One word that can cause so much stress.
Another word, you detest. You and me both!
So, I guess the big question is: what has clutter and stress to do with baby items?
The more unnecessary baby items you buy, the more clutter and stress you allow into your space.
As a new mum, you will be overwhelmed with so many baby products. It’s hard to believe the sheer volume of newborn products out there in the market.
I’m certain there’s a baby item for almost everything you can think of.
I even once bought a special glove to prevent my son from sucking his fingers. Funny, I know! Let me just say it was a total waste of money!
So, I completely understand the dilemma you feel when you go shopping for newborn essentials.
The options are surplus.
This makes it extremely difficult to know what is really useful and practical.
At the same time you don’t want to waste money!
I get it. I really do.
That’s why I’m writing this blog post today. To help you avoid unnecessary baby products that will end up as clutter and a complete waste of money.
Here’s my list of least useful baby items. Some of them are popular but rest assured, they are the baby items you really don’t need.
And I’ll tell you why. Just keep on reading…
I feel it’s important for me to give a short disclaimer.
I accept that every family is different with unique values and principles. As a result, somethings might not work for my family but be perfect for yours.
Nevertheless, the products I mention here are baby purchases that I regret buying.
As you read along, you’ll see why and can be well informed to make the best decision for your family.
16 UNNECESSARY ITEMS FOR YOUR BABY
#1. Crib Bumper and Pillows
WHAT IS IT? Crib bumpers are fabric items placed inside a crib tied along its perimeter to prevent your baby’s legs or head from poking out from in-between the crib slats. Just like the picture above.
Whereas, crib pillows are small pillows placed inside the crib for your baby to rest her head. Much like adult pillows.
WHY IS IT UNNECESSARY? Here’s the thing. Crib bumpers and pillows are so so cute! It’s hard to believe that not only are they unnecessary but they actually are DANGEROUS!
They pose risks of strangulation and can be a cause of SIDS ( Sudden Infant Death Syndrome ) in young babies. This post explains in detail why crib bumpers and pillows are unsafe.
Why they are still being sold is beyond me! Your baby’s crib should be empty and devoid of anything at all except a well-fitted firm mattress.
Personal Story: I planned to buy the breathable/mesh crib bumper for my second son as I was afraid of him getting his legs caught between the crib slats.
While researching which one to buy, I accidentally but fortunately found out that crib bumpers were unsafe for babies, even the “breathable” ones!
I read a gut-wrenching story on Facebook of a mum whose baby boy died because he got strangulated by the ties of his crib bumper. So sad!
#2. Newborn Socks
WHAT IS IT USED FOR? Newborn socks help keep their feet warm. As babies generally need to be kept in warmer conditions. Because they cannot control their body temperature like we adults.
WHY IS IT UNNECESSARY? Do you wanna hear the truth? Your newborn will not use these socks much, if at all. For one, your baby’s feet will be so tiny that the socks barely stay on for a minute.
Second, most of your newborn’s first outfits will cover their feet, toes and all.
Don’t waste your money on newborn baby socks! They are pointless baby items.
#3. Hand Mittens
WHAT IS IT USED FOR? Hand mittens are tiny hand gloves if you like, that help keep your baby’s hands warm and prevent your baby from scratching his face.
WHY IS IT UNNECESSARY? Hand mittens come off very easily and it can be frustrating trying to put it back on your baby all the time.
Also, a healthy newborn’s hands are normally a bit colder than the rest of the body, so there is really no need to keep them warm.
Furthermore, giving your baby an early nail trim will reduce the scratches
Try not to stock up on hand mittens when shopping for your newborn must-haves. I have at least a set of 4 hand mittens and I only ever used them ONCE, for a photo op for Instagram! Hahaha!
USEFUL & PRACTICAL ALTERNATIVE: Newborn clothes with in-built hand covers. Regular nail trimming.
#4. Newborn Shoes
WHAT IS IT USED FOR? As with all shoes, this is supoosedly meant to protect your newborn baby’s feet when walking.
WHY IS IT UNNECESSARY? The elephant in the room is that your baby won’t be walking right out of the womb! Or even for some months afterward! What’s worse, there’s some evidence that newborn shoes can affect your baby’s development.
USEFUL & PRACTICAL ALTERNATIVE: Leave your baby’s feet bare till they start to walk. And if you get newborn shoes from your baby shower, you can use those for photo ops for the ‘Gram or Facebook.
#5. Traditional Baby Bath
WHAT IS IT USED FOR? : Ideally a place to bath your newborn baby,
WHY IS IT UNNECESSARY? : Have you seen most traditional baths? They are HUGE! Especially when compared to your small, wiggly newborns.
Newborns cannot sit up unaided, that means you have to support them while bathing. This means using one hand to hold them while bathing them with the other.
This is very tricky and hard to do and also very tiring!
Except you’ve bathed babies severally in the past, you will struggle to bathe your newborn in a traditional bath.
It’s especially difficult for first-time mummies trying to get a hang of things. Don’t add this stress to your life, mummy! You do not need it!
USEFUL & PRACTICAL ALTERNATIVE: Get an Angel Care Baby Bath Support. It’s way more practical, sturdier, and well-suited to your newborn’s size.
Your baby will be supported in it without much help. It will also allow you to have both hands free to bathe your baby.
Personal Story: I struggled bathing my son in the John Lewis traditional bath I bought. After a few weeks, I decided to buy the angel care baby bath support for 0-6 months old. It was brilliant and made bathing time less stressful and worrisome for me. It’s definitely one of my newborn’s best buys hands down!
#6. Top and Tail Bowl
WHAT IS IT USED FOR? It’s a bowl with two different water compartments to hygienically wash your baby’s face and bum respectively. This process is called topping and tailing.
WHY IS IT UNNECESSARY? It’s honestly one of the baby items you do not need. You can easily use a bowl and just change the water you use to wash your baby’s face from that you would use to wash his bottom.
USEFUL & PRACTICAL ALTERNATIVE: A household bowl will suffice. No need for any fancy baby equipment!
#7. Bath Thermometer
WHAT IS IT USED FOR? It is used to ensure that bathing water temperature is suitable for your baby. Not too cold or too hot.
WHY IS IT UNNECESSARY? You will know when your baby’s bathing water is too cold or too hot even without a thermometer.
USEFUL & PRACTICAL ALTERNATIVE: The best way I’ve discovered to test your baby’s bathing water is to use your elbow!
Yep. Put your elbow in the water, if it feels too hot to the touch, make it slighter cooler, and vice versa.
#8. Bottle Warmers
WHAT IS IT USED FOR? They are used to warm up your baby’s milk to the desired temperature. It can be used for either cold/ frozen breast milk or formula milk.
WHY IS IT UNNECESSARY? Bottle warmers are an unnecessary baby product because it does take a longer time to get your baby’s milk warm.
Also, there is a tendency for the milk to spill over/ get overheated if you leave for a bit longer in the bottle warmer. So, for me, bottle warmers are not worth it!
Also, the alternative is good, cheaper and even faster!
USEFUL & PRACTICAL ALTERNATIVE: You won’t believe this one! Use regular hot water. Boil the water in a kettle and pop your baby’s bottle in it for a minute or so . This way is faster than using a bottle warmer.
Personal Story: I mostly formula-fed my first son and for a long time we used a bottle warmer. Using it at night was the worst, as many times the hubby or I would have slept off while waiting for the bottle to warm up. Thus, we had many many spillages and had to make brand new bottles at that time of the night.
One day, we boiled a kettle of water and popped my son’s bottle in. Lo and behold, in a few seconds, the bottle was warm! We were shocked! We did kt again and again and got the same results. That’s when we realized how pointless the bottle warmer was!
#9. Baby Food Blender
WHAT IS IT USED FOR? It’s used to blend baby food into purees for when you start to wean your baby from 6 months.
WHY IS IT UNNECESSARY? It is a waste of money if you already have a blender. Basically, it takes longer to blend to a smooth consistency and has a smaller capacity than a regular blender.
USEFUL & PRACTICAL ALTERNATIVE: a normal kitchen blender will do the job twice as good.
#10. Nappy Bin
WHAT IS IT USED FOR? It’s also called a nappy disposal system. It’s a specialized bin to hold in the smell of soiled and wet nappies, keeping your home neat and odour-free.
WHY IS IT UNNECESSARY? Do you need a nappy bin? Hmm… while, I think the idea is great, it can be expensive to maintain.
Many nappy bins work with specific refill cassettes/cartridges to help hold the smell. These nappy bin refills can add up over time and get quite expensive.
I would only really consider buying one if I lived in an apartment where the outside bin is far away.
USEFUL & PRACTICAL ALTERNATIVE: A regular bin is a lot cheaper and more practical to use once you dispose of it daily.
#11. Bandana Baby Bibs
WHAT IS IT USED FOR? They are used to pick up milk spills or drools from your baby.
WHY IS IT UNNECESSARY? they are not very effective because they are usually too small to adequately do the job of keeping baby’s outfit spotless. This is especially true if your baby has reflux or is prone to dribble a lot.
In my opinion, they’re more a fashion statement than anything else. They are really cute though so I understand the pull to buy them for your baby!
USEFUL & PRACTICAL ALTERNATIVE: Buy the more regular-sized cotton bibs with water-proof backs. In my opinion, they will prove more effficient for you.
#12. Wipes Warmer
WHAT IS IT USED FOR? : It’s used to keep disposable baby wipes warm for when you need to do a nappy change.
WHY IS IT UNNECESSARY? : Disposable baby wipes are usually cold. True. And they can feel cold against your baby’s bum and make her cry. Also true.
But these wipes warmers are not very efficient in keeping the wipes warm either. They need to be connected to electricity and once, the wipes are out, they get cold in seconds. So, what’s the point?
USEFUL & PRACTICAL ALTERNATIVE: You are better off warming the wipes in your palms for a few seconds before using it. That is, if you are really concerned about your baby crying.
Otherwise, just use the wipes the way they are and your baby will get used to it. That’s what I did.
#13. Water Wipes
WHAT IS IT USED FOR? They are unscented disposable wipes that contain mainly water and are suitable for sensitive skin.
WHY IS IT UNNECESSARY? First, I find it contains waaaaay too much water! Second, it’s expensive! Especially when you consider that your baby will use loads and loads of wipes till your baby is potty-trained.
If your baby has really sensitive skin, you might consider using them. Though, my first son had really bad eczema, he used Mamia nappies without any problems.
USEFUL & PRACTICAL ALTERNATIVE: There are many other alternatives in the market. After trying out several different brands, we’ve found Aldi’s Mamia Sensitive to be perfect for us both price-wise and quality-wise.
Cloth nappies are also another option if you are into that.
#14. Changing Table
WHAT IS IT USED FOR? This is a piece of furniture where babies are placed on to change their nappies or outfits.
WHY IS IT UNNECESSARY? Well, because it’s not practical. Many times, your baby will have a massive explosion in a room different from / far from the room where the changing table is.
Going all the way upstairs ( as the case sometimes is ) to change a nappy while you are trying to clean up or make dinner isn’t realistic.
Plus, it costs a bit too much compared to it’s alternative.
USEFUL & PRACTICAL ALTERNATIVE: Buy a changing mat or two and have them in the most used rooms of the house. You can easily whip them out at a moment’s notice, get the deed done, and continue with your business.
You can also place your changing mat on a drawer set you already own- and you’ve created your own changing table!
#15. Baby Washcloths
WHAT IS IT USED FOR? It’s used in washing your baby, doing top and tail, and a variety of different things like spit-up and meal clean-ups
WHY IS IT UNNECESSARY? : I find that its job can so easily be done with the edge of your baby’s towel. For instance, as is the case with topping and tailing.
Also, muslin squares do most of the spittle clean-up rather efficiently.
So, I don’t think you’ll get good use out of it or use it much beyond the newborn stage. Note that many towel sets come with a pair, so you do not need to buy a separate pair(s).
USEFUL & PRACTICAL ALTERNATIVE: Your baby’s regular towel or a soft sponge.
#16. Baby Lotion
WHAT IS IT USED FOR? : It’s a baby moisturiser.
WHY IS IT UNNECESSARY? : It’s generally recommended that baby baths are kept as infrequent as possible. Your newborn doesn’t need a bath every single day. That’s where topping and tailing come in.
Excessive bathing your newborn baby can cause your baby’s skin to dry out causing eczema and all sorts. This is when many mothers turn to baby lotions to deal with the dry skin caused by bathing your baby too often.
USEFUL & PRACTICAL ALTERNATIVE: Nothing to be honest. Let your baby’s skin breathe!
Personal Story: My first son had really sensitive skin. Somehow, I had this notion that a baby’s skin must be moisturized. So, I kept trying different moisturizers but he kept reacting to them all!
Finally, I stopped using moisturizers and just let his skin be for over a year! And he was fine! Admittedly, he didn’t have that sweet baby smell that the moisturizers give babies but his eczema was under control with no flare-ups. That was worth it for me!
So, what unnecessary baby products are you going to remove from your baby registry?
Hopefully, by now, you have a better idea of the baby items you don’t need to buy.
Now, you can see that even though some baby items are popular and trendy, they are not very practical. And many might end up being unused and hence, a money-waster.
Worse still, they can become clutter in your home and add stress to your life. Which we absolutely do not want!
Some are sadly also dangerous for your baby!
By knowing these unnecessary baby items, you can make better and informed decisions for you and your baby.
Remember that ultimately, you should do what feels right for you and your home.
What baby items do you think are unnecessary?
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