We all have different financial situations. While those of us who can afford buying all necessary and unnecessary thing for our babies do so without worrying, some of us are on a tight budget and wondering how can we afford all these fancy cute items without hurting the budget. Well here are some good news. You don’t need all these fancy things. All you will need is something practical. Here are few tips that might help you out with some of your buying decisions. Here is my list of the things that you can easily live without.
1. Diaper disposal bin
I am no going to lie….this item was on my baby shower list when I was expecting my first child. The idea just sounded so great to me! Thanks to one of my colleagues I removed it from the list. She talked me out of it. And she was right.
Now tell me, do you really want to keep used diapers for DAYS inside the room? Not to mention the smell when you taking them out to change the bag, should I continue? Or a toddler that is drawn by some magic to this diaper trash? Just throw the diapers out the same day with your regular organic disposal garbage.
I do not see the reason why would you want one. If you think that your baby wipes are too cold – just keep the wipe between your palms for couple second and it becomes warm instantly. I never got one for my babies, but from all the reviews I read about wipe warmers – people aren’t happy that it dries out some of the wipes. So it is a waste of wipes. Some wipe warmers also had recalls due to electroshock that some parents experienced while reaching for the wipe. It happens because of the fluid from the wipes leaking into the warming chamber, which can cause serious shocks or even electrical fires. And here is one more and very important point to me….as we all know: wet and dark place is an invitation for bacterial growth. Yes they are sanitary at the beginning….but then we keep opening the lid, putting our hands in there( even though we wash them every time we change diapers), we and babies sneeze and cough around that box of wipers while it still might be open etc. That should be enough to throw your wipe warmer out the window.
Bassinets are cute and fancy, I agree. But do you really need one? Most of them will hold a baby only up to 15 pounds, that is 2-6 months old. Do you really want to spend $150 for something that you will use only for couple of months?
Instead check out Pack n’ Play Playards. They come with bassinet basket insert that is very handy. There are also some strollers in the market that come with a bassinet inserts in them as well. While strollers like that are more on the expensive side, if you decide to get one – you will have that bassinet ready for you.
4. Bath Thermometer
No, you do not need one. Your elbow is special 🙂 Just stick your elbow or finger into the water. It has to feel warm. Not hot, as some of us adults like it ( with some steam) , not cold. You will be just fine.
5. Special Baby Detergent
You don’t need to buy some super fancy expensive ” baby detergent”. Instead, look for a regular “free and clear” brand. These don’t have any perfumes or dyes in them and are suitable for the whole family.
6. Baby Food Maker
These food processor look very cute I agree. But you do not need it. It takes too much space in your kitchen. If you have a small, one portion blender like Magic Bullet or any other regular blender sitting at your counter top – you can use it just as fine for your baby. Of course it is a personal choice, but if you are a bit strapped for cash as most new parents are, baby food maker can be an unnecessary expense.
7. Super Fancy Bath Tub
While many parents love to wash kids in their sink- I personally could not do it. Or maybe my sink was too small and shallow at that time. So I still needed some sort of kids bath tub. If you are like me – get a simple bath tub, because you will be using it only for few months. I used mine until my kids could sit by themselves. And it happened at 3 and at 4 months with mine. If you are like so many other moms who love to bath their babies in a sink – even better! There is also this inflated baby swim neck collar that is also a great idea. You can buy them cheap online. Just remember, your baby doesn’t need a super fancy bath tub that is bubbling, spa and has a shower in it. Well, at least not YET 🙂
8. High Chair
There are a lot of debates online where these are needed or not. I used a high chair for my first daughter. And I used a space saver high chair for my second daughter. I do not remember the exact brand name, but it was small, portable, it tied down to my regular chair and it didn’t take any extra space. And guess what, I liked it way better than a regular high chair. That time I spent like $40 on it. So if you have that extra space and money, if you absolutely need that regular fancy high chair – go ahead, but if not – these space saver/ booster seats do the job just perfectly fine. The choice is yours.
9. Super expensive Crib bedding
Yes they do look very cute and cozy. Some of them cost $300, some go higher than 1k. But you have to remember that your baby doesn’t really care how luxury their bedding is. Not to mention that these beautiful and soft crib bumpers are dangerous for a newborn. Some studies show these kind of bumpers contribute to SIDS. The fancy baby blankets that come with these sets are also too heavy for newborns. Pillows? Newborns do not need any pillows for the exact same reason why you should not put a thick bumper in the crib… All you need in a newborn’s crib is a firm crib mattress, covered by a sheet. That’s all. Instead, you can buy simple cotton sets from Ikea, Walmart, Babies R Us etc. As for bumpers – you can get this simple breathable mesh bumper . And instead of that fancy big blanket for a newborn you can get a a sleeping sack, that will do the covering job much better and safer, since babies and toddlers tend to take off the blanket anyways.
10. Fancy clothes
We all have been there. When I had my first child I bough so many cute, fashionable, expensive, fancy clothing for her….If only I would know….. They are uncomfortable and not practical at all. They are good for taking a picture in them though….. So yeah. Aim for simple, comfortable, breathable, natural material baby clothing. Babies grow out of their clothes very fast. More than half of the fancy clothing I got we didn’t even have a chance to put on….so I left them for my second baby….and guess what. I never put them on my second baby as well. Save yourself some money and nerves 🙂
11. Changing table
This is one piece of furniture in your baby’s room that you can definitely skip. It take up valuable space of the room and the truth is….with the amount of diapers you will be changing throughout the day I highly doubt that you will stick to one changing place. I never got one. I changed my kids on the bed, on the sofa or on the floor. We did just great. In fact, if you go back and read unnecessary item #3 you will notice that I suggested to get Pack n’ Play Playards in there…..guess what….many of them come with a changing “table” in them. What a versatile money saver! 🙂
12. Formula mixer
Definitely not a must item. I mean…..It’s really not that hard to mix formula in the bottle just by shaking it a bit. If you worry about nights, where you really don’t feel like stand and measure while you are half asleep….Here is a lifesaver for you – Mixie Baby Bottle ! I used them with my second baby and I must tell you – my life became so much easier.
13. Bottle warmer
Once again…..if you need to make it warmer, you can just put the bottle under a hot water or in a cup full of hot water for few minutes. It will warm up whatever you are trying to warm up. I never had this item, but just by reading the reviews I can tell that many times the warmer doesn’t do its job. The bottle comes out either too cold or too hot.
14. Special diaper bag
Yes, you do need a bag to carry all your baby items in it. But it doesn’t have to be that super expensive “special for baby items” bag. They definitely look cute and fashionable, but most of the time there is honestly nothing special about them that make them that “special”. Marketing departments do their job very well, and most of the time anything that has to do with newly moms and babies pulls the price up. Look for a nice messenger or any other shoulder bag with lots of useful departments in it and you will be just fine.
15. Tons of stuffed animals and Fancy gadgets
We all want out kids to have the best, but before babies are at least 6 months old – they don’t need too many light-up toy, stuffed animals and fancy gadgets. In fact, it is very dangerous for newborns to have any soft toys anywhere within their crib. Teethers, rubber balls/cubes, pacifiers, rattles…..that’s all the really need while they are so small.
As I mentioned earlier, everybody’s financial situation is different. But if you are on a tight budget ( as most new parents are), then you really should decide for yourself what is ” I want” and what is ” I need” means to you.