When parents find out they are expecting a baby, they immediately start compiling the to-do lists. They schedule the first doctor’s appointment, start Googling things like ‘foods for pregnant women to avoid’, and every expectant mother’s favorite thing to do: they start shopping!
According to reports, "the average middle-income family will spend roughly $12,000 on child-related expenses in their baby’s first year of life. By age two, parents are up to more than $12,500 per year,” shares Parenting.com. It’s no secret that parents spend a lot of money on their kids. Before a baby even comes, registries are compiled, and mom and dad start shopping for all of those items on the ‘must get for baby’ lists.
A quick Google search of newborn necessities will lead any expectant parent to a ton of checklists, and must-have items. Many of these items are, of course, useful and necessary. Every baby needs a crib, diapers, bottles and clothes, but there is such a thing as items that a baby absolutely does not need. Looking out for necessities versus non-necessities can save parents-to-be a lot of money. Another thing to be aware of is that there is such a thing as having too much stuff. Less is more is especially true when it comes to some baby items. A lot of diapers would certainly come in handy, but one too many onesies will just drive any mom bonkers when she is doing the laundry.
Below is a list of 20 products that moms don’t really need for the newborn stage. Keep reading for some tips on what parents might be able to skip when compiling those ‘must-have’ checklists.
20 Diaper Pails Are Just fancy trash cans
The diaper pail is a glorified garbage can. Basically, they promise to lock out odors from your baby's diapers. From my personal experience, I have no problem using regular garbage cans. I have one in my daughter’s upstairs nursery for wet only diapers, and the used diapers get thrown away downstairs in the garbage that goes out nightly. This system works great for me personally, but there are a few people who do like the diaper pails.
TheSpruce.com recommends the following, “We found the Diaper Genie is both convenient and effective, but if convenience isn’t your main priority, then there’s no real reason to shell out $30 to $40 on a fancy new trashcan. Simply wrap your baby’s diapers in a plastic bag, toss it in with the regular trash, and take that nightly walk to the curb.”
19 Changing Tables Are Just Regular Tables
Next on the list of items to skip on the baby registry is a changing table. Some mothers don’t even use a changing table at all. You will find that it’s just as easy to change your baby’s diaper on the floor, couch, or closest location to you. I personally do like to use the changing table, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy one. You can buy changing table pads that you can attach to the top of any old dresser.
Even better, you can still use it once your out of diaper changing days! Livestrong.com states, “ But once your baby outgrows diapers, you're left with a piece of furniture you can't really use. If you convert a dresser to a changing table, when your baby gets older, you can use the dresser in his room to hold clothes.”
18 Bassinets Are Outgrown So Fast (And Super Overpriced)
Save the money on an overpriced bassinet and opt for a multi-use item instead. There’s no reason your newborn can’t sleep in a crib from the get-go. Of course, you want to be close to baby so if you can’t fit a crib in your bedroom, there are other options! Opt for using a Pack N Play as baby’s bed for the first month or so. Some Pack N Play’s on the market even come with removable bassinets. Multi-use products such as these are real money-savers when it comes to babies! Of course, everyone is different and has different needs, so be sure to do your research before you decide what to use.
On the topic of safe sleep for newborns, MarchOfDimes.org recommends the following, “Put your baby to sleep on his back on a flat, firm surface, like a crib mattress covered with a tightly fitted sheet. Use only the mattress made for your baby’s crib. The mattress should fit snugly in the crib so there are no spaces between the mattress and the crib frame. The mattress shape should stay firm even when covered with a tightly fitted sheet or mattress cover.”
17 Bottle Sterilizers Are Unnecessary When Boiling Water Is Practically Free
Sterilizing bottles is another topic that each person should do their own research on, and make their own decisions on how to do it. Your doctor may even have recommendations for you. “A baby’s immune system is not yet fully developed, and babies are more susceptible to infection and illness than an older child or adult. Cleanliness is therefore very important when preparing your baby’s bottles,” shares PregnancyBirthBaby.org.au. There are a lot of bottle sterilizers today, but here’s the thing, a regular old saucepan will do the trick. All you need is boiling water to sanitize bottles. Yes, it’s a pain in the butt, but it’s just as easy as preparing the microwave sterilizers, and as with everything in the newborn stage, it’s not going to last forever!
16 Booties Don't Do Anything Socks Don't Do
“The primary purpose of putting socks on your newborn is to prevent her feet from getting chilled. Because newborns aren't moving around, their feet tend to get cold easily, and socks help keep their feet warm,” writes Livestrong.com. By all means, buy your baby socks and use them, you should make sure his or her toes are nice and cozy! However, the baby booties and shoes are something you should skip on. Until your baby starts showing interest in walking, the shoes are just going to get in the way and inevitably keep falling off. Save yourself the trouble and skip the shoes from the start.
15 Wipe Warmer: Babies Don't Care If A Wipe Is Warm
I swear, this is one of those things I see at almost every garage sale and consignment sale. “Warm, moist environments are ideal breeding grounds for germs, so keeping something that will touch your baby's private areas in that contained space is not a good idea,” shares Parents.com. The idea is that warm wipes will keep your baby more calm during diaper changes. Here’s the thing, either your baby will tolerate diaper changes, or they won’t tolerate diaper changes, warm wipes are not going to make or break the ordeal. Add a wipe warmer on your ‘things to pass on’ list.
14 Bath Thermometer: Your Own Elbow Works Just As Well
Let your elbow do the trick for you here! Just say no to the baby bath thermometer and trust your instincts. You will know if the bath water is too hot or not. “The temperature of the bath water should be just above 100 F to prevent chilling or burning the baby. If you do not have a bath thermometer, test the water with your elbow. When you put your elbow in the water, it should feel warm, not hot,” shares NationwideChildrens.org. There you go, easy peasy! It’s also important to note that you will want to try to keep the room warm so your little one isn’t too chilled once they get out of the tub!
13 Baby Food Makers Are Just Blenders
Planning to make your own baby food? Good for you! I bet that will last a month or so. In all seriousness, good for you if you plan to make your own baby food! I still make most of my daughter’s foods, but the girl loves her squeezy pouches! If you do make your own baby food, pass on the baby food maker. Have a blender or food processor? Then you have all you need! People who sing the praises of baby food makers like the fact that they don’t have to steam fruits and veggies prior to placing them into the blender or food processor. Do your research though, most of those pre-cook features aren’t all they are cracked up to be.
12 Bottle Warmers Don't Matter Because Room Temperature Or Cold Is Fine
Whether you are breastfeeding or formula feeding, chances are your baby is going to be using a bottle at some point or another. But is a bottle warmer really necessary? No, it’s not. I was very fortunate to have a baby who wasn’t fussy about the temperature of her bottle. From day one she hasn’t been bothered by cold milk. Still, when she was little, we would warm her bottles by simply placing them in warm water. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
“It's fine to give your baby room temperature or even cold formula. If your baby prefers warm formula place a filled bottle in a bowl of warm water and let it stand for a few minutes — or warm the bottle under running water. The formula should feel lukewarm — not hot,” suggests MayoClinic.org.
11 Baby Towels Are Just Towels They'll Grow Out Of
Those darling baby towels can be pretty tempting. I mean, how cute do babies look with an elephant hood on their towel? But here’s the thing, most experienced parents will find it’s easier to grab for an adult sized towel out of the closet. Plus, from my own experience, the baby towels just do not hold water like the grown up towels. I love being able to wrap my little girl up in a big towel after she gets out of the bath, she’s stays much more warm that way! Pass on the baby towels, and spend that money elsewhere.
10 Crib Bumpers Are Not Safe
Most any doctor will tell you to not use crib bumpers. Originally intended to prevent babies from getting stuck in the rails or bonking their head, they have since been ruled as unsafe due to suffocation hazards. “Unless the CPSC creates mandatory guidelines for crib bumper safety, your best bet as a parent is to follow the AAP guidelines. Put your baby to bed on their back, on a firm mattress with nothing but a fitted sheet. No blankets, no pillows, and definitely no bumpers,” reports Healthline.com. Crib bumpers are a chance you shouldn’t take. The cons outweigh the pros in this scenario.
9 Bumbo Seat: The Floor Is Better
The Bumbo seat is a hot controversial topic. Some parents love it, a lot of physical therapists say it does more harm than good. It’s a seat that essentially allows your baby to be strapped into a sitting position before they are able to do so on their own. It’s another thing you should do your own research on, but it’s most definitely not a need for any baby. PinkOatmeal.com suggests skipping the Bumbo and encouraging more tummy time instead, “Instead of the Bumbo, I let my baby play on the floor. The floor is the ultimate option for building their motor skills and for working on their head control.”
8 Newborn Size Clothes: They Outgrow Them So Fast
Babies don’t keep; we hear it time and time again! This wise old adage is one of truth. Babies grow like crazy and you will be packing away things quicker than you can keep up with. You can save yourself a lot of money and time by skipping newborn clothes. Newborn clothes are itty bitty and will only fit for a couple of weeks at most. You should opt for baby clothes size 0-3 months. Depending on the size of your baby, the 0-3 month clothes might fit right away or they might have a little room to grow. Either way, they will do the trick.
7 Parenting Books Take A Lot more time then apps
If parenting and baby books aren’t a classic case of good intentions, I don’t know what is. I bought all of the proper ‘What To Expect’ books, and I will say they were nice to have for reference, but I never read any of them cover to cover. For me personally, I found that downloading pregnancy and baby apps has been much more practical. If I have time to read a book, it’s probably not going to be about parenting. Here’s my favorite apps that are full of information for pregnancy and beyond; Ovia Fertility App, Ovia Pregnancy Tracker and The Wonder Weeks. All three are available on iTunes and Google Play.
6 Baby Blankets Are Only Used For A Short Time
Every Grandma loves to gift their grandbaby a cozy blanket, or several, and you have to love them for that! Most of our daughter's blankets have ended up being used mostly for photo props or decor purposes. Aside from swaddle blankets, we just didn’t use them, and you don’t really need them for anything. Your newborn should definitely not be sleeping with a blanket and you can just dress them warmly while they’re awake. If you do let your baby use a blanket at all, be sure they are closely supervised. Opt for one nice cozy blanket you can use as nursery decor and cuddle up with baby on the couch with, but by all means, do not stock up on baby blankets.
5 First Aid Kits Have Way More Than You Need
Okay, don’t get me wrong, there are things from a baby first aid kit that you will need, but you do not need the whole set-up! Look up the things you will actually need and invest your money in the fewer products you will actually use. For me this looked like a thermometer, bulb syringe (even though we took a bunch from the hospital), nail clippers, and nail files. We added tylenol to our arsenal once our little had her first set of shots, but knock on wood, even that hasn’t been touched.
On the topic of first aid kits and medicines, be sure and place your medical supplies out of your little one’s reach. “Find a place in your home that is too high for your child to reach or see. Walk around your house and decide on the safest place to keep your medicines and vitamins. Remember that some children can climb. They may use the toilet or countertops to reach high places. So locked cabinets are the safest place to keep your medicines and vitamins,” suggests FamilyDoctor.org.
4 Baby Laundry Detergent Doesn't Need To Exist
What did mothers do before they invented baby laundry detergent? This is another thing on this list that you should absolutely by-pass. “The special detergents that are "baby-specific" are usually scent-free and have fewer ingredients that would be likely to irritate delicate skin. Some baby detergents have a soft scent that is very recognizable, at least in the United States, as a classic baby smell. This type of detergent is fine to use if that's what you like. Some parents find that these detergents don't do as well in removing tough stains, so you may need to use a good pre-treatment for satisfactory results,” states TheSpruce.com.
Here’s my fool-proof method for baby laundry, free and clear laundry detergent. Works great for adult and baby clothes, the lack of artificial fragrances and other unnecessary ingredients leaves our entire household with less itchy skin. I pre-treat any stains with a Fels-Naptha bar and call it a day!
3 Scratch Mittens: The Baby is used to their hands, so just keep their nails trimmed
These cute little hand mittens for babies are used to prevent them from scratching themselves. Here’s a pro-tip, just use a baby fingernail file and file their nails down. It’s much less intimidating than the clippers and you can avoid having to lock your babies hands up. “Your baby uses his hands to soothe himself: in utero, your baby used his hands to soothe himself. Now, in a brave new world, he's going to want those hands more than ever. With his hands covered, they'll be impossible to access and will cause frustration for your baby,” states LiveAbout.com.
2 Sophie The Giraffe
Sophie the Giraffe was a highly sensationalized teething toy that was a must on every parents baby-registry. Even after the mold scandal of 2016, you can still spot many tots wandering around with their Sophie the Giraffe. Skip on Sophie and opt for other teething options that have better reviews. But here’s the thing, your baby isn’t going to get teeth for months, unless your baby is like mine, who was literally teething when she was born, she had two tooth buds that popped through soon after. But that is a very unusual case!
“Teething typically starts around 4-6 months of age, and there’s no mistaking it. You’ll know, because they’ll put literally anything in their mouth in an attempt to get some relief…even if that includes their own fingers or anything in arms reach,” shares MomTricks.com. Skip Sophie and buy your babe some other teethers once the time comes.
1 A Ton Of Outfits
Putting it simply, kids, babies especially, outgrow clothes so fast. You will give birth to your baby and then be sobbing three weeks later because the sleeper he came home from the hospital doesn’t fit him anymore. On top of this fact, you will likely receive a lot of gifts and hand-me-downs in the days leading up to and beyond giving birth to your little one. “Between baby showers, hand-me-downs, and gifts after the baby is born, having enough clothing is the typically the last thing new parents need to stress about purchasing. And if they do find themselves in need of more tiny t-shirts, there's no harm in asking relatives and friends for clothes they no longer need,” states BusinessInsider.com. To this day I don’t think I’ve bought my daughter more than a handful of clothing items because we receive so many hand-me-downs and gifts.
References: www.parenting.com, www.thespruce.com, www.livestrong.com, www.marchofdimes.org, www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au, www.parents.com, www.nationwidechildrens.org, www.mayoclinic.org, www.healthline.com, www.businessinsider.com, www.pinkoatmeal.com, www.momtricks.com, www.liveabout.com, www.familydoctor.org