I was nervous and anxious about being a parent when I had my first child eleven years ago. Naturally, I purchased all the baby gear, even though it was expensive, hoping that it would give me knowledge and confidence.
Like many new parents, I thought buying the right stuff could help me to parent better: the fancy Bugaboo stroller (although I did manage to snag a hand-me-down one through a friend), the overpriced baby bath that’s essentially a glorified bucket but came “expert-recommended,” the masses of unnecessary baby furniture I ended up squashing into my way-too-small space…
I’m not the only one. The most recent Consumer Expenditures Survey data showed that middle-income families spend almost $13,000 per child per year. It is likely that a large portion of this sum is used on items that end up in the corner and are not used.
Too many baby clothes.
Baby clothes are often irresistible. However, it is not necessary to purchase them all at once. Baby won’t like changing in the beginning. Keep it simple with one-pieces and sleepsuits.
Jamie Grayson, a baby gear expert, says that oneies are a favorite gift for children. Therefore, I recommend avoiding buying expensive clothes or registering for them. They can get stained and children outgrow them quickly.
Grayson advises parents not to wear baby shoes. He says that babies aren’t going to walk anywhere and that it is important for their development to be as barefoot and flexible as possible as they learn to crawl, crawl, scoot and walk.
You can rent organic cotton baby clothes through websites like UpChoose or Borobabi if you are looking to save space or cut costs on baby clothes.
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Accessories for bedding.
We’ve all seen the Instagram nursery fantasies of a beautifully curated child’s room. But when it comes down to infants, the more decorative bedding is better.
Avoid buying bumpers and blankets. They are not safe to use in the crib, and can be used only for decorative purposes. Use a fitted crib sheet. There are many gorgeous Instagram-backdrop-worthy crib sheets now,” says CEO of baby product concierge site, Gugu Guru, Monica Banks.
A durable, kid-friendly decor that will save parents money in the long run
All of these soothing baby chairs.
Banks says that while stressed parents will do whatever it takes to soothe their screaming babies, they don’t have to clutter up their home with plastic “baby holder” holders. “Obtend one or two swings, bouncers, rockers, loungers, Pack N Play, Exersaucers, etc.”
We recommend that you choose items with a long life span. For example, some baby bouncers can be converted into toddler chairs, which have a much longer shelf life than Jumperoo toys, which a baby might only use for a few months.
Bottle bundles–at the very least, in the beginning.
Although it may feel calm to purchase everything ahead of your baby’s arrival, you may end up purchasing things that you don’t actually need.
“Your baby will also have a preference and they will tell you what they like.” There is no need to buy large bottle bundles to find out what baby uses,” Molly Pross, founder Bump Bestie says. The site also has a registry list with asterisks next the most important items.
Pross recommends buying diapers in bulk. This can save you money and hassle. Pross also suggests investing in “double-duty” items, such as car seats that can double as a nursery cover or a grocery cart cover.
Gadgets that seem to make your life easier, but don’t actually make it so.
While many items may look like a parent’s best friend on paper, closer inspection reveals that they are not very useful.
Warm the wipes: Grayson suggests that you warm one wipe between your fingers if they seem cold.
Grayson also recommends other gadgets for baby that parents should not have to buy. The bottle sterilizer takes up much space, but you can use a pot of boiling hot water to sterilize the bottles. To heat the bottles, you can also use a small saucepan of warm water. You don’t even need a separate blender for baby food when your baby is weaned.
You can also skip a bath thermometer, even if it’s shaped like a cute little frog or stingray. While water temperature is important to avoid burning, you can test it by either dipping your elbow into the tub or with your hands. Grayson says that you don’t need to use a separate thermometer.
Bulky furniture pieces
There are so many furniture options for baby’s rooms that it is overwhelming. Not every item is necessary.
You can give changing tables that cost up to $100 a pass and use a dresser on top with a changing pad (or a pad on a carpeted floor). A diaper organizer/stacker is not necessary, nor does a $200+ rocking nursing seat.
You don’t have to buy multiple beds for your baby: A crib can be used as a crib and the bassinet can be omitted. This will save you $100+.
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You don’t want to do anything that isn’t compatible with your lifestyle.
Every family is different and not all baby items are made for everyone. If you don’t have the desire to run with your baby, your dream of becoming a parent may not become a reality. You can skip the stroller and jog in the park together. These purchases are referred to by banks as “things that are not in your life style, such as travel gear if they do not travel.”