17 August 2009

Baby Stuff You Don’t NEED:

While the line between need and want is very thin when faced with the arrival of a new baby, here are some items that I never had, and never missed, or wound up hating, in addition to stuff on which you need not spend your money. Just an FYI, so feel free to disagree and/or share other suggestions.

1. Diaper Genie- Pain in the ass, a covered garbage pail will be just fine.

2. Wipes Warmer-Never had one and we all lived.

3. Bottle Sterilizer- Spent more time cleaning and drying the darn sterilizer. Dishwashers sterilize and/or (since we were sans dishwasher when Cha Cha arrived) soap and water will do the trick.

4. Burp Cloths- You need these, but just get a pack of pre-fold diapers. They really work the best. The cutsie ones sold as burp cloths are pretty useless.

5. Hooded Baby Towels- The ones designed for babies don’t really seem to try at all. Just use regular towels. You can sew on a hood pocket using a washcloth cut on the diagonal if it is a deal-breaker for you.

6. Baby Toys- Classic toys are great, and everyone should indulge in whatever makes them happy. Do note, however, that for every minute your baby plays with the over-priced educational toys, he/she will spend 3,754 minutes being inconsolable until allowed to suck on your filthy car keys. I am just saying. Plus toys multiply. A few will trickle in and before you know it you will need an addition on the house to store them all.

7. Super Expensive Fancy Diaper Bag- Get a tote bag you like with some pockets, you will carry it everywhere forever, so the appeal of the cutesy vinyl one will wear off fast.

8. Any Super Exclusive Baby Furniture/Gear- The good news is that all baby stuff has to made to a certain standard of safety. While we all deserve to have items we like, when push comes to shove, the generic/inexpensive version will often do the job. Recalls seem to happen in an even distribution across cost categories so buy what works, not what costs the most.

9. Pacifiers/Comfort Items- This is not to say you shouldn’t, or wont need to, use them. I am merely pointing out that once you find one that works, get rid of the rest/don’t bother to buy more. Your baby will only want one, that specific one, even if it is identical to five others. Don’t waste your money on spares, the baby knows the difference. ( Yertle here is the stuffed animal by which our entire day lives or dies. I may be suffering from PTSD thanks to when we almost left him in a book store this past Saturday. There was also a certain pink Nuk pacifier, just don't even get me started on the drama.)

10. Any Advice From Anyone Who Has Spent More Than Five Years Without a Newborn- It is not that they are wrong, or mean to be unhelpful, but there is an evolutionary mechanism that makes your forget how tough it can be. When your great-aunt, who had no less than 10 kids, tells you that none of hers “ever just cried like that” ignore her. Or kick her in the throat, depending on your level of postpartum angst. It is revisionist history. After all if she remembered for real, there would have been way less than 10 kids.


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Kerry said...

SO true. So so true.

On the diaper bag, the smartest thing I did was get one that is very narrow and goes across your chest. I have the smallest shoulders on earth, and everything slides off of them. No purse, no bag, no bra strap can stay on my nano-shoulders. I found this bag (I think it's JJ Cole, but I'm too lazy to get up and look) that goes across your chest/back, and you see it and think, "No way is that big enough to hold all the crap I need." But it is. Even when both my kids were in diapers, it worked (and now that I'm down to one, I have room to spare). Plus, because it's so ergonomic, I am free to run after the little hellions, or catch them as they try to dive off something tall, or whatever I need to do.

I have a $100 diaper bag somewhere, but I pretty much exclusively use this one, which was (I think) around $30. Love it.

Anonymous said...

The Diaper Genie was the biggest waste of money! It was fine for tiny newborn diapers--but even then, watch out for the stench when you opened it--but once the diapers got larger, it was full within 2 days. We pitched it and threw the diapers in the kitchen trash.

I have to add PLAYPEN to the list. My kid screamed whenever I tried to put her in it, and it was never used. I wish I had that $100 back!

abdpbt said...

Definitely true. I hate diaper bags. I'm always trying to figure out a way to fit a diaper and wipes into tiny purses. But it's so hard to convince yourself you don't need one. I used a sterilizer once, when we were in Mexico, out of precaution, since the water was supposed to be filtered but who knows? But otherwise, too much damn work!