Baby's First Three Years: The Only Gear You Need

Baby Items you need
Baby Items you need

I have to laugh every time I see someone writing an article about the 10 or 15 or even 20 "must have" items for a baby. Typically, these lists start with heavy, large, relatively expensive products that most children outgrow within a few months, and they finish with the little things you can pick up at a 24-hour grocery store in the middle of the night (and, in my opinion, don't need anyway): diaper cream and teething tablets.

I've had three babies, and I have more than a dozen nieces and nephews, so I've been around the block with what you need -- and what you don't. And with my youngest sister about to give birth on an extremely tight budget, I've come up with a list of just four things you really need.