9 Baby Items We Have But (Almost) Never UseKatie Loeb
On Friday I gave a run down of our must have, daily use baby items, so it only seems fair to also offer a look at the things we have but don’t use. Many of these were gifts from friends and I don’t mean to seem ungrateful, because we are so fortunate to have such a wonderful group of people who showered us with gifts for our son. But 10 months in, we’ve realized that not every baby item is created equal, at least for us.
In other words, if we could start over, these are the items that we wouldn’t add to the registry. They simply don’t get any use in our house. It’s not to say that any of these are inherently bad products. As with all things parenting, other people will have a different opinion, but for us, they just haven’t been worth the cost.
I’m still going to include links and costs in case anyone is interested and once again, these are (obviously) unsponsored/unaffiliated links, so click if you want.
We Have These Items… 1 of 10But do we need them? Nope!
Shoes 2 of 10We were given several completely adorable pairs of shoes for Eli when he was born. I stored them for when his feet were big enough and was so excited the day he could finally wear a pair. And then 7 seconds later one of them fell off. And then 10 seconds after putting it back on, it fell off again. And other shoes didn't fit him because his feet were too (adorably) chubby. To this day he owns about 3 pairs which get worn, at most, once a month. And while these monster shoes were totally worth the cost because they are so cute I could die, otherwise, shoes for a non-walking baby have not been worth the money. My baby loves his toes, so when it's warm enough, we go barefoot, or if we have to, socked.
Get get some similarly adorable shoes (the monsters are out of stock!) at Carter's for $8.99
The Boppy 3 of 10We weren't sure which breastfeeding pillow to buy and since we were given a hand-me-down My Brest Friend pillow (which, such a better pillow for breastfeeding), we decided to buy the boppy. I tried to convince my husband that it could be used for baby play stuff, but ultimately, Eli never liked being laid on it (he was so small it propped him up at a super awkward angle) and if we tried to use it for sitting safety, he inevitably just flopped face forward instead. This item now lives in our garage, almost untouched, though completely adorable with its little monkey pattern.
Buy this pillow at Toys R Us for $49.99
Bouncy Chair 4 of 10My son spent the first, um, all of this months so far, in a Rock n Play bed, but he has only ever used it for naps for nighttime sleep, not entertainment purposes. During the day, he has always wanted to be on the floor, held by someone or moving in the swing, and so the bouncy chairs just never really cut it. The longest he ever sat in one was through a shower and by the end he was a fiesty angry baby, even with the vibration on. I know many parents love the bouncy chairs, but for our baby, the swing was a much bigger hit for day time lounging. (Also, notably, that is my sister's baby's bouncy chair he's in, though it is very pretty.)
Get this bouncy chair at Babies R Us for $54.98
Exersaucer 5 of 10Here's my major caveat slide- we don't own an exersaucer. Our babysitter has one and our son has been in it from time to time, but we didn't register for, or buy one for a few reasons. First, professionally, I'm not a big fan of them. Plenty of kids use them and do great, but we've also see a major correlation between excessive exersaucer use and toe walking and excessive exersaucer use and delayed crawling (due to lack of access to floor time!). Second, also sort of professionally, I really wanted Eli to do his upright exploration when he was ready, that is, when he could stand on his own. Now that we've reached that point, we put toys on surfaces he can pull up on and he loves it, but before that point, we really wanted to push floor time. I know that many parents and babies love it, and it is super convenient when you need the baby contained and content and I don't judge anyone for using and loving theirs, we just chose not to spend the money on one.
Get this exersaucer at Target for $115.
Sleep Sheep 6 of 10Oh the sleep sheep. A friend of ours bought this when Eli was tiny and told us that several of her friends just loved it. It's an adorable, soft sheep, with a white noise machine built in. It's kind of genius- you can hook it to the crib and it's so cute. But I hate this sheep. The white noise only lasts for 45 minutes, which is exactly the length of one sleep cycle and every time we used it, the baby woke up the instant the white noise shut off. It made me crazy. We have since removed the white noise part and now Eli likes to play with it as a regular stuff animal, but if you want white noise (and we love us some white noise), I recommend this white noise machine instead. It plugs in, offers several good noise options (I prefer rain- the doesn't ebb and flow noise-wise like the ocean setting does) and even has a light projector for when he's older. Down with the sleep sheep!
Get this sheep at Amazon for $23.35
Changing Table 7 of 10Before Eli was born we searched high and low for a dresser with a top we could use as a changing table. We bought a changing pad, found adorable covers and set up a perfect little nursery. And then we almost never used the changing table again. Frankly, it was just not necessary. You can change a baby on the floor and it's about 100 times easier to get leverage for all things that way. Plus, now that he's a mobile mess, diaper changes have become basically poop wrestling contests and it's about 100 times safer to do that on the floor than 3 feet in the air.
Get this changing table pad at Target for $13.69
Bumbo 8 of 10When we registered, I very intentionally left the Bumbo off our list. I've used them periodically for work and I really don't love them. I don't care for the type of sitting support they offer, nor when they're used on babies who are too little for them and I just didn't feel like it was something we needed. A family member noticed our oversight and (thoughtfully) purchased one for us (not actually Bumbo brand, but as I no longer have the box, I can't give you exact details, sorry!). I decided to be more open minded and when Eli was 4 months old, I pulled it out and put him in it. And he hated it. He refused to lay back against the back of it and instead spent the entire 10 minutes trying to lean forward and support himself. Though it was probably the best ab workout of his life, it just wasn't something he liked or needed. We got him a regular high chair the next week and practiced sitting on the floor and he's been content.
Get this chair at Diapers.com for $45.29
3-6/6+ month pacifiers 9 of 10My child has been a pacifier baby practically since birth. Some of my friends told me not to bother when he was really little because he would never be able to keep one in his mouth, so we were more than a little surprised when he happily sucked on it for over an hour at 1 day old. 10 months later, it's still his most cherished item. We try to restrict it to bedtime and car rides now, but some days he finds hidden ones and he's so proud of himself it's hard to take them away. We noticed that there are different versions of his pacifier for older babies, but considering that there's already a good chance that his pacifier habit will impact his teeth, we decided we wanted the thinnest, most pliable material possible, so instead of going up to the firmer pacifiers in his age range, we've stuck with the newborn ones. Eli doesn't seem too upset about it.
Get these pacifiers at Target for $4.29
Swaddle/Sleep Sacks 10 of 10We used sleep gowns for a long time with Eli and swaddled him with a blanket when he was really little, but it wasn't until my niece was born that I even knew swaddle sacks existed. And by that time we were long past the days of swaddling. Since then we've tried regular sleep sacks a few times and with disastrous results. I don't know if it's because my child loves his feet more than anything else, but the nights we've used the sleep sacks instead of footie pajamas have been some of our worst nights of sleep. When we have another baby, we may try the swaddle sacks, but we happily lived without them for 10 months.
Get a sleep sack at Target for $19.99
What were your least useful baby items?
Save some time with this list of must-have items for baby!