I was enjoying my bath last night, surrounded by numerous bath toys, bottles of baby shampoo and miniature wash cloths, looking at our towel rack where several cute, hooded animal towels were hanging, and I started to think about just how much stuff we had bought (or registered for and subsequently forced other people to buy for us) since finding out I was pregnant two years ago. Looking around our house I feel like we have the “baby version” of everything. Besides the stuff in our bathroom (not even Asher Wade’s own bathroom mind you, which contains about 3x even more stuff), we have a special trash can for dirty diapers, special cloths for him to spit up all over, a special sound machine, humidifier and night light, special creams and lotions, specials cups and bowls and plates and silverware…special everything! And by “special,” basically I mean that we bought it at some specialty baby store and probably paid 50% more than what we would have paid at the very non-special Walmart. We totally succumbed to the marketing ploy of if you want to be the very best parents, you must fork over the extra dollars for the little sound machine that is stuffed inside this very cute lamb that makes rain, ocean wave, whale call and heart beat sounds (which we totally have…the standard AND the travel version). I can’t even begin to add up everything we’ve bought. All I know is that it’s a lot…and most of it was probably unnecessary.
I just remember when I was building our registry and trying to figure out what to buy before AW got here…I searched websites and blogs for lists detailing what we needed for a new baby. I should have been searching for lists telling us what we didn’t need. That would have been way more helpful! So if you are expecting a little one anytime soon (congratulations!), let me help you out and give you the list you really need: The Ultimate Baby List of Stuff You Do Not Need, But Think You Will, But Seriously You Don’t:
* Miniature baby wash cloths. Contrary to what you may think, a regular adult sized wash cloth is not going to smother your new baby. In fact, you may just end up using your hands to wash the little squirt, like we did.
* Those cute, animal hooded towels. Yes they are cute and yes they make super cute photo opportunities, but maybe just buy one, take your customary baby-in-the-hooded-towel-picture every now and then, post it on Facebook so everyone can ohh and ahh about how adorable they are, and then just use the regular adult towels. In all honesty, those hooded towels worked for about 4 months. Then it was just easier to wrap up AW in a big regular towel. Those hooded towels don’t even fit around a toddler (especially one in the 95% for height and weight…ahem).
* Fancy burp cloths. Trust me…I love those aden and anais cloths as much as the next mom, and I bought tons of them, but you want to know what ended up being my favorite? Plain ole white cloth diapers. Someone (a veteran mom obviously) gave me several huge packs of old-school white cloth diapers and they worked awesome. They’re obviously super absorbent since they’re made to be worn as diapers, they hold up well and they’re cheap so you don’t care if they get ruined or you lose them. I’m still pissed about the aden and anais cloths I’ve lost over the past year.
* Tons of “cute” outfits. Trust.Me. During those early months, do yourself a favor and just keep baby dressed in whatever makes diaper changes easiest, because you’ll be doing approximately 147 per day. Complicated buttons, clasps, snaps and ties are not your friend. Zip-up sleepers are. Plus, babies grow so fast. Just when you get the opportunity to dress them in that sweet smocked outfit, they will have outgrown it (or spit up on it before you walk out the door anyways). Maybe just buy a few special outfits for when you want to show him/her off at church, and otherwise stick with basic onesies and sleepers.
* Baby bath tubs. They’re awkward, take up space and you won’t need them for long. Just get in the bath with the baby and hold them in your lap. It’s much easier on your back and he/she will feel safer and more content with you in there with them anyways.
* Fancy sound machines. Just buy a cheap fan or download the “Sleep Fan” app on your iPhone/iPad. Babies just need some white noise. They don’t need to feel like they are sleeping in the middle of the rainforest, or at the beach.
* Baby shoes. Infants do not need shoes. Until they start walking (between 10 and 15 months), they just need socks or nothing at all. You’ll be buying shoes for your kid for most of their life starting around 12 months, so hold off as long as you can.
* Diaper pail. Poop smells. It doesn’t matter where you dispose of it. We bought, and still use, the Diaper Dekkor, which is supposed to be the best for blocking on the stank, but everytime we open the lid to dispose of the freshly poo’d diaper, the stank still escapes. In fact, AW’s room tends to smell like a dead animal on most days. The best thing you can do is immediately take the dirty diaper to your outside trash can and just skip the diaper pail all together.
* PeePee Teepee. We attempted putting this over AW’s winkus at each diaper change, but quickly learned just how powerful his pee stream could be. It would shoot the teepee straight up in to the air. You’re better off using a washcloth, or just get really ninja-like with diaper changes.
* Specially made changing table. We actually bought a removable changing table topper from Pottery Barn that screwed in to his dresser, which was still a couple hundred bucks. We thought we were being so thrifty by not buying an entirely separate changing table, but this was still a waste. We changed his diaper all over the house, usually on the floor or on the bed.
* Thermometer to test the bath water temp. Sure you can buy one of these gadgets. But you know what else you can do? Put your finger in the water. #mindblown
* Tons of special nursing attire. I bought all kinds of dresses and tops made for nursing, but when it came down to it, I mostly wore tees with stretchy v-necks or spaghetti strap tanks that easily pulled down. Plus, all those nifty snaps, flaps, hooks and clasps? Yeah, good luck trying to get them undone when you have a baby screaming for their lunch. The specialty nursing clothing items I do swear by are nursing tanks (I loved the ones from Target). I have several of these and they are great for sleeping in and wearing around the house (who am I kidding…I wear them outside of the house too).
Any other moms have some tips? Did I miss anything? What was the one thing you thought you had to have, that ended up being a total waste?