Things that babies just don’t need

Just the other day, I was grocery shopping with my husband and kids when we made an interesting discovery. We were in the baby aisle picking up some diapers for our youngest when my four-year-old picked up a small package and asked me what it was.

“What's this, Mommy?” I picked it up and looked. And looked. And got really confused.

“Ummmm…..pacifier wipes?” According to the packaging, they were food-grade pacifier wipes.

“What do you do with them?” she asked.

“I guess you use them to……wipe off a baby's pacifier?”

Yes, disposable pacifier wipes. Because your shirt is no longer good enough. And, neither is a quick rinse in the sink, a clean dish towel, or a Kleenex. That's what people used to use when my kids were babies, after all, in the olden days of 2009 to 2011. And apparently, we were all doing it wrong.

Of course, I'm totally kidding. Nobody needed pacifier wipes back in 2009, nor do they need them now. Yet, when it comes to new baby products, I am no longer surprised by their absurdity. When I was pregnant, there were all kinds of crazy baby products and contraptions on the market. And, even though that was only a few short years ago, I believe it's gotten worse. It's commonly reported that it costs over $240,000, on average, to raise a child in the United States. And, with so many unnecessary products on the market, I have to wonder if that number is higher than it needs to be. Sure, you can buy things like pacifier wipes, but do you need to? Oh, and by the way, the pacifier wipes came in a package of 100 for $9.99. Ten bucks!!!

What Do Babies Really Need?

Babies do need some things. It's true. They need food, shelter, and love. They need clothing, blankets, and diapers. Almost everything else is entirely optional. But, when you're pregnant, it sure doesn't feel that way, does it? Sometimes pregnancy can make you think and do crazy things. (If you don't believe me, ask my husband.)

When I was pregnant, I had bouncy seats in all shapes and sizes, swings that went sideways and forward, toys that were shockingly elaborate and complex, and amazing gadgets that turned out to be almost worthless. And, if I had it to do over again, I would take it all back to Babies R' Us and trade it for diapers. Once my kids transitioned out of the baby stage, I came to realize just how much money we wasted on stuff we could've easily lived without. So, with that being said, here are some things that babies just don't need:

  • Baby Bedding Set- Baby bedding sets are adorable. It's true. I dragged my husband all over this town to find a bedding set that was pink and brown with flowers. (I had a dream about it!) Ever since then, the unusable baby comforter has served as a constant reminder of the ridiculousness of that purchase. It's true that babies do need a bed, a sheet, and some blankets. What they don't need is a comforter that would likely suffocate them, a matching light switch cover, a matching trashcan, and coordinating wall decals.
  • Diaper Genie- Whose idea was this? No one needs a garbage bag snake of rotting diapers in their bedroom. Instead of a diaper genie, keep a small trashcan that can be emptied frequently. Or, just walk all of your diapers to your regular ol' trashcan.
  • Designer Baby Clothing- Designer baby clothes can be downright irresistible. I'm ashamed to admit that I bought tiny dresses with delicate embroidery, authentic-looking miniature baby loafers, and coordinating outfits with matching shirts, pants, leg warmers, and hats. However, paying $40 or $50 for a pint-sized outfit is rarely a good idea, especially when a similar outfit can be found at a garage sale or on eBay for a fraction of the price. I honestly can't think of anything that depreciates faster than new baby clothes. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that until after the fact.
  • Shopping Cart Cover- Yes, I received a beautiful shopping cart cover at my baby shower. Unfortunately, I didn't remember to bring it to the store with me a single time. Not once. Sadly, I sold it for $5 in my garage sale this summer. A shopping cart cover may sound like a good idea but it doesn't work that well if you can never remember to bring it with you. Oh, and by the way, my kid's butts never fell off after sitting in the metal shopping cart for the duration of each trip. Yours won't either.
  • Changing Table- A changing table can come in handy if you actually use it. However, most people I know change their baby's diaper on the floor. Actually, I think the floor makes a much better changing table since there's no chance of your baby falling off the side. But since baby furniture manufacturers can't sell you your own floor, they created baby changing tables. Hint: You don't have to buy one.
  • A Bigger House- When we bought our current home, we didn't have kids yet. But, since we knew that we wanted kids, we went ahead and bought a larger home to accommodate them. However, what we've found is that our house is much larger than it needs to be. Our kids don't necessarily need a play room dedicated only to housing toys. And, they could probably share a bedroom as well, if needed. If we had it to do over, we would've stayed in our “starter home” for a while longer until we determined how much room we really needed.

The fact that kids are expensive is almost beyond debate. After all, there are so many costs that are unavoidable, like health insurance, reliable childcare, food, and shelter. However, there are ways to whittle that $240,000 figure down to a reasonable level, mostly by only buying and using things that are actually necessary for your child. Instead of buying everything you think you may need, try finding used baby gear on Craigslist or Freecycle. Or, better yet, borrow items from family and friends until you see what works best for your baby and your family. Every baby is different and you may find that your baby hates to swing, won't use a pacifier, or never sleeps in his or her crib in the first place. Waiting to see what works before you buy is a great way to avoid wasteful purchases and save space in your home.

And, no matter what you do, please don't buy wipes whose sole purpose is to wipe off pacifiers. You do not, under any circumstances, need them.

Did you find that some baby items were unnecessary after the fact? What baby gear did you successfully go without?

 
More about...Frugality

Become A Money Boss And Join 15,000 Others

Subscribe to the GRS Insider (FREE) and we’ll give you a copy of the Money Boss Manifesto (also FREE)

Yes! Sign up and get your free gift
Become A Money Boss And Join 15,000 Others
guest
158 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Joseph
Joseph
6 years ago

Baby Shoes. Ridiculous contraptions. I feel like most baby shoes are designed by people who have never had babies and have never tried to put shoes on a real live baby foot. Maybe if they worked better it would be different but as is, slap some socks on them and forgo the shoes.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
6 years ago
Reply to  Joseph

for more-than-socks, try hand-made moccasins.

Ginger
Ginger
6 years ago
Reply to  Joseph

Depends on the age, IMO, infants that are walking (12 month and older), should be in stride rite shoes, the only shoes that were made for babies. The rest are shrunken adult shoes. Kids that are not walking but will be in the cold so need more than socks, can go with robeez.

Aryn
Aryn
6 years ago
Reply to  Ginger

You don’t need Stride Rites. Pedoodles, Pedipeds, and various other brands are also made specifically for new walkers and toddlers.

Chamoiswillow
Chamoiswillow
6 years ago

I’d say you don’t even need diaper wipes. In addition to a big brood of biological and adopted children, my parents took foster children for thirty years. There were DOZENS of diapered babies and toddlers cycling through my house, and everyone had their butt cleaned with Kleenex dipped in warm water.

Anne
Anne
6 years ago
Reply to  Chamoiswillow

I wiped baby butts with warm, wet washcloths.

Allyson
Allyson
6 years ago
Reply to  Chamoiswillow

For just pee, I don’t use diaper wipes at all. One of my favorite baby books was written by two pediatricians who were mothers also and they pointed out that disposable diapers are absorbent enough that they keep the pee away from the skin and there is no need to use wipes every time. My daughter is almost one now and her little butt is perfectly fine.

Matt at Your Living Body
Matt at Your Living Body
6 years ago

Haha…baby pacifier wipes… Great post. Useless stuff goes far beyond babies. Like cell phones. My brother and his wife just got a cell phone for their six year old kid. WHY THE HELL DOES THEIR SIX YEAR OLD NEED AN iPHONE?!

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
6 years ago

so that the parents can feel superior to their neighbors?

kelly@thehungryegghead
6 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

Try mommy groups. My friends are in several of them and they all try to outdo each other with diaper bags and whatnot. $500+ diaper bags. I was like its for carrying dirty diapers!!! But I don’t have kids so what do I know?

Aaron B
Aaron B
6 years ago

I agree that pacifier wipes are unnecessary in general, but in certain cases… you better believe I felt better having them when traveling with my infant daughter in the mysterious environment of an airplane cabin!

Anne
Anne
6 years ago
Reply to  Aaron B

I can’t think why an airplane cabin is any dirtier than any other public place in which you take your child.

Carol
Carol
6 years ago
Reply to  Anne

I could think of a few: no ventilation, unknown sanitary conditions, tight, enclosed space. I’d definitely buy them for my daughter if we were flying on a plane. Beats getting up every few minutes to clean it in the bathroom or bringing a ton of extras.

kim
kim
6 years ago
Reply to  Aaron B

i bought pacifier wipes for my daughter (and this was in 2009 so they’ve definitely been around for awhile). i thought they were awesome for when the pacifier ends up on a disgusting restaurant floor or something, where just wiping it off with my shirt seemed a lot grosser than it does when i’m at home. i just kept them in my purse and probably only used one pack the entire year she used a pacifier, but that five bucks or whatever was worth it. i have a 3-month-old now and actually have been keeping my eye out to buy… Read more »

olga
olga
6 years ago
Reply to  Aaron B

How the heck did we survive and raise our kids prior those wipes? I wonder.

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
6 years ago

My two-year-old has an iPad. She has a coloring book app for it and colors on it sometimes. It’s my old one that I wasn’t using anymore and she had fun playing with it. She knows how to plug it in to charge it, unlock the home screen and start her app and draw on it. You can all resume hating me for being an awful person/parent now.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
6 years ago

But Tyler, your daughter is not on Facebook and your’e not on a 2-year contract for the iPad, right?

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
6 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

No, but even if that were the case, so what?

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
6 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

re: so what– considering how many emails, spam texts and bizarre messages I get suggesting that I “enlarge my membership” (but how did they know about the angry inch? espionage, I tell you) or give my money to a Nigerian prince, and other various scams, cons, schemes, unwanted snooping, and who knows what else, I’d fear exposing my hypothetical child to an internet that’s not the equivalent of a closed garden. Maybe having watched “Demonlover” too many times has done a number on my psyche (not really), but still… paranoia.

Christina
Christina
5 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

Electronics close to kids eyes is terrible for them. Not until age 8 is it safe for them 🙁

Neel V Kumar
Neel V Kumar
6 years ago

So that the 6-year old can call them in the middle of the night to report a monster under the bed. Either that or start making crank calls to the neighbors… 🙂

Short arms long pockets
Short arms long pockets
6 years ago

Great Post! When I had my babies – 20 years ago now – geez I feel old writing that 🙂 I remember thinking many of these same thoughts. And you are right, it has only become worse over time. My theory is that, as people wait longer to have children, and have fewer children, they feel that they have to provide the “best” for those children – which includes all the ridiculous gadgets that the marketers can convince them that they cannot live without. Personally, I think it makes more sense to put the money into a college fund and… Read more »

kelly@thehungryegghead
6 years ago

Many of my friends are having only one kid and boy do they spoil them!

$1000+ baby carriages!!! And so many new clothes! Anything I say they reply with you don’t have kids yet, and when you do you will spoil them as well.

I have learned to keep my mouth shut.

Beth
Beth
6 years ago

Those of us without kids still understand how a budget works and how to weigh needs versus wants. Some people treat big life changes like having a baby or getting married as an excuse to spend as much as they want.

It’s their money, they can do whatever they want — but they don’t get to play the martyrdom card with me.

FI Pilgrim
FI Pilgrim
6 years ago

Makes me feel old reading this (I’m only 32) but I’m the oldest of 7 children, so times have certainly changed since I was a kid. You’re absolutely right, and one of the things I often roll my eyes at is the Pinterest-worthy “baby room” that everyone seems to need, with perfectly matched colors, decor, furniture, bedding, rocker, changing table, clothes neatly stacked, etc.. hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars spent “getting ready for the baby.”

That’s not for the baby. They will spit up on it no matter how good it looks.

phoenix1920
phoenix1920
6 years ago
Reply to  FI Pilgrim

I know! Years ago, people had to go to magazine articles and books to find such ideas, instead of Pinterest. 😉

However, for what it’s worth, I haven’t met a parent yet who thinks having a nice room for the baby is a need that the baby has. Some people simply like to be creative and think decorating is fun. Generally, people who decorate the baby’s room so nicely have also decorated their own house.

Sara "Seester" D
Sara "Seester" D
6 years ago

It doesn’t stop with babies. I totally agree with Matt- Cell Phones- if I had kids, I would keep them from having cell phones until they either had a job or drove. Without a cell phone, a child would *gasp* have to learn to interact with people, and pay attention in school. And all those dvds and expensive toys that they play with for a week- if your lucky. Maybe I grew up dirt poor, but my dad cut and painted our own building blocks, we made enormous forts of couch cushions and blankets, and we played…outside! *steps off soap… Read more »

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
6 years ago

I don’t give my child and newfangled technology, like books. If oral histories passed down around the campfire were good enough for my ancestors, they’re good enough for my children. Also, if she wants me to tell her a story, I make her build me a campfire first. And she has to start it by rubbing two sticks together, no matches allowed.

Jen from Boston
Jen from Boston
6 years ago

Making her build the campfire? Is that the new Hardcore Montessori approach? 😉

Earl Jones
Earl Jones
6 years ago

I disagree on the Diaper Genie. It may not be a necessity but it is definitely a high convenience! We use ours exclusively for soiled diapers (wet go in the trash). It would definitely be on our top 10 products for new parents.

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
6 years ago
Reply to  Earl Jones

I don’t even know what one does and have never used one so I guess I didn’t even know what I was missing.

Mike Holman
Mike Holman
6 years ago
Reply to  Earl Jones

Couldn’t agree more. Diaper genie all the way!

Jadzia
Jadzia
6 years ago
Reply to  Mike Holman

I TOTALLY agree. My only regret about my Diaper Genie is that I waited until Kid #4 to finally give in and buy one. It has made such a difference, although if I hadn’t had 2 kids in diapers in a house that has no window screens (welcome to France) and no air conditioning or ceiling fans, I probably would not have made that purchase.

Tonya
Tonya
6 years ago
Reply to  Earl Jones

I never had one, but I understand they REALLY cut down the stink with those messy diapers. I was too broke with the first two, and by the third I figured I didn’t miss what I’d never had.

Lindsay
Lindsay
6 years ago
Reply to  Earl Jones

Seconded! They really cut down on the stink, and the older the kid gets in diapers, the more important that is. We don’t use it for our newborn’s diapers, but we do for our 21-month old. I’m not going to go outside to the trash every time I change a diaper, with a newborn and a toddler to look after, so the Genie is a great idea.

SAHMama
SAHMama
6 years ago

Yeah, the diaper genie was useless. The diapers would get stuck in the flippy thing and the bag would dislodge, causing diapers that did fall through to miss the bag entirely. Useless. My ILs gave us these dumb name plaque things for each kid. One fell and injured my child. It went into the trash as did the others we received. The plethora of stuffed animals. They collected dust. My kids prefer playing with wooden spoons, spatulas, boxes, etc as babies. Stupid baby clothes with pockets, a bazillion tiny buttons. Headbands and barrettes- my kids were mostly bald. Baby shoes.… Read more »

Carol
Carol
6 years ago

I love having a changing table. It is so much easier on my back than using the floor. We plan to continue to use it as a dresser.

We skipped a baby monitor. Sound carries pretty well. On the rare occasions we want to be able to hear while working in the garage our cordless phone has a monitor function.

Michelle
Michelle
6 years ago
Reply to  Carol

I am saying this all of the time. We have a 17 month old and twins on the way. We bought used (gasp!), yes used baby furniture. And it all matches and looks super nice and I paid a fraction of what other moms paid. We skipped the baby monitor, bedding set, and the car seat that you carry the kid with (pumpkin seat). Instead we spent more money on a nice convertible car seat that will grow with the child. We also purchased the zip sheets (check them out on amazon). They are so much easier than normal sheets.… Read more »

mi
mi
6 years ago
Reply to  Carol

I second the changing table, it has been REALLY useful to keep everything handy and organized. Also, my changing table is a set of 3 drawers and I change the baby on the top (so clothes, toiletries, etc are kept where neeced). I think it is gross to change a baby on the floor, not to mention how unconfortble that is to the parents. I also love the diaper genie. In theory, you could set up a small bag, but are you really going to change it as frequently as needed? The genie makes my life easier. BTW I have… Read more »

Christina
Christina
5 years ago
Reply to  mi

I do a lot of yoga. I think changing on the floor will be a great time to stretch 🙂

Eileen
Eileen
6 years ago
Reply to  Carol

I’ve got 2 grown kids and am an aunt to a dozen nieces/nephews and don’t know anyone who changed their babies on the floor. Strange. I found my changing table very useful. From the bed to the changing table (or vice versa) and always changed the baby in their room (we had a ranch home) so didn’t have diapers anywhere else. Can’t really imagine having to put the baby on the floor and back up again just to change a diaper. It was much easier to put the baby on the changing table and have everything within arm’s reach. As… Read more »

cj
cj
6 years ago
Reply to  Eileen

I agree – changing table is comfortable, and if someone even dont have space for additional furniture, can use a device on top of baby bed – like that: http://www.hej.mielec.pl/gfx/mwmstudio/pl/mwmbazaogloszen/132/20081/1189118001.jpg

of course, it is cheaper than full table, too.

Lindsay
Lindsay
6 years ago
Reply to  Carol

I agree. A changing table that is *just* a changing table does seem like a waste of space to me, but we bought one that is basically a dresser with a railing around the top, so we can continue to use it as a dresser once the kids are out of diapers. They also make some with shelves that you put baskets in, and they can turn into toy chests, basically.

Holly
Holly
6 years ago
Reply to  Carol

We found a change table really good, as my husband especially is prone to putting his lower back out. I’d have loved one with storage under it, but we got given it, and I can fit the rubbish bin under it, so I wasn’t complaining.
We got given so much stuff second hand, we didn’t buy any clothes until our daughter was 18 months old.

Christina
Christina
5 years ago
Reply to  Holly

Changing travel mats are awesome for minimalists in small spaces. Everything is in the pouch easy to clean mat that rolls everything in it. Minimal

LCT
LCT
6 years ago

I’m really very surprised you didn’t at least address the amount of money you can save by using cloth diapers instead of disposable. Disposable diapers insanely expensive, automatic trash that won’t degrade for centuries (even the “biodegradable diapers” won’t unless you home compost), and full of things like dioxin. Modern cloth diapers are easy to use, easy to wash, and much MUCH cheaper than disposables (you can cloth diaper multiple kids for less than $500 if you go the “fancy” route, and less than $100 if you scrimp a little). I know they’re not for everyone, but for a personal… Read more »

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
6 years ago
Reply to  LCT

My wife was all gung-ho on cloth diapers and I *hated* them so much. As soon as I was exclusively responsible for my daughter I stopped using them and switched to disposables. I gave the cloth ones away to some friends who just had a little girl and wanted them.

I know a lot of people like them but my god, they made me want to vomit every time I had to scrape poop out of them.

Jen from Boston
Jen from Boston
6 years ago

My quasi-in-laws just had a baby and are using cloth diapers with a diaper service. They have disposable liners the put in to “catch” the poop. Instead of scraping it (EW!!) you can just dump it with the liner in a pail or something. Meanwhile, the liquid passes through the liner.

I don’t know if it’s effective at cutting down the gross factor. Their son isn’t that old, and I wasn’t around to witness a diaper change that had number 2 in it.

SAHMama
SAHMama
6 years ago
Reply to  LCT

Cloth worked fine for my oldest. I got some secondhand when she was six months old. But, daycare wouldn’t take them, and I totally understand why. Then comes along child number two. He has eczema and cloth diapers left him with raw, bleeding, irritated skin even if I changed him immediately after every pee or poop. Same with kiddo number three. I tried multiple detergents, rash creams, etc, and just gave up because the kids were miserable. As it turns out, they can wear any brand of disposable and they are fine. The doctor’s office visit copays and money I… Read more »

Aryn
Aryn
6 years ago
Reply to  SAHMama

Cloth diapers don’t need to go in the sun or the dryer for sanitary reasons. Neither sanitizes anything. If you use real detergent (Tide, Gain, etc.) rather than “CD-Safe” detergent and do a bleach load after yeast infections, your diapers will be clean.

SAHMama
SAHMama
6 years ago
Reply to  Aryn

Air drying the diapers would take so long that mildew grew. The sun bleaches out stains and the sun / dryer also help kill any germs that the detergent didn’t get. Tide and other detergents aren’t recommended by most cloth diaper manufacturers because they reduce the absorption of liquid. Also if you use wool covers, you need to lanolinize them about once a month, depending on how many covers you have in your rotation. I had six covers and did them once a month. A friend with two dozen covers only had to lanolinize every other month or every three… Read more »

Aryn
Aryn
6 years ago
Reply to  Aryn

Detergent build-up is a myth and I’ve never had a diaper mildew while air drying. Several diaper manufacturers now recommend using mainstream detergents. Using the correct amount of mainstream detergent with the correct amount of water will get the diapers clean.

Jane
Jane
6 years ago
Reply to  Aryn

Eventually my cloth diapers stunk to high heaven. The only think that got rid of the stench was to switch to original Tide liquid. It worked like a charm. There are plenty of websites you can find that rank detergents for cloth diapers, and original Tide almost always outranks other more green detergents.

The other perfect thing for diaper stink? Bac-Out, which you can buy at Whole Foods.

Emily @ evolvingPF
Emily @ evolvingPF
6 years ago

I’ve been listening to a pregnancy podcast recently that sometimes seems like a giant marketing campaign for products I’d never even considered before. I’m trying to think outside the box a bit regarding the acquisition of stuff for babies. What do you think of not buying a crib (actually, not setting up a separate room for the baby at all) or a stroller until I’m absolutely sure that I want one and what the baby’s needs are? It seems parents-to-be often buy these large items before birth based on guessing what they will want and there is a possibility that… Read more »

Carol
Carol
6 years ago

I have friends that have gone cribless and they were very happy.

Depending on where you live and how warm you keep your house you may need clothes that are warmer than onesies.

You can definitely wait on a stroller.

Holly@ClubThrifty
6 years ago

If I had to do it all over again, I would just borrow baby gear from friends or family before making any big purchases. Babies are all so different! My first one loved to swing, was obsessed with her pacifier, and loved bouncy seats. My second child wouldn’t take a pacifier, refused to swing for any length of time, and wouldn’t sit in a bouncy seat either. My first child also had a bunch of special swaddling outfits….she loved being snug and cozy! My second refused to be swaddled. Go figure. So, with all that being said, it may be… Read more »

Mike Holman
Mike Holman
6 years ago

+1 My generic advice to new parents is don’t buy anything until you need it.

Lindsay
Lindsay
6 years ago
Reply to  Mike Holman

The thing is, most people want to buy things for the new parents, so they need to set up a registry listing what they want bought for them. So it is a good idea to go ahead and plan for what you think you will need or want.

Allyson
Allyson
6 years ago
Reply to  Mike Holman

Except that when you decide you do need it, do you want to have to haul a newborn out while you go shopping, and decide on what particular model you want, and read reviews, and compare prices? When you are sleep-deprived? Perhaps in the winter?

Heather
Heather
6 years ago

You could wait on the stroller to see what you would need. BUT as a new mom, I would caution that you will probably not be getting out and going shopping for the first few weeks, so get everything you really need in advance. If you go on walks outside every day, you might appreciate being able to continue right away post-partum. If a stroller is a just in case thing (or if the weather will be too cold when baby is born) you could probably pass. My son sleeps in a Rock and Play Sleeper instead of his crib… Read more »

Darce
Darce
6 years ago

Unless you don’t walk anywhere, a stroller is going to be a necessity. That said, you don’t need to buy a fancy, expensive one, and you can probably wait a bit, especially if you have a sling or wrap or something to carry the baby in during those early months. Maybe you could get a hand-me-down from a friend? We actually did spend a bit more on a stroller that worked for our needs, but for us, it was worth it. But we don’t own a car and do walk most places (including the store; I miss being able to… Read more »

Tasha
Tasha
6 years ago
Reply to  Darce

We walk everywhere or take public transit and I regret buying a stroller – we hardly ever use it, and it is $300 I could have spent elsewhere (or put in her education savings!). We use baby carriers almost exclusively with our child, and it works great for us. Taking the bus without having to worry about the stroller blocking the aisle is great. Also, we live in Canada, and if you are dressed appropriately and/or get a babywearing coat or carrier cover, you can continue to wear your baby through the cold months. *If a stroller works for you… Read more »

Christina
Christina
5 years ago

I’m in the same bOat. I’m just getting a pack n play for them to sleep in. Check out livingrichcheaply they can do everything including sleep there until they can pull themselves up. I’m the same with the stroller… I plan to carry my baby in front of me. I do yoga and am in great shape. Maybe in 5 months. However I am seeing that the car seat goes in the stroller and you prob need a car seat- or just the carry type. ??? I’m confused too.

Kathy
Kathy
6 years ago

I think the pacifier wipe thing is because as a nation we have become obsessed with germs. Thee are wipes by the grocery carts at the supermarket. People carry bottles of disinfectant in their purses/pockets to use every time they touch a door knob and on and on. I once saw a woman use a wipe on her own phone after talking on it. People and babies need to be exposed to some germs so they can build a resistance to them.

Stephanie
Stephanie
6 years ago
Reply to  Kathy

I totally agree with you. There is a line to be crossed with germs and at times I think we may have crossed it. I wonder how many “dirty” things I put in my mouth as a child because I’m still here 29 years later.

Lisa
Lisa
6 years ago

We had these things that looked like pacifiers, but instead of the paci nipple thing on the baby side of it, it had a little netted bag to put fruit or frozen things in for teething older babies to “eat” the juice through it without “choking”. Um, we never used these and my kid had no interest the one time I tried. A waste of money and a silly invention. She preferred to chew on a frozen piece of broccoli when she was teething, and still likes it. Nice way to get into vegetables!

Bridgett T
Bridgett T
6 years ago

I bought a cushion that basically acted as a changing table top and put it on top of a dresser, which we really did need. Worked great. (Plus the floor was often…let’s say chaotic.)

I wish we’d only bought one baby carrier–the backpack or the snuggy front-carrier thing. We used both of them but I think just one would’ve carried us.

I think part of it is that sometimes you should wait and see if you need something before you buy it. (Like the shopping cart thing!)

Jane
Jane
6 years ago
Reply to  Bridgett T

Baby wraps and carriers are the new thing for parents, and they are dropping a TON of cash on them. If you learn how to wrap a baby successfully, you can just use a long piece of fabric that you make yourself or buy on etsy for a fraction of the price. I’m guessing those Ergos and other things are nice, but no way am I spending over a hundred dollars for one. I have to disagree with Holly about the changing table. We didn’t have one for our first and managed to acquire one for free with our second.… Read more »

Holly@ClubThrifty
6 years ago
Reply to  Jane

Jane,

Someone gave us a Baby Bjorn carrier with the receipt…and it was $85!!!! We did use it but not nearly often enough to justify the cost.

If your changing table saved your back then I would say that it was definitely worth it, even if you had paid for it!!! Even though I never used my changing table for that purpose, it wasn’t a total loss because it also serves as my child’s main dresser.

Abby
Abby
6 years ago
Reply to  Jane

It’s so funny how different families and babies are…the ONE thing I often say that we could not have done without for the first 18-24 months of my son’s life was our Ergo carrier. Both my husband and I used it daily (pretty much never used a stroller) and it certainly paid for itself. I was not confident with wrapping and felt anxious trying to deal with a long piece of cloth with my short frame. My husband would probably have very rarely been willing to wrap, but he was more than happy to use the carrier. Other relatives (esp.… Read more »

Holly@ClubThrifty
6 years ago
Reply to  Abby

It is funny! It just goes to show how different families need different items for their babies…and that no two babies are alike.

The Baby Bjorn didn’t work well for me because it made me too top-heavy (I’m short!). My husband is 6’3 so he could make it work! But, neither of our babies were too keen on being carried that way for some reason.

Mary
Mary
6 years ago

I have seen so many new parents opting for these new $200-$500 baby monitors that have cameras so you can watch your baby sleep. It’s creepy and unnecessary!

A $20-$30 listening set will do just as well. Don’t be lazy! Get up and check on your baby.

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
6 years ago
Reply to  Mary

Or leave the door open and save $20-30.

Aryn
Aryn
6 years ago

We have a video monitor and love it. Due to the layout of our house, our room is far away from the nursery and we can’t hear her unless she’s absolutely screaming. The video part is great to be able to see if she’s actually awake or just moaning in her sleep.

Rob
Rob
6 years ago
Reply to  Mary

The video monitor isn’t a necessity, and I didn’t have one for my two children, but it is a tremendous convenience and luxury with benefits you aren’t considering. I can’t tell you how many times I tip-toed past their bedroom doors, or didn’t put away laundry when I wanted to, because I was afraid of waking the beasts. I’ve seen video monitors used to gauge if the kids were really out, leaving them free to move in and out of their rooms at will. I wouldn’t buy it myself, but if you have a grandparent itching to spend their money… Read more »

Kelli
Kelli
6 years ago

@Emily – I think you’re on the right track. when my daughter was born she spent the first few months in a bassinet (it was actually the same one I used as a baby) and when she decided she didn’t like that anymore, she slept in her pack and play, which also had a bassinet attachment. I was really worried she would hate her crib mattress but I lucked out and we didn’t have problems. next time, I’ll probably hold off on getting the crib. She also wore nothing but footie pj’s those first few months. they were easy, cheap… Read more »

Mitzi
Mitzi
6 years ago

I agree with all of this except the shopping cart cover. I had a big cushioned one that made the grocery store experience SO much better with a little one. That was a must have for me. We did without all the rest.

Jerry
Jerry
6 years ago
Reply to  Mitzi

The article implied that shopping cart covers were supposed to cushion kids butts; I had always thought it was for sanitary purposes. I use them in shopping carts when my boy was younger, and also on high chairs in restaurants to keep the gross stuff off his clothes. At least I found this item to be useful, even more so when purchased off of craigslist!

Aryn
Aryn
6 years ago
Reply to  Jerry

I keep the shopping cart cover in the car where I won’t forget it. It’s right there with my reusable bags. My LO likes to climb out of the things and the cover keeps her strapped in. No way would I trust our grocery store’s dilapidated carts to do that. The wheels barely work half the time!

Heather
Heather
6 years ago

I agree these things aren’t necessarily needed, but some of them are definitely handy. It just depends on your lifestyle. I am a new mom of a 3 week old, and appreciate my changing table, diaper genie, and baby wipes. Waking up every other hour in the middle of the night to feed and change diapers, I appreciate having everything close at hand including a less stinky way to dispose of diapers. To everyone who says to take the diapers to the outside trash each time, I say, Seriously, 12 trips outside each day in the winter? I want every… Read more »

Holly@ClubThrifty
6 years ago
Reply to  Heather

My 4 y.o. and 2 y.o. daughters use the quilts they were given as a baby to wrap up their “babies” when they play. We really haven’t used any of them until the last year or so.

katherine
katherine
6 years ago
Reply to  Heather

Amen, Sister! I have an 8 month old and I completely agree. Yes, maybe back then there weren’t as many gadgets, but some of the ones on the market today are super-convenient and help my sanity.

mi
mi
6 years ago
Reply to  Heather

Agreed!!! Nobody want to make a billion trips to the trash (or leave that smelly thing back there? Gross!

Also as far as blankets – I used to put on top of my baby when we would go for walks (to make him cozy in the stroller).

Carol
Carol
6 years ago
Reply to  Heather

Blankets–my three year old will only use receiving blankets for covers. He refuses the bigger ones that would actually cover him completely.

I wore them on my shoulders during the spitup period. (which seemed really long) I draped them on my couch during nursing (same spit up issues)

We tucked them over the baby in the carseat during the winter.

EMH
EMH
6 years ago

I am currently pregnant and my mom is throwing me a baby shower. I don’t want one but she is going to do it whether or not I show up. So, I succumbed and registered. We registered for a crib, a keekaroo changing pad, plain white crib sheets, stroller, car seat, diaper covers since we are doing cloth diapers, travel/collapsible high chair, a moby wrap, onesies, a breast pump, and swaddle blankets. Maybe we will need more but I don’t want any more than that. I went to Babies R Us and cried afterwards. I couldn’t imagine all that crap… Read more »

Heather
Heather
6 years ago
Reply to  EMH

I just had a baby and my experience was similar. Your registry list looks good–I would just suggest contacting your health insurance to see if breast pumps are covered. I got my Medela for free! Even if you don’t have a shower, people will still want to buy you things, so hopefully the shower will point them in a useful direction. Not knowing the sex of the baby can also discourage people from buying “cute” things (although I got tons of gender specific gifts after baby was born). I have so many homemade gifts from family that the nursery closet… Read more »

EMH
EMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Heather

We aren’t finding out the sex but not knowing has made thing easier while registering. I will definitely check out my health insurance regarding the breast pump. THANK YOU! That is fantastic advice.

EMH
EMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Heather

THANK YOU, Heather!!!! I called my insurance company and found out that a hospital grade breast pump is indeed covered up to a retail price of $500. I would have never thought to ask and none of my friends have ever mentioned this was a possibility. Thank you.

Heather
Heather
6 years ago
Reply to  EMH

Yay! Spread the word! Breast pumps may be covered by health insurance!

Denise
Denise
6 years ago
Reply to  EMH

Something to consider, you may not be able to pump. My second child was just shy of 11lbs and ate like a horse. He was never not satisfied by me however occasionaly supplement from formula helped. If you are patient you will adjust to what is needed. One thing that I want to add to all of this is that we as old moms or new moms do not need to “buy” into the guilt! Too may times we feel guilty because we dont have the bestest or the prettiest or the (fill in the blank) which only perpetuates concumerism.… Read more »

Amanda
Amanda
6 years ago
Reply to  EMH

You really don’t need a crib. You can just use a pack-n-play until the kid is 2 and then switch them to a twin bed on the floor. You can get one of the simple ones for $80 and it works as a bassinet too. I just had it configured to a bassinet and pulled next to my bed for the fist couple of months, worked better than a co-sleeper. Also a lot of the swings, chairs, carriers are really handy for about 3-6 months. If you can borrow these for 3-6 months and then return them when you are… Read more »

Kat
Kat
6 years ago
Reply to  EMH

If you don’t want people to buy stuff for the baby, what about asking them to contribute to a college fund in lieu of gifts? That’s what my friend did for her baby shower. She had a registry for people who preferred to bring gifts, but there was also an option to donate to a college fund.

EMH
EMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Kat

I have tried that but got the “that’s no fun” response. :/

SAHMama
SAHMama
6 years ago
Reply to  EMH

When I was pregnant with my first, I was blessed with 4 showers. My work threw one, and I got a giftcard, some outfits, and a few blankets. My friend threw one and I got the car seat and high chair and a teddy bear. My husband’s work threw one and gave us giftcards. My MIL threw one and invited all the old ladies from her church. I swear, they dug out all the stuff from their attics that they used for their babies 50 years ago. There were things that were just totally unsafe. If it wasn’t that, it… Read more »

Brian @ Debt Discipline
Brian @ Debt Discipline
6 years ago

How about the new car trap? We are having a bay we need a bigger car for all of the baby stuff?

Our first children were twins and we managed with a Honda civic when they were first born. The car was full between the 2 car seats and diaper bar, stroller etc but we managed.

RP
RP
6 years ago

We have a two year old and newborn twins. When we found out about the twins, we needed a new car to accommodate everyone. We are frugal and appreciate simplicity which led us to the Mazda 5. It’s a bit tight in terms of storage, but it really is a minimalist minivan that does the trick. It’s perfect for a family of 5 that doesn’t want all of the unnecessary bells and whistles that usually come with minivans.

SAHMama
SAHMama
6 years ago
Reply to  RP

Yes! We bought a Mazda 5 last year when I was six months pregnant with our third child. We had to replace our 14 year old failing car anyway, and the Mazda 5 is great.

Brian @ Debt Discipline
Brian @ Debt Discipline
6 years ago
Reply to  RP

We had to upgrade once we had our 3 rd child. So I understand.

Lindsay
Lindsay
6 years ago

This is so refreshing to read!! I am a 34 mom to a very busy 18 month old boy. When I was pregnant, I refused offers of baby showers because I just felt that I didn’t really need that much. We bought a crib, used my old dresser as a change table, drove to the US (from Toronto) for an amazing deal on a chair and ottoman, and bought diapers, but splurged on a stroller that I certainly have gotten my money out of. My rule of thumb was that if my mom didn’t need it 30+ years ago, I… Read more »

Amy
Amy
6 years ago
Reply to  Lindsay

Wow! It’s refreshing to hear about someone declining a baby shower.

Jen from Boston
Jen from Boston
6 years ago

Two friends of mine who are having a baby soon requested children’s books so they could begin building a collection sooner rather than later. They still registered for baby stuff, but perhaps putting a bug in people’s ears for books could help decrease the amount of cutesy crap? Granted, you could end up with books, but at least they’re smaller than crib bumpers and stuffed animals. And you can box them up until your child is ready for them….

Megan
Megan
6 years ago

There are a million and one “What you actually need for Baby” blog posts out there, and they all seem to follow the same format: Baby needs: 1. Love 2. Something to eat 3. Place to sleep 4. [Item that I personally never used for my baby] Baby would never need: 1. Ridiculous toy 2. Ridiculous clothing item 3. Ridiculous furniture item 4. [Item that I found completely indispensible] The specific items in space 4 varies with every post, but there is always something. I think someone needs to instead write a post explaining why everyone’s lifestyle choices are different,… Read more »

Kaylee
Kaylee
6 years ago
Reply to  Megan

“The fact that kids are expensive is almost beyond debate. After all, there are so many costs that are unavoidable, like health insurance, reliable childcare, food, and shelter. However, there are ways to whittle that $240,000 figure down to a reasonable level, mostly by only buying and using things that are actually necessary for your child. Instead of buying everything you think you may need, try finding used baby gear on Craigslist or Freecycle. Or, better yet, borrow items from family and friends until you see what works best for your baby and your family. Every baby is different and… Read more »

PB
PB
6 years ago

We were extremely poor when we had our first baby, but had no debt and were very happy. We reused a lot of things. I took my toy cabinet, sewed a cushion for it, and stapled a strap to it for a changing table – worked great. We reused my husband’s crib (measured the gap between the slats first) and chiffarobe (sp?). Lots of hand me downs from cousins and other family members, too! We did by a top-of-the-line car seat, even though we had no car, because we had a terrible fright – my nephew would have been killed… Read more »

Abby
Abby
6 years ago

We did not buy a crib initially, because we weren’t sure exactly what we needed. We bought one when my son was about 6 months old and we were ready to transition him from the pack n play in our room. By then we knew that we wanted the one from IKEA that seemed designed for short people like us. =) I actually loved the shopping cart cover because otherwise my son would gum the cart handle the entire time we were at the store, but I agree – not a necessity. We bought almost everything for my son at… Read more »

Lauren
Lauren
6 years ago

I couldn’t agree with this more! We got all the gadets and gizmos for baby #1, who is now 14. When baby #2 & 3 came along we discovered mom to mom swaps! Nearly everything came/comes from mom swaps. We’ve bought everything from shoes, clothes and gear from swaps. I bought my 3 yr olds entire summer wardrobe for $50, and dressed her in the cutest little girl stye out there. Every baby shower I see someone get a diaper genie. I give them a $1.98 small trash can from walmart and suggest they take that thing back. Its a… Read more »

Cathie
Cathie
6 years ago

From my white haired vantage point: re-think the idea of your children sharing bedrooms. My sister made her sons share bedrooms all their lives even though they had extra ones. She felt it made them learn to get along with another person. From watching her 4 adult sons interact with others, and my own 4 children’s struggles with selfishness and retreat from conflict, I would do the same.

Suzanne
Suzanne
6 years ago

This is a really timely post. I’m at the tail end of my first trimester with twins and will start looking at the registry stuff soon probably. I’m not looking forward to the junk that my MIL is most assuredly going to get the babies without receipts. (Thanks to farmer’s markets/flea markets.) With two, I’m overwhelmed with the thought of what I need to purchase (two cribs, 2 car seats with 4 bases so we can both drop off at daycare, though certainly there are things we don’t need two of, like a changing table). I like this article’s emphasis… Read more »

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
6 years ago
Reply to  Suzanne

“With two, I’m overwhelmed with the thought of what I need to purchase (two cribs, 2 car seats with 4 bases so we can both drop off at daycare, though certainly there are things we don’t need two of, like a changing table).” My daughter, who is two now, never slept in a crib (she sleeps on a mattress on the floor, and always has since she’s been in her own room), has never had an extra base for her carseat (they’re about as hard to disconnect from the base as they are to just take out of the car),… Read more »

Abby
Abby
6 years ago

Sounds like this poster will NEED that extra carseat base (or probably buy four carseats). We needed two (and ended up with three, which was the most convenient option). Contrary to popular wisdom, we bought the bases for almost nothing on Craigslist – I felt comfortable enough with the other mom I bought them from and believe she was truthful about them never having been in an accident. If one parent has to drop off to daycare and another has to pick up, the bases are a much cheaper option than multiple carseats (if you are using the infant seat,… Read more »

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
6 years ago
Reply to  Abby

If she needs four, that’s fine. I think one of the big problems with this is that people decide what they think they’ll need before they actually need it, and buy it, and a lot of the time the need never materializes. It’s really easy to go out and buy something later when you decide, “you know, my life would be a lot easier if I had a [whatever]”. It’s not always so easy to return a bunch of stuff you bought earlier after you realize that you never use it.

Aryn
Aryn
6 years ago

Not everyone has a two story house. In my one-story house, we only changed the baby on the floor in our room when she was small and co-slept. The rest of the time, we do in fact carry her to the changing table in her room EVERY time. We use the top of her dresser. If she’s on the floor, she’s just going to crawl away.

Getting my car seat off the base was super simple. One pull of the release handle and it was done. Putting it back in was just one click.

Jeanine
Jeanine
6 years ago
Reply to  Aryn

Just to let you know, most baby car seats can go into a car without a base. (Have always done this while traveling to another state, as it is difficult to bring the base with you on an airplane.) You put the carseat rear facing on the seat, buckle the seatbelt over it and under the clips on the top – it will be over baby- and pull the seat belt all the way out and let it back in slowly while it clicks. You may not need so many bases if you know how to do this.

Jen from Boston
Jen from Boston
6 years ago

In Korea EVERYONE sleeps on the floor, unless they’ve gone totally Western. Traditional Korean homes have heated floors, so that’s where everyone sleeps. And, if they have a small home, they all sleep in the same room. I think it’s useful to look at how other cultures raise and have raised their children. Seeing that there are different ways to raise children can help us re-think our assumptions. Obviously, if you live a in a cold climate and your home’s heating isn’t the best then sleeping on the floor might not be the best idea. Ditto if you’re a subpar… Read more »

Emily S
Emily S
6 years ago

Although I agree there are some things out there that just aren’t necessary for baby (can we say jetted spa baby tub?), I have to disagree on the pacifier wipes! When my baby throws his paci under a dusty clothes rack on the floor at Kohls, you better believe I’m not just wiping it on my shirt or usin my mouth. At home, it gets washed off in the sink.

infmom
infmom
6 years ago

I laughed when I saw the comment about “wasting money” on all that baby equipment and then a comment that it should have been spent on diapers. You want to talk wasting money with babies, plastic diapers lead the list! Add up how much the average household spends on those things during the time when a child is wearing diapers and you’ll be staggered. When I was expecting my son, we bought 4 dozen cloth diapers. Washing them myself added 2 loads a week (which is nothing when you’ve got a baby or diapered kidlet in the house). My daughter… Read more »

Tie the Money Knot
Tie the Money Knot
6 years ago

As a parent, I suspect that there a large number of people and businesses getting rich on the emotions of new parents that simply don’t have experience with this.

I learned a few things the first time, and we save some money on things with the my second kid. Live and learn, right? It’s just hard for many first-time parents to gain this perspective.

katherine
katherine
6 years ago

Okay – I read this post this morning and had to wait until lunch to comment. I’m not a frequent commenter – so here it goes. I’m pretty thick-skinned, but this post really gets to me, and for that I have to examine why it bothers me so much. I think, that while I’ll open myself up to criticism for my finances, I’m just not willing to go there for someone who seems very opinionated on what I buy for my kid. I’m not wasteful and I don’t spend extravagantly, but hey, I totally love the swing and the bouncy… Read more »

Ingrid
Ingrid
6 years ago

When I had my son I shopped at Thrift stores, kmart, consignment shops. Instead of clothes, I asked everyone to give diapers in all sizes or breast pads because I was breast feeding. I didn’t bother doing anything fancy with his room because he slept with me every night. It was easier to just out him to my breast if he was right next to me. The pacifier lasted 2 days then I tossed it. And we he got too old for crib, walker, stroller, baby clothes, toys, playpen I gave it all away to another couple who had a… Read more »

MoneyAhoy
MoneyAhoy
6 years ago

When it comes to baby stuff, I figure that yard sales have saved us tens of thousands of dollars. You can have all the nice stuff (if that’s your thing) for 98% off.

I agree with you though, marketing and sales have taken all this baby crap to the extreme recently!

phoenix1920
phoenix1920
6 years ago

The problem with these type posts is that they invite criticizing other simply because another person chooses to buy a product that another person doesn’t need or want. They weren’t around when I had kids, but I can see the appeal for a pacy wipe when a parent is out with their child and it’s not so easy to get to a sink. And the wipes would work well for cleaning off hands and faces before snacks. Probably for a whopping couple of dollars! I know a lot of the things I gave my kids my parents didn’t think about.… Read more »

Kyle James
Kyle James
6 years ago
Reply to  phoenix1920

“And the wipes would work well for cleaning off hands and faces before snacks” They call those baby wipes. We had a bag of them wherever we went when our kids were younger. Why would we buy pacifier wipes in addition? “Parents today do the same thing they did years ago”, that is obviously not true or they wouldn’t sell stuff like this. Companies are clearly trying to make money off the irrational fears of parents.

Aryn
Aryn
6 years ago
Reply to  Kyle James

I haven’t checked, but baby wipes may contain chemicals that aren’t safe to ingest. Paci wipes are designed to be safe. If your paci falls in a puddle, are you really going to give it back without wanting to clean it first? I bought the wipes, but my daughter refused pacis after 10 weeks, so the wipes dried up before I could use them.

Carla
Carla
6 years ago
Reply to  phoenix1920

(Not a parent, never will, be so take this with a grain of salt.) To your second paragraph, I kind of disagree with your reasons why auto safety is more on the forefront than 40 years ago. Having a mother who’s been a pediatric nurse in ICU and radiology for the greater part of her life (40 years and she’s in her early 60s) she’s witnessed some of the most horrific results of children not wearing seat-belts or fastened in car seats. We rarely see it but tragedies do happen and thankfully they happen fewer today than they did when… Read more »

Emily S
Emily S
6 years ago
Reply to  phoenix1920

Agree!! What is so wrong with buying a pacifier wipe? It’s like a contest. How little can you buy for the most important person in your life? I’m all for being frugal–I shop consignment sales for clothes and some toys, we have hand-me-downs from cousins, I didn’t buy a lot of the accessories like a changing table or diaper genie, but my goodness! My kid has paci wipes, a new, expensive car seat, and an expensive high chair that will last through several children. And lots of toys to keep him busy. So shoot me!

Summer
Summer
6 years ago
Reply to  phoenix1920

I must disagree that we’re more focused on safety now because we’re more litigious. We’re more focused on safety because too many babies died when riding in laps.

Jen from Boston
Jen from Boston
6 years ago
Reply to  Summer

And we have a better understanding of how to prevent fatalities and injuries.

MamaMia
MamaMia
6 years ago

Elimination communication = no diapers Bed sharing (with appropriate safety precautions) = no crib or baby bedding, no monitor, no sleep sack Carrying in-arms = no stroller, or even sling/carrier (with the added benefit that your arms & back get a workout) Heuristic play with everyday objects from around the house = no overpriced baby toys Letting baby self-feed, sitting on a wipe-able outdoor cushion at the coffee table = no high chair, no baby foods, no baby accessories Term breastfeeding = no formula or bottles, fewer illnesses requiring doctor’s visits Feeding breastmilk by cup or spoon = no bottles… Read more »

Perri
Perri
6 years ago
Reply to  MamaMia

Most of that really only works for SAHMs

MamaMia
MamaMia
6 years ago
Reply to  Perri

How so?

Many working families e.c. part-time and many working mothers pump at work and/or nurse when home. Breastfeeding, formula, or both is a personal choice and no one is “lesser” for choosing one over the other, but let’s not perpetuate mommy wars and myths that disempower working women. Better to share ideas and support each other, whatever our needs.

The rest of these methods are easy enough to do for families with mothers who work outside the home. You don’t need to stay home to opt out of a stroller/carrier, baby toys, or new clothes.

SAHMama
SAHMama
6 years ago
Reply to  MamaMia

Wow, on a high horse much? I used to be that way too but a recent experience knocked me off. I nursed my first, but I also worked fulltime outside the home. My daycare center was not going to feed her with a cup or a spoon. Labeled bottles were required. Not working was not a choice at that time- my husband lost his job and was out of work for six months during the Great Recession. Kid number 2- birth injuries left him unable to nurse. I was hospitalized with postpartum depression. I pumped so he could get milk… Read more »

MamaMia
MamaMia
6 years ago
Reply to  SAHMama

Why do you believe that I say this from a place of judgement? It’s an observation that my kids were quicker than their peers to pick up these skills, not a judgement on how other parents raise their children. It’s an observation that we saved a bundle making frugal choices as I worked from home, not a condemnation of other families’ individual needs and wants, which are quite rightly theirs alone. I shared these observations in the hopes that others might find them useful, and that’s it. That other families make other choices is none of my concern (nor yours).… Read more »

Brittany
Brittany
6 years ago
Reply to  SAHMama

Wow, I think you may be the defensive one! There was nothing judgmental about the comment at all. The poster was just sharing what SHE did and how it happened to save money. Not what EVERYONE **has** to do in order to be a good parent.

MamaMia
MamaMia
6 years ago
Reply to  SAHMama

“I used to think that women were failures if they couldn’t or chose not to nurse too. But my own personal experience fixed that straightaway.”

Madam, you are projecting. I do not believe that women who choose not to nurse (or who are robbed of that choice) are “failures.”

cj
cj
6 years ago
Reply to  MamaMia

Bed sharing – no! never again. Taht way you teach baby bad habit that sleeping alone is wrong.

Jen from Boston
Jen from Boston
6 years ago
Reply to  MamaMia

Elimination communication from babies? How does that work? I’m curious. I’ve never heard of it.

I’ve never had children or spent a lot of time with babies, so it’s possible I’m just missing something.

Having said that, though, I was easy to toilet train. In fact, Mom says I insisted on it – and BEFORE I was old enough or large enough to use a training potty. She had to hold me over the toilet. So I guess I should get a gold star for Elimination Communication? 🙂

Emily S
Emily S
6 years ago

While I agree that there is plenty you don’t need to buy for baby (can we say jetted spa baby bath tub?), I have to disagree on the pacifier wipes. You better believe I’m whipping one out when my son drops his paci and it rolls under a dusty/dirty clothing rack/shelf/grocery store floor at the store. At home, we rinse it with water to remove the dog hair.

cj
cj
6 years ago
Reply to  Emily S

Pacifier – easy way to give dentist next patient. Pacifier is first not needed device for baby. No pacifier, no bacteria, less probable bite problems.

mike
mike
6 years ago

Maybe if parents said we need a baby 529 plan, please contribute otherwise we will be baby stuff minimalists. Given the costs of college 18 years from now between 160-500k for 4 years.
http://money.msn.com/college-savings/what-college-will-cost-in-18-years-cnbc.aspx

Laura
Laura
6 years ago

When we had DS, we got nearly everything second or third hand; we were totally not into designing a nursery, just filling his bedroom with what he’d need. His crib was purchased used (with a new mattress); we got it specifically because it converted into a toddler bed and we got 6 years usage out of it. This turned out to be the perfect purchase because he didn’t want to give it up, and he got to watch his crib turn into the Big Boy Bed so he was more accepting of it. (This is probably why he likes Transformers.)… Read more »

Teinegurl
Teinegurl
6 years ago

I would say a pack and play that had a bassinett and changing pad that i never used. The pack and play was only useful with the bassinett part and it was hard to move locations and set up which i thought would be helpful. when my sister had my nephew my mom bought a bottle warmer and wiper warmer. So ridicilous and not needed. My best friend also bought Ergo but used it often, video camera monitor which i liked when i babysat. It also works for older kids. Now a days for baby showers or baby gifts if… Read more »

shawmutt
shawmutt
6 years ago

Baby Einstein anything.

Janette
Janette
6 years ago
Reply to  shawmutt

Not according to research. Univ of Washington is the leading baby research facility. Check them out.

Beth
Beth
6 years ago

I’m not a parent, so take this with a grain of salt — but it seems to me that spending on kids should be like spending on anything else? I mean, look at needs versus wants, budget accordingly, don’t spend more than you earn, spend on things that bring you value, learn from spending mistakes, etc. I think the problem is that a lot of emotion creeps into decisions about spending on kids. Children are an incredible blessing, but they aren’t an excuse to spend however much you want. I’m a proud auntie and even I have a hard time… Read more »

Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life
Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life
6 years ago

Oddly enough, the “baby industry” reminds me of the wedding industry in this way. All the marketing has created this faux sense of “traditional must haves” or “must dos”- convincing us we NEED more and we have to spend to get it. It’s hard to cut through the clutter when you’re still in the planning stages and not looking back in retrospect.

PawPrint
PawPrint
6 years ago

We didn’t have much of this stuff when I had kids 30+ years ago. My son walked at 9 months and had no desire to be in a backpack (that’s all we had) after that. That’s why I always tell mothers to be happy when their kids don’t walk until they’re a year old. 🙂 I did have to bring disposable diapers to day care, but didn’t use them at home. Still have some of those diapers, which make great dust cloths. My favorite present was a year of diaper service. I liked cloth diapers, and I really liked just… Read more »

Micro
Micro
6 years ago

Those pacifier wipes remind me of just how ridiculous our country can be when it comes to sanitation. Everything needs to be wiped down and all germs eradicated. Heaven forbid you expose yourself to some bacteria or virus, because then your immune system might actually have to do work. I personally think it’s okay for a kid to put things from the ground into their mouth. It gives them a chance to acclimate their bodies to the bacteria in their surrounding environment.

trin
trin
6 years ago

and funny thing: I just read a study that parents who suck at the paci to get it cleaned are actually doing it RIGHT! (even though it is a bit gross)
Less allergies in kids with paci sucking parents, but no more diseases or tooth decay. Isn’t that need? with the next kid, I’ll start sucking!

Jen from Boston
Jen from Boston
6 years ago
Reply to  trin

Well, in that case, I would use the paci wipes for ME. While Junior might be happy sampling offerings from the subway floor I wouldn’t be. I would just use the wipe to wipe it off before I stuck in my mouth 😉

Nina
Nina
6 years ago

I don’t think there’s any specific item that people don’t need. Everyone needs different things. I actually like my changing table because I don’t have to hurt my back changing the babies. But I know others who could absolutely live without it, just as I could live without most baby gear (many of which you mentioned). The thing new parents need to think about is to analyze what they need that’s particular to their lives. And then ignore the rest. And sometimes when you’re going stir crazy in the newborn months, you’re willing to pay for the extra gadgets and… Read more »

Dawn
Dawn
6 years ago

Shoes! They are actually harmful to babies/toddlers, causing them to walk unnaturally. They aren’t so good for adults, either, but we don’t especially want to interfere with natural development!

Justine
Justine
6 years ago

I know – there is definitely a whole industry dedicated to creating stuff your baby doesn’t need.

My experience is that it mainly caters to family and friends though – not necessarily to parents themselves.

We don’t buy many of these ourselves, but we have received a few as gifts.

Karen
Karen
6 years ago

Man if I could only rewind 20 years, I would probably be able to retire 10 years sooner or maybe I could have sent them to college. I didn’t have a lot of money to buy all that fancy stuff, but what money I did have was wasted on a lot of useless stuff. My oldest one was on formula which I am sure was even more expensive than diapers! Plus all the cutsey bottles and nipples that needed constant replacement. I should have sucked it up and nursed her longer than 3 weeks, but I wimped out. (I nursed… Read more »

shares