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Top 10 Baby Items I'm NOT Buying

By KateTietje |

That’s my daughter at 2 months, wearing a very fancy dress I didn’t buy!  #6 on my list.

There is so much baby gear out there.  A ridiculous amount.  When I had my first baby, I was tricked into thinking I needed to “collect it all.”  Because all good parents buy the best baby contraptions, right?

No.  Turns out only suckers (or first-time parents) believe they need all of it.  In fact, I’ve found much of it to be completely useless.  So this time, in addition to not buying things, I’m also getting rid of things I’ve found to be entirely useless.  Who needs baby junk (or any junk) you’re not using taking up space.

So, my top 10 things I’m not buying:

1. Baby bedding

Seriously, is there anything more expensive and useless?  Babies really only need a couple light blankets and some fitted sheets.  They don’t need a comforter, or bumpers (necessarily, though I actually use them when they are older), or any of the extra junk.  Their rooms and cribs do not have to be perfectly coordinated like something out of a magazine.  Besides, I sew each of my babies a special blanket, and their grandmothers make them special quilts that they use when they are older.  I’m not spending $200 on something I will never use or need.  A few $10 sheets are just fine.

2. An exersaucer

My babies hated this thing.  I don’t think they ever spent more than a minute or so in it before screeching to get out.  They just did not want to be trapped.  I also do not like having so many “baby holders.”  Put them on the floor on a blanket with a few toys and call it good.  They’re more interested in what you have and what you’re doing anyway.

3. Mainstream baby carriers (like the “baby bjorn”)

I had one of these, and really hated it.  It wasn’t comfortable for the baby or for me.  Instead, I used an old-fashioned Moby wrap until about 6 months, then a home-sewn Mei Tai after that.  I did not need any other type of carrier at all, and my babies were far more comfortable.  Plus, the wrap is so versatile.

4. Pack’n’play

I know lots of people love these.  I kept thinking that I would.  I just don’t.  I never use them!  The grandparents have cribs or pack-n-plays at their houses, and when we’ve traveled elsewhere our babies have just slept with us.  At home, they always nap in their crib, swing, or on me.  I just.never.use.them!

5. Receiving blankets

These things are tiny…too small to wrap the baby in, too small to do just about anything.  You could use them for a burp cloth, but I’m more likely to grab whatever normal-sized blanket they’re already in, or a cloth diaper.  These things are thin, tiny, and just…worthless.  I’ve never used them.

6. Fancy baby outfits

Although my children have each had one or two “holiday” outfits, mostly purchased by the grandparents, I don’t like fancy outfits in general.  Sure, they’re nice for that one special holiday.  But otherwise, who has the time to make sure they stay clean, and wash them specially?  I don’t.  Almost everyone I know says these type of outfits are worn once or twice before they become too much of a hassle and are abandoned.  Kids can live in onesies and cheap outfits just fine.

7. Baby bath towels

I tried to use them…I really did.  But they’re so thin and tiny, the baby just gets cold.  I end up grabbing a real bath towel and wrapping them in that.  Keeps them warm and snug while they dry off, and then I don’t have a bunch of “extra” stuff floating around my bathroom.

8. Most baby toys

We have!  We had none when my daughter was born and I felt bad.  Of course, three years later, we’ve accumulated so many that our playroom has a fine carpet of toys at all times, and we have a huge box or two in the basement.  Babies just do not need all these gadgets and toys.  There are 3 – 5 toys that my babies really enjoyed, like the devices where you push buttons to make the toys pop up, or a couple teething rings, or putting things through a hole.  But really?  They can live with wooden spoons, pots and pans, and so on.  They do not need flashing lights and beeping things.  (My kids would always play with these types of toys for about five minutes…then look at me like I was dumb: “Mom, so, that’s all it does?”)

9. Disposable diapers

This is because I am a cloth diapering mom.  I know.  If you don’t cloth diaper you will need them.  But even many cloth diapering moms buy them for the early weeks, or in case of “emergencies” or for traveling.  I do not like them and will not buy them at all.  I prefer to use cloth even in the early weeks and while traveling.  I can count on one hand the number of times my son has ever had a disposable on, and they were all in the church nursery when I had only brought one extra diaper and he’d peed through it.  That’s just my personal preference, though.  (I love cloth diapering newborns, btw.)

10. Nursery decorations

Seriously.  It does not matter how pretty the room is.  My son did not sleep in his for 15 months.  And even now, he does not care what it looks like.  He is in his room about 30 seconds longer than he is asleep and then he wants out, so he can be with people and play.  I don’t need to waste time and money making the room look “perfect” for him.  There are way more important things I can spend my time and money on.  I did want to decorate my first baby’s room “perfectly” but quickly realized how useless it really was.

What are your least important baby items?

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About KateTietje



Kate Tietje is a food blogger who focuses on natural food and cooking. In addition to Modern Alternative Mama, she has contributed her writing to the Parenting and Pregnancy channels on Babble.

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13 thoughts on “Top 10 Baby Items I'm NOT Buying

  1. Nikki says:

    I’m with you on the Pack & Play. I even got one with the “newborn napper” and changing attachment. My daughter never napper in it once. We took the thing to my mom’s and then she ended up sleeping in bed with me.

    My daughter does love her excersaucer, though.

    Special Byron cloths are useless, too. I just use a cloth diaper.

  2. Alison says:

    ask any physical therapist and they will tell you an exersaucer is a nono! It delays crawling and walking by overdeveloping the wrong muscles. They have told me (Since my daughter is in PT) that they are fine as baby holders, but thats it. hah. Too funny. Would love your pattern for the homemade mei tai!!

  3. Liesel says:

    I actually used the exersaucer in the kitchen when I needed a safe 10 min break- we have 2 large dogs so some of the “on the floor play” I have to be VERY careful with. When I started sitting, I would use it for an extra snack place or when I had to pee and couldn’t leave a 5 mo old with an 17 mo old (nor did I want to take them to the bathroom with me!)

    And you know how much I LOVE my Moby wrap :)

  4. iris197her says:

    I agree with nearly all of these (except the diapers – I used disposables). But even though my daughter doesn’t care about what her room looks like, *I* do. Just like no one cares what our bathroom looks like – I do! So it’s decorated, just like the rest of our house is.
    Also, while I knew my daughter would play with a wooden spoon, it meant *I* had no spoons when I needed them. Half my tupperware and cooking utensils were always MIA. So I wound up having to buy more, and honestly, if it’s all the same to her, I’d rather buy her toys. I want to keep my toys separate from hers! She can share my toys when she’s visiting me in the kitchen or when it’s time to learn to “cook”. :)

  5. Diera says:

    I agree with most of these, but we have used our Pack n’ Play extensively! We have used ours as a changing table, napping location in the early months, travel crib, and occasional safe place to stash a toddler when for some reason it wasn’t safe to have them free. My younger child is quite short and so she’s still able to sleep in it at three. It’s one of the most useful pieces of baby equipment we owned. However, like most things, it’s all a question of what fits into a given family’s life and what doesn’t.

  6. Monique Schaefer says:

    I think decorating a bedroom is by far most fun to do while pregnant! Being creative and having fun setting up a room for an upcoming baby is the best part!

  7. KMc says:

    I think these are great opinions, and everyone has their own version of this list. Too bad we each need to find out what works for our babies and what doesn’t. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we all only used the same things?! :)

  8. Nicole R says:

    I think the main thing to take from this article is that you have to find what works for you. The fact that you bought all this stuff to begin with proves that you don’t know in the beginning what to expect from your baby. The real title here should be “What I learned from my baby” and, who knows.. you may end up buyin them all back because what worked for baby #1 just won’t do for #2.

  9. Rae says:

    I’m not with you on the pack and play, but I think it’s because we’re a military family and we travel A LOT. If my children would just co-sleep we wouldn’t need them. But my kids around 6 months just don’t want to sleep with us. It makes me sad, but I feel like being an AP mom means that I need to listen to their needs and respond to them appropriately.

    Breast pump, bottles, and things of those nature weren’t on my list.
    Why buy something before you even know if you’d need it

  10. CuriousMama says:

    Good list!
    Luckily I started my registry early in my pregnancy so by the time my showers came up, I had wizened up and took half of the stuff off my list. Many of the things I deleted, you have listed here.

  11. tysmama says:

    lol i completely disagree with you. I used and need all of it except for number 1 and ten.

  12. Debra @Happy To Be Home says:

    We do tend to overbuy for baby.

    Another thing about exersaucer is there is research that links things like those and skipping crawling. Is the research true? I don’t know, but it’s already in my mentality not to get those sort of things. The only “baby holder” we had was a small laundry basket tied securely to a chair (with a blanket inside to make it cushion-y for when he could sit up but not attempt to get out of it.

    We used disposable diapers until Christopher was 6 months because we were in an apartment with out of the apartment coin laundry. I had to take him to the laundry area and pay for each load to wash and dry. We’re doing them again because of being put on partial bed rest. The less that needs to be done by others, the better.

    I decorated Christopher’s nursery with household items and think it ended up being cute. All I bought was some PVC pipe and page protectors. (

    One thing I got but then never used was a baby bath seat.

  13. Debra @Happy To Be Home says:

    If I didn’t have a travel bassinet I would have used a pack n’ play because Christopher was this strange baby who didn’t sleep without his space.

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