What babies really need
Sometimes parents go overboard with the things that their baby needs.
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Congratulations! You're having a baby! And one of the first thoughts that parents have is: babies are expensive. But the reality is that people make babies expensive. If you were to unexpectedly have a baby like those ladies on "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant", then there's not a lot of material things a baby needs to survive.

Milk

If you're breastfeeding - well then this is free. And if you're choosing to formula feed it will be one of your bigger expenses. You'll need some bottles too if you're formula feeding.

Nappies

This is also one of the big expenses when it comes to babies. From birth to potty training it's estimated that you will spend around R15 000 on just nappies. If you choose to go the cloth nappy route, you can expect to spend around R3000 initially with very little monthly costs. 

Growers

Babies need something to wear. They spend the first 3 months of their lives in these things because it's the easiest to put on them. Sure they're cute and pretty but babies don't really need the fancy, frilly clothes.

A place to sleep

This may be obvious but your baby needs a place to sleep. Whether you're co-sleeping or not, you need some idea of where your baby will be spending the night. Even though we had a cot and a Moses basket our son still ended up in our bed for the first few weeks.

Blankets


Some babies love to be swaddled and if done correctly it can have benefits to helping your baby sleep. But what you don't need is special swaddling blankets, a regular muslin or receiving blanket will do. And if your baby is not a fan of being swaddled they still need to be covered.

Car seat

A child's safety is of paramount importance. Whenever your baby is in a car, they should be in a car seat. There are no ifs or buts about it. According to the Road Traffic Management Corporation, there are more than 700 000 crashes a year with three children dying a day on our roads. So when you're bringing your baby home from the hospital make sure you've got your car seat.

Obviously it's great to have all the extras like a rockers or changing tables which certainly makes your job as a parent easier. And let's be honest parenting is already a pretty tough gig so any help counts! But my point was that it is completely unnecessary to freak parents to be out with how expensive babies are.

What annoys me the most is that you get things that are just completely unnecessary for instance a baby blanket with handles that costs R750 just so you don't have to use your hands to move your baby from the car seat to the pram. And then you get companies who know that their target market is paranoid new parents and tote their product as being the "must have" thing for your baby.

Don't fall for their marketing nonsense. Your baby doesn't need all that stuff, they just need a few basics and your love.

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

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