I was a very reluctant convert to almost all baby products and gear. After working in various developing countries, I learned that there isn’t much that you need to raise a baby; a wash bucket, a piece of cloth to wear put your child on your back, and breasts for feeding. I saw some very happy and healthy babies—albeit with very tired moms.
My traveling experience, my teeny tiny New York apartment, and my genuine fear of climate change all caused me to avoid baby “stuff.” I’m already living such a privileged first world existence, why get more stuff? Maybe just a few painted wooden blocks.
Ha. I was so naive.
And here’s why:
Plastic Bibs 1 of 9
Plastic baby bibs are ugly compared to all of the beautiful, muslin cotton ones I see online. But who wants food-stained bibs sitting in their laundry? The plastic bibs are easily wiped down and ready for the next meal.
Double Stroller 2 of 9
There's nothing worse than rushing to work only to get stuck behind a parent pushing a double stroller. You're trapped. Steam visibly comes out of people's ears. So to become one of "those" people, well...I swore I'd never do it. When I realized I'd have two babies I announced that I would "wear one and push one" which I do but golly, the double stroller has been helpful. I have this one, which can be found at Target for $250.
Baby Shoes 3 of 9
I don't believe in baby shoes. Babies don't need them, they don't walk. I've always thought they were a waste of money. But I got sucked in. Just look at how cuuuuuute these are from Aja Lor. You can buy them on Etsy for $33.
Playpen, Playard, Whatever You Want to Call It 4 of 9
I was confident that I wasn't going to use a "baby jail" such as a playard. Oh contraire, there's so many things that you can do with two free hands.
Pacifier 5 of 9
I'd always heard parents struggling to get their toddlers to give up the pacifier, so why give it to them in the first place? Sure, I could find a more creative way to soothe my newborn. Please forgive my ignorance. Some babies just need to suck, suck, suck and mine were no exception. These are by Dr. Brown's.
Pacifier Clip 6 of 9
Pacifier clips. See my previous comments about pacifiers. This adorable one is available on Etsy for $12.18.
Baby Gym 7 of 9
Again, the name. Baby Gym, really? How about just "Dangly Dome?" Or "Batting Branch?" Regardless, it's huge and I didn't want it, but both of my babies spent their entire 2nd and 3rd month flailing around in joy because of it. I bought this one because I thought it was the least visually assaultive—it's by Skip Hop and it's not too expensive at $65.
Crib Mobile 8 of 9
Ugh, crib mobiles. They've always seemed so awkward hanging in the way of putting the baby to bed. Once again, I've learned that what baby wants, baby gets, and baby wants entertainment in the crib. This bat mobile is amazing and Kim Baise will custom design one just for you.
Boppy Pillow 9 of 9
I was given this pillow for free when I bought a crib from someone on craigslist. I didn't want to explain that I wouldn't be breastfeeding so I simply said thank you. It's turned out to be a godsend now with two babies. I can hold one and put the other right next to me propped up on this pillow. It keeps my babies close and happy.
Also from Rebecca this month: 10 Steps I Take to Avoid Co-sleeping With My Baby
You can also follow Rebecca on her blog here.