With Christmas looming I want to share some of my insights about stuff!
When I was pregnant with my daughter I was given 2 baby showers. I took home almost everything I thought I needed: a huge amount of pink baby girl clothes, blankets, diaper genie, wipes warmer, toys, pack and play, diapers, diaper bag, wipes. After I had my daughter and breastfeeding didn’t turn out as I had planned, I needed more things: bottles, formula, bottle warmer. Then every few months, (I still lived on the mainland) I made more trips to Babies R Us and Target for more stuff I needed: more clothes, diapers, wipes, toys. I even bought a baby monitor even though we lived in an apartment that was less than 500 square feet.
By the time I had my son, I had changed my beliefs on what I really needed for a baby. I used many of my daughter’s things. I shopped garage sales, baby resale stores, and consignment sales. I realized that my babies really only needed a few things to thrive and grow. Babies need Love!
I think a baby’s needs could be summed up into the five senses:
Touch: A baby would die without being touched. This may seem like common sense to people. You hold your baby, right? I have observed many parents that have a very “hands off” approach with their newborns: leaving them in their crib or in their little baby car seats moved from place to place, not being held and having their bottle propped up for them to drink. I literally want to pick up the baby and feed him. They need to be held and LOVED!
Taste: Babies need to be fed, a lot! I had the experience of breastfeeding one child but not the other. It was certainly a lot cheaper to breastfeed and I highly recommend it as a first choice, but regardless if baby is breastfed or formula fed, parents can still feed baby in their arms.
Hear: Babies need to hear the loving voices of their Mom, Dad, sisters, brothers, grandparents. Babies need Love through voices, music and language.
Smell: Babies thrive when they are placed upon their Mom; skin to skin after they are born. Babies need to smell the familiar scents of loved ones. Even my son still requests that I wear tank tops. He asks to be held and literally smells me. I think my scent has always meant love and security to him.
Sight: Babies need to see Mom and Dad and loved ones. They need to know Mom and Dad will always be there for them and will keep them safe. They need to know they are loved unconditionally. They need to see their loved ones constantly.
After having my son, I realized that I could have saved a lot of money from not buying all that baby stuff. What do babies really need?
Breasts: I did need a really good electric breast pump for the first month (insurance paid for), but I never used a single bottle or ounce of formula with my son. I saved a bundle!
Diapers: Cloth will save you a lot of money and will not be in a landfill for the next 500 years. I never used a changing table.
Co-Sleeping: This is not for everyone, but it worked well for my family. I never bought a crib of any kind with my son. (Money saved).
Hand-Me-Downs: Clothing, toys, bouncers, strollers. All can be found second hand for a lot cheaper than new, and babies don’t care about having the latest and greatest.
Car Seat: An absolute necessity if you travel by car. Although I did buy one car seat new, I used it with both my daughter and son, so 6 years of use was money well spent. My booster seats were used.
Enriching Environment: A good, healthy, loving environment is where baby will thrive and it is FREE! Babies need to know they are loved, safe and secure… Constant love and affection. A baby will thrive in an environment with: laughter, music, books, family, fresh air, verbal language, and touch.
Image Credit: Happy-Bandits