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.
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 too.many.toys! 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?