Monday, February 22, 2010

8 Items Your Baby Really Doesn’t Need

To everyone who has joined me here today via the Festival of Frugality, the Silver Edition, hosted by Frugal for Life, please feel free to pull up a seat, kick back, and enjoy your stay. I'll offer you some ice-cold sweet tea while you visit, if you would like.

For my regular visitors, go check out the 223rd edition of the Festival and check out some other great posts there.

  1. Nursing pillow—I love our Boppy. I truly do. It’s great for feeding the kids when you don’t have a regular pillow around, for cuddling them, for tummy time when they are tiny, and for lounging for them (although not unattended). But you could seriously use a regular pillow or the arm of the sofa for the same purpose in nursing.
  2. Expensive High Chair—We never owned a high chair for Patrick. We will not be buying one for Abigail. For the time that she could not sit up for herself, we put her carrier in a chair at our dinner table so she could be with us while we eat. This continued to be the method to sit her upright for feeding until she could sit upright by herself. Now that she does sit upright by herself, she uses a booster seat that adjusts in height and has a tray for her that just attaches on to our regular dinner chair. We put a towel under it to prevent huge messes on our upholstery, but otherwise, there is no need to have a “high chair.” Yep. $20 is all we need to sit her at our table. Since it was handed down from Patrick, this $20 purchase lasted through two children. And since it is all plastic, it will clean up nicely for resell or consignment.
  3. Changing Table—You have other options here. You can use a dresser for the tabletop and the drawers to store the supplies. Or you can just use a changing pad and a bed or the floor. Seriously…why is there a piece of furniture for this purpose?
  4. Diaper Genie—Yes, we have one. Yes, we pay for those refills. It’s dumb. A trashcan (and all of those plastic shopping bags we have acquired) emptied regularly works just as well. And if you get a seriously bad diaper that requires you to don a hazmat suit, take it outside to the garbage can.
  5. Hooded Towel/Tiny Washcloths—You know what these are? Tiny versions of the real thing. I bet you already own the real thing. The extra fabric in the full size version will not inhibit its use with baby in any way. Use a real one. The hooded ones are cute and all, but if you want your child to wear a hood, make it out of that extra towel that they are wrapped in.
  6. Bottle Warmer—You know what really, really works? Running hot water. Or if you want to be greener, a pot of hot water. For even less water waste, a slow cooker turned on warm with water in it. You don’t need something named “bottle warmer” to warm a bottle.
  7. Nursing Chair/Stool—I typically cross one leg over another or sit with them crossed together. I would use a stool if it were there, but it’s not. So I don’t. And I’m okay with that.
  8. Wipe Warmer—My mom bought one of these for Patrick when he was little. We used it because it was cute and he did like a warm bum in the winter months. But we had to buy refills. And we had to keep water in it to prevent it from being a fire hazard, and it burned electricity 24/7. And that cold bum? They get over it quickly.
And just so I can go on a are some honorable mentions:
  • Bumbo—seriously…children all over the world have learned to sit upright all by themselves for centuries. I don’t think your child will be advanced in their educational development because they sat upright 4 weeks before they would have anyway.
  • Baby lotion/Soap—a natural soap gets the cleaning done and is good for sensitive skin and many babies have naturally moist skin and don’t need to moisturizer. Although it does smell really good.
  • Expensive Bedding—They wet it. They spit up on it. They cannot use the comforter until they are much older. Some people argue that a bumper is not safe. So why are you buying this for them? Get a mattress cover and a couple of fitted sheets to meet the baby’s needs. (Yes, if you look in our nursery, you see a bedding set. We splurged. If we didn't have the money for it though, this is definitely not a necessity)
  • Infant shoes—They cannot walk. They do not need shoes. Some argue that shoes are actually BAD for them at a young age. Yes, it is cute, but so are their socks.
  • Stuffed animals—They cannot sleep with them. They cannot play with them for a while.
  • Baby detergent—Any dye/fragrance free detergent will do. All Free & Clear or Arm & Hammer are great. And you will not have to take out a second mortgage to buy them.
  • Bottle sterilizer—It’s called a dish washer. You probably already have one. Or you can boil them occasionally. Don’t buy another unnecessary gadget.


  1. I love this post! Each time I print out a registry for a friend I cringe at all the unnecessary stuff that is usually listed! I'm going to share this link with many people :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. I know. Of course I didn't realize it my first time around while pregnant, but with our 2nd one, I just rolled my eyes at all of the things recommended by the store I was registering at. Thanks for the comment and for sharing it with others!

  3. I totally agree with you...although I have all them when I had my first daughter. But definitely not worth buying!!

  4. This is a great post! I was blessed to have been given 2 showers but I still cringe when I think of all the waste. Things we opened up and used once. Or never.

    At least we were able to pass things on to Freecycle and help others. But if I had known then what I know now, I would have taken most of my loot back and gotten store credit for diapers and formula!

  5. Ugh. The diaper genie. I still have nightmares of the hideous smell 7 years later.

    And I was happier when we put a changing pad on the dresser than when we had a changing table.

  6. I admit to loving my boppy for nursing. . . and we did have several of these items (which all got used for 2 children and then passed on to others). I personally purchased many of my items second hand-the changing table, the diaper genie etc. . . so I was able to have the convenience without the high cost.

    I never needed a bottle warmer-breast milk is always warm, and I never understood the NEED for the wipe warmer. My kids did find with plain old cold wipes. . .

    Truly-a baby needs to be loved, fed, changed and kept warm. Everything else is gravy.

  7. Jenn--I totally agree that all the baby truly needs is love and the rest will come naturally. And I too loved many of the items above, but in retrospect, can see why they are completely unnecessary...especially for those on a budget! Thanks for stopping by!

  8. I do not have children and never will because I can't have them but I found this article very entertaining. I can't tell you how many times I have bought baby shower presents and went to the store to see what people registered for and I always thought to myself "is all of this expensive crap really necessary?". I am pretty sure they didn't have ANY of this stuff back in the little house on the prairie times and those babies survived just fine without it. Sure some of it is convenient but also ridiculously priced.

  9. You know what else is great about babies and how cheap they really can be? Their clothes. They grow so stinking fast that each outfit is worn what 5 times before it is outgrown? I have never bought a brand new baby article of clothing for my 3 kids. They have gotten a few for gifts and that is it. The rest have all been hand me downs from our own children and friends kids or bought at a thrift store. They could care less what they're wearing anyway! And do babies need accessories to be cute? I think not!