This blog post is in response to a writing prompt at SocialMoms asking, "What two pieces of important advice would you share with first-time or soon-to-be parents?"
Being a frugal mom, I tend to think of things more with a cost/benefit school of thought. When we had our first child, my husband's parents bought us a very lovely bassinet. We had bought a crib already, but they wanted me to be able to have the baby nearby in a safe and snug environment. Though if I were a first-time parent again or a soon-to-be parent, I would offer this advice: buy a crib. If money is tight, don't spend on a bassinet. For the most part, these are used for only a very short time and aren't recommended if your child is able to push up on his or her own and generally not advised for use once your baby hits about 15 pounds. My first was nearly 8 and a half pounds, so we really only got 2-3 months use out of the bassinet at best.
My second piece of advice would be that if you're going to be having a baby shower, try to have someone steer guests to bring diapers that are too big for a newborn. While it is nice to be showered with lots of diapers, the truth of the matter is that babies spend most of their time in diapers in sizes 3 and 4. Both of my kids outgrew newborn diapers within just a few weeks of being born. Granted, both were over 8 pounds at birth. We cruised right through the smaller sizes very quickly before spending the most time in the 3's. If you have someone who can gently and tactfully ask that guests get gift receipts (yes, even for diapers!), please have them pass the word. It is extremely difficult to return items at stores without a receipt and having too much of a good thing can be hard to remedy.