Things you don’t need for a new baby… but “they” say you do

Expecting parents know the gauntlet of baby gear pushed and prodded their way through the store’s aisles. Modern-day culture all but guilts the average parent-to-be that they’ll fail at the 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.

As a mom of three, I gradually learned what was genuinely useful, and what’s just sold to us as “necessary.” Here are the baby items I did just fine without.

1. More than one stroller

Instead of going with multiple sizes of strollers, we use one well-made stroller.

stroller
Photo source

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 was well-made with sturdy wheels. Two babies, 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. I decided I didn’t need to do it with my kids—and they almost never get sick. We over-sanitize our culture as it is, and within reason, everyday items like shopping carts are perfectly safe for most kids.

(After extensive global travel, I’ll say this seems 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 warmer wipe, without the extra cost or clutter.

4. Full-size highchair

We were given a hand-me-down large highchair for our second baby, and I can honestly report that having a giant 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.

baby hands food

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 with a foot lever. We keep it outside, and this simple method has kept our home much less smelly than an indoor diaper pail. Plus side: when you’re out of diapers, you still have a useful trash can.

With cloth diapers, use a simple wet bag as the trash can liner and you can just keep it indoors. (I promise, it’s smell-proof.)

5. Baby detergent

I know there are special cases when 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.

We simply stick with eco-friendly, fragrance-free powder for all the laundry (I like Charlie’s Soap).

baby mom

6. Changing table

With our oldest, my carpenter husband made a nifty, catch-all piece of furniture with shelves and a dowel for hanging dresses. 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.

7. Glider

I don’t love the design aesthetics of a classic glider, and they’re expensive. The wooden rocking chair I inherited from my grandmother worked just fine with our babies. If you don’t have one already, go for a rocking chair that looks good in your main living space.

8. Baby lotion

Babies have the softest, sweetest-smelling skin on their own, and I can’t think of any lotion that would enhance it. Most of the time, they just don’t need it—especially if you use gentle, non-drying soap.

p.s.—The basics I think you do need for a newborn.

You can say no to constant busyness.

To lead your family with peace, you need to know your NOs and YESes. But what are they?

Like Your Life can help you figure them out.

222 Comments

  1. Laine Chambers

    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

    • simplemom

      Absolutely on the issues with your particular family. Just goes to show you how personal most of these decisions are.

  2. Sara

    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

    • Amey

      I recommend using the kitchen sink! Perfect height.
      .-= Amey´s last blog ..Cheap labor =-.

    • The Working Mum

      I used the bathroom sink, then a big green rubber bucket/tub that became her toy holder when she graduated to the bath.
      .-= The Working Mum´s last blog ..Rack off, lady! =-.

      • Hera_Caine

        I used a $3 mop bucket for all of my kids after they can hold their heads up. They fit right in and were so much easier to wash and I wasn’t afraid of them slipping out of my grasp. My sister loves to sew and she made a cover for the lip of the bucket out of an old towel!

  3. melissa oat

    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!
    melissa

  4. Krista

    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

    • Erin

      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 (http://www.jbfsale.com/default.cfm) 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. Karen

    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*

    • Michelle

      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!

      • Amey

        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.

        • Cara Riggles

          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!

        • Jean

          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”).

        • Rachel

          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. Kelly from Almost Frugal

    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. Nikki

    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

    • simplemom

      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.

    • Erin

      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. B

    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.

    • Angie

      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

        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

    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. Jenn in Maine

    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.

    • simplemom

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

      • Mandi @ Organizing Your Way

        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 =-.

        • Kelly

          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.

          • Sara

            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

          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).

          • rache

            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.

    • Erin OK @ it's OK

      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. Deb

    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 bathtub..one 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. Cat

    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

    • Lucie @ Unconventional Origins

      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

    • simplemom

      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.

      • AgnesMinerva

        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

    • sara

      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.

      • Anitra

        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. Lucie @ Unconventional Origins

    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

    • simplemom

      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. Marti

    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. Kelly

    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. ruth ann

    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. Deanna

    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….

    • Lucie @ Unconventional Origins

      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

    • Tara

      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. stephaniesmommybrain

    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. Tara

    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. babynow8

    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!

    • simplemom

      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. Peter

    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.

    • Lucie @ Unconventional Origins

      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

        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. Lisa

    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 http://apconnect.org/2008/09/20/what-not-to-buy-for-a-new-baby/ — 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

  23. Shannon B

    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!

    • simplemom

      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. 🙂

  24. anna

    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

  25. arah

    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…

  26. Stephanie

    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

  27. tara

    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=”http://www.growbabygreen.com/?p=29″ 10 products not to buy.

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

  28. Vicki

    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

  29. Vicki

    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

  30. meagan

    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.

  31. teri

    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

  32. Christy

    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.

    • simplemom

      Good ideas, Christy. I do have a things I do love and find useful in the works. I’ll get to posting it soon.

  33. marla

    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…

  34. Kyndale Pease

    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!

    • simplemom

      Well said – very true.

      • Kelly from Almost Frugal

        Oh, I loved my exersaucer! We’ve actually had three- one for each kid. You can only use them for about three to four months- from the time that the baby can hold it’s trunk upright, but can’t really sit on its own, to when they start crawling, but they were invaluable tools during that time for my kids. We bought each of our exersaucers used- for about €20- and sold them again for the same price. I LOVED them.

        Kelly from Almost Frugal’s last blog post…Got Five Minutes? Thirteen Five Minute Tools to Help You Save Money

  35. Sarah

    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!

  36. patti

    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

  37. Deb

    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

  38. LivSimpl.com

    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. 😉

  39. Mrs. Priss

    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

  40. Marisa

    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.

  41. K Wahl

    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 🙂

  42. Mama K

    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

  43. Mikki Roo

    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

  44. Jenny

    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!

  45. Mommy2Twinkies

    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

  46. Alison

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

    Great post 🙂

    • simplemom

      Noted. 🙂

  47. bee

    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).

  48. simplemom

    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.

  49. Stephanie

    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…

  50. Elizabeth

    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

  51. Lisa

    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.

  52. Leslie

    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

  53. Josie

    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

    • Kelly from Almost Frugal

      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.

  54. Kristy

    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. 🙂

  55. Lora

    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

  56. Zoe

    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.

  57. CC

    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

    • Cara Riggles

      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 =-.

  58. Tammy

    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 Amazon.com, 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.

  59. Melissa

    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…

  60. Tori

    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!

  61. JoMama

    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!

  62. Gram

    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.

  63. Sarah

    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.

  64. Suzie Sews

    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…

  65. Kimberly

    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.

  66. Katie

    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

  67. Heather

    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

  68. AnnMarie Johnson

    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!

    • Mara

      They do exist and this is the “high chair” we have that attaches to a regular chair and we LOVE LOVE LOVE! I had a “regular” high chair for my eldest (now 12), but have used this for my now 25mo and 5mo.
      http://www.fisher-price.com/fp.aspx?st=2002&e=demo&pid=35236

  69. Allison

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

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

  70. Heidi @ Mt Hope

    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

  71. Shoshana

    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?

  72. Poppy

    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.

  73. Jennifer

    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.”

  74. Angela

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

  75. Becky

    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 goldstarmoms.blogspot.com

  76. wrongshoes

    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.

  77. Kristen

    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!

  78. Amanda

    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.

  79. Amanda

    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.

  80. Alison @ This Wasn't In The Plan

    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

  81. ABCs of Investing

    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).

  82. Doretha

    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.

  83. Heather

    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

  84. Chelsea

    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? =-.

  85. Jaimie

    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 =-.

  86. Chelsea

    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? =-.

  87. Michele

    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 =-.

  88. queen stuss

    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 http://www.quicksmartbaby.com/easy-fold-stroller/ 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.

  89. mary s

    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!

  90. Satakieli

    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 =-.

  91. Lynne @ Our Happy Home

    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 =-.

  92. lilysmama

    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.

  93. samarahuel

    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.

  94. Toni Turbeville

    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 =-.

  95. Caroline Starr Rose

    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 =-.

  96. Jason McDuggin

    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.

  97. Beth Young

    I didn’t have any of the things you mentioned with the exception of Baby Lotion. We like Aveeno for their sensitive skin. My little babies get red dry patches at times. Other than that, I can say that I’m right along with you.

    Instead of a changing table, we have a large dresser that sits a little low. We use that for our changing table and once we are finished with that, we’ll just use it as we would a dresser.

  98. Jessica

    Put the changing pad on the floor!!! You do not need to have a specific changing table or even a cleared dresser. Not only is it very easy (I would just slide the pad under the crib when not in use) but you never have the worry about the baby falling off furniture. It was especially great during those months when the baby is so wiggly that the use of your leg as a third arm becomes necessary (veteran moms know what I am talking about!)

    For that matter you do not even need a plushy pad. A thick towel works just as well.

    And I agree with the suggestion of using a highchair that pulls up to the table. If you do not want to use a travel one that straps to an existing chair consider a tray-less version that pulls right up to the table. We used one from Ikea once the baby could sit up. MUCH easier to clean!

  99. Lindsey@ Mama Sews

    we didn’t have a lot of those things either, just a full size high chair since we only had a table with two chairs when the first one was born. before we had our surprise 3rd baby, we had gotten rid of a good many things. So when he came along, i didn’t want to buy a bunch of stuff so we’ve pared it down even more than before.

    I’m all about simplifying!
    .-= Lindsey@ Mama Sews´s last blog ..Crayon Ice Cubes =-.

  100. natalie

    i WISH i had known about the full – size high chair as those things are expensive! my 2nd daughter uses the snap on, and it’s so much easier to clean and less obtrusive too. couldn’t agree more about the changing table too. there are way too many gimicky things out there taking advantage of baby showers and new nervous moms.

    i have to say though that i LOVED having a snap in stroller piece for the infant car seat, so i technically had 2 strollers in the beginning and i wouldn’t change that.

  101. Jen @ Canadian Rhapsody

    My only recommendation would be for parents with children with food allergies. My friend’s daughter has had reactions a number of times while sitting in a cart, due to previous users having peanut butter on their hands, or feeding their child in it something with peanut butter.

    But within normal reason, I don’t think a little dirt and some germs are too harmful. And most stores have wipes when you first walk in that you can wipe down the handle with if its flu season.
    .-= Jen @ Canadian Rhapsody´s last blog ..Happy Valentine’s and Family Day! =-.

  102. Sara

    Yes! Before I had our now-16-month-old, two friends took me to Babies ‘R’ Us to create a registry. I happily went along with whatever they suggested, but later brought the list to my mom and said, “Okay, now tell me what I actually DO need.” So helpful!

  103. Mary Beth

    Great post. I’m with ya on everything except the glider. I agree that it’s not a necessity (few things really are, right?), but I consider it to be a piece of furniture sent down from heaven for mommies. I can’t possibly fathom how many hours I’ve spent in it, and it’s the thing I miss most when we’re away from home. My in-laws have an heirloom rocker that my husband’s grandfather and his descendants (including my husband) were rocked in but I have never sat in anything so uncomfortable, and it skates across the floor within a couple of minutes of rocking. My sister has a similar one and hates it. I think mine, including ottoman, was $250 at Target and I got it as a shower gift from my closest friends, who went in together on it as a way of being “with me” when I rock my babies. So precious.

    Is it a need? Of course not, especially if you already have a rocker that’s comfortable and works properly (I do think every mommy should have a rocker of some kind). But for those who can possibly afford one or want to put a big ticket item on a registry, a glider is worth every penny, IMO.

  104. KD

    Everyone has their thoughts and feelings on the subject, so I’m going to include mine. 🙂

    Shopping carts are extremely dirty. If your child chews on them or puts his/her hand on it and then sticks hands in mouth … well, it’s as if your child is licking the inside of a toilet bowl essentially. (Or so says the research I’ve read.) I like that it’s more comfy and protects somewhat from the germs. My babies get enough of those crawling around on the floor. Now if you never wash the cover, that’s another story…

    As a gift, I acquired a Bumbo Seat for #3. I even got the tray! It was a waste of money for us. The “portable” high chair worked just as well for sitting and was easier to keep the baby contained.

    I think this just proves to me the benefit of buying on Craigslist and used gear stores. You don’t spend as much on something you might not really be able to use, and you’re not creating more waste with a new soon-to-be-unloved item and the packaging of said item!

    • Tsh

      Amen to Craigslist, et al! I can’t imagine buying anything used these days.

      And I know many people are skiddish to go without the shopping cart covers. All I’m saying is that I’ve never used them with my kids, and they’re hardly ever sick, and I find it really interesting that the only country where I’ve ever seen them is in the U.S. I’m sure they’re elsewhere, but it just seems to be a primarily American phobia with germs (where, ironically, we’re making ourselves so immune to germs that it’s backfiring).

      Thanks for everyone’s $.02 — I know everyone could write their own list on the topic!

      • Julie Andreen

        One of the main reasons I use a cart cover is that babies, including mine, like to MOUTH everything….just found that really unsanitary…and gross! : )

  105. Alisha

    Hmm….I’m on baby #3 and I’ve had all of these things each time and been very glad I did. Used ’em all and was so happy to have ’em! I’m a total germaphobe and after my Mom’s incident of pushing around a cart with poop smeared all over the handle…well, let’s just say, I don’t leave home without my cart cover!!

  106. Mary Beth

    Oh, regarding the registry list…

    We LOVE the Big Sister book. Adorable.

    The Bumbo is a love-or-hate thing, in my experience. It’s expensive, and a lot of babies don’t take to it (mine didn’t – thank God I borrowed one instead of wasting my money). We used a bouncy seat during the newborn stage, and then switched to the Fisher Price Healthy Care Booster when they were able to sit up with some assistance, since the tray helps to keep the baby in place. It can be used on the floor (if it’s secured to something) and of course attached to a regular chair for feeding. Love it.

    The Ergo is great – I’m just not a baby wearer and figured that out too late so I sold it on Craigslist. I use a Hotsling when I need to carry the baby and have my hands free. I got mine used for about $10, and I love it especially because I can roll it up and keep it in the diaper bag in case I might need it when I’m out somewhere.

    Gotta love the Pack n Play. We got the most basic model with bassinet insert for about $60 and it’s perfect – anything more would have been a waste of money. I have no idea why we didn’t do this with our first child, but for our second we used it as a bassinet in our room for the first few weeks and then did the transition to the crib in her room when she started sleeping longer stretches. Invaluable, also for for naps at someone else’s house or for driving trips (we did put it in a suitcase and take it on a plane trip once when we knew there wouldn’t be one at our destination, so it’s doable!!).

  107. Faith

    I think if you have twins, multiples or more than one child under 2, the list may be revised. For our family a changing table was a MUST. Nothing like changing a poopy diaper and having another child trying to “help” and sticking their hands in it. Some of our favorite moments and cutest pictures have been taken on the changing table while playing with the babies one-on-one. Not to mention, having the desitin and thermometer ‘right there” is very helpful as well! Ours are almost 2 and we still use it daily! Granted, ours is in our living room, since that is the ‘central’ point in our home and easier than taking kids up and downstairs everytime we have to change a diaper. (OFTEN with twins!) Our kids never tried to roll off the changing table, but OFTEN tried to roll of the couch when changing diapers at someone else’s home!)

    A Boppy was also a ‘must have” for us. When you hold babies practically 24/7 (because as soon as you feed one, the other is ready to eat again and your arms are TIRED!) It was also fantastic for our daughter who has reflux as far as positioning her. When they were old enough to hold their own bottles and I could “prop” them if I needed to do something (like run to the restroom!) Now we use them as regular pillows for mom & dad. Perfect head/neck alignment. 🙂

    A double ‘snap-in’ stroller was a ‘must-have’ for us also. Two babies in infant seats at once – TOO HEAVY to carry. Didn’t have to take them out of their infant seats and they slept through the entire trip to the store . Also very handy when traveling with infants!!!! We bought a front/back double stroller and only used it on one major trip because we were unsure if our jogger would fit through security. I think that was the last time we used it.(Fortunately we bought it used on Craigslist.) We use our double-jogger DAILY – for walks or trips to the store. The kids are MUCH happier being side-by-side than front/back. Many double side-by-sides are made to fit through standard doors nowadays.

    Baby Lotion IS essential for us. Most hospitals recommend it also. Think about it – babies are in FLUID for ~40 weeks. They need to be moisturized. We used Aveeno Baby – no scent and moisturized perfectly. (The smell of J&J lotions made me sick!) Lotioning up became part of our bedtme routine and helped almost completely alleviate our son’s eczema. Human touch is powerful and important even for babies. Even at almost 2 years old it is part of our soothing and relaxing bedtime routine. And they really DO have the softest skin!!

    We used the expensive ‘baby’ detergent early on, but switched to Purex Baby and ALL Free & Clear as my son’s eczema improved. For kids with eczema or other skin problems, a ‘sensitive’ detergent is important.

    A baby bathtub was essential for us also. When there is only one parent with free hands (because the other is keeping the other(s) entertained,) it is the safest way to go! And we didn’t have to clean the sink out each time before we had to bath them. Like when they puke or poop all over and you need them in a bath NOW.

    Our biggest Disappointment? Fullsize “space-saver” highchairs. (A gift.) How often do you REALLY fold up a highchair?? Not to mention, cleaning them SUCKS. We only used them for about 6 months and then bought Fisher Price portable highchairs = MUCH BETTER! Easier to clean, kids pull right up to table in ‘real’ chairs. They have made our life much easier and now our almost 2 year olds LOVE THEIR “BIG CHAIRS” and don’t try to escape them.

    I kept stating “FOR US” in my comment simply because it really is a personal decision of what is best for each family. We didn’t buy a lot of stuff ‘up-front’ and bought things as we discovered a need for them. (A Boppy was an early purchase! Like day 2!) There were still plenty of other things that got little use, but overall we used everything mentioned above DAILY.

    • Tsh

      I’m going to write a “things you DO need” post soon. So some of the things you mentioned will get mentioned in an upcoming post — it’s just not in this one yet. 🙂

      I agree with a lot of your reasons for the things you needed, but we still didn’t need the actual thing, if that makes sense.

      For instance, I agree that it helps to change a diaper up high, out of other kids’ reach. But you don’t need an official changing table for that. You can use a pad on top of a dresser.

      I also agree that touch is really important. But you don’t necessarily need baby lotion for that either.

      Everyone has their own unique circumstances, so everyone has their own “lists.” Thanks for sharing yours!

  108. Donna

    Due to very generous family and friends I wound up with all of the things on your list. Never used the wipes warmer. Only briefly used the diaper genie, for me it just made the whole process so much more complicated. I gave up on it rather quickly. Never had a changing table, the floor worked for me. Did have several strollers, but didn’t use the full size ones all that much. I had a full size highchair but in our small dining room it took up way too much space and it always seemed like the baby was off to the side instead of eating at the table with the rest of us. I will say that by baby # 3 I had learned a lot. He never slept in a crib or had a bottle. Wasn’t in the stroller much at all. I used a sling instead. I donated almost all of our baby stuff because now I know if there is a baby #4 in our future, I won’t be using so much “stuff”. Another thing I would add to your list is a baby swing. Mine took up so much room. I know there are smaller versions out now, but another problem I had with my first baby was that it became too easy to use it to calm him down or keep him occupied. I was putting him in the swing when I should have just stopped what I was doing and soothed and entertained him myself. They can be useful when used sparingly, but when you’re tired and busy and overwhelmed, the swing can be so tempting. Luckily I learned to slow down and focus on what really matters before it was too late.

  109. Melanie

    All in all, I mostly agree with this. There are alot of unneccessary items purchased by parents & alot of money wasted on things we don’t really need. However, the one on the list I disgree with is the stroller. I actually have three strollers, one small umbrella stroller I use for quick shopping trips. It is light, small & easy to handle. I also have a jogging stroller, which is essential for running. It is really too big & cumbersome to drag out for shopping trips. I also have a sit/stand stroller for when I need to transport both my baby & toddler at the same time.

  110. Ivy Mae

    I agree with all of that except the lotion one–we adopted an African American infant and his poor skin has been so tight and dry this winter. We only bathe him completely once a week (he’s not crawling yet) and have to definintely lotion him several times a week with shea butter lotion.
    .-= Ivy Mae´s last blog ..Family Matters =-.

  111. Anna

    I couldn’t agree more with almost everything on your list. When we started out as foster parents 2 1/2 years ago we had 3 kids under 15 months old. So obviously we needed more than one stroller. But our diaper genie always filled up so quickly and the liners seemed like an unecesary expense, so we eventually switched to a trash can in the garage. (I also continually scraped my fingers on the cutting mechanism inside. Could never figure out how to change the liners without getting myself hurt!)

    We adopted all three children and are now fostering the 7-month bio brother ofour two sons. I think he’s only been changed on the changing table once or twice! (Partly b/c it’s upstairs and he spends most of his time downstairs.)

  112. Susan

    Pregnant with my third, I think I’m qualified to put my two cents in! I do agree that most of the items are personal preference, but with my first, I definitely got caught up in “what I should have” for my baby. That being said, I think that there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a few convenience items-when your baby is three months old, you aren’t getting any sleep, everyone is tired, hungry and cranky-that’s when those items can bring some relief!

    I will say that I still love my diaper genie, both kids loved the exersaucer (I’d try to buy used), a changing table and baby bath on a stand was a necessity for me with a bad back, I love my Johnson&Johnson baby wash and lotion-love that baby smell and is nice for their skin, I am a stroller freak (most were bought used) but I live in the city and you simply must have a good, sturdy stroller (at the moment I love my double stroller), and I definitely recommend the Stokke brand highchair. This highchair grows with your child (doesn’t look like a highchair) and they are in it until they are seven years old. Worth it!

    As far as telling people not to buy gifts-forget it! They will anyway! Half of the fun is picking out a cute toy and watching it being opened (besides, I’ve learned its not proper etiquette!) I do request Dutch books (my husband’s language) and luckily books are a popular baby gift here in the Netherlands, but only if I’m asked!

    To the new Mommy’s: if you are unsure about something, ask a mom you know that has the particular item. You don’t need to buy EVERYTHING before the birth, you can wait to see if you really need it. And if you get a ton of gifts for your shower, just enjoy it! You can always donate things you don’t find useful. Having a baby (and getting married) are the two times in your life where you will be spoiled with things you need and want (or not!) Getting ready for my third, I know that most of my baby items will be used again! Best wishes to all Mamas!

    • Susan

      I forgot to add, that I have both a baby swing and a bouncy seat. My first loved the swing, the second loved the bouncy seat. You see, the babies have their preferences too! One last thing, a playpen (called a “box” here!) is a necessity! There WILL be times when its just safer to put the baby in there, while you answer the door, finish dinner, run upstairs, whatever. It’s not a babysitter, but definitely well worth the investment! Hope this helps!

  113. Anna

    One more thing, just like Ivy Mae, our adopted daughter is African American, so lotion is a must!
    .-= Anna´s last blog ..Adoption Update =-.

  114. Ashley

    I have to agree with pretty much everything you said.

    We do have two strollers (one umbrella and one “heavy-duty” carseat adaptable), but we were given both of them, and now that we have two kids, having two strollers has come in handy multiple times.

    And, I would have MUCH rather had a portable high chair than the full-sized one we have (our first one cost $3 at a garage sale, and when it broke, we got our second one for free), but since we have the space, it’s not a huge concern.

    One thing I would HIGHLY recommend all moms have, though, is a baby carrier of some kind. We’ve used a snuggli pack with our kids, but I’m planning to “swing” it with our next one.
    .-= Ashley´s last blog ..Links to Live By… =-.

  115. Jane

    Hi hi hi, after five kids, there were things on your list I didn’t even know existed!!! My favorite baby item was my sling. All of them went in it, rarely needed a stroller. Oh, and the king size bed. That has been a life saver (or a sleep saver!)

    • Jennifer

      Yes!!! A king size bed, I wish our bedroom could fit two!!
      .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Happy Sun Day =-.

  116. Jenn

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I ended with some of these things on you list through baby showers and gifts from relatives. The baby wipe warmer dried out our wipes so I never used it. I got a Diaper Genie and didn’t use it after the first month because it stank up my daughter’s room too badly. I just put the diaper in with the rest of the kitchen trash unless it was nuclear then it immediately outside. Loved my portable high chair! It went everywhere with us…restaurants, trips, even family picnics! I even used their crib as a changing station since all the bedroom furniture was tall. There are so many things I got for each new baby but other than diapers, wipes, and clothes-I didn’t use much of the other stuff! Great article!
    .-= Jenn´s last blog ..Contest Alert – Enter to Win an Apple iPod Touch =-.

  117. Jennifer

    With our first child we set up a super cute nursery. We ended up not using that room (or the crib in it) except for storing baby’s clothes and diaper changing station in. We did change his diapers in there and I enjoyed the room as I did, but I now believe that it wasn’t necessary and we didn’t set up a nursery for either of our subsequent daughters. Our daughters were born in our bed and that is where all of the sleeping, changing of diapers, lots of the nursing and playtime took place. We are now pregnant with number four and what I really, really want is an upholstered, swivel, rocking chair, maybe even on wheels, so that I can spend time in the same room as our other children as I nurse and not be sequestered to the bedroom. So we’re scouring garage sales on the weekends. Last weekend we found a double jogging stroller and nabbed it for $40, I like it especially since the seat backs recline so the baby can sleep in it and sister, who’ll be 3 when the baby comes can get a ride when her legs get tired. We’re also going to borrow a video baby monitor from a friend so that I can homeschool our others without running to the bedroom to stare at the baby every few minutes 🙂 Other than those items, our Ergo carrier, clean clothes and clean diapers are about it!

  118. Shayla

    Very good article! The only thing I would add is that I think the chemical free laundry detergent is a must. I know mine reacted to it with skin rashes, and I have since learned regular, chemical laden detergents are very bad for people. The Environmental Working Group has found around 300 chemicals in babies, so I think going chemical free is vital for a healthy wee one!
    .-= Shayla´s last blog ..Antibiotics and Children =-.

  119. Julie Andreen

    Great article. I have to disagree with a couple of things, though. The shopping cart cover has been EXTREMELY useful. My daughter, like so many other kids, loves to mouth EVERYTHING….and that includes nasty cart handles, attachments, etc. The cover keeps her from doing that. I could not handle her sucking on that. Sorry. Of course, I suppose you could make your own, use a towel, etc., but for $12, I was happy to just buy one.

    I also liked having more than one stroller. One is a lightweight “umbrella,” and the other is the kind that you attach a carseat into when they are young. I can’t imagine trying to carrying a car seat, purse and diaper bag all at one time…yikes! The travel system also is stronger, has more heavy-duty wheels, etc. It’s especially great if you’re going out for the day and need to cart around a lot of stuff. Umbrella strollers typically don’t have much storage space.

    I agree on the other stuff — especially the wipe warmer and special diaper pail. The wipe warmer dries out the wipes and the dirty diapers get taken out often enough anyway. Save your $$ folks.

  120. Julie Andreen

    Oh, and I agree with the special baby detergent thing too. We just use the non-scented “free” variety and everything has been just fine. The special baby stuff – unless your kid has very severe issues – is just too expensive.

  121. rhiannon

    We went through a lot of discussion about our registry when it was time for showers for our little guy. Having grown up in a large family, I knew most things were completely unnecessary. We ended up getting a portable crib with attached bassinet and used it until he was big enough to need a crib, a carseat, a sling and lots of books!
    My friends think we’re nuts but we use these things all the time! And my guy seems pretty happy!
    We opted out of the stroller, baby bath, dresser for baby, diaper bag, and lots of clothes because he just wore jammies and onesies for the most part. Though I have to say, next time I will try to have a few super cute clothes for church. 😉
    The best thing about not having it all at the beginning is that it forces you to really evaluate if you need it all. It has made me much more mindful of the waste we are told is necessarily involved in having a baby. Not true!
    .-= rhiannon´s last blog ..What kind of mama are you? =-.

    • rhiannon

      Oh I for got to say, my sling has been a lifesaver for a grocery cart/restaurant high chair cover! Its amazing how necessity IS the mother of invention!
      .-= rhiannon´s last blog ..What kind of mama are you? =-.

  122. Rani

    I just went to the Launrdy link you provided and purchased a sample to try. Just know these are great for the whole family, is something I have been looking for…,who needs to have four different kinds of detergent when you can only have one!!!! Thanks for the info!
    .-= Rani´s last blog ..Happy Heart Day to you! =-.

    • Tsh

      I can’t say enough good things about Laundry Tree. Their soapnuts are fabulous. Tell Lisa I sent you… She’ll hook you up. 😉

  123. Leslie

    oh my, this article is fabulous. I have a newborn, and I actually just gave away my crib this week – I just don’t really use it and it takes up so much space. I have a pack and play/playpen thing that is much smaller and more practical for me.
    .-= Leslie´s last blog ..Some Thoughts on Behavior =-.

  124. Helen

    I have 2 kids and havign my third in a few weeks and we have done without all those things. I have never ever seen a cart cover. I we have 1 stroller which takes a doubles seat either on the top or the back. My 4 year old son has walked since he was 2 (and I don’t drive) and I wear my babies anyway.
    As for wipes, I keep mine dry and wet them with warm water when needed. I use cloth wipes anyway. We Baby led wean so I have a high chair that clips onto my table. My 4 year old just sits at the table on a normal chair. I have just gotten my first dedicated changing space (on-top of my new babies dresser). Before now the bed, the floor, pretty much anywhere has worked for a changing table. As for a baby bath, my kids at a few months old are way to long. The normal bath works fine/or the sink.
    .-= Helen´s last blog ..Launch of Simple Living Media =-.

  125. Stephanie

    I’m a stroller collector 🙁 We started out with a regular stroller that came with a car seat because I knew I wouldn’t be able to carry my baby in a sling forever. Once they hit 25lbs, it’s hard to take long walks with them in a sling. But then when I took up running again (cross-country girl in high school), I needed a jogging stroller. We found a used one on craigslist still with plenty of miles in it. And then when we had our 2nd child and I started getting into triathlons, I realized that we would need yet another stroller – a double jogging stroller – since my husband and I run together and the girls have to come with us. It doubles as a bike trailer though, and we got it used for dirt cheap, so it was well worth it. So we have lots of strollers. I guess it’s really more based on lifestyle, how many kids you have, and if they come with you when you run/bike.

  126. Kathryn

    Thanks so much for injecting some sanity into the discussion about what new parents “need.” As the wife of a European, I agree that it’s always interesting to see what families in other (developed) countries do without–Europeans have so much less stuff than Americans, yet their countries consistently rank higher in quality-of-life surveys. Clearly, all the extra space in our houses and cars and all the extra stuff isn’t necessary for living well.
    We did without most of the things you mentioned and never missed them. Even with a child with super-sensitive skin, we didn’t need baby detergent. All Free & Clear was just fine for us; in fact, we have friends whose kids can’t tolerate Dreft but will tolerate All or Seventh Generation.
    A couple of things you forgot:
    1. A separate room for baby–one room per child is never a necessity!
    2. Convertible cribs and/or toddler beds. What a huge waste of money! Use a standard (much cheaper) crib or a pack-and-play until baby outgrows it, then transfer him/her to a regular bed. If you’re concerned about falls, use a rail or put the mattress and boxsprings on the floor.
    And I agree with Jason: diaper bags are big waste of money. Backpacks are roomier, easier to carry, and easy to share between parents.

  127. jeana

    I agree with your list! Having three boys, we never used/needed any of that stuff. Even the baby lotion, we use chemical free lotions on all of us, no need to buy anything different in our situation. Great list!

  128. Sonja

    Baby swings and exersaucers… I could never get the point of those. Also, we got a Bumbo because people raved about it, and it was completely useless for us.
    I was going to go changing-table-less, but ended up getting a used one from a friend because changing him on the bed was killing my back. Also, as it turned out, he was much more apt to lie still when on the table.
    I think the lesson I learned is to buy as little as possible before baby arrives, and once you know your baby and her/his needs, get necessities.

  129. Dana

    I agree with everything except the glider. I agree they are expensive and we were fortunate to receive one from my mother-in-law as a gift, but the glider has been the most useful, used, loved, adored piece of baby anything we have. I still rock my 2 year old before bed each night and having the padded arms and even motion of the back-and-forth makes for a seemless, quiet, smooth ride for both of us.

    I love my glider!

  130. Melodie

    I never used my crib. Thought I would, but didn’t. Also, you don’t need baby powder or vaseline. Some people get by without a stroller at all and instead get a baby carrier. I advise parents to forego a lot of the stuff they think they need until after the baby is born.
    .-= Melodie´s last blog ..How and Why I Became Vegetarian =-.

  131. Carrie

    As a cloth diapering momma, I have to disagree with the wipe warmer, I use mine to store our cloth wipes in a little water and a drizzle of Dr. Bronner’s, works like a charm.

  132. MB Squared

    My oldest has ecezema, so my pediatrician suggested regular laundry detergent that was fragrance free. Much less pricey than the baby detergent, and I use it for all of our clothes. I received as a shower gift a brand name fancy diaper pail which after one week, I gave away. I could not stand the latrine smell in the nursery.

  133. Debra

    I could have written this! I agree with all of it. Although I did have 3 strollers (one ‘cadillac’ stroller with the cup holder, basket below the seat, etc., one jogger and one umbrella (used for travel)). Two were gifts – the umbrella one I bought for $19.99 & it traveled all over the world with us (even to Australia). The one other thing we didn’t get was a swing. Most people thought I was crazy but it worked for us and I never missed having one. There were other things I thought we needed more so I went with that, figuring I could buy a swing later if I changed my mind but I never did.
    .-= Debra´s last blog ..What would you do? =-.

  134. Jen

    Great post! I agree with almost everything on your list.

    I have a single and double stroller. Baby #2 and #3 were only 20 months apart so a double sure was handy. I used it all the time but we had our single with baby #1 and as #2 got older and didn’t always need to be in a stroller I started using the single more and more. As we begin to prepare for baby #4 I know I’ll be using the double again.

    Our first baby was born overseas in a third world country. We were so limited in what we could take with us from the states and what we could buy over there so we made due with very little. No shopping cart cover, no wipes warmer, no baby detergent, etc. She was just fine and is actually the healthiest of our kids. Since we were fine without all the extras this culture tells us we need, we really didn’t get much more for our second and third babies, who were both born in the US. The one thing I did get and absolutely loved was the Moby Wrap. I’m excited to be able to use it again with #4!

  135. jjlaughing

    I could not agree more with all of what you said! We had four in 5 years and by the time we were on 3&4 we had implemented getting rid of those items. WE walked the diapers out to the covered trash in the garage…and had a small high chair, changed diapers on a dresser (we always did this) with room temp wipes, had the same double stroller that we had from the beginning…

    Thanks…nice to know that I am not the only one.

  136. Jena

    Great topic here! From your list, I used the stroller and, um…that’s it. We also did the changing pad-on-top-of-the-dresser thing and improvised the high chair. We did have a high chair, but it soon gave way to a seat that attached to the table or a chair. So much more space efficient and portable!

    It’s hard to resist all those things because we want to be good parents and give our children everything they need, but in the end, I found those things just cluttered and complicated my life.

  137. Ashley

    I totally agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Especially with the bulky high chair and diaper genie!! Used both with my first and neither with my second!!

    Ashley’s last blog…I love a little drama

  138. Chelsie

    I would have to say a baby carrier. By that, I mean a carseat/carrier. We purchased a convertable carseat. We’ve been using the carseat ever since and my daughter is nearly three. We’ll just need to by a booster seat in a few weeks.

    I hate seeing women lugging their child around in a carrier. I’ve read that it isn’t good for your baby as they never get taken out of it. Yeah, it was a bit of a pain to get my baby out of the carseat, but she weighed 7 lbs! WAY less then a 10 lbs carrier and a 7 lbs baby. I never once regretted not getting one.

  139. Yelena

    The most useless thing we bought turned out to be the crib. It took a ton of space and our son absolutely hated it. He slept in a hand-me-down basinet for the first few weeks and then co-slept with us until he was a year old. After that, we moved him into his own room and just put a twin mattress on the floor for him. Thankfully, we were able to sell the crib for almost the full price.

    I have mixed feelings about the changing table. It was a nice thing to have for the first few months when my back hurt way too much to change him on the bed or the floor. But after our son got too “squirmy”, we had to start changing him on the floor. I’d highly recommend using the top of the dresser for a make-shift changing table, but we simply didn’t have a dresser.

    Two things I disagree with – the stroller system and the baby tub. I LOVED having the stroller system. Our son was very cranky and didn’t sleep all that much for the first few months. The only way I could get him to sleep was to put him in a stroller and go on a very long walk. Then I’d come home, pop the seat out of the stroller and bring it home while the baby was fast asleep. Same when we went places and our son would fall asleep in a car – we’d just take his carseat in with us.

    The other thing is the baby tub. Ok, as a tub it is totally useless except maybe for the first couple of times, when you’re just too nervous to put your little one into the big tub. But I used it as a make-shift playspace when my son was too young to sit on his own. I would put the tub next to my workdesk (I work from home), put a fuzzy towel in it, sit the baby and fill his laps with as many rattles and toys as I could find. Kept him busy for 20 minutes at a time – priceless!

  140. Christina

    Great suggestions.
    One idea I’d like to add on “changing tables”… having not much money to spend, we bought one of those foldable $20 dollar changing pads from Target. We have double sinks in the bathroom and there was just enough space in between (about 2 feet) to plop that pad down. Folded when both my kids where newborns, and opened up when they grew… added bonus… just use the sink to wash their hineys. Just slide their rear over the edge of the sink, while holding their feet. No need for wipes. Wipes gave them rashes more often than not if we had to use them outside the house. So, this worked for us perfectly.

  141. lorchick @ onthelaundryline

    I’d put the lotion as debateable based on region. I live in southern canada and have to slather my daughter with lotion all winter long, from babyhood to now that she’s 2 1/2. Otherwise her skin gets scaly-dry. But she’s totally fine in normal weather, for sure.
    .-= lorchick @ onthelaundryline´s last blog ..Wedding Cake =-.

  142. Rachel

    I’d say never mind the Boppy. They do NOT work great for a nursing pillow, and are way overpriced just to use as a baby support. Just my experience anyway.

  143. JoyACookin'

    Wonderful article had me scratching my head. Why would anyone need a baby wipe warmer? And are you kidding me, a shopping cart cover? So that our children can learn to become little germophobes? Glad to see so many smart moms saying ‘No’ to useless stuff that only gets in the way. Good to alert, not only new parents, but also those buying shower gifts. Those without children could use pointers in what not to buy, I’m sure.
    .-= JoyACookin’´s last blog ..OUCH! IT HAPPENS =-.

  144. WhitneyD

    I agree with you wholeheartedly on the baby detergent. But especially because I have a child with allergies. We just switched the whole family to All Free & Clear and my family has been much happier (and have clothes that just smell clean, not like fake fragrances!).

    We had two strollers- aside from the Eurostyled umbrella stroller on steroids, we bought a travel frame for the baby carrier- it was basically just a stripped down frame to strap it on to. We used that for traveling by plane, trips to Disneyland (since you have to fold strollers if you take the train) and anywhere else that we wouldn’t have enough room for our modestly sized stroller.

    I’d definitely have to say that a diaper bag is pretty pointless. With Kid #1, it was fine, but once I had two, I just got a big enough purse and had small pouches to throw into it to keep things organized.

  145. Christi

    We have two small boys and have found that there are a lot of items we didn’t really need. I sold our high chair, swing, exersaucer and other various baby equipment at a local consignment sale, and was asked several times if this meant we were done having children. My response? “Nope, but we won’t need these items if/when we have #3.” Baby stuff takes up a TON of space!

  146. Hilary

    Pretty much spot on! I loved my Diaper Champ with my first (while living on the third floor of our condo), but even though I’d found it useful, by my second it was just one more thing in the way and we threw diapers in a garbage can in the garage of our new house.
    With our newborns we don’t even use wipes for a long time (our kids have such sensitive skin), so we just run cotton balls under some warm water in the sink.
    I still hate our full size high chair with a passion . . . it’s huge and takes up so much room! But feel like we can’t just get rid of it and go buy another one for just a space issue.
    Strollers are interesting — we have four and I’d LOVE to buy a new one. Not because I think we need this many (although, I love having a travel system one for a newborn, an umbrella one for crowds and a jogging one for the neighborhood), but because I still fee like we haven’t found what works best for us!
    And, I totally agree with the diaper bag thing that’s been mentioned — spending $20-$80 on a uni-tasking bag you’ll never use for any other purpose is a waste of money (that I wish someone had warned me about before!)
    Oh, last thing . . . my pediatrician once said to me, “You can slather them with lotions, making it a part of their daily routine, and they’ll be soft and smell wonderful. Or, you can leave them alone, don’t put any lotion on, and nature will do the exact same thing. Either way, same result.”

  147. jmfs

    i love this list and the comments are very helpful also. i have forwarded it to all my expecting mom friends. the only thing i disagree with though is the shopping cart cover. i was not a germ freak when my daughter was a baby. but when those shopping cart covers came out i wished that they had them when my daughter was a baby. my daughter used to suck on the shopping cart handle all the time. it was so disgusting. i swear she used to get sick every time i brought her to the supermarket. i would of loved to have had one of those!~ there is nothing grosser than supermarkets and those shopping carts.

    • JoyACookin'

      Carry along a small spritzer with white vinegar to disinfect the handle each time; baby will probably stop sucking on it because the vinegar won’t taste too yummy.
      .-= JoyACookin’´s last blog ..CHEER FOR BEER BREAD =-.

  148. Julie

    I agree with some of this, but not all. With a newborn, you don’t need more than one stroller, but as they get older, having a large stroller and an umbrella stroller is VERY handy.

    The shopping cart cover was/is a must for my kids. I shop every week at Wal-Mart and I refuse to let my children sit in the buggy without the cover. I am by no means a germophobe, Lord knows my kids have eaten a many cheerios from the floor, but every pediatrician we have seen says that the worst place to get the flu from is….buggys and doors at Wal-Mart! Now, you don’t have to buy a cover, use your own blanket. Just make sure you cover the handlebar somehow.

    Baby detergent is where I certainly disagree. My kids did not have sensitive skin, we could use any lotions or soaps, but if I ever used anything other than baby detergent, they would break out with ecsema (sp?). Tried the ones that were dye and scent free, those did not work either. Had to be baby. You just have to try it for yourself.

    A changing table is a must, but get the one that makes into a dresser later on. Ours has 4 drawers and a cabinet. You can add a bookshelf/hutch later on. We purchased the changing pad and put it on the top…works great, been through two rowdy boys. I would not waste my money on the ones that have open shelves beneath them though. What are you going to do with that later on? Look at Wal-Mart.com or Target and you can find convertible cribs with matching chest and dresser for really good prices. We got our entire bedroom suit for $700. Our crib turns into a toddler, twin, or full-size bed to use later on!

  149. Will

    I somewhat disagree with the way you wrote your contention that baby detergent is not necessary. Although I agree it isn’t necessary to use different detergent for the baby and the rest of the family, I do think that parents shouldn’t use normal detergent for babies. There are too many chemicals and unhealthy additions to normal detergents to use them for babies. You of course do not use regular detergent, but I imagine the vast majority of people do use regular detergent so for them, using something less harmful for their babies is important.

  150. Emilee

    I agree, there are sooo many absurd baby/child products that are completely useless and not necessary. I do realize that everyone has different needs though and some things are useful to one parent/child while not the next. But there are some things that everyone puts on their list and I just want to say, you don’t need this! Mine would be,

    sleep positioners, I think they do more harm than good, and most babies will move around until they find a comfortable position and stay there, I don’t see any need in these things.

    I agree with wipe warmers, they just breed mildew and bacteria and dry out the wipes anyway and really don’t work that well. Just a hunk of junk waiting for the landfill, I hate hate hate unnecessary electronics.

    Baby bath tubs and seats, they are SO uncomfortable for baby, make a mess, take up space and are only useful for a short time. I have a terrible back so it worked perfectly for me to bathe my daughter in the bathroom sink with a towel or foam pad to lay on, or kitchen sink (but it usually wasn’t clean *blush*) and now she got big FAST, she was a chunk, so I did end up putting her in the tub as soon as she could sit up unassisted, around 5 months I think. Also sometimes I would lay her in the tub on a towel or foam pad.

    Those little medical kits, you almost never need that stuff, medicine droppers come with the medicine already, you almost always get an aspirator from the hospital, if not, ask! nail clippers, just use regular ones, I always found the “baby” ones more cumbersome than helpful, and you can find much better/nicer hairbrush/comb sets for baby than those that come in those sets. And usually the infant toothpaste will come with a tooth cleaner as well.

    Washcloths! Ok I know this is probably JUST me, but still I never see a need in so many washcloths, I find they just make you use too much soap since they absorb so much of it, you have to add so much to get enough to clean the baby. I just put it in my hands and rub it all over baby.

    I think at least one stroller is helpful and I can see some people having 2 a small and a larger one or a double, having 4 or 5 though is just nonsense. I do use slings/mei teis as much as I can, however my little girl is pretty hefty and I have a Horrid back/hips and even my neck/shoulders, ok so I’m just all messed up, needless to say, “some” of us just can’t bare the weight of our “little” and not so “little” ones on our bodies for long periods of time…I am in pain just standing in the kitchen cooking dinner or washing dishes, much less adding a 25lbs baby to that and walking around shopping for several hours. (and yes she’s been 25 lbs since around 9 mths or so.) :O

    play yards/pens aren’t necessary for “most” people unless you have a safety concern to protect baby from, other than that baby should be allowed to roam free and be with/near the family, not contained in a pen. Even at outings/events I don’t see why people want to bring a playpen to put the little one except maybe as a bed, most people would rather see/hold/play with your baby than stare at it whilst in a play pen, or put a blanket on the ground. Again, I know there are some other instances but I think more people buy them and never even use it. I only got a mini one as a bassinet next to our bed because it was cheaper than the plain bassinets, we decided to fully cosleep anyway so it didn’t get used much.

    I’m sure there are more but those are my main ones.

  151. Emilee

    oops, I didn’t mean to write so much, I kept getting distracted with the kids and coming back.

  152. Jennifer

    It’s interesting in reading these post that most people are missing some key things. Research.

    Strollers–yes some are “cumbersome” However with the stroller I am buying–after reading and trying out SEVERAL strollers. It has the highest safety rating available, the carseat that snaps into it also has a VERY high safety rating. The stroller is good for a child up to 80 pounds and the carseat is good for a child up to 35 pounds. Not a waste of money in my mind.

    Slings–are okay some of the time. However studies have show the damage they can do as the child gets heavier to the mother’s back and hips. Also what happens if you fall?

    Baby gyms–love them. Several books and doctors will say how to stimulate your child and recommend it. Tummy time should be a must with your child–Do they have to be expensive? Nope, you can build your own (same with mobiles) or borrow but very useful

    Changing table–do you NEED one–no, you don’t NEED it. But well worth it? Sure, but only the kinds that actually have drawers and can be used as a dresser.

    The bottom line is: What do you NEED–very very little. However on the stuff you do buy, pinching pennies without doing the research first can put your little one in harm’s way. Example is bumper pad–get a breathable one, but children even at a young young age CAN move and CAN get their head and arms stuck in between the bars. Also, expense wise–most of these items are registry item–they aren’t costing me a dime.

  153. Baby Registry

    We were persuaded to buy one of those bins which wraps ups dirty nappies as you push them into the top of it inside a tube of plastic. It seemed a good idea until you realise how much plastic you are wasting, literally yards and yards. Avoid these things, they are so wasteful..!

  154. Laundry Lady

    I just recently discovered this blog and I’ve really been enjoying your posts. I appreciate the way you provide options without being judgmental. Our family definitely pursues frugal living more strongly than green living simply for the sake of green living. It seems like many times being “green” means spending more money on more expensive products that we can’t really afford.

    That being said, I really appreciated this post. I too found that many baby items are unnecessary, but not the same items are unnecessary to everyone.

    We didn’t use a changing table because we didn’t have room for one anyway. My daughter’s room is teeny tiny. Her changing pad goes on the top of her dresser which was a hand me down from my parents. My dad actually made it for me when I was young.

    We use cloth diapers but I have to say a good cloth diaper pail was really useful. I bought one from Cotton Babies that has carbon inserts in the lid. We hardly ever smell the diapers unless you open the pail. The interior bag gets washed with the diapers.

    Baby detergent, as you said, is totally unnecessary. We started out using the same Free and Clear detergent for baby clothes as the rest of the family. Eventually we converted to Country Save for using with cloth diapers and now use it for all our clothes.

    I did use a shopping cart cover I was given as a gift when my daughter was small because otherwise she chewed on the shopping cart handle. Now that she is 18 months we don’t bother.

    As far as high chairs and gliders go, we didn’t have the money for either. But we were given a baby feeding seat that we strapped to an old chair which works fine. I had an old rocker I used for a while but I really wished I could put my feet up. A friend gave a us a beat up but still useable glider and ottoman and they have been wonderful. I would never have bought one because I think they are far too expensive, but I still found it to be a worth while item if you can find one used.

    The one item I have to disagree with is baby lotion. My daughter had very dry skin in the beginning and she was fully breastfed so I knew it wasn’t an allergy. We mostly used California Baby and it worked great. It also cleared up any little scratched she gave herself and minor diaper rash. Plus it doesn’t contain any of the nasty chemicals in other lotions.

  155. Karen Speciale

    My mom bought a used Bob jogging stroller and it has been worth the investment. My daughter has a walk in it almost every day in our neighborhood. We were given a small umbrella stroller that we gave away because the wheels were so small compared to the Bob as well as being less sturdy. The used Bumbo and tray we sold as my daughter hated it and we felt to put her in it too early was hard on her back muscles. We bought a used pad with cover and put it on top of an old dresser which worked great. We had a wonderful old wooden rocker which we still use to put her to sleep and frankly I do not know what we would have done without it – the creak puts her to sleep. Pack N Play to sleep in and Pack N Play Playpen to keep her safe when up (she is one now) also used have been great items which she still uses all the time. A great investment, also used, was the Baby Einstein bouncer – she is just now outgrowing it. Plus the Baby Einstein dvd’s which is the only tv she watches once/twice a day.

  156. Frances Vettergreen

    We kept it pretty simple here but my son loves his crib — it was a hand-me-down and at two and a half he still want to sleep in it. Tall sides :). He naps in his packnplay at daycare. They’d say it was a godsend. I guess he likes the security.

    Our change table is an antique library table we already had…nice and wide so he can’t roll off and the right height (key). We have a diaper pail that uses regular bags…big advantage: it’s toddler proof. The rocker was my grandma’s we had reupholstered.

    Two strollers: a Chariot which in Canada gives great winter weather protection and doubles as a bike trailer/ski pulk but is too bulky for shopping or travel; and a Peg Pliko Switch (lightweight travel system/bassinet/stroller) which we have just passed on to a friend (who will use the features for their newborn) in favour of a Peg umbrella stroller. We’re walkers. The strollers were an investment in sanity.

  157. April

    Very good article! We definitely could have saved our money and not purchased as much clothing as we did. Ruby is going to be 2 years old next month and there are still clothes that I’ve bought that haven’t gotten as much wear out of them as I’d like. And trust me, I don’t buy much! The things that we have used a whole lot that were totally worth the money are: changing pad on top of my sewing table (her changing table until she is potty trained, can’t wait to sew again), burp cloths (still use them to dry her butt before applying diaper cream), receiving blankets (cut them up later to use as rags to wash her hands and face after a meal, keep them in kitchen in a drawer), a good thermometer, a good highchair (keeps her contained and with us at the table, not running around), a travel system stroller that we got used for $15 (THE best stroller ever and makes our jaunts to Dollywood super easy), pack n play and crib…..because we like having husband and wife alone time without kids in our bed.

  158. April

    ooh and I forgot about Lansinoh lanolin and the Boppy, lifesavers for this breastfeeding mom!!! Better than any product though was the advice and help of my lactation consultant and the support of my husband.

    Let’s face it, there are lots of things babies and grown ups don’t need, but if it is a reasonable item and it makes your life soooo much better (like a changing pad) then go for it!

  159. Marie @ Cot Beds

    I agree with your list completely. The only things I bought for my son were clothing and cloth diapers. I can’t remember anything else. We co-slept too so we didn’t get a cot either.

    I just used my knees when I was out andhad to change my son and I used a towel if I had too. I hate clutter – much harder to be clutter free now hei s older but I am working on making sure toys he doesn’t use are out of the house lol.

  160. James

    Great post. Before we had our first child we thought we needed everthing anyone ever told us or we read. Interestingly we have have sold some items that we bought for our first child that we were advised as an absolute must such as a changing unit and it was a waste of good space. With our second child we just used an existing chext of drawers or the floor!

  161. Anne @ Mop Bucket with Wringer

    I always telling my daughter that she needs to listen to me, I will give this link to her so that she will have and eye-opener on what “important” things you need to buy for your new born.

  162. Jasmine

    Great list and totally agree! It’s not till after you have had your first that you realise all the money you waste on stuff you never use. Good luck with #3! Jasmine 🙂

  163. Amy

    I didn’t even think about the special detergent thing. That is a good one though. I actually by Dreft for soaking in the tub, especially after childbirth or when the kids have an ouch they want healed super fast 🙂 Here is my list of things you don’t need when having a baby: http://ampersandmint.com/14-things-dont-need-baby/

  164. Jenifer

    I agree with you completely! Neither one of my kids liked their swings, and we’ve never owned a crib. I used those hooded towels a lot of with my first born (kind of a cute little novelty), but don’t remember using them at all with my second. Like you said, they’re so thin and un-absorbent!

  165. MarathonClicktight

    I agree with most things but really liked the crib ( and my daughter still asks to go on some of her younger friends ones to jump– she loved that!) There are several ones in the marked you can reuse after , we choose the ikea one that you can take the bars and it turns into a little kids bed. now that she’s almost 3 and number 2 is on the way we’ll get her a bigger bed and the cycle starts again (mind you that bed could still be used for a longer period)

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