hey, new moms. just to save you the money and the regret that comes from buying all the stuff those stupid registry lists say you need but that you really don't. (repost from here.)
i thought i'd put together a list of things the registries act like you can't
live without but you really can (and arguably should).
specialized diaper pail or system. your house will smell like baby
crap no matter what you do or how much money you spend on something gimmicky.
keep your outside dumpster close to the door and toss dirty diapers there, or
just get a normal cheapie lidded trash can and empty it
2. cutie patootie slings. get the mammoth,
ergonomically-designed kind. anything flimsy or one-shouldered will only get
used occasionally and for short spurts at a time. migraines will abound. my
personal recommendation is the moby
wrap, although it is a bit awkward to put on and take off but boy howdie is
it comfy. (when you put your baby in it, it's like you've got a 10-pound cloud
strapped to you. it's still 10 pounds, but something ought to be said for the
fact that it's a cloud.)
3. full-on outfits for really
new babies. they sleep like 20 hours a day at first, so the closer an
outfit resembles pajamas, the more likely you are to use it. and covet it for
4. expensive baby detergents and stain
removers. this one might be a bit more controversial, since i know
some babies have really sensitive skin and some detergents are especially harsh
(anything with live enzymes in it, like tide, might cause more problems). but i
would say more than anything it's fabric softeners and dryer sheets that are
irritating to sensitive skin, and just avoiding these and using your normal
detergent is way more economical. plus then you don't have to wash baby clothes
separately from the rest of the family's, saving on water usage. basic
baby hygeine on a budget? boom, roasted.
5. baby toys.
maybe a couple to hang from the carseat. but i swear they'll ignore it for the
first six months and after that they'll only want to chew on your tupperware
instead, so why bother?
6. a special bathtub. while
convenient, it's unnecessary if you keep your kitchen sink clean. i'm thinking
about getting rid of our baby tub, but i'll make that call after i see whether
or not the convenience factor is worth keeping it around. (update: haven't missed it for the newborn stage, but haven't made the call for the bigger-infant stages yet.)
of noisy and/or bulky 'holding' devices. yes, you definitely need a
couple. probably a swing or bouncy seat, an exersaucery-thing and a bumbo. but
i promise you will not need an exersaucer, a johnny jump-up, a jumparoo
and a walker. pick one and pocket the cash and the extra storage space
that the other ones would suck up. i would recommend getting something
that's easily moved from place to place and not too bulky to be centrally
located in your most-used rooms. my kids have all LOVED the bouncy seat that my friend
jamie picked up for me on the side of the road by someone's trash can. babies
aren't real housewives. they're happy to use whatever works even if you found
it in a dumpster. (or on craigslist, which is another great option as long as
you don't get yourself raped, pillaged or murdered when you go to pick it up.
craigslist is getting scary.)
8. most things labeled 'baby
einstein' or 'genius infant' or 'teach your baby to sign in binary.' i
really believe that the things babies need to know and are capable of learning,
they're equipped to receive without fancy or expensive stuff. they like faces.
they like being talked to and held. they like looking at random stuff. mostly,
babies are equipped to like stuff that is FREE. which means New Baby and i have
a lot in common.
9. those weird, puffy crib quilts.
they're really cute, but no one ever puts them to use because they
don't seem warm and they are quite likely to suffocate a child to death. both
valid reasons to not invest tons of money in one, in my
10. specialty dishwasher attachments for bottley things.
i never put my bottles/accessories in the dishwasher because i was
always afraid that the water spots on them were old, dried milk. yuck. plus,
if you only have a couple of bottles or if you don't run your dishwasher every
day (both true at our house) you're probably going to need to reuse a bottle
before the dishwasher could get it clean anyway. buy a two-dollar bottle brush
and rinse everything well and you should be set.
11. those weird
head-to-toe snowsuit things. newsflash: babies do not play in the
snow. and in the 3.2 seconds it takes to get them from the door to the car,
most can be effectively bundled with a hat and a warm blanket or two over the
top of the carseat. or gimmickier, but quite effective, a
12. specialty bath toys. a cup, some
tupperware, a spoon. maybe some dish soap bubbles when they're older. and
13. baby powder. i do not know anyone who
uses this. i don't even know what it's for. i would also lump in large jars of
petroleum jelly in here. not sure what it's used for other than lubing up
rectal thermometers and about a week's worth of circumcision care, and in either
case it's very concerning if you need such a large jar of
14. half the weird stuff that comes in a baby grooming kit.
you will get a cheapo but very effective baby hairbrush at the
hospital. ditto for a nose sucker thing. and any time your baby needs a
medicine dropper, it will come with the medication. and what anyone uses
tweezers or tiny scissors for on a baby, i don't know. why spend the extra
money on this stuff? the major exception is baby nail clippers - NECESSARY. and
how. get the kind that are normal-hand-sized with a tiny clipper on the end
(ours have big bulbous handle things), not the kind where the whole clipper is
tiny and you can't see what the crap you're doing. you will bloody your kid's
hands faster than something really fast.
warmer. your kid will just be thankful (or should be) that you're not
making them crawl around in their own crap all day. cold wipes teach character
and gratitude, that's what i say. (plus wipes warmers just remind me of
whatever adam sandler movie it is where they give him a hot towel on the plane
and he doesn't know what to do with it so he just wipes his face and puts it
back in the bowl.)
16. baby bath robe. i can't even
imagine when a baby would wear one of these if you have a hooded towel and, you
know, clothing for him. except for in the evening when he's also wearing a
fedora and smoking a cigar while reading an antique, leather-bound copy of
milton. so maybe consider investing in one if your baby prefers to spend his
leisure time thusly. otherwise, un.necessary.
make-your-own-baby-food-at-home gear. do you have a blender or food
processor and some ice cube trays? you're set. or do what i do and skip the
baby food phase altogether and just mush some normal-people dinner up after a
anything else that should make the
list? anything on here that you've actually gotten a lot of use out of?