I would definitely consider us to be minimalists when it comes to accumulating baby gear. Especially when Dmitri was born, we lived in a small one bedroom apartment and had very little room for anything other than the bare essentials. (And do babies really need anything other than food, clothes, and diapers?). With doubling our offspring, we definitely do not want to double the amount of things that we have. Already having one child means that we already have some of the essentials. But, I have been shocked by how much we still have had to purchase and how much adding a second child costs! It definitely is not as simple as just re-using everything- especially since they will be close in age. So, we have been trying to stay true to our minimalist approach, while saving as much money as possible, and still get what we need for Baby Deux.
What we decided are essential:
Car Seat. The expression "duh" came out of my mouth faster than a seventh grader from the 90's...We decided to go with an infant car seat this time around (We skipped that with Dmitri). The Graco 35 Snugride to be exact, because it had the highest safety ratings. I was able to score a good deal at Babies 'R Us with a coupon. Here it is.
Diapers. Our current set of cloth diapers are still in use by Dmitri, so we needed to grow our collection. We use Fuzzibunz Perfect Size diapers (mostly) And you can read all about them here. We will use disposables for the first couple weeks (unless the baby is over 8 lbs.) and then switch to cloth once they fit him. Since I'm all about re-using and recycling while saving money, I bought ours off of eBay and from a local mama (some never used, and others very gently used).
Double stroller. Since we became pregnant, I have argued with myself over whether we really need one of these monstrosities. They are so enormous and cumbersome and embarrassing. I finally decided that there is just no way I can carry two under two everywhere, or even push one and carry one. So, I thought I would get the smallest, lightest weight double stroller possible. I researched strollers for months and months. (And plagued my poor sister-in-law with the pros and cons of each and every one). My first choice was the Baby Jogger City Select. I liked the versatility of it, but the price tag? Not so much. Even if we had the money, I do not see how I could justify spending that much on a stroller. So I kept looking. The Baby Jogger City Mini Double was a top contender (and I was looking at purchasing one via eBay at a discount). Another option was the Graco Quattro Tour Duo, which was less expensive and top-rated by third party consumer report, but I was worried about it being too heavy. I made a stop at Babies 'R Us to buy some baby wipes, and decided to take a few of the strollers for a test ride to see if that made the decision anymore clear. After a quick tour around the store, I could not deny it any longer. The one that I liked was the BIGGEST ASS STROLLER I've ever seen. It's like pushing an Expedition down the sidewalk...and it has 6 cup holders, and huge storage compartment, and it is compatible with our infant car seat (no extra parts needed!). And it clocks in at a very sturdy 40 lbs.
I ordered it off of Amazon greatly discounted from Babies 'R Us' prices. It arrived, and Dmitri and I assembled it. We have been "test-driving" it around the house thanks to the nasty weather, and all four of us love it. I'm looking forward to some Spring weather and a yummy newborn to really try it out.
Those were our top three essentials that we purchased. We have a longer list of things that "would be nice", like:
- Ergo Baby Carrier (Thanks for all of the opinions and recommendations!)
-A Crib (...and Mattress)
What are your "essentials" that you just can't live without?! Any items that you regret buying or wish that you had?