Babies, they come with SO MUCH STUFF. Well they don’t come with it per say, but we sure do end up buying them a lot of crap.
The insanity really started before my son was even born. At about 32 weeks I started nesting hardcore – we’re talking climbing ladders to hang curtain rods in our newly renovated house kind of nesting… because god forbid the baby was born and came home to a house without curtains? I remember ironing them, and then running up and down the stairs, 9ft of material trailing behind my extremely pregnant ass, climbing my little ladder, and hanging curtains in every single bedroom. My husband was horrified, but I was like a little rolly-polly tornado, there was no stopping this Mama. Unfortunately, the same insanity applied to my shopping habits.
I had to buy every single thing that I could find on a ‘must-have’ list online (ironically, newborn clothing didn’t make it on my list, because somehow no one told me that my newborn needed ‘newborn’ sized clothing and not 0-3 month clothing, go figure – thank god for my friends who were generous enough to lend me their son’s newborn clothing).
My anxiety had me so insanely determined to be prepared for the impending job of motherhood, that I over-planned and over-nested myself into early labour at 37 weeks (honestly not complaining, ‘cause at 37 weeks baby is fully cooked, and I was SO ready already).
Now, the think about buying up the entire baby industry worth of stuff is that you end up with a lot of crap your baby grows out of insanely fast – a lot of crap you could really do without. Going through our storage room recently, I realized just how much baby stuff I bought that I should have either gotten second hand or shouldn’t have gotten at all.
I was always skeptical about second hand stuff from people outside my family, germs and all that, but what I’ve learned since as a parent to a toddler who will literally put ANYTHING in his mouth, a little Lysol (or in my case all-natural surface cleaner) goes a long way to cleaning plastic toys (WARNING: be sure to wash the Lysol off really well, you don’t want your kid eating that crap) and it’ll save you a good chunk of change. Plastic toys are easy to clean, your kid will use them for a few months and then off to storage they go. Frankly, if your baby is anything like mine, then he’s more likely to play with a plastic water bottle than one of the rather pricey toys you’ve purchased.
So, I’ve decided to make a ‘shit I shouldn’t have bought’ list for new parents, to hopefully help parents-to-be counteract the insanity that I went through.
Shoes and Booties
Not only did I spend money buying the adorable itty-bitty newborn shoes for my son, I even crocheted a few pairs (crocheting grandma over here, not ashamed). So, go figure, my son had newborn shoes, but didn’t have a single newborn onesie when he was born. Total number of times he wore said shoes? None. The answer is none. Unless you count the three seconds he had them on when we went to that birthday party, and then they fell right off, because he’s was still a blob of a human and DIDN’T NEED SHOES.
Save yourself some money and buy an extra pair of socks – now those came in handy, I even had them on his hands because those scratch mittens wouldn’t stay on, but socks would (mom hack!).
Okay, let me be clear, you do need newborn clothing, that’s not why its on this list. I made the mistake (as previously stated) of not buying newborn clothing, and my baby wasn’t a small baby by any means – 7lbs 9oz, 52 cm – he was drowning in the 0-3 month clothing that I purchased. The reason newborn clothing is on this list, is because your baby will grow out of it insanely fast. This means that a) if you are buying don’t buy up an entire store’s worth, he won’t even get through it all, and definitely don’t buy anything other than onesies and footsie pajamas – he won’t be wearing anything else, and b) if you can, borrow from a friend and save yourself the dough.
I was incredibly fortunate that as soon as my son was born, my friend, whose baby boy had just grown out of his newborn clothing, passed along a bag full of things for my kid to wear. It was WAY more than enough. They spend the entire newborn clothing stage in onesie pajamas anyways. He never even got the chance to wear that sailor suit and hat he received as a gift *sigh*.
Now this item I did smart – and I’ll impart that wisdom now. I didn’t buy a designated indoor bassinet for my son, I didn’t feel there was a need to. That being said – I did have a bassinet. Confused yet?
The stroller my parents purchased for us (UppaBaby Vista), came with a bassinet that was safe for overnight use, so what I did was purchase 2 jolly jumper bassinet stands (opted out of paying insane money for the uppababy bassinet stand). With two stands I could have one downstairs, and one upstairs, and just simply use the same bassinet from my stroller during the day and at nighttime. By 3 months, when my son’s colic had stopped, and he was clearly growing too big for the bassinet anyways, I had moved him to a crib in his own room.
See, I wasn’t completely mommy-brained, I still had a few decent ideas flowing!
Baby Food Blender
Guys, I have some shocking news for you. The baby food blender I bought to make my son’s food – yeah, could have just used a regular old pot to steam the veggies and a regular old blender to blend them. The only reason I got a decent amount of use out of this baby blender was because our adult-sized blender was broken. If you have a functioning, regular/adult sized, blender don’t even bother with this purchase. It was a major *palm meet face* moment for me.
Steam the veggies like you would steam them for yourself, and then blend them in a regular blender. Tada – homemade baby food.
Baby Towels and Robes
What a waste – babies fit in regular sized towels too – surprise! My son is now using adult-sized towels, they cuddle him better, and keep him warmer post-bath in the winter months. Baby towels tend to be a little too thin, however adorable, and your child will grow out of them so incredibly fast, what’s the point?
Believe it or not I actually had a baby robe on my registry, because how could my child not have a robe? Maybe my newborn will want to lounge around naked post bath and will require a robe for the sake of maintaining his delicate modesty! Yeah, no that’s not a thing. He’s going to pee through that sucker in about ten seconds, and if you’re already doing naked baby time, then do it right – you don’t need a freaking robe. We never used ours (obviously).
Pee Pee Tee Pee
Man, having a boy I totally thought that these would save my life. They weren’t an item I bought for myself, but I received them as a gift, and I was ecstatic! They looked genius – I could now protect myself from the onslaught of my newborn’s unpredictable stream of urine!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That stream just SHOT those pee pee tee pees RIGHT off. I have gotten pee in my hair, on my face, in my mouth, and that’s not to name every single article of furniture in my son’s room. It’s going to happen, just let go and let him pee. Your best defense against this one is a better offense – open one diaper and cover his wee wee with the next diaper at lightning speed, then maybe you won’t be receiving a very much unwanted urine facial. Verdict – don’t buy the tee pees, they don’t work, no matter how cute the little wiener dog pictures on them are.
Don’t even bother buying baby blankets. I bought a few, I even crocheted a few. What a waste. It’s not that you won’t use them – you will definitely use baby blankets in all of their forms: swaddles, crib blankets, stroller blankets, burp cloths, etc – it’s that these are a gift staple. So unless you know for a fact that you will not be getting ANY baby gifts, you don’t need to purchase these. I have incredibly generous friends and family, every single one of which gifted me a different version of a baby blanket. My son still has a few he hasn’t had the chance to use and he is now 2.5 years old.
There are about a million other baby items that you probably won’t need, but the most important thing to remember is that each baby is unique. Your child might love a certain brand of bottle, pacifier, and rocker that mine did not want to go near. Your best bet is to either borrow stuff until you’ve figured out what your baby likes, or buy very few items until after your baby is born so that you can actually see what you need as the need arises for it. That being said, if you’re looking for a good list of things to buy – Caffeine, Chaos, and Grace has a great one!
Hopefully this post has saved you some headache, and maybe even a little bit of dough!