Baby Stuff: What to Buy and What to Skip
When you’re expecting a baby, it can be tough to know which things are essential and which aren’t. There’s conflicting information everywhere. Your parents, friends, family, and doctor will all have an opinion, and that’s before you even start trying to figure out the millions of views you can find online.
Don’t get lost in a sea of baby stuff. Follow this simple guide to know what you do and don’t need for your baby.
Shoes and Booties
As you already know, newborn babies can’t walk. In fact, they don’t move around much at all. This means that shoes are pretty much completely unnecessary. In most cases, they won’t stay on a little one’s feet for more than a few minutes. It doesn’t matter how cute they are!
That doesn’t mean your baby should go barefoot. Try cozy socks or booties with snaps that are much less likely to come off.
Simple works best for brand-new babies. Leave the gadgets until they’re a little older. Most tiny babies are happy with a teething ring, rattle, bear, and maybe an additional soft toy or two. Once they’re a little bigger, you can introduce noise-making, light-up, and hard plastic toys.
Another totally cute-but-unnecessary purchase is newborn clothing. No, that doesn’t mean you should just leave your baby naked, but ‘newborn’ clothing only usually fits babies up to a weight of about seven pounds. Some babies are born weighing more than that, and those who aren’t will get there pretty quick. Pick up a few newborn onesies if you must, but make the majority of your baby’s first wardrobe 0-3 months. They’re a little bigger and should fit until about 12 pounds. For ideas, check out these baby girl rompers.
Like newborn clothing, it’s not that you don’t need newborn diapers at all. You just don’t need as many of them as you think. As your baby grows, buying huge packs of diapers to save money is a great idea, but stick to smaller quantities for newborn diapers. Generally, these diapers fit babies up to around ten pounds. You’ll be surprised how fast your baby gets there, especially if they, like the average American baby, are born at approximately seven pounds.
If you’re short on space or cash, you can definitely skip out on buying a large, expensive changing table for your baby. You can change their diaper pretty much anywhere you want to (babies are pretty small), and changing pads offer great protection for other household surfaces you might want to use – chairs, beds, couches, and kitchen countertops all work well.
You do need blankets (of course), but you absolutely don’t need to buy them. You’ll be inundated with baby blankets from well-meaning friends, family members, neighbors, and members of your grandmother’s knitting circle. Don’t buy one unless there’s a specific blanket you want to bring home for the baby.
Another one that the baby won’t fit in for more than a month or so, bassinets are cute and cozy as hell, but they simply aren’t worth the price. A good bassinet can run into the hundreds of dollars and you’ll either be throwing it out or looking for someone to give it to long before you get your money’s worth from it. There’s also no guarantee that your baby will enjoy sleeping in it – definitely one for the ‘don’t need’ list.
Yet another product that your baby will only fit into for a few short months, the newborn baby bathtub is, quite simply, a waste of money. Most people recommend only bathing a brand-new baby once a week, so you really won’t use it often enough to justify the expense. Buy a larger bathtub that features an attachment or holding sling for newborns. That way, you can keep using the tub even as the baby gets bigger.
Strollers have become almost a status symbol in the age of social media – the fancier and more expensive your stroller, the fancier and more expensive you are, and the cooler parent. However, honestly, the only reason to spend thousands of dollars on a stroller is for the onslaught of Instagram ‘likes’ from jealous moms. You and your baby will be just fine as long as their stroller is safe, practical, and easy to manage. Spend the extra money on something more essential, or save it for a rainy day.
The theory behind crib bumpers seems pretty sound. They’re padded cushions that keep your baby from coming into contact with the walls or bars of their crib. Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, crib bumpers have been associated with an increased risk of suffocation. They are banned in a few places, and the American Academy of Pediatrics advises new parents against using them. Err on the side of caution and avoid it. Make sure no one else buys you one, either.
Even after your baby has been weaned, you still don’t need to buy jars of baby food. It’s much cheaper, and almost as straightforward, to simply mash or blend up some whole foods into a consistency more appropriate for tiny mouths. It’s nutritious, it’s good value, and it means you know exactly what it is your baby is eating. No wonder it’s increasingly popular with moms across the country. You can use this baby food maker to make good food for baby.
Tons of Stuff
When you’re expecting a baby, it can be extremely tempting to bulk buy – all the best deals are on industrial-sized packets of diapers, wet wipes, and so on. However, you have no idea if your baby will like any of these products, if they will be suitable for your baby’s skin, or if the baby simply won’t take them. Take it slowly in the first few weeks, and see which products suit your baby best. Then, you can go crazy and buy as many of them as you want.