Parenting

Top 8 Things New Parents (And Their Babies) Don't Need

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I remember our first trip to Babies “R” Us to register for our baby. We were clueless. What kind of diapers would work best for our baby? How do you pick a baby monitor? Was that too expensive? Did our friends really like us enough to pay that much for a stroller? The store provided a beautiful list of suggestions, which only raised more questions. We were lost. Fast forward to over a year down the road and I’m wishing I could go back and make that baby registry all over again!

Here is a list of 8 things you can leave off your baby registry:

8. A diaper changing table.

These are pieces of furniture and unless you live in a mansion, you will want to eliminate any furniture pieces that are not absolutely essential in your nursery square footage. Furthermore, diapers can and will be changed anywhere — on your lap, in the front seat of your car, in the hallway at church, on the playground bench, everywhere. We usually just changed our son’s diapers right on our living room floor. If you have white carpets, a little blanket underneath baby will work wonders. Invest in furniture that will stick around and be useful for more than three years. In our home that meant a custom shelving piece my dad built that houses books and toys that will serve our son well throughout his school years. If custom built is not an option for you, look into a solid dresser. Buy one new or find one at a garage sale and use some paint and new hardware to create a piece that will look adorable in your nursery and grow up with your child.

 

7. An infant carrier car seat.

Several years ago my employer required that I complete the 32 hours of training to be a certified car seat technician. Along the way I picked up some money-saving tips. The biggest one was to skip the infant carrier and go straight for a convertible car seat. An infant carrier is usually outgrown when a baby reaches 25 pounds (around age one), requiring a parent to then purchase a convertible car seat, which allows a baby to rear face until around 40 pounds. Most pediatricians recommend (with a plethora of research to back them up) that you keep babies rear facing until age 2 and many state laws require this. A convertible car seat can be turned around to face forward when your child has outgrown the rear facing height/weight requirements.

If you have great friends (like I do!), someone will likely purchase the car seat you add to your registry, so including a convertible car seat now saves you an inevitable purchase a year later. Saving money always makes me happy!

6. The most expensive car seat.

And while we are on the subject, you do not need the most expensive car seat on the market. There are national standards to keep babies as safe as possible when in the car. In order for a car seat to be sold in the U.S. it has to meet these standards. All of them, whether the low end model or the seat next to it with the $80 markup, survived the same crash tests. You do not need all the extra perks. The goal of a car seat is to keep your baby as safe as possible if you’re involved in a car accident.

 

5. A bulky baby bath.

Who has room to store one of these?!?! If you are really on a tight budget, you can do our Grandma’s House Trick. When we visited Grandma with our tiny baby, we just rolled up a towel and placed him on his back in the tub with the towel serving as a head rest (and keeping his mouth, nose, and eyes out of the water). If you do not want to mess with a soaking, wet towel every single bath time, invest in a collapsible one, like the Summer Infant Deluxe Baby Bath. It takes up minimal room, collapses easily, and dries quickly.

 

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4. Gender specific items.

If you plan on possibly having more than one baby at some point in your lifetime, this is something to consider. A friend of mine observed that when people reveal their gender, their showers are all pink or all blue. This is great for your first baby. A pink car seat, a pink stroller, all pink clothes and dresses are adorable. But three years later if you find yourself having a boy, all that pink may not seem so adorable. My husband and I chose to find out our baby’s gender, but then decided to only tell a few family members who were sworn to secrecy. We ended up with a gender neutral nursery that was ready for our son and any future children we may welcome.

 

3. Toys that require batteries.

Some are good. Kids love loud things that have bright lights. They do. Some of these are fine, but you may be setting yourself up for bankruptcy. If all your toys require batteries, then all your toys require more batteries — and more batteries cost money. We accidentally (because we did not have the right size batteries) discovered that allowing our son to discover his toys before the batteries are in teaches him to enjoy them without sounds and lights, so when batteries die next month he still knows how to enjoy the toy. It turned into one of the Happy Parenting Accidents!

 

2. A rocking chair.

You will want something comfy for those midnight feedings and late night teething snuggle marathons. But, you do not need a rocking chair. A recliner can be comfy and provide a space-saving built-in ottoman. A recliner will also work in another room of your house when your child becomes too big to crawl into your lap to read books. Also consider the layout of your house. Having a baby meant I transitioned to stay-at-home mom and my husband continued his full time job. This meant a fair share of nights where my only goal was keeping the baby quiet enough so my husband could get a little sleep. Because of this, the living room put us at a better distance so Dad could sleep. I spent as many hours on my sofa as I did on the chair in the nursery.

 

1. A bulky high chair.

Have I mentioned that space saving is a good thing? Babies take up more space than most parents anticipate, so saving space is always a plus. We used our Bumbo on top of a kitchen chair for the first few months our baby ate solids. After that, we transitioned to a folding booster seat. It tucked neatly under the table without even making our normal chair stick out and stub toes. This works as a chair with an attached tray and then also as a booster seat when baby is ready to join you at the table. A great two-in-one piece to save space and money.

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