When I was pregnant with my first child I filled my baby registry up with a whole lot of nothing. At the time, I thought it was all the necessities of course. But I quickly realised that it probably would have been smarter to take all that money and use it for a new dining room table, something we desperately needed at the time, instead of an overpriced stroller, bedroom set, and a whole lot of useless gadgets.
As new parents, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed by all the baby product marketing out there and feel like your kid absolutely needs everything the second they’re born. The truth is, when it comes to baby necessities, less is more.
Looking back, and now as a mum of two, it definitely would have been smarter to hold off on lots of items until I knew what our needs with a new baby were actually going to be. But, you live and you learn, and hopefully, with this list, I can help save some new parents a few dollars and a whole lot of baby-clutter.
A wipes warmer is something a baby can live without.
Call me an evil mum, but I really think your baby will be fine without a warm-ish wipe on its tush. Many friends I’ve spoken to all agree these are more of a gimmick than a necessity. I’ve also found that they dry out the wipes if you don’t use the pack up quick enough.
Fancy baby clothing will probably go unused.
Unless you’re bringing your newborn to a black tie affair, there’s really no need to spend money on fancy baby clothing. Chances are they are going to ruin whatever nice outfit you put them in, anyway. Plus, we all know by the time you get around to washing the outfit, it won’t fit your baby anymore.
Baby shoes won’t get much use.
Babies don’t need shoes until they are walking or close to walking. But of course parents today are told they have to buy crib shoes for their baby. Why? Keeping a newborn’s feet covered is important but that is why most baby outfits are one piece and cover your baby’s feet.
Cheap breast pumps are cheap for a reason.
If you are planning on breastfeeding, a pump can be a massive expense, sometimes costing over $US400. But, it’s also a worthwhile price to pay. Cheaper quality breast pumps will not be as efficient and can actually be painful to use.
Baby laundry detergent is the same as scent-free detergent.
For some reason parents think they need a special baby-only laundry detergent but you really don’t. The point of “baby detergent” is that it’s dye and scent free and won’t irritate your newborn’s skin, but you can also just buy scent-free regular brand detergent and save yourself the extra cost.
Baby bedding set can actually be dangerous.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the best and safest way for your baby to sleep is on their back, on a firm surface with little to nothing around them. Baby bedding sets usually include a lot of the things pediatricians recommend against putting in your baby’s crib, like fluffy bumpers, pillows, and blankets. These are important recommendations to protect against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also known as SIDS.
Bottle warmers can be nice, but are also not necessary.
This is one of those, nice if you have items, but also a waste of money. Bottles can very easily be warmed in a cup of hot water or in a boiling pot of water. If you’re looking to save money, skip this.
Changing pads are a better option than changing tables.
When you’re a new parent it’s understandable to think you will need to invest in a changing table, but you don’t. It’s smarter, more efficient, and will save you money if you just buy a changing pad, which is about $US20, and secure it to a low dresser. This way, your furniture is doing double duty.
Bottle sterilizers can be achieved for free with boiling water.
These little machines can run close to $US100. But the truth is, you can very easily sanitize your baby’s bottles and pacifiers by dipping them in a pot of boiling water. Or, you can just rinse them out with soap and water and use them again. What a concept.
Baby food makers are an overpriced version of a blender.
If you’re looking to save money, making your own baby food is a great idea. But then don’t waste money on glorified blender. You can basically do the same thing in a $US20 Magic Bullet that you can do in any overpriced baby food blender.
Pacifier carrying cases probably won’t come in handy.
This is one of those items you buy and then can never actually find when you need it. Then you end up sticking that pacifier in your purse and you realise you never actually needed that case anyway.
Overpriced strollers don’t work better than regular strollers.
There are a lot of luxury strollers out there these days that can cost thousands, but if you’re just looking to get your baby from point A to point B, you don’t need them.
Simpler is often better when it comes to baby products.
Baby powder is obsolete because of diaper cream.
Diaper creams have pretty much made baby powder obsolete. I’ve actually never used it on either of my kids and I don’t know of any one that does. Plus, there have been many studies linking talc, a main ingredient in many baby powders, with certain cancers – it’s just not worth it.
Shopping cart cover won’t actually shield your baby from germs.
The idea behind these is to protect your baby from dirty shopping cart germs. Very altruistic, but not practical. Germs are everywhere, and these things are super bulky and end up never getting washed because they’re always in the car. You’re better off wiping the cart down with a wipe that most supermarkets have available by the shopping carts.
Pacifier sanitizing wipes are the same as regular wipes.
If your baby’s pacifier falls on a dirty floor rinse it off in the sink. If you can’t use a sink, wipe it with a tissue, and if all else fails, wipe it on your shirt. Buying wipes specifically for wiping off a dirty pacifier is silly. These are basically just wipes in a different packaging.
Baby bathtub thermometer seems intuitive.
Does it really matter what the exact temperature of your baby’s bath is? Feel the water with the inside of your wrist – if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your baby.
Hanging diaper organiser isn’t realistic.
These can be cute if they match the nursery decor, but ultimately you probably won’t use it. Or maybe you will for the first few months and then you’ll realise you’ve started changing your baby wherever you happen to be at that moment with any diaper you can find lying around.
A high chair floor mat doesn’t actually help avoid mess.
This is essentially a reusable plastic tablecloth that you put under your baby’s high chair and hope all the food they fling around will only land on the floor mat. Firstly, that never happens. Second, if you’re using this item to avoid having to clean the floor, you’re just adding work for yourself. Now the mat has to be washed, the high chair tray has to be washed, and chances are the floor has to be wiped up, too.
Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.