Everything We Bought For Our Newborn (Before Her Arrival)
it's become a challenge to be a parent before the newborn is even here
As soon as I found out that I was pregnant, the first thing I started reading was what we needed to buy for our future newborn. My spreadsheet was put together before I had even visited the doctor and I had already started a high-interest savings account to get the ball rolling on paying off all of these purchases. It turns out that people charge a hella-lot-of-money for baby products and accessories. Therefore, I assumed that if I had the financial side of the parenting life figured out that I would have a lot less to worry about down the road. And you know what? I was right. You already know that having a child is expensive. People love to rub it in, tell you all about the fact that you won't be able to buy yourself anything ever again and that you can kiss early retirement goodbye. Well — jokes on you, folks! I still saved a vacation fund for myself the entire time I saved for my baby and I don't even want to retire early. So, there! *winks and flips hair*
But in all honesty, for the past six months, my husband and I have both been putting around 40% of our income towards our "family fund." It's been pretty crazy for us to see how fast we can achieve a goal if we seriously focus on it, and it's opened our eyes to how responsible we can be if necessary. After doing my research, I had originally planned to save $10,000 by our newborn's arrival date — and estimated that we would spend $5,000 before then to buy everything we could possibly need.
What did we buy and how much did we actually spend?
The amount of lists on the internet that tell you how many things you'll need before your baby comes is quite overwhelming. I did a ton of reading, clicking and asking before I put together my list of items. I asked family and friends who had recently had babies if I was missing anything or if they felt any of the items I had chosen should be swapped and they graciously obliged. To be honest, people who already have children are more than willing to help, and it's made the entire pregnancy seem a lot less hectic than it otherwise could be.
In total, we have already spent $3,324. Friends and family contributed an additional $1,570 of gifts and gear.
*Neither of these dollar amounts includes clothing. Why? Because having a girl means that you'll likely get a ton of adorable outfits your child may or may not get the chance to wear. If this is a concern for you, I recommend asking friends and family to avoid purchasing clothing in your baby shower invitation. If not, enjoy. I tried to go through all of the clothes we were bought or were given as hand-me-downs, but instead, I'll estimate that we have roughly $2,000 worth of clothes, which range from size newborn to 24-months. I assume we'll have more than enough for the first two years, but what do I know?
For those of you who checked out the list and think I went overkill, sometimes I feel the same way. But considering I don't have my baby yet, I can't even tell you if every single one of these purchases was necessary. Some of them didn't need to happen until much later — but I figured that since we had the savings and time, it was best to get them out of the way as soon as possible. I also had to resolve my anxiety in one way or another and buying literally everything I could think of helped with that feeling immensely. The last thing I'll say about this list is that you do not need to spend what we spent on your child. We chose to buy the majority of items new — but there are a TON of amazing places that you can go to buy used baby gear at a reasonable price.
In short, for those that don't want to check out exactly what we purchased, here is what we spent in each category of what you may need as new parents:
Post-partum for mom = $242
Baby gear and transportation = $1,295
Nursing and feeding = $662
Nursery and furniture = $1,526
Diapering = $147
Safety, cleaning and health = $603
Toys and books = $418
Every parent can decide how costly their pregnancy and newborn will be (to an extent)
Although we found that most items are expensive when it comes to shopping for a newborn, what we also found was that the amount of variety and options were vast. Not only that, but it helped to search several different websites for the same product to ensure that you were receiving the best possible price. Some of my favourite places to do online shopping (because yes, I literally bought everything online) were Babies R Us (sorry American friends), Well.ca, Best Buy and Wal-Mart. However, for those of you who aren't interested in buying new, I've heard there are a ton of great buy and sell pages on Facebook for baby supplies and that Kijiji also has some great finds. Fortunately for us, my brother recently had a baby girl and my husband's co-workers were also very generous in donating some used gear that we are truly thankful for.
If you are struggling to financially plan for your baby, I'd highly recommend only buying what you need and slowly collecting other items as you need them. Otherwise, here is an awesome post from Money After Graduation about how to manage your money during this stressful period.
There is no rule book on parenting. However, there are way too many opinions.
What were the top ten items suggested to us by other parents?
*none of these links are affiliates because I'm not a super famous and super cool mom blogger — yet*
In the end, buying baby supplies can be seriously overwhelming and requires a ton of patience and research. I probably spent well over 60 hours hunting for the perfect items and trying to feel like I was a good mother. I realized it's become a challenge to be a parent before the newborn is even here and I already fear the future of being mom-shamed. However, all that truly matters is that my child is happy and healthy. And also that I tried to buy literally every single item on our list on sale.
Next week, my husband and I will share exactly how much money we saved for our "family fund" and how we plan to spend our maternity and paternity leave. Until then, let me know what your favourite baby items are, how much you spent on your child and whether or not you even have a child. Apologies for those of you who aren't planning to have a baby or cannot relate to my current situation. However, I still appreciate having you in my corner and as a reader. XO!