You know those baby registry lists you get in the mail when someone slips those retailers the news that you’re expecting? (It’s your doctor, by the way …) You’ll find everything from Exersaucers to pacifier covers and everything in between. But far be it from me to recommend buying everything on that list. Let’s get right down to it, new mommies. Your house is about to explode, and if you’re not careful, you may end up having to move your own furniture out of the living room to make room for your baby’s furniture instead. I say, stop the madness!
Here’s a list of five baby items they insist you’ll need, but I say you can do without:
1. Diaper disposal system: This, to me, seems like the biggest waste of money in the baby aisle. I mean, seriously folks — are you really going to accept a 400 percent markup on — what’s that again? A garbage can? And they all tout odor-absorbing covers and liners so you can pile up the dirty diapers in the bin. You know what’s the best way to get rid of the odor of a dirty diaper? Throw the diaper out. That’s right — walk downstairs to the kitchen garbage can that you empty once a day anyhow, wrap up that diaper in a clear produce bag from the grocery store, and chuck it in the can. No diaper disposal system necessary.
2. Infant shoes: Can someone please tell me why that 4-month-old in her car seat barely able to sit up is wearing shoes? Shoes, people! The kid can’t even walk, let alone crawl. The crazy thing to me is that there is a whole section of my local kids’ shoe store designated for “non-walkers.” Ironic, no? According to pediatric experts, wearing shoes before he can actually walk can actually impede your child’s walking progress. If that’s really the case, why bother?
3. Wipes warmer: These little ditties are electronic devices that, when plugged in next to your diaper changing table, can warm up the wipes before they grace your angelic baby’s bottom. Did you know that more than 500,000 of these devices were recalled between 1997 and 2001 because of electric shock to parents’ hands while they were extracting the wipes, or melting of the product? Not exactly something I’d want near my baby’s bottom, or anywhere near my baby, for that matter. Forget the fact that wipes can be warmed up in your hands for a little less money and a lot less risk. Come to think of it, why not forget the diaper changing table altogether? It’s a waste of space, and according to Dr. Richard Flyer, a well-respected pediatrician in Verona, N.J., babies should only be changed on the floor anyhow. (It’s the one place they can’t fall off of!)
4. Bumper set: Ignoring the advice of my pediatrician who said crib bumpers were suffocation hazards, I spent $250 on my son’s first bumper set. He did look mighty comfy in his crib for a while — that is, until he tore the bumper ties off the bumper itself and it resembled more of a crumpled shopping bag than a cozy retreat. And how easy is it to replace a bumper in the middle of the night when your baby’s thrown up for the third time and you have to change the sheet yet again? Needless to say, I should have listened to my pediatrician. Bumper sets come with all the bells and whistles — crib sheet, valance, quilt (which is too dangerous to stick in the crib anyhow). You really don’t need any of it. If you want to give your baby that cozy feeling though, without the hassle and the price tag, try the Cozy Wedge or the BreathableBaby Bumper — both more manageable (and more affordable) options.
5. Baby swings: We bought our first baby swing before our baby was even born, and I spent night after night of my ninth month of pregnancy envisioning my sleeping swinging newborn. A month later, what I instead had was a screaming swinging newborn. He hated that swing more than he hated sleeping, and boy, did he hate sleeping. What a waste of money. For my second child, we dusted it off for a grand total of five uses before she got sick of it. If you’ve got friends with kids, why not borrow their swing for a month or two? Your child may not even like it, and if he does, he’ll outgrow it fast, as he’ll have little interest in swinging in one place once he’s able to crawl.
I could go on and on about all the things you don’t need for your baby, but the truth is, I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments below. What are the baby items you’d love to chuck out your nursery window?