As parents, it’s tempting to pamper your newborn with the latest cutting-edge baby gadgets, driven by the desire to provide the best for your child. However, you might find yourself investing in baby essentials you don’t need, and it’s prudent to exercise restraint in such spending. Keep an eye on the balance, as it’s beneficial to cut costs where possible, especially with a new baby in the mix, allowing you to save more for long-term aspirations, such as retirement.
Some luxury items are well worth the investment for a new parent, while others will just clutter up your home and cause you unnecessary stress in the long run. Here are the baby items you should skip buying and their suitable replacements.
1. Changing Table
You can safely forego this piece of nursery furniture. It’s expensive and takes up room in the nursery. In all likelihood, you won’t be changing your baby’s diaper in the nursery every time they need one, especially if you have stairs in your home; instead, you’ll do it wherever is most comfortable, such as the sofa or the carpet.
A changing pad mounted to a low dresser can serve as a convenient changing station that can be kept in use even after diapers are no longer needed.
2. Wipe Warmer
“When I got the wipe warmer, I was so happy and glad to plug it in,” recalls Palm Springs, California mother of two Shannon Duffy. But in the end, it was just one of those useless things. The wipes appeared to dry out rapidly in it, defeating their intended purpose.
The convenience of a wipe warmer may seem appealing, but there are many valid arguments against purchasing one. Case in point:
- Keeping anything that will come into contact with your baby’s privates in a warm, moist atmosphere is not a smart idea.
- Between 1997 and 2001, 500k wipe warmers were recalled due to incidents of electric shock to parents’ hands and/or the product melting.
- Unless you plan to carry the warmer with you at all times, a fussy baby who has become accustomed to warm wipes will likely throw a fit when you need to change their diaper while out and about.
3. Disposal System for Diapers
Do you plan on keeping soiled diapers in your home for at least a few days? “No way!” exclaims Owens Cross Roads, Alabama mother Kathi Bertsch. The standard garbage can in your home should be adequate if you empty it every day. The majority of the mess caused by dirty diapers can be eliminated by flushing the solid waste down the toilet.
A New York City mother named Imani Powell-Razat abandoned her diaper disposal on the street because she loathed it so much. I would frequently forget that it had stale diapers, so they would accumulate in there. Then I spent some time cleaning it because it had accumulated a lot of nasty odors.
Let’s say you’re concerned about your baby’s diapers. In such a scenario, you can purchase disposable diaper sacks (a package of 200 costs $8 on Amazon) to prevent odors from lingering in the trash can.
4. Special “Baby” Detergent
When your bundle of joy finally arrives, you can rest assured that you will spend a lot of time in the laundry room removing stains from puke and excrement. This never ends; it’s endless. It’s not true that you need to use a special (and more expensive) detergent when washing your baby’s clothes. To avoid skin irritation, look for a “free and clear” brand that doesn’t contain any added fragrances or colors. If you buy a specific free and clear product off the supermarket shelf, you may wash the baby’s clothes with the rest of the family’s soiled clothes, saving you both money and time.
Christy Cook, a mother from Toronto, Canada, says, “I received a beautiful bassinet for my son; it was stunning and looked gorgeous in his nursery.” But he wouldn’t let my son sleep in it. We made it as appealing as possible, but he still wasn’t interested. A safe crib is a better and more economical choice, in my opinion.
Another Toronto mother, Samantha Kemp-Jackson, agrees: “You might save some money in the short term if you don’t buy a crib, but you’ll have to buy one soon, so why bother with the bassinet?”
Many expectant mothers, especially those who plan to keep their newborn in the same room as them for the first few weeks, are on the fence about whether or not to use a bassinet. It’s possible that a Moses basket or Pack ‘n Play would be preferable and less expensive. If you absolutely must have a bassinet, ask around and see if you can borrow one; just make sure the model is still safe by checking for recalls on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission‘s website.
6. Premium Crib Bedding
You don’t need to spend $200 on crib bedding to make your nursery appear put together. ‘Crib bumpers have been linked to SIDS, so my doctor advised against using them, and the thick, cumbersome quilt/blanket that comes with the package is impractical for use with a newborn,’ explains Breanna Welke, a mother from Hastings, Minnesota.
In fact, the U.S. Product Safety Commission reports that crib bumpers are responsible for dozens of deaths and injuries in infants younger than 2 years old. According to the study, many infants do not have the motor skills to release themselves if they become jammed between the bumper pad and another surface. The infant’s nose or face could become smothered if the pads are excessively soft. The infant can escape from the crib by climbing up on the pads if they are too firm.
Choose a crib skirt and some adorable bedding instead. You can find a bumper made of breathable mesh at any store selling baby products.
7. High Chair
Babies require a high chair for eating, but these bulky, free-standing chairs may be expensive and, once again, take up a lot of room. Laura Beck, a mother from Austin, Texas, says, “Never again would I consider purchasing a high chair.” The size makes them awkward for shared storage among children. Furthermore, they become something that is always dirty, coated in food, and in need of washing, scouring, and discovering random bits of food clinging to them.
Phoenix, Arizona mother of three Kim Kempinski suggests the chair-attaching high chair, the Space Saver. It saves money, space, and the need to purchase a booster in the future. Our child is still using the conventional high chair we purchased for our firstborn and gave away when the Space Saver was released.
8. Baby Food Processor
“Why the heck do I have to buy a fancy food processor just to puree baby food?” Bertsch claims. These gadgets add more clutter to your kitchen counter and are an unnecessary expense. A conventional, tiny food processor can accomplish everything a baby food processor does, and it will still be useful long after your child has outgrown baby food. Many parents choose the Magic Bullet because it is compact and simple to clean.
9. Diaper Bag
There is no need to spend a fortune on a fancy diaper bag just to transport your baby’s necessities from place to place. The truth is that marketing to parents and newborns can significantly increase the price of a product. Even though some diaper bags are more aesthetically pleasing than others, the vast majority of them lack useful functionality for parents. “Just a backpack or messenger bag will do!” Affirms Kemp-Jackson.
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