We have all seen them; countless baby ads in magazines, commercials and radio spots. Let’s face it; everyone wants to market to new and soon-to-be parents, and since every parent wants their baby to have the best, it’s not a hard crowd to market to! Many products claim to be must-haves, but which ones could you live without?
Bucket Baby Carseat
These baby car seats are able to be removed from the car, and have a carrying handle. These car seats can be great for some people, even more convenient for some, but they can get pricey. When it comes down to it, money-wise, you might be better off purchasing a convertible car seat (assuming your baby meets the minimum weight requirement) and getting your baby in and out of the car for each trip.
Baby Bjorn, Infantino & Similar Infant Carriers
Baby carriers, such as the Bjorn and infantino are not good for your baby and have been linked with hip displasia and spinal posture issues. Even without this health factor, these carriers are extremely impractical and uncomfortable. You’re better off looking for a sling (but avoid the padded slings that were recently recalled), mei-tai, or soft-structured carrier. Avoid carriers that allow your baby to dangle from the crotch area.
Baby washcloths are cute and tiny, but realistically, any normal washcloth will do. I have a few baby washcloths I was given and honestly, they were a lot rougher to the touch than most of my normal washcloths I used for myself!
The burp cloths that are labelled and sold as burp cloths (shaped like a rounded hourglass) are ridiculously ineffecient, especially if your little one burps up more than a drop, or has reflux issues. You’re better off getting a pack of the “Prefold Cloth Diapers” sold in most department stores, such as Wal-Mart and Fred Meter. These diapers are more absorbent and cover more space than traditional burp cloths.
Some parents swear by these, but the general consensus isn’t a positive one. These warmers can be a pain and sometimes it’s difficult to know exactly how much water to add, or heaven forbid, you lose the special measuring piece (which isn’t usually marked in traditional measurements) then it’s completely useless unless you want to guess how much water to add, which could leave your baby’s bottle too cold or even worse, too hot!
Wire-Framed Baby Bouncers
Although these bouncers might work well for putting fussy little ones to sleep, they’re economically impractical. The wire framed bouncers have a lower weight threshold and become unable to bounce once your baby gets too heavy, which for most babies, is only a couple months. You’re better off opting for a sturdier (think hollow metal bars) bouncer than can be used much longer! Some infant rockers and bouncers even convert into toddler chairs!
Unless you have a dedicated changing area where you change your baby’s diaper every single time, a wipe warmer is pretty inefficient. Most wipe warmers require being plugged in, making the container stationary and difficult for parents who change wherever they are, to use it.
Unless you get a really good deal, a bassinet or co-sleeper is most likely a waste of money. Sure, they’re cute and adorable, and maybe even convenient for parents who want their baby in the same room but don’t want to co-sleep, but they get pricey and your baby won’t be able to use it for more than a couple months. As soon as your baby gets mobile, or even starts to act like they might roll over or sit up, they can’t use a bassinet or co-sleeper anymore and need to be moved into a different sleeping location for safety reasons. You’re better off foregoing the bassinet or co-sleeper and either getting a crib (preferably a convertible one that will last into toddlerhood) or a portable playpen with a bassinet attachment.
The diaper genie looks like a great idea, but in my experience (and the experience of many others I know) they are just as effective as stopping odor as a normal trashcan with a lid. The actual unit is semi-expensive, but the cost of the refill bags adds up pretty quickly. Diapers are pricey enough! Don’t make the cost any higher than it needs to be. If you want a pail dedicated to just diapers, opt for a trashcan with a pedal-operated lid!
If your baby isn’t walking, these aren’t necessary! They might be cute (and who can blame you for thinking so?) but don’t stress out if a pair of baby uggs for your two-month-old aren’t in the budget!
Baby Bath Tubs
Some parents swear by these, but others can’t stand them. These bathtubs can be a hassle (not to mention heavy lifting) to fill and drain, and if it’s one of those expandable ones to adjust to your baby’s size, they can end up leaking all over your table or counters; wherever you decide to bathe baby! Many parents find it easier to just bathe their baby in the sink, or take a bath with their baby!
These sensors might seem like a great reassuring product for parents concerned about SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) but in my experience, I didn’t get any more restful sleep with it, than I did without it. The alarm can be annoying too, especially if you forget to turn it off before you pick baby up. You’ll be halfway down the stairs before it starts blaring!
Infant Learning Videos
Every parent wants their baby to be smart, but infant learning DVD’s aren’t the way to go! In fact, it’s now recommended that babies not be allowed to watch TV at all, due to a trend of decreased vocabulary in babies that do watch television! If you want your baby to be smart, read them books starting at an early age and talk to them often!
Fancy Bottle Systems
Babies can be picky about the bottles they take, but this doesn’t mean you need to spend a ton of money on fancy bottle systems! Your best bet on this one, is to try a few bottles once your baby is here, and figure out which one he or she takes best and then get a couple duplicates. A bottle supply of even 3 or 4 bottles is more than enough if you wash them often!
Portable Baby Food Grinders
These grinders might seem like a great idea for on the go, but most of them aren’t very effective and require a lot of pressure and force to work! The only things these grinders are good for, are things you could probably just mash up with your fork. If you’re looking to make baby food at home, you’re better off using a blender or food processor.
Newborn diapers are small. Most healthy babies, born at normal weights don’t go through more than a pack of newborn diapers, so don’t stock up on just newborns and if you have more than a few packs, you might want to consider exchanging them for a bigger size!