I thought I would love baby shopping until I saw the prices for all the things I thought I needed.
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Walking around in baby stores and baby boutiques can be intimidating. The stores are filled with what seems like thousands of products for little people that only eat, sleep, cry, and poop for the first few months. I mean there are walls and walls of products in those baby stores and they aren’t cheap.
I quickly found myself panicking a little because for every product that I thought I might need for my unborn baby, I couldn’t help but think about how my bank account would suffer.
I had to take a step back and stop listening to the baby marketing that told me that I needed everything with the word “baby” on the packaging and decide on the products that my family would really need.
If you are trying to add a new baby to your budget you may be panicking but I have some good news for you. There are lots of products you simply can do without.
If you have a baby on the way then ask yourself if you really need these items.
1. A WIPE WARMER
Wipe warmers are great in theory but few work great, some are fire hazards, and we didn’t want to get our baby used to a luxury that wasn’t possible for us to keep up with when we were out of the house, traveling (which we do frequently), or just not in the nursery.
Instead, we use baby wipes at room temperature. They get the job done just fine.
Tip: Once you know what wipes will work on your baby’s sensitive skin, buy them in bulk.
2. FANCY EXPENSIVE BEDDING
Those baby comforter sets are adorable but many are pricey. When we were designing the nursery we had a theme and purchased the cutest bedding set. It was a complete waste of money because pediatricians and The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that parents “Avoid the use of soft bedding, including crib bumpers, blankets, pillows, and soft toys.” The crib or bassinet you use will likely only have tight-fitting sheets.
3. TONS OF NEWBORN DIAPERS
I had a healthy eight-pound baby and I am so glad I listened to my mom and all the experienced moms who told me not to buy tons of newborn diapers. Babies grow fast and we were finished with newborn diapers in less than a month. Having tons of diapers on hand is a great idea but it’s hard to know what size you will need.
Instead, of purchasing lots of one size, we use Amazon Prime with free 2-day shipping when we need to restock. It’s fast and easy! You can give it a try today with a 30-Day Free Trial. I can’t recommend it enough!
Tip: Sign up for freebies of different brands of diapers to find out which brand works best for you.
4. NEWBORN SHOES
OK. I understand the desire to purchase newborn shoes for a keepsake but honestly buying lots of shoes for a newborn is a waste. The baby will only be able to wear them for a week and even then, they are just for show because he/she will not be walking.
Instead, we invested in packs of socks to keep our baby’s feet covered.
Tip: Buy socks one size above what you think you need. Baby’s feet grow just as fast as everything else.
5. FANCY INFANT BATHTUB
Infant bathtubs are cute and some have nice features like thermometers. But you really don’t need a fancy bathtub for baby. You need something that holds a small amount of water and supports your baby’s weight.
Instead of a pricey baby bath, we purchased a $10 IKEA bathtub. This was an easy decision because in the beginning, we weren’t giving our baby full baths, we were giving her sponge baths. Then we started bathing 3-4 times a week with very little water in the tub.
Now, she is a big girl and we give baths almost daily and because we purchased a full bath, to begin with, we didn’t need to spend any more money.
Updated: My baby is a toddler now and we still use the IKEA bin for play. I love products with longevity, especially if they are plastic.
Tip: A baby bath sponge like the one below is great for added support in the bathtub.
6. BABY FOOD PROCESSOR
In the early months, I breastfed, then I added in a formula for supplementation. When my daughter was ready for solids, we started buying baby food from the store. I was not impressed with the taste (yes, I tasted every baby food product we purchased) and I decided to begin making my own baby food. It was super easy and I didn’t run out and buy a baby food processor.
Instead, I use my old sturdy blender. It’s more than five years old, similar to this one. I already had in my kitchen and it works great for making every baby puree that I’ve had the nerve to try to make.
Tip: Baby FoodE is a homemade baby food resource I love!
7. A CHANGING TABLE
We didn’t purchase any of the baby/nursery furniture sets (crib, dressers, changing table, etc.). Each piece in the room was either purchased on sale or DIY’ed. It was all coming together nicely and under budget but I couldn’t find a decent quality and inexpensive changing table that fit the room. In hindsight, I’m glad we didn’t settle on just any changing table. We skipped the purchase altogether.
Instead, when we couldn’t find the right changing table at the right price, we purchased a changing pad with high edges that can be used anywhere.
8. EXPENSIVE DIAPER BAGS
Having a bag to carry the baby’s stuff is necessary but it doesn’t have to be expensive and we didn’t need more than one. Initially, I was looking at fashion bags that were cute and pricey. Also, we both felt we needed a diaper bag, one that was masculine and one that was feminine. We were wrong.
9. TWO STROLLERS & TWO CAR SEATS
We purchased two travel systems (ugh). I know you may be thinking who buys two travel systems but hear me out. We had two cars and planned on putting my daughter in daycare and we didn’t want to have to move a seat back and forth between cars. Well…life happened and we chose to skip daycare and downsized to one car. So… we definitely did not get good use out of both systems. Also, be mindful that many of the systems come with newborn car seats that children outgrow super fast.
UPDATE: I have two more items to add that you may not need.
10. BABY LOTION
I was gifted baby lotion and baby body wash but my little one has sensitive skin and because the products have ingredients I don’t recognize I’ve opted to skip using them and use mostly single-ingredient products from nature.
Instead, we have been using oils. My favorites are coconut oil and almond oil. Both have provided the moisture that my little one needs and when I want something more moisturizing for extra dry skin, I add a layer of shea butter or Primally Pure Baby Balm.
11. BABY POWDER
I have never purchased or used baby powder on my daughter. When I tell people this, the first question I get is “Well, what do you use?”. I don’t use anything.
Although there are safe alternatives to baby powder, I haven’t needed any of them. I simply focus on cleanliness and dryness and in two years I haven’t had any issues with rashes or infections.
Starting with childbirth, the costs of having a baby adds up quickly. Learn exactly how much my birth cost.
Taking the time to determine what baby products you don’t need can help you save money.
Just remember that there will be non-essential items you buy for comfort, peace, and sleep. My husband and I splurged on the Babybrezza Formula Pro (definitely not in the need category but we loved it) and a Dockatot.
We are working hard to be intentional about recognizing the needs and the wants. It isn’t always easy but it is necessary to reduce waste and save money.
The good news is that isn’t true at all; much of what our babies need (love, care, attention, bonding time, food), we already have.
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