Baby showers, congratulatory gifts, registries-galore—there is so much to buy (especially during the nesting stage). But you might not need it all; even if the experts say you do! Save a few bucks and put them into your savings account instead with these tips on what not to buy.
There are a few things that play into what you should buy to prepare for your baby. The biggest thing being; advertising! Yup, those ads in the moms groups, or the commercials between your favorite shows, and even the social listening ads you see when you log into Facebook, play a big part in what you buy for your baby.
When you’re becoming a new parent (again too), you tend to be easily persuaded by advertisements. Claims that, the high-tech thingamabob is going to ensure your baby is extra safe, or that the luxury material on the whatchamacallit guarantees a baby that sleeps through the night, are everywhere. That’s how a ~60+ Billion dollar industry makes their money. Estimates say that new parents will spend approx. $12,000.00 on their first baby in the first year alone.
By the time you’re done making the list of necessary purchases, you may think “Does my baby really need ALL of this?” or you might just unknowingly swipe the Babies-R-Us card (for the perks of course). I hope you read this before you swipe the card, it might save you some green and free up some garage space.
Here’s a list of items you most likely don’t need.
1. Changing Table a.k.a. That Furniture Thing You Pile Clothes On
When our son was born, we went out and bought a very aesthetically pleasing changing table, with shelves for necessary items like diapers, wipes, and a plethora of unnecessary items like a baseball themed “peepee cover” (you know, so you don’t get tagged while changing a diaper).
We really believed that the changing table was necessary, and we started using it immediately. But just as quickly came the sense that it was more cumbersome than useful. At night we had to get up, pick our son out of bed (we co-sleep), carry him to the changing table, wrestle out a diaper in a sleepwalker state of mind, then clean him and dispose of the evidence all while holding an awkward position between leaning in and leaning over. As time passed—like a few days, really—it became easier to stack a few diapers and wipes on the night stand, and change him in bed. The changing table eventually became the diaper rack/baby clothes pile holder/my work suit hanger (I know some of you know what I’m talking about). A couple hundred bucks that would have been better spent on more diapers; because that’s how diapers go.
2. Diaper Pail a.k.a. Diaper Silo
First of all, if your baby is being breastfed her diapers aren’t going to be as putrid as the Arm-N-Hammer filter says they will. It’s known that formula fed babies can make more interesting odors than breastfed babies. Regardless, like beauty in eyes, odors are in the nose of the smeller, and your baby’s diaper might make you suspect they’re eating nuclear waste.
Don’t run to BuyBuy Baby just yet though. Diaper Pails aren’t things that can really be reused, or re gifted, and when your baby is old enough and graduates the diaper stage, you’re going to send it to the dump. If you’re stuck on the idea of locking up some offending diapers in a diaper coffin, then go to Target, buy a lidded waste basket, some doggie business bags, and baking soda. Add baking soda to the bin, package the diaper in a doggy bag, and send it to diaper afterlife in the receptacle. Saved you some bucks, and you can still reuse all the items even after baby graduates the diaper stage.
3. A Crib a.k.a. Escape Practice
This one is based on sleeping choices. For us, we co-sleep. Not having a crib just makes sense. We started with a crib, and tried to get our son to enjoy his personal sleeping space. The only accomplishment was watching my son cry, and not getting enough sleep. We quickly felt we should try other things. We tried the bassinet for a while, and that worked well. As soon as he was strong enough to roll around in it, we moved him into our bed. Of course we did our research on co sleeping, and made some adjustments on our sleeping positons, but it worked great. We sold the crib, and invested in some waterproof sheets. Ha!
4. Shoes a.k.a. Giuseppe Juniors/Baby Jordans/Any Shoes
Let’s make this one super simple… Your infant cannot walk! But what happens when he/she learns to walk? Great question! There is such a thing, that looks very cute, yet cost so little…socks (with bottom grips if you must), and they’ll work fine for the type of walking your little one will be doing. Now, if your 10 month old is found hiking a 5K, please purchase some baby hiking boots, and a shaving kit, as he’s probably the most interesting baby in the world. When you do get to an appropriate age/foot size, my advice would be don’t spend too much right away—those toes do grow fast. When they can fit in a shoe for at least 6 months, invest in some reinforced play shoes. Nikes will turn into spaghetti real fast.
5. Blankets a.k.a. Cute Fluffy Danger Blankies
Save your baby from a hazard. Fluffy blankets can be heavy, insulating (overheating), and a choking hazard. Your safest bet is going to be a receiving blanket, or a swaddle blanket. These types of wraps are ventilated, appropriately insulated, and easy to clean. Thank Nana for quilting that awesome keepsake, and then hang it on the wall or keep it in the garage until she visits again.
6. Wipe Warmer a.k.a. Unnecessary Booty Luxury
Have you heard of heat? Your hands give it off. Rubbing/holding a wipe in a closed hand can warm it right up. No fear of burns with this method. I’m not going to lie, if you happen to not warm the wipe in your hands long enough, the slight coolness may surprise your baby. Don’t worry though, they get used it, and it’s not torture. I’m sure your mom and dad didn’t have an electric wipe warmer, and you’re fine, but if you really want to spend money in the baby wipes section, use $100 bills.
7. Diaper Bag a.k.a. Mom's New Designer Bag
Well this one is a toughie too. I’m not saying to walk around the shopping mall holding baby in one hand, while carrying a diaper and wipes in the other hand. I’m suggesting (from experience), that a backpack (even one with only 2 compartments) is more than good enough. I saved a hundred bucks, when I went to H&M and bought a backpack with a drawstring, and button closure (like one of those hipster bags) instead of the dad bag I really wanted. In my defense, the dad bag was a manly diaper bag. If you pack logically; wipes, diapers, snacks, bottles, clothes, are pretty easy to access and manage. Most diaper bags aren’t anything more than a confusing puzzle of extra pockets with an outrages price tag. As our son got older, carrying extra clothes, and snacks is still very practical in our bag.
Hopefully you save some money after reading this (you’re going to need it for that toddler urinal you’ve always wanted to buy). If you already bought some of these items, check with the store to see if they’ll take it back (even without a receipt they can sometimes give you store credit.)
author: Ernie Gochez, Newborn Photographer