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I’m a first-time mom, so I understand the lure of Babies R Us, Carter’s, and Gymboree. You need a formula maker. You need a closet full of baby clothes. You need a mini food processor. You need … to stop.
Learn from my mistakes. Read my list of crap Little One really doesn’t need.
Ready? Here goes:
Skip: Baby towels
Guess what: The towels you use will work on your baby. They might not be as cute, but is cute worth wasting money? I didn’t think so. Bonus: Once the baby isn’t a baby, you can keep using the normal towels.
Is your baby walking or learning to? No? Then skip the shoes. I know they’re adorable, but they’re totally not worth the cost. (How is it OK to charge $45 for a pair of baby Adidas?)
Need more convincing? Experts say babies should learn to stand and walk barefoot or in socks, so you’re going against doctors’ orders by putting Little One in those cute kicks.
Skip: Expensive Clothes
That candy-print dress at Nordies is adorable, but it’s totally not worth $78. The Kate Spade butterfly-print baby set from Bergdorff Goodman is gorgeous, but it’s so not worth $122. Kids are masters of messy, so those clothes will be covered in puke, poop, or pee in a matter of minutes. Save your money and stick to comfy, easy-to-clean clothes. Your wallet and your baby will thank you.
Skip: Crib Bedding
I know, I know. The bedding sets the tone for the nursery. But that $180 bundle includes a bumper, blanket, and pillows — all of which are no-nos because of SIDS risk, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Buy a few fitted sheets and you’ll be good to go.
Skip: A Bassinet
Little One will probably be sleeping in your room for the first few months, and you’ll want something smaller than a crib. But don’t bother with a bassinet — it’ll be useless once the baby can push up or roll over. Instead, get a Pack ‘n Play. We love our Graco and still use it seven months in. It was Baby Bird’s bed until she learned to roll over, and it now goes to Grandma’s house when she babysits. Ours has a bassinet that vibrates (a feature I appreciated at 4 a.m.).
Skip: Wearable Blanket with Velcro Closures
Once Baby Bird was out of swaddlers, we stocked up on wearable blankets with Velcro closures. But my child is like Houdini, and we’d often find her and the blanket at opposite ends of the crib. Then I discovered the Woolino. I know $99 is a lot to spend on a blanket, but this one is designed to last until Baby Bird is 2. It’s made of merino wool and organic cotton (super soft), it’s machine washable, and it zips up the side — so Baby Bird can’t slip out!
Bonus: Having the Woolino has stopped this from happening.
Skip: Baby Detergent
Just pick up a “free and clear” brand. It won’t have perfumes or dyes, and it’ll be suitable for everyone’s laundry.
Skip: Changing Table
These are pretty useless once you’re done with diaper duty. Try topping a dresser or desk with a changing pad. (We kept ours on Ikea’s Hemnes eight-drawer dresser until Baby Bird started rolling over.) When your little one is out of diapers, you’ll still have a useful piece of furniture. Option B: Don’t worry about having a changing station. Your kid really won’t care if you change him/her on the floor or a bed.
Skip: Newborn-size Bottles
Babies outgrow these in a flash, so don’t waste your money. Instead, buy 8-ounce bottles and use slow-flow newborn nipples. You can switch out the top when necessary.
Skip: Plastic Diaper Pail
Plastic holds odors, so there’s no way to keep your typical diaper pail from smelling like crap. So buy a Bubula. A Bubu-wha? A Bubula. It’s a stainless steel and aluminum diaper pail with an air-tight lid (i.e., nearly odorless). It’s 50 percent larger than the other diaper pails, and you can use standard garbage bags in it.
The important thing to know about Bubula is that the company’s customer service is stellar. The lid on mine broke after six months, and Bubula shipped me a new one — no questions asked — within a day. For free. The company’s vice president even emailed me to make sure I received the replacement.
You can’t beat that kind of care.