Raising a child is one of the most difficult things anyone will ever experience. No one piece of advice applies to every situation, and no child is alike.
There are so many variables that people panic, and often turn to the Internet and baby books to “figure out” reasonable solutions.
The problem is, well, exactly what we just mentioned. No situation is alike, and applying baby book ideas is likely to end in disaster more often than not.
One thing people usually end up realizing after it’s too late, is the enormous amount of “stuff” that you don’t really need to raise your child.
Obviously, they’re some creature comforts and necessities, but remember, humans have been raising children for millions of years without the luxury of high definition baby cameras.
Saying no to excess baby stuff (crap) will help keep your life stress free and your pocketbook happy.
Here are the top ten baby care products you don’t need to raise a happy, healthy child.
Baby Care Products #1: Crib Bumpers
These seem like innocent baby care products, right? Who doesn’t want their baby protected from bumping into their crib bars?
We get it, and normally would agree. However, crib bumpers increase the probability of infant choking.
A study published in the “The Journal of Pediatrics” found that 23 babies died between 2006 and 2012 from suffocation caused by a crib bumper.
That number is three times higher than the average number of deaths in three previous seven-year spans.
Other agencies like the American Academy of Pediatrics, also advise against crib bumpers.
The potential choking hazard is far more concerning than a bumped head.
#2: Video Baby Monitors
We already mentioned these baby care products, and the HD video monitors are back. Sure they sound great, but stay with us for a moment.
How many hours of the day do your stare at your baby? We’re willing to bet it’s quite a few.
Do you really need video feed of what your child is doing during naptime/bedtime? We say not really.
All a video monitor does is cause parents to constantly obsess over their baby’s actions.
A regular baby monitor will be all you really need.
Instead of buying a camera, use this downtime to SLEEP!
#3: Bottle Warmers
Don’t take this the wrong way if you already own a bottle warmer, but they’re a waste of money.
Yes, it’s convenient to do something else while your bottle warms up. We get that, but using your sink and some hot water only takes a few minutes and saves money.
If you really want a bottle warmer, put it on your baby shower gift list.
#4: Lavish Toy Sets
Big sprawling toy sets are great for toddlers and other older children, but for newborns they’re overkill.
We’d argue they’re not real baby care products at all.
Your baby doesn’t need complicated toys during their first few months. In fact, during the first few weeks, they don’t need toys at all.
Investing in some cheap stuffed animals makes much better entertainment for your newborn.
#5: Infant Bathtubs
Your child is only small for so long, so baby bathtubs aren’t really necessary. Let’s do some simple math.
If you follow the recommended guidelines and bath your child three times a week or less, that’s only a maximum of 72 baths after 6 months.
You child might not even fit in the tub after 3-4 months, so that 72 baths is a little exaggerated.
At an average of $50 for a baby bath tub (estimated), you’re paying 70 cents per bath.
It’s much more cost-effective to bathe your baby in a normal bathtub. So long as you watch your child, issues won’t arise.
#6: Diaper Pails
Diapers are a necessary evil, and unless you want to go the cloth route, you’ll end up buying a lot of them.
That said, almost every parent we’ve met also owns a diaper bin. Why? The obvious answer is to put diapers in, duh.
But why not just use a closed-lid garbage can with some stick-on air fresheners? They work just as well, and cost less.
There are 54 options for garbage cans under $15 dollars on Target’s website, and zero for diaper pails.
You do the math.
#7: Baby Shoes
Babies don’t walk, so why would they need shoes? They don’t. At most, some cozy baby socks work well enough to protect your child’s feet.
Baby shoes can even hinder foot development, due to the restricting nature of most sneakers.
Obviously if your baby is already walking this tip doesn’t really apply to your situation.
#8: Baby Food Makers
Baby food makers sound great in theory. Everyone wants to feed their child the freshest food made right in their home.
That’s all fine and dandy, but do you really need to invest in a product that does the exact same thing as a food processor?
If you already own a food processor great, you have a baby food maker. If you don’t, just buy a food processor. It’ll outlive and outperform any baby food maker (and you can use it for things other than baby food).
#9: Baby Laundry Detergent
You don’t want to use any old laundry detergent for your newborn, but baby-centric detergent isn’t needed.
Usually these “baby detergents” cost more, are harder to find, and subsequently, waste your money.
It’s fine to use any eco-friendly, non-toxic, dye/fragrance-free, hypoallergenic detergent.
Almost every supermarket or home goods store will offer several options of this kind of detergent.
#10: Fancy Outfits
Everybody wants to play baby fashion show. Dressing up your child is fairly commonplace nowadays.
We understand why people do this, however, we think it’s all a bit silly. Think about it this way.
Your baby is going to spit up all over anything in his or her path.
Expensive baby outfits are doomed for destruction, usually just days after you’ve bought them.
Babies also change shape early on in their lives. What’s comfortable for them in their first few weeks might not fit when their bodies start to develop.
Save yourself the money and the headache of baby clothes shopping and stick to the basic onesies and swaddling blankets.
There you have it, our top 10 baby care products you don’t need. Hopefully this list gives you some insight and saves you some money.
Parenting is tough, and it’s always nice to know what’s needed and what’s junk.