Monday, June 13, 2011

9 Baby Items They Say You Need (But You Don't!)

My wonderful friend, Isolde, is having her first baby! And with that comes... shopping! Lots of shopping to outfit your house for a new human. Isolde lives in a small abode like I do, so I thought I might do her a favor and tell her what NOT to waste her money and space on. If you have any additional suggestions for her, she'd love to hear them...

1. Changing Table
Especially in a small space. You can take a changing pad that comes with every diaper bag and... voila, a portable changing table. You can change a baby on any floor available, get amazing exercise every time you have to get up and down and cut out a whole ridiculous piece of furniture. I did have one 10 years ago with Ariana (because she was our first baby and we just HAD to have everything) but we never once used it, so we smartened up with the next 2 babies.

2. High chair (the full-sized type, at least)
Again, we had one with Ariana and all I remember is constantly moving it around as it always seemed to be in the way. A better bet is a portable high chair that attaches right to the table or to a chair. (We used the same portable chair booster with both Annika and Acadia. It was so convenient in a small house, plus we could pack it up to go to friends houses or the grandparents.)

3. If you a using disposable diapers- a diaper pail.
Gross. Just gross. If you are like most American families, you take your trash out once or twice a day... which is much preferred over a can of human waste that gathers over days and, no matter what they say, it still smells.

4. Baby wipes warmer.

'Nuff said.

5. Shoes.
I know those itty bitty Converse are adorable, but... useless. If you have a winter baby, they will be in all footed clothing which you don't need shoes for. And, if you have a summer baby, they will be content hanging out in onesies and not much else. Until they are at least ready to crawl, there is absolutely no use in shoes on a baby. Stock up on extra cute socks (which they will promptly take off anyhow) and call it good.

6. Any of the current (yet
ridiculous) trends.
Such as the pee pee tee pee or the Thudguard. Silly. Just silly.

7. Multiple items that serve same purpose.
For instance, you do not need a huge baby swing and a bouncy seat. We opted for just the bouncy seat for Acadia. Again, I remember 10 years ago with Ariana, constantly having this baby swing in our way and having to move it around our living room all the time. Additionally, some babies hate swings and it will be a complete waste of money and space. I find a bouncy seat sufficient for the first few weeks, it's easy to move around (as in you can grab it with one hand, baby in the other and put it in the bathroom so you can sneak in a quick shower.)

Look for other multipurpose items as well. We had a Kelty hiking pack that converted into a stroller, which was just perfect. It did not have all the bells and whistles of the fancy strollers, but since I carried Acadia in a sling most times, we rarely used it as a stroller. But, if you are a walker/hiker- the hiking pack is a necessity.

8. Diaper bags.
Yet again, we got a specialized diaper bag with Ariana... but Colby hated to take her out carrying a 'purse' and it was just another extraneous item that went from our house to a landfill (well, maybe Goodwill first.) Just use an existing backpack that you have for goodness sake. It makes way more sense. If I was going for a walk downtown with Acadia strapped to my front and needed 2 hands to hold the other 2 girls' hands... I would not have a free hand to be toting a baby bag. A back pack works perfectly and dad won't mind carrying it as well. And, when baby is grown, you are not left with a useless Winnie the Pooh themed piece of trash.

9. Specialized items.
Those towels with the built-in hood (which does not actually fit babies head.) 'Swaddling' blankets. (Seriously, any blanket wrapped correctly on the baby is a swaddling blanket.) Burp clothes/ recieving blankets/cloth diapers (when used as burp clothes.) Pick one of these items. I had a stack of small receiving blankets which covered all bases for this. I did not get seperate burp clothes as you just grab a receiving blanket that is sitting around and throw it over your shoulder. Or the same thing if you are cloth diapering... just throw a clean diaper over your shoulder- no need for 'burp' cloths.

There are probably a ton more useless baby items I am forgetting, but these are the ones that jumped out at me from my ten years of motherhood thus far.


  1. I totally agree! I get grossed out to the max with diaper pails. It's a big bucket of poop and pee. Left in the nursery in many cases.

    Though I did love the diaper bag I had (still have!) it isn't a very conventional one. I use it as a work bag now!

  2. I will have to agree with everything except the swing thing. I would avisse borrowing a bouncy seat and a swing, see which one they prefer and then buy it! lol Nate would only sleep in the swing for the longest time and Arielle hated it, so the bouncy was her friend! I did buy a ton of useless stuff the first time and then ened up spening lots of time on maternity leave returning all of it!

  3. Couldn't agree with this more!! my boys had no shoes and most days were changed on the floor.

    The changing table is by far the most useless piece of furniture. I am not going to go up and down the stairs just to change a little diaper...and then what do you do with it once they are potty trained?! HUGE waste of space!!

    Our go to diaper bag has always been a backpack. We bought a new tote when the little miss was born - but that is more for daycare than daily outings.

    We just did a bouncy seat until O - maybe she would have gotten used to it if we let her, but she prefers the swing Kameron let us borrow.

  4. It's been a really long time for me (youngest is 21, and my daughter's friends are starting to have kids!) I will say that I love this post ~ I have a pretty hard time keeping a straight face sometimes at baby showers as people have to explain a lot of the paraphanalia to me. We were a less is more, very active young family that travelled a lot ~ and I had no desire to be taking care of stuff when I could have been paying attention to my baby! Best of luck!

  5. You forgot to mention the iphone app that tells you when it is time to feed or change your baby.

  6. Yes, Kameron has it right! The swing, while in the way, was the only way to get my first to sleep! See if you can try it out for a while first or buy one secondhand so you're not out too much if you find you don't need it. I loved the changing table with my first but found it annoying and totally unnecessary with the second and third. Shoes are a complete waste of money! For diaper bags, I've always bought cute little totes from Target. I also never used a swaddler with the first but got some hand me down with my third and they were SOOO nice!! It was much simpler to use and it didn't come undone which meant that baby stayed asleep longer!
    I second the rec for the booster seat, we have no space here and never could have done a highchair. Booster is portable, easy to clean and takes up way less space!

  7. I especially agree with the diaper bag, backpack thing. We used a Jansport from the minute our boys were born and I still take it every where we go. Plus, my husband prefers strapping a black backpack to his back over a girly diaper bag. ;)

  8. What an honest list. BTW, that first snuggy-type photo is... to be honest, scary.

  9. WOW this blue dress is very nice and seems child is secure in this.