This is my fourth pregnancy. Fourth time pulling an infant carseat out of moth balls. Fourth time spending hours trying to locate my breast pump after the last time I put it away swearing it to hell and hoping I would never have to lay eyes on it again. Fourth time washing baby clothes in Dreft. And fourth time contemplating buying something new for baby.
During the last six years I’ve come up with a pretty solid list of absolute MUST HAVES for baby, and perhaps more importantly, a solid list of items that are a complete waste of time and money.
I was totally sucked in with my first pregnancy by the propaganda. I remember walking into Buy Buy Baby doe-eyed and overwhelmed on where to start. With registry scanner in hand, I had to have the very best diaper bag, best video monitor, best baby wipe warmer. Say what?! Yes! A wipe warmer.
After my oldest child magically transformed into a toddler, I realized half the stuff I registered for was kind of a waste of money.
So fear not mama, I’m saving you the headache and writing this blog post for you to avoid spending time and money on items that are (in my opinion) unnecessary. I’m also sharing 15 items that are necessities.
Disclosure: I am not working as a partner for any of these products. I am just a seasoned mom who wants to help you out.
Here are 11 (because 10 was not enough) items to avoid:
- An Expensive Diaper Bag: I had one, it was cute, it was bulky, it carried a lot of stuff… but it was a diaper bag. I think it was around $150-$180. I justified it. After my son turned about 8 months old, I didn’t want to carry that thing around anymore because, well, it was a diaper bag! Now a days I either lug around a small backpack or a large purse. If you want a diaper bag, that’s totally fine, just don’t spend an arm and a leg on one.
- Wipe Warmer: I had one, I used it a few times, but here’s the reality…what happens when you’re not at home and baby Jimmy has a blowout? Guess what? You’re gonna use cold wipes. I promise your baby will not be scarred for life if they have to endure the coolness of baby wipes without the blessed warmer.
- Diaper Genie – No offense Diaper Genie people, but there ain’t no way in hell I’m gonna have sh*t covered diapers sitting in my house longer than a minute. EW.
- Bottle Sanitizer – Listen up, mamas! All you have to do is boil some water and voila you can sanitize your bottles.
- Bottle Warmer- Some people swear by this thing… but just like the warming of the wipes, what happens when baby Jimmy is out and about with you and doesn’t have his milk warmed up?? You can’t be a prisoner to your own home, so do yourself and favor and get your baby comfortable with drinking room temperature or slightly cool bottles. Unless baby is on the teet, of course.
- Diaper Caddy – Seriously people? It’s a nice thought, but if you can keep a diaper caddy stocked, tidy and clean of extra crap, you deserve to be text buddies with Marie Kondo.
- Shopping Cart Cover – I appreciate the concept… but hauling that thing around is a pain. A blanket does the trick just fine.
- Receiving Blankets – Can someone please tell me the actual purpose of these things??
- Hospital Bag – mwhahahah. I can’t even roll my eyes hard enough when I see on social media moms chatting about packing their hospital bags. Y’all… you don’t need the silk PJ’s. If you actually wear them, I’m super crazy impressed. And forget packing a book. There are a few things that are essential for the hospital (another post for another day) but all in all there isn’t really anything you need at the hospital that they can’t provide you. Plus! That’s what husbands are for. Make them run out and get stuff for you…. including food. Yes, fresh food is a must.
- Fancy Nursery – Okay, I’m probably gonna get slammed for this one, but hear me out. With my first we painted the nursery green and white (remember, we didn’t know the gender) we even put lamb wallpaper in it. We moved from Alabama shortly after Luke was born, but STILL!! He is 6 years old now, and I could not even imagine him in a lamb filled green and white nursery. Do yourself a favor… if you feel the itch to paint, chose grey and accessorize the room with gender specific items. Don’t do anything permanent. These kids grow up so fast and their interests change just as quickly. If you must “prepare” a room, just keep in mind that little baby will be going to kindergarten faster than the speed of light.
- Fancy clothes – The truth is the baby will most likely live in onesies the first weeks and months. They poop so much and spit up so much and their clothes get nasty fast. Don’t waste your time buying pretty, yet uncomfortable clothing. Onesies are a Godsend. My babies live in these things for months.
15 MUST HAVES for baby:
- Diapers & Wipes – you’re thinking, duh. But I feel the need to put it at the top of the list. It might take you some time to figure out the right brand for you. After 3 children and one on the way… I’m a fan of Huggies Little Snugglers when they are newborns / infants. I love Honest brand when they get a little older, and then I transition into Luvs (because they are CHEAP and reliable).
- Car Seat – this is another obvious one, but everyone who has a baby needs an infant car seat. I have always used the Chicco KeyFit 30.
- Pack ‘n Play – preferably one with a bassinet. This is how all of my children have slept the first months of their lives. The ones that have a removable bassinet are great because the baby grows out of a bassinet so quickly… with the two-in-one option, he or she can transition into the pack ‘n play if necessary or straight into a crib.
- Bottles & Pacifier – if you’re breastfeeding, you may not need bottles. Not one of my babies every took to a pacifier, so I am not an expert on that front… but most all mamas swear by them.
- Swaddles – I love the Little Unicorn and Aden and Anais swaddle blankets. I use these for burp clothes too. I don’t think you necessarily have to have both… trust me, when you leave the house you aren’t going to want to pack a suitcase with you.
- Onesies – I adore the side snap ones when they are really little. You can get the kind with built-in mittens too. Oh, and don’t even bother with buttoned sleepers. They’re a pain in the arse, go for the ones with zippers.
- Butt Paste – Buy some butt paste before baby arrives.
- Aquaphore – You’ll likely need this stuff too.
- Sound machine – all of my children have slept with a sound machine from day one. This is really just a personal preference, but with multiple children and different sleeping times and patterns, I consider it a “must have”.
- Ergo Baby and Solly Wrap – I love the Solly Wrap for when the baby is very young, after a few months I transition baby into the Ergo Baby carrier. I’m not trying to be a brand snob here, so whatever brand works best for you is great… I am just a huge fan of wraps and carriers, especially with multiple children to wrangle.
- Stroller – KeyFit 30 Caddy was my lifeline when the baby was too young to go into the double stroller.
- Baby Monitor – honestly, you don’t need a super fancy high-tech monitor. One that you can hear the baby works just fine.
- Infant Bath- I’m a fan of the Fisher-Price Whale Tub. I bought one used for Luke 6 years ago and will use it for baby #4. It’s cheap, like only $11 at Target. It’s been the best tub for us and baby can use it until they are able to sit in bath without support.
- Snot Sucker – not the kind the hospital provides. When you’re shopping for butt paste, grab a NOSEFRIDA. I know it’s a gross thought to suck your kid’s snot, but little nostrils are hard to clean. It’s worth the investment.
- Boppy Lounger – one of my friends from Kentucky loaned me hers years ago and I still haven’t given it back. hahah. Sorry, you know who you are 😉 The amazing thing about the lounger is you can swaddle baby up and plop them down on the lounger anywhere you go. In the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, office, outside. It’s super soft and gives them great support. I know a lot of people swear by the Doc A Tot, I’m pretty sure it’s the same concept but half the cost.
So let’s hear it! What do you agree and disagree with from this list and what can you add?
What’s something you couldn’t live without and what was the biggest waste of your time and money?