Here's a newsflash for you - babies require a lot of "stuff." The good news is that you really do not need all the items that the marketing propaganda suggests that you need. In fact, sometimes baby products actually complicate matters rather than simplify them.
Only Register for Essentials
Take the "Peepee Teepee" (Compare Prices as an example. This little cone-shaped device is set over the "danger zone" of little boys during diaper changes to block unwanted showers. It becomes something else to clean and store, when simply positioning the diaper over the intermittent fountain would do. In other cases, products remain out-dated and are known to be potentially dangerous, yet they remain popular purchases much to the dismay of children's interest groups.
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So, how do you know what is necessary and what isn't worth the money? How do you know when standing in the "Infant Health Care" aisle at your local department store that although your gut instinct is screaming "buy the ear thermometer not the rectal one!" that really the better choice is the rectal thermometer? The answer is - by doing your research and by being an informed consumer. If you aren't prepared when you register, trips to the store for baby products may leave head spinning and your wallet empty. (See: What Do Babies Need).
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Determine Your Budget
So where to begin? Start by determining your finances, the support you will get from family and friends, and any other resources that may help you obtain what you need. An open conversation with your partner early in the pregnancy about your funds and expectations may prevent heated disagreements when it comes time to make purchases. Take some time to think about the following points.
- What is your budget? Do you need to moderate your purchases?
- How do you feel about used baby items?
- Do you plan on registering? If so, where?
- Are there certain baby products that you feel are essential to support your personal lifestyle choices? (For example: organic living, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, etc.)
- What support system do you have that will help you obtain the essentials?
Interested in saving money? See Top 10Frugal Tips for Babies
Come to an agreement with your partner on the essentials that you must have, the non-essentials that you would like to have, and the financial resources that will help you obtain them. Then figure out where to register. When you share the same viewpoint on your needs and wants, it will simplify preparations for your baby. Refer to this comprehensive list of what babies need to help you sort out the "musts" from the "not necessaries". If you intend to register for baby gifts, this list will help keep you on track.