Major baby equipment includes things like the crib,
high chair, furniture, and car seat. New parents unfortunately sometimes
get carried away and buy everything they could possibly ever want for their new
arrival. If you want to live debt free, you need to evaluate what is
really necessary. Here are reviews of some major items:
What nursery furniture do you need? A bassinet is optional. If you think you will use one, you can often get these at a consignment shop, or borrow one from friends/relatives. A crib is considered a necessity. Buy a new one or borrow one from a friend. However, some of us end up co-sleeping.
I have know some families that used a drawer for the first few weeks for their newborn. Do NOT close the drawer. Take it out of the dresser and use it as you would a bassinet. Babies like being in close confined spaces. That's why they like being tightly wrapped in a receiving blanket, so a drawer is actually a good idea. I would get a new crib though or an almost new hand me down from a friend or family member.
You definitely will need some sort of changing area. If you have a low table (or even a soft floor), you can simply buy a changing pad rather than a changing table.
A dresser is not necessary right away, particularly if you have a changing table or a closet for storage. I would definitely recommend a rocker of some sort. Be sure to look for any baby equipment you buy at second-hand shops, on Craigslist, Kijiji or your newspaper classifieds section.
Baby equipment that is useful,
but can usually be bought used or borrowed include:
a vibrating bouncer
an excersaucer or jumper
All of these items are only used for a short period of time so
I would hesitate to spend the money to buy them new.
Here are the baby items that I found unnecessary (of course, this may be different for you):
Bumbo seat—These are all the rage, but my baby outgrew it by nine months. He used it for only three months. Thankfully, I had gotten it at a yard sale.
Sling/Baby Bjorn—My babies never cared for these, but you could try out one from a friend to see if your baby likes them.
Walkers—These are actually considered unsafe and off the market.They should not be bought at a garage sale.
Regular stroller—If you have a good jogging stroller, a regular stroller is not that necessary.
One item you will definitely have to buy new is a carseat. It is unsafe to use a second-hand carseat because safety guidelines may have changed. Also, you never know if it was in an accident, making it less safe. If there are any other baby items you have found particularly useful or not useful at all, please use the contact form and let me know.