When we first learned we were going to have a baby we had absolutely no idea what we had to buy. Crib, stroller… what else? I started researching online and found lists and checklists for the hospital, for the first month, for the first six months… It was overwhelming. We kind of ended up playing it by ear and it turned out ok.
Three years and two babies later, here’s a list of popular ‘baby essentials’ which, in our experience, are not very useful (or you can save quite a lot of money by getting / using an alternative product):
- Expensive baby furniture. Furniture for babies is way more expensive than regular furniture, why? Just because ‘aren’t you going to spend whatever is necessary in your baby, specially if it’s your first one?’ But here’s the trick: a dresser is a dresser no matter if it’s going to your room or to the baby’s room. Want to make sure your baby sleeps well? Spend more on the mattress, but probably don’t need a $800 crib. Changing tables? Buy changing path and use that same dresser instead of a piece of furniture you’re never going to use again when the baby is not a baby anymore.
- Baby food makers. A blender is all you need to make your baby’s purées and soups. Maybe a steamer if you want to save some time (or maybe you have a rice cooker with steamer already?).
- Baby shoes. Our first daughter didn’t start walking until she was 15 months old. Our first daughter didn’t start wearing shoes until she was 15 months old. Why? Because she didn’t need them 😀
- Baby bathtubs. They are bulky, expensive, and babies outgrow them pretty fast. There’s lots of alternatives to fancy ergonomic baby bathtubs (your actual bathtub? big bucket? set of extra hands?) and what matters most anyway is your baby being supervised by an adult during bath time.
- Fancy bedding sets for the crib. Bumpers and such are not recommended (to avoid baby from asphyxiating) but fancy bedding sets are not the best idea either. Do you really want to have to change its multiple pieces (sometimes multiple times a day) when your baby pukes / spits / pees on the bed (instead of only changing one bottom bedsheet)? I certainly don’t.
- Wipe warmers. It may be just me, but I didn’t even know this was a thing until a friend told me about it when my second girl was born. Babies do get upset when they get a diaper change some times, but does it really justify another old crock?
- Baby monitor with video. This may seem like a crazy one, but babies don’t move much. Baby monitors with video are usually three times more expensive, the quality of the video is not so good and once you don’t have a baby anymore, what do you do with them? You could instead spend the money in monitors with sensors for movement or vitals. Or in a camera when they are a bit older and can actually move around.
- Floor seats. My child can’t hold her head yet, why would she want to seat on the floor (or just seat)? She’ll get there. Meanwhile, I’ll just enjoy the rest of her milestones.
- Yet another baby blankets. Although baby blankets are very cute and they make a nice baby shower gift, truth is you don’t need that many of them. With both of our girls we only really ended up using two out of the 10+ that we got at our baby shower. Swaddle muslins are kind of the same, you may need a few extra ones the first few weeks but after that, in our experience, one or two should be enough.
- Baby mittens. By the time they’re born babies are used to using their hands in the womb including sucking their thumb and touching their face. Scratches go away fast, so why would you not let them continue using their hands? Mittens fall off all the time anyway.
Were you ever convinced to buy that indispensable baby item which you did not use at all? Please leave a comment!