Planning for a baby can be exciting, but at the same time overwhelming. It's a big change in lifestyle, and there are so many things to think about—including which baby essentials to invest in. From nursing covers to bottles to toys, there's a lot of selection out there...and almost too much information available. Blogs and magazines have recommendations, so how do you decide what's a must-have—particularly in terms of those larger purchases (like baby furniture). The good news is, we've done some of the work for you. Here's what you should be looking at when you consider those big-ticket items for baby.
You've probably heard about cribs & cots, dressers & changing tables, mattresses and rocking chairs or gliders. It seems like a lot, but remember, you probably don't need every single one of these items. And if you do need them, it may not necessarily be from day one. Be thoughtful and you can save time, money, and space!
Before buying (or registering) for anything, it's important to look at your budget and space. If these aren't limited, by all means go all out! But, for many of us, funds and square footage are major issues to consider. If you're living in a small apartment, for example, a full baby bedroom set probably isn't practical. Instead, you may be able to get away with a bassinet for several months. Baby needs to sleep, of course, but a the beginning she doesn't need much space! Once it's time to invest in a crib, you might find that the changing table isn't really essential. You can always use a roll up mat and change baby on the floor if need be. Thinking about how you live (and where) can maximize your comfort (and happiness!) at home with your newborn.
Is there a Facebook group dedicated to parents in your community? This is a great resource for anyone expecting a baby. Some larger items (like rocking chairs and gliders) are only used for a few months or the first year of baby's life. Often parents are looking to pass them along at a discounted price. Thrift stores dedicated to children can also be a gold mine for gently used baby products. And the great news is, once you're done these items are easy to pass along again. Spread the love and recoup your investment. It's a win-win!
You probably don't want to put those really expensive items on your registry, but this is a great time to let family know what you want! A cousin, aunt, and grandmother may want to chip in on something larger—like a dresser or highchair. Plus, it's a way for them to contribute to something you know you'll really use.
How did you decide which furniture was essential for your baby? And how did you make sure that it fit your budget and lifestyle? We'd love to hear from you...let us know in the comments!