Cutting Out Unnecessary “Necessities”

For many mamas out there, new ones especially, the list of “necessities” for your new baby can be long and overwhelming.

With the help of the mamas here at Mama Say What?!, I’ve compiled a list of some possibly unnecessary “necessities” to help you out and hopefully save you a bit of money (and headache).

You might not agree with each item, and what you purchase for your baby is ultimately up to you, but these are just some of the things we’ve found to be quite unnecessary.

Bottle Sterilizer - Don’t spend your money on something that you can easily “create” for yourself at home! I recommend taking a large microwave-safe bowl of soapy water, put your bottles, pieces and parts in it and microwave for maybe five minutes. Or, try boiling them in a pot on the stove top. These methods work just as well, and saves you money!

Bottle Warmer - A better option for this, if you really want your bottle heated, is to heat some water in a bowl in the microwave or on the stovetop. Once the water is hot, place the bowl on the counter and sit your bottle in it long enough to warm the milk. Never put your bottle directly in the microwave though — you don’t want to lose the nutrients, nor do you want to risk hot spots and your baby being burnt! MSW mama Bonnie says that formula-feeding mamas are sometimes better off just giving it to their baby at room temperature — it’s so much easier!

Wipes Warmer - Okay, I know some of us feel bad about how wipes can feel cold on our little one’s bum, but in reality it doesn’t bother them as much as we think it does. My husband purchased one randomly for our daughter during a diaper-run, and we used it for a few months and then put it in storage.

Bassinet - These can be nice to have next to your bed, but what will you do with it once your child outgrows it in just a couple of months? Plus, they can sometimes be big and bulky, especially if you have a tight space. Try something that can be “multi-functional,” for example a Pack ‘n Play with a bassinet feature. Once your child outgrows the bassinet feature, you can still use the play yard feature for naps or play time while you are cooking dinner, etc. It’s something that you can use for longer than the couple of months before your child transitions to their crib.

Fancy Crib Bedding - Okay, I know some of you will not agree with me on this, but some might see my point and possibly agree. Crib bedding ties the room together, I’m completely aware of that. I actually spent my entire pregnancy searching for the “perfect” bedding set for my daughter. But in reality, although they’re pretty, bumpers are not recommended for safety reasons; and we have never once used the comforter that came with our bedding set — it’s been folded up in her closet since day one. So that leaves the sheet and the dust ruffle. I do recommend actually having a few sheets due to accidents and spit-ups, and the dust ruffle is nice to store things under the crib while hiding them.

Pacifier Holders - They have those cute little pacifier holders that zip, and they are adorable. But, MSW mama Lindsay says that it was usually more convenient to just toss one in the diaper bag.

Nursing Covers - MSW mama Kathy said that she got a Jolly Jumper Pashmina and her daughter hated it. A receiving blanket works just as well and is probably a lot less expensive, plus her daughter doesn’t fuss using it. What baby likes having their face covered, though?

Pee-pee Teepees - MSW mama Annette said she got one, but it didn’t work! Hey, if you’re worried about your little guy peeing on you, cover him up with a cloth, or read what other MSW mamas have to say about avoiding the occasional diaper-changing catastrophe: Ask the Mamas: Duck and Cover.

Baby Oil and Baby Powder - They’re something people will usually buy for your baby shower, regardless if you ask for them or not. But are they necessary? Not really. I used baby oil for my daughter after her bath a couple times but it was too greasy for my liking. And baby powder? They say you shouldn’t use it because it can be harmful if the baby breathes it in. I got some as a gift, but to be honest, the only thing I’ve used mine for was to control shine on my hair and to kill ants.

Designer Baby Shoes and Clothes - Let’s face reality here, your child will grow faster than you can anticipate. He will be jumping from one size to another in both clothes and shoes in a matter of no time. So don’t spend extra on multiple pairs of designer shoes and expensive clothing, especially in newborn sizes. I never had shoes on my daughter, not until she was a little bit older, mainly because it wasn’t necessary. And designer brands at that? No way, I stuck to clearance shoes at Walmart if I really wanted them!

Other ways to Cut Costs: Look for gently used items in your area. By this I mean, items that aren’t expired, car seats that have not been in an accident, cribs that are newer and not recalled, strollers, clothes, toys, play yards, bouncers, swings, etc. Items we wouldn’t recommend purchasing second-hand would be bottles, expired car seats, breast pumps, drop-side cribs (which are actually illegal to sell), and basically anything that can be a safety or health hazard to your child. Some towns have children’s consignment shops that you can check out, or you can try garage sales or even Craigslist. When purchasing from someone else, though, always remember that your safety comes first. Meet in a public place, and if possible, take someone along with you.

Remember that your child grows quickly, and you’ll only use most of the “necessities” for a short period of time, so cut costs where you can!

2 Responses to Cutting Out Unnecessary “Necessities”

  1. As a new mom, I agree with everything on this list — except the bottle warmer. My cheapie $30 bottle warmer has saved my sanity many times, especially during the night when the baby is wailing for his food and you’re stumbling around half asleep and sleep deprived and you can have a bottle ready in two minutes or less, instead of mucking about with a hot water bath.

  2. My daughter definitely had a period of transition after we stopped using the wipe warmer (when she was about 10 months) but otherwise I think these are some great suggestions. We did use and love our bassinet, but I’m sure the insert would have worked fine. We do however use babyoil in our daughter’s hair for styling :)

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