So there are scores of lists out there of things you need for your newborn/infant. But not as many lists of things that you really don’t need. Leading up to delivery day I was frantically buying everything anyone told me (even bloggers) I needed before the big day. First of all, remember that Amazon Prime will get you just about anything in 3 days or less. Unless you are out of diapers (or formula if not breastfeeding) you can probably wait a few days. Of course don’t skip the essentials – diapers, wipes, onesies, swaddle blankets, car seat and crib. But every baby is soooo different and you’ll need all sorts of things you never thought of once your little bundle of joy arrives.
So this is a list of the things I purchased or asked for in my registry that I didn’t end up using much or at all. While some of them are handy, they are not necessary. Anywhere you can save money as a new parent is good. Some obvious ones are not here, wipes warmer, bottle warmer, baby food processor, as these things I already was convinced I didn’t need.
1. (Breastfeeding moms) More than 3-4 baby bottles: I bought the Dr. Brown’s glass bottles, which are great by the way, but I sure as heck didn’t need 8 of them. If you don’t want to be running your dishwasher all the time with only a few baby bottles in it, then you’ll end up washing these by hand anyway. You can sterilize them by boiling in hot water, which I need to do with my pump supplies too anyway. They all come with the size 1 nipples too, which my daughter quickly outgrew, she’s now on size 4. Nipples anyone?
2. A video baby monitor: I of course wanted the high end motorola video monitor. I got it as a gift and it was super awesome until I found out that it emits way too much microwave radiation and could harm her developing brain. So I bought the cheap radio one with just the sound. I don’t worry about the radiation and now I don’t constantly waste time staring at it too. FYI – cell phones are the worst. Don’t use the cell phone while holding your baby.
3. A second car seat: A friend of mine gave me her infant car seat. I know what the companies say, used car seats are bad – blah blah blah. If it’s never been in a crash, in a smokers car, and meets all the car seat safety checks (check your local fire department) then it’s fine. I however, thought that because we have two cars and a nanny that I needed two of them, so bought a second one. I have switched back and forth when we clean the cover on the other one, but this isn’t enough to justify the $200 I spent on the second one. And my daughter is off the charts in growth and so it’s likely we won’t even be able to use them for more than a year. Get in touch with me next summer, if you are in need of a car seat! However, I will say that having three bases (one for each of our cars) is useful and worth the convienence.
4. Baby towels: Go ahead and buy one plush hooded infant towel for that first bath photo. Skip the rest. You are only bathing your little one every few days or so and before you know it you’re using the regular adult sized towels anyway. I couldn’t wrap the towels around my daughter anymore by the time she was 4 months old. And if you’ve ever bathed an infant you know that wrapping them up immediately is very important, especially in an old drafty northeast home like mine. Buy some of the larger toddler towels if you want the hoods, so that they’ll last more than a few months.
5. The Moby Wrap: I know many moms will disagree with me here. Everyone is different, so what works for some, won’t for others. I loved the idea of this – minimalist, attractive, easy to wash and pack – but in reality it was just too hard to use. The last thing you need as a new mom is another something new to learn. By the time I did manage to get the thing on and my daughter in it, she was screaming her head off because she was ready to go for a walk 10 minutes ago. I used it successfully once I think. My daughter was big and grew fast, so the Ergo with the infant insert worked fine and took only seconds to put on. I hear folks like the Baby K’Tan too, but my daughter again was too big for that. Again, if you are interested, make me an offer.
6. The Bumbo: People love these things and rush out to buy one as soon as their infant can hold their head up. It’s super cute and babes love to be able to sit up and look around. However, any active babe can easily tip the thing over. My daughter would buck backwards and move it across the floor and actually did flip over once. It worked for about 2 weeks before her butt got too big for it. If you have a chill, small rumped child, then you may like it, but ours is currently for sale. $20 anyone?
7. A special diaper pail for cloth or disposable: Most of my little one’s diapers end up in the regular trash. A breastfeed baby doesn’t really have stinky diapers. You know the old saying “my shit don’t stink”. You actually are pretty immune to the the smell of your baby’s poops. Instead, just get a regular old trash can with a good tight lid and plastic bags. For cloth diapers, I end up soaking them immediately and adding them to the wash I’m doing every day anyway. My husband however would disagree, and thinks that the diaper pail was worth the extra money. But if you are trying to save, this is one item you can probably skip.
8. Clothes that only just fit over your baby’s head: Now that my little one is almost 6 months, I can do this easily. But when she was a newborn, forget it!! You only want newborn clothes that have those little flaps on the shoulders or better yet, zip or snap up clothes. Getting a tight fitting shirt, dress, sweater etc… over a screaming floppy head is no fun for you or baby. So resist the urge to buy tons of cute adult like looking outfits. And while on the topic of clothes, you don’t need much. You’re doing laundry all the time and they grow out of them so fast that you’ll have a drawer full of never worn clothes to take to your local momma swap. And baby hats!! You don’t need many. As soon as they can reach, they will pull them right off.
9. Creams (diaper rash, nipples (yours), cradle cap, massage etc…): There are so many different creams and lotions that you think you need or that people give you at your shower. Good old coconut oil (see my most used things post), and olive oil will do the trick for most anything.
10. Baby blankets: Unless you can swaddle them in safely, big fluffy blankets are really only good for using under them on the carpet. I did like the Aden and Anais swaddle blankets however because they were light, breathable and you could actually swaddle your baby in them. But I have a number of others that got little use and now they are way to small to be used for anything other than a burp cloth.
So again, everyone is different and you could probably find someone for which these things are on their top ten. What would be on your list of most unused, overrated items?