If you have relatives who have kids, then you just might have some of the essentials already at hand - such as a stroller or a high chair, or even perhaps a play pen. However you are not going to need some of these for a while yet, at least 6 months or so. Plus, you have to remember that in some cases, it's always not better to recycle.
One good thing to remember is that you have longer than you think to put together all the items on your baby shopping list.
All babies need a place to sleep! If you’re making a crib purchase, think about the long run. Cribs are now versatile, and often can be reconfigured to become another item of furniture, such as a twin bed or day bed. This means the money you spend will be on an item that’s usable well into childhood! Make sure your baby’s mattress is the best you can afford. Sure, he or she is little, but the spine develops the curves needed for proper posture in the first year of life. Get the best you can afford so your baby sleeps and grows well.
The hospital won’t allow your baby to go home with you unless you have a car seat. For the first year, your baby will be rear-facing for safety in travel. If you have several vehicles, you may find having one for each is easier than changing them over.
Many infant car seats are available in a package with the stroller. You can easily switch from the car to the stroller by removing the seat from a base that remains installed in the car. It’s a wonderful thing, as we all know one should let sleeping lions lie in peace. However, they can be costly, and your baby will outgrow the infant car seat portion very quickly. This is a good item to put on your list for baby showers.
Should You Go Used?
As tempting as it might be to get some of these big ticket items from a friend, tag sale or thrift store, try to resist the urge. An older crib, stroller or car seat may have been recalled and a potential danger to your child.
Cribs need to have proper spacing between the bars and paint that is non-toxic. Older cribs may have lead-based paint and bar spacing that allows your baby’s head to fit between the bars. Both problems make an older crib a potential death trap!
With car seats, you’ll want to make sure the model is up-to-date with safety standards, which is hard to do with an older seat. Also, car seats are made of plastic that can become brittle over time due to weather extremes. You also can’t tell by looking at a car seat if it’s been in an accident before, or if it’s structurally unsound. As a car seat’s purpose is to protect your little one in a crash, there’s no reason to take chances!
Before running out and purchasing all of the big items, keep in mind you’ll probably be having a baby shower. Guests love to chip in on those big ticket items like a stroller or car seat. Major department or baby stores have free and easy registry so the world can get you exactly what you want or need.