We've started getting a few things for the new baby, so I have baby stuff on the brain. And it got me thinking about all the baby paraphernalia that seem so essential when you're pregnant for the first time but really aren't necessary at all. Obviously everyone's different, but here's my personal list of useless baby stuff...
1) Changing tables. What a ludicrous waste of money and space. (I never bought one, thank goodness.) We got by just fine with a towel (for leaks) on the floor or on our bed. My goal was always to not leave my bed for night-time feedings and diaper changes... none of this going to a changing table in the middle of the night. They may be nice to store all the diapers and wipes, but a closet or cupboard works just as well.
2) Baby lotion. We got bottles and bottles of the stuff for baby shower gifts as first-time parents. And, guess what? I think I still have most of them in a box somewhere... or gave them away to other new parents... you know, let's spread the useless wealth, right? Here's the reality... babies have lusciously soft skin as it is, and baby lotion may actually be harmful.
3) Pacifiers and bottles. I realize that these are life-savers (or absolutely essential) for many moms, but they were useless for me. My babies simply wouldn't take any size or shape of pacifier (except our pinkie fingers or my own real-life nipples). And they wouldn't take bottles either... and, trust me, we wasted a lot of money trying different brands and styles in search of "the one." In the end, it was just easier to breastfeed exclusively... and the good news was that we never had to break our children of their binkie or bottle addiction. What happened to all those useless bottles and pacifiers we gathered back in the day? They turned into "toys."
4) Baby wash and wash cloths. This kind of goes with #2. Babies really don't get very dirty until they start eating real food and playing in the dirt. And, even then, plain old water will usually get them clean. My first baby had very sensitive skin (eczema), so we couldn't use any soaps on her body anyway. And, since our second always bathed with our first, we just carried on avoiding soaps. The only thing we really ever used the wash cloths for was to cover up private parts for bath photos. And we have tons of those wash cloths... sitting uselessly in the linen closet. Please don't buy me any for my new baby. Please.
5) Rocking chairs. I should preface this by saying that the wooden rocker I had wasn't very comfortable, but I really just didn't use it. It was awkward to nurse in, so I just nursed on the couch or on my bed. Plus it just didn't make sense to get up out of bed and sit in a chair for night-time feedings. If I could have a really comfy upholstered recliner/rocker, I think I just might actually use it. But anything else would sit in the corner empty.
Did you find these things useful or useless? Any more you can think of?