Friday, December 12, 2008

Baby stuff I really didn't need

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?


Hilary said...

I could've almost written this same post word for word!
Changing table -- never bought one, seemed like a waste of money in it's uni-tasking-ness and relatively short period of usefulness.
Baby Lotion -- my pediatrician told us, "You can spend 10-15 minutes a day slathering the stuff on your baby's body so their skin is soft. Or you can do nothing and mother nature will learn how to regulate the oils and moisture in your baby's body naturally."
Bottles & Pacifiers -- my kids would never touch 'em. Spent a fortune trying new ones, never worked.
Baby wash -- never use until much older, sensitive skin.
Baby washclothes -- got like 3 dozen from when I found several packs on clearance for fifty cents a pack . . . LOVE 'EM. Use 'em for everything. We wash probably 4-5 baby wash clothes a day. At least.
Rocking chair -- We bought a glider rocker, 'cause I found the 'flow' of the wood ones felt awkward for me. I used it ALL the time at first with Annie. Until I wised up and learned to nurse lying down. I think I've only used it once or twice since Ellie was born. Wouldn't buy one if I had to do it over.

So yeah, except for my strange affection for our Baby Einstein wash clothes, I actually would echo everything you said almost word for word!

emily said...

i agree. i like the washcloths now (three kids into it) to use for an old-fashioned hanky when they've got runny noses--then i don't have to go through a million kleenexes. you know, when you're wiping the nose every 30 seconds . . . it's softer too.

anyway, the best investment i made for the second baby was the MayaWrap sling (i'm answering you here b/c i don't know if you'll get back to my blog). i like it because: it's fully adjustable for any size (baby or parent), you can use it in almost ten positions, i've nursed a newborn in it in the grocery store while shopping, if the baby starts a nap in the car they can keep sleeping in the sling, i can have both hands free to collect the other two munchkins after church, i can wear it in freezing utah or *steamy* texas, and on and on . . . oh, one last thing: my two daughters like to sit in it in totally different ways and i didn't have to go buy a different thing for each one--it's flexible.

and, *amen* to hilary on nursing lying down--best thing i ever figured out (about 2.5 kids into it)!

Cindy and Steve said...

I totally agree with your list. Here are some others
Baby baths - were a waste of money for us. Maybe it works for some, but not us. The sink works great, and hey thats what our parents used. New borns aren't supposed to be submerged in water anyway. I would always hold them over the sink for a nice sponge bath.
Diaper warmer - crazy huh? these are actually harmful and I heard can catch fire.
Diaper genie - had one, never used it. They would just sit there and stink for days and days, and when it was full it stunk sooo bad. I would always just take them out that day.
I do LOVE the sling for newborns. I could live without a swing, (higher risk of head flattening). I'll stop now, this comment is going to be longer than your post :o)

Fife Photography said...

i inherited an old changing table from a friend for free, and baby bath. Both awesome.

I loved having a place easy access (one bedroom apt) where i could change him. I had cold tile floors, and wasn't ideal for baby skin. And the height was great, no bending, sitting down, etc.

Now that he's older, it would be crazy because he's so heavy. But as a newborn i loved it.

Baby Bath-- my little one was super active and slippery, and he didn't really like bath time. So i loved it, the newborn cover that holds them, and then the reclined seat thing. Limited movement was my best friend. Again, little baby only.

Would i have paid full price for these things? No. You can't beat free. But was i glad i had them? Yes.

Buscando la Luz said...

I remembered another useless item while browsing at Target today... baby shoes! Totally useless waste of money until they start to walk, and even then it's better for them to learn to walk barefoot.