There’s a lot of stuff that stores will tell you that you need when you’re going to have a new baby. Some of it is very, very necessary. Other things, not so much.
When you look at suggested baby registries, such as this one from Babies R Us, the big thing you will notice is the amount of repetition. So many different kinds of strollers recommended. They list all the car seat sizes you’re going to go through. And accessories, accessories, accessories! Not to mention toys specialized for so many different areas of baby’s life.
It get ridiculous fast.
The decision for what you do and don’t need is pretty personal. However, I think most of us can get by with far less than the stores recommend.
Things I Have Never Needed for Baby
1. Changing table.
I’ve always found a changing pad and a nearby bed, couch or floor to be good enough. Not like you can take the changing table with you wherever you go.
Perhaps the one disadvantage is that none of my kids have ever been comfortable on those changing tables you find in stores and restaurants. I’ve always struggled with diaper changes on those.
2. Crib bedding sets.
Most especially the quilts or comforters, which you can’t use until baby gets older anyhow, and are more likely to end up as a decoration. They’re too heavy for newborns.
That said, I’m also biased because my grandmother makes quilts for my kids, which remain stored until each child is old enough for it. They are well treasured.
I also really don’t do themes or particularly special nursery decorations. Baby won’t notice for quite a while what his or her room looks like in terms of specific decor or if it all matches.
They can look nice if you want the whole room to match a theme, but otherwise I find it makes more sense to just buy the individual parts you’re going to need. So often there will be a mobile or lamp shade or wall decoration that you just aren’t going to use.
3. Nursing covers.
I do cover up if I’m nursing in public, or at least try to, but whatever baby blanket I have on hand is quite sufficient to the job. So far that has worked well enough, although neither of my kids really liked being covered while nursing.
4. Stroller after stroller after stroller…
A stroller is a big help, in my opinion, although a good sling could take its place, I have no doubt. But so many varieties are recommended!
I have two. The basic umbrella stroller and the one that goes with my car seat. That’s plenty.
The umbrella stroller is nice once baby can sit up and space is a consideration. The other is nice if I need to carry more things than just baby, since it has the basket in the bottom. It’s also better for more difficult terrain.
Walkers are loads of fun for baby, but they also carry risks. I’ve always stuck with the stationary entertainers. Baby can still bounce for leg exercise, but she’s not getting a false sense of how moving around the house works. Ours has gone through about 5 babies so far, between my sisters and myself.
On the other hand a push toy that encourages walking once baby can actually walk isn’t so bad a thing.
6. A splat mat.
Babies are messy eaters when they start on solids, but a specialized splat mat probably doesn’t need to be bought. Grab a beach towel or a table cloth to slip under the high chair and you’ll get much the same effect with something you already own.
7. Other supplies you may not need.
There are a bunch of things you may not need for baby. Some of it will be because they’re too specialized. Toys for the crib are just as good for the daytime. Car seat toys may work for the stroller. And do you really need a bouncer, door jumper, stationary entertainer, swing and walker? That’s a lot of things that perform similarly enough that you can think about what really goes with the space you have and your needs.
Still more things may be replaced by things you already own. King size pillowcases fit cradle mattresses beautifully, in my experience.
You might decide that you only need a play yard rather than play yard, crib and cradle/bassinet. Or you may prefer to have these separately.
Then there are the things that go by choices you have made. If you’re breastfeeding exclusively, you aren’t going to need so many bottles, but you will certainly want some and a good breast pump if you ever want a break!
While I won’t need much new this time, since most everything is available through family handmedowns, there are a few things I’ll want. But new or used, the best idea is to keep things simple. Cuts down on the clutter and wondering about why you got something in the first place.