy another one. I guarantee she spent HUNDREDS less on bottles than I did. I plan to take this simplistic approach this time around. It will also protect me against having to change brands. With Ronnie, I was dead-set on using the Platex bottles. Of course, I spent a ton and a few sets of them only to find out that Ronnie had reflux and I needed to use the Dr. Brown’s instead. This time around, I’ll only have to replace two bottles instead of twenty if that happens.
- Bumbo Baby Seat ($41.49), I can not say enough good things about the Bumbo seat! I wish I had kept ours because these do come out pretty pricey, but I needed the space. Plus, I figured if my mom could snag one at the thrift store for $10 once, she could do it again. This Bumbo seat worked wonders for keeping Ronnie in place and helping him to learn how to sit up. I also used it as a feeding chair until he got too big for it and had to move up to a booster seat. I’ll definitely get another one for the new baby.
- Clothes, Bibs, Burp Cloths, and Wash Cloths. These are all pretty standard things, but I plan to keep it to a minimum and stay within a natural color palette. These are the items that you can’t really plan for because I know I’ll walk into baby gap and fall in love with the sleeper on sale and buy it. Its just going to happen that way.
So, I’ve known that I’m pregnant for all of 3 days and I’ve already got it all mapped out. How neurotic am I? I guess I just need something to plan. I’m a HUGE planner; I like to know everything about everything before it happens. With our upcoming move, I can’t plan a lick. Being able to do this is helping to tie up all that nervous energy!