The things you don’t need (but they say you do) for a new baby

This post was first published on October 8, 2008, and since we’ve got number three percolating, this topic has been on my mind.

Expecting parents know the gauntlet of baby gear pushed and prodded their way through the store’s aisles. Modern-day culture all but convinces the average parent-to-be that they may very well fail at their upcoming task without the shiny new products begging for purchase. Never mind that men and women have parented children for eons without most of these things.

I have recently walked the “expecting parent” route, having two preschool children, and I registered for gifts with both. But my lists were small, because we really didn’t want to have stuff for the sake of stuffWe only wanted things that would enhance our home and our new life with a baby.

Here are a few items I opted not to get – and did just fine without.

1. More than one stroller

Photo from NY Daily News

Instead of going with multiple sizes of strollers (or even more cumbersome, a “travel system,”) we bought a well-made, rather glorified umbrella stroller. We made sure it was a stroller that both of us could easily push (my husband and I are a foot apart in height), and that it was well-made with sturdy wheels. Two kids, almost four years, a bajillion airports, and who knows how many countries later, it’s still in use.

2. Shopping cart cover

I’m just not a germophobe. Never have been. My mother never covered the shopping cart seat before sitting me in, and I’m fine and healthy today. So I figured I didn’t really need to do that with my kids – and as of yet, both very rarely get ill. The over-sanitizing of our culture is another topic altogether, but I believe that, within reason, everyday items like shopping carts are perfectly safe for my kids.

After traveling in many countries, it also seems like these seem to be mostly a North American trend.

3. Baby wipe warmers

On the rare occasion I felt like I needed a slightly warmer wipe, I rubbed it in my hands for a few seconds. Voila – a much warmer wipe, without the extra cost or clutter.

4. Full-size highchair

We were given one for free with our second child, and I can honestly say that having a big highchair with its own tray is pretty much the same as having a portable highchair strapped to a regular chair pushed up to the dining table. Plus, they take up so much less room, and the baby can eat right next to the rest of the family.

4. Diaper pail

We had a Diaper Champ with our daughter, but with our son, we just have a standard trash can that you open with a foot lever. We keep it outside on our balcony, and I think this simple method has kept our home much less smelly than an indoor diaper pail.

We also now use cloth diapers, making a diaper pail even more useless. With cloth, we just use a simple wet bag.

5. Baby detergent

I know there are some special cases when certain babies have ultra-sensitive skin. But since day one, I’ve washed my babies’ clothing alongside the rest of the families’ with the same laundry soap – and we’ve had no issues.

Of course, we exclusively use Soapnuts now, making it even easier to ensure chemical-free clothing for the whole family.

6. Changing table

With our oldest, my husband made a nifty catch-all type piece of furniture with shelves and a dowel for hanging baby dresses (it didn’t hurt that he was a carpenter). We put a changing pad on top, and used that as our changing table.

With our son, we simply put a changing pad on top of his dresser. There’s no need to take up valuable square footage with a piece of furniture that does just one thing.

glider rocker7. Glider

I’ve never been a fan of the aesthetics of a typical glider, but the main reason we didn’t get one is because of price. I know lots of people love their gliders. Nevertheless, the wooden rocking chair I inherited from my grandmother worked just as well with my daughter, and with my son, we just rock our body back and forth while we snuggle. Amazingly enough, he doesn’t seem to mind.

8. Baby lotion

I still have some from our almost five-year-old daughter. Babies have the softest, sweetest-smelling skin on their own, and I can’t think of any lotion that would enhance it.

To see some of my ideas of what is truly useful, check out my baby registry recommendations on Wishpot. And if you are expecting, I recommend making your registry thereyou can include anything on the internet in your list. No longer do you have to stick to just one store.

What do you think on these items – were any of them a valuable help for you during the baby days? What would you add to the list? What would you take away?

top photo source
Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

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  1. I, along with you, think that there are many items out there that are just flat out unnecessary. But there are a few on this list that I did use and thought were useful.

    More than one stroller–We were given a double stroller and it was a huge blessing! Our children our 20 months apart. Our oldest was born with complex heart defects (has had three open heart surgeries) and our youngest was a 28 week preemie. When he finally came home and then a few months later when he could be out in public, he was still very little (about 6.5 lb.) and had monitors. Because of our daughters heart problem, her stamina is just not that of other children. She can walk awhile, but then she has to rest. So a double stroller worked really well with one who couldn’t walk really long and one who had a big monitor to lug around.

    Changing table–I will agree that this is a luxury because a child can be changed practically anywhere! We thought about putting a changing pad on top of our daughters dresser (mine from when I was growing up) but it was too tall and awkward. I am tall (5′ 10″) and it was still too high. We were given money to buy a changing table and it was a great help. But it does take up valuable floor space.

    Baby detergent–I used regular detergent with our first baby, but because our second was a preemie, his skin was very sensitive. Also his lungs were very sensitive to any kind of fragrance. I used Dreft, and even though it’s expensive, it was a must and worked great. Once he was about 7 months old I switched back to regular detergent.

    And you are so right…wipe warmers and diaper genies are totally overrated!! =)

    I think this is a great post and it will be very helpful to first time parents who think they can’t be successful parents without all of the stuff they see in baby magazines.

    Laine Chambers’s last blog post…Morning Glory Muffins

  2. How about a baby bathtub? I had one for baby #1, but got rid of it for 2-6. Those things take up space and aren’t very attractive. I found that for something that doesn’t work for very long, it’s just easier to bathe the baby in the sink or in the tub with Mom or Dad—-just have someone there to put the baby in and take him out. Even laying the baby on the floor of the tub, on a towel, with a bare 1/2 inch of water, works.

    Sara’s last blog post…Sixth Folder, Sixth Picture

  3. Just wanted to say I find myself coming back to your site more than once a day! You have so many great articles and ideas. We are expecting a baby in late November/ Dec. and although some of the items on your list we did receive either as gifts or recycled- hand-me-downs, I still found it to be helpful. Last night my hubbie and I read your envelope method article and I think I’ve finally convinced him to let us start it.
    Thank you!

  4. we were astounded at the number of baby products on the market when our son was born – and i’m pretty sure there are about 5 million more now! i agree that alot of them are not “needs” but “wants”, and it’s entirely possible to live without them.

    we had a rocking chair on loan from my parents when my son was born – it was lovely, painted white by my dad… and the most uncomfortable chair i have ever sat in! my back was in really bad shape after my pregnancy, and the curve on that chair was horrendous for people who are taller than average, which both my husband and i are. i would have traded that for a glider in a heartbeat. where we live there is a very large consignment sale of baby and children’s goods, twice a year. we’ve already decided that should God bless us with another miracle, we’ll be heading to that sale and looking for a glider!

    i agree with the first comment about the changing table as well – the dresser we have for our son is too high to be remotely safe as a change table, and it happened that we were given one as a gift.

    but in general – my husband always says that if you think you might want or need something for your child, it already exists and can be found in 50 different sizes and colors…. and most of it is stuff you can live without!

    Krista’s last blog post…The Vivanno – or, why I love Starbucks

    • I totally agree with the rocker being uncomfortable. We had a rocker that my grandparents made and it is so hard hard on the back and creaked with every rock. so we went to JBF ( and bought an awesome glider for $35. I love it and am so glad we had this sale available. You have to go the first day to get the good furniture, but it’s getting bigger every year.

  5. I like to tell first-time pregnant moms that all they need on Day 1 is a carseat (at least here in the U.S., you can’t leave the hospital without one — unless you’re planning on walking home, that is!) and a pile of diapers. The hospital will swaddle the baby in a blanket, and the baby can sleep in bed with you in between nursing sessions. Talk about simple!

    Karen’s last blog post…Ten on Tuesday*

    • You and I must be kin. It’s long been my assertion that all a baby needs is boobs, clothes, diapers, and a carseat. (Like you said, the hospital will provide at least a couple of outfits and blankets, and usually a pack of diapers! But I prefer having them at home.) Everything else is gravy.

      I do have a double stroller, which is very nice for taking all 7 kids on a walk. (One in the sling, two in the stroller, and 4 walking!) But I almost never use it otherwise. As for changing diapers, I do that on the bed, the couch, the floor, anywhere. I’ve never seen the need for a changing table.

      We have a highchair, but it’s mainly only useful because we don’t have enough chairs otherwise. 😉

      Michelle’s last blog post…I almost do have a child for every day of the week!

      • It cracks me up that people think the hospital wants you to take their baby blankets and onesies home. They are for use in the hospital. Would you take a set of bed sheets home too?
        Other than the encouragement of theft from a hospital from the comments, I loved this article.

        • LOL, Amey! I wondered about that! All 3 of my children were born in military hospitals, where the onesies and blankets were labeled, “property of…”. Like I was going to take my child home in that!!! I always took a special outfit anyway for the pictures! But, I do have a picture of my newborn daughter (my 1st) wearing a onesie that says “Property of Elmendorf AFB”. It always makes me giggle!

        • We had to bring our own clothes for the baby, but our hospital did give us a baby blanket to take home with each of our kids. They were different than the hospital blankets (those were printed with an all over design that included the words “hospital property”).

        • Depending on your hospital, you might very well be paying the purchase price of your baby’s blankets, clothes, a pack of 50 diapers of which your baby has used 8…as well as the sheets on your bed, your pillows, blankets, towels and much more. Every public or private hospital I or a relative has been in charged us for these things (I always, always insist upon an itemized invoice). Consequently I do end up taking the bed sheets, pillows, water pitchers, blankets, basins, sample cups…if I paid for it, I take it. What I don’t actually want, I donate to the local homeless shelter.

  6. I agree with you on all of these! And I would have to add that most of the baby feeding equipment is unnecessary as well. I don’t want to get into a discussion of breast versus bottle feeding, but once you get into the solids stage, you don’t need baby food cookers, or special spoons or plates, or choppers or mixers… We have three sippy cups, that we’ve used for all three kids and that’s about all we need.

    Kelly from Almost Frugal’s last blog post…The Hidden Costs of Going Back to School

  7. I 100% agree with everything on this list. After three babies, I still don’t understand diaper genies or shopping cart covers. One note: standard laundry detergent was fine with two of mine, but my oldest was sensitive enough to need mild baby detergent.

    One thing I would add: the bumbo chair. I received one as a gift for our third and used it only once to take a picture. It was used instead by my preschoolers, one time as a potty (oh yes, she did) and many times as a helmet to bounce off walls. We didn’t have it for long!

    Great list, I really hope this helps new moms who are bombarded by the “must have” lists!

    Nikki’s last blog post…Just a Friendly Note

    • That’s interesting; I’ve actually really gotten some mileage out of my son’s Bumbo. We didn’t have one with my daughter, and we were fine. But I’ve really been thankful to have had one with my son – we use it all the time, from playtime to meals to even bathing some times.

    • That’s funny because we used the Bumbo like a high chair for both boys. I found it more useful than the actual high chair for awhile. So easy to clean.
      .-= Erin´s last blog ..Do It Again! =-.

  8. I completely disagree about the shopping cart cover. It’s still useful to me and our two year old daughter.

    First because she is a horrid teether and when she was an infant, would have gnawed on the cart handle nonstop – she had a death clench with her mouth.

    But now it’s even more useful as she’s a skinny kid. So we use the cart cover in restaurant high chairs and in shopping carts to keep her in there. The padding helps her stay upright and comfortable. AND it makes cleanup at the restaurant much easier as all the food falls in there – just fold it up and shake it out in the parking lot.

    It’s definitely not something every family needs, I suppose. And we have a hand made one but still, it’s not just about germs. There are other uses for it.

    • I agree with you. I am not a germaphobe at all but, we did get a cart cover for restaurants and cart because our daughter slips and slides otherwise.

      • Stephanie says:

        I also found mine useful with my first because I live in Canada and in the cold weather those grocery carts outside in the snow get VERY cold! I only didn’t use it with my second as much because by the time she was sitting up it was spring/summer.

        I totally agree with everything in this post! My first I didn’t have a diaper genie, though, and the baby’s room got smelly so I “inherited” a Diaper genie 2 and I am still using it for my 2YO.

  9. ChristineG says:

    Hear, hear!! Thank you for your very sane post! We have six kids and the more we have, the less I find need for baby/child related stuff. (We actually own, but almost never use a stroller — we carry them until they are old enough to walk and then they walk! We do save the stroller for longer walks when toddlers are too heavy to carry for long periods.) We also do without bottles, soothers, diaper bag, disposable diapers, swim diapers, the baby bathtub, ‘baby’ food (they eat what we eat), a whole whack of toys — particularly, we have few baby toys, as babies get bored of ‘toys’ very quickly and much prefer a wooden spoon — and we have no ‘nursery (babies are with us and then directly in with a sibling). I think what it comes down to is that many people who normally avoid materialism and overspending can easily be entrapped into spending loads on a new baby. Each of us obviously has a different life and what isn’t important to me might be for someone else, but the idea that our babies/children must have huge quantities of stuff is just not accurate.

  10. I agree heartily with your list, with one proviso: diapering in a cold house in the middle of a Maine winter is enough to make a mom consider a diaper warmer!

    I’ve never had one and am a bit suspicious that a warm, damp environment might end up being a mildew farm, but after testing a cold wipe on my own skin one winter (YIKES!), I’ve started putting three or four wipes in a small bowl and microwaving them for about 5 seconds. It makes a huge difference, especially since we keep our house pretty cool.

    So – I guess the microwave would be on my list of Must-Have Baby Gear? 🙂

    Jenn in Maine’s last blog post…Here we are again.

    • Ah – that’s true. I’ve diapered my kids in rather warm climates so far.

      • I’m a mean mom — we keep our house in the low 60s in the winter, and I still don’t warm up wipes. I just hold it in my hand while I’m getting them undressed, which warms it up a bit. But honestly, they don’t even flinch at it, so I think they’re used to the colder temperatures and it doesn’t bother them!
        .-= Mandi @ Organizing Your Way´s last blog ..Affiliate Marketing, Disclosures & Earning an Income from Your Blog =-.

        • I always thought the wipe warmers were silly too, but if I have a second I am definitely getting one. We use cloth wipes with our little guy. When he was a newborn he slept in his bassinet by our bed and woke up frequently to nurse at night. When I would change his diaper, I (or my husband) would have to get out of bed to wet a cloth with warm water. I’ve read to keep a spray bottle nearby to spray the cloth with, but I live in a colder climate as well, and in the middle of the night in the winter that would be quite chilly! So next time I will look for a used wipe warmer and make my own wipe solution with warm water and maybe a bit of baby soap to keep my cloth wipes in next to the bed.

          • We used a thermos with a push dispenser – usually used for coffee – and put an empty disposable wipes container sans lid under the spout. Lay the cloth wipe in the container and give a half pump – presto, warm, wet cloth wipe!

        • Stephanie says:

          I live in Canada and survived with no wipe warmer. My theory is if you warm them up, they’ll get used to it, and fuss more when you are out and don’t have a warmer with you so just keep them “room temperature” (in my house, about 65-68).

          • for nighttime changes I just stick a wipe or two under my arm or down my cleavage to warm it while I get baby undressed. I’ve never bothered warming them in the house during the day, but would do just the same if we are using a public restroom and have been out in the cold and the pack is chilly.

    • Yeah, I thought they sounded extravagant, but I love my wipes warmer! We use cloth wipes and having to leave the room to wet them would be ridiculous. And I think having warm wipes when it’s cold is a nice comfort to my baby, who despised diaper changes when he was very young.

  11. My “babies” are almost 16 and 18 now. When they were babies our income was very limited. We decided that I should stay home with our children and that any monetary sacrifices made were well worth it. We never had any of the “fancy” equipment that so many new parents seem to “need” today. I had 1 umbrella stroller and a rocking chair. No changing table..we used the bed, the couch, a blanket on the floor….I didn’t buy a baby of us took a bath with baby and then handed wet baby off to the other parent. When we could afford it, I used disposable diapers, but I had a good stack of cloth diapers and rubber pants that were most sufficient. For the dirty disposables, I kept the plastic bags that we got from Wal Mart, the grocery store, etc…and put the “dirty” diapers in those, tied them up and put them in the trash. We just made sure the trash went out every day and never did we end up with a smelly house. I did use baby shampoo, generic, and baby soap and for the first six months I did use a baby laundry detergent. When our second child came along, our first was 23 months old and I did invest in a harness to keep up with baby #1 while baby #2 was in the stroller.
    We are living proof that you can well take care of babies without all the “necessary” extras.

    Deb’s last blog post…Happy Birthday Dear Hubby!!

  12. I have to add some love for the shopping cart cover, though I totally agree that it’s not something that’s necessary. But, where we live (outside the U.S.) the shopping carts are usually of the very wide variety and even after my daughter could sit very easily, she was still sort of lost in the huge open seat. Our shopping cart cover had straps that looped around the back of the seat and held her in place, and some little velcroed-on toys that she could play with. She loved sitting in the cart vs. being strapped to me the whole time in the carrier or sling and this made it easier.

    Also, I have to share one thing I thought I would not need or want but ended up regretting not getting:

    If I had it to do over, I *would* get the infant carseat that snaps in and out of a base. We live in a big city and mostly use public transportation, but we do lease a car and found ourselves driving a lot more during that first cold winter with a small baby. I thought I was being smart by getting a convertible carseat that our daughter could use from birth through toddlerhood. After many nights of taking her with us out to dinner or to friends’ houses in which she would fall asleep in the car, only to be rudely awakened upon arrival at our destination, I really regret not having a carseat that we could take inside and let her continue sleeping.

    Cat’s last blog post…Twice the spice

    • The car seat that snaps out was 100% one of our best purchases. The first few months my son was born he hated his swing, his bouncer, his crib, EVERYTHING, but he was so happy to sit in his carseat, nap in his carseat, it was amazing. We called it his recliner!

      Lucie @ Unconventional Origins’s last blog post…Inspired Projects – New Uses For Old Things

    • I guess in response to both you and B – I never really thought of the shopping cart cover as something to contain a child. We’ve never owned one, so it’s something I hadn’t thought of. But that’s good to know, especially for people who have difficulty containing their child in a shopping cart.

      • Though it wasn’t a necessity for us, and I would never have bought one myself, I went ahead and threw the shopping cart cover my sister gave us in the trunk the first time I went shopping after my second was born. It was such a blessing – I had the baby in the sling, so that was no problem. But Big Sister, still a toddler and not yet ready to walk around outside the cart, absolutely refused to sit in the cart until I pulled out the nice, padded, colorful shopping cart cover (pockets stocked with lightweight books and snacks) and said, “Fancy seat?” She was a complete dream the entire time. Though the novelty has warn off in the last 1.5 years, I still use it for Little Brother, just because it looks so much more *comfortable* than all the wire and plastic he’d otherwise be sitting in.

        AgnesMinerva’s last blog post…Heavenly Indeed

    • You should be glad you didn’t. Growing up in a home where I heard about my mother’s work as the director of the Cranio-facial department of a hospital daily, I am in possession of the rare knowledge that the propensity of this generation to enlist the use of a snap-in-snap-out carseat and to not move the child from a lying-on-his-back position often leads to a condition called plagiocephale, a flattening of the head, correctable only with unsightly and uncomfortable helmets.

      • It’s better to wake them up getting out of the car and have them scream for hours? We used our carseat as a napping station until our daughter was several months old – she hated being flat on her back. And it saved MY back to not have to carry her all the time, especially if she fell asleep not-at-home.

        Of course, we gave her tummy time when she was awake!

  13. We passed on virtually all of these as well, although a few things we were given as gifts.

    We do use special lotion, body wash, and detergent because my son has pretty bad eczema (which is almost cleared up – yay!!!).

    Another thing we didn’t need was formula, since I breastfeed. If this option works for you it saves so much money! We also asked for NO toys since we knew we would get some anyways.

    To me the biggest waste of money is a changing table. Our whole apartment is a changing table – if we can lay a towel down, we can change the baby (although our bed has probably been where we change our son the most).

    Simple mom – I would really like to see a post like this geared towards the first birthday. My son’s is coming up (as I assume is yours, my boy was born Dec. 21 2007 and I think your son was born very close to that date?). I do NOT want a bunch of toys for him so I am using wishpot to create a birthday and Christmas list for him. The only problem is, as a new parent, I am a little stumped as to what we should ask to have for ages 1 – 2.

    Lucie @ Unconventional Origins’s last blog post…Inspired Projects – New Uses For Old Things

    • Yes, the first birthday is tricky. We didn’t want more “stuff,” so on our daughter’s birthday party invite, we said that gifts were optional. Of course, most people brought gifts anyway. I know it’s just fun to buy gifts for little ones – there’s much stuff out there to choose from!

      If I had to do it again, I’d really emphasize how we’d like to receive books – and possibly link to an online book list, like on Wishpot or Amazon. Reading and literature is really important to me, so if I had to have “too much” of something, it’d be books.

  14. I agree with all of your suggestions! I would also add the gazillion baby stimulating toys. Babies like faces and crinkled paper. No need to over-stimulate them. I would say my must have would be a simple sling (I make mine like the New Native brand using just a yard of looped fabric.). My other big must is a large receiving blanket. The possibilities for this are endless. Can use it to swaddle, a play mat, shade in the car seat or stroller (I’ve even rolled one up in the window on a long ride in a car without the shades), changing pad, “baggie” when you tie the four corners, nursing blanket, etc. Having my second being only ten weeks, I find I never leave home without these two very important items! My good friend even made me some out of one yard of fabric. If you sew two of them together, it’s a great warm, padded blanket as well. Another friend of mine is getting even further use by cutting up her old receiving blankets to make home-made baby wipes for her up and coming child.

  15. The crib and playpen my mother-in-law bought for us were the biggest waste of money. I knew in my heart that Violet would never sleep in them, but I felt like I would need a place to safely stash her when I couldn’t have her in my arms. It turns out that a second-hand bouncy seat was all I needed and all that Vi would tolerate. The crib was NEVER slept in. I now know that my daughter is very sophisticated and was simply insulted by being placed in jail!

  16. I agree with all the items on your list!

    We also stayed away from collecting buckets and buckets of toys – toys that make noise, toys that move, toys that light up. We were given a few battery operated toys – but we found that they didn’t hold our children’s interest as long as the basket of blocks or the wooden train set.

    So these days when I look for toys – our kids are 5, 4, and 3 – I look for things that require imagination and creativity as opposed to toys that are designed to simply entertain.

  17. Great post. The only one that I disagree with is the glider…. we’ve rocked our babies a lot, and I wouldn’t trade that thing for the world! It’s amazing…. super comfy and cozy (perfect for mommy to fall asleep rocking, too!)

    Completely agree with you on the detergent issue. One additional comment on that: our son has severe eczema…. most people don’t realize that All/Purex/Cheer Free & Clear varieties have LESS perfumes than any baby detergent on the market. Our pediatrician and dermatologist both recommended them above baby detergents…. so we’ve always just washed all of our family’s clothes in that (and they are a WHOLE lot cheaper than baby detergents, too!)

    Deanna’s last blog post…Just fun….

    • Deanna – our son has really bad eczema too and we used a special detergent as well, but not the baby brand. I agree that a free and clear brand works best. When my son was born we bought a HUGE bottle of the Costco brand to use for the whole family and it is JUST now running out. I know that saved us a lot of money!

      Lucie @ Unconventional Origins’s last blog post…Inspired Projects – New Uses For Old Things

    • I’m right with you on most of the things you have listed except the detergent. Most household cleaners are so full of icky things that I don’t even use regular detergent for my clothes, nevermind the baby. Gadgets and gear aren’t a huge priority, but health and safety sure is!

      Speaking of gadgets, I never understood the baby monitor thing. I was never enough far away from my baby to make having a baby monitor necessary.

  18. As a mom of 3 (ages 5, 3.5, 2) with another due in 2 weeks I’ve got lots of opinions about the stuff babies “have” to have these days. I totally agree with your list!

    I will add that I bought a shopping cart cover not because of the germs but because my son outgrew the infant carrier before he could sit up in the seat and the safety strap in those things won’t keep a child upright. So I bought a cover with nice wide straps that held him in a sitting position.

    stephaniesmommybrain’s last blog post…You don’t own a television?!

  19. I agree with the comment that these are personal decisions. If you are trying to be frugal, or simplify, then some of these are “unnecessary”. However, some are nice to have. We loved our wipe warmer for early morning changes especially. It didn’t take up much space at all. Multiple carseats and strollers are nice to keep in each car when one parent takes the child to caregiver and the other picks up. A shopping cart cover does more than protect the child from sticky dirt and germs. A full size highchair could help keep little hands away from hot plates, knives, and easily tipped adult size cups. We used the Diaper Dekor and never had an odor problem. So nice to have by the upstairs changing table. I could say the same for our Pack and Play, which doubled as a changer downstairs. Very convenient in those first few months. Many children have exzema and can not use “regular” detergent. I love the smell of baby Purex and use it on some of my own delicate clothing also. So, some of these “unnecessary” items add a lot to the quality of life for mom, dad, and baby.

  20. I agree with everything on the list EXCEPT having one stroller. I just LOVED my Baby Jogger for our long walks. We used it a tremendous amount, and admittedly it was a luxury, but it kept our sanity. It was important for us to still be able to do some of the things we always enjoyed liked walking (and the baby gets heavy in the front pack/back pack after a while).

    Also loved the type of stroller that you can clip the baby seat into. That was awesome for the mall.

    And when the baby was one and outgrew that type, then we went for an umbrella stroller.

    But then sister came along, and we needed a double stroller for certain occasions.

    Then big brother got to old to be in a stroller, so we were back to just the umbrella stroller for a while.

    So over the course of babyhood you WILL need more than one stroller, but you some are luxuries and some are just trade ups.

    Something that you might not think you need but you will: Baby Bjorn. Those things are great!

    • Yes, I suppose some families will need more than one stroller. But we’ve always been fine with just one. We were recently given a very nice Peg Perego umbrella stroller, and we more or less use that exclusively. I’ve never had the snap in types or a jogging stroller. It probably depends a lot on a family’s lifestyle. 🙂

  21. Diaper Genie/Champ – it was useful for us because we don’t really have an outdoors area we can stash the dirty diapers. Not essential, but useful.

    We also put a changing pad on top of the dresser, but I think this dresser was a great height for that pad and my wife & me.

    I pretty much agree – none of these are essential/must have items. We didn’t have a rocker and got by okay. We had multiple strollers, but generally just used one. We had a full size high chair and it was useful to put the little ones in and sometimes let them nap, but we could have gotten by with something else. We used lotion when appropriate, but no other time. I think we were given a sample of Dreft, used it up, then just used our normal detergent at 1/2 strength or something. We didn’t have any sensitive babies in our care.

    @Lucie – we started a “no presents” birthday policy for our daughter. For her first birthday we insisted that if people felt a need to bring something that they bring a box of cereal for the local food pantry. After the party, my daughter brought that cereal in. We’ve kept that going ever since. Family can give a small number of presents, but we try to limit that to a small amount and focus on giving to others. We still have a party and celebrate, but it’s nice not to focus on toys and such at the time.

    • Peter – thanks for the idea, I think we will do something like this as well, I really want to incorporate the idea of giving to others on holidays and birthdays – I want this to be a tradition with my son so that he cannot imagine a holiday without giving to others. I think we will def have a no toy policy, and that we will ask family members who insist on getting us gifts for something practical, like clothes or gift certificates to the grocery store (I am AMAZED at how much my 9 month old eats now that he is onto table food!).

      Lucie @ Unconventional Origins’s last blog post…Inspired Projects – New Uses For Old Things

      • Alison Day says:

        As your child grows up, maybe consider combining a gift-giving and receiving policy on special occasions. It’s awesome to incorporate a spirit of giving into birthdays and holidays, but don’t forget the abject joy you felt as a little one ripping into a colorful and sought-after present once or twice a year – wouldn’t want to completely deprive them of that joy. Maybe for every gift they get, it’s the policy to give one to a charitable cause in return. I remember being limited to 3 wishes on my Christmas list (we were poor) and it was so much fun to think about what toys I really wanted to play with, instead of getting a bunch of junk I didn’t appreciate.

  22. Totally agree with a lot of these. Though I did feel like kind of a bad mom for not getting the wipe warmer.

    Angie (from over at

    Half Assed Kitchen’s last blog post…An easy-ass way to dress up your meat

  23. This is one of my favorite topics to share with parents-to-be! Thanks for a nice take on it. We often think of this subject as “mommy chatter,” but I’ve found dads-to-be really dread the gearing-up process and are especially relieved to talk with an experienced parent about lightening the consumer drag.

    I’ve got a similar post of unnecessary baby gear at — a little more of a focus on the smaller things than this one. Glad to see your list here at Simple Mom!

    Lisa’s last blog post…Help your child’s teacher green the classroom

  24. Shannon B says:

    My first daughter was exclusively clothed diapered and I invested a lot of money and energy into it. I adored cloth diapering.

    After a nasty separation and upon my return to school and internships, my second daughter became disposable diapered. I planned on returning to cloth diapers, but after her wardrobe caught up with disposables (cloth diapers are much bulkier and clothes have to fit over them), I eventually retired the diapers.

    With the cloth diapers, they went from the shelf to the diaper pail to the washing machine. With disposables, they go from the shelf to the ??? My daughter is 2 1/2 and I’ve yet to find a good system. I couldn’t be bothered with a “diaper genie”. I throw the wet diapers into the kitchen garbage, but the dirty diapers end up on the back porch to go into the big cans, so it’s a nasty sight. We used to use those plastic grocery bags, and I still do on occassion, but most stores here don’t distribute them anymore.

    Anyway, it’s one aspect of diapering that I don’t have down pat! Thanks for your entry today!

    • Sigh… I really would like to explore the cloth diaper world – I think I’d really take to it. I just don’t know where to start. I’ve got a good guest writer covering this very topic here soon. 🙂

  25. I agree whole heartedly. We have four children so far and with each one we have had fewer and fewer pieces. It just causes clutter. A boppy pillow and infant carseat would be the two things I would want if we were to get pregnant again. (I loved my swing but could always borrow it back again)
    I wanted to say to all of you that have the excema issue. We had it too… our three year old had it really bad on his “knee pits”. (*I have never used baby laundry detergent because we do not sort our laundry, I just wash it, how ever it comes down the chute, I pick it up and toss it in). We switched to charlies soap (no detergent) and use 1/4 cup of white vinigar in the rinse. There is not scent and the clothes are just as clean as when I used any detergent. NO skin issues here what so ever. Just my 2cents.

    anna’s last blog post…Our excellent adventure

  26. I just had a baby shower about 3 weeks ago and I agree with your list. We don’t have a large house and those things take upway too much room. We still have baby laundry detergent from whe my first, a 5 year old, was born.
    However, baby lotion is a must because even I use it.

    arah’s last blog post…when I was a kid…

  27. This is sooooo good. And reading through the comments it just goes to show that NEED can be very personal. We had to use a strong laundry det. b/c we had 5 babies who all spit up a lot. Nothing “gentle” would take the smell out. But someone who’s baby’s skin is really sensative couldn’t do that.

    I have a bad back so a snuggly or a sling is out of the question if I am going to walk upright. But my oldest wasn’t walking when my 2nd came along so I had to have a double stroller if I wanted to leave the house by my self.

    The one thing that we could not do without is a swing. They slept in it, they learn to eat in it, they play in it. But we never bought the one that goes 8 different directions or was like a cradle. Ours is the old style, it does use batteries, but it is more like a reclyning chair with a tray. We just move it from room to room and inside and outside and our babies all loved it. But there agian, it may be that some people get a swing and never use it.

    The two things I will say is are a waste of money and space are a changing table and any kind of fancy diaper pail (and lets not forget all the refill bags you have to buy). Anywhere can be a changing table and a pail outside your door is a great way to dispose of any diaper.

    Stephanie’s last blog post…What Happens to the Children

  28. Totally agree…the amount of products available for babies is mind-boggling. You buy all this stuff when you’re pregnant, and than before you realize it they aren’t babies any more and you’ve got a huge pile of stuff to deal with. Here’s my list of<a href=”″ 10 products not to buy.

    tara’s last blog post…“Natural” Baby Product Claims are Misleading Parents

  29. I agree with multiple strollers, except that having a stroller for the carseat to attach to was awesome, especially in airports. But instead of a full-blown stroller, I would recommend a $50 stroller FRAME; much lighter, collapses completely flat, & can be used to cart any type of carseat around. Still has a basket, too. Once the child can sit properly in an umbrella stroller, then I would invest in a high-quality one.

    Amen on the carseat cover – what a total waste of $20.

    We invested heavily in a quality glider rocker & I’m so glad we did. My child nursed for HOURS on end & I was constantly thankful that I could sit in a comfortable chair – ours even reclined! However, the ottoman is completely unnecessary. You can use any kind of footstool for the time being & then the whole “system” doesn’t take up too much space once the long nursing days are done with. If we had a rocker, I probably wouldn’t have upgraded to a glider, but we had nothing at the time.

    Baby powder, baby lotion & diaper cream – I would only get the travel size ones of those. I still have full-size bottles for my now 2.5 year old & I’m beginning to wonder if they ever go bad?? If you need more than 1 full-size tube of diaper cream for a child, then something’s WRONG.

    Lastly, I don’t think you need the humongous, “convertible”-type cribs that change into a toddler bed. They look totally cute & all, but the kid really doesn’t last long in the toddler bed. I think it’s better to just go with a basic crib that fits the space properly, then invest in either a twin-size bed or a bed that has drawers underneath.

    Great post!

    Vicki’s last blog post…The wait is over

  30. Oh! I would also add CLOTHES. Especially clothing from 0-6 months. Unless you live in the Bahamas, your child will be wrapped up for the first 2-3 mths & nobody’s gonna be seeing all the cute little outfits they’re wearing. Plus, you’ll be given so many clothes, both new & hand-me-downs, that you’ll swear you need twins just to use them up for the next baby!

    Vicki’s last blog post…The wait is over

  31. I found that w didn’t need nearly as much as all the stores wanted us to think we did. That said though, we still find it helpful to have several different strollers simply cause we us a double one for both kids and singles if they go anywhere by themselves, etc. We never did find the “big” stroller to be much help though cause it was hard to take places.

  32. The diaper pails all bother me. We are to the point where we only have “dirty” diapers twice a day and I just take them to the dumpster right away. I can’t stand having them in my house. I liked the shopping cart cover because my daughter always wanted to put her mouth on the handle of the shopping cart, and that seems a little disgusting. Now, that she’s two, I go without one.

    teri’s last blog post…Go Pink in October – Robeez

  33. Two things that were not on your list that I loved: a car seat cover (if you have a newborn during the cold winter months) – it keeps the baby very warm and keeps any blankets inside the carseat/carrier, and a sling – great for nursing in public.

  34. love this… i remember when i registered with baby #1 and when i turned in my list they said are you sure you are done you only have 2 pages and most moms have at least 15! ridiculous what you convince yourself you need.

    marla’s last blog post…wordless wednesday…

  35. Kyndale Pease says:

    I think after 3 kids, anything that is big and plastic is just totally something parents don’t need. Like the swings or exersaucers, bathtubs. As a new parent I always got the nesting bug and thought I needed these things. Then when I only used these things a couple of times, I felt the need to get rid of them because they were cluttering my house. These things are part of this consumer culture and it actually takes time and money away from the family: thinking about, purchasing and trying to get rid of them when they were unused and collecting dust. Also I want to mention that I use cloth diapers and I love them. I use fuzzibunz and they are so soft and they are easy to use AND I save so much money!

  36. Thanks a ton for the link to the “Simple yet Essential Baby Registry”! I’m expecting in January and just starting to think about what to put on my own baby registry. I’ve seen lots of articles about “what not to buy” but I can usually tell on my own what’s extraneous. It’s the questions of “what will I use on a daily basis?” and “will I overlook something important?” that really gets me, and the link was a huge help. Thanks!

  37. You are so right on! I am still amazed when shopping for a baby shower and find that the mom has listed so many items that are not necessary. Such a waste. Our moms and grandmoms did without and things worked out just fine!

    patti’s last blog post…1908

  38. Stroller: True. A middle of the road Combi with removable tray served us well.

    Shopping Cart Cover: True. Never had one. No real issues with germs here.

    Baby Wipes Warmer: True. But, with winter babies, it did help to have warm wipes to let them stay drowsy if I was changing them in the middle of the night.

    Full-Size High Chair: True. Never had one. Loved that I could strap in new walkers at dinner parties and picnics without spending extra money on a portable chair in addition to a full-size.

    Diaper Pail: Yes. We keep our old pail (thrifty) on the deck, too. MUCH better outside than in.

    Baby Detergent: Yes. I’m allergic to scents anyway.

    Changing Table: Yes. Floor and a tea towel are sufficient. In fact, I keep my diapers and wipes in the entertainment center out in the main room. Lol.

    Glider: Yes. I only had a glider with one baby. I just cuddled on the couch with my babies and they seemed quite satisfied.

    Baby Lotion: Never used it. Too smelly. I get headaches from it, so I was sure baby would, too.

    Great article. So true!

    Deb’s last blog post…Tracing Our History

  39. One thing I learned when we had our son a little over a year ago is that in the frantic rush to make sure you “have everything”, keep in mind that Target is still going to be in business and open after your child is born. Walmart will still be there 24/7 if something comes up in the middle of the night that you aren’t prepared for.

    So take a step back, relax, and don’t stress too much about getting everything in order beforehand. Besides, you’ll probably welcome an excuse to get out of the house when the time comes. 😉

  40. This was great! I’m expecting my first next month, and I’ve been getting the feeling I don’t even need half the stuff people have been recommending. I think bottle warmers could probably be done away with too…

    What you and your husband did with the dresser/changing table is exactly what my mom suggested. Why take up extra space and spend more money when you already have all you need? Great post!

    Mrs. Priss’s last blog post…$100 for 100 Posts

  41. Great post and so timely for me. I am expecting my first child in February and had planned to go register for baby items tonight!

    We have a small apartment, and so are very aware of space constraints. Plus, we’ve found that less stuff and less clutter in general makes a happier life for us.

    On not buying a highchair:
    I totally agree with your suggestion about the booster seat. I have heard nothing but good things about this Fisher Price Healthy Care Booster Seat . Just wanted to throw that out there for others who might be searching for a good alternative.

    Also, I just want to mention that craigslist and freecycle are great resources for finding non-essential items (like gliders) and toys on the cheap or for free — and if it doesn’t work for your baby, you can cycle it out of your home via the same sites.

    Marisa’s last blog post…hello, self.

  42. I agree with the original post and some of the things in the comments (I read about half). Except for the free-standing high chair. I bought one for my oldest that strapped to the seat and she hated it. She was never comfortable and always ended up in my lap–meaning I never ate and lost like 50lbs (blessing in disguise?). Someone gave me a big highchair she had used with her three kids. OMGoodness! The ease and comfort of that thing is marvelous. I’ve since thrown out the icky foam padding away and just use a folded up towel. I should add that we don’t have a traditional style dinner table. At home we have a booth with curved seats (think Subway) and where we are staying we don’t have anything at all. We just all kinda sit around in a circle. The big highchair has made all that sooo much easier. I have it on the lowest setting and my daughter (until it was taken over by my son) could climb in and out of it by herself. It doesn’t have wheels on the bottom.

    Laundry detergent–even Dreft has perfumes! Yuck! We all have super-sensitive skin. I just used free and clear on all our clothes until about a year ago when I switched to Charlie’s Soap. I love Charlie!

    As for regretted not/enjoyed having an infant bucket carrier—obviously you have never Moby-ed. My baby was in the Moby during everyvisit and most of his naps for the first 3 months! I love Moby–maybe even more than Charlie?

    Strollers–we ended up needing 2. Our home is out in the country–gravel driveways. The zoo has gravel walk-ways. We got a big, full-air tired BabyJogger City. Then we temporarily relocated to a city environment with now 2 kids. I strap the little one to me, but the other toddler rides in a smaller, more airport and shop friendly, stroller. I like the City so much that I got the City-mini for the smaller stroller! Making a 2yo walk is not time or distance efficient. Now the almost 3yo is walking more and we sometimes put the almost 1yo in the stroller. You have to consider terrain when choosing a stroller–so you might need more than one if you are strolling in vastly different terrains.

    Just some thoughts 🙂

  43. I don’t consider myself a germaphobe, but I loved the shopping cart cover. I think it makes those hard metal seats more comfy for baby too. And there have been studies done that say that the handles on shopping carts are some of the dirties places in the whole store… so I didn’t mind that it covered it for me too during flu season. BUT they are easy to make if you can sew or can get someone to make you one.

    I agree with most of the other items though. I think it’s all so personal and with your first you don’t know what you are going to want/like/need. For example the swing was a lifesaver in our house, but two friends who had babies around the same time barely used theirs.

    I say take a friend you trust who has had a baby within the past few years when you set up your registry. As long as the basics are covered: nourshment, diapers, a place to sleep, a car seat and a baby carrier of some sort, you are set.

    Mama K’s last blog post…true confession

  44. 100% agree with all of that except maybe 50% on the stroller issue. We had a travel system and LOVED it, but it was an awkward jogging stroller with a huge front wheel, so I ended up using a glorified umbrella stroller ($40 at thrift store) once he was a little older. BUT we lived way out in the country on gravel roads so we did need to keep the all-terrain jogger.

    Shopping cart covers and baby wipe warmers are marketing gimmicks.

    Full size highchair: I got rid of mine and if I have another baby I’ll just get the portable chair mount type. Way less room and easy to take along if you need to.

    My Diaper Genie is gone, who really wants to keep all that nasty smelling stuff in the house anyway? Mine goes into a grocery bag and straight out to the trash in the garage!

    Baby Detergent is not something I needed at all, but I know of kids susceptible to exzema… and they definitely needed it. But probably not necessary for 80% of babies out there!

    Change table? Not a multitasking unit at all, and basically unusable after they’re trained. A low-ish dresser with a large top is a much better idea because you can use it until adulthood. My favorite is the Hemnes dresser from IKEA.

    Never had a glider. When our first was born, dh and I bought each other a nice luxurious La-z-boy. We decided it was something we would both use for years, not just for the babies!

    Baby lotion: I used it a little, but it’s more of a want-to, not a have-to!

    Mikki Roo’s last blog post…computers and kids

  45. I agree with you that some of those things just aren’t necessary. Like baby detergent, wipes warmers, changing table and full size highchairs.

    However, I found the shopping cart cover very useful. Not only does it protect against germs, but it also made the seat more comfortable for my DD. I also wasn’t worried about her getting her fingers stuck in parts of the cart. We used the cover for about a year, now my cousin is using it for her baby.

    I also recommend more than 1 stroller. Babies under 6 months can’t sit in umbrella strollers. Plus, they are usually very cheaply made and don’t have storage space or cup holders. They didn’t have them when I had my DD, but I love the idea of the snap and go type strollers for infant seats. Then moving to a lightweight stroller.

    I couldn’t have lived without a comfy rocking chair. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a glider, but it needs to be padded. My DD had horrible acid reflux and many nights I sat upright in the chair all night. I would have probably broken every bone in my body in a wooden rocker! LOL!

    Jenny’s last blog post…Giveaways!

  46. Great post. I think of this often because with our twins my husband did get **everything** and we defaulted to **the best of everything** as it may be. We did make our mistakes, and spent too much money. I agree with you on most, depending on the situation. … However, I still can’t find the perfect double stroller for every occasion! And we REALLY didn’t need a wipe warmer, even though we had one!!

    Mommy2Twinkies’s last blog post…Gymnastics Finale

  47. Um, no offense, but it’s not “Walla!” it’s “Voila!”

    Great post 🙂

  48. Great list! I agree with pretty much the entire thing, though I did enjoy the shopping cart cover (not b/c of the germs, but b/c of the extra layer of cushion between the baby and those sharp cart edges).

    I do wish someone had told me about the whole “travel system” thing. Both of my kids hate(d) the carrier and the stroller was just downright bulky. But once I’d made the investment, it seemed wasteful to go out and buy something more convenient.

    I feel like I should add that no matter how simple your registry is, well-meaning grandparents who don’t believe in gift receipts may purchase the unnecessary stuff anyway. That’s how we ended up with our diaper genie, which was thrown away after a few months because the smell was horrible (plus the refills were WAY expensive).

  49. Seems like people are pretty half and half about the shopping cart cover – either you love it and can’t live without it, or you think it’s useless and a total gimmick. Hmm.

  50. Well, both of my babies (ages 21 and 3 months) cannot use regular detergent, but we have done the equivalent of what you did: we all use the free/clear detergent now, and I buy the brand that’s on sale rather than the “baby” brand (if it’s not going to have a smell anyway, why spend more money on brand names?). We, too, have chosen equipment carefully, to cut down on clutter and costs. Both kids have used a dresser with a changing pad strapped to the top, and we use a portable high chair, as well. We do have both a jogging and a regular stroller, because both are needed and used regularly for our lifestyle, but both have been bought secondhand and have worked very well.

    This idea could also be carried over to children’s toys, though. If I bought – new, no less – every toy that was deemed developmentally appropriate for my children, I would be broke and they would have no need to use their imaginations. We wash yogurt and sour cream containers, and use them as water toys or bowls for the play kitchen. Old wipes containers hold his foam alphabet or odds and ends (children love to take things in and out of a box). A cardboard oatmeal container is his “drum.” It works well for all of us.

    I also rotate his toys, keeping only a handful out at a time and storing the rest in my toddler’s closet. It keeps him from becoming overwhelmed and ignoring them altogether, and it also helps retain some of the novelty of having something different to play with. It has worked very well for us, and has made a little go a long way for him.

    Stephanie’s last blog post…

  51. I had to comment and say that I love your baby registry list! The only thing I would take off if the Bumbo b/c my baby popped herself right out of it at 4 months. She hated it! But we have some Robeez this time (she’s our third) and we love them. We were given a cart cover, but we haven’t used it yet. My husband thinks it’s a waste, but I’ve read too much about how many germs are on public carts and it scares me.

    I love that you suggested Healthy Sleep Habits. . . It is the best sleep book out there.

    I’m curious, do you make your own baby food? I am working on a series of posts about how I make ours, and I’m sure you have some great tips!

    Elizabeth’s last blog post…High Aspirations

  52. I agree mostly. We also much preferred the look of a used solid wood rocker we found to the look of a glider. We have also done without the diaper pail and almost never use baby lotion. For us, it was much easier to find a used changing table at an affordable price than it was to find a dresser–so we bought a very simple changing table at a thrift store and filled the shelves underneath with baskets to store baby’s clothing, diapers, towels, , etc. It has served us well for both children. One thing that I would add to your list is a Boppy. I have one but have used it only a handful of times. Both of my babies have been fairly large and didn’t need a lot of “propping” to nurse. I found it was just as easy grab a pillow off the couch than to use the Boppy when they were tiny.

  53. I love reading lists like this, and I’m with you on sticking with one stroller. I think infant seats are really cumbersome as baby carriers, and I wanted a lightweight, will-travel stroller, so the “travel system” is not for me. I bought a Combi City Savvy stroller, and I couldn’t be happier — it has a deep recline that accommodates infants, and it’s great for older babies and toddlers, too. It weighs in at a little more than ten pounds, and is easy to use. I recommend it to all the soon-to-be moms I know, though most stick with the multi-stroller option. 🙂

    Leslie’s last blog post…Homesteading

  54. I completely agree! Changing tables, glider rockers, high chairs, shopping cart covers are certainly not necessary. But, we do have the wipes warmer. It really does help the middle-of-the-night changes in the freezing winter. And, it doesn’t take up any more space than a regular tub of wipes.

    Another thing you *don’t* need is a formal crib. We used a pack-n-play until our kids were ready for a mattress on the floor. Why buy a large expensive piece of furniture that only gets used for 1 year? With our second baby, we considered – in a moment of consumer weakness – getting one of those convertible cribs, but decided to stick with the PNP that we used for our first. We really couldn’t justify the expense and the extra space it would take up in our tiny nursery.

    My “minimalist” gear list is here: OrganizedMommy

    Thanks for the great post!

    Josie’s last blog post…Make Adorable Baby Quilts with Basic Sewing Skills

    • We got our first crib free from friends of friends’ friends… or something like that. Then we were convinced we were never having more kids and so gave it away. When baby three announced herself, we found another crib on Freecycle. I am always afraid that the pack and plays aren’t comfortable enough, so I feel like a good mattress is important, even though the babies don’t sleep in the crib all the time.

  55. Great list! One quick comment on the shopping cart cover: I have a handmade one from my mom, and it includes its own strap. I find this handy because it seems like 3/4 of the carts I find at the stores have broken or missing straps! This way I don’t have to hunt for a functional cart. Plus it has banana-print fabric on it and it makes me smile. 🙂

  56. I wish I had read this two years ago…

    SarahHub @ Oakbriar Farm’s last blog post…Wordless Wednesday

  57. Great read! Bravo! Completely agree on all points.

    Angie at Baby Cheapskate’s last blog post…Hot!!!! 33% Off BumGenius 2.0, $15 Refund

  58. I can agree on nearly all of your points, except the glider:) Although I didn’t have to buy one–my sweet friend loaned me hers (for two babies!). When I was up half the night nursing my babies, I don’t know what I would’ve done without that thing and the ottoman that went with it. I would fall asleep and so would my baby and between the glider and the Boppy we were just all tucked in for who knows how long!

    Lora’s last blog post…Our First Lapbook

  59. Every time I see someone in the market with one of those shopping cart covers I feel a little guilty, like should care more about germs than I do. Thanks for making me feel like I’m not the only one who just puts her kid in a shopping cart. We are another family who had a diaper champ for the first kids (twins) and ditched it for the third. I really feel like acquiring all this baby stuff just sets up a pattern of too much stuff that is hard to break out of. We are currently undergoing a simplification and “destuffing” of our house. I am totally with you on the stroller, I think I have a similar one for baby number 3. I agonized over it and was determined not to spend a ton of money on something we really don’t use very often. We had so many strollers for the twins, mostly because we didn’t really love any of the double stroller options. I am so much happier with our one little sorta umbrella like stroller.
    The first time I heard of a wipe warmer it was on a friend’s baby shower registry. I thought it was a joke.

  60. I agree with everything but the changing table. We couldn’t have survived without ours. When we went to visit friends for the week and changed diapers on the floor our knees hurt, our backs hurt, and the babies were rolling all over the ground. But we got ours FREE from the neighbor, so it was a no-brainer!

    If you have time, come see my latest blog post on my grocery list technique. It seems like just your kind of thing! 😉

    CC’s last blog post…Grocery Lists to save time and money

    • I agree with you. I never was a fan of changing my babies on the couch or ground. I have neck and back pain (residual from a car accident) and I much preferred doing it at changing table height. I also didn’t have to worry about the baby peeing or pooping on the carpet or upholstery! My first changing table was a basic one with shelves and I agree that it took up valuable space. And, we didn’t use the shelves after the baby could crawl, so that was a waste too. With our 3rd child, we bought a changing table dresser. Much better! With the extra pieces removed from the top, he can use it forever. I’ll confess, though, that we didn’t use the bottom drawer for a couple years. We removed the knobs to keep him from climbing it, which he loved to do! Without the knobs, it was hard to open, so I just didn’t use it. (It was a good place to hide things from the kids, though, because they couldn’t open it either!)
      .-= Cara Riggles´s last blog ..Home Depot BOGO Printable Coupons =-.

  61. I enjoyed this blog article, since I’m expecting our first baby at the end of next February.

    We have a smallish house, and so a lot of the baby “needs” just seem like clutter to me! However, my husband has a co-worker who is planning on giving us their exersaucer and a little reclining baby seat with a mobile over it (not sure what those are called…). Those are two big items that I probably wouldn’t buy but I’m sure I’ll use.

    If we’re given a wipe warmer, I’ll probably use it. But I won’t buy it.

    As for the high chair, we considered one that sits on a chair, but our dining chairs are covered in fabric, and let’s face it, I don’t want to ruin a chair with mushed baby food. We found a high-quality high chair for a low price on Craigslist. AND we have plenty of room in our dining room for it, so I’m sure I’ll be happy with this purchase.

    Anyhow, I just started a registry at, and it has been fun to look through all the baby items and try to figure out what I really need, and want. 🙂 Because it does come down to “want” for a lot of items, but that’s ok too.

  62. What a great list~I’m expecting #5 in January and have survived without any of the above except for the glider rocker my husband gave me for my very first Mothers Day, and of course the double stroller, simply because we had more than one little one at once. We have done without the “activity centers” as well, and with some babies, the bouncer and the swing. It just all depends on the baby. I would suggest, wherever possible, to borrow from a friend first to see if your baby likes it first, and then you can make the necessary purchases. Look at what our grandmothers did without! When we were crib shopping for our first, my grandma would tell me that we didn’t need one and that when they were too poor to buy a crib, they would put make a little bed out of a dresser drawer for the first month or so because they liked the enclosed feeling. And guess what…all of my kids hated the crib at first because it was so big. There is wisdom from the simplicity of their time.

    Melissa’s last blog post…creative gift giving…

  63. I too love my shopping cart cover. I love it so much that it is my go-to baby shower gift. I did not have one with baby #1 but with #2, I found myself in great appreciation for it. I also had a crazy teether and although I am not a germophobe either, having your little one latched on to the handle, well is just gross. Also, the cover has its own independant seat belt buckle, so no more getting them in only to realize the cart’s buckel is broken. It is much more comfy so if they nod off in that cart or restuarnat high chair– no big. I find myself not bringing extra blankets to use a padding wich is much simpler. I leave it in the trunk of the car and whip it out when I shop.

    Tori’s last blog post…Pumpkin not just for pie!

  64. I’m an Alaskan mama, and although I’m usually a huge proponent of simplicity, I am a complete fan of my toddler’s shopping cart cover. It’s only partly because of germs, as he would chew on the handle JUST because I told him not to! Here…OUR CARTS ARE COLD!!! The cover stays warm and cozy in the car until we hustle into the store. I can pop it into the cart and then he goes right in and is CONTAINED with the straps. It creates a safe place for him, and peace of mind for me. Great post, Simple Mom!

  65. Although I’m a grandmother now, I thought I’d chime in on this post. Times truly have changed in 30 years. I was a stay-at-home mom. We did not have the advantage of online gift registries, and I’m not sure that stores even offered baby registries. And there were no Babies R Us yet. We were quite poor in material possessions, but we managed to get by with a crib (mine from when I was a baby), a chest of drawers, a folding high chair (small portable ones were not available), a not-so-comfortable umbrella stroller, a Johnny Jump-Up, and eventually a mesh-sided playpen. We used cloth diapers, too. I agree with almost everything you mentioned in your post, however, I think that I would love to have the following items if I were a new mom (I know that my daughter and daughter-in-law would agree): grocery cart cover, glider rocker, a baby swing, a snuggly or sling, and possiby a Boppy.

  66. Since I had to move across the country just a few weeks after giving birth, I tried very hard to make sure people only gave me NECESSARY items. Oh, and we live in a small apartment. I do have a glider – and I like it, but we only got one because I have no other place to sit. Seriously it’s that or the bed. Or a folding chair. We have a pack n’play that serves as changing table and crib – but people keep insisting that I buy a crib (to put where? who knows). The bouncy thing (which my husband and I hate because it’s always in the way) is somewhat useful. The play gym (one of those cushioned mats with hanging toys over it) is great. I absolutely could not get by without it. We have hardwood floors, so it’s the only place I can really lay him down.

    Oh, and the diaper pail is very useful. I got by fine without it – but I don’t have time to take that many trips all the way to the garbage every day. Unfortunately, I will have to get another stroller – I have a base that the car seat snaps into (not a travel system). Very useful! So so so glad I have it. I desperately wanted only an umbrella stroller, but you can’t use those until at least 3 months (some are 6 months) – and that’s a LONG time to be carrying a squirmy baby through stores.

    Sarah’s last blog post…Yes, I should be sleeping.

  67. Baby lotions…yuk, the problems these cause…our worst and best item was a baby electric rocker, I was on crutches fora couple of years with my first born so the ability to rock my babe to sleep was priceless and he adored it, it was the best thing, babe No 2 no need for crutches for long, tried to use baby swing and he HATED it. If I had bought it for him it would have been a complete waste of money. So unless you are unable to rock your babe yourself…don’t bother…
    As ever a veery useful list to get us Mommies thinking…

    Suzie Sews’s last blog post…A little bit of this and a little bit of that…

  68. I have to say– my glider is a necessity. After a week at home with my newly adopted 11-month old daughter, I needed a soft, comfy (for mom and baby) and stationary place to get her to sleep. I would tend to agree with everything else… although I’m a fan of my Diaper Champ as well. We have several other things on your list– changing table, high chair– but mainly because we were able to borrow them from some friends and I am very appreciative of them and their baby gear. Borrow as much as you can, before you invest in things! We had just a few weeks to prepare for our trip to China, so showers didn’t happen and we had to assemble her nursery quickly.

  69. I don’t have time to read all the previous comments, so maybe this has already been mentioned, but I would say that I agree with you very much in concept – however, in particulars, there are some differences. For example, we use cloth diapers and so I have found that a changing table is sooooo helpful – it’s a lot harder to just throw a baby down on a couch or floor to change their diaper when you use cloth, since there’s more “stuff” involved (at least for us – we use prefolds and wraps, so there’s the diapers, cloth wipes, the diaper covers, the wipe solution), and I need a place to put it all and keep it organized. The changing table does all that. Cloth diapers also require additive-free detergents that will rinse clean without residue. Also, we only have 4 dining chairs and we have people over for dinner a lot, so we wanted a separate high chair so that there would always be enough chairs.

    Interesting about the glider – I’ve been thinking of trying to get one. We just have an armchair in there but I was thinking how nice it would be to rock. I will re-think that one now… 🙂

    Katie’s last blog post…august family update

  70. I must say that it is so true, there are many things out there for babies that are not necessary. However, I must admit that the grocery cart cover is now high up on my list of ‘must haves’. When my baby was born, I thought those would be a waste of money. But, after she was diagnosed with an immune deficiency, I became more concerned about germs and purchased one. I agree with some of your other people who commented that it also helps cushion those hard edges and contain the child much better.

    Heather’s last blog post…Preview

  71. AnnMarie Johnson says:

    I have to disagree with a few of these. For starters, you don’t need even ONE stroller. We carried DD instead. It’s better exercise and your baby is near YOU instead of 3 feet away from you w/o contact or sight.

    Next, what kind of portable highchair/seat thing straps to a chair that’s suitable for infants? IE, can you show us one/give a link? I have a booster seat for my toddler, but I never saw a strapable ones for babies that was considered safe; maybe they are newer? (There was one that attached to the table, but we couldn’t use it due to our table’s design.) Plus, in a high chair, my DD could eat right with us. In fact, it was far easier than if she’d been on a chair around the corner. A high chair “fit” at the corner of the table so she was quite close to us.

    While a glider might not be necessary, note that you said a rocking chair was great. I’d say put these two together as a must-have one or the other. For us, it was a glider for comfort. I didn’t want one at first, but our easy chair was nearly impossible to get out with a baby in your arms. The glider saved my life, and is still a loved chair 4 years later!

  72. Totally agree with your list! Have you read Parenting, Inc.?

    Allison’s last blog post…Baby Goes for a Ride

  73. I agree with your list! We had everything the first time around, and I wish that I had kept things simple. So many things that took up space in our lives were only used occasionally…definitely not worth the cost or hassle.

    We put a changing pad on top of a regular dresser. It felt like a good use of space, and the dresser is still in use.

    I will say that I really enjoyed our sit and stand stroller. I liked having the front stroller seat for the youngest and the standing platform (and little bench seat) in the back for the 2 yr old. It was so easy for him to get in and out, whenever he got tired of walking. I agree that a quality umbrella stroller works 95% of the time, though.

    Heidi @ Mt Hope’s last blog post…Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

  74. I very much agree with your list and as the mother of a 4 year old and twins (8 months) would like to add specific recommendations. The phil and Ted booster seat is fantastic–light, secure and easy to clean. I also love our city mini double stroller–also light and easy to transport and though for my first I had no need for it as he slept with us, we got a beautiful Target glider that doesn’t look like the classic gliders and I’ve gotten alot of use out of that too. Light and easy seems to be the key!
    I wonder if anyone’s experienced this: my son never liked toys but my daughters play all day and although I really don’t like buying them, I’m considering getting some just to help keep them busy. Thoughts?

  75. Hi,
    Could you please add the baby bath seat? It’s useless, dangerous and lulls the user into a false sense of security. They are responsible for many infant deaths and brain damage in recent years and yet they are still available to buy in stores.
    I know everyone knows this, but children should never be unattended near or in water. EVER.

  76. To add to the baby lotion, my pediatrician said that, with the exception of Aveeno baby, baby lotions don’t really do anything except make your baby smell good! If you really have a baby with dry skin problems (ours has eczema), she needs “good” lotion like Curel, Nivea, Eucerin, etc. All are suitable for baby.

    I think I agree with you about the travel system. We bought one because we thought that’s what everyone was supposed to do, but when I realized our baby could probably have ridden in an umbrella stroller by 3 months or so, I started wondering if we made a mistake with the monster stroller that takes up half the back of the SUV. If we had it to do over, I would reconsider. I just don’t know what you do with baby until then–carry her in a sling? That would work for short trips, but would really hurt your back for longer shopping trips or walking.

    I love our glider/ottomon combo. It it SO comfy! Ours reclines, which was a lifesaver in those early days when our baby wouldn’t sleep for more than 15 minutes unless she was snuggled up with someone.

    I might add full-size swing to the list; you don’t need a swing at all, but if you want one, a travel swing takes up so much less space and can be moved wherever you want it to.

    I buy Purex hypoallergenic “free and clear” detergent; I think it’s a good alternative to Dreft without the cost. If your baby needs the Dreft, then by all means use it, but I think most babies don’t.

    Thanks for the post!

    Jennifer’s last blog post…“What kind of Coke do you want?” “Sprite.”

  77. Question about diaper champs/genies. It seems as if they would come in handy if you have a dog, which we do. Any advice?

  78. Great points! But my question is . . . why is it that walking into a baby store just makes you want to buy all the lovely, shiny, new contraptions???? Is it that we want the best for our new bundles of joy or that we are desparately seeking something to make this rollercoaster a little less bumpy?!

    I recently delivered my third baby and my midwife who is pregnant with her third said it well in regard to people buying gifts for her new little one:
    I don’t mind using the bouncer with the spit-up stains; make me meals or chip in on a maid — it’ll be much more useful!

    find your gold star at

  79. I agree with your list, except for one – we used the grocery cart cover as more of a cushion than a germ barrier. My DS was much cozier with the cover, and when he plunked forward and bumped his head he was less likely to get a big bruise!

    I do really appreciate your pointing out that we don’t need so much junk. I’ve definitely gotten caught up in the idea that if I could just find the right product it would solve all my problems. Turns out it usually doesn’t.

  80. Oh gosh that made me LOL
    Seriously about all of those are right, although I got a glider w/ this one and I like it MUCH better than the rocker, more comfort for mama. Is it nessesary? NOPE, I didnt use the rocker at all w/ my first son. Now my second son likes to acrobat dive off of the changing table so I have to change him on a rug in the floor all the time. We have one of those changing table/dresser units but well..we dont use the changing pad cover anymore! Wipes warmers HAHAHAHA seriously, I laugh when moms buy them, or bottle warmers really. I never used either and I had them the first time, guilty!

  81. I would also list “bottle warmer” as another top item very unneeded. I just place my bottle in a hot cup of water until it’s brought to temperature.

    However, I will say that I really enjoy having my particular changing table. Everyone said that I just had to get one, but it seemed to be a big waste of money for something that is used for a very short time. And most of them are made so cheaply you wonder why anyone would ever dare put there child on one of them beyond 6 mos of age. I found one that resembles a real bookshelf. All of the necessities are contained in baskets that fit on the shelf. When we are no longer using diapers, I can remove the “guards” on top and just convert it to a shelf that can be used for toys or books. And it’s very sturdy. This way it will get many, many more years of useage. And for less than $100.

  82. Now the one thing I seriously regret is going all out to outfit the nursery – you know the coordinated bedding with the matching curtains, light covers, blankets, mobile, bumper, night light, lamp, trashcan, the whole works….! I’m such a sucker for decorating and I admit I fell for it. The biggest ripoff was the $45 mobile that was more attractive at the adult level, really nothing that interesting for the infant to look at, plus I had to wind it up myself! Not that I’m lazy, but for $45, it better have a little more bells and whistles to it! That one went right back to the store when I discovered that it was nothing more than a pretty package.

  83. My baby lotion lasted forever too, but only because it wouldn’t work on my baby’s very dry skin, so we rarely used it. I had to buy a different lotion for him.

    Alison @ This Wasn’t In The Plan’s last blog post…Pulling the Plug to Save Money

  84. Funny list – I’ve never heard of a shopping cart cover!

    Some of the items might be more necessary than others – we had two kids very close in age so we needed a double stroller (in addition to our single).

  85. I disagree and agree with this article. I think a diaper genie is a must, it traps the smell inside and you will not smell any odor when opening esp. it you clean it 2-3 x a month with pine sol. Shopping covers are used for sanitary reasons esp if the baby likes to touch everything and place fingers in their mouths and chew on everything in sight. There are many shopping carts that are not cleaned, many times I’ve found random items such as half eaten food people didn’t bother to place in the garbage. Baby detergent is necessary if the baby easily breaks out, like mine’s did, so is a form of ointment instead of lotion (that broke him out too) like aquaphor is great to have handy, they need something to lock in the moisture otherwise their skin will become dry and itchy. A stroller frame is handy when your baby is carried around in the car seat, esp living in the city, then an umberella stroller can be great afterwards. I agree with everything else in the article.

  86. Having just had baby two in the past two weeks I can say one of the things that we find most important is that you teach other siblings and friends to wash their hands before they touch the baby. There’s probably nothing that is more important.

    Heather’s last blog post…Commerce Goes Off The Cliff

  87. I LOVE this topic because even though everyone agrees there is waaaay too much baby gear, we all have different ideas of what’s handy and what’s overkill.

    EVERYONE hates on that freakin’ wipe warmer and I LOVE it! I still use it for my two year old. Granted, I don’t always keep it plugged in (never in the summer) but you have to keep wipes in SOMETHING so why not something that keeps them warm? Of course, in the end it’s not a necessity and mine was a gift.

    I have to say, my biggest “wish I hadn’t purchased” was the mother-effin’ crib. My daughter never slept in it. She moved from our bed to a twin sized bed when she turned 2.

    My biggest advice for this stuff is to not buy anything like this BEFORE your baby is born (except for diapers and clothes – buy those). See what you have a need for once your bean arrives.
    .-= Chelsea ´s last blog ..why half the stuff? =-.

  88. I agree with everything on there except for the shopping cart cover – I loved ours and appreciated it because without it, my son would lean forward and suck on the handlebar – totally gross!!! Nowadays the stores usually have the sanitizing wipes available though. Another thing you don’t really need – a bottle warmer, as well as an expensive diaper bag. But some of my favorite things included a baby monitor, a baby swing, and a good breastpump! 🙂
    .-= Jaimie´s last blog ..Finding Joy =-.

  89. I love this topic because while we all agree there is way too much baby gear out there, we all have different ideas about what’s handy and what’s crap.

    If I could go back in time and NOT buy the crib or the bucket infant seat/stroller “system”, you bet I would. My babe never slept in her crib, not one night. She screamed in that bucket seat and I loathed carrying it around. Expensive items, huge waste.

    Would have been miserable without: cradle swing, Ergo carrier, Stokke Tripp Trapp chair, baby monitor, electronic breast pump.

    My advice for expecting moms is to ask for gift cards. Don’t buy anything b/f the baby is born unless you know you’ll need it (diapers, clothes, carseat, co-sleeper – that type of stuff). Then see what you have a need for as time goes on. That doesn’t usually go over with the diaper-cake / baby-shower-game-playing crowd, though. 😉
    .-= Chelsea´s last blog ..why half the stuff? =-.

  90. This topic is so funny because it’s one that Mom and I relive each time we see another shiny new item appear that guarantees to make parenting easier (: Mom and Dad went the simple route with me…no stroller, no highchair, no changing table, no walkers or bouncy seats, or even booster seats. I remember as a kid having my favorite set of books stacked on a chair with Mom’s pretty scarf tied around my waist so I wouldn’t fall (: I haven’t started my family yet, so who knows what I’ll do, but I think the simple route will be for me.
    .-= Michele´s last blog ..Nourishing Traditions Class =-.

  91. queen stuss says:

    Great article!

    When my son was born I had the benefit of my mother (who had seven children) to tell me not to bother with this and that. The pregnancy books I read gave these long lists of things that you ‘need’ for a baby, and I had a sister-in-law who kept telling me that I ‘had to have one of these, you will find it so useful’.

    Because of living arrangements at the time, I only a had change pad on a folding table, and am very glad about that. It’s so easy to store while we are waiting (a long time) for our second baby!

    We bought three strollers – I wanted a pram that I could take walking, but then we found that when we flew down to visit my in-laws it was just too bulky, so we bought a cheap umbrella stroller. But then we went on a proper tourist holiday to Melbourne and the umbrella wasn’t going to cut it when we were walking everywhere so I found one of these half price (in last seasons colours) and it was very much worth it. I mostly ever used our pram as a shopping trolley, because my boy didn’t like sitting in it.

    I wish I’d known about those mini-highchairs BEFORE I bought a full size one, that cluttered up our dining room and now our garage.

    You can buy wipes warmers at Toys R Us where I live, in Northern Australia. Why? Why? Why? It’s ALWAYS summer here!

    The one thing that I did without quite comfortably was a nappy bag. I kept a spare nappy and a travel pack of wipes in my handbag, as well as a muslin wrap for wiping up vomit, a change mat, or a breastfeeding cover. That’s all I ever needed if I was out. If, on the odd chance my baby needed a second nappy change, or a change of clothes, I kept spares in the car. It was so easy not having to lug around a big bag full of things that I never used.

  92. As a mom of 4, I couldn’t agree more with your list! The only thing on your list we did have was a full-size high chair with our 1st child. By the time the 2nd came around, I had sold it and bought a booster we strapped to the kitchen chair – SO much easier and convenient (I could stick the whole thing in my dishwasher!!)! As far as the furniture, I dreamed of getting a glider and ottoman, but couldn’t afford it and now 14 years later, I’m glad to say the old wooden rocker I grew up with sits quietly in a corner of our living room and I wouldn’t trade it for the most expensive glider! We never used a changing table – a baby can’t roll off the floor!

  93. I absolutely regret buying the cumbersome Graco stroller that we have, it is a pain and doesn’t fold up small at all. I wish I’d have gone with one of the lovely lightweight strollers they have here in Europe! Although I did wear my son most of the time anyway when he was smaller so we didn’t even use the stroller much. I don’t even use the stroller now when I walk to get groceries, I put him in a wagon, pull him along, park it outside with the bikes and then load him up with the groceries and walk home. Much more room and he adores it!

    Absolutely agree on the other things, the price of those gliders is outrageous! If I’d managed to get a second hand one then I’m sure I’d love it, but no way will I pay for a new one. We just used an old comfy chair that doesn’t rock, when he needed rocking I just bounced him while sitting on the edge of my bed or on my exercise ball!

    Also, we didn’t have a changing table for the first couple of months until a friend gave us her old one. Admittedly it’s fairly useful for putting things on the shelves, but I wouldn’t have bought one, I used to just change him on a changing mat I made from some sponge and an old pillow sham. It was nice and portable, I’ve no idea what I’ll do with his changing table when he’s potty trained, pass it along I guess.

    We didn’t use a highchair, he sat on our laps while he ate when he was younger, we would take it in turns to hold and feed him so we could eat our own dinner. Now he’s big enough to sit on a cushion on his own.

    The shopping cart covers are the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen (no offense to anyone who has one!). I’d never seen one until I moved to the U.S. and I’ve never used one. Definitely a North American thing. The only thing I did do was prop a folded blanket behind him so that he didn’t hurt his back on the bars, that was probably unnecessary too! Before that I just wore him while grocery shopping.

    I didn’t buy a diaper/nappy bag… I just used a regular tote that I made, I sewed little pockets in it for diapers etc. Those diaper bags can be expensive and if I’m honest I really just didn’t like any of the designs I found!
    .-= Satakieli´s last blog ..Breakfast =-.

  94. Here’s my take-
    Loved my Travel system – but only had one stroller. We now have a double stroller for my 5 yr old & 8 mo old – it’s a stroller w/ a bench.
    Love my glider but it’s not the tradional one – it’s a chair that rocks – the print will look great in my living room when my little guy is older.
    Love my shopping cart cover. I’m not really a germophobic either but it made the seat more comfortable for both of my boys.
    I have the diaper genie – although the refills can be pricey- I bought another one for w/ son #2 – one for each floor.
    I use baby Aveeno on my boys. Both have excema – they NEED lotion!
    **I love my bottle warmer w/ cooler in the back (The first years) A life saver when you have a 2 story house!!
    Don’t bother with the wipe warmer – dries out the wipes.
    Ah- I didn’t even wash the new clothes for my 2nd son
    I also didn’t use those bottle sterilzers. Just hot soapy water.
    I had a full size high chair with my 1st son – hated it! It took up so much room! Now I have a full size high chair that attaches to a regular chair – Love it!!
    .-= Lynne @ Our Happy Home´s last blog ..Valentine’s Day 2010 =-.

  95. Great post! I agree with most of these items, but one item we have gotten a ton of mileage out of is the shopping cart cover! I am not a germaphobe at all, but I use it because it makes the cart so comfy for her – shopping trips are much more pleasant with it. I even link on some small toys. When I don’t use it, she is twisting and turning and wriggling herself out of the cart. When she was smaller, I’d use it on highchairs at restaurants – it provided the extra cushion that she needed in back to support her.

  96. samarahuel says:

    I want to say that I think you do need baby lotion, though not for the fragrance. But my little one needs a little moisturization, and our doctor always stresses to lotion him up daily. I admit sometimes I do it every other day, but I try to make sure to put a little on his face every day, and always after baths (which we only do once a week and when he’s dirty/stinky). We were on vacation this winter and found that after a few days of neglecting the lotion, his face was getting a bit dry and chapped looking. Poor little guy! I use Aveeno Daily Baby lotion, and I also have used the more concentrated Aveeno Baby lotion for eczema. I think it’s a worthwhile purchase, as I also use it for my own eczema flare-ups.

    We got a glider free from someone, and I find it much more relaxing when tryongt to coax a fussy baby to sleep than rocking my own body. That was fine, but when you’re tired and cranky too, it’s not so fun. I still don’t think the glider is ideal, though. I find it too narrow for holding my baby to nurse, and the uncushioned wooden arms uncomfortable for me and the baby’s head. My ideal chair will have the ability to swivel, rock, and recline, with wide, cushioned arms. When I find it, I’ll let you know.

  97. My addition to the list? Baby gyms. You know the ones. The floor pad with the criss-cross bars and dangling toys. When my son was small enough for his, he wasn’t interested in the toys… just napping. When he was old enough to enjoy the toys, he was ready to be on the move (rolling, scooting, etc.) and the bars just got in his way. If you’re worried about your floors, just put down a big blanket. Let him play freely with you and other toys.
    .-= Toni Turbeville´s last blog ..GREEN LIVING TIP OF THE WEEK : The bags =-.

  98. I have two boys and did without a lot of the things mentioned here. Great post!
    .-= Caroline Starr Rose´s last blog ..Critique Group Magic =-.

  99. Jason McDuggin says:

    This post is near to my heart – I kept questioning all of the little things my wife bought before we had our first. The thing is some things were necessary for #1 and not for #2. We used the pack n play a little bit for our first, but not much for the second; in the end we never really needed it.

    The glider was a total waste, glad we bought it on CL and passed in to another momma on CL.

    I thought the multiple slings my wife had were a waste, and we could only share 1, because I wasn’t going to wear her girly patterns. The ergo was a good choice.

    You missed: specifically designed as Diaper Bag bags. Just use a backpack or a large bag you would carry any day.

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