It’s no wonder many new parents-to-be are completely overwhelmed by the idea of preparing for a baby – just head to your local baby supply store and you’ll be floored by their exhaustive list of registry “essentials.” The truth is, though, that babies need very little. So stop stressing about all the things you need, because here are seven that you can skip.
- A Wipe Warmer. In theory, it makes sense. This handy electric gadget warms your baby’s wipes so their tushy doesn’t get chilled during diaper changes. But here’s the thing – your baby’s bum is going to get cold the second you remove their diaper, and there’s nothing you can do about it. They’re going to scream regardless. So skip the wipe warmer that will take up an outlet, clutter your counter space, and dry out the last few wipes in the machine. When you have a new baby you need simplicity – and this does not help you achieve that.
- Baby Towel and Washcloth Sets. We concede, there are few things more adorable than a baby in a hooded towel post-bath. But the linens they sell you are thin, and not nearly as absorbent or warm as your regular bath towels. So maybe buy one for that cute cozy bath picture, but don’t feel like you need to buy a full supply. The towels and washcloths you already use for your grown-up self are just fine.
- A Closet Full of Clothes. When you’re expecting, it’s so tempting to buy all the adorable outfits that you see in the stores. But trust me when I say that your little bundle is going to grow way faster than you ever imagined, and they probably won’t even wear half of their cute outfits once. Allow yourself to splurge on one or two special-occasion outfits, and then limit your shopping to local consignment stores to save money. You can benefit from all the other mamas who over-bought and are now trying to unload their baby’s barely-used clothes for ultra cheap.
- A Bulb Syringe. I know, I know. How can you possibly care for your baby without something as basic as a bulb syringe? They’re sold all over the baby health section, and packaged in with every baby care kit. But here’s the secret that nobody wants to tell you: they’re going to give you one in the hospital. And the medical-grade one you’ll go home with is way better than the cheap ones you’ll buy in the store. Besides, most moms barely even use them anymore with the invention of the easier-to-use suction-powered options on the market today (like the Nose Frida, for example).
- All The Seats. Your baby doesn’t need a swing, a bouncy seat, a play mat, and a baby activity chair. If you want to spend money on all of them – and you have the extra space to store them – then go right ahead. But don’t think it’s a requirement of parenthood to have the full suite of seats. Most have such a limited useful life that you won’t use them for more than a few months, so pick one and forget the rest. I personally found the bouncy seat to be the most useful in our home, and we never even owned a swing. But if you’re desperate to try a piece of gear that you don’t have, ask around. You probably have friends who have things stored in their garage that they’d be happy to let you borrow. That way, you can “try before you buy” – if you even need to buy it at all.
- Bottle Sterilizer. Those baby companies are absolute marketing geniuses, creating a product that takes up counter space, cupboard space, electricity, and cash that you could easily put to other uses. But OF COURSE you don’t want your baby exposed to dangerous bacteria, so OF COURSE you need a gadget that will sanitize your baby’s bottles. The problem is, most doctors agree that with today’s clean water and improved hygiene standards, sterilization is not really necessary. If anything, it might be a good idea to do it every couple of months or after your baby’s been sick – but even then you can just drop them in a pot of boiling water for ten minutes. No special (or expensive) equipment needed.
- A Baby Bathtub. Baby bathtubs are bulky. They can be pricey. Some even come with jets. Does your newborn really need their very own hot tub? Special baby bathtubs are a complete waste of money because they’re not used that often (babies only need to be bathed about once a week to prevent their skin from drying out) and because they’re outgrown quickly (within a few short months). Infants can be easily washed in the sink or regular tub using an oversized sponge, pad, or sling that can be found in your local baby store. Not only are they considerably cheaper to buy, but they’re easier to store, too.
There are a lot of fun items for babies on the market today, and if you’ve got the money to spend on them, go right ahead. But if you’re looking for ways to save money, there are a whole lot of items you can forego. The only things that are really “essential” from the start are diapers, a car seat, and a place to sleep. Everything else is extra.
About the Author:
Jenny Silverstone is an avid fitness enthusiast, coffee connoisseur, and a mommy blogger for MomLovesBest.com – where she writes about her journey through parenthood and shares tips and tricks for getting through pregnancy.