When I found out I was pregnant with my first baby, I promptly went on a shopping spree. I bought everything. Tiny baby shoes! Fancy crib bedding! A number of friends warned me not to spend a ton of money on unnecessary baby gear, but I was excited. Isn’t it a rite of passage for expectant parents to go completely overboard? Retail therapy distracts us from the fact that we’re hurtling towards a slew of unknown sounds, emotion-filled cuddles, sleepless nights and first steps. Without arming ourselves for every possible situation, it feels like it’s almost too much to bear. I wanted to honor each moment with the precious trappings—necessary or not—because I felt so incredibly blessed.
So, is this just a first-time parent thing? Not so much. When my second child came around eighteen months later—as much as I swore that we had everything we could possibly need—I found myself getting wrapped up once again in the latest gadgets. We were set on wipes warmers and jogging strollers, but there were updated rattles and decor sets for the new nursery! Tiny knit hats and advanced monitors! I got swept up and sucked in… and you know what? That’s okay. I cherished the heck out of those baby days.
Based on my own experiences, here is the quintessential list of baby things you don’t really need (or do you?).
Excited soon-to-be parents buy everything they can get their hands on without thinking about the fact that it’s bound to wind up getting outgrown or covered in spit-up. Here are the things you totally don’t need (or perhaps you should just invest in backups to keep it all fresh and fitting?).
As long as we’re all apparently living like kings, I wish someone would come warm up my toilet paper for me! A wipes warmer is one of those things that you don't need to buy ahead of time—you’ll find out soon enough if your baby has an issue with cold wipes. Unless, perhaps, you’re going through the polar vortex. Hmmm.
Unless you have serious issues with germs, pacifier wipes just won’t make the cut in your already-stuffed diaper bag. You can easily rinse your baby’s binky off at the nearest restroom, but then there’s the issue of navigating your way into the nearest restroom with your stroller.
We love to match our lamps and light switch covers as much as the next person, but you’ll save a ton of money opting for a basic but cute bedding set and mixing-and-matching the rest. Try Room 365 for easy accents on a budget.
This isn’t to say that parents can’t be active, but it seems like every mom who gets pregnant suddenly decides that post-baby is the best time to take up jogging. If you didn’t run before, you’re not going to be doing much of it after popping a baby out! Those of you who are already big on marathons, invest in a good fitness stroller to maintain that level of activity.
Babies usually don’t use rattles until they’re a little older, sitting up and able to manipulate an item with their hands and lift something that has some substantial weight. When you do eventually buy one, try one like the Fisher-Price Snugamonkey that can double as a teether and easily hook onto something for grab-and-go convenience.
I promise, your baby will be well taken care of in the toy department by numerous friends and family. Try to give them a subtle hint by registering for more useful learning toys such as the Infantino Go Gaga Toy Collection.
Don’t get over-invested in these sweet, wearable reverse feeding capes of wonder. Many kids refuse to eat with them on, or outgrow them before they can be truly useful. If you do buy a few bibs, opt for ones that are adjustable and easy to clean.