Here are a few things not to buy for baby.
Are you prepping for a new baby? You might be wondering what baby items you need and what baby items you don’t need. There are so many flashy items at the store, commercials and books telling you to buy “this and that” Sometimes it can be hard to weed through all of this knowledge and decide exactly what’s worth the money and what’s not.
I have had 3 kids, my youngest is now 5, and I have been slowly sorting through my boxes of baby supplies….I’ve decided it’s time to get rid of most of it. It’s taken me years to go through these items, because I have struggled with closing that baby chapter in my life. I love the memories that come flooding back to me as I look through my boxes of small baby clothes and sweet tender memories.
I have sold most of my baby supplies, gave away a few things, and saved a couple of special items to help remember my sweet babes. As I’ve sorted and cleaned I’ve realized that so many of the items I thought were necessary, actually weren’t! It saddens me when I realize how much money I could have saved by buying much less.
Today, I am sharing 15 items I do not think is worth buying for a new baby. I tried to add a frugal alternative to each item, there are many frugal ways to care for a baby without buying a lot of things at the store. I hope this article helps you to do this!
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15 Baby Items Not To Buy
Before we get to the list, I wanted to share a quick disclaimer! I know that every single parent and child is different, and I understand that some of my baby supply regrets will be different from yours, and that’s OK! This article is meant to make you think twice before making a purchase you might later regret, and is not meant to shame anyone who has purchased these items (I mean, I bought most of them, I get it!).
1. Car seat cover
When I had my first baby I remember really wanting a beautiful car seat cover with a fun design. I saw them on all the car seats every where I went and loved them so much! So, of course I bought one (or two….maybe even three…..).
It was cute and trendy and looked perfect on my baby girls car seat. And then…2 months later I took it off and it stayed in the closet for the next few years until I gave it away (face palm). Looking back, it was truly not worth the money.
A great frugal alternative to a car seat cover is to put one of the many baby blankets you own over the car seat handle. I actually found I preferred this! They were a little bit heavier fabric, so it didn’t fly off as easy as the car seat cover did. Plus, I ALWAYS had a blanket laying around.
2. Baby Food Maker
Baby food makers look pretty and claim to offer convenience and ease to all your baby food making. This is probably true, but it is not something you have to have to make baby food. You CAN still make baby food without one.
You can make your own baby food just by using a pot, blender, and ice cube trays. I use to make large batches for my kids, and it only took an hour or two…even without a baby food maker! Here is a great homemade baby food tutorial to help get you started.
3. Baby Shoes
Let’s face it, little tiny baby shoes are basically the cutest thing ever! However, as darling as those little shoes are, babies don’t really need to wear shoes until they are walking. Before then it’s more of a fashion statement than a necessity.
Baby socks are necessary for those sweet little toes, so instead of buying shoes just always keep their feet covered in socks. Plus, there are many darling baby socks on the market. I especially love these socks that look like shoes.
4. Baby Nail Clippers
OK, so admittedly I did use baby nail clippers a lot with my babies. It was useful to have the small size for the little fingers. But, the other day when I threw out the baby clippers, I realized I could have done without them!
You probably already have nail clippers in your home, just use those to clip your babies nails! They are free and will work just as good! Remember though to be extra cautious to not clip any of babies sensitive skin.
5. Nursing Cover
If you are planning on nursing you will probably want something to help you cover up while in public, I know I did! With my first baby I bought a nursing cover, but honestly didn’t use it very often. I would forget to pack it in the diaper bag, or it would always be sitting across the room and I didn’t want to hassle finding it. It really wasn’t something I ever considered buying again.
Once I ditched the nursing cover I realized that a large light weight blanket worked just as good! I always had a few with me, nd they were quick and easy to throw over as a nursing cover. I loved having one less thing to pack in my diaper bag!
6. Baby Bathtub
A baby bathtub was yet another item I thought was important for my first baby. It was handy for a few months…but then the baby out grew it so quickly. The tub spent more time in my basement than it did being used.
I do think some type of tub is helpful for a new baby. So, if I were to do it all again I would purchase this Bath Sponge instead of a fancy tub. It is cheap, has great reviews and won’t take up a lot of space.
7. Nursing Pillow
Nursing pillows can be useful for breastfeeding moms, but they are another item that just isn’t necessary. I bought a boppy pillow for my middle baby, and ended up hardly ever using it. It was bulky and I hated having it clutter up my house.
Instead of using a nursing pillow, I preferred just stuffing a couple of small pillows under my arms. They were much more convenient and comfortable….oh and free!
8. Hooded Towels and Baby Washcloths
One of my favorite things to buy for babies was the cute hooded towels and small baby washcloths. I loved the characters, colors and tiny size. We used these with each of the babies….and then they were tossed to the side and eventually donated to the thrift store.
In hindsight I wish I would have saved ourselves some money and just used the washcloths and towels we already owned. There really was no reason to buy any extra!
9. Changing Table
Changing tables are a huge expense in a baby nursery. They are very handy for quick diaper changes, but not the most practical purchase.
Babies outgrow the changing table fairly quickly and are needing something with more drawers and organization. I eventually bought a dresser to meet these needs.
Instead of purchasing both a changing table and a dresser, purchase only the dresser. A dresser can easily double as a changing table. Just put a changing pad on top, and you will be ready to go. Look for a dresser about waist high for easy changing.
10. Changing Pad
While we are discussing changing stations, let’s talk about the changing pad. There are hundreds of different changing pad shapes and sizes, all with the cutest covers to go on top. This is another baby item that I don’t think is worth buying.
Instead of spending money on a changing pad, fold up a few soft towels and place them on the baby dresser. This works as a great changing pad and you probably already have a cupboard full of towels!
11. Diaper Pail
Diaper pails can be very convenient, but expensive. Especially if your diaper pail needs pricey refills, which many do.
Instead of buying a special diaper pail keep a small, cheap trash can next to the changing table (or dresser!). With all the late night diaper changes it’s so useful to have a place for ALL those diapers (trust me, there will be plenty of diapers).
Fortunately newborns messy diapers usually don’t smell bad! Once my babies grew and the diapers got a little more smelly, I just took each diaper out to the dumpster. It only took a few minutes to take out and I loved getting fresh air!
12. Diaper Organizer
A diaper organizer is something you’ll see on many baby must have lists. I can see the appeal for one, but did found that it really isn’t necessary.
Instead of a diaper organizers just use a drawer in your changing table/dresser. This is always within arm reach during diaper changes and doesn’t cost you any extra!
13. Wipe Warmer
A wipe warmer is not necessary for babies. I know it’s hard to put that cold baby wipe on your precious little one, but you won’t always have a wipe warmer with you, so it is probably best to let your baby get use to the cold wipe right from the beginning.
Sadly, I don’t have a frugal alternative for a wipe warmer. In my experience, babies really do get use to the cold wipe.
14. Sound Machine
I think most babies sleep better with some white noise. I remember one long night…in the wee hours of the morning turning on my dryer and sitting next to it with my baby. I was desperate to try anything to help her sleep better.
Ever since that day I have insisted my kids need white noise to sleep, but I never spent money on a sound machine.
Instead of spending money on an expensive white noise maker, just download a free app onto your phone or ipad and place it near the baby while they are sleeping.
Or! We bought a cheap fan and used that in your baby nursery. The noise was just right for calming them down.
15. Bottle Drying Rack
I’ll start with a disclaimer…..I actually never fed my babies a single bottle….so you can take my advice on this one with a grain of salt.
I have seen the bottle drying racks in ads and have always assumed that even though they look super fun and handy, they just aren’t very frugal.
How about just placing your bottles upside down on a dish cloth and let them air dry? A dish cloth should work just as well as a drying rack, but wouldn’t cost you a thing!
Be cautious as you buy new items for your baby, this isn’t a time to overspend and blow your budget. Your baby needs their needs met, but most of this can be done without spending a lot of money.
Always remember to do your research, shop around to find the best deals, and stay within your pre planned budget.