Wednesday, December 3, 2014

10 Most Useless Pieces of Baby Gear

Allow me to let you in on a little secret about babies: they need next to nothing.

10 Most Useless Pieces of Baby Gear -- As a mother of 5 who hates to see people waste their money, I'm going to tell you the 10 things you absolutely DON'T need for your baby. Some of them will probably surprise you.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Sleeps 20 hours a day. Doesn't need much.
photo by Milan Jurek

American Baby magazine does not have your best interest at heart when they publish lists of must-have stuff for your infant.

As a frugal mother of six, here are the 10 most useless pieces of baby gear, compiled from my own personal experience of raising small humans.

1. Wipes Warmer. I get it in theory. But in practice, babies don't care if their wipes are room temperature or not. And after a few days into your new gig as a parent, you won't either. Newborns poop and pee about 800 times a day. You will spend half your waking hours changing diapers, and practically speaking, you simply can't afford to spend the other half warming up wipes.

2. Diaper Pail. Do you know what a Diaper Genie is? A trash can with really expensive refills. You already have a trash can and already get plastic bags from the grocery store for free, so just one to tie up stinky diapers and throw them in the regular trash.

3. High Chair. We ditched our expensive, bulky monstrosity years ago for a simple booster seat with an attachable tray. It unobtrusively straps on to one of our regular chairs at the table, doesn't take up an entire corner, and doesn't make our dining room look like Chuck E. Cheese. I think it cost us about $40 at Wal-Mart.

4. Boppy. It's huge, it's ugly, and when it inevitably gets barf or breastmilk on it, it takes up an entire load in the washing machine. It's never around when you need it, and basically your older kids just carry it around throwing it at each other. Just use a regular pillow, or sit Indian-style, while you nurse and your life will be much simpler.

5. Nursing cover. These things have become super-popular in the last couple of years. But if you look closely, you'll find that they've already been invented: they're called a blanket. When you're pregnant you're going to receive 5 million baby blankets as gifts, and then they multiply at night when you're not looking. You'll be drowning in blankets, I promise.

6. Baby Einstein. First off, babies don't watch TV, even if you try to fool them by putting the word "Baby" in the title of the DVD. Really, any baby toy is a waste of money. Babies' favorite toys are ceiling fans, empty Tupperware containers, paper, and random kitchen utensils. Seriously: every time I need to keep a baby entertained I always start with the baby toys, and they end up playing with a potato masher.

Just because there are entire catalogs and warehouses full of baby stuff doesn’t mean you need any of it. These 10 baby products are a waste of time, money, and space. And some of them are really common (just about every parent I know owns #7 but I can’t figure out why!) #baby #newborn #babystuff

7. Changing Table. A changing table is a flat surface upon which to change your baby's diaper, and lucky for you there are already dozens of those in your house! The floor, the bed, or any sofa, bench, or large ottoman will do. For the first few months, babies are short enough that I find it easiest to just change them on my lap, anyway.

8. Size 1 Shoes. If your child isn't yet walking, please don't buy shoes. Every pair you buy represents hours that you will spend searching the house, rifling through the diaper bag, and backtracking through the supermarket to find the one that fell off in the cereal aisle. My oldest is now 12 and trust me, you'll be searching for lost shoes until your child grows up and moves out, so don't start before you have to.

9. Splat Mat. This is a nifty waterproof mat that goes under the baby's high chair to protect your rug and floor from food spills. Unfortunately, your baby doesn't know he's supposed to drop food on the mat instead of fling it all over the walls and windows. And anyway, you have a child now which means your entire house is a splat mat. Just accept it.

10. Baby Bath Seat. When their baby outgrows the baby bathtub, some parents put them in a bath seat or a bath ring in the full-size bathtub. Which is fine, if you also happen to enjoy kneeling on the tile floor and wasting 40 gallons of water for an immobile person who weighs less than a Christmas ham. The sink, on the other hand, is a perfect size and height, and is already conveniently installed in your kitchen. Babies can happily bathe in the sink until well into their toddler years.

So if you're expecting, don't pay attention to people talking about how much babies cost. Of course you could buy every fancy and frivolous baby accessory at Baby Depot, but you won't. And your baby will be fine. You'll be fine.

In fact, your diaper bag will be lighter and your house won't be a landfill for outgrown stuff your baby never really used, anyway.

You'll be more than fine.
Did you know that these 10 common baby products are actually completely unnecessary? Trust me, I’ve raised 6 children without this baby stuff and never regretted it. #minimalist #baby #tips

Some new moms are fooled into buying (or registering for) an entire warehouse of baby gear, but the actual checklist of what your baby needs is pretty short. Written from my experience in raising 6 kids, this funny list of the 10 most useless pieces of baby stuff can save you a lot of time and money. #baby #smallspaces #newmom

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Unknown said...

I am quite sure that my rear was wiped with cold wipes, but my mom insisted her grandbabies HAD to have a wipe warmer. They dry out and get yellow and it is just a pain! I do love my nursing cover though. I breastfed outdoors at the county fair, softball games, and swimming pools last summer and it doesn't fly away like a blanket. I did, however, manage to nurse the first 6 without one. Splat mats are definitely the dumbest invention EVER and my baby bath seat is called big sister.

Unknown said...

It's nice to see some reason in the world of baby gear. After having five myself the only essential newborn accessory (besides diapers and clothes, etc.) would be a safe place to put the baby down near by. A swing, a pack and play, a clean blanket -- any of those would work. As more children are added, though, the security level needs to go up.
As for shoes, I remember once in Target talking loudly enough to my preschooler about why the baby doesn't need shoes that the new mom in the aisle with me put the cute size 1 shoes in her hands back. :)

Jenny Evans said...

I just feel silly putting the nursing cover thing over my head in public. I used to use a blanket, but around #4 stopped using anything. No men have walked into poles or anything around me, so I must still be pretty discreet.

Jenny Evans said...

We invested in a Moses basket around #4 so the baby wouldn't get trampled.

Unknown said...

The whole house is a splat mat! True. This problem was so much easier in Germany with all hard floors. Splats and carpet (and perpetual renting) do not get along.

Jenny Evans said...

That's kind of been my mantra for the last 5 years: "At least we don't have carpet in the dining room, at least we don't have carpet in the dining room..."

Lyndsay said...

While I whole heartedly agree with this list...I must confess that u absolutely love my body pillow. I am the rare person who uses it throughout the day every day. It is a top five must have for me.
Oh and thumbs up on the booster seat high chair...we have used one with each baby. Have never even owned an actual highchair. Plus most of those little booster seat fold up and can be stored easily.

Lyndsay said...

Oops...forgot to proof read. Auto correct doesn't like me very well. *boppy pillow*

Jenny Evans said...

Hmm, maybe I would've used my Boppy more if my older kids weren't constantly using it as a projectile.

Willis said...


Anonymous said...

Clothes is another thing that can be expensive. Recycle from good will or hand me downs. I was always catching my son with his sisters clothes on. He didn’t care that they were pink.

Unknown said...

We needed the boppy pillow too. Both kids so far, it really helps to be able to have baby held by something else so I could focus on latch. Especially if you have problems with latch.
I also had a ton of engorgement issues, so it helped to have hands for a million different things! I never liked regular pillows, they always moved :)

Anonymous said...

Yeah...I had a wipe warmer for about a month..what a waste!! Also you can't take it with the first time you take them out...cold wipes

Jenny Evans said...

Yes, and babies grow out of them so fast that you can always find so many used ones (thrift store, neighbors, whatever) that are in really good shape or even still with the tags on.

Jenny Evans said...

That's why you need a travel wipes warmer, too!