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The first baby low budget supply list

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
This seems to have come up a couple of times in different threads and I remember as a first time mom seeing a very helpful list of what I would actually NEED for a newborn. As in exactly how many onesies to buy and how many pairs of pants and how many diapers/covers. Of course I ended up with enough for three babies, and had to buy nothing for years.
I was thinking maybe we could all put that list together here for the first time moms...and for the moms with a big gap in ages on a budget.

For a summertime baby: in my imagining this is for a warm/no ac house. I think ac would require more long sleeves and pants.
Clothes- all of this also depends on easy access to a washing machine...I'm thinking laundry every two-three days.
6-10 onesies
3-4 pairs of lightweight long pants
One lightweight button down or tie front shirt
2-3 flannel/cotton receiving blankets (I use sheets from the goodwill, 1 flannel,1 cotton and sew two sided blankets/ changing pads/ nursing cloths/ burp cloths/ wash cloths etc. highly versatile.

18-25 cloth diapers and 4 plastic covers or wool or fleece soakers (ack! Wool and fleece in the summer!)

For gear:
Padded blanket for floor time
Sleeping arrangement that suits your preference, ie; bassinet, crib, co sleeper, family bed
Baby monitor
Good children's health book-I like Aviva Jill Romm and Dr Sears
Good baby development book- I liked You Are Your Childs First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin Dancy
Nose bulb
Nail clippers
Soap for bathing-I never used it though
Calendula Oil for cleaning all the cracks, bottom, necks and armpits (olive oil will also do fine)
Diaper pail for dirty cloth diapers- we used a dish tub on top of the washer but were laundering frequently so the smell wasn't terrible. I dunno about July though. That might be a whole new ball game.

Any other absolute essentials I missed?
Edited by wrenmoon - 12/10/12 at 6:40pm
post #2 of 21
I used a bouncer because I got touched out and would also need to put the refluxy baby down occasionally. I think it depends on your personality whether or not this is a necessity. For me it definitely was but I also am not a touchy person.

You forgot socks! Babies need and lose socks often and if you EVER go out in public without socks on your baby, even if it is 120 degrees, strangers will approach you and grab your baby's feet and exclaim they are freezing and berate you for your terrible mothering.

ETA: With my foster son a friend let us borrow this neat baby bath tub where the baby sits up. It was great and used very little water so if there was a poop it was easy to clean up and we didn't get any bumped heads on water spouts.
post #3 of 21
I used a swing instead of a bouncer but same idea. Not everyone will need it but DD happily spent 20-30 mins in it awake (or a bit longer napping) which was absolutely essential for me to pump. I EPd for 10 weeks for her but got her successfully back to breast after that. In fact she's nursing to sleep as we speak smile.gif. Again, hopefully no one will need time to pump but the initial breastfeeding learning curve can be steep and it helps to have a place baby will happily exist for a few minutes in case you need to prep something. I also found a nursing pillow useful as a first time mom. Anyone who has a toddler or preschooler may want to forget the messenger style diaper bag and just get a good backpack. It is a major sanity saver for me since I have everything ready but two hands free for DD. I also plan to get a ring sling so I can wear baby and chase my toddler wink1.gif. Ok so those aren't necessarily for first time moms but they may still find them useful.
post #4 of 21

I've never really liked a baby monitor. I think they'd be useful if you had a bedroom downstairs and a baby upstairs, but as long as you are on the same floor, I don't see a reason for it, especially if on a budget.


I personally needed an infant seat and once they got to be around 4 months, my babies have liked an activity center or jumperoo. Jumperoo was the favorite for my kiddos.

I liked the "babycomfynose" better than any nose bulb. You have to suck out the boogers and you use a tissue as the filter. 

I recommend burt's bees baby wash if you aren't vegan. 

Cloth nursing pads are nice. 

post #5 of 21

I found that cloth nursing pads still allowed me to leak through and get my bra would get wet ... I wasn't a fan :( but nursing pads ARE essential in some form.


I EP'd for 14 weeks and also *needed* some where to put her during and found the nursing pillow (as a 5th time mom even) very helpful when pumping hands free or even just practice nursing for her.


Some kind of sling/wrap

car seat

bibs if you have a reflux baby .... I found that my last 3 had to wear a bib almost constantly because of the amount of spit up that came out of them.  I just can't stand the smell of a new cuddly baby IF they are covered in spit up and with a bib it's easy to just change it out and keep the clothes clean.  ALSO, my cousin (we are very different people!!) didn't keep a bib on her baby and he also spit a lot, he ended up with a yeast-y rash under his neck.  I was DEVASTATED by her parenting skills, but that's another story for another day.

My babies loved the woombie ... it's not cheap BUT the 1st time I wrapped L up in it she slept through the night.

post #6 of 21

For cloth nursing pads.... I bought hemp ones with a PUL backing and microfleece layer and I bough some plain thick cotton ones with no waterproof backing. I put the cotton one on top of the hemp one and put that on each of the breasts and that helped prevent leaking. I wasn't a fan of disposables. But, to each their own. :)

post #7 of 21
Ooh I love our baby monitor. We live in a two story old brick house and there is no way I could be doing laundry in the basement during DD's nap without it. Or wash dishes downstairs. Or almost anything else smile.gif
post #8 of 21

i didn't get a baby monitor until our little guy was about 18 months. to be honest...he couldn't sleep without me next to him for a long time, so it would have been an absolute waste. but when he finally did get where he could sleep for a while by himself i got one so i could go do a little me time and still keep an eye. i don't use it that often. i consider it an extra for us--definitely not a need. 

post #9 of 21

My baby essentials:


diapers and wipes - Cloth or disposable or both.  Cloth wipes are awesome.  We actually wore ours out they got so much use.

clothes - You get tonnes of these as gifts though.  Don't buy any until you know what you need.  You don't know how big your baby will be or what shape (long and thin, chubby legs, etc).  Best to have a couple of outfits in the first few sizes and then shop for more later, and see what you get as gifts. 

carrier - I found this indespensable for my kids.  A ring sling at least, or a wrap made out of fabric from the fabric store could be really economical. Buy the best you can afford.  I like a sling when they are young and a soft structured carrier when they are older.

carseat - assuming you use a car.  buy it new.  This is safety gear.

burp cloths - super handy, you can never have enough.


Everything else is optional, in my opinion.

post #10 of 21
This isn't really something you can buy, but I really feel it's invaluable, especially for a first time mom...I highly recommend finding a local La Leche League group. Start going while you're pregnant. If I hadn't with my first, I'm pretty sure I would not have succeeded with breastfeeding. The support and knowledge you can get before baby arrives is incredibly helpful.

Other than that, I pretty much agree with the others, very little is actually needed, especially in the beginning. I think a good ring sling is great. Very easy to use and quick in and out. Also really easy to nurse in. I also like the Boba wrap (used to be called the Sleepy wrap) for longer outings. Really easy to learn how to tie it on and you don't have to take it off to get baby in and out. For orders babes, I like a mai tai or structured carrier.

I think using sites like www.diaperswappers.com and www.thebabywearers.com are a great way to try something out. You don't have to pay full price and often you can swap something you have with something someone else has for just the price of shipping.
post #11 of 21

What a great idea! As a FTM, I'll be paying attention to this thread! 

post #12 of 21
Originally Posted by lolliegee View Post

I think using sites like www.diaperswappers.com and www.thebabywearers.com are a great way to try something out. You don't have to pay full price and often you can swap something you have with something someone else has for just the price of shipping.


this!! i think a woven wrap is an absolute necessity for my own sanity. especially in the city but certainly at home and especially with subsequent kids, i need a hands-free way to mother my baby. i spent the first three months of my daughter's life searching out the perfect carrier but once we found wrapping it was absolutely life-changing.


i've just finished my BCIA babywearing educator certification course so i'm happy to help if anybody has questions about carriers, especially the best options for each stage of development. i LOVE thebabywearer but people tend to find it hard to navigate. but the swap board has stacks of deals for every carrier you could want to try, it's very important to find the one that works for you.


also on a budget i love the deal sites: theminisocial, gilt, zulily. i hate shopping at big box stores and always try to support local or small vendors. this way i get the cute stuff and normally end up spending much less than gap or target. if i spend more it's to ensure future resale value in store or on ebay; i just dislike disposable clothing, especially when they're small and not so hard on their clothes.


and yes, consignment! i live in a pretty tricky neighborhood so the local secondhand options are total winners. i hate buying retail shoes especially, children's shoes for $50 gives me pain, so i always buy and store bigger sizes on sale or secondhand. also shopping off season helps.

post #13 of 21
Originally Posted by g&a View Post

burp cloths - super handy, you can never have enough.


so true!

post #14 of 21

For those who don't know, so cheap prefolds make excellent burp cloths. :) The toddler sized prefolds make great changing pads.

post #15 of 21
Originally Posted by dayiscoming2006 View Post

For those who don't know, so cheap prefolds make excellent burp cloths. :) The toddler sized prefolds make great changing pads.

sorry! i don't usually CD but prefolds are what i meant by burp cloths ;) right, i've seen actual burp cloths but they always look too small. love how prefolds become family cloth after diapering, right now i'm using them for my head cold.

post #16 of 21
For us, the needs are:

Cloth diapers: we have about 24 prefolds an 24 fitteds, 4 wool covers and a zillion baby wash cloths for wipes. But we've had two in cloth so that's much more than necessary. 24 diapers and 3-4 covers would be plenty.

A carrier: I pretty much exclusively use my wrap but also have an ergo and ring sling.

Cat seat: we skipped the bucket seat because I'm short and couldn't carry it anyways. We just went straight into a convertible seat.

Clothes are definitely a personal preference thing. We will do a lot of onesies with baby legs and thirst with wool covers. I'll make some linen pants and some light cardigans to add when we are somewhere with ac.

For shirts, I prefer kimono style instead of trying to put it over their head.
post #17 of 21

what a fun thread!


since this is baby #3 and i have gotten rid of most everything, i need a list like this to get me thinking!


i have:

nursing pillow

babywearing wraps

some larger cloth diapers for use as changing pads or burp cloth

i have general blankets and rattle toys for distraction

a crib (we coslept previously but this is still useful to me)


i need:

baby clothes (i also like styles without having to put over the head and prefer not to have elastic waist items)

baby hats... there is something yummy about baby hats that cover the ears for me

swaddling blankets that are at least 35inch square size or bigger

nursing bras

lanolin for nipple care at first

infant carseat

calendula oil for massage and diaper area cleanup/refresh

baby washcloths

a swing or bouncy seat

a diaper changing station... i liked having one of those curved foam mattresses right on the floor with a bin of supplies nearby


wish list:

a jumperoo type entertainer

an activity mat with the dangly toys

post #18 of 21
I have never done this before, but I would say if you breastfeed and have to go back to work, you probably need a breast pump. I will have 12 weeks with the baby before I have to go back... So I think that would be an essential smile.gif
post #19 of 21
Another thought is a small potty for anyone wanting to EC even occasionally. I started DD at 11 months and wish I'd done it sooner. We still have a ton of wet diapers but she says "potty" whenever she has to poop. My pregnant nose is ecstatic not to have to spend 5 minutes wiping a poopy bum and trying to get poop off the diapers!
post #20 of 21

My only advice is to buy used stuff.  Look on craigslist and join a local facebook mom buy/sell group for your area.  I have found lots of deals on there from moms who are done with their baby stuff

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