Baby Necessities on a Budget: Pre-Baby

Now, this may seem a little silly to do but, I love before and afters! I’ve never had a child though, in full disclosure, I currently work in the child care industry, I’ve nannied, and I’ve babysat (a lot). So, I do have experience with children. I’m also an extreme researcher (mostly because I am ridiculously indecisive). With that combo, I am pretty confident that I have a decent list. No guarantees though. I’ll make a Post-Baby list a couple months AFTER Little C is born too. I’m interested to see how my list changes.

So, without further ado (hey, I had to rhyme), here is my list of baby necessities for the first six months (and what we are going to buy/have bought):

  1. Convertible Crib & Mattress: Sniglar Crib ($79, Ikea) + Vyssa Sloa Mattress ($49.99, Ikea) – Pretty obvious why we need a crib and mattress. The baby needs somewhere to sleep. We considered just getting a pack n’ play but, for the same price we can get an Ikea crib! We went to Ikea and looked at the different cribs. The crib is a little too low for Mr. B (who is 6’2″) but, he said that was fine for the price difference. It is a convertible crib from basinettish (pictured below), to crib (with the bottom lowered), to toddler bed (with the side removed). We also felt the mattress while we were there. You really want a firm mattress for safe sleep when it comes to babies. I liked how firm the Sloa was. It’s not the cheapest they have but, I think it will be safest for Little C.                                                                                             SNIGLAR Crib IKEA The bed base can be placed at two different heights.VYSSA SLÖA Mattress for crib IKEA
  2. Car Seat: Britax USA Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat, Metro ($270, Amazon) – Another necessity that is pretty obvious. Our hospital (and most hospitals in the US, I think) require you to have a properly installed car seat before you can take the baby from the hospital (not that I would want Little C in the car without a car seat anyway). We bought ours during Black Friday for $270, it was $50 off at the time. It has since dropped to $277 so, we still got it for cheaper (plus one of our rewards credit cards was doing 5% back on all Amazon purchases that month so, we got 5% back too). A car seat isn’t something I was willing to skimp on. The Britax ClickTight series has great safety ratings though it is a little heavy. We decided we didn’t want an infant car seat for a couple of reasons. Firstly, that would be an extra cost because we’d have to buy two car seats (no thanks). Secondly, I think it would be tempting to leave the baby in it for extended periods of time when we were out somewhere like church or the doctor’s office. This isn’t good for the baby. Thirdly (and probably the biggest reason), I hate infant car seats. They are always too heavy for me to carry (which they should be with all the padding and safety materials) and they hit me over and over again in the knees. I can’t stand them. I’d rather take the baby out and carry him.                                                                                                              Britax USA Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat, Metro
  3. Waterproof Mattress Pad (x2): Sealy Waterproof Mattress Cover, 2 pack ($22.81, Amazon) – We chose these pads because they were the cheapest with the best review. Just a warning: There were a bunch of mattress pads claiming they reduce SIDS. THIS IS NOT TRUE. SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) by, definition does not have a knowable cause. There are ways to statistically lower the chances of SIDS but, as the last point in the linked to article points out there is zero evidence to support any products that claim to reduce SIDS (on the flip side, if you want to buy a product despite the fact that it doesn’t reduce SIDS, go for it). Anyway, off my soapbox. We chose two mattress pads because I red this tip online somewhere, that if you layer crib sheet, mattress pad, crib sheet, and mattress pad, you won’t have to worry about a middle of the night blow out. You just take off the first layer and voila you already have a second layer! Given how frequently we’ll be doing laundry with cloth diapers, I doubt we’ll need more than two.Sealy Waterproof Mattress Cover, White, 2 Pack
  4. Crib Sheet (x2): Cosco Jersey Sheet, yellow ($6, Kid to Kid [the children’s consignment store nearby]) and American Baby Company 100% Cotton Value Jersey Knit Crib Sheet, Celery ($9.63, Amazon) – See above why we are getting 2 sheets. We already have the first sheet and the second sheet isn’t picked for any other reason than it is in our colors (green, yellow, and beige) and the reviews said they were soft. We’ll keep our eyes peeled as we shop for a better deal though.
  5. Bouncer: We got a bouncer as a gift for Christmas. We really don’t have room in our apartment for a swing which would have been the other option.
  6. Carrier: DIY Moby ($6, Fabric Center) – As mentioned above, I hate baby car seats but, I still need a way to carry the baby with my hands free. I decided $40 for a long strip of fabric was way too expensive, so, I made one. (Cameo from the teddy bear’s ear). Green is Mr. B’s favorite color and it just so happens to look great on me too so, that is the color we chose.DIY Moby Baby Carrier
  7. Cloth Diapers ($300-400, Amazon, Ebay, Kid to Kid). I’ll talk more about cloth diapers in another post(s) because I can go on for days about cloth diapers. But, to keep it simple here, we bought a set of 24 used newborn AIOs for $100 on ebay and have been scouting for deals for one size diapers since we found out I was pregnant. We spent $20 on one AIO but the rest have been under $12. We currently have 3 All-in-One diapers, 2 pocket diapers, 7 All-in-Twos diapers in the one size (which is usually about 10 – 35 pounds). Those total another $120 spent. Most sites recommend 18-20 diapers for one size diapers. We are waiting to see which diapers we like most before we purchase the rest of our stash.
  8. Cloth Diaper Accessories: EcoAble Large Wet Bag (x2, $19.99 each, Amazon) and Damero Cute Travel Baby Wet and Dry Cloth Diaper Organizer Bag ($6.99, Amazon) – look how cute that pattern is!) Kirkland Flushable Wipes ($12, Costco). So, we are getting two large wet bags (which hold the diapers between changes and getting washed) for at home, that way we can switch them off while they are getting washed. The medium wet bag is for the diaper bag. We’ll use cloth wipes (made from fabric scraps I have laying about) for number ones and flushable wipes for number twos.                      Large Hanging Wet Dry Bag for Baby Cloth Diapers or Laundry (Yellow) Damero Cute Travel Baby Wet and Dry Cloth Diaper Organizer Bag (Medium, Animals)
  9. Clothes: We expect to get most of Little C’s clothes from the baby shower or our parents. People love buying baby clothes. We want at least 5-6 onesies/footie (depending on the time of year) in each size and two hats. We already have a bunting for when it gets colder (thanks mom!). We also want 2-3 sleepers for when he grows out of his swaddles (see below). He’ll also have 2 Sunday church outfits and a couple pairs of socks. Will he have more clothes than this? Probably. Like I said, people love buying baby clothes (including me).
  10. Baby Wash: Johnson’s Natural Head-to-Toe Foaming Baby Wash ($7.99, Target). This is not the cheapest body wash there is but, I’m a little more comfortable with the ingredients in this one, however, if we find we need to cut back, we’ll go with the non-natural Johnson’s baby wash. Johnson’s Natural Head-to-Toe Foaming Baby Wash - 18 oz.
  11. Coconut Oil ($10, Costco) – This will be used for diaper cream, as it is cloth diaper safe, and baby lotion. I’m not sure how to estimate the cost for this one because we have coconut oil as a staple in the house already. I estimate about $10 because a little goes a LONG way.
  12. Gentle Washcloth – My dad sent us a set of like 20 organic bamboo washcloths as soon as he found out we were pregnant. I don’t think we’ll need 20 (maybe we’ll use some as wipes) but, they are really soft and will be great for washing the baby!
  13. Swaddlers (x2): Summer Infant SwaddleMe 2 Pack 100% Organic Adjustable Infant Wrap, 7-14 Lbs, Small-Medium, Ivory/Green ($19.36 for 2, Amazon). I am really nervous about swaddling myself because you can do it so wrong and create some bad developmental problems for your child’s hips. Also, I think it is probably easier for Little C to get out of a swaddle I made than a swaddle made by the Swaddlemes. So, I think it is worth it to have these but, if you know how to swaddle go for receiving blankets. Summer Infant SwaddleMe 2 Pack 100% Organic Adjustable Infant Wrap, 7-14 Lbs, Small-Medium, Ivory/Green
  14. Health Kit: The First Years American Red Cross Baby Healthcare And Grooming Kit ($13.37, Amazon). Another self-explanatory necessity. I mostly chose this kit for the nail clippers, nasal aspirator, and medicine dispenser. We might buy those separately if we can find a good price.  If we can afford to buy an ear thermometer, like this, we’ll buy one of those too. The First Years American Red Cross Baby Healthcare And Grooming Kit
  15. Bottle (x2, free!) and Pacifier (x4): As you might’ve seen from my Amazon and Target gift box/bag, I got a free bottle in each. Since I will be at home and hopefully breast feeding, we won’t need that many bottles but, I (and Mr.B) still want Mr. B to have some opportunities to bond with Little C via feeding. Little C will also have to take the bottle when he’s babysat! Little C will also need Phillips Avent Soothie Pacifier ($3.84 for 2, Amazon) if he takes pacifiers. I’ll start with 2 but, with pacifiers being the size of keys, I’ll most likely loose them everywhere.
  16. Breast Pump: Hopefully, my insurance will cover an electric breast pump but, I haven’t called yet to check. If it doesn’t I’ll get the Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump ($25.99, Amazon). A manual pump is more of a hassle than an electric pump but, I can deal with that for a quarter of the price and for the amount that I will be pumping (hopefully not very much!). Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump
  17. Burp Rags: Gerber 10 Pack Prefold Birdseye Diaper, White ($15.99, Amazon). I’ve heard that while these are AWFUL cloth diapers, they are great for burp rags!
  18. Doggie Seatbelt: Kra-mar Roadie Dog Seatbelt (Petlife), Large ($34.10, Amazon). Now, I know this won’t be a need for everyone (or even most people) but, for me it was an absolute must. Firstly, how safe is that baby car seat if Wheatley flies around the car and hits Little C (and mom and dad) multiple times in a car wreck. The answer: not. Secondly, Wheatley should be safe and I should’ve bought him a seat belt a long time ago. Thirdly, Wheatley’s favorite spot in the car is standing in the middle of the backseat so he can look out the front window. Do you know where the baby’s car seat is safest? The middle of the backseat. Wheatley is going to be trying to climb all over Little C if I let him. But, I don’t want to let him so the seatbelt will strap him onto one of the side seats.                   Kra-mar Roadie Dog Seatbelt (Petlife) Large - Size: Large
  19. Humidifier (by wintertime): Mistmate Ultrasonic Hum White ($27.49, Target). It gets dry in Utah. Really dry. Honestly, I don’t know why we don’t have a humidifier already because, I get headaches from the dryness. This is not necessarily a need but, I worry that if I’m uncomfortable Little C will be too, which will result in me being even more uncomfortable (baby screaming while I already have a headache? I’ll try to avoid that as much as possible).
  20. Diaper Bag: Classic Plaid Multifunction Large Capacity Hand Bag Shoulder Bag Backpack Baby Diaper Baby Care Product (Blue) ($30.47). I searched for hours for a diaper bag that wasn’t too expensive ($100+ for a bag, heck no!), that was stylish enough for me to enjoy wearing, and that Mr. B could wear without any embarrassment. I finally came to this bag and I LOVE it. It is stylish, has three ways to wear it (including a backpack way for Mr. B), and has lots of organization pockets. Plus, it has great reviews. I honestly cannot wait to get this bag.

Classic Plaid Multifunction Large Capacity Hand Bag Shoulder Bag Backpack Baby Diaper Baby Care Product (Blue)

Bonus: Before Little C starts crawling, I’ll need to get some furniture and TV straps, any good suggestions for apartment dwellers?

Hope this list helped. What’s on your list?

xoxo,

Kels

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Sister Recipes: Mexican Chicken and Baked Mexican Chicken Tacos

Sister Recipes is a series I want to start with the goal of making more sister recipes. So, what is a sister recipe? Well it is a meal planning tactic where you use the first meal’s leftovers to make the second meal. We see a lot of sister recipes around thanksgiving time when everyone is trying to figure out what in the world to do with that leftover turkey but, we can use it the rest of the year to meal plan.

This weeks meal plan of sister recipes was an accident (and actually is what spurred this series). We made Crockpot Mexican Chicken and had taquitos (with plain chicken) planned and while I ate dinner I suddenly had a lightbulb that this chicken would taste fabulous in taquitos. And it does (well taquito-like tacos anyway).

Here is the link to the first recipe:

Mexican Chicken and Rice

http://www.carlsbadcravings.com/easy-slow-cooker-shredded-mexican-chicken-recipe/ (we didn’t use chipotle chili pepper  or liquid smoke and it still turned out fabulously). The first night we served the chicken over rice with some cheese. I loved it but, Mr. B said it was only ‘okay.’

The second recipe is: Baked Mexican Chicken Tacos

Baked Mexican Chicken Tacos

1.5 cups Mexican Chicken (see above)

3 oz Cream Cheese

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup shredded mozzerella

12 6 inch corn tortillas

Sour Cream, Refried Beans, and/or Guacamole for serving

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix everything but the tortillas together to make the filling. Microwave tortillas for 20 seconds. Divide filling evenly between tortillas and roll up. Lay rolled tortillas, opening side down, on a greased baking sheet. Cook for 15 minutes.

The second recipe is taquito inspired but, I can never manage to make my taquitos stay rolled… oh well.

xoxo,

Kels