Everyone is always trying to tell you what you absolutely "need" for baby. The reality is that you don't actually need that much for a baby. Especially a newborn. It's true that there are some things that some people need or enjoy having, but not everyone "needs" all of these things. Most of those things are not required. I'm going over things that I either didn't have or didn't use. Maybe you do need some of these things. Maybe my life would have been easier and I'll get them the second time around. But really, those long lists of things you need to buy are ridiculous reasons to buy more stuff and spend more than you have to. And babies are expensive enough without buying a bunch of stuff that you might never use. You do not need to spend thousands of dollars on baby gear. Here are some things I skipped buying for my baby.
1. An Infant Car Seat
I see an infant car seat on so many must have lists for babies. And when you walk into BuyBuyBaby you see rows and rows of these infant "bucket" car seats. You know the kind that just pop right out of your car without ever having to take the baby out and then you carry around this heavy car seat instead of just carrying your baby? Yeah you might be able to get away with not buying one of those. You can put a newborn in a convertible car seat from day one as long as your baby fits the height and weight recommendations. The carseat I bought fit babies all the way down to 4 pounds. This is great because you have to buy a convertible carseat anyway after your infant outgrows their bucket carseat so by skipping the infant seat altogether you can save a lot of money. Granted, some people want the convienence of being able to snap the carseat out but for me it wasn't an issue as I preferred to wear my baby in a carrier when she was small and didn't want to carry her carseat around everywhere. I also saved on the stroller because of this because I didn't need the kind that you click the carseat into.
2. Newborn Bath Items
In this category I am going to put a infant bathtub and newborn towels. I didn't have either of these and I was fine. I just bathed my newborn in the sink or I just got in the bathtub with her and held her. It was nice and relaxing holding my newborn in the warm water. The few times I did try to give my baby a bath using someone else's infant bathtub I got so frustrated trying to bend over the tub with the thing and hearing my baby scream that I just gave up on them entirely. Also, one less thing to clean and it gave me an excuse to take a bath. And postpartum I will take any bath I can get. I've heard the foam mat in the tub works well and maybe one day in the future I will try that. Also, you don't need special towels for a newborn. Just use a small towel.
3. A Humidifier
When I first saw this on a lot of the must have lists I have to admit I was puzzled. I was confused. I didn't understand what the humdifier was for. I live in the Southeastern United States where we breathe in our water instead of drinking it (just kidding, we still drink water). Seriously, it is HUMID. So humid that controlling mildew and mold growth inside is a much bigger concern to me than if it was humid enough for my baby. I think this could be a necessary item if you lived somewhere drier or had a baby in the winter months. But not everyone needs this item. If my baby gets a cold during the winter when its sort of dry inside and she has trouble breathing I will buy one then.
4. A NoseFrida
Yeah, these don't appeal to me. Plus, I'm pretty sure that the filter in them doesn't block viruses. You are literally sucking whatever germs your little one has straight into your own lungs. Plus, I'm lucky! My baby has never been sick, but I do have the bulb sucker they gave me at the hospital just in case.
5. Breastfeeding Covers
I might be a little controversial here but I don't use breastfeeding covers. At all. In the language that I have heard people use to describe breastfeeding in public, I just "whip it out", stick it in my baby's mouth and hold her there, pleasantly nursing without a blanket on her head until she is done. If I did want to cover up, I don't need a fancy breastfeeding cover, I would just use a baby blanket or a scarf.
6. Car seat cover
Just like with the breastfeeding cover, just use a blanket.
7. Baby food maker
This one truly puzzles me. If you are making your own baby food you can just use a normal food processor or blender. There's no need to have a special "baby" version. Some foods can just be mashed by hand or you can forgo all that altogether and do Baby Led Weaning. I have made all of my baby's food myself or just given them non-baby food and I haven't need a baby food maker. Also, newborns don't eat baby food. They eat milk or formula.
8. Baby Bottles
I had planned to use baby bottles with my baby. I even got some bottles that I received for free to try. But I quickly realized that my baby didn't really like bottles and as a breastfeeding mother, its so much easier to pop the baby onto my breast than worry about pumping milk. Also, I don't want to wash all those bottles. If you don't use baby bottles you don't need special drying racks or cleaning supplies for them either.
9. Bottle sterilizer/ bottle warmer/ formula maker
I'm putting these all in the same category because they all assume you are bottle feeding a lot. Some people swear by these things. As someone who didn't use bottles much, having a bottle sterilizer would have been a total waste of counter space. For the few bottles that I did use we either hand washed or just put them in the dishwasher. Bottle warmers seem like a waste also when you can warm up bottles with warm water and formula bottle makers don't seem much easier than making it by hand. ( I wouldn't know since I've never used one)
10. A baby bouncer
I had really wanted to buy a baby bouncer but ended up just getting a swing for my newborn. Part of the reason I didn't buy one is because we moved when my newborn was only 6 weeks old and I wanted to minimize the things that we needed to. We did however bounce the baby in our laps on the exercise ball we have. We ended up making due without one.
11. Wipe warmer
The purpose of the wipe warmer is too make the the wipes warm so they don't shock the little baby behinds with a cold wipe during a diaper change. I eneded up not getting one because I heard that they could dry out the wipes. Instead I like to ball up the wipe in my hand for a few seconds to warm it a little before I use it.
12. Infant pillow lounger (boppy lounger, doc-a-tot)
Babies are only little for a short amount of time. These infant loungers are small and your baby will quickly outgrow them. Plus, the doc-a-tot is $200 dollars.
13. Infant seat/activity center/jumper/walker
I didn't want to get many baby "holders" that restrained my baby. I follow a lot of REI ideas when it comes to infants and one of the ideas is to never put your child into something they couldn't get out of. All of these products prevent your little one from moving on their own and they can't get out by themselves. I tries to minimie the time that my baby was in that situation. She spent lots of time on the floor on her tummy or back when she was small and now that she is older she spends a lot of time crawling around.
14. Baby Shoes
Baby shoes are rather adorable. But what is the purpose of shoes for a baby? They don't walk. Instead I put little booties and socks on my baby to keep her feet warm. I was given a few pairs of shoes but my baby was born with rather large feet so she didn't even fit any of them.