When we're pregnant, it seems as if the entire world is trying to sell us things. Be it pregnancy magazines, infant stores or websites–each one of them wants to grab our attention and sell us something or other. Most of us are under the assumption that the tons of products on display at infant stores are essential for our baby, but the truth is that a lot of the products sold are quite unnecessary and definitely not required.
Apart from a few basic items, a baby really doesn’t need the excess paraphernalia of things that we saddle them with. However, as new parents-to-be, it’s quite natural for one to get over-excited and get into the shopping mode resulting in parents buying just about everything that catches their fancy without they being even aware of the functions of some of the products on display.
This happens more often with first-time parents, they find themselves surrounded by a range of products about which they had no idea of until now. Second and third-time parents clearly seem to have an advantage here as they have gone through this phase and thus know what to buy and what to ignore.
As a mum-to-be with a love of all baby things, you might need some help shopping so you don't go berserk shopping and hitting your credit limit. If you're on a budget, then there is all the more reason why you should take a look at the list given below as some of these items are quite expensive and frankly quite unessential.
Hopefully, the list will help you to separate the wheat from the chaff so to say and allow you to buy prudently and buy only those items which are really required by you. Here is a list of 7 non-essential products which we buy during our pregnancy.
7 Maternity Clothes
You're pregnant – that’s great news, but now what do you do about your wardrobe. Do you go for hugely priced maternity clothes or stick to your regular ones – that is the question? When your body grows to accommodate the baby, you will need different clothes that will fit the changes your body goes through, but is overhauling your entire wardrobe the solution. Can you not do the same with your regular set of clothes?
Frankly, there's no reason why you can't wear your normal clothes when you're pregnant, there's no rule which says that you must wear maternity clothes when you're pregnant. You'll go through three phases during your pregnancy and choosing to buy different maternity sets for each phase would amount to spending a lot of money.
Try not to give into the temptation to buy a whole pregnancy wardrobe if you really don't need to
The bottom line is to wear clothes that are comfortable in nature and for that you don’t have to spend a ton buying maternity clothes which you will only discard after 9 months. Opt for wrap around dresses, tunic tops, dresses and smocks made of a stretchy material which can last you through the entire duration of your pregnancy. Or be a bit creative and wear your partner clothes. Raid your spouse's wardrobe for tees, shirts and sweaters and mix and match them with your clothes.
6 Home Doppler
Nowadays the use of home Doppler for monitoring fetal heartbeat is becoming quite common, but frankly this is another one of those items which can be safely added to the not required list. These pocket-sized devices that come with a built-in speaker, a handset with controls and a transducer probe that can be covered with ultrasound gel are best left for the use of professionals.
When pressed against the abdomen, the probe sends out high-frequency sound waves which pass through to the baby. When the probe detects a movement in the baby such as the beating of the heart, it bounces back to the device. The device then converts the movement into sound which the machine amplifies for us to hear.
This sounds amazing, but the problem arises when the device is used by an untrained person who fails to differentiate between the various sounds emanating from the belly. The device recognizes all types of sounds: air moving through the intestines, blood flowing in the arteries and even the baby’s kicking, but only a practice doctor or midwife can recognize and differentiate between these different sounds.
An untrained ear can easily mistake the blood flowing through blood vessels as baby’s heartbeat
A lot of women buy a home Doppler set for reassurance, but midwife and doctors recommend against using it at home as they are quite difficult for a layman to use properly. And even if you happen to find the baby’s heartbeat, it's not possible for you to detect the changes in the rhythm or rate that might indicate a problem.
A home Doppler, therefore, might lull us into a false sense of assurance where we measure the heartbeat and remain assured that everything is all right when, in fact, there might be something wrong with the baby. If you really want to keep a tab on your baby’s movements, there are other ways by which you can do it.
You will be able to recognize a distinct pattern in your baby’s movements (once you begin feeling them). If you notice a change and feel that something is not right, then contact your doctor straightaway.
5 Anti-Stretch Mark Creams
During pregnancy, a lot of women develop stretch marks on their breasts and tummies. Only a lucky few seem to escape it, but for the rest of us, well we all have to grow used to it and accept it. Stretch marks result when our body grows faster than our skin can keep pace with it. This causes the collagen present under the skin to break resulting in stretch marks.
Genetics plays an important role in determining whether you will develop stretch marks or not. If your mom had stretch marks, then there is a clear chance that you too would develop stretch marks. The market is flooded with all sorts of anti-stretch mark creams that promise to restore your pre-pregnancy skin. But like all the other cosmetic creams advertised by manufacturers, do take the anti-stretch mark creams claims with a pinch of salt.
After all, what happens underneath the skin cannot be rectified by the external application of a cream. Just as you cannot wish away your wrinkles by applying an anti-wrinkle cream, similarly anti-stretch mark creams can't totally eliminate your marks. At best, what they can do is mask the marks just as the anti-wrinkle cream hides our fine lines and wrinkles.
There's no miracle cure for stretch marks
As a pregnant woman, we buy into the hype of stretch mark prevention creams and keep massaging our belly day in and out with a superior smirk feeling reserved for those women who don't use it. Sadly, our smugness doesn’t last long for sooner or later we come to realize that there's no magic lotion or cream that can wish away our stretch marks.
However, this doesn’t mean you stop moisturizing your skin as keeping the skin hydrated with a moisturizer reduces the overall feeling of itchiness and makes the skin feel better.
4 Nursing Dresses
When we're pregnant a lot of people tell us that nursing dresses are absolutely essential, but in reality they're not that essential piece of the item as they're made out to be. Priced at a minimum of 40 -50$ these nursing outfits don't come cheap either and are a big drain on the wallet. And after your nursing phase is over, these dresses remain confined to a corner of the wardrobe.
If you really want to buy something, buy nursing bras as they serve a real purpose. The rest of the items such as nursing pajamas or nursing tops can be easily passed over. You can buy a couple of wrap tops made of an elastic material, but for heaven’s sake, don’t spend a fortune on those cute tops which wrap around the front and can be tied with a bow at the back. It might look good on a mannequin, but they're not practical at all.
The easiest thing is to wear a loose fitting top which you can lift whenever you have to breastfeed.
Our advice is to save your money and forego the desire to buy nursing dresses. Instead, invest your money in buying some good quality cotton bras which will serve you even after you're done with breastfeeding. If it's privacy that you're looking for, then you can as well use a baby blanket or a shawl at no extra cost.
A loose t-shirt with a vest underneath and a shawl for added privacy is actually all that you need when breastfeeding in public. And when you are breastfeeding at home, well, do I have to say further?
3 Nursing Chair
Many first-time mothers are under the assumption that a glider/rocker is absolutely essential to feed a baby and thus they buy themselves a nursing chair along with a footstool to complete the breastfeeding process.
But honestly, the nursing chair is quite an unnecessary, expensive and bulky piece of furniture that eats into precious space. It's true that you would require a comfortable chair for nursing, but for that you needn’t specifically buy a nursing chair – an old rocking chair or for that matter any comfortable chair will do. These over-priced items will not only set you back a considerable amount of money, but become redundant quite soon.
You'll realize that as your baby grows in size, he is denied a comfortable breastfeeding experience as he begins to get cramped within the narrow confines of the nursing chair. Your baby will soon outgrow the nursing chair and then it will become a storage liability for you.
Gliders make for a solitary experience
Again if your idea of feeding the baby is to sit isolated and alone in a nursery room and stare at walls while the baby suckles at your breast, then you should probably get one. But wouldn’t it be better to sit on a couch and surf the television while you feed the baby or even sit on the bed with a support cushion behind your back.
The choice is yours. Anyhow, during the first few months your baby is going to sleep with you so why not postpone the buying of this item to a later date. After your baby has moved into the nursery, you can then make a decision on whether to buy a glider or not.
2 Expensive Crib Packages
As you waddle through the baby section of the department store, you're bound to be mesmerized by the most stunning sets of crib packages on display. These matching crib sets comes with everything that you can possibly imagine - matching sheets, comforters, dust ruffles and bumper pads all in matching colors and look absolutely gorgeous.
Tempted by all these fantastic products, you don't hesitate to shell out a small fortune on them only to be informed later on that most of these items you have purchased should never have made it to a must-have baby product list in the first place. For instance, your doctor informs you that the bumper pads and comforter you purchased as part of the crib package should never be used in a crib as the chances of SIDS increase in such a case.
Throw out the pillows as well because they too pose a suffocation risk. Now, if you're going to remove half of the things from the crib set, then what was the point of buying such an expensive set in the first place?
Your nursery decor could be hazardous to the health of your baby
Bumper pads and pillows might look beautiful in a crib, but being made of a soft material they are dangerous for babies because they lack the requisite motor skills to turn their heads away should they encounter something suffocating. Sleep positioners are another of those things which should be banned precisely because it too is made of a soft bedding material.
When it comes to the safety of your baby, simple boring cribs work perfectly. Plain, minimally decorated cribs with firm mattresses are the safest sleeping environment for babies. We understand that the urge to buy one of these sets will be tremendous, but please desist yourself from buying one of those matching crib sets as your money is clearly going to be wasted.
1 Baby Toiletries
Baby toiletries smell wonderful, but think for a moment – are they really required by your baby? A baby’s skins is about 5 times more sensitive and 6 times thinner than an adult’s skin and if we assume that our skin absorbs about 50% of what we rub into it, then imagine how much a baby’s skin is absorbing.
No one knows for sure what chemicals these products contain, so why slather a baby with these products and expose them to harmful chemicals. Baby bath soaps are known to contain chemicals like SLS and Parabens, baby oils also contain a lot of synthetic materials. Bathing a baby thoroughly in plain water should suffice as the application of good old olive oil in place of baby oils is better for their skin than big brands.
Baby bath products are unnecessary, and could irritate your baby's skin
Talcum powder is another non-essential item that should be avoided as it really doesn’t benefit the baby’s skin. On the contrary, the tiny granules present in talcum powder can irritate the soft skin of the baby and more so if it happens to get lodged in the moist folds of their skin. If inhaled in large amounts, talcum powder can cause irritation in the lungs as well.
Moreover, if you are going to use it on your baby’s bottom, it’s going to get all sticky when the baby wets its diapers. Some stores are even going to the extent of selling baby perfumes. Seriously!!! That’s like going to the extremes. A baby’s natural smell is far sweeter than any man-made perfume and a baby needn’t be doused with perfume to smell sweet.