Five Items Your New Baby Doesn’t Need

Learn What Not to Buy for Baby, Despite What Everyone Tells You

Baby furniture stores and ads in parenting magazines make us believe that there are certain things you absolutely must have.

We believe without these items we won’t be good parents or that they will somehow make parenting easier.

Here is a list of items on the market for your baby that you actually don’t need and that you will do better without.

This list is not about saving money, it’s about reality. In some instances, I will suggest better alternatives.

Of course, there are great products out there that can help you, but these are not it:

1. Changing Table

This is a single-use piece of furniture.

It is unlikely that you will use yours the full amount of time your baby is in diapers.

There is no way I was going to heft my toddler up on to this thing when she was capable of hopping on the sofa and laying down for me.

The main problem is that after your baby is out of diapers this piece of furniture really can’t be used for anything else.

You can use it to hold toys, but it still looks like a changing table. No big boy or girl is going to want it in their room.

Some furniture companies are starting to get smart and are making convertible changing tables.

These are pieces of furniture that can convert into a standard chest of drawers. Armoires with a fold-down table are another option.

While I am all for multitasking I don’t think these are a good solution. My recommendation is to buy a chest of drawers or armoire that you like for their original purpose and forgo the changing table.

This way you are not limited to changing your baby only in one place.

Put your changing supplies in a portable tote or basket. It can move from the baby’s room to the family room to grandma’s house.

Make sure you have a washable pad to change your baby on. Cloth diapers work well for this. This will protect your floor, sofa or bed while changing your baby.

2. Night Light

CNN reported in 1999 that young children that slept with a night light were more likely to become nearsighted.

Your baby will sleep just fine in the dark. If you get them used to this when they are infants there shouldn’t be a need for a light as they get older.

If they get scared of the dark later as toddlers you can invest in a light they can turn on themselves that has a timer to go out after a specified time.

What about midnight diaper changes and feedings? Invest in dimmer switches for the nursery and turn on the lights low when you need them.

You can also find touch lights with a low wattage at your hardware stores. These are good for hallways, beside your bed and in bathrooms as well.

3. Mobile

I was very unimpressed with the mobiles that match the crib bedding.

They look darling on the store displays but are not functional.

Some of them didn’t even have a motor to turn. They looked cute and frilly from the top but underneath (from the baby’s point of view) they were pretty plain.

I would suggest not buying one of these. They are useless.

If you do want a mobile (some babies are mesmerized by them) buy one in the toy department. Some have interchangeable toys that can snap onto the arms.

Pick one with bright colors and one that plays multiple songs (for your sanity). The mobile will not match your nursery décor, so if you want one you will have to get over that.

4. Stuffed Animals

Don’t buy these, please. You will get plenty of stuffed animals for your baby as gifts. I also maintain that they breed overnight.

Okay, so they probably don’t breed, but I swear every time I clean my daughter’s room more appear.

If you want stuffed animals you check their label to make sure they are washable.

5. Diaper Pail 

Now this one is going to depend on your home and lifestyle. We had a Diaper Champ (which I highly recommend over the Diaper Genie).

We used it the few months we lived in our apartment with our newborn. Once we moved into a house the need for it disappeared.

In our apartment, it was three flights of stairs and a good walk out to the garbage. Once we moved into a house we could just open our back door and toss them into our garbage can outside.

Having a baby means buying a lot of items. I hope this list helped you realize that there are some things you definitely can live without.

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