7 Baby Items You Won't Need

Chelsea Day

If you’re a new parent, you probably have a lot of questions. What should I buy? What should I skip? Tiny baby shoes! Fancy crib bedding! Car seat! Stroller! Crib! Gadgets galore! Excited soon-to-be parents tend to buy all the baby items they can get their hands on without thinking about the fact that it’s bound to wind up getting outgrown or covered in spit-up.

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There are so many baby items out there, it can be hard to tell what’s necessary and what’s not. When you’re pregnant, you get bombarded with information about what you “need” for your baby. The reality is that not every item on the list is necessary, and some of them are even a waste of money. It seems like everyone and their mother wants to tell you what they think you need for your bundle of joy. But no one tells you what you don’t need.

You’re probably wondering what you need for your new bundle of joy. You might have already heard that babies are expensive, so you want to make sure you get only the essentials. But what exactly is an essential? We all know that babies need diapers, clothes, and food. But what else? What about gadgets, furniture, and toys? Are they really necessary?

We did the work for you. Here is a list of baby items you won’t need, plus some alternatives that will save you time and money. If you want to skip the clutter and expense of unnecessary baby gear, these are your best bets.

Wipes Warmer

As long as we’re all apparently living like kings, I wish someone would come warm up my toilet paper for me! A wipes warmer is one of those things that you don't need to buy ahead of time - you’ll find out soon enough if your baby has an issue with cold wipes when he or she squirms and wriggles and cries while changing. And frankly, I had one of those and simply insisted that he get used to it. It worked. Babies are remarkable in that they grow up pretty quick and their initial “whoa, what’s up with this uncomfortable world” protests are replaced with happy coos. Skip this one - unless, perhaps, you’re traveling through the polar vortex with an infant on-board.

Room Set

We love to match our lamps and light switch covers as much as the next person, but you’ll save a ton of money opting for a basic but cute bedding set and mixing-and-matching the rest. You can definitely find easy accents on a budget to tie the place together. And nowadays, that funky-chic “upcycled” look is in. Check you out with your awesome baby-having timing!

Jogging Stroller

This isn’t to say that parents can’t be active, but it seems like every mom who gets pregnant suddenly decides that post-baby is the best time to take up jogging. If you didn’t run before, you’re not going to be doing much of it after popping a baby out! Those of you who are already big on marathons, invest in a good fitness stroller to maintain that level of activity. If fitness isn’t the biggest deal to you, maybe try some at-home streaming classes or a yoga DVD with baby beside you.

Rattle

Babies usually don’t use rattles until they’re a little older. When they’re sitting up and able to manipulate an item with their hands, lifting something that has some substantial weight makes sense. Infants do NOT need this. When you do eventually buy one, try a versatile one that can double as a teether and easily hook onto something for grab-and-go convenience. You may even take your teething toddler into the store and see which one he or she naturally gravitates toward.

Stuffed Animals

I promise, your baby will be well taken care of in the toy department by numerous friends and family. Try to give them a subtle hint by registering for more useful learning toys. If you know people who are particularly overzealous about stuffed animals, you may want to hint to them that you have some personal heirloom ones that you plan to use, or explain that you’re a bit of a minimalist. When I was first having babies, I wound up with more stuffed animals than I could count!

Bibs

Don’t get over-invested in these sweet, wearable reverse feeding capes of wonder. Many kids refuse to eat with them on, or outgrow them before they can be truly useful. If you do buy a few bibs, opt for ones that are adjustable and easy to clean. They even make bibs now with plastic teether things on the end of them, for a double-whammy in functionality!

Clothes

Okay, bear with me here. This one will depend on seasonality and where you live. When I had a baby in the summer in San Diego, it was HOT. He spent basically all his time in adorable little swim trunks and a swim shirt splashing with me out in the pool (under an umbrella for shade, calm down) or he was inside rolling around in his diaper. All of the onesies, cute coordinating outfits, accessories and whatnot? Totally languished, unused, in a drawer. Consider your lifestyle – and where you live – before investing in a bunch of baby gear that really doesn’t match the way you spend most of your days. If you do choose to buy a bunch of baby clothes, I always suggest sizing up since it’s easier for them to hang out in slightly-too-big clothes than in slightly-too-tight stuff. It’s also a good idea to wait and see what they need in the future as opposed to planning out every season of their first and second year, since baby’s growth doesn’t always match up with average trends and it’s a bummer to wind up with cute rain jackets that your oversized toddler blew past in sizing. Ask me how I know!

Now that you’re in the throes of planning for your baby’s arrival, it can be easy to get caught up in the hype. There are so many products for babies, it can feel like you need them all. But don’t worry – you don’t. We recommend buying a few things that will last from birth through the first year. Then, after that initial stage, focus on only buying things you really need as each stage progresses.

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Helping parents live simple and satisfying lives. Our homeschooling family loves to learn, and in our spare time (hah!) we RV travel and flip houses.

Boise, ID
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